Factual error: Protagonists who have been able to clear their name after being framed, but only in the process of committing several other crimes, for which they receive no punishments. The law is still the law and crimes are all separate from each other committed in that time period.
Common movie and TV mistakes - page 3
This is a list of mistakes, things done wrong, etc. that happen so frequently onscreen we barely notice any more. 'Movie logic', stupid behaviours, and everything related.
Factual error: Whenever police officers are involved in some kind of shooting while on duty, they are always kept on the case. They're never suspended or investigated by internal affairs. In real life, there's a full on investigation that takes months to make certain the officer in question was justified in the shooting, not to mention the intense media scrutiny surrounding the incident.
Deliberate mistake: Characters in super hero movies commonly wearing only a small mask over their eyes which somehow keeps people from identifying them. Despite the fact that most of their facial features and hair styles are visible and recognizable. Great examples being Robin, Green Lantern, The Lone Ranger, and The Incredibles.
Factual error: Babies being born and looking a) much older than newborns, b) not covered in blood and gunk, and c) perfectly normal skin colour. Often no mention of cutting a cord or delivering the placenta either.
Factual error: In movies, TV shows, cartoons, and videogames people are often depicted as standing right next to molten lava or magma. Frequently walking or fighting next to it, getting inches away or only a few feet above it. In reality the heat coming off it alone would cause people's clothes and skin to catch fire and burn their lungs just from being within like 20 feet of lava.
Revealing mistake: So many times people drinking coffee and similar from cups, they're empty. These cups are being tilted so much if they had any liquid in them it would be spilled everywhere. Or else the sound of the empty cup being put down is that of an empty cup, or else the cups are defying the laws of gravity which should be applying to full containers.
Factual error: The importance of leaving a crime scene undisturbed is greatly exaggerated in films and TV. Crime scenes are often disturbed deliberately by responding police officers. Immediate safety and the preservation of life are paramount to all other concerns. If a body is found, the scene must be secured to be sure a suspect is not still present and the area is safe; this often involves searching through the scene itself. The body must also be inspected to be certain the victim is deceased and doesn't require medical attention; this act often involves moving the body. The idea of police stopping anyone from going anywhere near a crime scene until forensic examiners arrive is a movie cliche not based in reality. It is rare, to the point of being almost unheard of, for a criminal case to hinge on the positioning of a dead body or the exact location of evidence in a room.
Deliberate mistake: Trains should stop when the engineer is killed or otherwise incapacitated because of a switch known as a "Dead man's" which is used in these events to stop the train. This mistake is often done purposely to keep the action going and for plot purposes. This is especially common in action films.
Audio problem: Characters holding conversations on board aircraft where they wouldn't normally be audible such as military helicopters or cargo planes. In real life those are loud places where people wear hearing protection and communicate with radios or built in comms. (Not a mistake for luxury helicopters or airliner size cargo planes with sound proofing).
Factual error: Characters gain access to secure facilities using a single thing: a stolen ID card, fingerprint on sticky tape etc, but with no second factor to verify identity like a PIN code. This might be appropriate for something low key like the back room of a store but in thrilling shows the characters are usually trying to get into places like the CIA or high tech laboratories. In real life, higher level security access controls include at least two factors to reduce the risk of unauthorized entry. This is often a deliberate mistake by movie makers as it would slow the story down to describe multiple security measures and show how the characters gain everything needed for access. Exceptions are movies like Mission Impossible or Sneakers where this sort of complexity is part of the plot.
Other mistake: Helicopters appearing from out of nowhere and surprising characters. Helicopters are loud enough to be heard from a considerable distance and will also vibrate the ground/buildings/homes if they are flying low enough. The only feasible way a person can be surprised by the sudden appearance of a helicopter would be if they are deaf.
Factual error: People often jump from great heights into bodies of water and avoid fall damage. But the surface tension of water is great enough it would be no different than hitting concrete if you're high enough up.
Audio problem: Characters in a fist fight landing all punches that all sound like loud smacks or worst case (Rocky) car doors slamming.
Deliberate mistake: The criminal tells his evil plans to a priest, who is then unable to prevent a crime because of the "seal of the confessional." Yes, priests may not tell another what is heard in confession, however the 'seal' protects only those who seek absolution for past sins. Confessionals are not boxes into which you can tell a priest your dastardly plans and they can't do anything about it. There is no seal on this misuse of the confessional. Examples include 'Priest' (1994).
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