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View Full Version : What breaks your suspension of disbelief? [Take 2]



Fiery Diamond
2012-07-03, 11:32 PM
Right. So this thread got locked initially because people decided to talk about real-world issues and political stuff. I lost power during these storms (yay East Coast of the US) so I just got power back... and since our wonderful moderator friend has given permission for the on-topic discussion to continue provided we all keep things to fiction and avoid not-allowed topics (should not be hard, guys :smallsmile:), let us begin again!


My original opening post.


As the title says.

(Willing) suspension of disbelief is an odd thing. When we read, watch, or otherwise observe fictional stories, and especially fantasy stories, suspension of disbelief is a necessary (and desirable) thing. However, we don't want to have to constantly force ourselves - we want to be able to adopt a mindset and enjoy. This is one reason why we tend to gravitate toward certain types of stories; these are ones that contain things it is easy for us to suspend disbelief for. It is also why changing up the genre (or certain other expectations) in the middle of a story is so jarring: we adopt a certain way of looking at the story where certain "unrealistic" (for whatever value of that word we're using) things are accepted but others are not. If you're reading a gritty WWII historical fiction and suddenly aliens or mages appear, it doesn't matter how much you like alien sci-fi or sword&sorcery fantasy, it will break immersion.

But even if a story doesn't switch up the assumptions in the middle, there are some things we just can't bring ourselves to suspend disbelief for. Each one of us is different, and different things are "just too much" for different people. Examining what things are easy for us to suspend disbelief about and what things are hard or near-impossible can be an interesting (and sometimes enlightening) exercise. Sometimes a person has trouble with one thing but not another even when the two aren't all that different in how far removed from reality they are.

So, what breaks you suspension of disbelief? And do you have any interesting pairs of "I don't have trouble with THIS, but I do have trouble with the related THAT"?

I'll start with a small example:

I don't have any trouble with virtual realities (such as a virtual MMORPG where people put on headsets that relay information to the brain directly) that are essentially "real" enough to be seen as separate worlds.

But I do have difficulty with AI characters who are indistinguishable from humans in their apparent cognitive and emotional capacities. It provides mental conflict with my ability to view characters as people.

McStabbington
2012-07-04, 01:45 AM
Unrealistic injuries. The human body is actually quite a tough, durable piece of machinery when it comes right down to it, and can keep working despite massive damage. More importantly, as a basic principle of engineering, every object in motion takes the path of least resistance, which is fairly rarely through human bone. And yet to judge by the number of times I've seen people impale themselves while running in horror movies or have some thrown object cause gaping craters or break the skull, you'd think humans have skeletons made of silly putty.

Sith_Happens
2012-07-04, 02:10 AM
This might be the exact opposite of what you're asking, but I can never get over any scientific errors or impossibilities that aren't established as being related to the fantastical elements of the work. The two best/worst examples that I can think of right now:

1. The steam balls in Steamboy. It's a completely amazing movie that manages to be grounded in reality to exactly the right extent that steampunk should be... Except for one, (kind of spoilerish) little thing:
I might have just heard it wrong, but I'm pretty sure that the countless tons/second of gas keeping the Steam Castle up for half the movie was supposed to all be coming from inside the steam balls. So how exactly was a kid, or anyone for that matter, carrying one around for hours at a time?

2. The Doctor Who episodes "The Impossible Planet" and "The Satan Pit." Yes, it's a series about time travel, and yes, the Doctor spews plainly ridiculous technobabble every five seconds. Yes, the pair of episodes in question revolve around an ancient imprisoned being who may or may not be the unconscious inspiration for the Devil and his equivalents in every religion in the universe. For me, that's what makes it all the more maddening to hear the Doctor (and everyone else, but especially him) claim that it's "impossible" for a planet to be in stable orbit around a black hole. Hey Doc, you might want to check again, because that's kind of what everything in most known galaxies is doing.:smallfurious:

An Enemy Spy
2012-07-04, 02:13 AM
Spelling errors. Dear god. This is one of the main reasons I can't read fanfiction.

Trixie
2012-07-04, 02:48 AM
For me, that's what makes it all the more maddening to hear the Doctor (and everyone else, but especially him) claim that it's "impossible" for a planet to be in stable orbit around a black hole. Hey Doc, you might want to check again, because that's kind of what everything in most known galaxies is doing.:smallfurious:

Um, the very first three extrasolar planets ever discovered are in stable orbit around black hole... :smallsigh:

Eldan
2012-07-04, 02:58 AM
It's silly, I know. BUt for me, it was in The Avengers. Specifically, when Hawkeye fires an arrow at a computer console from across the room, and his arrow deploys two plugs and plugs itself into the computer to upload a virus.

That one just didn't work for me.

Killer Angel
2012-07-04, 03:51 AM
When you watch a movie that should be realistic, and instead you see peoples making things totally impossible for humans. Here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vlaBehEZDEg)'s a notable example.

No matter HOW HARD I TRY. I simply can't believe it.

Surfing HalfOrc
2012-07-04, 04:00 AM
Well, relating to MMOs, I'm playing Eden Eternal. And the thing that bugs me/breaks my suspension of disbelief is the overcrowded/fast spawning enemies. Kill a guy, bam! Replacement is already forming up! You can't thin the herd fast enough, then they swarm you.

At least the dungeons have set monsters in set locations/patrol routes. But Tab/6, 1, 2, 3, 6, Tab/6, 1, 2, 3, 6, Tab... grind, grind, grind gets extra tedious.

Misspellings and wrong word choice also gets me. An object isn't over they're, and there isn't possessive...

Ravens_cry
2012-07-04, 04:17 AM
When I can think of a better solution to a problem than the author, and/or when stupidity in otherwise competent characters is the only thing driving the plot forward.

Tergon
2012-07-04, 04:33 AM
When reading, it's grammar or spelling errors, or the writer trying to flex their vocabulary beyond what's needed for the scene. Yes, you know a lot of three-dollar words, but purple prose really isn't vital.

