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Does logical plotting matter to you?

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Does logical plotting matter to you?

Old 01-25-18, 04:41 PM
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Does logical plotting matter to you?

I have been thinking of this for a while, but I realized that I do not like movies that are terribly plotted.

This was crystallized by TLJ. I dont dislike TLJ because of a lot of the SW specific nits, but because at it's core it is a truly terrible story with ludicrous, illogical, ridiculous and outright dumb plotting.

But I see it a lot these days. Nolan's movies are filled with incredibly dumb and unbelievable plot elements and holes and tons of things that make absolutely no sense whatsover.

It seems a lot of movie goers are OK with ludicrous brain dead plotting as long as it leads to something cool in the story, even if it does not hold up to even minor scrutiny.

And blockbusters are not even the only ones guilty. Even the potential best picture Three Billboards... has some seriously dumb and contrived plot points in that second half (along with some annoyingly cliched characters) yet it is winning scripting awards.

So just wondering if a logical, well thought out and realistic plot is important to peoples enjoyment of movies or if it is just very far back in the list of things that make a movie enjoyable for you.
Old 01-25-18, 05:07 PM
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Re: Does logical plotting matter to you?

Some movies that are considered to be the greatest or most iconic of all time have plot holes or “dumb or unbelievable” elements. You’ve got to be careful going down this road, because you might run into the person who knows and hates that plot hole in a favorite movie, or realize that being “objective” about things of this nature will leave very few films to deem worthwhile.

Ultimately, it boils down to whether someone likes the piece of work or not, or the director responsible for it. I’ve observed people ragging all over popular movies from “it” directors, then turn around and defend others with glaring issues.

It isn’t a cut-and-dry thing.
Old 01-25-18, 05:27 PM
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Re: Does logical plotting matter to you?

Most of the time I find concise plotting essential.
Old 01-25-18, 05:56 PM
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Re: Does logical plotting matter to you?

Uh oh...Johnnysd pulled an Oldboy, as this could be discussed in The Last Jedi thread.

I would hope that the film I pay good money to see was put together by folks who at least attempted to string together a series of events in some type of coherent manner otherwise you end up with a bunch of scenes just smashed up against one another with no understanding of why action X by Captain Bob in one scene fits in with what Lieutenant Morgan just did in the scene that follows. Those types of films can end up not just being so bad that they are good but just plain bad films.

While I was entertained by the "final" Resident Evil film I am glad I ended up seeing it on cable, fun to watch or not it really was just a series of "cool" scenes that were smashed together to get you from the beginning of the film to the end with a startling lack of connective tissue to tie one scene in the film to the other (Stuckmann rightfully had major issues with this in his review), so I would have had this nagging feeling of being entertained yet majorly disappointed if I had paid to see it in theaters.
Old 01-25-18, 05:59 PM
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Re: Does logical plotting matter to you?

Depends.
Old 01-25-18, 06:06 PM
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Re: Does logical plotting matter to you?

Originally Posted by E Unit
Depends.
My feelings exactly.

Depends on the genre. Realistic nonfiction/historical or serious storytelling ... logical plotting helps.

Horror/Fantasy/Sci-Fi .... sometimes illogical elements work well, especially when dealing with the unknown.
Old 01-25-18, 06:11 PM
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Re: Does logical plotting matter to you?

Originally Posted by Norm de Plume
Most of the time I find concise plotting essential.
I agree.
Some genres can get away with < stellar plotting.
Old 01-25-18, 06:29 PM
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Re: Does logical plotting matter to you?

Good plotting and proper internal logic are a must, I'm okay with some hazy details though (not everything needs to be spelled out)
Old 01-25-18, 06:34 PM
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Re: Does logical plotting matter to you?

stvn1974?

I'd argue that what you find "ludicrous, illogical, ridiculous and outright dumb plotting" is subjective.
Old 01-25-18, 07:20 PM
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Re: Does logical plotting matter to you?

Originally Posted by E Unit
Depends.
Agree.

One giant plot hole in an otherwise fun, entertaining movie might not bother me at all or a tiny plot hole in a movie that doesn’t strike a chord with me can completey grate on my nerves.

