In the most recent episode of ‘Zach On Film,’ we discussed a film near-and-dear to the hearts of many forty-somethings (including Stephen and myself) as well as critically acclaimed for its structure and storytelling.  That made even more disconcerting when I noticed a moment so glaringly off, so tonally inappropriate, that it threw me entirely out the film’s reality, leaving me surprised it didn’t affect my generation’s opinion of the flick.  (To get the full story, check out the ZoF ‘Breakfast Club’ episode.)  Many of my favorite entertainments of days past have such flaws (sophomoric humor and gratuitous nudity make much of ‘Heavy Metal’ cringe-worthy these days) but it was somehow more jarring to find such a sour note in a classic coming-of-age tale…


The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) wants to know if Barry Manilow knows you raided his wardrobe, or whether you’d rather see a picture of a man with elephatiasis of the nards, asking: When it comes to your favorite movies, comics or what-have-you, what’s the most egregiously damaging mistake or misstep in otherwise enjoyable works?



About Author

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.


  1. I find Frank Herbert’s Dune series harder to read as I get older.

    I find his depiction of decadent empires messing around with a desert civilization and then getting their comeuppance by way of paramilitary strikes and jihad a little too on-the-nose for me in our modern world.

  2. I used to be a huge Ender’s Game fan — read it probably a dozen plus times. Then it kind of hit me… who would put the fate of all humanity in the hands of an eight-year-old? No really, who?

    My other pet-peeve is the ubiquity of humanoid aliens in the various Star Trek series.

    • There was an episode of TNG that sorta explained that aspect. Apparently there was an ancient alien race that seeded many worlds with elements to make the races that evolved there somewhat similar to them. Humans, Klingons, Vulcans and many other races were all formed because that race meddled with the primitive planets.

      But I will agree it is a bit offputting when there isn’t much variety. I realize it is probably due to budget restraints more than anything, but I would have loved seeing more non-humanoid aliens in the series. Every time a new Trek movie came out, I crossed my fingers that we might see some truly alien creatures here and there.

    • Bill the Ckir on

      that is definitely a fault in Ender’s Game and Star Trek. In Star Trek’s defense the ubiquity of humanoid aliens is primarily because of the Technology and budgets available to TV shows. Even though Technology has advanced it still costs tons of money to do decent CGI. Star Trek has so many humanoid aliens for 2 reasons, it’s what they can do consistently and the Humanoid aliens are more relatable and understandable. You would not be able to read the facial expressions of something truly alien.

  3. Re: Gary
    Star Trek’s humanoids are a pet peeve of mine. ‘Just slap a nose-prosthetic on ’em and we have a non-human.’ I looked at Memory Alpha’s list of non-humanoid aliens. Out of the several hundred of species, there were 27 species, not counting the numerous cloudlike beings.
    My biggest pet-peeve concerning Star Trek is that Voyager never showed damage or repairs that occur episode to episode.

    • May I suggest you watch the two episodes “The Year of Hell”?
      The ship progressively gets more battered as the two episodes progress. Admittedly, the whole thing gets reset by the episode after those two, so I guess it does prove your point after all.

  4. The sudden change to an anti-gun message at the tail end of Shoot ‘Em Up. Not just because I disagree with gun control, but because it’s completely at odds with everything the film established up to that point. You can’t have an anti-gun message in a film where the main character – without hyperbole – solves all of his problems with bullets!

    It’s because of this that I can’t stand to watch the movie again.

    • That’s sort of why I hate the A Team TV show and will not watch it. They spray thousands of bullets every episode but not one single person gets hurt. If I had a kid, I’d rather let them watch something like “Heavens Gate” which was about the goriest western ever filmed where gunplay is concerned than to let them watch something like the A-Team that sends the message that guns don’t hurt people no matter how often you shoot them off.

    • All I will say about that was I figured that George Lucas’s big neck goiter was actually where his brain went when it slipped out of his skull, so when he had it surgically removed…. I mean, how else can you explain his tampering with Star Wars and also Jar Jar Binks?

  5. The one thing I really found so jarring that it took me out of the movie was the “Sitting Duck” line in, what was it, the Phantom Menace? Or was it the second one? I mean, in the original trilogy, Lucas went so far as to invent his own Space Slang and swear words, but by the time they got to that one, they are using Earth slang. Just plain sloppy writing and editing! It was almost as bad as in the new Oz movie where the wizard says “Guys, take five.” Which slang did NOT exist in the wizards day, I’m sorry to say. He could have said something like “give it a rest, guys” but no….. again, sloppy writing and editing. I think they did a lot of modern references and slang in the “Wild Wild West” movie, too, but I try not to think about that horrible abortion.

  6. Most of the “Highlander” franchise apart from the first movie and the main TV series, and to a lesser extant Highlander: Endgame (even though they do kill off Connor). Highlander 2 is atrocious no matter what version it is, Highlander 3 just feels forced, and the more recent Highlander: The Source actually made me weep. Even the spinoff of the TV series, Highlander: The Raven, was terrible despite featuring Amanda (who was one of my favorite characters on the main TV series).

  7. I was a huge Transformers G1 fan and when the movie came out, I was in line for the first showing once school was out. My inner-OCD nerd was shocked and dismayed when, during the invasion of Autobot City in the beginning of the movie, Soundwave ejected all of his tapes and the screen clearly showed two Frenzy colored ‘Cons. Just about ruined the movie for me.

  8. Solid Muldoon on

    Any sitcom where a character gets pregnant and has a baby.

    Pulling Fish out of Barney Miller for a spin-off.

    The Avengers letting Ms. Marvel get raped and kidnapped by her “son” and thinking it is all so adorable.

    Casting Alicia Silverstone in the otherwise brilliant Blast from the Past.

    Dr. Sam Beckett never returned home.

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