Following you will find several of my observations through the years as I have spent (some may say wasted) several hours reviewing film (a fancy way of saying “watching movies”). I don’t expect every movie to be 100% true to life. But with the 10 items I list below, I declare to Hollywood: Enough is enough!
These observations are particular annoyances that I have with movies. These are things that happen all the time, and yet rarely does anyone choose to correct the glaring falsity. If you are looking for realism in movies, these details (some of them small, some of them big) most likely make you want to pull your hair out. I can’t even imagine how annoyed I would be if I had no hair to pull out (I’ll have to ask my fellow blogger Gene what that’s like in a few years).
These items are in no particular order:
1) No one ever says goodbye on the telephone
Is saying goodbye on the phone just a Midwest thing? I understand hanging up on the phone when you are mad, but not all of the time. No goodbye, no thank you, no nothing! The only time it is used is when a couple is not doing well, and one of them might end a conversation with “I love you,” but the other one doesn’t. I want to hear Brad Pitt end a phone conversation in his next movie with “toodles.” And if he does, I want a screenwriting credit.
2) Anyone can break a computer password
It seems like anyone can break a computer password, even if it is the password to the computer of some high-ranking FBI agent. Sometimes people just look around for something in the room, and when they see it, they know it is the password. This is unlikely. Especially today when most sites make you create a password with letters, numbers, symbols, phrases, smiley faces, morse code, hieroglyphics, and Chinese characters. Maybe they did that because passwords were so easy to break? * Mind Blown * The movies are right! But let’s be serious — most computer password breaking now is from software programs and computer viruses. Not someone sitting at a computer with the psychic abilities of Gibson Praise (it’s an X-Files reference … sometimes I watch TV shows, too).
3) No one finishes their food or drink
I have never ordered something to eat or drink, and then left before it came. And yet in many movies this happens naturally, not just in some fit of rage. Or they get a drink, have one sip, then take off. Really? You are at a downtown pub, just paid $15 for a $3 brew, and you are going to leave that much of it? I saw a TV show just yesterday where someone poured a glass of wine for someone else. They talked. He took a sip. Then he said, “Well, I should probably go.” Then he left. And he left a lot of wine in the glass. How rude!
4) No one shuts the door
In Indiana, and perhaps elsewhere, we have a saying. It goes, “Were you born in a barn?”, which translates to, “hey ignoramus, shut the door.” Who just leaves the door open to their house when they come home or leave? Perhaps Canadians and people without doors. But not Americans! I certainly wouldn’t. I know people would rush in, gunning for my collection of Bob Dylan CDs. They are protected by tubs of theological books, though. Have fun lifting those out of the way!
5) Detectives act like bloodhounds
You’ve seen this one a million times: a detective will be in hot pursuit of a criminal. The criminal will usually turn one way or another around a corner, and be gone from sight. The detective will then have to decide, without seeing which way the criminal went, which way to pursue. 99% of the time, he picks the right direction. Really? Is he a bloodhound? A beagle, perhaps? Why doesn’t he just put his nose on the ground and follow?
6) Nuclear disasters and/or toxic waste lead to super powers.
Actually, they usually just lead to cancerous tumors and death. Although, in an episode of the X Files (one of my favorite TV shows), there was a man whose body had evolved to the point that it needed cancer to survive. Cancer usually kills, but in his case it maintained life. His head was cut off in a car accident, but it grew back because of the cancer cells. I know, this sounds pretty far-fetched. But did you know that scientists have grown teeth inside of tumors? Some have even been found like that naturally after taking them out of patients. These are called teratomas. According to Wikipedia (a trusted scientific research website), they have also been found to contain hair and bone, plus more complex organs like eyes, torso, hands, feet, and other limbs. Just google “tooth found in tumor” and read some of the interesting news articles, including one of a 1,600-year-old Roman corpse. And since these tumors don’t have the possibility of developing into a viable human being, they are being looked at as an alternative to certain types of stem cell research. Did you think you would read this on a movie blog?
7) Gangs come as a group so that they can fight someone in separate, fair, one-on-one battles, with each one patiently waiting their own turn to violently attack the victim
In movies, heroes win fights. It’s just how it goes. The strange thing is that most of the time the hero gets surrounded by a gang of vicious thugs who, graciously, decide to attack him one at a time, and not all at once which would greatly increase their chances of success. To be fair, sometimes the bad guys will do more than one at a time, and someone will approach the hero from behind. Luckily, a hero can see behind his or her own head. Maybe echolocation? Like bats. Wait, can Batman do echolocation? Normal people can’t do that. Maybe he is a superhero after all!
8) No one gets hurt jumping out of a window
Many times leaping through a window must happen, and no one ever really gets very injured from it. This is obviously a great message for kids who like to imitate their heroes. Seriously, talk to anyone who has gone through a window. You will get very cut up. It doesn’t look as cool as when the movie stars do it, either. And that’s only if you make it through the window. Some windows are pretty tough. You could run and jump at it, but I doubt you would be going through. Remember all the fun you had as a child in those face-smashing torture traps known as a house of mirrors, which also included panes of glass? Yeah, it would be like that. But harder and more painful.
9) Christians are ignorant, close-minded, racist, sexist, anti-fun, anti-science, anti-intellectual, “judgmental”, intolerant hillbillies.
Isn’t it ironic that Christians are always stereotyped this way by ‘open-minded, tolerant, intelligent intellectuals’? Now I don’t want to doubt that these “intelligent intellectuals” are in fact intelligent, but I would question their definition of tolerance, and their claim to being open-minded. Although, I have been surprised at some of the Christian elements in some recent movies that were actually touching and not painted in such a horrific light. Sure, some Christians really are some of the adjectives I listen above. But it’s not like Christians alone own those adjectives. And, I would suggest, these attributes are in conflict with being a true Christ follower.
The other issue is that different people mean different things by these words. For instance, if I say I have convictions, some may call it being close-minded. But everyone has convictions. Usually someone is only close-minded if their convictions are different than yours. Just like with the word judgmental. Some people are very opinionated, but it’s only judgmental if your opinion is based off of religious convictions (which are close-minded because you disagree with them). But what do I know? I am an ignorant anti-intellectual!
10) “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”
Okay, so this one doesn’t quite fit the category. Consider it 9 1/2 if that helps you sleep tonight. But this is just bad science. It’s also bad medical advice. Apparently whoever came up with this (it was Friedrich Nietzsche, actually) had never heard of necrotizing fasciitis, a.k.a. “flesh-eating disease” (yeah, that’s a real thing). This is the chorus of a currently popular Kelly Clarkson song that she wrote about Toyota Camry’s (or something), but I’ve heard it said enough in movies to warrant a spot on my list. And you see this illustrated in movies when, for example, the hero breaks his arm but keeps on fighting with even more urgency. Trust me, I’ve broken both of my arms, and the last thing you want to do is move them even a fraction of a millimeter (unless you love pain and doing further damage to your already weakened skeletal system). Having them moved around for x-rays was the worst pain I’ve ever felt in my life. But luckily I kept strong and never cried (that’s a lie).
Perhaps I’m taking this one too literally. But even taking it figuratively, it doesn’t always work out. Some people don’t end up stronger, they end up more bitter. But a phrase like “that which does not literally and/or figuratively kill you could possibly at some point in time strengthen you in some physical or emotional way” is no where near as catchy. It also makes for a longer and therefore more painful tattoo (and you’d barely have room for all those extra letters).
Well, that’s my list. Thanks for reading! Anything you would add?