snopes.com  

Go Back   snopes.com > Non-UL Chat > Amusement Bark

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 14 October 2013, 07:13 PM
Psihala's Avatar
Psihala Psihala is offline
 
Join Date: 28 February 2001
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 7,570
Read This! Stop fact-checking the movies

Can we simply enjoy movies without having to fact-check every little thing?

Apparently not, because so many people feel compelled to show us how clever they are by attempting to point out factual errors depicted in film after film.

http://www.cnn.com/2013/10/14/opinio...ies/index.html
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 14 October 2013, 07:17 PM
Mad Jay's Avatar
Mad Jay Mad Jay is offline
 
Join Date: 19 July 2003
Location: Virginia
Posts: 13,464
Default

Can people stop tellign other people how to enjoy the movies?

Some people go enjoy the movies because it gives them an opportunity to escape everyday life. Some people .enjoy the movies by nitpicking it with their friends/online. Some people watch the same movie multiple times so they can do both

Stop telling us how to enjoy a movie
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 14 October 2013, 07:21 PM
Sue's Avatar
Sue Sue is offline
 
Join Date: 26 December 2011
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 8,429
Default

If your nitpicking is spoiling someone else's enjoyment though I think it's perfectly in order to ask them to knock it off. Go hang out with a group of likeminded nitpickers either in person or online but don't intrude your need to nitpick into every conversation when you know perfectly well the others involved don't want you to. You're either being a show off or you're being a jerk - neither is an admirable thing to be.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 14 October 2013, 07:26 PM
Bettie Page Turner Bettie Page Turner is offline
 
Join Date: 28 July 2005
Location: Charleston, WV
Posts: 3,890
Default

From the article:
Quote:
And here's the biggest thing for people like deGrasse Tyson to keep in mind: it's science fiction, for God's sake! You would think the "fiction" part of "science fiction" is something that an astrophysicist could comprehend.
Um, wrong. Blatant bad science jerks a SF fan right out of a story like Gravity. I was disappointed in Gravity because it had been talked up as an intelligent SF movie. What it was (IMO) was an action film set in space.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 14 October 2013, 07:32 PM
A Turtle Named Mack's Avatar
A Turtle Named Mack A Turtle Named Mack is offline
 
Join Date: 21 June 2007
Location: Marietta, GA
Posts: 21,445
Default

And then there are 'historical fictions' that introduce 'facts' that are not true, and then people start repeating those things as true because the movie was 'historical.' Movies such as that really need to be fact-checked to prevent errant memes from getting established.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 14 October 2013, 07:38 PM
Richard W's Avatar
Richard W Richard W is offline
 
Join Date: 19 February 2000
Location: High Wycombe, UK
Posts: 25,384
Default

You would think the "science" part of "science fiction" would be something a scriptwriter would comprehend. Apparently that's a silly idea, though...

And the "history" part of "historical fiction," too, as A Turtle Named Mack says. There's only so many times you can say "it's only a story, of course you shouldn't believe anything in it" before it gets silly. Where do you stop? It's silly for me to think there's such a place as New York because I've only ever read about it or seen it in films, and nothing you read or see in films is true? Of course people assume, by default, that at least the basic background in a historical film is historical.

(eta)

Quote:
I can just hear him whispering things such as: "The Death Star is too big to fly at that rate of speed,"
"Rate of speed"? Probably not...
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 14 October 2013, 07:44 PM
BrianB's Avatar
BrianB BrianB is offline
 
Join Date: 03 March 2000
Location: Camarillo, CA
Posts: 3,526
Throw Tomato

deGrasse Tyson sent out a number of tweets on October 6th gently ribbing the scientific inaccuracies of Gravity. However, he also said the following that day:
Quote:
My Tweets hardly ever convey opinion. Mostly perspectives on the world. But if you must know, I enjoyed #Gravity very much.
Brian
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 14 October 2013, 07:46 PM
Gutter Monkey's Avatar
Gutter Monkey Gutter Monkey is offline
 
Join Date: 13 December 2010
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 3,630
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sue View Post
If your nitpicking is spoiling someone else's enjoyment though I think it's perfectly in order to ask them to knock it off. Go hang out with a group of likeminded nitpickers either in person or online but don't intrude your need to nitpick into every conversation when you know perfectly well the others involved don't want you to. You're either being a show off or you're being a jerk - neither is an admirable thing to be.
The article wasn't targeting people butting into conversations, it was claiming that nitpicking in general is ruining peoples' enjoyment of movies and shouldn't be done in any context.

