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The "ReelViews" Movie Dictionary 
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Post The "ReelViews" Movie Dictionary
Since Roger Ebert has his own cinematic glossary, I thought that the ReelViews community could create and continually add to one as well. This dictionary can include terms based on common cliches found in many films, industry terminology that you coined, or just about anything else that relates to the art of movies. To get things started, here are a few that I came up with:

1. Verbinski - (noun) [vur-bin-skee] - a term used to describe any cinematic creation of the blockbuster genre, featuring a wide array of quirky, albeit uninteresting, characters; incomprehensible action sequences, and an often-bloated budget. Named after American filmmaker Gore Verbinski, who specializes in the genre. Director Michael Bay is noted for making countless verbinskis, although millions of moviegoers continue to see his films.

2. Requel - (noun) [reeh-quill] - any prequel or sequel that features jumps in logic or sidesteps entire events that negate proceedings in other works of that same franchise. Many "Star Wars" fans despise director George Lucas for the requelisms embedded in his prequel trilogy, including a subplot involving the role of midi-chlorians in dictating Jedi-hood.

3. The Petrakis phenomenon - (noun) [puh-track-is fuhn-awm-in-awn] - a term used to describe any cinematic outing where the viewer is so uninterested in what is happening onscreen that he or she attempts to guess the kind of candy a fellow moviegoer is eating based on the sounds that they are making as an alternative form of entertainment. Named after film critic John Petrakis of The Chicago Tribune, whom Gene Siskel used as a test subject for this game while screening the abysmal 1996 Sylvester Stallone disaster film Daylight. Film critics experience the Petrakis phenomenon far too often in the present era.

Add your own definitions to this thread below. Let's make this a reality, my fellow movie fans. :)


Fri Mar 01, 2013 2:28 pm
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Post Re: The "ReelViews" Movie Dictionary
Sounds like a fun idea, but I feel like just about anything we might come up with has already been covered.

That said...

2.5 Minute Blindness - the visual illusion created by modern movie trailers that flash-fade in and out of blackness every half second, often accompanied by a subsonic thud each time (related to 2.5 Minute Deafness).

The Gumby Effect - most often seen in superhero movies, when characters--often clad in relatively featureless spandex--switch from live actors to obviously computer-generated stand-ins. Not only do they appear to be made out of foam rubber, but they appear weightless and insubstantial--like Gumby!

Thespianger - when actors' psychotic offscreen personalities seep into their onscreen roles with disastrous results. Seen prominently in Harrison Ford movies post-1990, also known as the Mel Gibson Effect and (less frequently) as Cruise Craziness.

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Fri Mar 01, 2013 6:22 pm
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Post Re: The "ReelViews" Movie Dictionary
Actorbation: a project that is just a vehicle to massage the star's ego. Eg 95% of Tom Cruise's career

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Fri Mar 01, 2013 7:15 pm
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Post Re: The "ReelViews" Movie Dictionary
Shake-fest:a film that focuses excessively on shaky-cam, thus making it difficult to figure out what the hell is going on half the time(I.E. Cloverfield, Bourne Supremacy)


Fri Mar 01, 2013 7:49 pm
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Post Re: The "ReelViews" Movie Dictionary
Vexer wrote:
Shake-fest:a film that focuses excessively on shaky-cam, thus making it difficult to figure out what the hell is going on half the time(I.E. Cloverfield, Bourne Supremacy)


Cloverfield and Bourne Supremacy aren't even comparable. Cloverfield used a handheld cam as a tension device. It knew exactly what it was doing. Being disoriented was part of the frenzy they were trying to create. It worked.

Supremacy was just too jumpy for its own good.

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Fri Mar 01, 2013 8:03 pm
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Post Re: The "ReelViews" Movie Dictionary
Gedmud wrote:
Vexer wrote:
Shake-fest:a film that focuses excessively on shaky-cam, thus making it difficult to figure out what the hell is going on half the time(I.E. Cloverfield, Bourne Supremacy)


Cloverfield and Bourne Supremacy aren't even comparable. Cloverfield used a handheld cam as a tension device. It knew exactly what it was doing. Being disoriented was part of the frenzy they were trying to create. It worked.

Supremacy was just too jumpy for its own good.

Well I didn't think it worked at all, I was too busy being nauseated by the camera to care about what was going on.

I guess that is a different term though:
FFS:Found Footage Syndrome, a film with usually awful camerawork(intentional or not, it's still damn annoying), and characters act totally different in a FF film then they would in any other type, for example, the person who insists on taping everything despite being in imminent danger.


