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If all movies followed the same physical laws as the real world, they wouldn't be a lot of fun -- we don't want action heroes to break their legs every time they jump off a bridge and into the top of a speeding truck, we want them to roll over painlessly and continue with the chase scene (or, alternatively, to explode for no reason).

However, once you've established the rules of your movie universe, the only thing we ask is that you follow those rules. Don't say that your time traveling robot unicorn is powered by ice cream in one scene and blowjobs in the next. That's just sloppy writing.

And yet, you'd be surprised at how many classic movies break their own rules when it's convenient to the writers, like in ...

6
Inglourious Basterds -- Nobody Recognizes the Extremely Famous German Soldier

What the Movie Tells Us:

"Everyone in the German army has heard of Hugo Stiglitz."

Inglourious Basterds is about a World War II Nazi-killing squad composed of several Jewish-American soldiers and one incredibly famous German, Hugo Stiglitz. Why is he famous? Because as a soldier in the German army he murdered 13 Gestapo officers and was caught. Eventually he broke out of jail to join the Basterds.


The German media was scandalized by his Lebron-like betrayal.

Stiglitz's celebrity has spread to the point where even a lowly soldier posted in France immediately recognizes him, stating that "everyone in the German army" knows him.


"Hey, who's that guy with Hugo?"

So, it's established that Stiglitz is well known in Germany and that the Nazis know he's running with the Basterds now. He isn't just a notorious serial killer; he's a serial killer who's still out there, killing officers, so it would be in the best interest of the Germans to remember his face. Especially if they're wearing a Gestapo uniform.

The Convenient Lapse in Logic:

Hugo Stiglitz is the most notorious member of the Basterds, so what do they do? They choose him for an undercover mission that absolutely depends on him not being recognized ... and he isn't.

The Basterds are recruited for a mission to infiltrate a film premiere attended by several high-ranking German officers, and Stiglitz is among those chosen to impersonate German officials, since he actually was one. Even if his face wasn't in the newspapers (it was), that's still a dumb plan, because all it takes is one person at the premiere who served alongside Stiglitz, was present during his incarceration or simply witnessed him scalping a fellow officer to ruin the entire carefully orchestrated plan.


It doesn't help that his name and theme song tend to magically appear anywhere he goes.

The dumbest part, however, is that the plan actually works (for a while). Before they can get to the premiere, some of the Basterds meet with a spy in a bar that happens to be full of German soldiers. So Hugo "The Whole German Army Has Heard of Him" Stiglitz is face to face with other soldiers, and not one of them, not even the Gestapo officer, so much as looks at him funny.


He started parting his hair on the other side. Threw the whole Gestapo off their game.

Eventually the Basterds are found out -- not because of Stiglitz, but simply because another of the undercover agents raised the wrong fingers when asking for beers. The Gestapo officer was so observant that he immediately picked up on the accent of another person talking across the room, but at no point did he recognize the well known Gestapo killer sitting literally next to him.


"Cheer up, friend! You look like you want to shoot me."

A shootout ensues, and everyone dies except the spy, which allows the remaining Basterds to continue the plan and kill Hitler -- when, in fact, they should have all been gunned down as soon as Stiglitz walked into the room.

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5
Back to the Future Part II -- Doc and Marty Can't Go Back to the Future ... But Biff Can

What the Movie Tells Us:

Once you're in an alternate timeline, you can't go back to the original one.

In Back to the Future Part II, Doc Brown takes Marty and his girlfriend to the year 2015 to save their retarded son from going to jail (instead of just telling them, "Don't raise your kid into a moron," since, you know, it hasn't happened yet). While they're doing that, dickwad Biff Tannen, now an 80-year-old man, steals the time machine and goes back to 1955 to give his younger dickwad self a sports almanac that will allow him to become rich by betting on sporting events.

Old Biff then goes to the future and leaves the time machine where he found it. Marty and Doc then head back to their present of 1985 ... only to find themselves in a 1985 where Biff is a millionaire and has reshaped Hill Valley in his ugly image.


"Welcome to the Biff Tannen Hotel, Casino and Oil Refinery!"

Doc explains that they're now in an alternate reality created when future Biff changed the past: In this timeline, Doc Brown is crazy, Marty's dad is dead and his mom is a tramp. When Marty says they should go back to the future and stop old Biff from stealing the time machine in the first place, Doc says that's impossible, because traveling from this 1985 would lead to an alternate 2015 where Biff is even richer and Marty's mom is even trashier, presumably.


"This line represents how much of a whore your mom is, Marty. She is a huge whore."

The only way to stop Biff is by going back before the timelines split -- that is, to Back to the Future I, because that was a way better movie anyway.

The Convenient Lapse in Logic:

So, according to Doc, once you're in another timeline, you can't go back to the original one ... except that's exactly what the future Biff did. The minute he changed the past, he created the alternate reality, so when he traveled back to 2015, he should have ended up in the alternate future Doc just mentioned. In fact, if he didn't get to enjoy the future where he's rich, what was the point of changing the past?

Instead, for some reason he ends up in the unchanged future ... the one Doc and Marty should have been left stranded in without a time machine.


