Because Hollywood thinks we're dumb, and because we keep proving them right by going to see Transformers sequels, most movies have replaced subtlety and intrigue with clunky exposition and obvious foreshadowing. But sometimes the same movies that we mock for replacing plot with explosions hide important details so well that we wouldn't have picked up on them with a dozen repeat viewings. So once again, we're here to save you some time:
6 Inglourious Basterds -- Aldo's Mysterious Origins Are Explained In One Scene
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Of all the things we learned from Inglourious Basterds, including the fact that Eli Roth climaxes while shooting Adolf Hitler in the face ...
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He also does this in the movie.
... there's one thing Inglourious Basterds forgot to tell us. Why does Brad Pitt's character, hillbilly Aldo Raine, hate Nazis so much? We're not saying that hating Nazis is weird -- but Brad Pitt's character is on a Batman-style crusade of personal vengeance. Clearly Raine needs an origin story, right? Actually, all the information you need is hidden in this scene:
First, there's that ragged scar on his neck.
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Don't get distracted by his weird attempt at a mustache.
That's a rope burn, which means that at some point Raine survived a lynching. Probably in the South, as Raine is from Tennessee and, if we're being honest, the South was the lynchiest part of America. We're not reaching with this conclusion -- it's in the script.
"My terrible grammar will never be mentioned either."
Next, Raine says that he's descended from mountain man Jim Bridger and "has a little Indian in him." That's not an excerpt from Johnny Depp's audition for The Lone Ranger -- Bridger was a real person from the 1800s. A rugged fur trapper and all-around badass, Bridger had children with three different Native American wives and sometimes lived with them.
Also, he was apparently Woody Harrelson.
If we put all that information together, what do we have? A descendant of a historical badass who survived a lynching, probably took his bloody, scalp-based revenge, and now dedicates his life to fighting history's greatest genocidal maniacs as a descendent of people who suffered a genocide themselves. Shit, we know we said that one scene provided all the info you'd need, but we still want to see the origin movie.
5 District 9 -- Wikus Has A Hidden Motivation
District 9, made in a distant and long-forgotten year when Neill Blomkamp was still considered a promising director, is about aliens who get stranded on Earth and walled off in the titular shantytown. Human protagonist Wikus is tasked with moving the bulging population to the larger and even shantier District 10, but in doing so he gets sprayed in the face with alien fuel and thus obviously starts mutating into an alien. Presumably, if any of the aliens were sprayed with oil, they would turn into a brontosaurus.
People keep saying District 9 is a metaphor for apartheid, but we think it's really about workplace safety.
Long story short, Wikus goes on the run while his mutation progresses. He helps an alien called Christopher Johnson (CJ to his friends) fix his spaceship so he can return to his home planet and get help for both Wikus and his fellow stranded E.Ts. While the now-fully transformed Wikus waits for the three-year trip to be completed, he has to hide in District 10. And that's how the film ends -- the final scene features Wikus' mourning wife, who reveals a metal rose that was left on her doorstep. It's implied that Wikus left it, although it isn't explained how a 10-foot-tall Dr. Zoidberg lookalike/most wanted man in the world was able to escape District 10 and put it there without anyone noticing.
"I actually just have a mailman who does metallurgy as a hobby."
But hold up -- what's that on the top left of her mirror? Polaroids? Black and white? Triangular shape with a curved bottom? Either Mrs. Wikus has started Instagramming her pizzas, or that's a sonogram. Wikus is going to be a dad.
Now, Wikus is not a sympathetic protagonist. At the start of the movie he's an asshole to the aliens, and even after he starts to transform he only works with Christopher for his personal gain. At the end of the movie the power of teamwork teaches him respect, but for the vast majority of the runtime, he's a dickish xenophobe. You almost have no reason to care that he literally loses his humanity. But knowing that his wife is pregnant suddenly explains why he's so desperate for a cure and gets furious when Christopher reveals that it will take three years. He'll miss the baby's birth, the baby's first words, being able to break something and blame the baby ... and all because he's slumming it as a human cockroach. That's enough to drive anyone to asshole behavior. Look on the bright side, Wikus -- at least you get to skip the diaper years.