3 annoying things people say in movies and TV that we rarely say in real life

“Drink, Joe?” “No, thanks, Al.” “Well, how’d you like me to shove you out the window?” “I’d like that, Al. I’d like that very much.”

These are just my pet peeves. I’d love to hear yours.

1. “Drink?”
You’ll see this mostly in older movies and TV shows. A character enters another character’s home or office, and after a greeting, the host will immediately offer the guest a drink:

“Hello, Fred.”

“Hello, Bob. Drink?”

Sometimes it’s “Care for a drink?” or “Would you like a drink?” but most often it’s just “Drink?”

Has anyone ever offered you a drink like this? Normally people say, “Would you care for a (whiskey, glass of wine, beer, bloody mary, etc.)?” Or something like that. And you’ll never hear it from your lawyer in the middle of the day.


2. Addressing someone by name mid-conversation
I guess this convention developed so that people can keep the characters straight:

“Do you really think so, Jane?”

“I know so, Matilda.”

“But Jane, how can that be true?”

“Oh, Matilda. Sweet naive Matilda.”

I won’t say this never happens, but it’s pretty rare, especially when you start noticing how often characters in movies and TV say it.

3. “I’d like that.”
This one has bugged me since I was a little kid. A character extends an invitation to another character, and instead of saying, “OK” or “Sure” or “Yeah, sounds great” the character will say, “I’d like that.”

“Say, Myrtle, how’d you like to be my guest tonight at the big dance?”

“I’d like that, Jack.”

Actually, it’s nearly as common for the character to follow up this way:

“Say, Myrtle, what say you and me go for a little weekend in the Poconos?”

“I’d like that, Jack. I’d like that very much.”

No one ever says this, do they?

Putting them all together
“Hello, Sam.”

“Hello, Caroline.”

“Drink, Sam?”

“I’d like that, Caroline. I’d like that very much.”

What are some other movie/TV dialog clichés we rarely use in real life?


Romanian woman dubbed over 3,000 forbidden western films

Life in Romania sucked under the totalitarian regime of Nicolae Ceaușescu. But during the 1980s, duped black market VHS tapes provided repressed Romanians much longed for entertainment and tantalizing, if embellished, glimpses of western “freedom.”

All of the films were dubbed into Romanian—all of the roles—by one woman, who voiced the dialog for over 3,000 films. 

This NYT Op-Doc made by filmmaker Ilinca Calugareanu lets this woman finally tell her own story. 

As seen on Daring Fireball.

Monday Morning Ethicist: Movie Masochism

Chuck Klosterman
 is The Ethicist for the NYT. I am the Monday Morning Ethicist. 

Yesterday’s second question for Chuck:

I go to the movies often. Sometimes I’ll see something that is terrible or too violent for my tastes. Is it O.K. to walk out and go into another movie? Or even ask for my money back?  

Chuck said: “Buying a ticket does not award you 180 minutes inside the walls of the building (which you can use in whatever way you want). Your ticket gives you access to a specific movie in a specific location at a specific time. That’s the transaction.” He went on to say, in so many words, with movies and other art forms, you pays your money and takes your chances. Caveat emptor, mofo. 

I say: Good point, Chuck. This is exactly why I have proposed to the major film studios that they work with national theater chains to install locking seat belts in all cinemas across the country.

Aw, poor moviegoer. You failed to realize that a 2013 action-adventure film starring a white man as a Native American might be a bad idea, but only after you were a few minutes into it? And now there’s two hours of trainwreck left to watch? Too effing bad, Kemo-Sabe. You’re strapped in, because Chuck says that’s the transaction you made. 

And don’t try that, “Oh, I just need to use the restroom,” crap, either. If you know what’s good for you, you’ll sit your ass down, comply with the usher/transaction guard who strap-locks you in, and watch the entirety of whatever hideous apocalyptic shit show you made the ill-advised choice to buy a ticket for. 

Matter of fact, along with locking seatbelts, I’m going to sell the major studios on installing drop down eyelid stretchers, like the ones they used on Malcom Macdowell during the ultra-violence aversion therapy in “A Clockwork Orange.”

In short, someone has to suffer for this art. And if it’s not going to be the artists, it may as well be you, sucker. 

