Art Direction, Motion Design & Illustration by Patrick Hosmer

Three Terrible, Terrible Movie Devices

Added on by Patrick Hosmer.

There is no question that today's movies don't think much of their audience. In fact, I think the only moviemaker who actually knows his audience is Tyler Perry. The rest cast a wide net as a result of not knowing. Movies aim way low and that's a given. Your average cinema experience has, on average, two flashbacks, a 40% chance of voiceover narration and enough musical cues to remind you what's happening that you really don't even need to bother looking to "get it." 

I put up with all of that because I don't like working. Movies can be simple. I'm into that. There are, however, three movie devices that drive me crazy and I see them used all the time, even in smarty pants movies. Actually, there's eleven, but submitted for your approval below are the worst three. 

1.) Time Traveling Hair. This is seen in movies that employ flashbacks. All the fucking time. You have your guy, let's call him Ashton Kutcher in The Butterfly Effect. Look at him. Handsome. Brooding. Shaggy hair. Now let's see him when he was 14. Handsome. Brooding. Shaggy hair. Hm. Now let's see him when he was 8. Handsome. Brooding. SHAGGY FUCKING HAIR! No way. False. This movie is saying Ashton "The Kutch" Kutcher has had the same style and cut his entire life. This isn't true. Everyone - I'm talking about all of us Americans and Asians - had only one hairstyle when we were 8 and it was a bowl cut. And at least every 13 year old I knew that was on Team America had a rat tail or some skater buzz or at least an attempt at spikes. Fuck this cheap, 99-cent device that allows us to follow our character through the years. Hair is so obvious I want to stab those guys. See also: Joe Dirt, and any movie featuring Owen Wilson. 

2.)  Magic English. Magic English is retarded but at least it's funny. Take any movie featuring non-Americans or folks born and raised in other countries. Hunt for Red October. Eastern Promises. Return of the Jedi. Instead of speaking their native language to one another, they speak English with an accent. No, no, no. Guys, you know this. Don't you feel silly?

3.)  Kelsey Grammer. Seriously. Get this guy the fuck out of here. I know, I know, he does mostly TV, but sometimes he'll do a movie. X-Men 3, I'm looking at you. People, this guy is not Frasier. He plays Frasier. This guy is an asshole but as far as movie devices go, I'd say he's pretty successful. Successful at furrowing my brow! Like, all the time!