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Suspension of disbelief [Apr. 30th, 2009|01:14 pm]
dalekboy
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[mood |curiouscurious]

Films and tv shows usually rely on suspension of disbelief.

To me, if one is going to maintain the suspension of disbelief, you have to obey all the ordinary everyday rules that people know and understand. One can believe an massive alien invasion with giant biomechanoid floating death cannons, so long as the world rules beyond that are consistent. But if a human character, in avoiding one of these cannons, jumps off a ten storey building without any sort of aid, or interruptions to their fall, and land unharmed and run off - that's the deal breaker. One knows that's not possible, and suddenly one is left questioning that moment, and by default, the rest of the film.

I mentioned in a post yesterday that I hate it in films and tv when medics use the defibrillator paddles on a woman to try and restart her heart, and they are using them through material - bras, tank tops, etc. - rather than on bare skin. It pulls me right out of the moment, because I know it's not right.

I also mentioned hating when people can just break passwords when they have no information on the person, which has become really common in shows. Any computer whizz can break any password, within a relatively short time.

Another one I hate is when someone who is driving spends time looking at the their passenger rather than paying attention to the road. Quick glances are fine, but when they're maintaining eye contact for whole big chunks of conversation it annoys me. If you regularly did it in real life there's no way you wouldn't crash.

king_espresso mentioned that he hates when people don't wear ear protection on board military helicopters, which is a great one. Well, except now I'll be looking for it and getting annoyed by it.

kaths brought up the way people type madly on computer keyboards to do things that the rest of us would do with a mouse. We're in the internet age, everyone uses computers, we know they don't work this way.

kaths also mentioned the way they can zoom in on a small section of a photo, blow up that section, sharpen/clean it up, and suddenly have a incredibly clear and detailed picture. It's the equivalent of being able to blow up my icon for this post to read all the book titles.

So what about you? What regularly used, unrealistic film and tv conceits pull you out of the moment?
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From: tommmo
2009-04-30 04:04 am (UTC)
the way they can zoom in on a small section of a photo, blow up that section, sharpen/clean it up, and suddenly have a incredibly clear and detailed picture

This one drives me nuts. I'm pretty sure I've even seen one or two instances where they manage to digitally alter the angle of the shot.
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[User Picture]From: ariaflame
2009-04-30 04:09 am (UTC)
I think the recent Red Dwarf episode that had them using multiple reflections to get a phone number was taking the piss out of this.

But yes, licence plates, people's faces. There's only so much that can be done to clarify an image. If the original resolution isn't good enough then you can't magically resolve it.

I'd talk about the apparently tiny time it takes to get DNA samples etc. back but mostly I just go 'meh' and accept it, like wormholes, as being necessary to get everything in on time (though I do like it in some shows where they have the characters moaning about the long time it takes to get results back)

Not sure what else annoys me. Will think about it.
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[User Picture]From: ariaflame
2009-04-30 04:11 am (UTC)
Actually, occasionally they do, but either for a site comic gag, or because there's some reason for action in there.

I can think of at least three off the top of my head.
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[User Picture]From: dalekboy
2009-04-30 04:30 am (UTC)
Yep!

First time I struck this one was in Flatliners, when Julia Roberts needed the defibrillator, and they didn't cut her top. Pulled me right out of the moment, and the movie, especially because these people are medical students! If I knew this was wrong, they certainly should have!

I later read that the actress refused to go topless, or allow a body double for the shot, and it really annoyed me. She'd read the damned script when she agreed to the role, if she wasn't prepared to allow a section of it to be shot properly, then she shouldn't have taken the part.

I've brought this one up before, and had one or two people suggest I just wanted to see her breasts. I really couldn't care less for Julia Roberts boobs, the internet is full of more breasts than I could ever hope to see in my entire lifetime.
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[User Picture]From: waylanderpk
2009-04-30 04:13 am (UTC)
A few of my unfavorite things -
Outrunning explosions, the ONLY time this is OK is if your in the Millennium Falcon (though i suppose a movie with the Flash in it would
also be ok). A quick Google will tell you that even the lowest energy explosion is going to be tens of meters per second, even an olympic sprinter isn't going to outrun one of those without, say a 100m head start.

I also hate the zoom in, presto clear image, thats some pretty advanced software that can guess what information is missing.

