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Old 08-12-2019, 02:09 PM
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How aware are movie directors of movie cliches?


The cliche about handguns having unlimited bullets and never needing reloading is way old, but some movies still show it anyway (as well as the cliche about someone racking a gun to make a menacing click-clack sound just before pointing the gun at someone, which is a needless action) - is it that movie directors do not know that these are cliche, or they just like it (or think that the audience prefers it this way) and so they still have pistols with 400 bullets?

(ditto for many other cliches as well)
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Old 08-12-2019, 02:53 PM
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I'm not a director, but I know that all directors face the same issues, including having to work with what they have. For example, directors rely upon second units, who can get enough things wrong that the director is forced by schedule and budget to use the film/video they are given. Also, directors rely on other crew members for continuity, set dressing, props, firearms handling, animal wrangling, and so forth.

So it's not surprising when there's something in the second unit material that draws attention when it shouldn't. Or the firearms guy loads only two blanks and the slide locks back at the end of a shot, even though the gun is fired again in a subsequent shot.

I used to let these things bother me, but I've started cutting the directors more slack recently. The director is probably concentrating on the actors and the movement at the moment. Later on, in the editing room, he sees that the slide on the pistol is locked back. What's he going to do? Set up and re-shoot the scene two months later? Same with the "infinite bullets" trope. Maybe there was a reload scheduled for a shot. Maybe it didn't fit or had to be cut for time. Maybe everyone was paying attention to something else that day of shooting.
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Old 08-12-2019, 03:44 PM
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I agree with Z&E.

Long screed/rant deleted. Tl;dr version: 90% just don't give a shit and are just churning out a paycheck.
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Old 08-12-2019, 03:54 PM
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I suspect that it comes down to the fact that they're creating fictional entertainment, not documenataries. A (likely small) number of viewers get perturbed over that inaccuracy (or any other factual inaccuracy that movies regularly engage in), but most people either don't notice, or don't care.

I also suspect that, even for those directors (and writers) who actually know enough about firearms to know how they're *supposed* to work, it comes down to whether things like reloading add to the story. If the need to reload is relevant to the plot, you'll see a movie gun that needs reloading. If the plot is simply based on bullets flying, the guns are "able" to hold enough bullets.
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Old 08-12-2019, 04:03 PM
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I think they're well aware of (at least the most common cliches/tropes). They (mostly) all went to film school and were taught plenty of these things. Many of these things, like unlimited bullets, are to save time. The directors know how guns work, the actors know how guns work, the script supervisors know how guns work, the props department know how guns work and all of them know that we know how guns work. Similarly, as stated above, unless it plays into the plot, we really don't need to seem them reloading.
Just off the top of my head, Deadpool and Dirty Harry both make a point of showing a gun to have a finite number of bullets. I know if seen plenty of other movies where the ammo runs out or the gun jams and there's even movies like Terminator (2?) where we see Arnold spinning the shotgun around to chamber the next round (which has been done in other movies as well).

So, yeah, plenty of counterexamples, but typically only used as a plot device or to make you feel a certain way about a character. Otherwise, it's infinite bullets for everyone.
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Old 08-12-2019, 04:11 PM
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A slight hijack (because it's not a trope)...

Misspellings DO drive me nuts. I mean, the set guy has to produce a lettered arch that says "Mosswood Cemetery," but the set ends up with an arch that says "Mosswood Cemetary." The guy had ONE thing to do...and he fucked it up. Same thing with a prop newspaper that has the headline "Prominent banker killed when breaks fail." Drives me up the wall.

Again, that's what's there the day the director has to shoot. Is he going to reschedule and take the hit, or just keep going and stay on schedule?

Last edited by ZonexandScout; 08-12-2019 at 04:12 PM.
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Old 08-12-2019, 04:35 PM
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The guy had ONE thing to do...and he fucked it up.
I feel like the 'set guy' had a whole lot more than one thing to do. On the other hand, the dinosaur supervisor on Jurassic Park. Well, he did kinda fuck up.

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Again, that's what's there the day the director has to shoot. Is he going to reschedule and take the hit, or just keep going and stay on schedule?
If it's not too huge, it probably just makes for good entries on IMDB goofs pages and youtube videos about mistakes in movies.
People like that kinda thing.
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Old 08-12-2019, 05:00 PM
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Some cliches are useful shorthand even though they're inaccurate because they're so common. They don't have to reflect reality, they have to convey necessary information to the viewer without getting bogged down.