In films, it's when someone willingly ignores the rules of physics. It can be lots of things... Shrugging off a bullet wound, or pulling off a car stunt that simply shouldn't be possible, or climbing inside a lead-lined refrigerator and being blasted several miles by an atomic bomb only to get up without a scratch on you and look at some stupid ****ing CGI gopher you stupid sack of worthless **** George Luca-
*ahem*
Look, I don't sweat the small stuff. A few things that stretch plausibility for the rule of cool, I don't care. But give me some basis in reality or else you might as well just claim the main character is powered by fairy dust.

And in movies or film, it's Exospeak. Yes, okay, I get that sometimes the characters need someone to come up and tell them what's what. But it is so incredibly unusual for someone to recap the plot thus far in a monologue when they're surrounded by people who know it already, or even worse, they're alone. There is no plot device clumsier than the Exposition Character who walks in just to explain the story to anyone too dumb to have followed it thus far, and as soon as they step into the spotlight, I'm violently jerked out of the story into remembering that it's not happening, it's following a (poorly-written, apparently) script.

Killer Angel
2012-07-04, 04:35 AM
I've got another one.
In most episodes of CSI, when someone stares at an image filmed by a low quality camera and says, “can you enhance it? Zoom in on the reflection of the glasses”

Enhance what?! Do you want to see those 4 fuzzy pixels bigger on the screen?

Spiryt
2012-07-04, 05:04 AM
Unrealistic injuries. The human body is actually quite a tough, durable piece of machinery when it comes right down to it, and can keep working despite massive damage. More importantly, as a basic principle of engineering, every object in motion takes the path of least resistance, which is fairly rarely through human bone. And yet to judge by the number of times I've seen people impale themselves while running in horror movies or have some thrown object cause gaping craters or break the skull, you'd think humans have skeletons made of silly putty.

On the other end of the spectrum, you've got Bruce Willis, or worse yet, rather frail looking girls, taking ridiculous beating trough good few minutes of the movie, and then instead of being completely out of wind, they make angry, determined expression, and charge to set everything straight. :smallbiggrin:

Being visibly more athletically able than before taking damage.


But that's indeed not quite as harmful to suspension that people falling flat and done because they took one punch or glass shard to the dome.

Avilan the Grey
2012-07-04, 05:43 AM
When you watch a movie that should be realistic, and instead you see peoples making things totally impossible for humans. Here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vlaBehEZDEg)'s a notable example.

No matter HOW HARD I TRY. I simply can't believe it.

This is one of three, for me.

The second: When the idiot ball becomes the elephant in the room. Meaning when a character, in order to pull the plot kicking and screaming to where the writer needs it, does something SO stupid that even the dumbest character in the room would go "No. Bad Idea." But don't. Obviously.

The third: When the whole concept of the movies TOO stupid. This is related to both one and two above. Typical examples are 2012, The Day After Tomorrow, any original SyFy movie ever made...

Ravens_cry
2012-07-04, 06:05 AM
I've got another one.
In most episodes of CSI, when someone stares at an image filmed by a low quality camera and says, “can you enhance it? Zoom in on the reflection of the glasses”

Enhance what?! Do you want to see those 4 fuzzy pixels bigger on the screen?
Yes, technobabble and magical technology is bad enough when it is in science fiction, but when it occurs in shows ostensibly set in a Real Life™ setting it gets down right infuriating.:smallmad:

Traab
2012-07-04, 01:06 PM
Spelling errors and horrid grammar in stories. There is another thing that I have only seen done a handful of times, maybe you can define what type of error this falls under. In a naruto story, there was a part of the chunin exam prelims where two of the girls are talking, and the phrase, "Proud kunoichi of the leaf" is used something like 5 times in a short period of time. As in, I could see all uses of that phrase on the top half of my screen at once. "You could be a proud kunoichi of the leaf if you trained." "You really think I could be a proud kunoichi of the leaf" "I really do think you could be a proud kunoichi of the leaf, and we will help you to become a proud kunoichi of the leaf." "Thank you hinata, with your help I will be a proud kunoichi of the leaf." etc etc etc etc etc. I think I developed a nervous tic every time I read those words.

As far as movies go, it takes something pretty damn blatant to break my sense of disbelief, I tend to just go with the flow. Even if I am watching The Rock walk slowly away from an exploding bus as a flaming tire shoots past him, missing his head by 6 inches and he doesnt even flinch.

The biggest thing to EVER shatter my immersion in a movie, (though that may be different) was when I watched lord of the rings for the first time in the theatre. They got frodo to rivendell, and when elrond showed up something was wrong with him, something wasnt right, I couldnt quite place it but it was on the tip of my tounge. Then he said, "Welcome to Rivendell" and I SHOUTED out loud in the theatre, "MISTER ANDERSON!" The entire audience just lost it with laughter, but I didnt even do it on purpose, it just hit me. I couldnt understand WHY my first thought upon seeing elrond was, "Holy crap is this guy ever an evil bastard." Even though I know good and well he isnt. The whole time I subconsciously recognized agent smith. Thank god he wasnt in a lot of scenes.

Man on Fire
2012-07-04, 02:16 PM
Copypasting from previosu thread:

* When characters are acting unreasonable, just because plot says so.

* Any refferences to world mechanics into the story. Order of the Stick manages to somehow work around it, through not always, while in Goblins it really breaks me out of the story every time.
** On the same note: Estabilishing rules of the world in-story and then breaking them when it's convinient.

* Stripterific female outfits, armors, costumes or just anything they wear that looks stupid - high heels in battle, unnecessary cleavage and other bullcrap like that. (D&D, superhero comics)
** On the same note, ridiculous male costumes - underwear on pats, Space Marine shoulderpads and stupid color cominations are equally stupid. (Superheroes, both Warhammers)

* When whatever supernatural abilities people have doesn't cange every day life in the slightest. (DCU)
** And when they are used to solve every problem in five minutes (Tippyverse)

* When I'm supposed to accept that characters with power are so far above normal people that normals become completely irrevelant in any conflict, even other heroes who doesn't have the power (D&D fans approach to the casters)
** When I'm supposed to accept that one normal human is better than anyone with powers and can beat every single powered being given prep time, yet at the same time he is more realistic than them. (Batman)
** Just generally when story promises me one thing to enjoy and then turns out it's a lie and tries to force me to enjoy something different (DC promises superheroes, forces Batman, D&D promises all kinds of fantasy heroes, forces casters)

* When the numbers doesn't make sense and writer clearly has no idea about the scale of things he/she is talking about (Kaaren Traviss and Mandalorians starting war on galactic scale with less people USRR had in WWII, Geoff Johns and all life in the Universe starting on Earth that shouldn't even exist when it happened).