Robbing us of a scene where Doc has to jury-rig a hoverboard to go 88 mph.

This isn't the only time Back to the Future II breaks its own logic: It's been established by now that the only way the DeLorean can travel in time is by reaching 88 miles per hour -- but at the end of the movie, when lightning strikes Doc and throws him back in time, the car was just floating there, going at no miles per hour.


Uh, uh ... wind shears ... Coriolis effect ...gigawatts ...

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4
Star Wars -- It's Impossible to Navigate an Asteroid Field (Except When It Isn't)

What the Movie Tells Us:

If you fly into an asteroid field, you will most definitely die. We've pointed out before that this isn't necessarily true in real life, but in the Star Wars universe, it is.

In The Empire Strikes Back, the Millennium Falcon accidentally strays right into the middle of an asteroid field while trying to evade some TIE fighters. C-3PO calculates the odds that they'll make it out of this place in one piece, and they aren't good: They are around 3,720 to 1. This isn't just 3PO messing with everyone, either, because we immediately see several TIE fighters being picked off by the asteroids one by one.


"Damn ... and I was only two days from being Force-choked to death."

After some close calls, Han Solo sets the Falcon down in one of the asteroids to wait for the Imperial ships to give up or die out. That's how impossible it is to make it through the asteroids alive: Even Han thinks it would be foolish to stay there too long, and this is the same guy who did a parsec run in 12 Jawas or whatever.

The Convenient Lapse in Logic:

C-3PO's exact words are "an asteroid field," not "this particular asteroid field" ... which means that every other time there was an asteroid chase scene in Star Wars, the characters should have bought a lottery ticket as soon as they stepped out of the ship, because nobody has ever died in those things outside of The Empire Strikes Back.


There were 3,719 people in this TIE fighter, apparently.

For example, flash backward (or forward) to Episode II, when Obi-Wan is chasing Jango and Boba Fett through space and they intentionally fly into an asteroid belt: The rocks are just as densely packed and move just as fast as the ones in The Empire Strikes Back, and yet both ships manage to defy the laws of probability and make it through. Was it because they didn't have C-3PO on board to jinx things?


So not only is he insufferably annoying, but now he's a friggin' curse, too?

Maybe Obi-Wan used the Force to push each of the asteroids out of his way (even though we're pretty sure that's never happened), but what about the other guys? Jango barely breaks a sweat as he strolls through the statistically impossible to dodge giant rocks, and in fact this is so easy for him that he even decides to make things more interesting by blowing up the asteroids into more asteroids with giant bombs.


"You know, George, this reminds me an awful lot of a game I used to play ..."

And before you say, "Well, that's just how awesome Jango Fett is," remember that we're talking about the guy who the most inept army in the universe and the most useless bounty hunter ever were cloned from. God, we feel dirty just bringing that up.

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3
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade -- Selective Bullet-Bouncing in a Tank

What the Movie Tells Us:

If you shoot a bullet inside a tank, it's gonna bounce on the walls and kill someone. Hopefully a Nazi.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is like 90 percent chase scenes, and we love it for that. Perhaps the most memorable is horseback Indy rescuing his father (Sean Connery) and their mutual friend Marcus Brody, who are being held hostage inside a German tank. Here's a sped up version of the entire 10-minute sequence, in case you ever wondered what World War II would be like if everyone talked like a chipmunk:

At one point, a Nazi is about to shoot Daddy Jones when Marcus hits him in the head, causing the Nazi to fire the gun at the ceiling -- the bullet bounces around inside the tank and doesn't stop until it lodges itself in the driver's head. Which makes sense: Tanks are bulletproof, so you'd expect a projectile shot inside of one to bounce off the walls rather than go through them or something.


Tank walls = bulletproof.


This guy's hat = not bulletproof.

Thanks to Marcus' help, the Joneses survive and Indy manages to get the two men out of the tank before it falls off a cliff.

The Convenient Lapse in Logic:

Wait a minute, didn't we see a freaking cannon blow up inside the tank less than five minutes earlier? When Indy approaches the tank, he takes out one of the cannons by A) jamming a rock into the barrel:


Also known as the Bugs Bunny Gambit.

B) moving away from the tank so the gunner can get a good shot at him:


"If we don't hit his head, this giant explosive shell might just wound him."

And C) watching the resulting explosion. Hey, if it works for Bugs Bunny, it should work in real life, right? Except that we see the projectile blowing backward into the tank, killing the gunner and sending shrapnel bouncing all through the tank, and then ...


Sparklers!

... nothing. They stop. So, let's get this straight: A single bullet bounces around the tank until it finds a human head to lodge itself in, but dozens of pieces of explosive shrapnel just fall harmlessly to the floor? At the same time? Did the walls stop being bulletproof for a second there? Had the projectiles reacted the same way both times, everyone inside the tank would have been killed in the ensuing pandemonium.


"If you guys are all right, signal by thumping against the wall and slowly sliding down it!"

By blowing up the cannon, Indy was taking a huge risk that could have easily killed the people he was trying to rescue, which begs the question: Why didn't he just jump on the tank once he was close enough to jam the cannon anyway?