My summer blockbuster lineup


Robert Downey Jr. is
Iron-poor Blood Man
“He’s sick and tired of feeling sick and tired.”

In a world where the stresses of life and work mount continuously and threaten to overwhelm him, one man, Austin, TX freelance interactive copywriter Rich Malley (Robert Downey Jr.), must conquer the forces of lassitude and drag his ass out of bed every morning, even though he, “just kinda feels pooped all the time.” But does “Geritol,” the mysterious potion he finds in his medicine cabinet, hold the key to his redemption?

Robert Downey Jr. in
“Four score and seven connections ago…”

In a world where it’s not what you know, but who you know, one man, Austin, TX freelance interactive copywriter Rich Malley (Robert Downey Jr.), attempts to click his way to into the staffing databases of the most powerful creative agencies in town. But challenges loom, and disappointment awaits. Can he gain the contacts that will help him hold the tenuous union between his balance sheet liabilities and his actual cash on hand together?

Robert Downey Jr. in
Fast and Furiously 3D
“They don’t call them ‘deadlines’ for nothing.”

In a world where my one of my client’s clients suddenly realizes, “Oh, we do have the budget to do that new mobile app in Q3 after all,” one man, Austin, TX freelance interactive copywriter Rich Malley (Robert Downey Jr.), must engage in heated battle with a batch of hastily re-purposed and partially incomplete wireframes, in an attempt to ward off a crappy user experience for thousands, and save the sanity of the overwhelmed reps of the vastly understaffed support desk. But can he do it before his head explodes and his brains fly straight toward the screen in full 3D?


Pop culture artifacts yet to be exploited as big screen franchises

JoyPainter I: Little Birds—After ingesting peppermint tea accidentally laced with radioactive mineral spirits, Bob Ross (Brad Pitt?), a gentle public television painting instructor, becomes the superhero JoyPainter. In the first installment of this five-part (God willing) series, JoyPainter puts a fatal top coat on a merciless band of endangered little bird rustlers.

Starship J, Chapter 1: Miracles—Jefferson Starship explodes right out of your Time-Life Hits of the 70s box collection and onto the big screen in this adaptation of the Marty Balin song Miracles. After ingesting radioactive capsules mistaken for hard drugs, Grace, Marty, Paul and Craig (but NOT Mickey) become superheroes who pilot their own starship. In Chapter 1, they work “miracles,” by killing a band of merciless critics with their music.

Nike Air: Clash of the Treadons—After being spiffed up with sneaker polish contaminated by radiation, the iconic kicks become “Shoe-per Heroes®,” fighting to save the sole of humanity. In this, their origin story, they lace up to take on the evil Treadons, a merciless gang of off-brand court shoes. The catchphrase of Summer 2014? “Don’t Treadon me, fool.”

Rise of the Mentos—A group of mild-mannered soft-chewy-gummy mint sort of candy-like discs is accidentally exposed to radiation, turning them into superheroes. After defeating their initial foe, Captain Coffeebreath, they are approached by Diet Coke, which invites them to form a new alliance, the SuperFizz, with great portents for the first sequel. 

Four summer movie ideas based on board games that no one has made movies of yet

Darn it! I had this great idea first!

Operation, directed by Michael Bay—Mr. Rednose (Steve Caustic) has a problem—a terrorist group replaced his funny bone with a replica containing a thermonuclear device set to go off in 45 minutes. Can Dr. McHero (Bronc Lemay) remove it in time, without touching his tweezers to the side of Mr. Rednose’s incision?

The Game of Life, directed by Terrence Malick—Should Mary (Jessica Careerless) go to college? Should she get a job? Should she get out of bed in the morning? Or should she just lay there listening to her inner monologue drone on and on? And who the hell is going to remove the giant roulette-like spinner thingy from her backyard?

Scrabble, directed by Judd Apatow—James (Harry Nees) is all mixed up. Or, rather, his letters are. What can he spell with B-O-O-B-I-S-E? His chance to go out with Betty (Karen Pneumatic) depends on whether he can figure it out in time.