* Trying to justify characters' amoral actions with made up excuses that only make them look stupid (Prime Directive)
** Trying to justify character's action while at the same time giving somebody else hard time for doing the same thing (Enterprise did this once)

* When I'm supposed to care about unlikeable jerks because they are doing cool things.

* All races being of one and the same nature (D&D "Always Chaotic Evil" BS)

* Elves being always better.
** Or just Elves in general, they piss me off.

* Bland characters and strawmen, they are unrealistic.

hamishspence
2012-07-04, 02:32 PM
* When the numbers doesn't make sense and writer clearly has no idea about the scale of things he/she is talking about (Kaaren Traviss and Mandalorians starting war on galactic scale with less people USRR had in WWII,

Was in the novelisation of Episode II- and several other authors used the figures before she did- so she was stuck with it. Blame Lucas for giving R. A Salvatore (who wrote the novelisation) the idea that "a million units" meant "a million warriors" if you want to blame anyone.

Man on Fire
2012-07-04, 03:27 PM
Okay, she didn't invented it, but shewent out of way to defend it (saying that all her critics are really Jedi fanboys (those pointing this and other issues) and comparing them to Nazis) and it struck in my head as her idea. My bad.

Now, other things that breaks my suspension of disbelief:

* People who make convoluded and stupid plans, especially people who make convoluded and stupid plans to remove obstacles they have set themselves AS A PART OF PLAN IN QUESTION!
* People who are presented to us as clever magnificent manipulators and master planners while they clearly have no idea about simplest things around them.
** Especially when they defeat obstacles that are too much for them by plot being convinient.

Worst offender I seen so far is Queen Chrysalis from MLP. I already alienated all local pony fandom, but I will repeat that:


She poses as fiaance of royal guard's captain who is mantaining protective spell around capital city. She is slowly draining his power and love to power helself and weaken him and his will, so she can send her army to invade the city. Problems:
1) She clearly has no plan how to deal with the most powerful person in the city, whom she defeats only by plot device neither she or anybody else knew about or even suspected it may occur.
2) She is the one who informed the city there was a threat, therefore making them deploy the protective barrier stopping her forces from atacking the city. Her only obstacle was the one she created herself as a part of her plan to get rid of it!
3) She didn't have to do that at all. She is queen of changelings, her race replaces their victims and feeds on love others feel for them, they don't need to make full-frontal asault on anything, and with the way they feed it's even counterproductive.

tl;dr She doesn't realize power of her enemies, her own race's abilities and needs and make plan she didn't had to make in first place, creating the reason for it.

An Enemy Spy
2012-07-04, 04:21 PM
Spelling errors and horrid grammar in stories. There is another thing that I have only seen done a handful of times, maybe you can define what type of error this falls under. In a naruto story, there was a part of the chunin exam prelims where two of the girls are talking, and the phrase, "Proud kunoichi of the leaf" is used something like 5 times in a short period of time. As in, I could see all uses of that phrase on the top half of my screen at once. "You could be a proud kunoichi of the leaf if you trained." "You really think I could be a proud kunoichi of the leaf" "I really do think you could be a proud kunoichi of the leaf, and we will help you to become a proud kunoichi of the leaf." "Thank you hinata, with your help I will be a proud kunoichi of the leaf." etc etc etc etc etc. I think I developed a nervous tic every time I read those words.

As far as movies go, it takes something pretty damn blatant to break my sense of disbelief, I tend to just go with the flow. Even if I am watching The Rock walk slowly away from an exploding bus as a flaming tire shoots past him, missing his head by 6 inches and he doesnt even flinch.

The biggest thing to EVER shatter my immersion in a movie, (though that may be different) was when I watched lord of the rings for the first time in the theatre. They got frodo to rivendell, and when elrond showed up something was wrong with him, something wasnt right, I couldnt quite place it but it was on the tip of my tounge. Then he said, "Welcome to Rivendell" and I SHOUTED out loud in the theatre, "MISTER ANDERSON!" The entire audience just lost it with laughter, but I didnt even do it on purpose, it just hit me. I couldnt understand WHY my first thought upon seeing elrond was, "Holy crap is this guy ever an evil bastard." Even though I know good and well he isnt. The whole time I subconsciously recognized agent smith. Thank god he wasnt in a lot of scenes.

Doesn't really seem like the movie's fault. I sometimes do that, like when I saw Dead Poet's Society, I kept quoting Red Foreman whenever the kid's dad was on screen.

JCarter426
2012-07-04, 04:30 PM
2. The Doctor Who episodes "The Impossible Planet" and "The Satan Pit." Yes, it's a series about time travel, and yes, the Doctor spews plainly ridiculous technobabble every five seconds. Yes, the pair of episodes in question revolve around an ancient imprisoned being who may or may not be the unconscious inspiration for the Devil and his equivalents in every religion in the universe. For me, that's what makes it all the more maddening to hear the Doctor (and everyone else, but especially him) claim that it's "impossible" for a planet to be in stable orbit around a black hole. Hey Doc, you might want to check again, because that's kind of what everything in most known galaxies is doing.:smallfurious:
I didn't have a problem with that part. We're never actually told how far the planet is from the black hole, or how large the black hole is, or any of the important details, really. And we see stuff flying past the planet right into the black hole. Granted that's not how black holes work, but it does suggest the planet was so close it should have fallen in by now. It's not inconceivable.

