Sunday, November 15, 2009

Irritated at the Movies

I swear, every time a character on the silver or tiny screen reaches for a set of binoculars and looks through it, this is the view we get. Really? Is this what looking through 'nocs looks like? Personally, I've got some sort of condition where I can't line up the images in my head - I can pick up a random pair of 'nocs and see perfectly through them, but the next day, not so much. I have to close one eye to see properly or I see two superimposed images. I'd like to meet the person who sees this masked image through the dern things, and why they rule how we see the "dramatic" view.

Then, if the character hands the binoculars off to a buddy - they put it up to their eyes and see perfectly, without having to focus the eyepiece or the main tubes. Yeah, they work like that - not.

Of course, this is but one of many dumb movie cliches we are subjected to constantly. Every car ever made can burn rubber like a dragster. All the movie cars apparently have limited slip or locking differentials, because they can fry both tires with abandon. I dunno about y'all, but in my younger days, I always had to test about any car I drove to see if it could "peel out." The best way for an automatic was to power brake - because most cars can't break loose just by stomping on the gas, unless you're "cutting kitties." At any rate, if the car in question could overcome the brakes and static friction of it's weight - the right rear tire would fry. That is how standard differentials work. If it was a manual, then you could wind 'er up and dump the clutch, but if it didn't have the power, the tire might chirp. No long stripe on the pavement. I guess another way to break loose the rears with an auto tranny would be to pop it in neutral, wind it up and slip it into drive. For some reason, this method would shorten the life of said transmission considerably, perhaps even killing it at that particular moment. Not to mention stressed universal joints.

So, we can conclude that the average four door sedan in television and movie land has a very high torque motor attached to a high rpm stall converter, beefed up transmission, and a locking rear differential. It might even be lightened considerably - like a drag car. Every cop car is equipped thusly.

They apparently have some really, really noisy tires. When the car slides through a corner, we always get to hear the tires squeal with anguish and pain. Even on gravel. "Laying rubber" on gravel makes a lot of noise in the movies.

Explosives must be light as well, because every movie car is loaded with them. When in a collision, the entire car blows up, often lifting off the road. Sometimes the motor blows first, then the passenger compartment, and finally the trunk. If the explosives were heavy, the movie car couldn't burn rubber. So, we'll see a movie car peel out, squealing and leaving huge clouds of tire smoke on a gravel road, wail around a corner, and haul hiney. A protagonist will fire a lead/copper bullet at the hood, raising a shower of sparks. This causes the high explosives to ignite, blowing the car into smithereens and cooking the occupants. So, we can conclude that either the bullets or the cars have surfaces exactly like the strips for match striking. Regular cars are made of steel and various plastics, and the engine blocks are generally cast iron. So, don't be shooting at old bathtubs or refrigerators - they'll blow up in your face according to movie logistics. Kids, don't try that at home.

I don't even want to go into the shooting stuff - guns that never run out of ammo, bad guys that can't hit squat but a hero who can make impossible long shots on the run - the list goes on and on. Or how about computers? Large amounts of data transferred instantly on dial up, laptops built in the Pentium I or II era that ran programs instantly, transferring those large amounts of data on a floppy disk - no whirring or thunking noises from their drives! And who knew you could hear explosions in space? Don't lose air pressure or your body will blow up! Remember, when you get hit by a photon torpedo, you'll get knocked on your feet, but when your starship accelerates to several times the speed of light in a couple yards, you won't be a smear on the wall behind ya. Oh, and all lasers are visible beams, not just a dot.

To quote Charlie Brown: "Aaaargh!"

So, what movie cliche crap gets under your skin?

NOTE: I will be buying the Star Trek movie when it comes out on the seventeenth. I'm a hopeless hypocrite, I guess.


Jinglebob said...

The horses that are always whinnying and the old cowboys with modern anything, especially saddles.

Hard for me to watch any movie or TV about anything I have any knowledge of because I just notice all the BS, as you have pointed out. I guess we can't have truthful movies. They would be too boring!

jed said...

You must've loved the closing testimoney of Mona Lisa Vito in My Cousin Vinny then.

I hate how the super-powerful, bred for battle, superior alien races become total wimps when the plot finally comes around to time for them to be vanquished. Worst case I can think of is the Jem Haddar in DS9.

threecollie said...

I was going to say what Jinglebob said, but he beat me to it. Drive me NUTS! The only time our horses whinny or cows moo is when there is something wrong. Or they are hungry or something. bah! People hate to watch TV with me because I can not not pick things apart. Was sitting in a bar with friends once and predicted that the hero would go pick a handgun out of a drawer. Another patron, very po's said, "Whadya write the script?" I shut

The Local Malcontent said...

I don't know, call me superficial maybe- but what I really dislike in movies is that every leading man/woman/couple already has "the perfect life": a stunningly decorated home or apartment, or an immaculate farm or ranch (with perfect fences, perfect barns),
- things which do not normally exist in this reality.

That spoils every movie for me.

"The Firesign Theater" said it best once, "“Stories of average working people as portrayed by rich Hollywood actors.”