Thursday, October 05, 2006

Movie Continuity

Okay I have a confession to make. I'm the guy in the theatre who analyzes the technical aspects of the movie and then comments on them while the movie is going. When Spiderman dives off the balcony and catches up to Mary Jane, I was the guy who said, "Oh so Galileo was wrong about things falling at the same rate regardless of mass!"
And when Clint Eastwood manages to pull maneuvers that the space shuttle could never do, I'm the guy who said, "Yeah right! The shuttle main engines are completely out of fuel during re-entry and so he could never do that."
It's really funny that I can still suspend belief on some things but get really torqued about others. Yesterday I was watching a Dr. Who episode and they were talking about using the Hubble telescope to monitor an alien ship orbiting Mars. My response, "No way! Hubble’s lens were not designed to focus on anything that close. Every picture you've ever seen of Hubble has been extra-solar for a reason. It just can't focus that close." Mind you I had no problem at all with the fact that there was a time-lord on earth who traveled from time to time in a police call box. I could suspend belief on that but don't make me have to revise what I know about the Hubble.
I think that as long as it's a fantasy movie I can suspend belief. But once they start relying on the science as a plot point I start holding their feet to the fire. If they claim it’s a fantasy from the start then I just assume that normal rules don’t apply and I just deal with it.
For the most part it doesn’t bother me for little errors but if they really start adding up I have a hard time focusing on anything but the problems. I actually enjoy this little diversion so I hope nobody is reading this as an apology or some prelude to a recovery. I haven’t entered a 12 step program to reform my critical ways. “Hi. My name is Michael. And I’m a recovering movie continuity geek.” I don’t think so. I believe that it is people like me that make or entertainment better. Somewhere there is a group of people at the studio asking questions about scripts like, “How will the science geeks interpret this?” I see it as my duty to keep them employed.
I have no illusions that I am an expert at this craft. Some people have really applied this art to the limit. Like this guy. And a few have taken this craft to the completely absurd. Like this guy. I hope that I never digress this far. If I ever get close then perhaps you might see me standing in front of a group of people with tape on their glasses saying, “Hi. My name is Michael. And I’m a recovering movie continuity geek.”

1 comment:

  1. One of my favorite diversions on the internet is There are a lot of people out there who take a keen interest in looking for mistakes in movies like being able to see crew members and camera equipment, factual/hitorical innacuracies, plot holes, and basic continuity. It's quite a lot of fun and usually the first place I stop after watching a new film.