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Let's Ruin Movies!
#1
Inspired by Bart and Avian's recent "problematic" and "non-problematic" story threads, I came up with this exercise below, in connection with something I noticed once about one of my favorite films of all-damn-time, Martin Scorsese's TAXI DRIVER.  

One of my favorite scenes is the one in which Travis goes to the Wizard (Peter Boyle) outside the cafeteria for help and some father-figurely advice, but since Travis has trouble verbalizing his feelings and misgivings about himself and his stability ("I got some bad ideas in my head, man.") Wizard totally misses any of his points.  It's enough to make you wonder, in some alternate reality, what might've happened if Wizard were more empathetic or was a better listener...

EXT - BELMORE CAFETERIA - NIGHT.

WIZARD
Things got ya' down?

TRAVIS
Yeah. They got me real down.

WIZARD
Happens to the best of them...

(Awkward pause)

WIZARD
Hey, you fish?

TRAVIS
Fish?

WIZARD
When shit gets too much for me, I get outta the city for a while.
Head upstate.  Get away, y'know?  Think.

TRAVIS
Man, I ain't been fishing since I was a kid.

WIZARD
Drop your shift this, what, how 'bout Friday?  We'll get in the truck.
Get some beers, some food.  I know a great place up the Mohawk
Valley for trout.  You in?

TRAVIS
(pause)
Yeah, yeah that sounds alright.  

They go fishing and Travis' shit gets cooled out.  He never gets the mohawk, Iris stays with Sport until they develop addictions and diseases, Betsy and Tom start dating and enter a loveless marriage with spoiled trust fund kids, Palantine eventually becomes 45th President of the United States.

MOVIE RUINED.

Who's next?
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#2
Gunner #1: 'There goes another one.'
Gunner #2: 'Hold on, there are no life forms on board. Probably just a malfunction.'
Gunner #1: 'Yeah, but orders are to shoot down any lifepods that try to escape.'
Gunner #2: 'Sure. Good for target practice anyways.'

ZAAAAAAAAAP
BOOOOOOOOM

Dallas: Something has attached itself to him. We have to get him to the infirmary right away.
Ripley: What kind of thing? I need a clear definition.
Dallas: An organism. Open the hatch.
Ripley: Wait a minute. If we let it in, the ship could be infected. You know the quarantine procedure. Twenty-four hours for decontamination.
Dallas: He could die in twenty-four hours. Open the hatch.
Ripley: Listen to me, if we break quarantine, we could all die.
Lambert: Look, could you open the god-damned hatch? We have to get him inside.
Ripley: No. I can't do that and if you were in my position, you'd do the same.
Dallas: Ripley, this is an order. Open that hatch right now, do you hear me?
Ripley: Yes.
Dallas: Ripley. This is an order. Do you hear me?
Ripley: Yes. I read you. The answer is negative. I've over-ridden the airlock mechanism.
(Ash attempts to open the door, is unsuccessful).
Dallas: Dammit, Ripley.
Lambert: Make her open the hatch!
Dallas: I can't. When I'm off the ship, she's in command. She has the authority here. I don't like it but she's right, we have to follow procedures.
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#3
Not exactly what the thread has in mind, but Judas's post reminds me of an idea I had after Phantom Menace came out. I was sort of left reeling from how terrible it was, and I had this weird thought that Lucas might end up doing something crazy like taking Anakin right up to the point of his turn, and then completely flipping the script. In what would have been sort of a proto-Lost/Game of Thrones style time-twist, Anakin, as the Chosen One, sees the events of the OT in a flash, and then pulls a Luke and refuses to turn. The effect would be Lucas essentially erasing his legacy, angering his fan base, but at the same time forcing them to deal with the fact that ultimately he was giving these beloved characters a much happier ending-- wherein Luke and Leia might have lived quiet, normal lives, and with their mother and father still around.

Then he could go on to make the art house films he kept promising, only set in a galaxy far, far away.

Note: I may have been in college and high at the time.
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#4
(characters actually talk to each other about what's going on)

MOVIES: RUINED
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#5
Not to mention Lost.
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#6
Most movies would be 'ruined' if all of the people/characters involved were competent at their jobs and/or didn't make random stupid decisions at opportune plot moments.
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#7
I think that is part of why audiences tend to love movies where the main characters exhibit extreme proficiency at their craft. Granted a large part of that is just the experience of living vicariously though the stories we watch/read, but still, we have a fascination with watching people do things well, because too often characters make stupid decisions in the service of the plot, as you point out.
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#8
"I will give you one million dollars for one night with your wife."

