According to the movies, those who choose a career in organized crime are genuine mental enigmas so puzzling they make John Nash look like Kevin Federline. These people have made a career out of evading law enforcement and bypassing high-level security systems, yet when it comes down to making some common sense decisions, they are utter morons.
If you are looking for a life of crime, here's a Hollywood guide on what not to do:
As Seen In:
Pulp Fiction, Thief, Heat, American Gangster, Goodfellas
In Hollywood productions, criminals do not mess around. If they're willing to steal, they're usually also willing to murder, torture, and blow up anything that can possibly be blown up (and probably some things that quite honestly can't be blown up). Most of civilized society, however, tends to frown upon such behavior, and as such it's really not prudent to discuss those plans in public. Doing so may lead to death at the hands of a wisecracking, world-weary cop.
So, when one is planning heists, murders, and mind-blowingly awesome explosions, it might be smart to do so in a secure, isolated location where other people are unlikely to be found.
Just a suggestion.
What you would not do is hold your conferences in, say, a diner, with a couple dozen potential eavesdroppers in the vicinity.
It isn't like they don't have a choice in the matter. Most movie criminals have access to everything from military grade machine guns and vault-cutting lasers to Joe freakin' Pesci. We're expected to believe that they can't find a private room somewhere to act as a hide-out? Why can't they just meet in the same old "Desolate Woods on the Outskirts of the City" where they are always dumping bodies? Surely the corpse of Billy Bats is unlikely to snitch on them.
This sort of thing happens so often that we're surprised anyone living in the Crime Thriller universe still eats out, for fear they'll get caught in a crossfire at some point.
We could have gone with Heat, where Robert Deniro nearly murders a man in the crowded parking lot of a diner (foiled only because the guy pretty much vanishes into thin air like David freaking Copperfield) or American Gangster, where Denzel Washington's character actually gets up, walks down the sidewalk, and blows a dude's head off before walking calmly back into the diner to finish his meal.
But no, the prize has to go to Pulp Fiction, where a couple of robbers discuss robbing while sitting a diner, before robbing the same diner. At which point the robbery is thwarted because a couple of hitmen happened to be a few tables over, openly discussing the business of being hitmen.
As Seen In:
Heat, Reservoir Dogs, Goodfellas, Casino, Panic Room
When accepting new members into their gang, Hollywood criminals definitely need to work on their screening process. Joining a "crew", as it turns out, is even easier than winning a Grammy. You don't really need to possess a single useful skill at all, because there's this role that always needs to be filled: that of the terrifying madman who no one in their right mind would ever associate with.
While most movie bank robbers and stick-up men will only kill when it's necessary to get the job done, it's the job of the sociopath to kill people, who like, "didn't need to die man", all the while giggling like a little kid at Build-A-Bear workshop.
The other characters in the movie get pretty angry about such things, but really, it's their own fault. Who on earth plans a perfect crime and then decides it'd be a good idea to bring along their insane friend? There's some serious stuff at stake here. Despite what you may have come to believe after hours of playing Grand Theft Auto, the consequences of a botched crime job are often quite a bit worse than waking up in a hospital with a little less money than you used to have.
Goodfellas. In other crime films, the madman is usually used for one job. After making the mistake of inviting the crazy kid to the party once, the characters learn the lesson and the psychopath winds up dead (or everyone else does).
In this film, however, Joe Pesci's sociopath remains close friends with the main characters for decades, even though he uses every second of screen time to prove that he is the most violently impulsive human being on the planet. In real life, the mob would never ...
Wait, that was based on a true story?
Holy shit. Once again, it turns out real life is more retarded than fiction.
As Seen In:
Oceans 11, 12, 13. The Departed, Panic Room, Bonnie & Clyde
You know those girls on Myspace who have 23,138 friends? It doesn't matter to them that no human being needs that many friends, or that no person could maintain a reasonable level of sanity with that many people bugging them to hang out. The large number makes them feel popular and validated. Well, Hollywood thinks that criminals are pretty much the same.
Sure, they might not need a lot of people to pull off a job, but won't the innocent bystanders be impressed to see a dozen dudes strolling into the bank in ski masks?
"Shit, there's an old lady. I knew we shoulda brought four guys."
Wrong. Absolutely freaking wrong. First of all, let's think of the motive that drives these characters. Greed. For them, it is indeed all about the Benjamins, and the fact of the matter is, the more people involved in the crime, the smaller the shares, and therefore less cash for everyone.
Second of all, with so many people in on the plan, the odds of getting caught rise exponentially. Hell, how many people would you trust with a secret that could send you to jail?
The Oceans 11 series. This only gets worse as the series goes on, and they have to keep inflating the roster and the size of the heist. By the fifth or sixth movie they'll have enough guys to rob an armored car by just gathering around it and carrying it way.