Plot Holes Exposed – WIF @ the Movies

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Beloved Movies

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TV Episodes

with Gaping

Plot Holes

At this point, writing a script for a film or an episode of television should be down to an exact science. Even people with a passing interest in scripts know about phrases such as inciting incidents, peaks and valleys, and denouncements, and even without popular web-pages like IMDb goofs or the endless ranks of video essayists on YouTube, we can sniff out a hole in a plot.

So knowing audiences have that level of savvy, how can filmmakers that have to devote months, if not years to these projects think that they can get away with having holes in stories that seem like they would take a conscious effort to ignore? On top of that, how do they sometimes not only get away with it but make movies and episodes that audiences cherish for generations? Perhaps we can gain some insight into that by looking at the stories below. All 10 examples are, we should mention, movies and episodes that we love enough to have watched multiple times. Still, you can’t really love something until you accept its flaws.

(By the way, if you’re expecting Citizen Kane and its infamous supposed plot hole to be on here, check this page for why it isn’t. Also, SPOILERS ahead!)

10. Avengers: Infinity War

In the fourth movie in world history to gross over two billion dollars at the box office, the villain Thanos wants to become so powerful that he can, at a stroke, kill half the universe’s population to provide more resources for the other half. Aside from how nonsensical that is (think how many systems of producing and distributing the needed resources would be practically wiped out, how traumatized many of the survivors would be, etc.) considering he can do whatever he wants with time, space, reality, and so on, it also means that he can provide infinite resources to everyone. So why would he kill half the population to deal with alleged shortages?

However, some might try to dismiss that by claiming it’s part of his insanity. In terms of sheer plot mechanics, there’s a less high-falutin example near the end of the movie. The hero Doctor Strange possesses a green stone which allows him to, among other things, reset time for at least a short period. This was demonstrated quite memorably in the climax of Doctor Strange. Yet after a confrontation with Thanos late in the movie, he allows himself and his associates to be defeated without employing this power at all, despite the loss being an extremely near-run matter. There’s a common trope among superhero stories of the heroes “forgetting” their powers, but rarely does it go that far.

9. Get Out

While the meticulous plotting of Get Out‘s screenplay required twenty drafts and resulted in Jordan Peele receiving the Academy Award for Best Screenplay, he left an unfortunate hole in the story that’s as much unnecessary as it’s a cheat.

The basic plot of the film is that Chris goes with his girlfriend Rose to visit her parents’ home. While there, he encounters a person from his neighborhood who is now in a relationship with a much older woman. Since he and other black people that Chris has encountered have been acting weirdly, he is deeply suspicious, even before he receives confirmation from his friend Rod that, indeed, the person he just met has been listed as a missing person, just as numerous other black people in that neighborhood have been. Shortly after, Chris discovers a box in the closet of the bedroom he and Rose have been sleeping in. It is full of photos of Rose with a large number of black boyfriends and girlfriends, including the person Chris knew was missing, revealing that something profoundly wrong is happening.

The issue is this: Why does Rose have that very incriminating box of evidence where Chris could find it? In the following scenes, it’s revealed that Rose is a willing participant in the disappearances and feels no remorse. Indeed, we see her casually looking through photos of up and coming athletes shortly after, indicating that she’s already moving on from the harm she’s going to inflict on Chris, so it’s not as if she’d subconsciously be sabotaging the crime. They’re also printed photos even though the movie is set in contemporary times when surely she would be inclined through social conditioning to take digital photographs. Even the best screenplays can’t seem to escape these missteps.

8. Black Mirror: National Anthem

Often hailed as The Twilight Zone for the internet age, Charlie Brooker’s science fiction anthology struck a chord with audiences from its pilot episode, which premiered in December 2011. In the episode, Princess Susannah is kidnapped by an unknown person who will only release her alive on the condition that the prime minister do something by that late afternoon that the prime minister very much does not want to do, with the full understanding of the public. One of his subordinates makes arrangements to cheat the arrangement in the event Princess Susannah is not rescued in time. Word of the attempted cheat gets out, so the kidnapper releases a video of him removing one of the Susannah’s fingers, and he sends a finger to the press. Learning about this cheat and the harm inflicted on the Princess turns the public against the prime minister, forcing him to go through with the deal. In the end, it’s revealed that the princess is released unharmed and that the kidnapper was an old performance artist who cut off one of his own fingers.