What really annoys me is the planet is described as being in "geostationary orbit". Putting aside the fact that geostationary orbit refers specifically to Earth... a black hole is either a point or a ring, so it's not possible to be in any kind of stationary orbit at all - or it's not possible to not be... depends on how you look at it.

That was a good story, though.

hamishspence
2012-07-04, 04:42 PM
Black holes can rotate. And I've seen "geostationary" or "geosynchronous" orbit used in sci-fi numerous times for any orbit where the object is orbiting in such a way as to remain above the same spot on the planet (because orbit time is the same as planet rotation time)

So, a "geostationary orbit round a black hole" would work- if it's a rotating one.

dps
2012-07-04, 04:48 PM
I didn't have a problem with that part. We're never actually told how far the planet is from the black hole, or how large the black hole is, or any of the important details, really. And we see stuff flying past the planet right into the black hole. Granted that's not how black holes work, but it does suggest the planet was so close it should have fallen in by now. It's not inconceivable.


Yeah, I thought that the impossibility referred to was the planet being in a stable orbit given its proximity to the black hole (or, more accurately, I suppose, to the event horizon), not the planet being in a stable orbit around a black hole per se.

Kato
2012-07-04, 04:55 PM
I have a hard time answering because I have a hard time to say when my 'suspension of disbelief' is broken... O can accept so much a film throws at me thinking 'meh, it's just a movie, that doesn't work in real life' and go on with it... but if it's about what keeps me from doing so and grinding my teeth there are a few rare instances, like


This might be the exact opposite of what you're asking, but I can never get over any scientific errors or impossibilities that aren't established as being related to the fantastical elements of the work.
Agreed. I can take anything, and I say ANYthing (heck, I love TTGL) when the rules of the universe say 'this is possible in our world' but if something is supposed to work like real life or if something clearly breaks the rules of previously established without proper explanation that can really ruin a thing for me...

or if a person makes a genuis plan or makes it sound like a genius plan yet there is some part of it that relies either on dumb luck or something the person can not possibly know or foresee to happen.

Most of the time if someone acts just too dumb to live I file i under one trope or another... but there are some rare occasions when I am unable to do so... Especially when it goes against everything the character did earlier. I can't think of a good example right now but whatever.

JCarter426
2012-07-04, 05:44 PM
Black holes can rotate. And I've seen "geostationary" or "geosynchronous" orbit used in sci-fi numerous times for any orbit where the object is orbiting in such a way as to remain above the same spot on the planet (because orbit time is the same as planet rotation time)

So, a "geostationary orbit round a black hole" would work- if it's a rotating one.
No, it still doesn't work. A black hole, rotating or otherwise, is not a 3-dimensional object. It's a point. There's only one point to orbit around.

jseah
2012-07-04, 06:10 PM
The easiest to break suspension of disbelief for me is in the setting. A lack of curiousity. If some magic rule or superscience or whatever is present, someone at some time in the chronology must have tried to poke at it and the story must in some way reference that work or I instantly mark down the story.
It's not fatal, but I have poor opinions of stories that do not investigate their own fantastical rules.


A related one is a story creating a fantastical rule solely for the purpose of using it as a plot device. It breaks immersion greatly for me.
Eg. A special rule about blood magic which only exists to create a situation where the main character can steal the evil sorceror's magic is, to me, as much a deus ex machina as if a god decided to smite him on the spot. This applies even if we knew the rule at the start.

Man on Fire
2012-07-04, 07:35 PM
The easiest to break suspension of disbelief for me is in the setting. A lack of curiousity. If some magic rule or superscience or whatever is present, someone at some time in the chronology must have tried to poke at it and the story must in some way reference that work or I instantly mark down the story.
It's not fatal, but I have poor opinions of stories that do not investigate their own fantastical rules.

I don't think I get what you mean, care to explain?

Jaros
2012-07-04, 08:08 PM
The easiest to break suspension of disbelief for me is in the setting. A lack of curiousity. If some magic rule or superscience or whatever is present, someone at some time in the chronology must have tried to poke at it and the story must in some way reference that work or I instantly mark down the story.
It's not fatal, but I have poor opinions of stories that do not investigate their own fantastical rules.

This is one of my few problems with Being Human (UK, moreso with the later series). Specifically when they declare something as never having happened before. Such as being told in the first series that Mitchell's the only ever clean vampire, or (season 3 spoilers)
Two werewolves mating. You're really telling me that in the entire history of the supernatural (which the vampires confirm) there's never been a male and female werewolf (morphed) meet in the wild have sex?

And while I'm talking about Being Human: revealing weird new rules about your supernatural creatures when you're already deep into the series, like at the start of series four when we find out:
1) Werewolf blood is toxic to vampires. Incredibly so. Burns through them like acid. Oh did we not mention this in the last three series of vampire-werewolf conflicts? Yeah that's gonna be important from now on.

2) It's possible for a werewolf to trick his body into transforming by looking at a drawing of the moon except not totally so they're all super strong but have control but they can't heal so Russel Tovey can leave the show now.The first one was ridiculous that it didn't come up sooner, the second one was just weird.

McStabbington
2012-07-04, 10:43 PM
On the other end of the spectrum, you've got Bruce Willis, or worse yet, rather frail looking girls, taking ridiculous beating trough good few minutes of the movie, and then instead of being completely out of wind, they make angry, determined expression, and charge to set everything straight. :smallbiggrin:

Being visibly more athletically able than before taking damage.


But that's indeed not quite as harmful to suspension that people falling flat and done because they took one punch or glass shard to the dome.

Yeah, but that doesn't bug me. It's only when it works the other way that I'm bothered. For instance, I was supposed to cheer when Paris Hilton bit it in House of Wax, but the whole time I just looked at it quizically, thinking "That's not how iron bars work! Or necks! Or skulls! Does she have like the world's worst case of osteoperosis or something?" It fails to work partly because it immediately draws me out of my suspension of disbelief, and partly because it doesn't work for the story: I'm a lot more afriad of pain than I am of some instant kill, no matter how gruesome, and a human who bleeds out after fighting like heck to stay alive suffers a lot more than someone who gets a sfx kill.

