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Movies: Suspension of Disbelief

Guilty Pleasure

Brilliant_Rock
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Of course there are the obvious ones like alien civilizations, impossibly large explosions, Superman's disguise, or Katherine Heigl's inability to get a date, but how about some of the smaller things that you've noticed happen again and again in movies and television?

Does it bug anyone else that people on TV always read letters out loud to themselves as if it's normal to read out loud instead of silently? It cracks me up, even though it is obviously done so that the audience can know what's in the letter.

What have you noticed?
 

Echidna

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Great topic :appl:

I watch lots of crime-related television and movies (Law & Order, anyone?) and I love how detectives "talk" to each other in order to explain plot points to the audience. Did you think we missed it? :lol:
 

monarch64

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Ha, I recognize "suspension of disbelief" from a Sci/Fi course I took in college!

What KILLS me in t.v. is the cameo appearances of celebrities (Britney Spears in "How I Met Your Mother" comes to mind)...like we are expected to drop all knowledge of her and "believe" her character on the show? It's done all the time, and while I understand that it's great for ratings, I have a really hard time suspending my disbelief when I see it.

Movies...I have ALWAYS been a skeptic with horror films. (Same with haunted houses!) I just can't get into it, for a couple of reasons. A., when I was little (maybe 5 or 6) my father took my older brother and me to see "Children of the Corn." He also used to take us for drives in the country and we'd walk through abandoned old houses and he would say to me "we're not scared of anything!" Same token: my mother used to set up the haunted houses at our schools when I was growing up, and I got to see exactly what went on behind the scenes. So...Texas Chainsaw Massacre (the remake, c. 2003?)--not impressed. Laughed the whole way through the first half, and left.
 

Guilty Pleasure

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Ha, funny you say Law&Order. I started this topic because Olivia Benson was reading a letter out loud to herself on SVU.
 

monarch64

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Oh, and "House" is a great example of a t.v. program in which the lead character is responsible for EXPLAINING what's going on. Also, all the CSI shows.

The movies I love most leave almost everything to the viewer to decipher. 12 Monkeys with Bruce Willis was a great one, as was Ronin with Robert DeNiro. Although...I've watched Ronin so many times that I can find all the bloopers. Actually, that's just another thing I love about that flick.
 

sillyberry

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It's funny - I've thought of posting this topic several times and then never remembered to actually post it! So I'm so happy you did!

1. Sleepless in Seattle. I am expected to believe that Annie's family had no idea anything about her relationship with Walter until they announced their engagement on Christmas Eve? Given that Walter is terribly boring, as we expected to believe this was some whirlwind courtship?

2. Sweet Home Alabama. Melanie Carmichael is a public figure, her gay friend reads about her in Women's Wear Daily, and yet no one realized she had changed her name from Melanie Smooter?

3. It bugs me when characters are drinking from an obviously empty glass, either because there is clearly no liquid in said glass or they're flinging the glass about in such a way that liquid would slosh. I was watching My Best Friend's Wedding last night, and in the ballpark scene, Julia Roberts is so clearly carrying a tray of empty cups.

4. Everything about lawyers and the criminal justice system in pretty much every show. Lately I've found both Castle and The Good Wife to have totally egregious errors. I cannot get over DNA results in an hour...in the middle of the night! Or how major litigation comes to trial a few days after the firm takes the case.

I could go on and on and on...
 

Echidna

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monarch64|1305525146|2922841 said:
Oh, and "House" is a great example of a t.v. program in which the lead character is responsible for EXPLAINING what's going on. Also, all the CSI shows.
So true, Monnie!
 

monarch64

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Echidna|1305526133|2922846 said:
monarch64|1305525146|2922841 said:
Oh, and "House" is a great example of a t.v. program in which the lead character is responsible for EXPLAINING what's going on. Also, all the CSI shows.
So true, Monnie!
Yes! And, all of the crime t.v. shows are like John Grisham novels, or basic forumulas, right? I loved Law & Order: SVU for a couple years, even after I realized that the first two suspects interviewed were definitely not the perpetrators solely based on time left to fill within the hour per episode! I didn't grow up watching t.v. aside from PBS and some basic channels and sports, so my t.v. knowledge is limited. However, it didn't take me long to catch on that, like many novels, there is a formula plot and with t.v. it's based on time!
 

