Tuesday, May 27, 2008
We all love movies, and for the most part originality is to be applauded. But there are a few Hollywood conventions that have fallen by the wayside that would make any movie immediately better.
1. A Theme Song By Kenny Loggins
Kenny Loggins was the master of the ass-kicking movie theme song. From Caddyshack to Footloose to Top Gun, a Kenny Loggins tune elevated any film to grandeur.
Example: Imagine if Schindler's List had a screaming Kenny Loggins tune to ease us into the despair. It would, of course, center around how times were tough, but Kenny was gonna go out dancin' with his baby tonight. I see it sounding something like this...
Well Old Man Hitler was kind of a drag
But Oskar Schindler, savin' Jews was his bag
Gonna pay a lot of money, gonna save a few Jews
But first he's puttin' on his dancin' shoes
2. A wealthy dowager becomes overwhelmed and faints
It's always gratifying to see a stuffy Eleanor Roosevelt-type high society woman faint when faced with what she deems impropriety. The fainting dowager was a staple of Three Stooges shorts, and could easily be incorporated to bring even dramatic films some much-needed levity.
Example: In Saving Private Ryan, the secretary and lieutenant come to inform the colonel that all of Matthew Ryan's brothers have been killed.
Lieutenant: Sir, I'm afraid all three of Private Ryan's brothers have been killed in action.
Wealthy Dowager: All three Ryans? Ohhhhhhh, my! (faints)
3. A stuffy academic is incredulous, causing his bowtie to spin and steam to come out of his ears.
It has been proven in clinical trials that nothing elicits more laughter than spinning bowties. This is empirical fact, and to dispute it would be to call scientists liars. Are you prepared to do that, tough guy?
Example: In Dances With Wolves, Lt. John Dunbar has been captured by the Army, and is being interrogated for his involvement with the Lakota.
John Dunbar: My name is Dances with Wolves. I will not talk to you anymore. You are not worth talking to.
Man With Bowtie: Not worth talking to! (Begins visibly shaking) Why you! (Bowtie spins. Steam shoots from ears)
4. A fast-motion chase scene ensues and "Yakkety-Sax" plays.
Any chase scene not involving "Yakkety Sax" does not fully realize its potential.
Example: The chase scene in Bullitt. That is all.
5. An AC/DC as closing credits music.
When you're leaving a movie, you want to feel a bit of an adrenaline rush to make up for the down-note of the film experience ending. It's always a little bittersweet to come to the conclusion of an engaging story, but AC/DC will make sure you leave ready to kick some ass.
Example: In Gladiator, Russell Crowe has avenged the death of his family by killing the evil Emperor Commodus. However, he is mortally wounded. The life ebbs out of him and the spectators hoist his body aloft to carry it solemnly from the Colliseum. As the camera pulls back, the opening strains of "Shook Me All Night Long" play. Fade to black.
So there you have it. It's time for Hollywood to see the light and step up to the plate. With any luck, some brilliant studio executive is reading this, and we can hope to see these conventions revived just in time for Christmas.