Also, as someone who knows a little bit about tactics, the displays put on by most tactical masterminds are . . . :smallfurious:. Tactics really aren't that hard to understand: you use what you have, whether technology, personell or terrain, to kill the other guy without either killing yourself or allowing the other guy to kill you. All the same, I actually almost do a happy dance on those rare occasions where someone a) gets the tactics right, and b) points out how it's done.

Ravens_cry
2012-07-04, 10:43 PM
No, it still doesn't work. A black hole, rotating or otherwise, is not a 3-dimensional object. It's a point. There's only one point to orbit around.
The singularity may be a point, but the event horizon describes a three dimensional shape I believe.

Arcane_Secrets
2012-07-05, 12:23 AM
Fish. Don't. Roar. Even in really awful science fiction movies, fish shouldn't roar.

Continuing the discussion about black and white, not liking it means missing Citizen Kane.

Tergon
2012-07-05, 02:50 AM
The easiest to break suspension of disbelief for me is in the setting. A lack of curiousity. If some magic rule or superscience or whatever is present, someone at some time in the chronology must have tried to poke at it and the story must in some way reference that work or I instantly mark down the story.
It's not fatal, but I have poor opinions of stories that do not investigate their own fantastical rules.


A related one is a story creating a fantastical rule solely for the purpose of using it as a plot device. It breaks immersion greatly for me.
Eg. A special rule about blood magic which only exists to create a situation where the main character can steal the evil sorceror's magic is, to me, as much a deus ex machina as if a god decided to smite him on the spot. This applies even if we knew the rule at the start.


I don't think I get what you mean, care to explain?

Not to steal jseah's thunder, and I hope I'll be corrected if I'm wrong, but it's to say that if a Universe obeys arbitrary rules, people will explore them. The human race in our universe has spent its entire existence trying to figure out this "physics" thing and we've done some pretty awesome things in the meantime. If a universe has any other system of rules that it follows, and the people in that universe are humans, they'd similarly try to figure out how that works as well.

It's like the Harry Potter universe. Nobody seems to know how people have magic in the first place, despite a major plot point being the racist idea that muggles should not have magic. Nobody seems to have made any effort whatsoever to figure out how they have magic, or why they have magic, but God help you if you try pointing that out to the villians. Or take the fact that the kids at Hogwarts use quills, ink and candles when it's established that ordinary humans have modern-level technology at their disposal, and that magic-users have made zero attempts to find out how that technology works even though there's no reason why not. A wizard working by candlelight in a dark tower is thematically appropriate. But at wizard in the year 2010 who doesn't know what a light bulb is makes zero sense in any context.

People are, by their nature, curious beings who love to figure out how things work. Including the arbitrary and confusing laws of the universe. So if your universe works a certain way, and there's people in it, it stands to reason people would have tried long ago to figure them out, or else you're saying that your story is populated by clones of Forrest Gump.

Emmerask
2012-07-05, 09:32 AM
Computer stuff that just does not work this way,
from """coding""" a virus (or trojan don´t remember anymore what he actually did) by moving around boxes on a 3d grid (swordfish) to being able to extrapolate the other side of a picture with zero information about what can be seen from the other side (enemy of the states).
I don´t even want to talk about a certain crime show which is just monumentally stupid :smallwink:

Karoht
2012-07-05, 11:35 AM
When a film/show has a great opportunity for an excellent action sequence, but they stop everything to explain what the main character just did and how he did it and why it worked.

I'll admit, I was liking Naruto, or at least parts of it, but when this happened literally any time the bad guy/s were countered in any way in combat, that is when I stopped watching it.

"Oh my god, this guy is the master of kicking. There is no way that (good guy) can win!"
*Insert banter between master of kicking and good guy*
*Insert action sequence*
*Good Guy kicks Master of Kicking in the face*
"Oh my God, how did he do that?"
*Insert 5 minute explanation of how Good Guy kicked Master of Kicking (with a kick) in the face, mostly filled with slow motion instant replays, sometimes with diagrams*

And for whatever reason, the action completely stops while two characters who have nothing to do with the fight, and are up in the stands or hiding in a tree or behind a rock, have a conversation.
The action stops so that onlookers can have a conversation.

Then, they have the two fighters banter again, run at each other...
*cut away to an entirely different bunch of crap*

JoeMac307
2012-07-05, 03:37 PM
I've got another one.
In most episodes of CSI, when someone stares at an image filmed by a low quality camera and says, “can you enhance it? Zoom in on the reflection of the glasses”

Enhance what?! Do you want to see those 4 fuzzy pixels bigger on the screen?


That's awesome. That drives me up a wall as well. There is a lot of lazy handwaving in police procedurals these days... a lot of hacking of cell phones to trace them, and other techniques like that which I just can't believe are used day to day (or, like ever) at the local precinct.

SynissterSyster
2012-07-05, 04:11 PM
For me it has to be, in fanfics at least, when a character is alterted far past any reasonable explinaiton. It is like how in the world can you expet me to believe that is X. Other stuff doesn't bug me as much. The little TV i do watch I can't find many flaws in the show, unless I see the same face/actor used multiple times for different reasons (NCIS did this a few times).

Ravens_cry
2012-07-05, 04:15 PM
That's awesome. That drives me up a wall as well. There is a lot of lazy handwaving in police procedurals these days... a lot of hacking of cell phones to trace them, and other techniques like that which I just can't believe are used day to day (or, like ever) at the local precinct.
At least cell phones can be hacked, abuse of the enhance button is a literal physical impossibility.
Techniques like super resolution generally take multiple photos and are basically 'best guesses'.

JCarter426
2012-07-05, 04:48 PM
The singularity may be a point, but the event horizon describes a three dimensional shape I believe.
It doesn't look like a 3-dimensional object, though. It's not going to have any distinguishing features. Considering nothing (well, almost nothing) that goes in every comes back, how would you even tell? If you could measure the black hole's rate of rotation, then I guess it is possible, maybe, technically... but it still bugs me. Why would you include a bit of information that's barely possible and doesn't make any sense when there are much more important matters? The planet is too close to the event horizon to maintain its orbit by any known means. I don't care if it takes a week to not fall in or a year to not fall in... it's not falling in!