Exploding cars, unless they have been shot with some incendiary weapon or bazooka type thingey.

Barbarians other Fantasy characters with Californian accents and tan lines.
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[User Picture]From: dalekboy
2009-04-30 04:32 am (UTC)
I quite forgot exploding cars!

The funny thing is, I've become so used to it that when a car doesn't explode, I'm a bit thrown.
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[User Picture]From: pedanther
2009-04-30 04:14 am (UTC)
I read an interesting essay once by John Sutherland about old stories that break what would now be considered ordinary everyday rules, but which got away with it because at the time they were esoteric. His big example was swimming in Victorian fiction: back then, hardly anyone went swimming for fun, so in the novels of the period you get things like convicts swimming from ship to shore still wearing their big heavy leg irons, or swimmers being able to see clearly underwater, because neither the authors nor the readers knew any better.

And of course it's still going on in modern fiction, just in different contexts. Sutherland's example for that was skydiving sequences in action movies, which are apparently prone to doing ludicrous things that nobody in the audience will notice unless they've had a falling-out-of-an-aeroplane experience themselves.
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[User Picture]From: smofbabe
2009-04-30 04:15 am (UTC)
My least favorite computer-impossibility moment is in INDEPENDENCE DAY, when Jeff Goldblum's character manages to hack into the alien ship's computer. As a friend of mine said when we first saw it, "Yeah, that's gonna happen. We can't even get Windows and MacOS to talk to each other!"

However, in the non-computer realm, one thing a friend pointed out that I'd never noticed is that hardly anyone ever pays for a taxi. They just get to their destination and leap out. Or, they throw a bill over to the front seat - you know any taxi drivers who wouldn't insist on seeing what the bill was before they peeled away? Or who would wait for you to finish your conversation on the footpath before you get into the taxi?

Another one that really bugs me is women's makeup - women rarely go to sleep with perfect makeup on, and if they did, they'd look like a combination of a raccoon and a clown in the morning, not with miraculous perfect makeup when they wake up.

Regarding apartment buildings, first of all, how can all the loser people in movies and TV shows afford such big apartments? And I really want to live in Alternate New York, where everyone leaves their doors unlocked so their neighbors can come bursting in :->
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[User Picture]From: dalekboy
2009-04-30 04:35 am (UTC)
Actually the apartment thing is one occasionally gets me, too. I'll be sitting there watching people who are meant to be dirt poor, living in a huge place!
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[User Picture]From: narrelle
2009-04-30 04:34 am (UTC)
The talking-while-driving thing bugs the hell out of me. I avoid getting into any car my mother is driving because she does that and I keep having to remind her to WATCH THE FUCKING ROAD because she's about to drive us into a tree.

Another pet hate is how people just hang up the phone without saying goodbye. Not even 'thanks' or some kind of short 'I'm done now, gotta go' kind of noise. I know it's expedient for the plot, etc, but I keep thinking the person on the other end must be thinking 'what happened? I wasn't finished!" I also keep thinking "how rude!".

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[User Picture]From: angriest
2009-04-30 04:40 am (UTC)
People on the phone who:

(a) don't leave enough time for the person on the other line to speak, and;

(b) never say any variation of "goodbye" or "seeya" when they hang up.

Basically everyone in Hollywood seems to be intolerably rude on the telephone.
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[User Picture]From: spaetlese
2009-04-30 11:18 am (UTC)
ABSOLUTELY!! Drives me batty :(
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[User Picture]From: ariaflame
2009-04-30 04:52 am (UTC)
Like toilet breaks, essential equipment maintenance (such as gun cleaning) also seems to rarely happen on-screen.
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[User Picture]From: fuschia17
2009-04-30 06:24 am (UTC)
I'm pretty sure Jane in Firefly does clean his weapons... ? Or am I imagining it?

Although I have liked the series Chuck, and they do show Casey (also played by Adam Baldwin) cleaning his guns once or twice.

There's starting to be a theme there... hmmm
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[User Picture]From: girliejones
2009-04-30 04:53 am (UTC)
People falling out of planes to chase after someone and catching up when the first person is diving and not impeded in any way.