One that immediately comes to mind is the ending of Signs. A giant plot hole, I agree. Yet I still rank it as my top film of 2002.
Old 01-25-18, 08:08 PM
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Re: Does logical plotting matter to you?

Here are three bugs that really get up my ass:

1. Coincidence. (Rey is living on a planet where she's next door to the map to Luke's secret location and the Millennium Falcon. Only works if she has some connection to the OT crew.)

2. Smart people doing stupid things to advance the plot. (Prometheus, where the biologist gets bitten.)

3. People withholding crucial information from each other for the sole purpose of creating conflict. (Poe vs Holdo; every episode of Lost.)

Last edited by Josh-da-man; 01-25-18 at 09:14 PM.
Old 01-25-18, 08:29 PM
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Re: Does logical plotting matter to you?

Originally Posted by johnnysd
I have been thinking of this for a while, but I realized that I do not like movies that are terribly plotted.

This was crystallized by TLJ. I dont dislike TLJ because of a lot of the SW specific nits, but because at it's core it is a truly terrible story with ludicrous, illogical, ridiculous and outright dumb plotting.

But I see it a lot these days. Nolan's movies are filled with incredibly dumb and unbelievable plot elements and holes and tons of things that make absolutely no sense whatsover.

It seems a lot of movie goers are OK with ludicrous brain dead plotting as long as it leads to something cool in the story, even if it does not hold up to even minor scrutiny.

And blockbusters are not even the only ones guilty. Even the potential best picture Three Billboards... has some seriously dumb and contrived plot points in that second half (along with some annoyingly cliched characters) yet it is winning scripting awards.

So just wondering if a logical, well thought out and realistic plot is important to peoples enjoyment of movies or if it is just very far back in the list of things that make a movie enjoyable for you.
I was watching Hitchcock's VERTIGO (1958) on TCM recently for the first time in years, a film many critics consider one of the best ever made, and it occurred to me as I watched that a number of key plot points made no sense. So I went on a classic movie site on Facebook that includes a pair of longtime personal friends of mine, alongside whom I developed my love of classic cinema in film school over four decades ago, and I wrote out a point-by-point dissection of these plot points and how implausible they were--not as an attack or critique of the film, simply as an exercise shared among a group of fans that have all seen and loved the film over the years. You'd think I'd entered a temple and set fire to a sacred text or something.

But, yeah, except for certain fantasy and action genres, illogical plotting and absurdities bother me more and more as I get older. And things like ordinary people suffering physical punishment that would have killed 20 men and getting up and continuing unscathed, as if nothing happened to them. This is why I've started to stay away from so many contemporary Hollywood action movies. Even when I like the film, e.g. SALT with Angelina Jolie, it gnaws at me, i.e. the scene where she leaps off a fast-moving subway car. I mean, such a move would kill Schwarzenegger or The Rock, let alone Ms. Jolie.
Old 01-25-18, 08:40 PM
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Re: Does logical plotting matter to you?

What doesn't make sense in Vertigo? I have not seen it in sometime but nothing is popping up in my head. Just curious.
Old 01-25-18, 08:46 PM
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Re: Does logical plotting matter to you?

I typically don't surgically dissect movies and look for things that don't fit. If, at the end of a movie, I decide that I've been entertained, that's what most matters to me. If I were to surgically dissect every movie I watched I'm afraid I would have to give up watching them, throw them all in the trash, and be done with watching movies. I don't ever want to be like that.

Last edited by kd5; 01-26-18 at 05:17 AM.
Old 01-25-18, 08:47 PM
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Re: Does logical plotting matter to you?

Originally Posted by E Unit
Depends.
Exactly. How would "Mulholland Drive" play-out with a logical plot.
Old 01-25-18, 08:58 PM
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Re: Does logical plotting matter to you?

I dunno, Mulholland Drive is pretty coherent.
Old 01-25-18, 09:01 PM
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Re: Does logical plotting matter to you?

