What I Learned from Movies, XV: Cop-Out Answers

One thing I really hate? Unacceptable answers to cover a weak plot or to justify why a character can do a certain thing. The second and third Matrix movies are notorious for covering plot gaps with lines that at first listen sound like they could be deep—then you remember that these are movies with Keanu Reeves as a savior figure. Maybe it’s a childhood thing of hating when my mother always said, “Because I said so, that’s why!” but I really dislike copout answers. Here’s some that appear in multiple films that have irked me greatly.

  1. “How do you know this will work?”
    “It has to work.”
  2. “How can you possibly know that?”
    “Because it is my job to know.”
  3. “What if the killer doesn’t show up?”
    “He has to show up. He can’t help himself.”
  4. “I just don’t see how this can possibly work.”
    “You gotta have faith. It will work.”

What I Learned from Movies XIV: Military Movies

  • Holding up a fist will instantly stop an entire army dead in their tracks.
  • Any time bullets are shot at you in slow motion, you can avoid them (in slow motion) by leaning way back until your spine is almost broken. Hover in this position for several seconds until the bullet-time effect has ended.
  • Make a ‘V’ with your index and middle finger. Now point them at your eyes, then your fellow soldiers’ eyes. This alerts them to use vision instead of their sense of smell to navigate streets and tunnels.
  • The enemy can’t smell lit cigars due to their inferior, foreign senses, so by all means, smoke up!
  • After you’ve used up your clip, you can safely throw your weapon to the ground in favor of a handgun. The army doesn’t mind you throwing away M16s. They have thousands more laying about.
  • Covering oneself in mud will drop the body temperature enough to fool aliens and thermographic registers, but won’t cause hydrothermia.

What I Learned About Caves from Movies

  1. An explosion in a cave, no matter how small the blast, will result in the precise amount of falling rocks needed to just cover the solitary entrance. The rocks will always be small enough to be carried away by hand.
  2. Even when there are tens of thousands of bats, the guano will have no affect on air quality.
  3. All caves have a three meter ceiling throughout the walkways.
  4. All caves have torch sconces on the walls. If they aren’t lit when you arrive, you needn’t worry. They have plenty of fuel still soaked in them and will blaze with the slightest spark.
  5. There is always a deep, rushing river in every cave, drinkable and free of E coli.
  6. Masks aren’t needed in movie caves, not even in coal mines. That Black Lung disease is a myth.
  7. All it takes to cover up an abandoned mine is a few rotted planks of wood that are nailed to the very cave itself. They will never be level and there will always be a warning, half washed away in black paint.
  8. It is possible to walk about inside active volcanoes without special outer gear. Remember, you can always outrun lava.
  9. What have you learned about caves from movies?

What I Learned About Car Theft from Movies

  1. All cars can be hotwired. The first time the wires contact, they will spark. The second contact will always start the car.
  2. You’ll never steal a car with bad brakes, poor suspension, etc. Stolen cars can jump cliffs, bridges and take impossible turns.
  3. Stolen cars never have safety glass.
  4. Shooting a criminal’s windshield will always kill the driver instantly, causing the vehicle to roll off a cliff into a fireball. Shooting a hero’s windshield will cause the glass to spider 14″ to the right or left of the driver.
  5. When your car is too narrow to fit through a thin European alley, leaning to the side will angle the car upward on the passenger-side wheels only.
  6. When you steal a car, no matter how intense the security or parking regulations, there will always be a parking space out front.
  7. Wht have you learned about car theft from movies?