Connect Four, directed by Ben Stiller—Bob (Steve Whitebread) and Chloe (Candy Bland) are excited when new a new couple, Ned (Hunk Munkerson) and Rebecca (Touché Mabahdi) move in next door. But when the new couple make Bob and Chloe a shocking offer, the future of their marriage hangs in the hilarious balance. 

Soundtrack listing for that new punk dad documentary

Image courtesy of The Other F WordDedicated to proving that punk rockers can not only procreate but also follow through with the aftercare, “The Other F Word” invites a cross-section of aging bad boys to dish on the demands of fatherhood.—NYT review


(I Don’t Wanna) Clean the Diaper Pail
Cradle Cap Claptrap
Daddy’s Not Right
Sheena Is a Night Vomiter
Oh, Sleep? As If!
Fontanel Hell
Daddy Don’t (You Wear Those Jeans So Tight)
What’s So Funny ‘Bout Piss, Blood and Underparenting?
Abandonment Fantasy
Gimme Dentition
Diaper Thrashed
From the Bottle to the Spoon
BONUS TRACK: Gone Daddy (27 Shows, 36 Days)


Honest blurbs for this weekend's movie openings

“Not too bad, though I could have done without the last 15 minutes, aka the “climatcic battle scene.”
R. Lamley, Living with Sciatica

“I couldn’t get the girls’ locker room sequence out of my head, at least for those few minutes right before bedtime.”
P. Buckman, Teen Boy

“I was afraid the explosions would be much louder.”
N. Ethier, Moviegoing Moms

“Two stumps up! Way up!”
A. Mostro, Cruelty Fancier

“It’s no Inception. Thank God.”
Me, Oblogatory

“Don’t go by what I think.”
S. Yalnerga, Total Curmudgeon

I peed on rocks at the Alamo Drafthouse (and I liked it)

Here’s a nice, cheap way to classen up the joint. Visited the Gent’s at one of the Alamo Drafthouse theaters last night and during the course of business noticed they’ve placed big-ass river rocks over the urinal drains. Kinda Zen-y, kinda Feng Shui-y. And anyone who says it’s not more soothing and centering to pee on river rocks vs. urinal cakes is flat-out LYING. And sure, I’m being irreverent, but “it’s the little things,” and Alamo Drafthouse is a customer service business that gets that in a big way. 


Summer blockbusters I'm holding out for


Express Lane Vigilante 2—Jet Li returns as a martial arts enforcer bent on punishing any jerk in the Express Lane with more than 10 items.

Butt Patrol 2—Jet Li returns as a martial arts enforcer bent on beating up any jerk who callously throws a cigarette butt out the car window at a stoplight. (Note: not to be confused with the Butt Patrol series released by Magnumm Adult Entertainment, Inc.)

Representative Retaliation 2—Jet Li returns as a martial arts enforcer bent on exacting competent, fair governance from the Texas Senate and House of Representatives.

Pool Protector 2—Jet Li returns as a martial arts enforcer bent on inflicting public humiliation on any parent allowing their toddler to wade into a public pool without a fully functioning swim diaper.

Rainmaker 2—Jet Li returns as a martial arts enforcer bent on wringing precipitation from the evil Dr. Dry-Sky.

Shaved Ice Shredder 2—Jet Li returns as a martial arts enforcer bent on teaching a lesson to people who wait until they are at the front of the 45-minute shaved ice line to decide which of the 900 flavors to choose.

Gratuitous 3-D Pummeller 2, in 3-D—Jet Li returns as a martial arts enforcer bent on pummelling craven studio executives and exhibitors who charge moviegoers premium ticket prices for presentation gimmicks that fail to overcome the lack of compelling plot or characters. In 3-D.


So, I realized as I was went to get a filling replaced...

… that last weekend was a curious time for me to re-watch Marathon Man for the first time in umpteen years. I wanted Mrs. Oblogatory to see it, as she has a long history with invasive dentistry. Didn’t think I’d be watching a drill go into my mouth so soon afterwards. Of course I had to tell my dentist this and Dr. Brian was greatly amused. His hygienist mentioned she’d never seen the film, and he said, “Oh, you’ve gotta see it!” Naturally, I wasn’t the first person in his chair who’d referenced it.

Olivier is so creepily effective here. The combination of professional tenderness and ruthless information seeking is about as chilling as it gets, pour moi.