Swords always make that "sliding metal" sound when sheathed, even though real scabbards are probably not lined with metal to dull the blade, because audiences can tell that's what's happening.

A character always pulls up and parks right in front of where they're headed because that way you get the information about the character arriving somewhere all in one frame.

All wild birds are Red Tailed Hawks because that's what we expect birds of prey to sound like.

Characters have Hollywood OS installed on their computers with 72-point fonts because real computers have way too much information to parse when shown briefly on screen.
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Old 08-12-2019, 05:40 PM
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Are you bothered by the equivalent cliche where characters are always awake (unlimited bullets) and are never shown sleeping (reloading)? Is it preferable that characters never eat (unlimited bullets), or that the director shows characters eating, drinking, and eliminating (reloading)?

https://www.videomaker.com/article/c...time-in-cinema
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Old 08-12-2019, 05:51 PM
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I'm not convinced all directors know how guns work. Some are as gun-scared as the right wing meme about Hollywood liberals would have you believe.

I'm also fully convinced that Hollywood filmmakers have never heard of maps, or have been out of the city. Otherwise, what explains the fact that characters never use the Interstate Highway System? You do not, and probably physically cannot in any reasonable time, drive from LA to Texas on two lane roads.
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Old 08-12-2019, 06:12 PM
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I feel like it should be pointed out that real gunfights are either over in two seconds or four hours.

The only way to make this "cool" is to make everyone miss every single shot they fire and yet largely stay out in the open or run towards another human being with a gun rather than do what's smart and hang back and try to snipe.

Any realistic fight scene would either be like the one scene in Indiana Jones where he pulls the gun, shoots the guy with the sword, and carries on or it would be like those hostage situation movies where you see people hanging out looking at one another over the parking lot and occasionally yelling a curse at the other side. No Matrix. No T2. No El Mariachi. No Crank. No Shoot Em Up.

And, to be fair, there are ways to do 2 second shootouts and 2 hour standoffs in an entertaining and interesting way, but it's fair to say that viewers don't want to have most of their entrainment be that, but nor do they want most of their movies to be plot.

Once you've decided that you're going to have your expert gunfighters stand in the open and miss each shot at each other, caring about bullet reloads is sort of inconsequential.
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Old 08-12-2019, 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Just Asking Questions View Post
I'm not convinced all directors know how guns work. Some are as gun-scared as the right wing meme about Hollywood liberals would have you believe.

I'm also fully convinced that Hollywood filmmakers have never heard of maps, or have been out of the city. ...

What incentive do they have to get these details correct? Most viewers don't care. Even if you care, do you care enough that you'd stop watching movies from that studio/director/writer?
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Old 08-12-2019, 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by road_lobo View Post
Are you bothered by the equivalent cliche where characters are always awake (unlimited bullets) and are never shown sleeping (reloading)? Is it preferable that characters never eat (unlimited bullets), or that the director shows characters eating, drinking, and eliminating (reloading)?

https://www.videomaker.com/article/c...time-in-cinema
Those aren't equivalent, because there is nearly always a cut to a later time in these instances, and thus sleep (and eating) could have taken place offscreen. However, with the infinite ammo trope, it is most often a single continuous scene, where time to reload is not available.

I didn't check your link (because it appears to be a slideshow), but I do know a better example of what I think you are getting at: time compression in school classes. Plenty of times you'll hear the starting bell of the class, have the class, and then the bell will ring to end the class, all in a continuous scene. And almost never did enough time actually pass.

Yes, sometimes you just don't see everything that are supposed to assume happened, even without any cuts. Instead of cutting, time can just be compressed.
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Old 08-12-2019, 06:41 PM
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I feel like the 'set guy' had a whole lot more than one thing to do. On the other hand, the dinosaur supervisor on Jurassic Park. Well, he did kinda fuck up.
Just in case you were wondering, he was actually the guy they originally hired to do the stop-motion dinosaurs. When they decided to go with CGI instead, they still kept him on as the supervisor for the dinosaur effects, because he knew how to make dinosaurs look good.

Hence the title "Dinosaur Supervisor."

He has since been demoted to "Dinosaur Consultant" in Jurassic World.
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Old 08-12-2019, 06:45 PM
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What incentive do they have to get these details correct? Most viewers don't care. Even if you care, do you care enough that you'd stop watching movies from that studio/director/writer?
How do you KNOW most viewers don't care? I submit a whole heck of a lot care, but we all realize there's not a damn thing we can do about it. All we can do it post on message boards, and post "goofs" in imdb.

