Morpheus on… Another Silly Movie Cliche

It appears there’s a company making TV remote controls that sound like pump-action shotguns being cocked, every time they are used – and which are sold exclusively for use as props to movie production companies.

While you and I use those SILENT models, which consist of a rubber button-bank which is mounted onto the remote’s PCB. The only way you’ll get a sound out of THOSE is to STAMP on them.

Of course one assumes that, in reality, thirty-odd years ago some second-rate director instructed his Foley people to inject a click-click into the audio on his production, to let the audience KNOW that a TV remote had been activated, because it was crucial to the PLOT.

And when said Foley-man had pointed out to him that remotes hadn’t made a sound since the FIFTIES, he over-ruled him. Then, the erroneous precedent having been established, other second-rate directors simply reinforced it.

And it became yet another in a long line of movie sillys.

Like the hand-guns that sound like a missile-launcher – instead of a Chinese firecracker, which is what they REALLY sound like – and which fire ENDLESS bullets without a reload. And those dart-guns that knock a man down in a second – instead of the twenty minutes it would REALLY take.

And guns with silencers no bigger than torch batteries – REAL silencers are the size of a magnum of champagne and only work ONCE.

Then you have binoculars which give a view that looks like an “8” on its side – except unless you are boss-eyed, the view will ACTUALLY be two circles, superimposed.

And what about those security video and satellite stills where a vehicle is shown as a blob – then the hero asks the nerd to “enhance” the picture and it forms blocks which dissolve into a clear number-plate? Or even more absurdly – a TAX-DISK! The reality is, you cannot enhance what is NOT THERE.

Or when the hero comes round (in seconds) after being knocked unconscious and the shot goes from a blur to clarity. Fine, except when they forget to change the viewer’s perspective to the first person – which is nearly ALWAYS (just for once, they got it RIGHT in “Goldfinger”).

And when someone is crawling through an air duct (always soundlessly – they tried that in Mythbusters – it’s IMPOSSIBLE) the grill at the end is NEVER screwed in place. 

Then there are the phones and doors that are always answered IMMEDIATELY. And computers that boot up likewise.

Plus safes that open with a single twist of the combination knob – and which only require a stethoscope if you don’t happen to HAVE the combination (all you would hear would be the tumblers initialising). And the Yale lock that a tweak with two picks can open.

Actors do not even CLOSE safes properly (you have to rotate the combination lock afterwards – or anyone can simply turn the handle to open it again).

And have you noticed how in movies, people open car doors on the offside, or pull out, or walk across streets without any pretence of LOOKING? If you or I did that, we’d lose our doors/have an accident/get killed.

Okay, we know they have the street under control while filming, but surely, in the interests of realism, could directors not instruct their actors to at least APPEAR to LOOK WHERE THEY’RE BLOODY GOING?

It is said (wrongly) that drama is just real life with the boring bits missed out – but if you pay NO ATTENTION to those boring bits, you LOSE reality.

And then all you are left with is SILLY FANTASY.

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One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Cy Quick on June 11, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    And I can count the number of times I saw anyone in a movie close a door behind them (which can be in the face of the camera-person) on the fingers of one hand. It is two times, actually, but I forget which movies.

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