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April 18, 2005

Catch-Phrase Hell

Well, here it is. I finally got off my posterior and wrote what I hope will be a long list of rants, thoughts and observations. If you don’t like what I say, that’s fine. Yes, you read right. You are entitled to your opinion. Even if it’s silly. Having said that, let the story begin.

I visit my folks for the weekend every three or four weeks, something I enjoy doing for many reasons including free food, no cooking, no cleaning and watching DStv. I’m watching a late night movie called Bones, starring Snoop Dogg. In the movie, he plays the role of a resurrected gangster seeking revenge against those who killed him 22 years earlier. Now, I thought the movie was average. My critique is not of the film. It’s of the trap that I see Snoop Dogg falling into. I speak of the “Catch Phrase” trap.

The script has him saying a catch phrase every time he frags a victim. Usually he says, “Dog eat dog, brother!” Is that necessary? I went to see Racing Stripes, in which Snoop lends his voice to a dog. As if that’s not enough, in the film he says the line, “If that's a race horse, then I'm D-O double-G, baby.” He’s already playing a dog. We’re not blind. Does the movie have to point it out to us? Why Snoop, why?! And he’s not the first that Hollywood has done this to.

I remember, before Arnold Schwarzenegger became the governor of California, he was an action star. And at the height of his fame in the eighties and early nineties, he too was in catch phrase hell. I remember watching Terminator, Terminator 2, Commando and Predator waiting for the all-powerful catch phrase. I of course speak of… I’LL BE BACK! The greatest line in action movie history! No one can top that line. Not in any way, shape or form. If you were a villain and you heard those words, you knew your ass was grass. It’s so well known that if asked to do an impression of Arnie, the first words out of most people’s mouths are, “I’LL BE BACK!”

But Arnie eventually turfed this line when it became a cliché. It was doing more damage than good. A crucial hint that you should stop doing something is when it ends up in a joke. The joke I’m talking about is when Chuck Norris, Stallone and Arnie decide to do an action film starring the world’s great composers. They decide Chuck will be Mozart and Stallone will play Flizt. They ask Arnie whom he wants to play. He says “I’LL BE BACH!” Point proven. Now it seems its Snoops turn to have a catchy line. (That sounds very suspect.) Somebody needs to say this. Somebody needs to take Snoop aside and say, “look, we all get it, ok? Your name is Snoop Dogg. You don’t need to point it out any further. You can relax. Because if you keep doing it, pretty soon people are gonna just "DROP IT LIKE ITS HOT!”

Have a good one. I’ll see you at the gigs.

Posted by vittorio at April 18, 2005 10:36 PM

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