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2
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl -- The Magic Pirates Forget They Are Magic

What the Movie Tells Us:

The curse of the Black Pearl makes pirates look like zombies, but also gives them supernatural abilities.

In the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie, the entire crew of a ship called the Black Pearl is cursed after they steal a chest of Aztec gold, turning them into pirate zombies for all eternity. The only way to break the curse is to return the treasure they stole -- unfortunately, one of the coins went missing years ago and is currently in the possession of the daughter of the governor of Port Royal, Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightly). The pirates can sense the coin, so they attack Port Royal and kidnap Elizabeth.


That's a lot more explosions than we remember from the Disney ride.

The upside to the curse is that as long as they're zombies, the pirates are also immortal, a fact that Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) exploits to his benefit twice in the movie: first when he steals a coin to intentionally curse himself and avoid getting killed, and then when he breaks the curse to turn his rival mortal and shoot him in the head.

So to recap, that's two magical powers the curse gives you: immortality and the ability to sense magic coins across great distances.

The Convenient Lapse in Logic:

Of course, the pirates only seem to remember that they have these powers when it's convenient to the writers. When Elizabeth is kidnapped and brought aboard the Black Pearl, the only reason they don't kill her right away is that she has the missing coin and threatens to throw it in the water. The pirates practically shit themselves when they see her do that, and she's able to negotiate a permanent cease fire on Port Royal.


"The 50 of us are no match for this frail lady in pajamas!"

Everyone acts like Elizabeth has the pirates by the balls ... which makes no sense, given what we know about them. Say she drops the coin in the water: Big deal, they're immortal. What's stopping them from going down to the ocean floor and picking it right up? Say the floor is extra murky and the coin gets buried; again, not a problem, because they can magically sense where it is. They sensed the coin all the way across the ocean and into Elizabeth's house, right down to the closet where she was hiding.


"Badass. Now let's get back to looting and murdering that entire city."

Also, it's not like they were in the middle of the ocean, where the coin might sink really deep, the currents are stronger and there's no light: They were right there in the Port Royal harbor, which, as demonstrated by Sparrow's introductory scene, isn't deep enough that the mast of his sinking boat didn't stick up far enough for him to disembark.

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1
District 9 -- Wikus Sprays Several Years' Worth of Fuel on His Face

What the Movie Tells Us:

It takes the stranded aliens 20 years to get enough fuel to fly back to their planet, and every single drop counts.

District 9 takes place in an alternate reality where 1982 isn't remembered as the year Thriller came out, but as the year when an alien spaceship arrived in Johannesburg, South Africa, stranding its occupants on our planet. The South African government, it turns out, isn't a fan of racial diversity, and keeps the aliens (known as "Prawns") separated from the rest of the population in a slum called District 9.


And South Africa has such a track record of equality and integration.

Meanwhile, the spaceship is still hovering over Johannesburg, lacking the power to make the trip back to its home galaxy. Cut to 2010: A Prawn named Christopher Johnson has spent the past 20 years painstakingly collecting fuel from pieces of alien scrap, which he keeps in a small canister. Unfortunately, an assclown human bureaucrat named Wikus Van De Merwe finds the canister and accidentally sprays some of the fuel on his face, which begins mutating him into a Prawn.


"Let me hold this unknown can perilously close to my face, just to see what happens."

Both the canister and Wikus are taken in by the evil company he works for -- eventually Wikus escapes and gives the canister to Christopher, who uses it to power the spaceship and fly off into space, telling Wikus he'll be back in three years with help for the Prawns (and a cure for him).

The Convenient Lapse in Logic:

What everyone seems to forget is that there's no way Christopher will make it back to his planet now, because earlier in the movie, Wikus sprayed several light-years of space travel on his face like a dumbass.


A lightspeed bukake. Heh heh. A hyperfacial.

Before that, we saw Christopher and his friend collecting the last drop of fuel before announcing "the plan is ready." First they pour a liquid from the piece of scrap they found:

Then they distill that liquid into a single drop of fuel:

And finally they put that into the canister. As soon as the drop falls into the canister, the light on it turns from orange to blue, as if signaling that it's finally full.


This is the most unnecessarily drawn-out drop in cinematic history.

It took them 20 years of repeating that process to fill the canister: If they could afford to leave without that drop, they would have powered the spaceship a long time ago, right? They knew that at any moment the humans could find their hidden technology, take it away and ruin everything (especially if their fuel also happens to mutate people into superpowered hybrids).

And since the Prawn planet was so far away from our galaxy that we didn't even know about it, that means Christopher will most likely run out of fuel somewhere in the middle of space, with no way to keep going or return.


"I'm not stopping for gas here, it's five cents cheaper over by Alpha Centauri."

Xavier Jackson has a Facebook page where he posts sporadic crap that comes to his mind. He also has an email at XavierJacksonCracked@gmail.com.

For more convenient mistakes in movies, check out 8 Classic Movies That Got Away With Gaping Plot Holes and 6 Plot Threads Famous Movies Forgot to Resolve.

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