Common movie and TV mistakes - page 4

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.

Other mistake: People are often seen knocking on someone's door only for it to be answered with 2 or 3 seconds regardless of the size of the house. The house could be the size of a mansion or a little 1 bed flat and response times are always around the same. 2 - 3 seconds.

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Factual error: Characters living in an expensive city (such as New York or San Francisco) and somehow being able to afford a spacious apartment that their job couldn't realistically pay for.

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Factual error: When someone has a limb or other body part sliced off or the person is bisected, and there is a dramatic delay in the body part falling off as if to cast doubt on whether or not they were actually sliced. Notable examples include "Equilibrium," "Skinned Deep," "Resident Evil," "Ghost Ship," and "Final Destination 2."

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Factual error: Wild animals are depicted to be much more violent and vicious than in reality. Truth be told, most wild animals will avoid and run from humans. Even wolf packs, snakes, and jungle cats will avoid humans out of fear.

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Suggested correction: This is only a common mistake if this always happens in a situation where there is absolutely no way the animal can be aggressive. It can happen, especially with a wolf or snake, so in that movie it just happened. Not a common mistake then.

lionhead

I can see your point. I guess it's not common enough to be considered a common mistake. It is almost always depicted this way in movies with wolves... Maybe the mistake is more about them then.

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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.

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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.

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Factual error: If a super speed character like Superman or Quicksilver grabbed and/or suddenly stopped people, such actions would most certainly kill the people they are trying to save. Taking them zero to hundreds of miles an hour or vice versa in a split second would snap necks, break bones, slosh brains, and pull apart limbs.

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Revealing mistake: Actors supposedly playing instruments in a scene but their hand movements don't match the music.

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.

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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.

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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).

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

Factual error: After waking up from a coma or being knocked out for several days, people in films often get up and proceed to wonder around or have a conversation before moving on. But the body continues to function during this comatose state. When someone gets up after sleeping for 3 days straight, they would immediately need to head to the bathroom to relieve themselves. That, or they would smell very horribly to others around them and need to be cleaned up if they were not already taken care of when asleep by the other people.

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Factual error: Regular, unmodified weapons firing blank rounds. Real weapons use large and obvious attachments to block most of the propellant gases from going out of the barrel, which cycles the weapon. Hollywood weapons have blockages or mechanisms hidden in the barrel to do the same thing (or they have other effects like CGI or a gas flame), but those would make them unable to fire actual bullets. Also, real blanks are dangerous when fired close to people because they can still fire out debris. Die Hard 2 is a good example, with the bad guys swapping back and forth between blank and live ammunition in the same weapons.

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Suggested correction: Technically incorrect. You can get very high powered blanks called 4 in 1's that can cycle a weapon without the weapon being modified or having a blank firing adaptor. The reason they are not used commonly is because of how loud they are.

stiiggy

Factual error: Trains that do not stop, but crash through objects on railroad tracks. Train engineers will hit the brakes of the train when they see anything or anyone on the tracks, and if they come in contact with said objects, will stop to investigate what they hit, and cooperate with local and Federal authorities. Two examples are "Back To the Future, Part III" and "Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry."

Scott215

Factual error: Lawyers making a scene in the courtroom, such as raising their voice or being forceful/threatening with a witness. This sort of behavior is never allowed. Even when the attorney has permission to treat a witness as "hostile", it doesn't mean they can scream and yell. Courtroom trials are in general very quiet affairs. Any emotional outbursts by an attorney could lead to a mistrial, as this sort of behavior can influence a jury. An attorney would never be given enough leeway to badger a witness until they break down and confess to a crime on the stand, no matter what evidence they present during questioning.

BaconIsMyBFF

Character mistake: Mainly in Old West films, actors who are portraying barbers very frequently sharpen their straight-razors the wrong way, flipping the blade with its sharp edge against the strop. This would instantly dull and damage the razor's edge. No real barber would make such a clumsy mistake, but it's a common movie error.

Charles Austin Miller

Deliberate mistake: Characters who are being pursued on foot frequently hide in plain sight of their pursuers. You see characters (typically the "good guys") duck around the corner of a building, or a tree, or some other obstacle, where they freeze and glance over their shoulders to watch their oblivious pursuers (typically the "bad guys") wander past just a few feet in the background. Nevermind the fact that the good guy's body is only partially concealed by said obstacle, or not concealed at all. This is an old film-making trick intended to heighten audience tension, even though it is totally illogical.

Charles Austin Miller

Factual error: When the police are on the phone with a suspect who is using a landline and they try to keep them on the line long enough to trace the number and location. If the film takes place after the advent of Caller ID, then this information would be available instantly.

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Suggested correction: If they are tracing a cell phone this information isn't available instantly.

That's a valid caveat, so I've amended this for suspects using landlines.

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Deliberate mistake: Often in rainy scenes in movies, the crew has the rain machines set to have the rain drops far far larger than natural. Huge water drops so that they will actually be visible in the final print.

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Character mistake: People almost never say goodbye when hanging up phones, even at times any normal person would 'sign off' in some way.

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Character mistake: "Romantic" gestures which would actually get you arrested for stalking. Tracking down where someone lives and trying to sneak into their back yard with a bunch of flowers would get the cops called on you, not invited in for coffee.

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