It is most of Hollywood that doesn't care. When action movies make billions of dollars, there's no incentive to care. But individually, there could be a billion people who DO care, but they are just powerless individuals. Everyone in the theater could simultaneously cringe at needless gun racking, but no one is going to stand up and complain, or leave. We just wish they'd fucking stop already. So no one knows how many of us there are.

We are legion. [racks shotgun] And we are pissed. [racks shotgun again]

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Old 08-12-2019, 06:51 PM
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I'm also fully convinced that Hollywood filmmakers have never heard of maps, or have been out of the city. Otherwise, what explains the fact that characters never use the Interstate Highway System? You do not, and probably physically cannot in any reasonable time, drive from LA to Texas on two lane roads.
But two-lane roads look better, and given the choice between realism and a good shot, 9 times out of ten, a director is going to choose the good shot.

Plus, 2-lane highways have much more storytelling options. You can pull over and have a meaningful conversation, you can drive through a small forgotten town, you can watch a sunset without dozens of semitrailers roaring by, and lots more things you can't do on a freeway. Freeways are boring, and thus not conductive to good storytelling.

Writing is hard. Sometimes, you can adapt your story to fit reality, but that doesn't always work, and then you have to alter reality to tell the story you want to tell.

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Old 08-13-2019, 09:32 AM
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Just watched Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid, and running out of ammo is a major plot point. They end up wounded at the end because they spent ten minutes trying to run back to the horses to grab their extra bandoliers of bullets for a shoot out.

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But two-lane roads look better, and given the choice between realism and a good shot, 9 times out of ten, a director is going to choose the good shot.
The highway/freeway choice is a good example. That's true, and I'd rather be entertained than nitpicking a movie.

And in a well-written movie with good casting where (and here's the bottom line for me) I CARE about the characters, I can ignore minor cliches... which are mostly good ol' fashioned mistakes.

But damn, why can't we have both? A great movie without idiotic mistakes?
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Old 08-13-2019, 09:37 AM
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I feel like the 'set guy' had a whole lot more than one thing to do. On the other hand, the dinosaur supervisor on Jurassic Park. Well, he did kinda fuck up.


If it's not too huge, it probably just makes for good entries on IMDB goofs pages and youtube videos about mistakes in movies.
People like that kinda thing.
In my defense, I didn't really mean that the "set guy" made the sign or the prop newspaper himself/herself. He/she gave the job to some technician or mechanic and THAT guy screwed it up. (I'm thinking about a particular movie where the sign was made out of individual black wrought iron letters. You know they gave the job to some welding or fence shop and they got back a beautiful arched sign, complete with misspelling. I'm sure it took hours to make and the subcontractor couldn't take a minute to check a dictionary.)

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Old 08-13-2019, 11:48 AM
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I'm not convinced all directors know how guns work. Some are as gun-scared as the right wing meme about Hollywood liberals would have you believe.
I can understand that some people may not understand that you can run a machine gun, on full auto, for minutes at a time. Knowing how long a magazine will last in a gun like that isn't common knowledge. OTOH, I don't care how gun scared you are, you understand that a revolver or pistol can't be shot forever. Even if you didn't know, someone, at some point, will tell you. The have infinite bullets because the director doesn't want to stop the actual to reload unless it moves the plot forward.
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Old 08-13-2019, 12:33 PM
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I'm not convinced all directors know how guns work. Some are as gun-scared as the right wing meme about Hollywood liberals would have you believe.

I'm also fully convinced that Hollywood filmmakers have never heard of maps, or have been out of the city. Otherwise, what explains the fact that characters never use the Interstate Highway System? You do not, and probably physically cannot in any reasonable time, drive from LA to Texas on two lane roads.
Hitchcock's Law: Because that would be dull.

"Accuracy" must always be sacrificed to the story. If may be OK with you to watch a movie about someone traveling on the Interstate or something else equivalently boring, but most viewers would hate it.

No one ever left a movie saying, "That was really dull, but they got the trivial details right."
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Old 08-13-2019, 12:37 PM
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But two-lane roads look better, and given the choice between realism and a good shot, 9 times out of ten, a director is going to choose the good shot.

Plus, 2-lane highways have much more storytelling options. You can pull over and have a meaningful conversation,
In Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion, the titular duo was driving from LA to Tucson for the titular event, and shown to be doing so on a two lane desert road. In real life, you get on I-10 in LA and get off I-10 in Tucson. I'm pretty sure it is not possible to find a two lane route connecting the two. It's desert. The old two-lane roads are now incorporated into I-10.