What I Learned from Movies: Car Chases

  1. All car in a chase will eventually run into an Italian fruit stand ominously parked in the middle of the road. This fruit stand is an omen of death and the proprietor is actually a minor demon; a minion of Lucifer set to test mankind’s will… and driving skills.
  2. Alternatively, two elderly identical men will be carrying a large pane of glass across the street without OSHA-approved gear. It is rumored that the glass industry is in a slump, and employees are required to listen to police radios for possible police chases. This gives them ample opportunity to sue for exorbitant insurance claims.
  3. All car car chases will at some point, venture through a narrow alley requiring drivers to either turn their cars at an angle to continue, or fire a Glock 27 at a dumpster, turning it into a single-use ramp.
  4. At some point, it will be necessary to drive at top speed on a crowded sidewalk, preferably through an outdoor café. The patrons of the café—their senses heightened by espresso and Brésiliennes—have cat-like reflexes and will roll and flip away from the oncoming vehicles with an agility that would put an Olympic gymnast to shame.
  5. Another omen appearing in the typical car chase is the elderly woman or blind man who crosses the street painfully slow, but timed perfectly to avoid being hit. These are in fact, large squirrels in the guise of old women.
  6. Midway through a car chase, the driver may tire of the drudgery of street after endless street and decide to off-road it a bit. There are two globally-approved methods of signaling to the other driver that it’s time for some unpaved action:
    1. Veer off the freeway unexpectedly on the one section of road where the embankment is missing
    2. Using the top of a parking structure as a ramp and careening into space. Best to land neatly on solid ground without damaging the suspension or breaking a tie rod.
  7. Leaning back in your seat will prevent you from being hit by enemy gunfire, as will ducking for a split second. Car doors are impervious to rounds up to .50 caliber and hand-held grenades.
  8. Audis are the fastest cars known to man and have up to 37 forward gears. They can and should be used in the War Against Terror, as they can withstand more abuse than an M1A Abrams tank.
  9. Crime-lords sitting in the rear seat of a vehicle can—and will—be shot to death during a high-speed pursuit. Attractive women in the same seat will miraculously escape unscathed. Something to do with the weight of their breasts counterbalancing the fabric of their slender, strapless gowns and the ratio of how much sheen their hair has. I think. It’s all very scientific.
  10. But the most important thing of all: no matter how old or smashed up the vehicle, brakes never fail in a car chase.

What have you learned from car chases in movies?

Things I Learned from Movies: Vampires

  1. They never check a vampire for ID
  2. Likewise, no one asks child vampire why they aren’t in school
  3. The DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) never seems to notice that vampires are about 2,000 years too old to drive. Oh wait, they OWN the DMVs.
  4. Vampires exist by hard and fast rules. Once you turn, that’s it. Unless you’re in love with a good-looking human. Then you can return to the living by being nice.
  5. Becoming a vampire isn’t like a tattoo where it’s there forever. You can opt out. Just kill the lead vampire, and you can go back to being drab.
  6. Lead vampires are ancient, unstoppable and European that yearn for the “old ways”. Younger vampires are brash Americans with sophisticated technology.
  7. Being a vampire is great for your hair. As soon as you bite a victim, it’s coiffed, teased out and even gets some colors and highlights.
  8. If you’re a male vampire, and you suck a guy’s neck, it’s totally not gay at all. You get to call outs.
  9. If you’re a female vampire biting a female human however, it’s still lesbian and you’ll both end up naked in bed, cause that shit’s hot

What have you learned about vampires?

Things I Learned from Movies, Police Chiefs

  1. All police chiefs are balding, pudgy, African-American mustachioed men, 50 years-old with hair-trigger tempers.
  2. Police Chiefs are magical creatures that can only be summoned into one of three sacred shrines: a detective’s office, behind the interrogation glass and the office water cooler. They have not homes, nor spouses nor lives outside of the force. Appease them with offerings of stale donuts and old coffee.
  3. Police Chiefs don a mandatory wardrobe consisting of black trousers and a white, striped dress shirt with one silver pen in the pocket and a black necktie. There are no exceptions to this rule.
  4. Police Chiefs have the power to suspend detectives and cops without Internal Affairs inquiries or union interference.
  5. A Police Chief will always suspect a detective of using violence without bothering to investigate the source of the complaint or taking past performance into account.
  6. Police Chief communication is similar to that of the Howler Monkey: loud, ceaseless and audible from 10 kilometers away.
  7. Police Chiefs are notorious for spilling scalding hot coffee on themselves, however they suffer no burns or ill effects later on.
  8. Police Chiefs are a gullible lot, easily fooled by puckish detectives who are able to scam them with the most clichéd of tactics.
  9. Police Chiefs, as harbingers of death, frequently purchase birthday cakes for detectives. However, the wise detective will shun these baked goods, for once the first bite is taken, that detective will receive a phone call with news that someone close has died.
  10. Police Chiefs will invariably have the oldest and messiest desks in the station.
  11. Police Chiefs frequently carry hypertension pills for their bum ticker.
  12. In addition to the aforementioned coffee and donuts, Police Chiefs subsist on a strict diet of items purchased from an aging vending machine. Like scavengers, they will occasionally pilfer cold pizza from a desk or a jar of olives from the station refrigerator.
  13. A Police Chief will frequently complain his doctor is “getting on my case about my diet,” however, since Chiefs never leave their desks, the possibility of a Police Chief even knowing a doctor is quite slim.