Xondoure
2012-07-05, 05:17 PM
It doesn't look like a 3-dimensional object, though. It's not going to have any distinguishing features. Considering nothing (well, almost nothing) that goes in every comes back, how would you even tell? If you could measure the black hole's rate of rotation, then I guess it is possible, maybe, technically... but it still bugs me. Why would you include a bit of information that's barely possible and doesn't make any sense when there are much more important matters? The planet is too close to the event horizon to maintain its orbit by any known means. I don't care if it takes a week to not fall in or a year to not fall in... it's not falling in!

An easy explanation for whenever the Doctor's technobabble uses real life terms and still makes no sense is that the humans he's explaining it to simply have no idea what he's talking about and the TARDIS picks out words from their brain which kind of sort of work.

McStabbington
2012-07-05, 05:59 PM
It doesn't look like a 3-dimensional object, though. It's not going to have any distinguishing features. Considering nothing (well, almost nothing) that goes in every comes back, how would you even tell? If you could measure the black hole's rate of rotation, then I guess it is possible, maybe, technically... but it still bugs me. Why would you include a bit of information that's barely possible and doesn't make any sense when there are much more important matters? The planet is too close to the event horizon to maintain its orbit by any known means. I don't care if it takes a week to not fall in or a year to not fall in... it's not falling in!

Probably in geosynchronous orbit with something in the accretion disk just outside the event horizon. But I still take your point.

Janus
2012-07-05, 06:19 PM
The new Spider-Man movie had a random one for me.
Oscorp. Rich, powerful. Has magnificent secret projects going on.
WHO THE CRAP DESIGNED THOSE DOOR LOCKS!? I don't care if it looks futuristic, it's a really insecure method! No crap that Peter got in!

jseah
2012-07-05, 06:20 PM
I don't think I get what you mean, care to explain?

Not to steal jseah's thunder, and I hope I'll be corrected if I'm wrong, <...>
Or take the fact that the kids at Hogwarts use quills, ink and candles when it's established that ordinary humans have modern-level technology at their disposal, and that magic-users have made zero attempts to find out how that technology works even though there's no reason why not.
Mostly correct. I don't quite mind the using quills part, but there better be an explanation because someone ought to have tried using a variety of pens.
I can totally dig Draco using a green&silver serpent-motif fountain pen. Quills need some explanation.

I can also accept a cultural explanation as to why certain technologies are not adopted. Eg. harry potter not using fiat currency, literal gold is so old-fashioned; but that has to have a believable explanation. I can explain it myself, but the story *must* mention why or at least imply it. Something, anything, to make the characters in a story seem to be real, and not... well, there solely for a story.
Definitely if the gap is obvious or completely nonsensical.


For many cases of lack of technology, "they haven't invented it" can be implied simply by the look of things. (I don't expect steam power in a pseudo-medieval fantasy)


EDIT:
To clarify,
while I enjoy a good bit of drama as much as the next person, the best characterization and interactions in the world cannot alone make a character come to life for me.
A character does not only exist in relation to itself and to other characters. I see them as part of a setting, and if they do not fit in, it jars my sense of disbelief.

The simplest and often occuring way they do not fit into a setting is when obvious questions are not dealt with. Because the characters are human (at least most of the time, I do give leeway for non-humans), and I am human. If I find the questions obvious, so must they; and I expect them to ask and poke and investigate as much as any normal person would.
The characters need to know their setting, in the same way that we know RL. That includes simple things like not building an old infirm grandma's hut out in the woods (Red Riding Hood), to the more complex, like why no one appears the least curious about the hows and whys of magic they use all the time.

That's not to say that we cannot have exceptions (some people never ask), or that we cannot have casters incurious about the workings of magic. Just that the explanations for those things need to be stated.

Androgeus
2012-07-05, 06:51 PM
The new Spider-Man movie had a random one for me.
Oscorp. Rich, powerful. Has magnificent secret projects going on.
WHO THE CRAP DESIGNED THOSE DOOR LOCKS!? I don't care if it looks futuristic, it's a really insecure method! No crap that Peter got in!

the best thing about this?
Later in the film, I'm sure we see a card reading lock.

snoopy13a
2012-07-05, 06:58 PM
Mostly correct. I don't quite mind the using quills part, but there better be an explanation because someone ought to have tried using a variety of pens.
I can totally dig Draco using a green&silver serpent-motif fountain pen. Quills need some explanation.

I can also accept a cultural explanation as to why certain technologies are not adopted. Eg. harry potter not using fiat currency, literal gold is so old-fashioned; but that has to have a believable explanation. I can explain it myself, but the story *must* mention why or at least imply it. Something, anything, to make the characters in a story seem to be real, and not... well, there solely for a story.
Definitely if the gap is obvious or completely nonsensical.


For many cases of lack of technology, "they haven't invented it" can be implied simply by the look of things. (I don't expect steam power in a pseudo-medieval fantasy)


EDIT:
To clarify,
while I enjoy a good bit of drama as much as the next person, the best characterization and interactions in the world cannot alone make a character come to life for me.
A character does not only exist in relation to itself and to other characters. I see them as part of a setting, and if they do not fit in, it jars my sense of disbelief.

The simplest and often occuring way they do not fit into a setting is when obvious questions are not dealt with. Because the characters are human (at least most of the time, I do give leeway for non-humans), and I am human. If I find the questions obvious, so must they; and I expect them to ask and poke and investigate as much as any normal person would.
The characters need to know their setting, in the same way that we know RL. That includes simple things like not building an old infirm grandma's hut out in the woods (Red Riding Hood), to the more complex, like why no one appears the least curious about the hows and whys of magic they use all the time.

That's not to say that we cannot have exceptions (some people never ask), or that we cannot have casters incurious about the workings of magic. Just that the explanations for those things need to be stated.

Not everyone is curious. For example, how many people have a general understanding of how electricity is generated? Out of those who do not, how many do you think actually care? Probably few. They just accept that electricity works and use it.