But, they did manage to pull over and have a meaningful conversation, so there is that.

A good director could just have them talk in the car, or at a wayside, or a gas station, or maybe the Picacho Peak Dairy Queen! Anywhere but a deserted two lane highway.

The Cabazon dinosaurs*, the Palm Springs area wind farm, Hadley's, the George S Patton museum, the Desert Center palm tree farm, Quartzite, or the Mirana air park are all photogenic and/or quirky places to film a meaningful conversation that are easy and believable stops along I-10. Style doesn't have to override believability.

*Tell 'em Large Marge sent ya!

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Old 08-13-2019, 12:47 PM
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But real cemeteries hire the same iron shops to make real cemetery gates. And sometimes, the iron shop makes mistakes on those, too. So sometimes real cemeteries have misspelled signs. If movie cemeteries, then, also sometimes have misspelled signs, that's just realism.

Likewise, a lot of mistakes purportedly made by directors could just as well be faithful depictions of mistakes made by characters. Like, in Firefly, when Jayne needs to fire at a target in vacuum, but it's complicated because he needs to keep his gun in an atmosphere. Sure, I know that Vera wouldn't actually need oxygen... but does Jayne know that? His character definitely isn't the sharpest log in the woodpile; it's quite plausible that he doesn't know, or thinks he knows things that are wrong.
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Old 08-13-2019, 12:56 PM
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But real cemeteries hire the same iron shops to make real cemetery gates. And sometimes, the iron shop makes mistakes on those, too. So sometimes real cemeteries have misspelled signs. If movie cemeteries, then, also sometimes have misspelled signs, that's just realism...
When it was first brought up, I thought -ARY was probably more accurate. I was picturing an Authentic Olde West cemetery, where a misspelling probably happened all the time, and nobody who bothers walking out to the ol' buryin' ground is quite sure how to spell it...
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Old 08-13-2019, 01:00 PM
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Since they do this as a living, they would have to be totally aware.
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Old 08-13-2019, 01:57 PM
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The have infinite bullets because the director doesn't want to stop the actual to reload unless it moves the plot forward.
Or deliberately, to hilarious effect. "The old man's still an artist with a Thompson."
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Old 08-13-2019, 03:31 PM
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But real cemeteries hire the same iron shops to make real cemetery gates. And sometimes, the iron shop makes mistakes on those, too. So sometimes real cemeteries have misspelled signs. If movie cemeteries, then, also sometimes have misspelled signs, that's just realism.

Likewise, a lot of mistakes purportedly made by directors could just as well be faithful depictions of mistakes made by characters. Like, in Firefly, when Jayne needs to fire at a target in vacuum, but it's complicated because he needs to keep his gun in an atmosphere. Sure, I know that Vera wouldn't actually need oxygen... but does Jayne know that? His character definitely isn't the sharpest log in the woodpile; it's quite plausible that he doesn't know, or thinks he knows things that are wrong.
Sort of plausible, but I gotta disagree. It's one thing for some six-grave family cemetery to have a sign misspelled, but we're talking about a big, been-around-long-enough-for-someone-to-point-out-the-error cemetery. If you're in the cemetery business, you know how to spell it and you're going to have the sign made right or corrected (at the manufacturer's expense).

Same with major misspellings in the fake newspapers, especially with older, major city papers. Misspellings and typos were usually caught. Not always, but usually. When I see one, I think "that's a production assistant/prop guy who didn't do well in school and created this the night before without showing it to anyone." Takes me right out of the movie and gets me wondering why that person didn't use spell-check.
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Old 08-13-2019, 04:03 PM
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In Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion, the titular duo was driving from LA to Tucson for the titular event, and shown to be doing so on a two lane desert road. In real life, you get on I-10 in LA and get off I-10 in Tucson. I'm pretty sure it is not possible to find a two lane route connecting the two. It's desert. The old two-lane roads are now incorporated into I-10.
I think it is still possible, at least for most of the distance. CA-62 (the Twentynine Palms Highway) and Arizona 72/85 are generally two lane.
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Old 08-13-2019, 04:43 PM
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No one ever left a movie saying, "That was really dull, but they got the trivial details right."
Not true. I'm sure people have walked out of a theater saying that. They walked out fifteen minutes after it started.
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Old 08-13-2019, 04:48 PM
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I think it is still possible, at least for most of the distance. CA-62 (the Twentynine Palms Highway) and Arizona 72/85 are generally two lane.
Or just go through Mexico.
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Old 08-13-2019, 05:22 PM
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I think it is still possible, at least for most of the distance. CA-62 (the Twentynine Palms Highway) and Arizona 72/85 are generally two lane.
It only adds 4 hours, but the scenery is nice!

