I'm not someone who hates clichés and formula in movies in and of themselves - things tend to get used over and over for a reason: because they work. However, there are some recurring plots, scenes and beats even I'd like the industry to take a year or twenty off from. Here's a sampling...
He had to lose Everything to find the One thing that really matters.
We've all seen this movie, right? Wealthy, successful person hits hard times - sometimes deservedly, sometimes not - and is forced to work it out as a "regular joe." At first they're indignant, but ultimately they not only learn that money isn't everything... but that "normal" life is both more fulfilling and morally superior. All of "the stuff" was getting in the way of the things that were really important, invariably meaning vestiges of a socially-traditional "average" existence. It's been the basis of a few good movies, a lot of really bad movies...
...and I'm sick of it.
I understand the appeal of this story: Most of us are "regular joes," and the notion that we're "better off" that way, that the world of wealth and power that's perpetually just out of our reach and is actually a corrupting influence we shouldn't want anyway, is a nice, reassuring fantasy. I'm just wondering why we so seldom see the other side? Where are the stories about an individual whose unhappy in Averageville not because they're missing "what's really important" but because banal normality is suffocating them? It's not like such people don't exist - talented, creative, driven individuals who escape the confines the ordinary and strive to attain the wealth/power necessary to create their own definition of a good life are the people who invent our machines, write our books, film our movies, etc. Why do we need to pretend that their drive is somehow not worth having just to make ourselves feel better? Oh, wait. I've answered my own question.
Y'know what I'd like to see? A movie about a rich, powerful talented/creative type who wigs out and decides he needs to "get back to what's important" by going back to whatever Nowheresville "good ol' fashioned community" he came from... only to rediscover what a soul-crushing existence it really is, and how fortunate he was to get out. Y'know, just for some balance if nothing else.
Heh! Our source-material sure is stupid, huh?
At the climax of the first X-Men movie, Wolverine shifts uncomfortably in his new uniform - a black leather onesie like everyone else on the team wears. He quips about it to Cyclops, who smugly replies, "Would you prefer yellow spandex?"
It's a stupid line, in the first place, because it doesn't make any damn sense: No one in the movie has ever mentioned spandex, or even worn it, and the color yellow seems not to even exist in the perpetually blue/gray-tinted world of the X-films. It's nakedly nothing more than a preemptive "piss off" to inevitable fan complaints about changing the costumes. Remember, this was before the first Spider-Man came out and made that level of fidelity "cool."
Worst of all, it shows a remarkably shortsighted grasp of how to manage a movie franchise: The X-Men have now spawned a prequel, First Class, and given that it's being made in the post-Iron Man Hollywood where the fanboy set are folks you bend over backwards to please instead of actively ignoring... guess what they're wearing?