Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Things Hollywood Should Get Right, but Doesn’t

It's no secret that Hollywood films and television shows get a lot of facts wrong. Every film-going or TV-watching professional in the world has likely seen his or her profession represented on the screen and winced at something that just doesn't "happen that way."

Usually, writers, directors, and producers try to claim that facts are fudged or sacrificed in the name of "good drama." However, there are just as many writers, directors, and producers who claim that reality is good drama, putting those other lazy, less-talented-than-they-should-be filmmakers to shame.

Regardless, there are several things that are rampant in film and television that said filmmakers almost always get wrong, and with no reason for it. If you can honestly tell me that the following mistakes add to the drama, then I'll shut up... but you won't be able to.

1. Smokers don't normally "whoosh" their exhales. Maybe once in a while, but not every time Diane Lane or someone else lights up. Smokers also inhale their smoke. If a part requires smoking, teach the ass how to smoke.

2. Sergeants Major in the Army and Marine Corps are never referred to as just "Sergeant." And actors playing Colonels referring to Sergeants Major as "Sergeant" should know better.

3. I mentioned this a few entries ago, but the term "soldier" refers to one branch of the military: the Army. So the next time The Rock plays a Marine Sergeant, he shouldn't be calling his men "soldiers."

4. The disconnected signal on a telephone takes a protracted amount of time to occur. It doesn't happen right away, even if someone is trying to break into your house.

5. Casting obvious bimbos like Tara Reid and Denise Richards as scientists convinces nobody in the audience and results in chuckles every time one of them tries to pronounce "DNA" or "nuclear."

6. When firing a gun, most people, if not all, aim with the eye that's on the same side of the hand they're holding the trigger with. That's certainly how it's taught.

7. No matter how good lip-syncing is done, it never looks like real singing. That's because singers actually breathe, use their vocal chords, and do other realistic things that actors should learn before they try to "fake real life."

8. A proper American hand-salute would be nice from time to time.

9. The current fashion to use "hand-held camera" for everything, because filmmakers claim that it makes the audience "feel like they're really there." Um, no... at best, it makes the audience feel more like they're watching a documentary. I don't recall the world ever bouncing up and down so fast whenever I sprinted short distances.

10. Clint Eastwood should be President. Have a nice day.


  1. @JL: Well, Miss Nit-Pick, why didn't you catch the title that I referred to incorrectly... TWICE.

    You're fired.

    Posted by JeffScape on October 31, 2007 - Wednesday - 6:59 PM

  2. addendum to number 6 that is a SERIOUS pet peeve of my dad: specific guns fire a specific number of bullets. movies now-a-days are better than they used to be, but my dad always makes a point to go a little insane when a gun fires too many times without the actor reloading in full view of the audience.

    Posted by **JEAN** on October 31, 2007 - Wednesday - 4:37 PM

  3. You're missing an "e."

    Posted by Jessica Lynn on October 31, 2007 - Wednesday - 2:56 PM

  4. You clearly have no clue what I'm referring to.

    Again, you're fired.

    Posted by JeffScape on November 1, 2007 - Thursday - 9:32 AM

  5. @JeffScape: I didn't actually read the title.

    Posted by Jessica Lynn on November 1, 2007 - Thursday - 8:55 AM

  6. @JEAN: Eh, many times you can assume the reload happened off-screen. John Woo, on the other hand, has never seemed to grasp the concept of the magazine and never gives time to show or otherwise assume a reload.

    Another peeve I have is the number of times you find "locking-and-loading" in films. Watch the ambush scene in Stargate (when they first encounter the bad guys). There are only about 5 men, but there are at least twice that many locks-and-loads. Irritating as Hell. Special Forces in any service usually know when they're ready to shoot.

    Posted by JeffScape on October 31, 2007 - Wednesday - 7:01 PM