And you're running the I-10 frontage road from Casa Grande the last 40 miles.

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No one ever left a movie saying, "That was really dull, but they got the trivial details right."
No, but they leave all the time saying "why'd they do something so stupid, when a little effort could have cleaned it up?" And "if they'd just ask us, they'd get it right for free." And "that was a good movie, but it could be better if they'd only have fixed X". "But they can't because RealityChuck only believes in absolutes. In his world, a movie can either be accurate or boring."
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Old 08-13-2019, 05:50 PM
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No, but they leave all the time saying "why'd they do something so stupid, when a little effort could have cleaned it up?" And "if they'd just ask us, they'd get it right for free." And "that was a good movie, but it could be better if they'd only have fixed X". "But they can't because RealityChuck only believes in absolutes. In his world, a movie can either be accurate or boring."
Do they though? Are there that many people going "I would like Hobbs & Shaw if they reloaded more." I'd wager that the vast majority of movie goers aren't that nitpicky.
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Old 08-13-2019, 06:06 PM
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Do they though? Are there that many people going "I would like Hobbs & Shaw if they reloaded more." I'd wager that the vast majority of movie goers aren't that nitpicky.
But I bet there are thousands who react when:

Person A is holding a gun to Person B's head as coercion
Person B does not react
Person A cycles the action to emphasize "he really means it"
Bonus eye roll if person A cycles it again

Everyone who has ever handled a semi-automatic is going "so, you didn't mean it the first time? or you had a round in the chamber that you just ejected?"

Not to mention the eye strain from watching a movie with silenced weapons that go "ffft".

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Old 08-13-2019, 06:15 PM
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Speaking of Hollywood professionals:

One of the recent Elementary episodes had a scene where a guy is pretending to be a terrorist, and buys a rifle and a large propane tank. The propane tank salesman tells the buyer to be careful shooting around the tank, as it could go BOOM.

Of course, it won't, and a person that sells propane and propane accessories should know that. You shoot a propane tank with a standard rifle round and all it does it put a hole in the tank. A 9mm might not even dent the bottle.

And Hollywood et al use that one all the damn time. Even in my favorite Bond film.

Last edited by Just Asking Questions; 08-13-2019 at 06:16 PM.
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Old 08-13-2019, 06:22 PM
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But I bet there are thousands who react when:

Person A is holding a gun to Person B's head as coercion
Person B does not react
Person A cycles the action to emphasize "he really means it"
Bonus eye roll if person A cycles it again

Everyone who has ever handled a semi-automatic is going "so, you didn't mean it the first time? or you had a round in the chamber that you just ejected?"

Not to mention the eye strain from watching a movie with silenced weapons that go "ffft".
If they treated firearms realistically in movies, you'd just need a new hobby, since the hobby of complaining about unrealistic firearms in movies will have gone away.

In all seriousness...there are, undoubtedly, many people, like yourself, who know enough enough firearms to know that they're used unrealistically in movies. Of those people, *some*, like yourself, are bothered enough about it that it takes you out of the moment; the rest probably notice it, but shrug, and don't let it distract them from the film.

It's pretty clear to me that a lot of that unrealistic usage either (a) has become tropes in action movies, and/or (b) is done because realistic usage may distract from the scene (such as reloading).

It's also pretty clear to me that while some people, like yourself, are bothered by it, not *enough* people are bothered by it to get the industry to change how they do it. Action movies with lots of unrealistic usage of firearms can do really, really well at the box office.

Long ago, I realized that there's a rule of thumb about TV shows and movies: if you know a lot about a topic (and especially if you're passionate about a topic), you're likely to be disappointed by shows and movies that feature that topic, because, unless they're intentionally striving to be highly accurate, the odds are very high that you're going to be distracted by the inaccuracies (which come in because the writer and director are trying to tell a story, not make a documentary). I can't watch shows about ad agencies, for example, because I work in the industry, and I find myself getting hung up on the details they get wrong. Queen is one of my all-time favorite rock bands, and when I went to see Bohemian Rhapsody, I had to intentionally shut down that part of my brain, because they *did* take liberties on things like the timing of events, to tell a compelling story.

