Herewith is a compendium of movie clichés, stereotypes, obligatory scenes, hackneyed formulas, shopworn conventions and outdated archetypes.
The author says that as you go to enough different movies, you start to notice things. Like how every time there's a chase scene in an exotic locale, a fruit cart gets overturned. Or how whenever the hero knocks out a Nazi sentry and puts on his uniform, the uniform is a perfect fit. Or how there are plots that would be over in five minutes, if all characters weren't idiots.
Actress Inferior Position - In movie sex scenes, which are usually directed by men, the POV (Point of View) at the moment of climax is almost always the man's, so that we see the actress, not the actor, losing control.
AC-WAT-NOBI Movie - A Cop With A Theory No One Believes In.
Against All Odds Rule - In an apparently fatal situation from which there is no possible hope of survival, it is certain the characters will survive. In a situation where there is any apparent chance of survival, there will be at least some deaths.
"Ain't Nobody Here but Us Chickens." - Whenever someone is alone at home at night and they hear a sound in the house and ask aloud, "(Name), is that you?" it NEVER is.
Air Vent Escape Route - If the hero is imprisoned in a building owned by the villains, there will inevitably be an air vent cover that is not screwed in and is easily removed. The passageway will be large enough to accommodate any size person. The escape route will pass over the room where the bad guys are discussing the details of their diabolical plan, which the hero will now be able to foil.
Alien Berlitz Communication Rule (ABC Rule) - Movie aliens are able to learn the local language (English, French, Japanese, etc.) in an amazingly short time. Frequently this includes the ability to reproduce recognizable Earth-like accents.
Ali MacGraw's Disease - Movie illness in which only symptom is that the sufferer grows more beautiful as death approaches.
Back seat Inviso-Syndrome - Film characters are invariably unable to see a person crouched in the backseat of a car (even a convertible) when, in the real world, it is an impossible place for a person to hide.
Bad Movie Rental Warning Rule - If a rental movie box has a warning such as "If scenes of graphic horror offend you, do not rent this film!" -do not rent this film.
Baguette Envy - In every scene which includes a person carrying a bag of groceries, the bag will invariably contain a long, skinny, French baguette loaf, and exactly
8.5 inches of it will be exposed.
Bartender Establishing Shot - All movie bartenders, when first seen, are wiping the inside of a glass with a rag.
"Based on a True Story." - Hollywood shorthand, meaning: Depressing,morbid, downbeat, including scenes so shocking or lascivious that no producer would include them in a movie unless he could excuse himself by saying these things actually happened.
Bathroom Rule - No one in the movies ever goes to the toilet to perform the usual bodily functions. Instead they either use the bathroom to take illegal drugs, commit suicide, make a criminal deal, kill someone else in a stall, get killed, or sneak out through the bathroom window.
Beeping Rule - In movies where cops, reporters, hackers, and others are using a computer to locate a suspect or special file, the successful retrieval of said subject is heralded with dramatic beeps, flashing messages, and other electronic indications that "something important has been found." The only time an ordinary computer ever beeps is when it refuses to carry out a command.
Beginning, The - Word used in titles of sequels to movies in which everyone was killed at the end of the original movie, making an ordinary sequel impossible. Explains to knowledgeable filmgoers that the movie will concern, for example, what happened in the Amityville house before the Lutzes moved in. Other examples: The First Chapter, The Early Days, etc.
Best Play of the Game Rule - Every bad sports movie ends with the hero making an extraordinary catch/play/hit in slow motion to win the game at the final gun/bell/buzzer.
"Betcha Can't Name That Tune" Ploy - Almost all movie pianists, such as Clint Eastwood in 'In the Line of Fire', are perfectly happy playing nothing but chords. By never straying anywhere near a recognizable melody, they avoid paying royalties.
'Betsy' Syndrome - Identifying an actor in print by their latest film, regardless of how weak it was. Inspired by a newspaper article that appeared toward the end of Sir Lawrence Olivier's career, referring to him as "Lawrence ('The Betsy') Olivier."
Big Nod, The - Comes after the Last Word. After a character is fatally wounded, first he lies motionless and recites an incredibly meaningful statement. Then his head nods to one side.
Bogeyman Shot - Unaware victim is shot in close-up looking toward the camera, while a huge lopsided space is left vacant for the monster/killer to appear in.
Boob Tube - There is never anything worth seeing on TV in the movies.
Boom-Boom Rule - Whenever a building or a car explodes, the explosion will be repeated in its entirety from several different camera angles.
Born in the USA - Any movie set in an unnamed U.S. city will be revealed by the credits to have been filmed in Toronto or Vancouver.
British Roman Rule - All leaders of the Roman Empire have British accents. Why don't filmmakers want Romans to at least have Italian accents?
Broken Compass Principle - In New York City chase scenes, cars are able to turn off of avenues onto other avenues. This is impossible, since the avenues are parallel.
Bumbling Night Watchman - Any scene involving the good guy burgling an office at night will inevitably include a semi- competent night watchman, whose sole purpose is to inject an element of danger into an otherwise boring event. Actions performed by the watchman usually include shining flashlight through the window, rattling doorknobs, watching security monitors, etc., all done in a manner that allows the good guy to continue undetected until just after he discovers the needed information or object. He will then flee the scene with the watchman in pursuit.
Bun and Spectacles Rule - Any woman who appears in a movie with her hair in a tight bun and wearing glasses (usually large thick round ones will inevitably turn out to be the beautiful heroine. She will magically acquire perfect vision and a sexy wardrobe.