Your favourite actor or actress may have a certain catch-phrase, or a certain look that they pull off that traverses some of their films; a director may continuously have his camera move in the same way to add a certain sense of gravitas to the situation, but the actual act of "seen it before" goes way deeper than that!
As with some of the greatest - and dumbest - discoveries of the recent age, the combination of access to the internet AND what would appear to be an infinite amount of spare time on their hands, people have found the "glitches in the matrix" - or to non Matrix fans, all those moments where a tiny voice screams in your head that you've heard/seen it all before.
So, here for your perusal, are some of the situations that, dependant on your frame of mind, could be classed as either: homage, lazy writing/acting, classic-making cinema, or proof that film makers need to up-their-game if they truly want their pieces of art to be classed just as that - classic, cult art - and not on a shop shelf gathering dust...
BREAKING THE FOURTH WALL
My personal favourite, be it TV or cinema, is when the character looks directly at you - just you. This act cements the link between them, the do'er, and you, the viewer. It draws you in, letting you in on their joke, their pain, their love, their life. Known as "Breaking The Fourth Wall," here is a collection of your heroes, your villains, your stars, talking to you personally. How many do you recognise?
SON OF A BITCH
Growing up, things that were considered wrong, or naughty, have, over the years, become either more tolerable or acceptable. Some have even become non-existent! What was once a swear/curse word back in the 70's and 80's, are now commonplace - some have even changed into greetings or a way to express a moment of clarity or disguised adoration. "Son of a bitch" is just such a phrase! Look for yourself....
YOU JUST DON'T GET IT, DO YOU?
So, here's the one that should divide the people - is this a great way to propel the story along OR is it just damn lazy writing? At over 8 minutes long, I'm guessing that most people will come down on the side of "lazy writing" rather than fantastic screenplay motivation, after watching this montage. But then again, I could be wrong - maybe I just don't get it....
IT'S GONNA BLOW!
So, you're about to spend a huge amount of your budget on blowing up something infront of the camera and you just know (fingers crossed!) that it's gonna look cool. What do you do to let the audience know this so that they can be prepared for it and revel in its awesomeness?.... So that they don't miss a single second of what probably took months in planning and execution to pull off?.... Easy! Get one of the dumb characters to tell everyone!
Recognise any of the above? Did it put one of your fave films in a new light? Have you dug out that script you were writing - you know, the one that you've been working on for a few years now, the one where the protagonist learns a few valuable lessons along the way etc - and a full bottle of tippex and changed a few lines of dialogue perhaps?.... If so, then "happy trails Hans!"