Last edited by kenobi 65; 08-13-2019 at 06:24 PM.
  #35  
Old 08-13-2019, 06:36 PM
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But I bet there are thousands who react when:

Person A is holding a gun to Person B's head as coercion
Person B does not react
Person A cycles the action to emphasize "he really means it"
Bonus eye roll if person A cycles it again

Everyone who has ever handled a semi-automatic is going "so, you didn't mean it the first time? or you had a round in the chamber that you just ejected?"

Not to mention the eye strain from watching a movie with silenced weapons that go "ffft".
When a movie is bringing in hundreds of millions of dollars, I guessing the director isn't going to be worried that 'thousands' of people noticed the gun being racked twice.
Also, all those people that noticed, paid to see it.
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Old 08-13-2019, 07:24 PM
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When a movie is bringing in hundreds of millions of dollars, I guessing the director isn't going to be worried that 'thousands' of people noticed the gun being racked twice.
Also, all those people that noticed, paid to see it.
Well, that's the problem isn't it. It doesn't matter to Hollywood if they make a good product or not, because the system is set up that we don't know if the product is good until we have already paid for it. You buy a bad burger, you don't go back to that chain again. It can make a difference. You see a bad movie, what can you do? Just not see it again. Which is what most people already do, even if they liked it. Makes no difference to Hollywood.

It could be millions. Billions, who care. No one can say, because once we paid our 12 bucks the filmmakers are done with us.

Just because Endgame made a gazillion bucks doesn't mean there weren't tons of people unhappy with the ending. And just because I hated the ending of Endgame doesn't mean I won't watch the next one, because it will probably be enjoyable. But it could be better. How are we as individuals supposed to tell the directors that it makes a difference? We're just suppose to keep eating their crap because the system can't be changed?

Last edited by Just Asking Questions; 08-13-2019 at 07:26 PM.
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Old 08-13-2019, 07:32 PM
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Just because you don't like it doesn't make it a bad product.
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  #38  
Old 08-13-2019, 07:54 PM
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Well, that's the problem isn't it. It doesn't matter to Hollywood if they make a good product or not, because the system is set up that we don't know if the product is good until we have already paid for it.
In fact, the studios actually do an awful lot of market research, particularly on bigger releases. They do test screenings, among other things, to make sure that what they put into the theaters isn't going to disappoint or tick off audiences. The studios can, and regularly *do*, re-edit, and even re-shoot, scenes that prove to be problematic.

If unrealistic use of firearms was enough of an annoyance for enough moviegoers -- and, conversely, if rigorously realistic use of firearms *would* result in even stronger ticket sales -- I am pretty damned certain that the studios would have figured this out by now, and reacted accordingly.
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Old 08-13-2019, 08:25 PM
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OK, I feel like we got bogged down too much in the "errors" or "unlimited ammo" thing. About cliches in general:

One of the biggest reasons Game of Thrones was such a success at first was because of its willingness to kill off characters whom audiences would normally expect most TV shows to preserve (the death of Eddard Stark, for instance.) That willingness to defy the "hero always gets rescued from the chopping block at the last moment" cliche was one reason for its popularity.

But with other cliches, it seems that directors persist in them simply because of habit and inertia.
  #40  
Old 08-14-2019, 06:56 AM
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Some cliches are useful shorthand even though they're inaccurate because they're so common. They don't have to reflect reality, they have to convey necessary information to the viewer without getting bogged down.
This.

Many, many times, clichés are there because reality just doesn't sound/look "right."

e.g.
  • Drop a lit match in a pool of gas and it'll extinguish the match, not catch fire
  • Cars don't explode when running off a cliff
  • Cars don't explode when you shoot a gas tank
  • Gun shots certainly don't sound the way they do in movies
  • Lasers don't make sound. Many times they aren't even seen, except on the target. No pew-pew-pew
  • All planets don't have 1g surface gravity
  • Lights inside a space helmet will totally ruin night vision. Great for illuminating characters faces, though
  • Heroes never ever have to stand and wait three minutes for a subway train. Unless suspense can be added from cross cutting with villains approaching the platform
  • Being hit with a fire extinguisher in the head will only lead to our hero shaking his head briefly and resume to beat up the bad guy
  • Anyone who's had abdominal surgery, done by medical pros, knows that the pain and discomfort leaves on bedridden for a couple of days. Stab wounds in movies are fixed with duct tape and a shot of booze

ASF.