The issue with that is that the performance artist is revealed to be an aged man with a generally working class body while Princess Susannah looks like she’s a model in lower middle age, at the oldest. There’s no way their fingers could plausibly be mistaken for each other, even in the heat of the moment. Even if the extent of the news that leaked was that a finger was sent to a media outlet after the video of the supposed finger removal (which is staged so that the injury itself does not happen in the camera’s line of sight), word would just as quickly get out that it wasn’t her finger, which would massively undercut the public pressure for the prime minister to meet the kidnapper’s demands.

7. Cinderella

While it is a tale as old as time, most viewers today are probably familiar with it through either the 1951 animated Disney adaptation or the 2014 live action Disney adaptation. Or maybe the 2014 deconstruction in Into the Woods by… uh, Disney again. Our readers very likely don’t need the plot synopsis, but in brief: There’s a hardworking stepdaughter/maid who sneaks to a royal dance after her fairy godmother gives her a dress, carriage, and slippers made of her old clothes, a pumpkin, and magic respectively. She dances with the prince, they fall in love but she has to leave at midnight, leaving her slipper behind. He hunts her down by having every woman in the kingdom try on the slipper until it fits her.

But this story, whether it be the original French version, the German version by the Brothers Grimm, and every film adaptation, has a major problem related to the character of the prince. It doesn’t even make sense by fairy tale logic that the prince loves someone without even knowing what she looks like. Even the star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet knew each other’s faces! While fairy tales naturally get deconstructed a lot despite being wish fulfillment fantasies for children, everyone always seems to get too hung up on how impractical glass slippers would be as an article of clothing to observe this problem with the plot.

6. Raiders of the Lost Ark

This 1981 film was both a tribute to 1930s movie serials (even though creators George Lucas and Steven Spielberg admitted they didn’t actually like those when they screened a few for each other during pre-production) and one of the films that codified Hollywood’s blockbuster era. Indiana Jones was instantly iconic as a tomb raiding academic who goes on an adventure to retrieve the Ark of the Covenant  in a race against his old rival Belloq and his Nazi collaborators.

It probably helped that in Lawrence Kasdan’s acclaimed screenplay, Indiana Jones is more relatable because he so often fails on the way to the climax, including said climax beginning with him in captivity.

This is where the trouble with the story emerges. As Indiana and his fellow captive Marion Ravenwood look on, the Nazis open the Ark. Ominous light emanates from the Ark, and out of the blue, Indiana Jones tells Marion to shut her eyes. As they do, angels that seem more like demons emerge and kill all of their captors. Never mind the moral issues that they indiscriminately kill everyone solely on the basis of looking at them. How does Indiana know that shutting their eyes is the way for him and Marion to save themselves? The only thing he’s said about it before this scene was when, back at the university, he sees an image of the Ark and blithely guesses that the light emerging from it is the “power of God.” It’s a very puzzling oversight.

Except it actually isn’t. Kasdan included a scene in the original screenplay where the means of surviving was explained to Dr. Jones, but it was cut during editing. Which just goes to show that even a perfect script can be undone during the production process.

5. Black Mirror: USS Callister

After six years and a move from BBC to Netflix, the premiere for Black Mirror’s fourth season once again left audiences in awe and slightly disturbed. In brief, the episode is about the creator of a virtual reality online video game named Robert Daly. Instead of merely playing his game (which is modeled in large part on a fictional equivalent of the original Star Trek series) as a light adventure as originally intended, Daly makes artificially intelligent copies of coworkers and tortures them into treating him as essentially a god. Part of Black Mirror’s conceit was well-established by that time that AI simulations of people have the equivalents of physical sensations and emotions, thus making the AI in this show as sympathetic as any human beings would be and their existences just as Hellish.

Still, a problem with the story is revealed almost immediately. To properly map out the memories and emotions of his coworkers to make the simulations as accurate as possible, Daly sneaks samples of their DNA home from work from such things as discarded Styrofoam cups. The issue of that is that while Daly would indeed have good DNA samples to make clones, in real life he wouldn’t be able to make replicas required by the narrative because our DNA does not contain our memories. It’s a testament to the execution of the episode that this did not seem to take many viewers out of the experience.

