Descrepancies that Piss Me Off – A Rant

My mind is like a black hole for information that I will likely never need. Not necessarily useless information, cause someone, at some point, found it useful, and shared it… But there’s a lot of junk bouncing around in my skill that I’ll never be able to employ.

I am Ok with this. If you only ever knew the things you needed to know, you’d be a boring person. I’d rather someone tell me something I didn’t know than just stand there in silence.

The problem with this is though, that when you do know something that the general public doesn’t, and you see something done wrong in a movie that would otherwise be great, it completely ruins it. And me, being me… I have to share this information with the other people who I’m watching said movie with.

I once had occasion in high school to heat a piece of metal rod to red hot, and beat on it with a hammer. It was Metal Working class, so it was allowed. Anyway, I’d asked the teacher, as I was smashing said rod flat, why it was that you’d see a blacksmith hit the piece of metal, and then hit the anvil. He was delighted that I asked, I guess the average person doesn’t notice that. He said he was going to wait to tell me about it until the next day, after my arm was sore from the work, but since Id actually asked… The secret is that when you hit the anvil, the hammer bounces. So you hit the piece, and then a slight tap on the anvil assists in bringing the hammer back up, thus less strain on your arm.

Now, it’s not often that you see blacksmithing, (Which evidently Google Chrome doesn’t think is a word, cause I’m getting red-squigglied) even in movies, but when they don’t do that, and just keep hitting the red hot metal, I always think “They’re going to be sorry they didn’t go to Brookline high with me.” Worse, I’ve seen movies where they hit the thing they’re working on once, and then tap it… Then hit it, then tap it. They ALMOST have it right, I say.

Another thing that people say all the time is 9 months of pregnancy. There’s 4 weeks to a month right? 40 weeks to a “normal” pregnancy… how does that work out to 9 months?

Being a computer guy, I’m pretty good at typing. I hate watching people on movies pretend they’re typing, it’s so obvious that they’re not, if the camera angle is right. They almost never use the space bar.

Something else that bugs me, lead has not been used for writing since ancient Rome. The stuff in your pencil is NOT lead, yet mechanical pencil refills SAY lead on them… They’re not.

It’s PER-RIFF-ERR-ALL. Not PER-RIFF-REE-AL!! Same with nuclear. It’s not NOO KYOO LAR.

Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman was set in the year 1876. I was a fan as a kid… Anyway, several times, they played The Star Spangled Banner in the show. A song which wasn’t the national anthem until 1931. Ruined the whole series for me.

Am I the only one who has trouble looking past things like this? I really get hung up on these things, and my disbelief gets harder to suspend. What stops your enjoyment dead in it’s tracks?

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14 thoughts on “Descrepancies that Piss Me Off – A Rant

  1. These are collectively known as “things to give up explaining.” Well, by me, anyway.Generally, those things aren’t the point of the story or show. If the point of the show was to teach you blacksmithing or some other thing, then for them to get it wrong would be inexcusable. Since it’s not the point, there’s no sense in fretting about it.What tends to bother me are when a story doesn’t seem quite thought out. I have trouble enjoying WALL-E because I feel like the people who returned to Earth would have died quickly, or at least had a very rough time of it.

  2. Since I rarely watch a movie and when I do I fall asleep I really don’t care how much they get wrong. The things that catch me up are things like commercials plugging for donations to the cancer cause where they say they are working on “non toxic chemotherapy”. How can you use non toxic and chemotherapy in the same sentence?

  3. Maybe the SSB wasn’t the national anthem until 1931, but the music preceded the War of 1812 as a drinking song and Francis Scott Key wrote the lyrics in 1814. It was recognized for use before it was made official.

  4. How about Scottish accents that the vikings have in “How to Train your Dragon” (or even the American accents that most of them have)? Great show, but that always gets me.Or how just about every time you need “foreigners”, they have English accents? Even if their parents have Spanish ones?In the old Superman show, superman would stand strong and take the bullets, but dodge the gun that was thrown at him.

  5. Dude, I’m right there with you. I hate when they get stuff wrong like that. It bugs me all the time. I worry about that stuff in my writing constantly.

  6. Centauri – Yeah, I hear ya… Still though, it’s something that irks me. Delores – That’s an interesting point, isn’t the whole idea of Chemo to make the environment toxic to the cancer cells??Unc – I was going to bring that up, but I thought it might have sort of taken the edge off of the impact of that statement… You’re right, I actually learned that fact on a documentary called “How beer saved the earth”… VERY informative, regardless if it’s comedic sounding title. I wish I could remember the exact context the song was being played in. As it is, I don’t really remember if it was just something they were playing in the background to show it was a patriotic scene, or if folks were standing and saluting the flag at the time or what… STG – Dammit, the Scottish accents in How to train your dragon was something I was going to include in this list, but forgot. That bothers the bajesus out of me… I was also going to mention the English accent thing. That bothered me in “Gladiator”. I was also always bothered by the fact that Picard was supposed to be French, yet… Eric – Yeah, I’ve always been sorta blown away by the amount of research the creators of shows like CSI must have to do. Belle – Historical errors bug me too, although I have to admit, I’m really not one to remember dates… I had to go look up that Dr. Quinn thing, because if something has to do with numbers, I will NOT remember… However, I was bothered like nobody’s business when I saw the recent X-men movie. I don’t know if you’ve seen them, but basically there’ve been a half dozen or so, and this one was supposed to precede them all. Professor X is wheel chair bound in all of the other ones, except for one where they show him walking around, presumably before whatever caused the injury… Well the most recent showed the injury, but it was WAY before he was walking around in the other one… Like, YEARS. It’s like they said “Hey, this would be a good story, let’s just throw out all the history and ignore the things that would make it unbelievable.

  7. My pet peeve in movies and television shows is smoking. As a smoker, it is painfully obvious to me when an actor, playing a character who is supposed to smoke, has no idea how to portray a smoker in a realistic manner. Either they hold the cigarette all wrong, or they puff on the thing and blow a pure white cloud from their mouths without ever having actually inhaled the smoke. If you’re going to include it, do it correctly. If you leave it out, most times folks won’t miss it, so either exclude it or get it right!Another is somebody playing guitar who hasn’t been taught even the rudiments of the instrument, but I’ve gone on long enough about smoking, so I won’t get into detail.

  8. Oh, the guitar one is terrible too… As a guitar player, I notice that all the time too. I was impressed with the movie “Josie and the Pussycats” in that regard, they actually took lessons, and actually PLAYED the songs they were supposedly playing.

  9. Obviously, Matt, you’re not the only one who is irked by this stuff.As an IT person, I hate, HATE, **HATE** how computer interaction is portrayed in movies and TV.When analyzing, say, a fingerprint, the computer DOES NOT flash the mugshot of every single person it compares it to.When it comes up with a result, the word does NOT BLINK and BEEP REPEATEDLY!And when decrypting data with an unknown key, a person does NOT TYPE RANDOM GUESSES AT PASSWORDS! And it would take MORE THAN FIVE GUESSES even if that were the case.And forget about all the medical shows on TV now. Even if my wife weren’t a nurse, I can pick out about 75% of the discrepancies.

  10. I think it’s a boy thing. Hubby is exactly the same, whereas I may notice stuff, I’m happy to suspend my disbelief over the duration of a movie, not to miss the plot – unlike aforesaid hubby who has to talk all over it to tell me what I was perfectly happy not to know.. (see my nervous twitch?)!

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