Edge

How to make a bad movie

After writing almost a hundred film reviews, interviews, and articles in four years for The Hurricane, this will be my last one. As a reviewer, I’ve seen 611 movies, including DVDs, since the first review ran in 2002, and for my last article there’s no way to really say goodbye, and no need to, either.

When Ben Stein made a stop at UM as part of his Longwinded But Amusing Statements of the Obvious tour a couple weeks ago, he included in his speech a list of ways to ruin your life. As part of a long-term personal goal to apply all commencement speaker advice to filmmaking, I’ve come up with 10 great ways to ruin your movie.

1. The Ashley Judd Rule Cast Ashley Judd. If you have the means, clone her and cast her in every role. Meryl Streep has been nominated for 13 Oscars, but only because Ashley Judd turned down all those roles first.

Seriously, she should be in every movie.

2. The Morning Rule Why not start your movie with your main character waking up? This has never been done, beginning a movie at the beginning of someone’s day. But don’t stop there. We want to see him brush his teeth, eat breakfast, read the newspaper, and drive to work. Leave nothing out.

3. The Roommate Rule Always have a quirky but likeable roommate character who creates awkwardness at formal gatherings. Any movie can be saved by this. The only reason Saving Private Ryan didn’t win Best Picture was that Lisa Kudrow refused to participate.

4. The Trunk POV Rule Whenever any of your characters are in or around a car, make sure to have a shot looking up at them from inside the trunk. We want to see what the trunk sees.

5. The Fleetwood Mac Montage Rule Don’t forget to include a long emotional montage set to Fleetwood Mac’s Landslide. If possible, have a character running down a long hallway in desperation.

The best scene in David Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia is the hallway/ Landslide scene, although most people remember the desert more.

6. The Clever Character Name Rule If you have a character who’s a writer, why not name her Paige Turner? That’s a real name, and it applies to being a writer. Cleverness like this wins Oscars, every time.

7. The Sleazy Meeting Location Rule All meetings between morally ambiguous male characters must be set in strip clubs, where all tables should be shaped like semi-circles.

8. The Physical Attractiveness Rule Remember that no ugly people are allowed in movies. That’s what radio is for.

9. The Karaoke Rule Are your characters depressed? Are you afraid your movie’s too somber? Nothing says fun and character building like a lengthy karaoke scene set to a song whose lyrics perfectly describe the movie’s plot.

10. The End Ending a movie is always hard. If you can’t come up with a great surprise ending, like all your characters were asleep and the whole movie was a dream, or the good guy was really the bad guy, then try this. Have your two main characters talk. One says something funny.

They both laugh. Freeze frame on them laughing, showing that they’re happy, then hold that for five to twenty seconds, and fade to credits. The end! Shawn Wines can be contacted at s.wines@umiami.edu.

April 28, 2006

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Fredrick Eaford was quick to make it clear the Miami Hurricanes were his dream team to commit to. Af ...

Linebacker might be the most important position for the Miami Hurricanes to recruit in the Class of ...

Issiah Walker Jr. won’t be at Paradise Camp on Saturday. Instead of attending the Miami Hurricanes’ ...

June is a huge recruiting month for the Miami Hurricanes. It concludes with Paradise Camp on June 22 ...

The University of Miami showed women’s basketball coach Katie Meier how much it appreciates her on F ...

Evo Morales, first elected president of Bolivia in 2005, and could win an unprecedented fourth term ...

The University of Miami Black Alumni Society is hosting a number of Juneteenth events around the cou ...

The University of Miami Rosenstiel School’s Rescue a Reef program teams up with the NFL and others t ...

The Frost Chopin Festival and Academy at the University of Miami provides unparalleled experiences f ...

The Emmy Award-winning journalist, who grew up in Miami and started her career in Spanish language t ...

The Miami women's basketball team will face Indiana at the Watsco Center in the 2019 Big Ten/AC ...

The University of Miami volleyball program is set to host the Hurricane Invitational and nine ACC ho ...

Games will be contested July 3-14 in Naples, Italy. ...

University of Miami Director of Athletics Blake James announced Friday a contract extension for head ...

Adrian Del Castillo garnered his second Freshman All-America honor of the year, appearing on the Per ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.