May 5, 2020,

So many of the movies in cable television’s library are old, predictable, recycled and poorly written.

They just are.

We should know since we research so many of them for a living.

A great first run movie is rare. Why?

So many of them have to be must hit wonders because of the budgets that have been invested in them. Since that often is the case, they must follow certain formulas that were successful before using big name stars.

You’ve seen these tired storylines over and over.

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1. His wife and daughter were killed by thugs and the police don’t have enough evidence to prosecute the killers. Therefore, our hero becomes a super killer himself (herself in Peppermint) and exacts revenge on each and every one of them in very excruciating ways after he has looked them in the eye and says, “Remember me punk. Make my day.” (or scumbag)?

Don’t believe us?

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Here is Peppermint’s storyline: Riley North is a wife and mother working as a banker in Los Angeles, struggling to make ends meet (Aren’t they always struggling financially?”). Her husband Chris owns a failing mechanic shop. They have a ten-year-old daughter, Carly. Chris’ friend tries to talk him into robbing Diego Garcia, a powerful drug lord. Chris turns him down, but Garcia has already discovered his involvement and orders his men to make an example of him.

2. She was raped and her rapist got away with it because there wasn’t enough evidence so it is her word against his. Angry, she plots revenge, most likely aiming for his groin area.

3. He used to be an operative and now he lives on a boat, by the forest, on a lake, in a cabin, in Montana by the bears and wolves. The government sees an imminent threat and only one man can get the job done. He is hesitant to take the job but when they convince him of how many people will die and he sees a three year old kid who walks by and smiles, he decides to come out of retirement.

Yes there is a love interest. Of course. She’s witty, in your face and about 15-20 years younger than him and much, much better looking than his previous wife, who was killed in a car accident usually before his partner was killed by Russians or Albanians (used to be the Italian Mob, German Nazis or South Africans).

4. Clara lost her sister when she was a child and moved to a deserted cottage so that she can write. Wait, was that a little girl that she saw standing in the woods? Maybe the girl is trying to tell her something (like please write a better novel than this crappy one). As Clara walks closer the little girl runs away. Hey, she looked like Clara’s sister. What’s she doing out here running around in the woods in her pajamas with no shoes on and no dog, boyfriend or flash light?

5. An elite task force has been called in to catch an elusive killer. One is a gorgeous blonde, another is a muscular tough but tender modern day male along with a nerdy but extremely bright male who suggests they bring in a tough talking chick cop who don’t take no stuff. They all sit around, arms folded looking at 20 television surveillance screens while their leader keeps yelling “Listen up people! The mayor’s on my “beeeeeeeeep.”

6. They kidnapped his wife and children and now he has only 3 hours, 7 minutes and 44 seconds to find them before the kidnappers start cutting off their fingers and toes. No police. Remember that, so instead he calls in a super sleuth ex-cop who got kicked off the force for killing some bad guys who killed his partner after they cut off his fingers and toes.

7. They’re going to rob the hardest bank to get into. No one has ever done it before but our handsome tough guy hero is going to assemble the greatest batch of elite criminals that he can find. Usually he finds at least one of them in bed with a lusty babe. The other has a hangover. Another just got out of the can, but wasn’t on the can. He is drinking beer out of can so that means he can do it, after his hang over is done.

This group of criminal misfits are so good at what they do, they avoid every near pitfall or are two seconds away from being captured and get away with the money.

They actually are all nice guys who were forced in a life of crime because one of their family members (usually the child) has a serious disease, as opposed to being the complete a-holes that most criminals are.

The audience cheers.

For criminals.

Hey. It’s not their money.

8. His wife was killed in a car accident. He has a teenage daughter who thinks he’s the greatest dad ever because he makes a lot of money and can buy her anything she wants. What she wants most in this romantic comedy (romcom bomb) is to match daddy up with the perfect woman, who has no children herself (doesn’t want daddy splitting the money he spends on her) and is always nice, really good looking and has all the right answers.

She’s most likely a school teacher, a woman whose is a widower herself (as opposed to some pain in the rear divorcee) or a nurse, who helps people and volunteers to feed the homeless on her weekends off. She too is single and doesn’t sleep around. Well, at least not recently anyway.

Daddy feels it’s too soon to get back out in the market but as soon as he meets the new lady his daughter has interviewed, he becomes the most sensitive perfectly speaking male who is always ready to apologize for anything he said that may offend her.

They fall in love.

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He gets a raise.

The daughter snaps all three of them in a gold-plated selfie.

9. She’s a rookie detective on the case that nobody wants. A little girl with really big, sad, sweet eyes once had a big sister who was murdered by the Cough Drop Killer, Candy Cane Killer, Alphabet Murderer, Sugar Cane Strangler, Neck Tie Nooser, Coffee Cup Choker, Nit Pick Ninny, Chocolate Chip Chump, Girdle Smeller, Dirty Sock Sniffer, Granny Booty Crack Pincher or another one they have to create a new name for.

All of them always wash their victims in a bath tub and treat their hair before dumping them.

This case is special to her because her sister too was either kidnapped, raped or strangled herself.

Her hair was later curled like a doll.

Our heroine goes too far in trying to nab the main suspect who knows the law and makes it extremely hard to get evidence so while she has been suspended without pay, she surveils his crappy looking tract home and waits until he leaves to break in (which we thought was a crime) and gets some crucial evidence that will eventually nail the perp. Curiously she never seems to run out of money.

10. She’s a tough kid from the streets who has absent parents and gets beat up a lot. Until she learns to fight back. She joins an MMA Club, sweaty boxing gym or gun shooting club to toughen up and toughen up she does when she meets a grizzled old ex-mma fighter, boxer or drunk cop who cleans up his act one last time because his wife and daughter were killed in a car accident and his ex-partner had his toes and fingers cut off by the mob.

11. Unknown to her he’s been stalking her while she has been watching Olivia Benson on Law and Order SVU and one day he knocks on her door pretending to be the cable guy and secretly installs 30 cameras in her home, that she never sees but conveniently undresses in front of. His violating behavior is only discovered after she falls in love with him and he accidently describes the birth mark right above her “beeeeeeeeeeeeeep” that nobody has seen in at least 3 years since her husband and daughter died in a car accident.

12. She really liked her roommate when she first moved into the dorm and even though her roommate seemed a little protective, like calling her every 4.5 minutes on her cell phone when she went out on a date, she thought little of it. It was the one evening that she came home unexpectedly, her roommate was caught off guard while she was sniffing our heroine’s soiled panties and she looked up with a distant stare and said in a creepy voice, “Do you have these in different flaaaaaavors besides chocolate?”

When we were told the last story we wondered what the big deal was since we always smelled our female friend’s dirty underwear when we were in college.

Didn’t you?

Well, if you’ve watched enough cable movies then you can probably come up with a few more yourself. The list of predictable plot boilers is certainly a long one.

But, if you do find a rare gem that is well-written, finely acted, provides surprising plot twists, and does not have a romantic interest involved nor family members killed in a car accident, please watch it quickly because if it does well at the box office, you know exactly what is going to happen.

There will be a least 20 future movies on cable that will look exactly like it, only they will add the love interest.

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