Hollywood Fiction and Technology Myths – My take on it. (Not necessarily from a writer’s perspective)

USA Today recently posted an article about television and movies, and how completely ridiculous some of the “Tech problem solving” is.

The author, Kim Komando, mentioned current movies, as well as movies from way back… like “2001, A space Odyssey”, “War Games” (a personal favorite), “The Matrix”, “Swordfish”, “Independence day”(Another favorite) , and Terminator (Hey!  Don’t mess with Arnold!) among many others.  Here is a link to the article if you’d like to read it.  It’s actually pretty good.

Everything she said is (probably) absolutely true.   (I don’t know… I’m not a techie)  But when I finished this article, I stopped and giggled.  I was thinking.  “So what if none of it makes sense.  Who cares?  It’s FUN!”

Now, really… honestly, do you watch a classic Schwarzenegger movie for the reality of the technical scenes?  Of course not!  You watch them because it is fun to watch him blow things up!  “Yay Arnold!  Go get ‘em!”

Now true, there are probably people who look at things like the security cameras that she mentions in this article and think this is actually possible to zoom in and clean up the picture— but honestly, is that hurting anybody?  No.  If anything, it will make them think twice before robbing a store.

I don’t care if Hugh Jackman can’t really hack his way into a computer system in three minutes while held at gunpoint.  That is NOT THE POINT.  The point is Drama.  Action.  Fun.  It’s called suspended reality.

I don’t know about you, but I get enough of the real world every day just driving to work.  If I read a book, or watch a movie, I’m not looking for realism.  I want to be entertained.

Excuse me.  I need to go watch Die Hard, now.  OOoooooooo.  How about an Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Marathon topped off by a little Bourne Identity!  Then maybe I’ll pop on the First Transformers movie and then save the world with Independence Day.  Oh yeah, for dessert, the all-time best movie ever made… True Lies!

Yay!  Bring on the ridiculous technology plots and let’s watch some things explode!

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16 responses to “Hollywood Fiction and Technology Myths – My take on it. (Not necessarily from a writer’s perspective)

  1. True Lies is my husband’s favourite film ever – I think he is still dreaming of me re-enacting Jamie Lee Curtis’s striptease or something. But at the same time, he also tends to dissect each scene for its accuracy (well, he is a scientist, after all).

  2. Every movie you mentioned we watch when we can. These have to have a little, or a lot of tech mythos about them or they wouldn’t be as good or famous as they are. As long as they look real, I am happy. :=)

  3. The Discovery Channel has explore this topic with shows about the “scientific realism” of comic books or Star Trek!
    These shows are entertaining but pointless!

  4. my one science-y thing that i get all nerdy about in movies – i hate when they do the whole: you only use 10% of our brain thing. we actually use all of our brain – but can only use 10% at a time.

    drives me bananas! in a nerdy way 🙂

  5. I can usually spot the stuff that’s not real (and I’ve watched way too many Mythbusters shows) but you know what? Unless it is GOOFY unreal, I don’t care either. I watch movies to escape the real world.

  6. I agree. I watch movies to be entertained. But my husband notices all the technology myths and is always rolling his eyes. He told me once, “If Hollywood ever stops using digital zooming which looks great magnified 1000 x on their computers, no mysteries will ever again be solved.”

    What did I reply? “Well then, I hope they never stop using that wonderful mythical trick. Because I like the clues they get from it.” Yea Hollywood fiction!

  7. If we can’t suspend reality in a movie, then we may as well stay home. Plenty of reality there. 🙂

  8. I don’t care that much either, at least about those kinds of details (love Independence Day also), what bothers me more are inconsistencies that should have been caught by somebody (i.e. character has a wound one minute…next shot, its no longer there). Good post! 🙂

    • Ha! My favorite is when they have a scar on their right cheek, and then it hops to the left cheek in the next scene… Or when their shirt is tucked in, then untucked, then tucked back in again in a matter of a minute. Priceless… but that stuff is just funny.

      • Funny….but it still makes me shake my head that these “professionals” don’t catch this stuff. 😛

        • And they get big bucks. Now that I think of it, I remember a movie quite a few years ago where Michael Douglas called Danny Devito: “Devito” which would have been fine, it that was actually the character’s name.

          He called him by his real name and the editors missed it. Funny stuff.

          Hey… we’ve gotten a little off topic haven’t we?

  9. Ditto what Florence said. I love make believe. Things are more fun in my imaginary world. Don’t take that away!

    What would NCIS do without McGeek hacking into CIA computers and Abby talking to her computers as they process data at record speed. BONUS! She has a farting hippo. You hug it, it “toots.” I tried to buy one online. Turns out THAT was a sound effect added by the show’s producers. THAT knowledge? Yes, I was upset about imaginary versus reality. I want a tooting hippo to hug.

  10. Yes Jennifer, who cares indeed. Do I care if they can’t do blood and tox screne in ten seconds, instead of two weeks, or if DNA takes longer than the minute and a half?? No, I don’t. I love make believe, that’s why I write. It’s called poetic license and it’s fun 🙂