(That's not to say that your point wasn't valid - intruding an unwelcome opinion into a conversation when you know the other people wouldn't want you to is impolite in general, even when it's not about film facts.)
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 14 October 2013, 07:58 PM
quink quink is offline
 
Join Date: 22 June 2005
Location: Calgary, AB
Posts: 3,193
Default

I liked Phil Plait's review of Gravity, where he went into the scientific nitpicks (acknowledging that there wouldn't be much of a movie at all without the inaccuracies), while still saying that it was a fantastic movie and (IHO) totally worth seeing. He pointed out what the movie got right while using the things it got wrong as a springboard to teach, not to trash (note: I haven't actually seen Gravity myself, but the feedback from various scientists and people who have actually been to space is enough that I'm really looking forward to seeing it on the big screen).

Sometimes, for some people, the inaccuracy is too much and gets in the way of enjoyment. Sometimes it actually opens things up for some interesting side research. I love it when an inaccuracy in a movie leads to me to learn something new.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 14 October 2013, 08:08 PM
Tootsie Plunkette's Avatar
Tootsie Plunkette Tootsie Plunkette is offline
 
Join Date: 26 October 2001
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 9,961
Ponder

I'm somewhere in the middle on this, I guess. I will sometimes nitpick about things I know are wrong and/or illogical. I'm usually willing to let the non-essential stuff slide. Sometimes it depends on whether or not I liked the movie...

I remember a friend telling me that someone had pointed out that some of the plants seen in the gardens in "Restoration" were unknown in England during the Restoration. Oddly, that didn't affect my enjoyment of the film.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 14 October 2013, 08:19 PM
quink quink is offline
 
Join Date: 22 June 2005
Location: Calgary, AB
Posts: 3,193
Default

That reminds me of the commentary in the first Lord of the Rings movie where they were talking about how people were upset that the hobbits were cooking with tomatoes. It seems that we're willing to accept hobbits, elves and dragons in a fantasy version of Great Britain, but not new world foods.

I think that part of the problem is that some people assume nitpicking always has to be a negative thing. It's possible to point out a flaw in a movie or book (especially if it's something interesting to learn) without saying it ruins the material for you. You can enjoy a movie and learn something new about the science it's based on or the historical figure/event it's referencing.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 14 October 2013, 08:26 PM
Richard W's Avatar
Richard W Richard W is offline
 
Join Date: 19 February 2000
Location: High Wycombe, UK
Posts: 25,384
Default

Never mind the tomatoes, what about the po-tat-oes?

I think everybody has a different idea about what a nitpick or an inaccuracy is, and how noticeable it is to them, and how much it affects their enjoyment.

Imagine watching a film with a dog in it, and it's a perfectly ordinary dog in an ordinary household and it's not the focus of the plot, but every time the dog opens its mouth it says "meow", and everybody treats that as normal, and the critics don't mention it, and the writers and actors don't seem to be aware of any sort of point that was being made. Wouldn't it affect the way you saw the film? Wouldn't you think it worth mentioning?


(eta) What about the rabbit, for that matter? Rabbits were introduced to Great Britain by the Normans, who arrived after the early-to-mid Medieval Anglo-Saxon / Danish period that The Lord Of The Rings is "based on" according to pedants.

Last edited by Richard W; 14 October 2013 at 08:31 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 14 October 2013, 08:29 PM
A Turtle Named Mack's Avatar
A Turtle Named Mack A Turtle Named Mack is offline
 
Join Date: 21 June 2007
Location: Marietta, GA
Posts: 21,445
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by quink View Post
That reminds me of the commentary in the first Lord of the Rings movie where they were talking about how people were upset that the hobbits were cooking with tomatoes. It seems that we're willing to accept hobbits, elves and dragons in a fantasy version of Great Britain, but not new world foods.
And what was pipeweed if not tobacco!? (I know it could be marijuana, but that really seems more out of place for these characters than just accepting anomalies compared to the presumed setting).
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 14 October 2013, 08:42 PM
E. Q. Taft's Avatar
E. Q. Taft E. Q. Taft is online now
 
Join Date: 30 July 2003
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 13,624
Default

As Tyson stated, part of the reason I noted some of the errors in Gravity (which I did quite enjoy) is because it's in many ways a very authentic-feeling film. Similar errors in a Star Wars film would hardly be worth noting.

