Many times a movie asks the audience to suspend their disbelief so we can accept the unbelievable things happening on the screen. But more than once a character in a movie seems to have suffered a significant form of amnesia in order for the plot to make some kind of sense, but leaving the viewer to scream “What are you, an idiot?!”
Back to the Future
Teenager Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) accidently travels back to 1955 and prevents his parents from meeting thus endangering his very existence. His mission is to make sure his folks meet, fall in love, and have him.
The Detail: Marty spends ¾ of the movie coaching his father to ask his mother out and trying to avoid the romantic advances of his teenage mother, until his future parents kiss at the school dance, thanks to Marty’s intervention and his guitar rendition of Earth Angel. Why is it then that thirty years later his parents don’t recognize that their son looks and sounds exactly like the person who brought them together? That’s usually an important person in your life, someone who you usually ask to be your best man or at least godparent and someone you certainly never forget.
Die Hard With a Vengeance
A former East German Army officer (Jemery Irons) seeks to steal all the gold from the US Federal Depository in New York while also seeking revenge for his brother killed at the hands of NYPD Detective John McLaine (Bruce Willis). In order to conduct his plan undisturbed he tells the police he has planted 2400 pounds of a powerful explosive in a New York City school and he will detonate it if they try to evacuate, tying up the entire NYPD and every other municipal employee in a desperate search.
The Detail: Hey guys, 2400 pounds of anything is going to take up a lot of space. Might not it be quicker to call the schools or the Department of Education procurement section and see if something big had been delivered to a school that day? You could probably locate the bomb (which is discovered in an industrial sized freezer and turns out to be a fake) within an hour and still have time to lock up those guys with the bulldozers full of gold bars.
Air Force pilot Mitchell Gant (Clint Eastwood) is recruited enter the Soviet Union to steal a top secret Russian fighter plane and fly it back to the west.
Detail(s): Okay, where to begin; first Gant is given the identity of an American business man who sells heroin in the USSR and made-up to look like him only poorly. Remember this is the USSR circa 1979, at the height of its Evil Empire-ness and someone claiming to be someone who the KGB more than likely had a detailed file on and then not really looking like him would have more than likely gotten Gant detained the moment he stepped off the plane. Couple this with the fact that both the KGB and GRU (military intelligence) had extensive files on NATO military officers who could possibly be used as intelligence agents, Gant probably would have not been able to get within 1000 miles of any military installation.
The Shawshank Redemption
Wrongly convicted of murder, Andy Dufrense (Tim Robbins) spends 20 years in Shawshank prison surviving by doing the guards tax returns, laundering the warden’s bribe money, and with the help of his friend Red (Morgan Freeman), until he is able to escape and make a new life in Mexico.
Detail: Andy’s escape plan consists of digging through the wall of his cell and covering the hole with a pin-up poster. Now in the 19 years it takes him to dig his hole, not one single guard had though to look behind his poster at all? Even with Andy in the warden’s and guards good side, no new guard or just by accident a veteran one ever wondered why Andy’s cell was so drafty?
While looking for the shark terrorizing the peaceful beach community of Amity, Police Chief Brody (Roy Scheider) and oceanographer Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss) go out at night and find a damaged boat belonging to a local fisherman. Hooper’s close inspection turns up a large shark tooth and the severed head of said fisherman embedded in a hole in the hull.
Detail: After this gruesome discovery, Hooper and Brody try to convince Mayor Vaughn (Murray Hamilton) to close the beaches. The Mayor refuses and asks for proof. When Hooper says he dropped the tooth, the Mayor scoffs at him, which is kind of understandable since he’s trying to keep his community solvent from summer tourism. The Mayor’s mind might have been changed if they had shown him, or at least mentioned it in passing, the GODDAMNED SEVERED HUMAN HEAD they found which probably was not the result of a chainsaw accident.