If someone came to our time from, say the Middle Ages, they'd be baffled by our technology. Some people would be able to explain how electricity, radio/TV, automobilies, airplanes, etc., work but the majority of people in our society would not.

I guess my point is, why should we expect fictional characters to be curious about the complex aspects of their world while so many of us are oblivious to how the complicated items in our society work?


As for the OP's question, large-scale fanasty armies without an explanation of how the lands can support such large armies affect my suspension of disbelief. Also, I like The Wheel of Time series, but seriously, the Aiel are plain ridiculous.

jseah
2012-07-05, 07:14 PM
I guess my point is, why should we expect fictional characters to be curious about the complex aspects of their world while so many of us are oblivious to how the complicated items in our society work?
True, not everyone (RL speaking) would pick up a magic flaming sword and immediately wonder "how does it work?"; or look at a map that says Here be Dragons and wonder "what do dragons look like" (this one considerably fewer =D)

But I wager a large portion will. Significant enough that many someones would have at least tried to investigate unless they were presented with a compelling reason. (eg. dragons breathe fire and like to eat people, that makes asking questions about them a bit lower down on the priority list... if they leave you alone. If dragons eat people regularly, one would expect people to ask many many questions and try to find out)

After all, there exist a substantial number of electronic hobbyists, car enthusiasts and so on. Not everyone knows everything, likewise I do not expect a single character to go haring off into the Elemental planes, investigating the roots of magic, the connections of prayers to gods and the physics of air pressure all at the same time... But many different people would have done each of these different things. At some point, someone is going to have looked into any particular question you care to name, unless it's a new question.
And as they say, nothing is new under the sun.

JCarter426
2012-07-05, 08:16 PM
An easy explanation for whenever the Doctor's technobabble uses real life terms and still makes no sense is that the humans he's explaining it to simply have no idea what he's talking about and the TARDIS picks out words from their brain which kind of sort of work.
It was a human that said it. :smallannoyed:

Androgeus
2012-07-05, 08:19 PM
It was a human that said it. :smallannoyed:

'cause all humans speak the same language :smalltongue:

Avilan the Grey
2012-07-06, 02:28 AM
That's awesome. That drives me up a wall as well. There is a lot of lazy handwaving in police procedurals these days... a lot of hacking of cell phones to trace them, and other techniques like that which I just can't believe are used day to day (or, like ever) at the local precinct.

I can swallow it to a degree. Early episodes of CSI were fine, and so is NCIS. However NCIS los Angeles is horrible.

At least Bones is supposed to be 20 minutes in the future (I guess, since they have holographic displays etc).

Basically my SoDB is ruined when it is obviously too "Sci-Fi-y" despite supposedly "realistic".

Also: Cops that behaves like assess and still are supposed to be the good guys and never get called on it (LAO SVU, I am looking at you).

JCarter426
2012-07-06, 04:32 AM
'cause all humans speak the same language :smalltongue:
Yeah, because geostationary orbit means something completely different in other languages... :smalltongue:

Aiani
2012-07-06, 08:46 AM
I've got another one.
In most episodes of CSI, when someone stares at an image filmed by a low quality camera and says, “can you enhance it? Zoom in on the reflection of the glasses”

Enhance what?! Do you want to see those 4 fuzzy pixels bigger on the screen?

Yes, this so much. I work as a security guard so I deal with cameras and DVR's a lot and it would be nice if we could do that with recorded images but it's freaking impossible. Silly TV shows.

I have a really specific example myself. Watching Avatar in the theater there is the scene when Jake and Neytiri get their alien freak on by the big tree and although her hair has been in little braids for the entire movie it was unbraided for this scene. In the morning they are awoken when the military is coming to attack the tree and they have to run off and warn everyone. When they get to the Na'vi village to warn everyone her hair is braided up again. Now in real life I know people who get their hair braided like that and it literally takes hours to do it. At least 4 hours or more usually. When did she stop and braid her hair while they were supposed to be getting this urgent message to her people? That irritated me so much.

Rhydeble
2012-07-06, 08:52 AM
Yeah, because geostationary orbit means something completely different in other languages... :smalltongue:

do remember that we're talking about a spacefaring culture vs a non-spacefaring culture (future humans and not-future humans). It is entirely logical to assume that the companion (not sure which season that was) heard geosynchronous because that was the closest word she knew that meant at least slightly what the explainer meant. I don't think the Tardis usually uses words that companions don't know or understand.

Tyndmyr
2012-07-06, 09:26 AM
It's silly, I know. BUt for me, it was in The Avengers. Specifically, when Hawkeye fires an arrow at a computer console from across the room, and his arrow deploys two plugs and plugs itself into the computer to upload a virus.

That one just didn't work for me.

That shot was the only one in the movie I couldn't personally make.

What broke it for me in that movie, though, was not that shot...I can accept superhuman accuracy in a superhero movie. It's sort of his shtick.

It's much more difficult to believe that the world's most amazing archer needs not one, but two armguards.

GolemsVoice
2012-07-06, 09:30 AM
At least 4 hours or more usually. When did she stop and braid her hair while they were supposed to be getting this urgent message to her people? That irritated me so much.

I guess that's not so much a violation of the SoDB as a continuity error. But it disturbs the flow of the movie, yes.

What actually breaks my SoDB is when writers try to explain too much with too little knowledge. I don't know much about most natural sciences, but I know something, and enough to know when something's obviously BS.

So either tell me the ship is run on "dilithium crystals creating harmonic flow variations" , which is essentially "space magic, don't asK". That's ok, I'm reading a story set in space, and neither the writer nor I are scientists. But if you TRY to explain why everything runs, and you fail you only draw attention to it.
I'm willing to let writers handwave a lot of technology (provided it's consistent) but if they try to explain it with actual science, I will measure them accordingly.

Tyndmyr
2012-07-06, 09:48 AM
I've got another one.
In most episodes of CSI, when someone stares at an image filmed by a low quality camera and says, “can you enhance it? Zoom in on the reflection of the glasses”

Enhance what?! Do you want to see those 4 fuzzy pixels bigger on the screen?