Just Asking Questions wants more realism in movies. I'm wondering if that extends to all aspects, or just the ones he is knowledgeable about.

Last edited by Charlie Tan; 08-14-2019 at 06:56 AM.
  #41  
Old 08-14-2019, 09:23 AM
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Many, many times, clichés are there because reality just doesn't sound/look "right."

e.g.
  • Drop a lit match in a pool of gas and it'll extinguish the match, not catch fire


I do not know where people get this very mistaken belief. There was a friend of mine when we were kids that would take a can of gasoline, pour some out on the ground and throw a match at it. It would absolutely, positively go whoosh before the match came to rest.

A pool of gas? Big whoosh.

It is dangerous to be posting such a potentially harmful misnomer around.
  #42  
Old 08-14-2019, 09:29 AM
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I do not know where people get this very mistaken belief. There was a friend of mine when we were kids that would take a can of gasoline, pour some out on the ground and throw a match at it. It would absolutely, positively go whoosh before the match came to rest.

A pool of gas? Big whoosh.

It is dangerous to be posting such a potentially harmful misnomer around.
I used to do that too, but it's not 100% reliable and certainly not the explosion that explosion that Hollywood would have you believe it is.
  #43  
Old 08-14-2019, 09:34 AM
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The question is not whether some audience members will be annoyed by an inaccuracy. The question is whether they'll be annoyed enough to not want to see the movie (or future movies from the same studio/director/writers etc.).

Quote:
Quoth kenobi 65:

Long ago, I realized that there's a rule of thumb about TV shows and movies: if you know a lot about a topic (and especially if you're passionate about a topic), you're likely to be disappointed by shows and movies that feature that topic, because, unless they're intentionally striving to be highly accurate, the odds are very high that you're going to be distracted by the inaccuracies (which come in because the writer and director are trying to tell a story, not make a documentary).
Hollywood is actually getting pretty good about this, lately, though. I can think of at least three recent movies, for instance, with characters doing general relativity. And even though the exact nature of their work wasn't all that relevant to the plot, and they know that it's going to go right over the heads of the vast majority of viewers, when you see the whiteboards in the background, the stuff on the boards is right. I guess they've realized that, even though the number of additional audience members that'll get them is really small, physicists will happily provide that sort of material for a song, so the net cost-benefit is worth it.
  #44  
Old 08-14-2019, 09:37 AM
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I do not know where people get this very mistaken belief. There was a friend of mine when we were kids that would take a can of gasoline, pour some out on the ground and throw a match at it. It would absolutely, positively go whoosh before the match came to rest.

A pool of gas? Big whoosh.

It is dangerous to be posting such a potentially harmful misnomer around.
I have read that jet fuel won't burn in that way (gasoline definitely might, but jet fuel is much safer.) There was an airline executive who once dramatically stood in a puddle of jet fuel and dropped a match to prove such a point.
  #45  
Old 08-14-2019, 09:43 AM
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Just because Endgame made a gazillion bucks doesn't mean there weren't tons of people unhappy with the ending. And just because I hated the ending of Endgame doesn't mean I won't watch the next one, because it will probably be enjoyable. But it could be better. How are we as individuals supposed to tell the directors that it makes a difference? We're just suppose to keep eating their crap because the system can't be changed?
Don't watch movies by directions that do things you don't like. Tons of people won't see a Woody Allen (due to his style, not personal life) or Quentin Tarentino
movie.
However, outright stating that you hated the ending of one movie and will most likely see the next one (not just by the same director, part of the same franchise) you're doing just about everything in your power to tell them you want more of the same, which is exactly the opposite of what you're trying to do.

I understand, it's just one aspect of that movie you didn't like, but if the way a gun functions pulls you out of a movie, don't see a movie made by those people anymore. That'll teach'em.


Quote:
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Just Asking Questions wants more realism in movies. I'm wondering if that extends to all aspects, or just the ones he is knowledgeable about.
Probably not just the ones he's knowledgeable about, but that plus just the ones he notices.
Going back to the gun thing, most people, I'd wager, don't even notice that someone shot 15 bullets from their revolver. If you asked them, they might not know how many it actually holds, but they would probably guess less than that.

Just think about how many continuity errors go unnoticed for years.
  #46  
Old 08-14-2019, 09:51 AM
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The question is not whether some audience members will be annoyed by an inaccuracy. The question is whether they'll be annoyed enough to not want to see the movie (or future movies from the same studio/director/writers etc.).