4. A Quiet Place

A Quiet Place, the directorial debut from John Krasinski, is a commercial and critical darling. However, its suspenseful pace and limited dialogue left audiences with plenty of time to nitpick the details of its story about monsters that rely on sound to hunt down a family. The biggest issue is really a nail that is sticking up from the middle of a step to the basement that Evelyn Abbott steps on. Now, the nail is sticking up right from the middle of the step, and the staircase is in good condition, so this is not a matter of rushed or improvised repair after the apocalypse. It also is not joining two pieces of wood together. So why in the world is it there? Perhaps the deaf daughter Regan Abbott put it there because she’s subconsciously becoming suicidal (that’s extrapolating from how she blames herself for the death of her young brother and wants to stop experimenting with hearing aids). That still leaves a nagging question: How did it get pounded in without an immediate monster attack?

The producers Brad Fuller and Andrew Form were questioned about the nail and the best they came up with was saying that the family couldn’t risk the noise of removing a nail. Which… Fine. But why, or even how, did they get it there in the first place?!

3. Hereditary

While there are many that are contemptuous of this horror hit (hence the fact the influential audience test score called Cinemascore gave it a D+), those that view it favorably tend to be passionate about it. It is deliberate in its pacing and unpredictability, and its art design is as subtly creepy as it is beautiful. Near the beginning, a family learns that a recently departed grandmother’s grave has been desecrated and things… well, they get even more grisly and disturbing from there, including the death of of the main character’s young daughter, Charlie, which culminates in a truly horrifying ending.

While it could be fairly said that writer-director Ari Aster attempted a much more grounded form of occult horror, he still left some substantial holes in the story. Staci Wilson of At Home in Hollywood pointed out that the cemetery calls the family to inform them of the desecration. However, later in the movie Charlie’s remains are also seen, and the movie devotes time to seeing her burial. So how is the family not being told about this desecration? How are the police not being informed of it? With a clear connection between the two desecrated graves, why are the police not investigating the family? Aster has to really fill the run-time with unsettling imagery to keep the viewer’s mind off matters like that.

2. The Dark Knight Rises

While it might not have achieved the heights of critical hype and commercial success of 2008’s The Dark Knight, this 2012 film still made quite an impression with its story of how Bane practically paralyzes the billionaire vigilante Bruce Wayne and conquers the city of Gotham. It makes Bruce’s eventual recovery and triumph all the more compelling, especially with how costly it was in the end. And for this entry, we’re going to go ahead and ignore the well-established plot hole of how Bruce somehow got halfway around the world and snuck into Gotham despite being, at this point, a former billionaire with no resources.

However, one of the greatest problems with the story was that Bruce Wayne recovering from his injury and going through the spiritual journey that allows him to go confront Bane again on more favorable terms takes five months. Can you imagine any administration allowing a city to fall into the hands of criminals to such an extent that people physically cannot enter the city? We can just see some commentators saying something like “sure, look at Chicago, New Orleans, etc,” but you know what we mean. Even in a series where urban crime is to an extent decided by costumed heroes and villains having fistfights, that’s just silly. Silly in a way that the movies directed by Christopher Nolan have tried their hardest not to be.

1. The Sixth Sense

One of the biggest hits of 1999 and the possessor of perhaps the most famous twist in modern cinema history, this film had members of entertainment media predicting that M. Night Shyamalan would be the next Steven Spielberg. We’ll see if his recent hit Split will put him back on course to achieving that honor, but we can always appreciate his story of a child who could see the many ghosts that walk among us. One or two oft-parodied scenes dominate most people’s memories of this film, but there’s a particularly touching scene where Cole Sear conquers his fear of ghosts by helping bring closure to the ghost of Kyra Collins.

Problem with it is that Kyra’s sequence brings with it all sorts of problems. For one thing, it’s said of the ghosts that “they see what they want to see,” so why is she the only one who’s aware she’s dead? There’s also the fact that the way she imparts the truth to Cole for him to pass on to her father is by pushing a VHS tape out from under her bed when he goes to her house during the funeral. But if Collins is aware she’s dead, and has apparently already watched the tape (otherwise she wouldn’t know that it has the information that would identify her murderer on it), then she must be able to move the tape around considerably. So what’s to stop her from just showing it to her father herself without seeking out Cole Sear? Like the rest of these, it’s hardly a movie ruining problem, but it’s enough to make you wonder how such inconsistency was never picked up by critics or harped on during the years-long Shyamalan backlash.