Complete misunderstanding of use of evidence - someone already said DNA coming back to quick from the lab (Perth has about an 18month backup). The other is using DNA to place you at the scene of a crime and thus incriminating you - DNA can only be used to exclude you. Other stuff too - like fingerprints - police using a cloth to touch something, that's surely to not leave your own prints? I'd assume you are wiping off the ones already there and no longer preserving the crime scene.
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[User Picture]From: strangedave
2009-04-30 07:38 am (UTC)
I thought DNA could give you a very high likelihood of identifying who was there, high enough that its substantial circumstantial evidence? Ie one in thousands/millions chance. But yeah, TV shows often tend to assume the government has everyones DNA on file, so from a DNA sample you can find the actual person (rather than just work out which one of several suspects that you already have DNA samples of it is most likely to be).

And yeah, the bit about using a cloth only makes sense if you are trying not to leave evidence yourself - ie you are doing something dubious you don't want confirmed. It is routine in a crime scene investigation to take fingerprints etc of all the people who should be there legitimately, and those of the police etc are generally already on file for this reason, so there is no good reason for police etc to avoid leaving prints if they are supposed to be there.
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[User Picture]From: gemfyre
2009-04-30 05:00 am (UTC)
It just shat me to tears that they did such great research on Australian reef fish in Finding Nemo - and the birds are American species - when there are very similar Aussie species they could have drawn instead. *headdesk*
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[User Picture]From: ariaflame
2009-04-30 05:06 am (UTC)
On a human level, I get very annoyed when they set a character up as being very intelligent, doing a job that they would have to get at least a reasonable education to do, and then make them do dumb things (such as aforementioned medical students and defibrillators). Dumb, or people who are merely ignorant of the field I can cope with, but without having a damn good reason for supposedly bright person to do ultra-dumb thing sets my teeth on edge. Even in the interests of comedy (which is why I can't watch most american sit-coms)
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[User Picture]From: ariaflame
2009-04-30 05:09 am (UTC)
Just remembered. While I do like at watch the CSI type american series, I find it refreshing to watch the more UK based ones where the CSI equivalent folk wear clean over-suits to avoid contaminating the scene with their own trace.

There appear to be more restrictions in fast-food places on hygiene and non-contamination than there are in some US forensic shows.
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[User Picture]From: pre_vet_girl
2009-04-30 05:18 am (UTC)
I think it was CSI I saw once where one of the forensic scientists (actually I think she was a pathologist) was investigating an explosion in a building, and ended up wandering into the basement of said building - no helmet, no safety gear, no engineers, no supports on the building to stop it from falling onto this crazy lady. A forensic scientist/pathologist wouldn't be there before the structural engineers had inspected and made sure it was safe, if they let her at all. The writers seemed to have no concept that forensics and engineering are two completely different things.
I yelled at the tv. My housemate got upset. I don't watch CSI any more.
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[User Picture]From: pre_vet_girl
2009-04-30 05:12 am (UTC)
One that always annoys me is any time they show a horse on the screen, the foley artists put in the sound effect of a horse neighing. Horses just don't neigh that much, and you can see when they do: their nostrils flare, their sides heave, and half the time their mouths open too. It just seems a bit unnecessary.

People running upstairs to get away when they're being chased by something. It's stupid, you're going to run out of stairs!

Films that show a motorcycle being chased and caught by a big, heavy 4wd. I can cope when they do it in the Matrix Reloaded as it is an agent chasing them, the agent could be effecting the matrix to slow them down & speed himself up - but in Mission Impossible they do the same thing with a racing motorcycle and a Landrover. The bike should have been over the horizon and far away, not having the landrover touching its back wheel.

There are lots of other things that annoy me. I yell at the tv a lot. I try not to yell in the cinema. But either way, you can see I'm not necessarily a fun person to watch tv/a movie with.
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[User Picture]From: kateorman
2009-04-30 05:26 am (UTC)
Cats on TV always go "meow", randomly, often without moving their, er, lips.
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[User Picture]From: kateorman
2009-04-30 05:20 am (UTC)
Semi-seriously (and maybe I've mentioned this to you before), but I think there should be a law forcing movies and TV to show CPR being done correctly.
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[User Picture]From: dalekboy
2009-04-30 05:49 am (UTC)
You hadn't mentioned it, but that's one I definitely agree with. Make the actors do a course, and have someone on set on the day to oversee that it's done right.
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