Film Brain has had several running gags for his show called Bad Movie Beatdown.


This one refers to examples of (often overblown) symbolism in movies. The gag started with the review of "Equilibrium". He usually raises his voice whenever symbolism is shown in movies, usually accompanied by a subtitle that reads "SYMBOLISM!!!!11!! OMFGWTFGENIUS!!"

  • Equilibrium:
    • When Preston tears off the window covering, revealing a picturesque, rainbow covered cityscape.
    • Preston crushes his Prozium dose under his heel as the voice of Father proclaims "for we embrace Prozium".
    • Preston removes his glove and runs his hands along a wall.
    • As Preston walks into a room and hears the music playing, the camera zooms into his eye, and back out as a gramophone.
    • Although it's not pointed out with a subtitle, Preston also drops a snowglobe. This prompts FB to say, "f#%ks sake!"
    • When Preston begins pistol-whipping fellow officers in slow-motion while epic music plays in the background.
    • Preston shows up to his meeting with Father in a white suit.
    • DuPont says "you're treading on my dreams" referencing back to a scene he wasn't actually in. This time Mat utters the words "SYMBOLIC PLOTHOLE" as they appear underneath him.
  • Seraphim Falls:
    • When the calm scene of a river with a floating leaf is trampled upon by horses.
    • When Pierce's and Liam's character have the same dreams and visions.
    • The knife and gun being left to rest, showing a "peace" between characters.
  • Transmorphers:
    • When the sun is shown as soon as the alien robots are defeated.
  • Mission Impossible 2
    • The doctor who worked on the virus sees a group of children play "Ring Around the Rosy" as the screen slows down and turns black and white.
    • A parody of his own gag, Mat yells "DOVE-ULISM!" when a dove flies through a burning doorway. He then derides John Woo for using his "trademark" in such a stupid manner.
  • Seven Pounds
    • Tim's car is alone on a busy highway.

Other Staff Uses

Mat's "SYMBOLISM!!!" gag is referenced and subverted by Phelous in his Troll 3 review. When the main enemy of the movie seems to be a plant, and a young boy receives a toy plant as a gift, this causes Phelous to say the line, with ever growing excitement and slowly raising up his arms, "Oh, I think this might be some...!" and then very quietly and weakly finishes with "Symbolism." as he slumps into the chair.

"Because the plot says so!"

This refers to every time something dramatically convenient (yet rather illogical) happens for the sake of the plot. Examples include:

  • When Pluto's car suddenly explodes despite not being visibly damaged. (Pluto Nash)
  • When Bruno gets arrested upon entering the Lunar Grand Hotel. (Pluto Nash)
  • When Jesse races against Tran even though he's no match for him. (The Fast and the Furious)
  • When Preston finds out the Prozium center is closed, ensuring he cannot receive a new dose, despite the drug not having lasting effects. (Equilibrium)
  • When Larry tells Kyle that his flashlights can't come with them. (Darkness Falls)
  • When the hospital's doctor appears just outside the broken elevator when Kyle pries open the doors. (Darkness Falls)
  • When Axel takes a sudden interest in a certain ride's control station, despite there being nothing suspicious about it. (Beverly Hills Cop 3)
  • When Ethan's crew loses radio contact with Ethan when breaking into the Biocyte facility. (Mission Impossible 2)

Other Staff Uses

Linkara also says "because the plot says so" in his Countdown review Part 1, but it's unclear if it was an homage or coincidence.

Creepy Kids

Film Brain will call certain child actors out as being "creepy" Seen in Equilibrium, referring the Preston's "emotionless" son as the Antichrist, and the child in Darkness Falls with the comment "The director gives me a cookie if I say my lines creepily."

Side Story

Usually Film Brain has several side stories in his reviews. This is an ongoing sequential gag that started in Pluto Nash, where he received a copy of Equilibrium from his friend, returning and then killing that friend in the Equilibrium review. He's later questioned by an investigator in the "Seraphim Falls" review, culminating into a chase scene that mimics the movie.

"I'm a Ventriloquist!"

Film Brain says this when a line is so obviously overdubbed that the character's mouth doesn't follow what was said. This first appeared in the Darkness Falls review. When the character, Kat, tells Michael to stay under the bed, her mouth doesn't move. Film Brain then cuts to a scene where he says "I'm a ventriloquist, too!" without moving his mouth... complete with really creepy smile. The gag makes a second appearance in the Transmorphers review, where he reveals a character's line isn't matching her mouth movements (complete with slo-mo close-up), and Film Brain mimics the scene by saying the gag line.

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