This is my attempt at blogging. I'm still learning about the blogging world, and this is my own personal study hall.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Suspended Belief


I was going to write about something else. But this just came up.

We're watching Annie. Yes, the 1982 musical. Ten year old Annie just started singing "Tomorrow" to FDR, and Ali thinks this might be a little too hard to believe. A little too hard to believe that a little girl would just burst into song to demonstrate to the president what she does to cheer herself up when she's blue.

Now, of all the films to cirticize for being too far removed from reality to appreciate, I have to say that, for me at least, Annie is way down towards the bottom of the list.

Can we take a survey of the LEAST believable films that people have seen?

Maybe we should have some ground rules. Obviously any fantasy film or sciece fiction is going to be high on the list of films requiring too much suspended belief. Most fiction requires some level of suspended belief. Let's say that movies set their own ground rules. Once within the framework of its own reality, though, a movie should be believable. For instance, if a movie were made about a superhero who was invincible and could manipulate reality without effort simply by willing it to be different, and a bad guy somehow manages to challenge him and put his life in danger (the second and third Matrix movies, anyone?), that requires too much suspended belief.

Alright, let's hear it.


Blogger Heidi said...

Hi Seth... Funny you should ask... we just saw National Tresure. I wont go into detail in case anyone still wants to see it...but lets just say: yeah freakin right.

10:19 PM

Blogger Isaac said...

I dunno about your example. First of all, Annie is a musical, so part of the groud rules is that people burst into song, including oppressed orphans cleaning out the orphanage. In addition, I don't find it that unbelievable that a spunky, uneducated girl like Annie would start singing in front of the President.

6:22 AM

Blogger Seth said...

I think you misunderstood me, Isaac. I said it was at the bottom of my list of movies that are hard to believe. In other words, it didn't bother me at all. I didn't find it hard to believe, regardless of whether or not it was a musical in general. Here was a little girl, who was fortunate enough to meet the president, who was discussing with her the sad state the country was in, and she was singing him a song that she sings to herself in order to cheer herself up. But Ali thought it was weird that a little girl would burst into song with the president, and that inspired me to write about it.

10:10 AM

Blogger Isaac said...

My bad. I have to read more carefully. To atone, I'll contribute an example.

I'd hesitate to try to point out the best example of anything, but how about The Rock as a minor example? If that green stuff is as bad in small quatities as indicated:
- The missile that crashed into the water probably should have caused a horrible environmental disaster. (I'll accept "Maybe it did."
- Goodspeed should have had some serious skin meltage after his close encounter with the stuff.

Also, after green stuff plus atropine plus being blown off a height into the water (which probably should have broken bones) plus almost drowning, Goodspeed should have had to leave Alcatraz on a stretcher, at best, instead of getting to have a stand-up meeting with the Connery character.

11:53 AM

Blogger Just Shu said...

Speaking of the rock when breaking back in, Sean Connerry rolled through those fire balls claiming he had timed them perfectly when he left, he then went and opened the dor to let everyone in. Why did he have to roll through the fiores when leaving? Why couldnt he just leave through the door

12:32 PM

Blogger Just Shu said...

most moviesa are unrealiatic- the good guys always hit their target with one bvullet, while teh bad guys fire 15 timeand hit nothing. If they do manage to hit the guy, hes all better within 5 minutes

12:33 PM

Blogger menachem said...

wow... good point shu... about the rock. i never thought of that.

something like that always totaly ruins the movie for me.

but i have to agree with isaac on annie. within the rules of a musical, people are allowed to break into song unexpectedly. and shu, in james bond or whatever, part of the rules of the movie is that bond will hit his targets in one shot and they'll all miss him. those are the rules you accept at the begining of the movie. like the force, or the fact that uma thurman can take on 88 samurai sword weilding bodyguards (ok, i know there werent really 88. they just called themselves that.)

3:50 AM

Blogger Koppie said...

Well, in the movie Deep Impact--which I thought was overall VERY realistic and I liked it a lot--there was one scene in which, after failing to blow up the comet, the shuttle crew orbits the comet for three months before it arrives at earth. Then, at the last minute, they realize they can maneuver the shuttle into the comet (with nukes on board) and blow it up that way. There were two things that were unrealistic about this. First of all, NASA loves to analyze things to death. They also pride themselves on being to come up with solutions quickly. Are you telling me that this NASA crew took three months to figure out that they could sacrifice themselves in order to save humanity? Astronauts are usually brilliant scientists and accomplished Navy/Air Force pilots. The idea of self-sacrifice is not foreign to them. The bigger problem, however, was that this mission was supposed to last two weeks. I have never, ever heard of a shuttle that had life support for three months. Granted that this was a "souped-up" shuttle retrofitted specially for this purpose, but even so. Having 3 months' worth of oxygen, electricity, and food does not sound plausible on the shuttle.

But speaking of comet movies, how about Armageddon. I don't even know where to begin. Forget "suspended disbelief." That movie had no consistent basis in any conception of the universe. "We're going to allow regular drillers on a mission instead of trained astronauts." "Now we can detonate even though we didn't drill properly." "We decided to mount a gattling gun on a space shuttle, just so the Russian can go nuts and endanger everyone (because we all know Russians can't handle being in space, and odds are good that Russia would send up an untested cosmonaut for the most important mission of humanity)." "We have to leave someone behind to sacrifice himself BECAUSE NUCLEAR WEAPONS DON'T HAVE REMOTE CONTROL?????"

Oh, how about this one: "My former pupil, who just tried to kill me, is screaming about how much he hates me, and who is now a Sith lord, is wounded but I don't finish him off. Because even though I am an incredibly wise Jedi master who will one day speak like Sir Alec Guinnes (even though I bear no resemblance to him now), I don't see any risk in leaving a Sith Lord alive!"

11:53 AM

Blogger Veev said...

Hi, Seth!

I have to chime in here with Forrest Gump. Lovely movie, but I don't think it has much basis in reality.

12:20 AM

Blogger DonutsMom said...

I love Annie, believable or not, and I absolutly LOVE The Rock. But perhaps that is the actors more so than the storyline?
A movie I did not like in terms of believableness was The Forgotten. Because that movie started off somewhat believable (some kind of cover-up perhaps) and then turned CRAZY and annoying.
Well, there is my two cents.

4:06 PM


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