Plot Holes Exposed –

WIF @ the Movies

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #314

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #314

… “Damn right, Carolyn! Well actually, I did not know that, but when it came to the rights to Cinderella and of Peter Pan… $500,000 drunken dollars, probably parked next to their whiskey barrel.”…

cinderella-peter-pan-001

Disney holds out his silver cigarette case, as a deal-sealing gesture would look.

“I don’t smoke, thank you.” She pauses thoughtfully, continuing, “Don’t you think that all the smoke you inhale may have long term health effects?”

          “These?” he closes the case, “Clark Gable has been smoking since he was 15 and he isn’t slowing down. 60 damn movies and he lights it up in most of them. Beside that, my doctors say I’m as healthy as Prince Charming.”

“Ah, a Cinderella reference,” she comments, then adding a historical tidbit, “Did you know that Sircigarette-smoke James Matthew Barrie has relatives in Tallahassee?”

“Damn right, Carolyn! Well actually, I did not know that, but he, or rather, his family was a sticky wicket when it came to the rights to Cinderella. And of Peter Pan… $500,000 drunken dollars, probably parked next to their whiskey barrel.” His bitterness boiled to the surface, but settles down, “By all accounts, Barrie himself was a literary genius. Too bad we weren’t contemporaries.”

Lyn Ford nods, easily empathizing with collaboration and will abandon the smoking issue for the sake of consolation. But she does not jump up and down.

“I am Walt Disney, Carolyn!”  No ego here! “Am I chopped liver in your world?”

Not exactly, Walt, more like steak tartar.” She has not made up her mind.

“Oh yes, with a thick slice of Vidalia onion on top. But you seem to be dodging my proposal.” He is used to getting is way. As he will gladly tell you, ‘I am Walt “the man” Disney!

Lyn comes up with a solution. “How about we make a hand shake agreement to start an open-ended project? No hurry, no deadlines. You are in the full flower of your creative bloom.”

          Another massive cloud of smoke rises into the California air~~~~~~


Alpha Omega M.D.

Image result for cinderella and peter panImage result for peter pan gif

Episode #314


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Contents 5-2016

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #181

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #181

…somewhere between Willy being freed and the present, the whole Charlie Blount incident seems to have been forgotten or maybe just ignored…

Cinderella and the Birds by English School

Cinderella and the Birds by English School

In order to pull this impersonation off, Harv needs to let loose his grip on the English language, as well as his prized goatee. Judith, on the other hand, needed a great deal of dressing down, like pre-castle Cinderella. Sort of like painting gold, black; going as far as having to go corset-less to look less attractive, in clothes that would make a queen look like a pauper.

Company Town-001

Anything for a good story is a good motto. So is everything for a story such as this. The P-EJ (as Pearson-Eastman Journal will be known from this point forward) goes so far as planting an operative in the Calhoun County Sheriff’s office, though there is no longer a real sheriff’s office; just Hank Blount and a band of marginally qualified vigilantes. That, by itself, would have been reason for the federal government to shut down the machine, but if one is going to properly expose the depth of malignant social behavior, extra effort is in order.

          This will prove to be the best move they could have made. In the revolving door modus operandi of Blount-dominated Calhoun County, there is room for an imposter to get, not only a good look at the level of corruption, but a bulging eyeful. This unnamed member of Cyril Odz’ Gadsden Co. force, blends in and soaks in an amazing amount of graft; that which relates to the Willy Campbell incident and beyond.

It goes so deep that even the public schools teach what Blount wants them to know. Young minds are tilted toward the twisted leanings of a misguided superintendent – yes of course, Blount.

      And somewhere between Willy being freed and the present, the whole incident seems to have been forgotten or maybe just ignored, in order to head off just such an investigation that is covertly continuing. Hannah Fielding shows up out of nowhere, without child and telling Judge Grant that Charlie had indeed been going too fast. The traveling salesman makes a curious stop at the Liberty County Courthouse, saying he did not know who was driving the truck and that they (Willy and Clete) were trying their best to help Charlie and Hannah. They have a funny way of treating heroes out this way.

