I’ve compiled a list of recurring inaccuracies throughout film and television. These minor details that screenwriters and actors ignore seriously piss me off and pull me out of the movie. Most frustrating part: they’re all a simple fix, but filmmakers inexplicably fail to address them.
1. No actors are gamers.
Evidently, no one in Hollywood has ever played a video game. How else do you explain the derpfest that invariably ensues when there’s a scene involving a game? The actor will be mashing on the buttons like a toddler in a method that no game would ever require. Even a noob will realize that slamming on every button like Michael J. Fox is not how you control a racing game. It baffles me that actors are willing to undergo immense physical stress to prepare for a role, but won’t at least try to appear like they’ve played a single f***ing video game in their lifetime.
Dexter Season 3 Episode 10 “Go Your Own Way”
Huh, I didn’t know Halo 3 could be played on a PC (it can’t). And if Microsoft ported it, I’m guessing they would have implemented mouse control (all first person shooters do) and probably wouldn’t have used Space Invaders sound effects. I cannot fathom why the creators of a quality series can be so ineffably careless (read: stupid).
The 40 Year Old Virgin
I appreciate the effort guys, but the television is clearly playing a pre-recorded video of Mortal Kombat. Maybe Judd should have informed Seth Rogen that an Xbox controller is not played like a piano. Actually, Rogen probably just has some wicked skills. He is so well acquainted with popular culture, after all..
2. Filmmakers have never smoked weed (except for the Coen Brothers).
Why are actors’ eyes never bloodshot when they’re suppose to be high? Would it kill them to burn one before the scene? When Adam (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) wolfs down some “Steee-rong” dosed cookies in 50/50, I was slightly distracted by the complete lack of redness in his white eyes.
A Serious Man
Kudos for effort Joel and Ethan. The red makeup around his eyes looks nice, but if he was that massively stoned, one would think his eyes might be a little bit bloodshot too (’cause, uh, I’ve witnessed people smoking weed).
3. Hollywood abstains from alcohol.
HBO’s The Wire is a rare series that accurately depicts drunkenness. Most movies and shows use it as a transitional scene opener, with the alcohol merely functioning as a prop to relate the character’s flaws to the audience. The actor will often stumble about foolishly to elicit laughter, then magically sober up completely and seemingly forget that their character is supposed to be drunk. Thankfully, some filmmakers like Young Adult’s writer Diablo Cody utilize the opportunity to explore alcoholism and depict its medicinal irrationality.
David (Jeff Goldblum) is pretty damn resourceful. After stumbling around while chugging a bottle of whiskey, the writers instantly convert his state of word-slurring drunken clumsiness to one of unequivocal competence as he formulates a plan to save mankind. Maybe the writers were in the former state when composing the intricate plot twist where David destroys the aliens with a Mac (disclaimer: f*** all the haters. Independence Day is as red blooded as American cinema gets).
Billy Bob Thornton’s hilarious performance succeeds thanks to a script that doesn’t forget when he’s drunk (it helps that the presence of alcohol is ubiquitous in the story).
4. Phones in Hollywood only ring once (sometimes).
It seems that whenever the director wants a character to go straight to voicemail, he preternaturally imparts the phone with this knowledge, seeing as how it will usually only ring once.
Breaking Bad Season 1 Episode 2 “Cat’s in the Bag…”
It must be inconvenient, having less than two seconds to get to the phone before the answering machine kicks in.