"No thank you."
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#9
(04-18-2018, 05:00 PM)bailey Wrote: I think that is part of why audiences tend to love movies where the main characters exhibit extreme proficiency at their craft.  Granted a large part of that is just the experience of living vicariously though the stories we watch/read, but still, we have a fascination with watching people do things well, because too often characters make stupid decisions in the service of the plot, as you point out.

That's definitely the appeal of 'John Wick' as a character or Bruce Lee as an actor/martial artist.  I want them to be challenged within their movies and I'm ok with things not going perfectly, but I don't want to see them fail because they make out-of-character stupid decisions or mistakes.

But it's ridiculous when an entire movie hinges upon someone not doing their job or making a stupid decision.  I'll grant that many major historical events have happened because of one person fucking up, but hey...shit happens.  If you're filming a 'base on a true story' event, then those kinds of things happening are fine.  In a work of fiction, you shouldn't rely on deus-ex-stupida in order for your plot to progress from point A to point B.
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#10
Biff Tannen laughs as he tosses Lorraine Baines to the ground. George McFly's anger rises. He readies a fist and lets loose with a powerful punch...

Biff's neck breaks on contact. Blood erupts from his eyes, nose, mouth and ears. His lifeless body falls to the pavement right next to Lorraine. Lorraine screams in absolute terror.

LORRAINE
OH MY GOD! OH JESUS, GEORGE, WHAT HAVE YOU DONE??

George makes a run for it but is captured and subdued by Strickland and the Hill Valley Police, drinking on duty in a nearby parking lot. A set of clothing is discovered in the parking lot that was said to match an outfit worn by a "Calvin Klein," but Klein could not be found by local authorities.

George McFly is convicted and spends thirty years in the State Penitentiary at Clayton Ravine. In 1985, he is released and met by his lifetime love, Lorraine. They marry and he becomes known in the family as "Jailbird Georgie." They eventually have a child they name Calvin, who turns seventeen in 2003 and later earns a living as the lead singer of a second-rate Nirvana cover band.

More-positive post-credit moment:
Across town, local scientist Emmett Brown prepares to meet his protege at the Twin Pines Mall at 1:15am. A local high-school senior called Jennifer Parker.
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#11
Someone did something similar for BIG, having Josh Baskin (Tom Hanks) ending up in prison for child abduction or something similar.
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#12
In the scene where Takagi dies, McClane hears that they're going for the vault. After his fire alarm gambit fails, he tracks down Theo (who spends the movie alone), incapacitates him and destroys the drill. Unable to crack the vault and without any detonators, Gruber and company cut their losses and leave.

Two weeks later Karl breaks into the McClane/Gennaro household and murders the entire family.
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#13
Diane Freeling surprises her husband Steve when he gets home from work by showing him how their daughter Carol Anne slides across the kitchen floor as if by magic.

Steve packs his Reagan biography, his weed and the rest of his shit and gets his family on the first flight to fucking Vermont.
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#14
Joe Cox: 'Mind if I...zip this up?'
Officer Lewis nods yes, steps back into a weaver stance, and never looks down. When Joe makes a move, she shoots him down.

Because of her actions, officer Murphy isn't killed by Boddicker's gang and never becomes Robocop.
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#15
Realizing they've been had, Office Jack Traven races across the busy street, tosses aside the trashcan, triggering an explosion that instantly kills him. Annie Porter's body was found hours later in a subway tunnel and Howard Payne was arrested the next day trying to cross the border into Mexico.
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#16
(04-18-2018, 05:43 PM)hypnotoad Wrote: Realizing they've been had, Office Jack Traven races across the busy street, tosses aside the trashcan, triggering an explosion that instantly kills him.  Annie Porter's body was found hours later in a subway tunnel and Howard Payne was arrested the next day trying to cross the border into Mexico.

Nice!  I always thought that when he found Annie's bus, instead of trying to flag it down he should've shot out the tires before it got to 50mph.  The bomb never arms, everyone gets off just fine.  (Or until Payne cheats and detonates a secondary device anyway.)
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#17
Grandpa: How's the sickie?
(Grandpa pinches his grandson's cheek. The kid rolls his eyes at his mom.)
Mom: I think I'll leave you two fellas alone.
Grandpa: I brought you a special present.
Kid: What is it??
Grandpa: Open it up.
Kid: (scoffing) A book?
Grandpa (who had clearly been day drinking): That's right you little shit, when I was your age television was called books. You don't like to read? Then shove it up your ass.
(Grandpa storms out, goes back to his gin. Kid fires up his Nintendo.)
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#18
A QUIET PLACE's prologue sequence

(the big thing happens and continues to play out in a logical fashion instead of cutting to the title)

THE END
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#19
"Well, it'll be a hard summer, but it'll be worse if we become known as the town that fed its tourists to sharks. Go ahead and close the beaches, Chief."
My karmic debt must be huge.