Echidna

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Guilty Pleasure|1305524929|2922839 said:
Ha, funny you say Law&Order. I started this topic because Olivia Benson was reading a letter out loud to herself on SVU.
:lol: Great minds, GP, great minds...
 

monarch64

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Sillyberry, I love bloopers like full glasses/empty glasses! Kind of gives me a satisfied feeling as in "A-ha! They screwed up!" I love knowing that Hollywood isn't as perfect as it would like us to think it is, I guess. Glasses with drinks at different levels/seemingly same takes are everywhere! I understand why it perturbs you, though.
 

Guilty Pleasure

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Besides the mess-ups, what are some things that are actually written into the plot that are weird compared to normal life? One that I ALWAYS notice are the expensive shoes - sure, a government employee on her feet all day is going to wear Louboutins. :twirl:
 

monarch64

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GP, I once read an article in some magazine about the fact that Carrie on Sex and the City could not possibly have afforded the wardrobe she had on her writer's salary. So, I get what you're saying!
 

Brown.Eyed.Girl

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monarch64|1305526854|2922850 said:
Echidna|1305526133|2922846 said:
monarch64|1305525146|2922841 said:
Oh, and "House" is a great example of a t.v. program in which the lead character is responsible for EXPLAINING what's going on. Also, all the CSI shows.
So true, Monnie!
Yes! And, all of the crime t.v. shows are like John Grisham novels, or basic forumulas, right? I loved Law & Order: SVU for a couple years, even after I realized that the first two suspects interviewed were definitely not the perpetrators solely based on time left to fill within the hour per episode! I didn't grow up watching t.v. aside from PBS and some basic channels and sports, so my t.v. knowledge is limited. However, it didn't take me long to catch on that, like many novels, there is a formula plot and with t.v. it's based on time!
Hahaha, that's so funny that you mentioned this, because my mom and I watch Hawaii Five-0 together (the new one) and she and I always joke about the first and second suspects not being the true killer or whatever.

FWIW I am very capable of suspending my disbelief, apparently, since I love sci-fi stuff and can freak myself out with horror movies (especially zombie movies). :)
 

Echidna

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Guilty Pleasure|1305530605|2922864 said:
Besides the mess-ups, what are some things that are actually written into the plot that are weird compared to normal life? One that I ALWAYS notice are the expensive shoes - sure, a government employee on her feet all day is going to wear Louboutins. :twirl:
The one I always notice are the apartments/houses. HOW does Katherine Heigl's character in '27 Dresses' own such a great apartment in Big City, USA when she is a personal assistant?! I don't know the real estate market over there that well but I am under the impression that all those gorgeous Brownstones are expensive...
 

JewelFreak

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DH & I laugh at disaster movies (I love them). The sun is gonna crash into the earth & burn us all up. Always messing up is The Evil Military, a middle-aged wrongheaded general teaming with older scientists to Do The Wrong Thing. Shazam! To the rescue of Earth comes a couple of 20-yr-old geniuses with their computer models. The girl (she's never a woman yet) is inevitably so beautiful, you wonder why she isn't making millions on magazine covers. They have to fall in love, too.

Glad somebody mentioned Hawaii Five-O: their computers give me the giggles! Slide your finger across a screen to project on the wall a huge, sharp, unpixeled streaming video of your villain in action, picked right out of the millions in Honolulu. They always get DMV photos in nano-seconds. However, to ogle Alex O'Loughlin every week, I'll swallow anything they want!

Lawyers: pretty funny in court. Dramatics that would get them disbarred. Assuming facts not established in evidence. On & on. But as I tell DH when he snorts, why would you stick with it otherwise? Real court is usually boooring.

--- Laurie
 

JewelFreak

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Oh yes, one more. I used to watch my mother's favorite soaper with her. Can't count how many times a young woman in her 20s (sometimes a guy but less often) with no work experience at all, is suddenly president of an international company. Fits right into the job with no learning curve. Have Attache Case & Manolos, Will Travel.
 