What have you learned about Police Chiefs?

Things I Learned from Sports Movies

  1. Every sports movie will have an ‘80s sound track, no matter what decade it was produced in. The raspy singer will over-stretch his limited vocal range on the chorus causing the local bat population to go into estrus. The keyboards will feature default Casio sounds that are barely audible under the wailing guitar pyrotechnics.
  2. A down-and-out, last-place team can always be rallied into first place in one season by the simple addition of one player with a winning attitude.
  3. The local last place team will have facilities worse than those in most federal penitentiaries.
  4. A has-been great player can always be called out of retirement for one last big game—the one he he was born to win.
  5. Only one player on the team will have a girlfriend or wife, and she will be way hotter than he deserves.
  6. The team’s owner will be a Texan (or at least dress like one), with a Playboy Bunny wife who has slept with the entire team unbeknownst to him.
  7. The local sports writer will always “have it in” for one of the players and will use all manner of unethical tactics just to get a scoop or ruin the big game.
  8. One player on every team speaks no English whatsoever and becomes the butt of jokes. If the player is Eastern European in origin, s/he will also be freakishly large and have a carrot-sized mono-brow.
  9. If the team is high school or college level, there will always be a hot girl who dates the quarterback of the opposing team. She will fall for the worst player on the local losing team and help that team win at the expense of her own school, friends, teammates, family, etc.
  10. The local losing team will play the evil opposing team every week. There will be only two other teams in the league and they will be soundly defeated in a three-minute clip backed by a rousing ‘80s rock soundtrack.
  11. When the local losing team needs to raise money, they will somehow convince a dozen bikini models to work a car wash. Owing to the vast number of wealthy perverts driving dusty BMWs, the car wash will raise $60,0000 in one Saturday. The car wash scene will be the second longest scene in the entire film.
  12. The Big Game is the most important scene in a Sports Movie. Big Games are able to change the very fabric of space/time allowing players to make leaps that would stun a gazelle, slow-motion throws and Herculean acts of strength. Members of the opposing team will be so devastated that many will leave the field on stretchers.

What have you learned from Sports Movies?

Things I Learned from Movies, Ninjas

  1. Modern Ninjas are generally six foot-tall white or Asian males, unmarried, who live on islands working as bodyguards for evil, French billionaires.
  2. Guard dogs cannot kill or overpower Ninjas, no matter how large or well-trained.
  3. Ninjas are not only silent — they’re mute from birth. They moonlight as mimes.
  4. Orphaned, white teenagers invariably become better at Ninjitsu than the 80 year-old Japanese masters who taught them.
  5. Ninja clans can hold grudges longer than the Middle East.
  6. Ninjas frequently hold practice sessions in abandoned New York warehouses that somehow still have electricity, but no rat or roach problems.
  7. Ninjas inevitably meet their end fighting in death matches held by their evil, French billionaire bosses.
  8. Despite their secrecy, Ninjas are actually quite easy to encounter or hire.
  9. When it comes to the discriminating, evil French billionaire, an army of Ninjas is the preferred weapon of choice over nuclear weapons, computer viruses, bio-terrorism or rabid Yorkies.

What have you learned about Ninjas?