As for historical films, I do mind when they have a big influence on how people see history, particularly recent history - Stone's JFK being the most obvious offender.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 14 October 2013, 08:44 PM
Avril's Avatar
Avril Avril is offline
 
Join Date: 07 August 2002
Location: Princeton, NJ
Posts: 10,508
Default

I purposely avoid going to the movies with certain people who find it enjoyable to tear it apart and make me feel silly/dumb for liking it. I go to the movies for escapism, not for an education. I'm not stupid for what I like. I avoid watching movies likely to drive me crazy because I know too much about the topic (although I did enjoy Hysteria anyway).

In fact, since this has become an annoying past time of many of my friends, I tend to go to the movies alone. I'm happy enough doing that, actually.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 14 October 2013, 08:49 PM
Beachlife!'s Avatar
Beachlife! Beachlife! is offline
 
Join Date: 23 June 2001
Location: Lansing, MI
Posts: 28,100
Default

Tomatoes, potatoes, strawberries, pumpkin and corn come readily to mind as new world foods in Lord of the Rings.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 14 October 2013, 08:51 PM
snopes's Avatar
snopes snopes is offline
 
Join Date: 18 February 2000
Location: California
Posts: 109,626
Ponder

Quote:
Originally Posted by quink View Post
That reminds me of the commentary in the first Lord of the Rings movie where they were talking about how people were upset that the hobbits were cooking with tomatoes. It seems that we're willing to accept hobbits, elves and dragons in a fantasy version of Great Britain, but not new world foods.
That's sort of an issue with creating a fictional universe vs. creating an alternate version of a real universe. In the latter case, people still expect the known aspects of the real universe to apply.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 14 October 2013, 09:35 PM
Andrew of Ware's Avatar
Andrew of Ware Andrew of Ware is offline
 
Join Date: 22 April 2003
Location: Ware, Hertfordshire, England
Posts: 8,015
Default

Even as a person who loves history I am not bothered about historically inaccurate historical films. BBC History Magazine had a series about historical films in which each month they compared three films on the same historical subject. Amongst other things they rated each film on historical accuracy, but very often the best film, the magazine thought, was the least historically accurate. It may be a cliche, but it is true - what makes good history does not necessarily make a good film.

What worries me about historically inaccurate films is when people believe them - yes, I'm looking at you (some) Scottish people with Braveheart.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 14 October 2013, 09:47 PM
JoeBentley's Avatar
JoeBentley JoeBentley is offline
 
Join Date: 23 June 2002
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Posts: 21,796
Default

Quote:
And here's the biggest thing for people like deGrasse Tyson to keep in mind: it's science fiction, for God's sake! You would think the "fiction" part of "science fiction" is something that an astrophysicist could comprehend.
As I just said in the "Movies you've seen" thread, this is a stupid argument.

If you're watching a rom-com and apropos of nothing a character just flew into the air breaking the law of physics you wouldn't go "Oh don't worry about it! It's fiction, not a documentary! Stop nitpicking and ruining it for the rest of us!"

But because so many people are ignorant of so many basic facts of science, especially physics, chemistry and so forth, it seems that's the argument that gets made when people nitpick sci-fi or fantasy movies.

It seems "Stop nitpicking" often means "Stop bringing up facts that I'm ignorant of."
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 14 October 2013, 09:53 PM
Morning's Avatar
Morning Morning is offline
 
Join Date: 08 April 2004
Location: Southern Ohio
Posts: 1,975
Glasses

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard W View Post

(eta) What about the rabbit, for that matter? Rabbits were introduced to Great Britain by the Normans, who arrived after the early-to-mid Medieval Anglo-Saxon / Danish period that The Lord Of The Rings is "based on" according to pedants.
Speaking of nitpicking... it now seems accepted that it was the Romans.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Checking More Than One Box: A Growing Multiracial Nation WildaBeast Social Studies 1 13 May 2013 01:58 PM
Fact Check: So who's checking the fact-finders? We are snopes Snopes Spotting 0 29 September 2012 04:58 AM
Checking up on Snopes.com snopes Snopes Spotting 4 20 May 2011 06:21 PM
Fact-checking the fact-checkers snopes Snopes Spotting 3 20 April 2009 02:11 AM
Hamster Revolution Cites snopes.com as #1 Fact Checking Site Buckle Up Snopes Spotting 0 26 March 2007 08:02 PM


All times are GMT. The time now is 01:22 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.