GamerGirl

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I was just mentioning stuff like this!!

Bones: Angela -- who started in the show as merely an artist who would sometimes do sketches of suspects moves swiftly into creating faces from skulls and finally the last couple of seasons is this sudden technical wizard who creates random 3-D computer programs to model anything from angles of attacks to running simulations of pretty much any scenario and also will "magnify" or "clean up" all kinds of photos or images. I'd comment on all their random discoveries of a scientific nature but since I'm not in that field I have no idea how far fetched it is -- but I definitely don't buy that they would come up with SO many clues that would limit the pool of suspects or locations so readily. I still watch it though!!

Tied to that -- any TV show or movie where a techie character can somehow create a face from all different kinds of random reflections in a grainy video and come out with some kind of usuable picture which easily-visibly matches the bad guy.

Castle- Beckett's new apartment is almost as big as Castle's!! His I can understand as he is this supposed a best selling author but she is a detective and it is in NYC - how could she ever afford that?? And then there is all the "talking through the crime" stuff where the three trained detectives and sometimes their captain need the AUTHOR to point out some really simple plot point? Really? That thing Castle just pointed out I realized the very second the image came on the screen. :cheeky: Although I love me some Nathan Fillion so I'm alright with ignoring most of it!!

Almost ANY movie or show that has any computer stuff in it at all -- especially "hacking" into things or googling for stuff. Always makes me giggle. Yes, let me just punch a couple of keys at the login screen and POOF I've hacked into the FBI/CIA whatever. It seems like they are finally starting to get a little tiny bit better at showing this but it is still usually pretty bad.
 

MonkeyPie

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Guilty Pleasure|1305530605|2922864 said:
Besides the mess-ups, what are some things that are actually written into the plot that are weird compared to normal life? One that I ALWAYS notice are the expensive shoes - sure, a government employee on her feet all day is going to wear Louboutins. :twirl:
I always notice that when I watch House - all of the female characters were super tall shoes that would have me in agony after an hour, much less a 14 hour day. Yow!
 
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I haven't read all responses but I hate it when actors are on the phone and then just "hang up"

"Hi I just wanted to see how you are doing."
"I'm great, but can I call you back?"
"Sure!"
*click*

Uh......
 

elrohwen

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I HATE that people in moves and tv turn the pages of books and magazines backwards. I've noticed it less recently, but most of the time when they are reading they turn the pages from left to right. I guess it's so it seems to go from right to left from the viewers' perspective, but it just looks wrong! We've all watched someone read a book or magazine and we know which way the pages should turn.
 

iheartscience

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Ha I always annoy my husband when we watch movies or a TV show because of my inability to completely suspend my disbelief! I can't think of any specific examples right now, but I especially get annoyed when the characters do things that are completely out of character.

Lately I've seen several different movies or TV shows that made me say "No woman would ever do that!" Kind of like in Sex and the City when Carrie tells her boyfriend Berger that his book is good, except that no woman in NYC would wear a scrunchy. I'll think about this and try to remember exactly what has annoyed me lately!
 

dragonfly411

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SO TRUE about Sweet Home Alabama.
 

Circe

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Echidna|1305532720|2922872 said:
Guilty Pleasure|1305530605|2922864 said:
Besides the mess-ups, what are some things that are actually written into the plot that are weird compared to normal life? One that I ALWAYS notice are the expensive shoes - sure, a government employee on her feet all day is going to wear Louboutins. :twirl:
The one I always notice are the apartments/houses. HOW does Katherine Heigl's character in '27 Dresses' own such a great apartment in Big City, USA when she is a personal assistant?! I don't know the real estate market over there that well but I am under the impression that all those gorgeous Brownstones are expensive...
Ooooooooooh, I am SO with you on the real estate - every single show or movie set in NYC is guilty of this. Carrie's walk-in closet in NY? Yeah, in RL, that's spelled "s-e-c-o-n-d-b-e-d-r-o-o-m." Don't even get me started on the apartments in "Friends." "How I met your Mother" tries ... but, seriously, they should mostly look like Lily's "living alone" pad, not like Barney's place.