----------

My blog: An Embarrassment of Rich's
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#20
Alan Stanwyk: I don't know if you know anything about bone cancer...Actually, I don't have bone cancer, I just need a body to burn in my car so I can fake my death. That's why I've brought you here tonight, on the night of my escape, instead of earlier in the week, where you'd have time to unravel my plan.

*kills Fletch, fakes death*
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#21
(04-18-2018, 05:27 PM)engineer Wrote: Diane Freeling surprises her husband Steve when he gets home from work by showing him how their daughter Carol Anne slides across the kitchen floor as if by magic.

Steve packs his Reagan biography, his weed and the rest of his shit and gets his family on the first flight to fucking Vermont.

God, there could be a whole genre of this.

ACT ONE: A white family moves into a house
ACT TWO: That house has some shit in it
ACT THREE: The family checks into a hotel

********************************************************

Also, it would devastate the superhero genre if exposure to radiation killed.
"Looking at the Trump administration, I'm starting to think I was too hard on the characters in Prometheus."  --  MrBananaGrabber
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#22
The Duke: Jack, every time we stop there's someone waiting to kill us. If you take me to prison Serrano will just have me killed before I can possibly testify. Besides, you clearly don't give a shit about the law, as you're impersonating an FBI agent, destroying property, and stealing cars right and left. Also, whoever hired you to find me has apparently sold you out multiple times. In addition, I'm wearing a belt that contains triple the money you were promised. I am willing to let you have it all if you just let me go. There is literally no reason for you to say no to this.

Jack: Yeah, okay.
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#23
"Detective Riggs, since you were in an officer-involved shooting at the Christmas tree lot, we'll need you to turn over your service weapon and go on administrative leave during our investigation."
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#24
"YOU WANT ANSWERS?'

"I think I'm entitled to them."

"YOU WANT ANSWERS?"

"I want the truth!"

"YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH!"

"Fine, be that way. You're a tough nut to crack, I'll give ya that. No further questions, your honor."
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#25
"In other news, a young girl was killed today when she fell into a hog pen and was trampled by the frightened animals. The girl, Dorothy Gale, was pronounced dead after medical help was late in arriving due to hazardous conditions caused by a tornado in the area."
My karmic debt must be huge.

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My blog: An Embarrassment of Rich's
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#26
ODA MAE: "Piss off, ghost!"
"Looking at the Trump administration, I'm starting to think I was too hard on the characters in Prometheus."  --  MrBananaGrabber
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#27
“Smile you son of a bitch!”

*bullet pierces tank, does nothing*

Shark continues on path and as Brody sinks the rest of the way on the mast is at perfect water level, shark opens wide and introduces him to Quint. Hooper witnesses this from below, is forced to surface as air runs out, before making it to shore his splashing attracts shark, is also eaten.

Just another Tuesday.
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#28
Tony Stark is captured by the 10 Rings, who behead him in a propaganda video.
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#29
Sheriff Teasle: If you'd be interested in some work while you're in town, ol' Leroy could use some help painting the station. Why don't you come down and we'll make sure you have a place to sleep and a warm meal. Its the holidays after all and we'd like to thank you for your service to our country.
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#30
Rafiki hangs his head in shame. Sarabi looks on at him with disgust. The mournful cries of animals are heard offscreen.

Mufasa: I can't believe you fuckin' dropped him.
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#31
"I forgot my gloves Brians's office...y'know what, I'll just wait and take the 8 o'clock flight with you. Why bust my ass, right?"

The next Del Griffith's lifeless body is found in a snowbank just outside of Stubbville.
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#32
Oliver Sansweet gets the help he needs after his case against Mr. Incredible is dismissed.
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#33
Ellen: Sparky, I called for ticket prices and they said the park would be closed for maintenance for the next two weeks.
Clark: That's okay. Since the car dealership crushed our car, they've offered us a sweet deal on the car we ordered, but it'll take a few days. In the meantime, let's book a flight to Hawaii. Its where the kids wanted to go anyway and your Cousin Eddie would probably try to hit us up for cash.

*continues putting unwashed plates in cabinet*
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#34
HENRY (V.O.)
As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a turnip farmer.
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#35
Thomas Wayne accidentally drops his wallet, but picks it up and hands it to Joe Chill. Martha Wayne nervously struggles to remove her necklace, but gets it off and hands it over. Bruce then watches Joe Chill disappear out of the mouth of the alley and into the night.

Thomas says, "Whew, I'm glad that's over and we're all unhurt. That could've -- I don't even want to think about what could've happened."
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