Originally Posted by Josh-da-man
Here are three bugs that really get up my ass:

1. Coincidence. (Rey is living on a planet where she's next door to the map to Luke's secret location and the Millennium Falcon. Only works if she has some connection to the OT crew.)

2. Smart people doing stupid things to advance the plot. (Prometheus, where the biologist gets bitten.)

3. People withholding crucial information from each other for the sole purpose of create conflict. (Poe vs Holdo; every episode of Lost.)


One that I hate is when you can tell the plot was clearly an afterthought to a different goal (to sell toys, vacation w/friends, etc.).

One that comes to mind (because the sequel thread was just bumped) but Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol comes across as the three action pieces came first (Cruise wanted to scale the Burj) and then a plot came later to string them together.

The last couple of Fast & Furious movies have elements of that too. Cars on ice! Cars falling out of planes! Tank on a freeway!
Old 01-25-18, 09:28 PM
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Re: Does logical plotting matter to you?

Originally Posted by RichC2
I dunno, Mulholland Drive is pretty coherent.
Heh, that entirely depends on who you ask.
Old 01-25-18, 09:40 PM
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Re: Does logical plotting matter to you?

Ash, my feelings are hurt that you posted your Vertigo thoughts on some other movie forum and not here at dvdtalk.
Old 01-26-18, 12:20 AM
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Re: Does logical plotting matter to you?

It depends on how serious the movie is trying to tell me it is. If its a slasher movie, I can overlook just about anything, if its a movie trying to strike a more serious tone or places a real importance on plot, if it's illogical, it can be very distracting.
Old 01-26-18, 03:55 AM
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Re: Does logical plotting matter to you?

It matters a great deal to me, but then, I lived through the 70s where films often dealt with multi-leveled characters who worked through their hardships in realistic and logical ways. Examples: The Last Picture Show, The Last Detail, Five Easy Pieces, The Godfather, The Conversation...

Originally Posted by Josh-da-man
2. Smart people doing stupid things to advance the plot. (Prometheus, where the biologist gets bitten.)
This bugged the hell out of me, too, but later I watched the deleted scenes in the extras which made this scene play much better and made logical sense for the way the biologist acted. In fact, I would have added all the deleted scenes back into this particular movie as they enriched the movie's structure. The follow up movie "Alien: Covenant" was a major let down in my book.
Old 01-26-18, 08:37 AM
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Re: Does logical plotting matter to you?

The Big Sleep is a great movie.
Old 01-26-18, 08:50 AM
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Re: Does logical plotting matter to you?

If a movie is done well and is enjoyable, I tend to overlook plot holes. If the movie is not good, then I tend to focus on the plot holes.
Old 01-26-18, 09:06 AM
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Re: Does logical plotting matter to you?

Originally Posted by Hazel Motes
It depends on how serious the movie is trying to tell me it is. If its a slasher movie, I can overlook just about anything, if its a movie trying to strike a more serious tone or places a real importance on plot, if it's illogical, it can be very distracting.
I’m the opposite when it comes to slasher flicks. Nothing irritates me more when watching these than when a character makes a completely boneheaded, nonsensical decision. For some reason plot holes stand out a lot more in those kinds of movies than they do in most other genres.
Old 01-26-18, 09:29 AM
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Re: Does logical plotting matter to you?

Originally Posted by DthRdrX
What doesn't make sense in Vertigo? I have not seen it in sometime but nothing is popping up in my head. Just curious.
Well this is what popped into my head as I was watching it during TCM's last showing of it:

Spoiler:
The guy who hires Stewart to follow "Madeline" is married to the heiress of a San Francisco shipping fortune. Stewart would, in all likelihood, have known who she was. Even if he didn't, when she falls to her death from the mission tower, that would have been big news, given her local celebrity, and her picture would have been all over the newspapers. One look at a paper and Stewart would have realized that it wasn't Kim Novak who had died and he would have confronted the guy. Also, how did the guy get his wife up to the top of the mission tower to be thrown off? What San Francisco heiress, with a husband she's already probably suspicious of, would agree to go to a remote Mission with him and then go up all those Goddamn stairs?! Sorry, can't buy it.


This is what happens when you've seen certain films too many times.

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