Monday, January 27, 2014

No, not POT holes. PLOT holes!

I just saw I, Frankenstein on Saturday night. If you have even an inkling to see this movie, ignore that thought and don't. It's not very good. There's not enough alcohol I could have consumed to make that movie good. Plot holes galore. Big, gaping plot holes big enough to fly a Millennium Falcon through.

For example, Frankenstein leads the gargoyles to the hidden, secret castle of the demons. But it's literally just an alley and one right turn away. Couldn't the great protectors sent from God use...I don't know, Google Earth or something to find their arch enemies who live just a block away?

I love speculative fiction, and the suspension of belief is one of the trickier things for an author to pull off. When you're drawn to the writer's world, that's obvious vital. But to keep them there is a challenge too. Otherwise, you knock the reader right out of that world. Plot holes can be flaws in simple logic or straight-up contradictions.

Here are some of my favorite plot holes in books and movies:

1) The Hunger Games. Okay, so the government allows TWO people to escape the Games with their lives. Then, they change the rules again and say only ONE can be the victor. And yet for a third time, they change their minds and declare that there can be two winners again. This is not for dramatic effect. As a writer, I recognize that Collins wrote herself into a corner a couple and changed the laws of "her universe" to fix it.

2) Harry Potter. Wow. The books and movies....so many to choose from. One gaping hole is the rule regarding the disarming of a wizard. In the final book, The Deathly Hollows, the reader is reminded that when you defeat a wizard in a duel you gain control over that wizard's wand. Throughout the series, there's a ton of disarming goin' on. So doesn't this rule mean that somewhere, there are powerful wizards with a buttload of magic wands? Why didn't Voldemort just go after those dudes?

3) Twilight. I can't think of any series with this many plot holes. There's just too many to mention! Many bring up the fact that the vampires freaked out about a paper cut, yet why was Bella never attacked during her period? Or we could go with the most obvious - why would beautiful immortal beings with super powers even go to high school in the first place?

4) Independence Day. Captain Hiller (Will Smith) volunteers to fly an alien spacecraft because he has "seen their maneuvering capabilities." REALLY? Dude, you fly an F-18 Hornet. So if I watch you fly it around and observe your maneuvering capabilities, I can fly it too?

5) Star Wars (Episode I-III): Midi-chlorians. Nuff' said!

48 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Don't worry - I had no desire to see that film, not after all the splats on Rotten Tomatoes.
And yes, all of those films had gaping plot holes.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I heard it was really bad.

The last 3 Star Wars films had a lot more wrong with them than just plot holes. They were terrible.

Rusty Carl said...

Plot holes are great. My wife once said to me that 'any plot that requires the characters to be idiots in order work probably isn't very good.' I thought that was incredibly insightful of her. Although I recently heard a very similar quote from a famous person. So now I'm wondering if she stole it from someone.

Anyway, I'm glad I didn't see Frankenstein. I haven't been to the movies in a while and almost went this past weekend but decided not to because there was nothing showing I wanted to see. BUT I considered that one. Glad I didn't take the bait.

DEZMOND said...

Firstly, why was you even watching TWILIGHT and HUNGER GAMES crap in the first place, Papa Noel? :)
How was Miranda Otto as the queen of Gargoyles?

Jay Noel said...

Alex: I didn't check out Rotten Tomatoes. Lesson learned.

L. Diane: You're right. Even with some plot holes, if the movie is still good, I can overlook that. Not in the case of Ep 1-3

Rusty: I haven't heard that quote before, but there's a lot of truth in there. I haven't been to the movies in a VERY long time either. We're talking Star Trek and World Z long time. I picked a turd, that's for sure.

Dez: Lol. I read the books. I wanted to find out what all the fuss was with both books since I saw teens carrying these books everywhere. And Miranda was the best thing about that movie.

farawayeyes said...

This one was not on my list - thank goodness. Movies today seem to be shot full of holes. Hollywood seems to think big stars and special effects are enough to. Cover gaping holes and misconnections in plots. Just watched 'The Maltese Falcom' and loved the intricacy of the story, especially the way everything was neatly tied up in the end. Sadly, they don't make 'em like that anymore.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

LOL. I always thought about that on Independence Day also. And using a simple laptop to tap into their systems? But it was still a fun movie. Sorry to hear Frankenstein wasn't good. I kind of was looking forward to it.

Cherie Reich said...

Yeah, I had a feeling I, Frankenstein might not be a good movie. It's a shame because the premise was interesting.