What gets me in the translation issue. I realize Hollywood is assuming only a small percentage of the audience understands, say, Russian, but ... in Vin Diesel's "Triple X," there's a scene in which two Russian bad-guys are subtitled saying "Let's go drink some American vodka!"

I will pause for your suspension of disbelief, as even non-Russians know how likely that is.

What they're actually saying is some choice Russian profanity that would not have gotten past the FCC in English.

And they all do it! If it's a recognizable American actor, odds are good, they're probably inadvertantly doing something obscene or at least obscenely (seriously, Wesley Snipes trying to speak Russian at the end of "Blade?" ... painful). But if it's a no-name Russian actor? Yeah, it doesn't bear any relation to the subtitles you see on the screen, and more often than not it involves either female dogs or somebody doing something to somebody's mother.

Given my fairly target-specific nature of my knowledge of Spanish, I'm pretty sure it's not just Russian, at that. I can take the profanity, but it's completely destroyed my faith in subtitles.
 

iheartscience

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I finally thought of something-I HATE how all the female doctors on shows wear super low cut shirts, crazy tight pencil skirts, etc. (Like Cuddy on House.) Can't say I've ever seen a female doctor wear anything close to that...or even a female professional of any kind!
 

Guilty Pleasure

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thing2of2|1305558459|2923024 said:
I finally thought of something-I HATE how all the female doctors on shows wear super low cut shirts, crazy tight pencil skirts, etc. (Like Cuddy on House.) Can't say I've ever seen a female doctor wear anything close to that...or even a female professional of any kind!

Haha, and Amber Tamblyn's skirts! are you serious? I know that she is supposed to be the young doctor, but even a genius 20 year old med student would have enough sense to wear skirts that aren't higher than mid thigh... especially when they're not even flattering to her body at all. Wearing tights does not make it okay to wear short skirts!

Bean, so true - it irks when me when they just hang up the phone without saying goodbye. I think I'm going to try doing that for a week, just to see how weird it is.

Circe, that is really funny about the Russian subtitles.

Gamergirl, I know what you mean about Angela, yet it doesn't bug me. I LOVE her and Hodgins, so nothing they do bothers me. When they got married, I called my mom and told her that I could quit watching now that they had a happy ending. Then when they got pregnant, I told my mom that I would write a strongly worded letter if they messed with the baby (I wouldn't actually, but you get the picture). I find the Bones/Booth romance mildly interesting, but the writers better not mess with Angela and Hodgins, or I'm done! :twirl:
 

Laila619

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Oh yeah, I have a hard time with this. Yesterday, DH and I finally saw "Fast Five" and the whole time, I kept whispering to DH that the things going on were SO unrealistic, lol. Most thrillers/action flicks are like this for me, but they're still fun.
 

MonkeyPie

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Laila619|1305562098|2923070 said:
Oh yeah, I have a hard time with this. Yesterday, DH and I finally saw "Fast Five" and the whole time, I kept whispering to DH that the things going on were SO unrealistic, lol. Most thrillers/action flicks are like this for me, but they're still fun.
Like the fact that when the cars fell out of the train, the suspension/frame would have been DESTROYED. But nope, in the movies they just drove away in it! Haha! I loved the movie, though, it was great. And one more is coming!

I have to agree about Amber Tamblyn's skirts. She dresses so cute (to me, anyway), but kind of weird. I have yet to see her in something that suits her, and I love her character.
 

taovandel

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Soaps: When they just randomly replace an actor....or when the babies magically become teenagers. Or when they are standing right outside of a room where people are talking loudly and the person can't hear them...ugh!
 

Laila619

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MonkeyPie|1305562333|2923074 said:
Laila619|1305562098|2923070 said:
Oh yeah, I have a hard time with this. Yesterday, DH and I finally saw "Fast Five" and the whole time, I kept whispering to DH that the things going on were SO unrealistic, lol. Most thrillers/action flicks are like this for me, but they're still fun.
Like the fact that when the cars fell out of the train, the suspension/frame would have been DESTROYED.
:lol: Exactly. How about driving through the city streets with the vault attached to their cars, and it taking out huge buildings? Enjoyable movie though, and you can't beat Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, and the Rock! :rodent:
 
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