TV and movies, love them or hate them, but definitely mock them.
I love television and movies as much as the next person, but mostly, I love to make fun of those goofy scenes that defy reality and the laws of physics.
My mockery is a wicked pleasure that hurts no one, unless you are watching the picture with me and have to listen to my critiques.
I’m not going to reveal the titles of the works I criticize, because these flaws are in so many television episodes and movies.
Viewers deserve better than sloppy entertainment, so I came up with a “Bugs Me Quotient” to judge weak scenes. I wish I could tell you how I arrived at my quotient, but the formula is so complex that only aliens and amoebas can understand it now.
I can tell you the higher to quotient, the more ridicule these scenes deserve.
Here are some mockable moments from action movies and TV and their Bugs Me Quotient.
Heroes are the good guys in this blog. They are fleeing bad guys down a corridor with closed doors. The good guys find an unlocked door and run through it, but as they flee, they don’t close the door behind them. Thus the bad guys know which door the hero used. This occurs in many movies even when there is no chase; hardly anyone closes the doors behind them anymore.
Bugs me quotient: As one who closes doors behind me, and when needed, I lock the door, I give a bugs me quotient of 100 percent because it bugs me every time I see it. Close the door.
There is a shootout between two sides, each armed with machine guns and automatic weapons, and they shoot and shoot and shoot and spray cars, stores and buildings with multiple bullets as innocent bystanders run in all directions. Both sides miss their targets and the bystanders. The shooters eventually run away.
Bugs me quotient: A machine gun or automatic weapon increases the odds that a blind person could hit a target. But what’s the excuse if you aren’t blind, and you do a whole lot of shooting and nobody gets hit? My bugs me quotient is 90 percent, because the incompetence shown in these battles makes them unbelievable, and therefore, uninteresting. It’s just a bunch of noise.
There is a shootout in a house, and the shooters have high powered weapons. Yet the targets hide behind the interior kitchen wall next to the doorway, and the drywall protects them from numerous bullets. Unless the wall is concrete or steel, which is unlikely in most homes, it won’t stop bullets. Drywall does not stop bullets, and the interior walls of most homes are made of drywall.
Bugs me quotient: Another win for disrespecting the audience for the sake of more shooting. If heroes are hiding from bullets, give them something bulletproof to hide behind. Put a little effort into the scenario or change it. My bugs me quotient is 80 percent. Shooting for the sake of shooting is poor entertainment.
Hero gets shot, usually in the shoulder or just a graze, and it doesn’t slow the hero down. If the hero gets shot all over, hero is down until patched up, usually by a veterinarian, and then hero is back in the game. The wounded hero kills the bad guy and walks away. But when hero’s back is turned, bad guy comes back to life and attacks hero in one last desperate attempt at murder. The hero, of course, finishes off the bad guy, finally.
Bugs me quotient: Getting shot hurts a lot and will put you down for a long time. Bullets will kill you. My bugs me quotient is 35 percent. Blatant over exaggeration bugs me, but I understand the story must move along, and so we must suspend belief for the hero to complete his objective.
Hero is tortured. He is hung by his hands several feet off the floor for hours or days. He is shocked with battery cables as his feet hang in a tub of water. After he is brought down from his height, he lies stomach down across a table. Hero is in horrid pain from hanging so long. Then the torturer pours a pail of boiling water on hero’s naked back, before throwing a bag of salt onto hero’s burns. Hero is rescued and needs help out of his dungeon. Hero cannot walk on his own because of the brutal torture. But minutes later, burns are gone and hero goes after the bad guys as if nothing happened. Maybe there is blood.
Bugs me quotient: Forget all the other torture, the boiling water and salt alone would have rendered hero incapable of continuing that day. My bugs me quotient is 90 percent. Why does this bug me so much? If you can’t justify a torture’s effects, leave it out or change it.
Hero must escape or save someone by swimming underwater. We find that our heroes can hold their breaths for up to 5 minutes or longer and swim great lengths while navigating treacherous courses of underwater obstacles, and sometimes, enemies. Five minutes is a long time underwater, and some distances would be impossible to swim in those five minutes.
Bugs me quotient: Few can hold their breath underwater while moving for five minutes, and fewer still can swim such long distances without breathing. My bugs me quotient is 10 percent. Some people — think Navy Seals — can do these things, so I gladly suspend belief for a good underwater action scene.
Hero is chased to a cliff where hundreds of feet below the ocean or river awaits. Hero jumps off cliff to escape bad guys and lands perfectly in the water so that no legs are broken, and fortunately, the water is deep enough the hero survives.
Bugs me quotient: First off an urgent public service alert: Never! And I mean Never! jump or dive into water without first knowing how deep the water is and if there are any rocks near the surface. You can break your neck and drown. My bugs me quotient is 10 percent. The hero has no choice but to jump or be captured and tortured and killed by the enemy.
So that is my list.
Movie makers should use common sense to stay as true to reality as possible. It’s the simple things you ignore, and the outright flaws put into a scene to make it bloodier or more violent, that leads us to mock your work.
Ha, ha, ha. We laugh at your gaffes.
Contact: David Madrid
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