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

My boss used to work with Aaron Eckhart in a bar. I was talking to him the other day and mentioned how good Mr. Eckhart looked in the trailer. It's a shame the movie was a bomb. He's probably struggling to get roles and this Frankenstein disaster surely isn't a star on the resume (it's only 5% on Rotten Tomatoes). That and the fact that he's getting old (which is the kiss of death in Hollywood).

mooderino said...

January is the month for bad movies. It's become something of a tradition.

mood
Moody Writing

Jay Noel said...

faraway: They sure don't. I still love Casablanca.

Susan: I know, right? A laptop gives alien tech a virus? Lol

Cherie: It had potential. Too bad it was never realized.

Michael: He looked pretty cool as Frankenstein. And the fight scenes were incredible. Yet...Frankenstein fighting with escrima sticks???

Moody: It sure is!!!

Robin said...

Often we love the world so much that we just let some plot holes go. One of the bad things that happens on TV (a medium that you didn't mention) is that the writers have a super tight Season 1. Maybe they have been working on it for YEARS. I don't know. Anyway, as soon as Season 2 begins, it begins to unravel. So many great shows head straight for cancellation right after the second season starts. Unfortunately, some don't get there until the fourth or fifth. Sometimes I stick with it because I keep hoping that they will turn it around. However, it doesn't seem to work that way. Some examples are Veronica Mars, Roswell, Battlestar Galactica (the reboot), and even Friday Night Lights. Although, I'd say in the case of FNL Season 2 was still good. It started to go in Season 3.

Christine Rains said...

Ha! You make such a good point with those examples. I'm careful not to write myself into a corner unless I have some great weapon hidden there that makes sense to use!

Morgan said...

Hahahaha!!!! Really funny, Jay. And I totally didn't see some of these. :)

Mark Koopmans said...

Ha! Loved the reminders that successful authors also fall/fell into plot holes... and I agree it is a bit jarring to be reminded you are in a smelly - sticky ?? -- theater eating $12 popcorn only minutes after you sit down :)

PS.... here's to your son and his great choice in Movie Themes :)

Lynda R Young said...

lol, Jay. You made me laugh out loud...literally!
But really, where else is the Millennium Falcon gonna fly if not through a gaping plot hole? ;)

Miranda Hardy said...

Lol, I love you know about twilight and the hunger games to begin with.

M. J. Joachim said...

So glad you saved me the trouble, Jay! We thought about going to that one over the weekend, and decided better of it. We went to a different movie (I'll be publishing my review on Friday), and it was really good!

Mark Noce said...

Oh, this post had me laughing. Such good points! Please share more plot holes when you discover them:)

David P. King said...

I'd still like to know what the whole "bring balance to the force/chosen one" meant in SW I-III. If by balance you mean "kill off all the Jedi so there's only two Jedi and two Sith in the galaxy," then I suppose that's a kind of balance .... And Yoda didn't see this coming?! :)

J.L. Campbell said...

Okay then. I guess I didn't know all this stuff cuz I'm not a movie buff, nor have I read Collins or Meyer. Reminds me of all the stuff I need to look for in my stories. Wouldn't want anybody to be able to drive a truck through one of my plot holes. :D

The Desert Rocks said...

I had to watch helicopter pilots on YouTube before writing some chapters in Penniless Hearts and I have to say I'm almost an expert. NOT. LOL

Mr. Shife said...

I can only comment on Independence Day and Star Wars I-III because the other films have not been seen by my eyeballs and I plan on keeping it that way. I think there might be only a few people who have never seen Twilight, The Hunger Games, and the Harry Potter movies. Maybe I should start a club. Hope you see a better movie soon to purge yourself of the horrible Frankenstein movie.

Maurice Mitchell said...

I thought the same thing about The Hunger Games, since she established a rule and then summarily broke it. Pointless but fun.

Martin Willoughby said...

Plot holes will always find themselves into almost any work, especially when it's on a deadlines. But when you massive great ones, that kinda ruins it. Some are interesting and confusing, such as how long DOES it take for a starship to fly from the Romulan Neutral Zone to Earth. In the films (Nemesis) it took a few hours, in the series it could take days.

Still, it gives us nerds something to talk about.

Lexa Cain said...

YES! Plot-holes drive me crazy! It's hard to tell the writers I crit that certain things in their books are illogical when you have movies, TV and bestsellers that have stupid stuff ALL THE TIME. Like the heroes have to save a member who's in danger by running there to warn him - but they all have cell phones. Like a person about to be hit with cars continues to run down the center of the road. (That's in a ton of films.) Like a good ninja is in a narrow hallway when the bad ninja at the opposite end throws stars at him. He shoots them out of the air with a machine gun and then has to fight the bad ninja -- since the bad ninja was completely unharmed by the hundreds of bullets fired down the hall to take out the stars. ARGH!

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