But there are other Willy and Cletes out there, who unwittingly fall into the cracks in this world unto itself; where rights are few and wrongs are many. Most people have learned to go around this river crossing, using the one up Rosedale way. Those who insist on using Route 20, do so at their own risk. People disappear, either never to be found or found later in a 4 x 4 cell.


 

Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #181


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Contents 2-3-16

Balance of Power — LATOBSD (Begin Ch 11)

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Chapter Eleven

BALANCE OF POWER

You’re the lawyer in the family, James! Can he do something
like this?” Martha Ferrell has gotten over the shock of her husband’s
untimely demise, turning her attention instead to his last will and
testament. For her, it is a mystery novel, a work of fiction fraught
with plot twists and turns, and a bitterly cruel ending.

He did,” her son says flatly.

John Ferrell Husband and Father

“Can’t we say that he wasn’t of sound mind when he did this?
Look at the crazy thing he did, going to Scotland in the middle of the
goddamned war!” There is a lot of that going around.

“Mother! . . . . , swearing will not change anything. When she
turns 21, Maggie Lou “Ferrell”, he clears his throat, “will officially
own over 100 acres of Tallahassee.”

“People are calling him a hero, Mother. Cousin Matthew tells us
they are thinking about naming a new bridge after him.” Agnes is
proud of her father, void of the material acridity.

James Barrie can rot in a bog, for all I care. He is the one who
whined his way into making John feel guilty. ‘Our people are
starving’, ‘we have no petrol for our motorcars’. Huh! I for one
am glad he could not make the funeral . . . . some silly play about a
Cinderella.”

“When the war is over, he is going to bring A Kiss for Cinderella
to the United States. I told him that I would find a theater for him.
He even said I could be an “understudy”, he called it. If Cinderella
falls ill, I could be the lead.”

____222 Gwendolyn Hoff

“How silly would that be? You could make two of her, I’m sure,
but yes if Cinderella is single, you would be perfect for the part, 34
and without a man.” Martha’s dour mood turns vicious.

“Cyril has been talking about the future quite a lot lately, I’ll have
you know. Then you will be all alone, does that make you happy?”

“That is enough bickering!” A lawyer hears his fill of petty
wrangling on a daily basis. “Maggie owns the land and that is the
bottom line, though I wonder how he was able to keep the land a
secret for all these years.”

“He was very good at secrets, correct?” She cannot let it go.
James ignores her, continuing, “But from my point of view, there
is still more than enough to go around. My God, even Joseph gets a
thousand dollars!”

“Sure, now I suppose he will leave me too, he’s got family in
Pennsylvania you know.”

“Joseph is too old to go off to the North, besides if he did, he’d
find out how bad they treat Negroes up there. No, he’s got it good
here and he knows it, although I have advised him to buy some land
and farm a little on his own.”

“Are lawyers’ official advice givers as well? You could have a
weekly article in the Tallahassee Democrat, people would write in
with a question and you would answer them in print. Let me see,
something like: ‘Dear Lawyer James; my husband was killed by a
U-boat and left half his estate to his illegitimate daughter of our
upstairs maid. What should I do?’ signed Scorned Spouse.”

“Do not tempt me,” he thinks, then goes forward, “Dear Scorned
Spouse; It sounds like you should have been doing your own laundry
and cleaning. Be thankful that she doesn’t own your house. If she
does, perhaps you could use a job.”

“Now that’s not funny!,” she protests.

“Speaking of things in print, did you see the last Pearson-Eastman
Journal, it just arrived yesterday? Daddy looks so happy, look at him
with that golf club,” she points to a picture of Matthew the senior
showing John how to hold it, both of them about to split a gut.

(wsgolf)

“I like the one where he is singing folk songs with the Barries.
I can almost hear his out of tune voice.” The Ferrells did not bring
tonality with them when they crossed the Atlantic.

“Looks like he’s full of whiskey to me.”

____The Life and Times of a Black Southern Doctor 223

“These are his last days, Mother. The least you can do is to respect
the spirit in which the article is presented. Harv and Judith Pearson
certainly do; this magazine and the beautiful eulogy they gave at the
funeral.” Agnes has the spirit.

John Ferrell’s spirit is nearer his Lord in heaven.

Balance of Power