Hollywood is actually getting pretty good about this, lately, though. I can think of at least three recent movies, for instance, with characters doing general relativity. And even though the exact nature of their work wasn't all that relevant to the plot, and they know that it's going to go right over the heads of the vast majority of viewers, when you see the whiteboards in the background, the stuff on the boards is right. I guess they've realized that, even though the number of additional audience members that'll get them is really small, physicists will happily provide that sort of material for a song, so the net cost-benefit is worth it.
I think at least some of that has to do with better picture quality and people just being more nitpicky, even for fun. Also, what's on there could even be considered an easter egg. I remember hearing Vince Gilligan talking about all the papers you'd see on a desk, the diplomas one the wall, the books on shelves etc. Back in the day, they'd all be random props that may or may not have anything at all to do with the show. Papers were just filled with meaningless Latin words. But, according to him, with 1080i and DVRs that can pause, people will stop the scene and and actually read those things. He knows that if it's gibberish, it's not a big deal, but if it's realistic it adds to the show.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Velocity View Post
I have read that jet fuel won't burn in that way (gasoline definitely might, but jet fuel is much safer.) There was an airline executive who once dramatically stood in a puddle of jet fuel and dropped a match to prove such a point.
Yes, IIRC, Jet-A is similar to kerosene. It's needs to be safer because any type of fire on a plane has such a high chance of being catastrophic. Also, it makes me feel better since there's several, enormous silos of Jet Fuel close enough to my house that if they were to explode, I'd be in danger (or probably at least evacuated).
  #47  
Old 08-14-2019, 09:53 AM
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Just because Endgame made a gazillion bucks doesn't mean there weren't tons of people unhappy with the ending
Yeah, that little noise at the end?

"Tons of people" hated that (Cite? I weighed them).


I went to Hobbes & Shaw last night, partly to see the cliches that I've read about in a couple of threads here. Oh, they were all there, plus a few dozen more.

But they didn't bother me, because the whole thing was so over the top that I just shrugged and said "Well, in this world, you can ______ any time you want to." Our laws of physics just didn't apply there, and apparently, I'd accepted that in the first five minutes, and could enjoy it.
  #48  
Old 08-14-2019, 09:54 AM
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For a revolver, specifically, I think most people know of "six-shooters". Though some might be surprised to learn that some revolvers hold more than that, and plenty won't notice that a particular handgun is a revolver.

For a non-revolver handgun, I think the most common clip size is ten? But it could be more or less, even for the same gun? I'm not sure. But even for a continuous scene (which is a lot rarer than most people realize; even a single "scene" will usually have a whole bunch of cuts), it's pretty easy to assume that people are just reloading at some moment when the focus isn't on them (one of those times when they duck behind cover, for instance).
  #49  
Old 08-14-2019, 10:31 AM
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How do you KNOW most viewers don't care? I submit a whole heck of a lot care, but we all realize there's not a damn thing we can do about it. All we can do it post on message boards, and post "goofs" in imdb.
This is a level of nitpickery I had never considered. Seriously, never once watching a movie have I thought "why aren't they on an interstate?" I'd be shocked if a majority of a viewers gave a shit. Hell, I've be shocked if even 10% of viewers cared.
  #50  
Old 08-14-2019, 10:40 AM
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For a non-revolver handgun, I think the most common clip size is ten? But it could be more or less, even for the same gun?
There's a bi-modal distribution of pistol magazine sizes. Single stack magazines tend to be about 8 shots. Double stack magazines tend to be 13-15 or so. You can also change the capacity of many magazine fed pistols by using higher capacity magazines. In many guns, higher capacity magazines will stick further out of the gun's bottom but otherwise not affect functioning much.

There are two groups of guns with exactly 10-round magazines, but neither figures much into Hollywood blockbusters. The first group is .22 caliber target pistols. I'm not sure why so many of them hold ten rounds but that seems to be typical. The second group are guns with magazines that are left over from the the period of the mid-1990s assault weapons ban. The assault weapons ban prohibited the manufacture and sale of new high-capacity magazines with capacities greater than ten rounds. During those years, lots of guns that could have held more than ten rounds got magazines that were limited to ten rounds. Since the expiration of the assault weapons ban, you can expect that essentially all of those guns were refitted with high capacity magazines. And because Hollywood deals in fiction, the reduced magazine capacity during the assault weapons ban had no impact on what was depicted on screen.
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