Fri Mar 01, 2013 8:19 pm
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Post Re: The "ReelViews" Movie Dictionary
I've had a couple over the years:

MCZV (Movie Character Zoom Vision): For some reason movie character eyes have the power to zoom. I wish I had that

Burt Reynolds Syndrome
. When I first saw Boogie Nights I didnt know who he was, was blown away by his performance, and assumed that he must be a titan of the silver screen. Turned out I just happened to see his best performance first. Other examples include James Cromwell in LA Confidential, Kate Hudson in Almost Famous, and a few others I can't name

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Fri Mar 01, 2013 10:12 pm
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Post Re: The "ReelViews" Movie Dictionary
Well this is a great topic, but - as Ken stated - it all has been covered elsewhere, most notably at the tv tropes site.

Anyway here are my two contributions:

WAP-Syndrome (wrong age pattern syndrome).

Many characters in a movie are played by actors of the wrong age.
The first pattern (repeating for decades) is a double standard regarding male and female roles. Male protagonists in a romantic relationship are usually in the correct age or older, and female protagonists are usually younger than their role.

Examples: "The Graduate" - Dustin Hoffman plays a twenty-something college graduate - he was age 30 - Anne Bancroft, seducing him, plays a woman of the same age as his mother, that would be well into her 40s. Bancroft was age 35 at the time.

The same goes for "Earthquake" and "Airport 1975" where Charlton Heston was too old and his love interests too young.

There is also an array of characters playing medical doctors or people of very high education which are way too young. The idea is very likely to portrait overachievers, but it still takes time to go through the complete program of higher education - even if you are a genius and able top skip a year or two.

High school kids are usually way too old ("Grease", lots of 80s high school movies such as "Some Kind of Wonderful" etc. etc.) - there are at least two reasons for that. 1) laws: people under age 18 cannot work after a certain hour, 2) casting directors are usually older people, not that aware of the difference of a 16 year old and a 21+ year old.


Last edited by Threeperf35 on Sun Mar 03, 2013 4:07 pm, edited 6 times in total.



Sun Mar 03, 2013 3:44 pm
Post Re: The "ReelViews" Movie Dictionary
TCO-syndrome (two colors only - syndrome):

Many a movie from about 2000 until recently had the color timing tweaked so that only two colors are prominent:

1: a gold-orange
2: a pale blue-green.

Lush oranges, reds, greens and deep blues are missing. The idea was probably to create a "golden sunset" look and an opposing "after the sunset" look at the same time.

Examples are many. One is as recent as "Hugo" which creates a world consisting only of golden glowing metal (and skin tones) and a green-blue backgound.....

I am glad Disney is coming up with a prequel to "The Wizard of Oz" - the trailers show a recreation of the lush, saturated, full color palette of the original 1939 original. I am not saying that the exaggerated Technicolor palette which back in the day required throwing bright white light at everythging is the gold standard: it isn't. I prefer careful lighting, including shadows, and cinematography with the sensibility of a master painter or photographer. Yet I love the magical technicolor palette. I am not fond of the "gold and bluegreen" color tweaking so many movies had during the 2000-2010 period (and beyond).


Last edited by Threeperf35 on Sun Mar 03, 2013 4:14 pm, edited 3 times in total.



Sun Mar 03, 2013 3:57 pm
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Post Re: The "ReelViews" Movie Dictionary
Elaborate Death Technique-Another variation of sorts on the talking killer fallacy. In an action film, the villain has the hero in his grip. All he has to do is put a bullet in his head and that's it. But no. He comes up with an elaborate method of killing him. Which the hero always manages to foil and thwn stop the villain's plan or in some cases turn against the villain.

Battleshit Carter-A name for an elaborate production tied in to a video game, board game, comic book, teen novel series or long cancelled hasn't even been in syndication in years TV show. There are variables in how entertaining each project is. But most of them are all style no substance. Sometimes they may succeed. But in some cases, they're often expensive fialures, expensive enough they skirt the level of being a disaster of Heaven's Gate proportions. Named with some variation after last summer's big Peter Berg helmed disaster and another Disney disaster from earlier in the year.

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Sun Mar 03, 2013 7:52 pm
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Post Re: The "ReelViews" Movie Dictionary
Threeperf35 wrote:
TCO-syndrome (two colors only - syndrome):

We could also name this "O Brother Syndrome", after the first movie to do it* and probably the only one that needed to do it.

*As far as I can remember.

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Sun Mar 03, 2013 9:07 pm
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