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: 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.

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Suggested correction: This can be true or not. Prosecutors have a lot of discretion whether to prosecute a crime of not. If you help the police solve a crime that you were originally a suspect by committing another crime, as long as that crime is not murder (it can be self-defense) the prosecutor has discretion whether to prosecute.

odelphi

Plus, in the case of common mistakes, they are not working with the police to clear their name. And just because they're not murdering people doesn't mean they're not assaulting people (outside the realm of self-defense). Plus, this common mistake is especially true for police officers kicked off the case and then break all sorts of police procedures with no consequences.

Bishop73

The only point I am making is that prosecutors do have discretion whether to prosecute crimes. If the crime is minor AND you helped the prosecutor with other more serious crimes, they can choose to not prosecute you for the minor crimes. The OP was vague as to what kind of additional crimes they committed. If murder, then I don't see how they get away with that just because they helped solve other crimes. It would depend on what kind of other crimes the protagonist committed.

odelphi

I would have to disagree as your explanation leads to them being a vigilante acting outside of the law.

Quantom X Premium member

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.

mikelynch

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Suggested correction: This can be done by an experienced shooter.

Ssiscool Premium member

It takes more than an experienced shooter to shoot open a padlock with a gun. You need to use the right gun, and the right bullet.

An experienced shooter will never take the risk of a ricochet or shrapnel from doing such a thing.

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.

Quantom X Premium member

Character mistake: Characters will often tell other characters information they already know or overload them with far more information than they need or would even be natural to say or come up in conversation simply for the sake of exposition for the audience.

Quantom X Premium member

Factual error: Characters, typically the hero, can crash through windows without so much as getting a cut on them.

Phaneron Premium member

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Suggested correction: Depending on the age of the window, that's the whole point. Safety glass is designed to break in a way to stop people getting hurt.

Ssiscool Premium member

Not every window is made from safety glass. When was the last time you saw a movie where a main character crashed through a store window, office building window, house window, plate glass window, etc. and ended up getting shredded to ribbons?

Phaneron Premium member

You don't often see blood but items of clothing do get ripped. One example I can think of off the top of my head is The Last Stand where Arnie gets chucked through a glass door. His jacket gets rips on it.

Ssiscool Premium member

For whatever it's worth, the one time in my life I had to break through a window in an emergency situation, it was definitely not safety glass and I got some fairly deep cuts even though I thought I'd cleared away the pieces. Also in spite of everything I made sure to smash it with an object because I knew there was no way I was just going to be able to leap through a solid pane of glass, and I suspect even if I did I'd just end up impaling myself on a huge shard.

TonyPH Premium member

Other mistake: Actors in their late 20's or early 30's playing high school students, or characters who are under the age of 18.

Bishop73

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.

BaconIsMyBFF

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.

Movielover1996

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.

Factual error: People taking cover behind very small / flimsy things, like car doors or wardrobes, dozens of bullets being fired at them, but they emerge unscathed.

Jon Sandys Premium member

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.

Phaneron Premium member

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.

Quantom X Premium member

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Suggested correction: If you jump in feet first you can survive a jump into water from a very great height without injuries.

lionhead

About the max distance you can fall into water without injury is 65 feet, even at feet first. Professional high divers even struggle to control themselves from that height without doing actions they can control like flips. An untrained individual leaping from a bridge down into water would most certainly kill them in real life.

Quantom X Premium member

To dive for up to 90 feet is an official sport, while daredevils dive from up 120 feet. And "dive" means head first. Normal people can and do jump feet first without injury, although is a coin toss. Certainly fatal bridge jumps are from very high ones (The Golden Gate is something like 250 feet).

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).

Senex

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