This. Also this. I hate so much when people just wildly ignore technological limitations in things. Now, I'm not going to quibble about minor things, like seeing the little "how far we're through the movie" indicator scroll by on the "live" video in Jurassic Park....but in Titanic 2, we have lifeboats that are submarines. When a wave crashes over them, they explode.

Seriously? What part of this equation did you not understand, waves or submarines?

Tergon
2012-07-06, 11:11 AM
Also, any unrealistic romantic plot or subplot. Give me some chemistry between characters before you send them screwing off into the sunset, for crying out loud! It's particularly bad in a lot of stories where the romance is the central plot. "Boy meets girl and they fall in love" officially lost all rights to being called an original plot after Romeo and Juliet, and even then Shakespeare had to include a double suicide and a blood feud between rival families to keep it spicy. You can't make that story interesting because one is poor and the other is rich, or because one is human and one is not, or whatever. You need more, and you need a believable explanation for why Quirky Main Character and Stoic Love Interest fell for each other after two solid hours of the plot establishing that they weren't going to. And if you can't, take your so-called love story and get the hell out of my universe.

nihil8r
2012-07-06, 01:34 PM
This is one of my few problems with Being Human (UK, moreso with the later series). Specifically when they declare something as never having happened before. Such as being told in the first series that Mitchell's the only ever clean vampire, or (season 3 spoilers)
Two werewolves mating. You're really telling me that in the entire history of the supernatural (which the vampires confirm) there's never been a male and female werewolf (morphed) meet in the wild have sex?

And while I'm talking about Being Human: revealing weird new rules about your supernatural creatures when you're already deep into the series, like at the start of series four when we find out:
1) Werewolf blood is toxic to vampires. Incredibly so. Burns through them like acid. Oh did we not mention this in the last three series of vampire-werewolf conflicts? Yeah that's gonna be important from now on.

2) It's possible for a werewolf to trick his body into transforming by looking at a drawing of the moon except not totally so they're all super strong but have control but they can't heal so Russel Tovey can leave the show now.The first one was ridiculous that it didn't come up sooner, the second one was just weird.

that whole series was such a train wreck, i'm so glad i stopped at season 2

Jaros
2012-07-06, 02:23 PM
that whole series was such a train wreck, i'm so glad i stopped at season 2

Oh the series as a whole I think is brilliant, but some parts can be kind of annoying.

JCarter426
2012-07-06, 02:40 PM
do remember that we're talking about a spacefaring culture vs a non-spacefaring culture (future humans and not-future humans). It is entirely logical to assume that the companion (not sure which season that was) heard geosynchronous because that was the closest word she knew that meant at least slightly what the explainer meant. I don't think the Tardis usually uses words that companions don't know or understand.
Well, two things. First, she was talking to the Doctor. And second... yes it does, it does that all the time. The show has a long history of characters not understanding the explanation, even when the audience does - sometimes the companion, sometimes other characters - not because it's being poorly translated, but because they lack the proper frame of reference.

Killer Angel
2012-07-06, 02:41 PM
Wow, I'm glad that my example of CSI and enhancing cameras received so much appreciation. :smallbiggrin:


Also, any unrealistic romantic plot or subplot. Give me some chemistry between characters before you send them screwing off into the sunset, for crying out loud! It's particularly bad in a lot of stories where the romance is the central plot. "Boy meets girl and they fall in love" officially lost all rights to being called an original plot after Romeo and Juliet, and even then Shakespeare had to include a double suicide and a blood feud between rival families to keep it spicy.

Eh, a well know clichè tends to break any suspension of disbelief, 'cause you already know what's going to happen.

Now, it's nostalgia time.
When I was a kid and I followed the first series of UFO Robot Grendizer (aka Goldrake), Jeeg, and so on, I was very excited. But sometime, when our hero was facing some mooks (all those little UFO, and so on), they used the same sequences twice in a row. As far as I can tell, that was my first experience with breaking of SoD.

Xondoure
2012-07-06, 03:20 PM
Well, two things. First, she was talking to the Doctor. And second... yes it does, it does that all the time. The show has a long history of characters not understanding the explanation, even when the audience does - sometimes the companion, sometimes other characters - not because it's being poorly translated, but because they lack the proper frame of reference.

That doesn't change the fact that we do not speak gallifreyan, so we don't hear things the way the doctor hears them. And the point is that TARDIS translation isn't perfect, and that such hand waves are necessary in order to enjoy Doctor Who.

JCarter426
2012-07-06, 06:04 PM
But he quite obviously speaks English. And I did say I enjoyed the episode anyway.

Man on Fire
2012-07-07, 04:13 AM
Another thing that break my suspension of disbelief - breaking in-universe rules to make somebody special. Many anime and Japanesse games have this problem:

* In Darker Than Black every Contractor has some sort of habit, thing they must do every time they use their powers (usually after but at least one guy needed to do it to even use his powers at all), that are some sort of ironic torture for them. Except for main character, who doesn't have one for pretty dumb reason.
* In Persona 4 every character has to confront their evil self, Shadow, and accept it in order to aquire Persona. Except for main character who gets one out of nowhere.
* In Fate/Stay Night everyone summons Servant who is so,e sort of legendary or historical figure from world's history. Except for Rin, who, for soem reason, managed to summon Servant from Future or Alternate Universe or whatever, I'm not exactly sure where she got the guy from, but certainly from where she should get him from.

Breaking rules you yourself estabilished to make hero special is cheap, lazy and creates plot holes.

Also, I don't know if I haven't mentioned it already but Deus Ex Machina used to let heroes get an easy way out of reasonable moral dillemma breaks it for me too.


Like in the end of Avatar: The Last Airbender. For those who don't know, the dilemma was if Aang should kill fire lord Ooazi (or is it Oazi?) or let him live, knowing well that the man will continue his evil deeds. Theen in the ifnale they suddenly bought out of nowhere stupid power allowing to seal Ooazi's powers - no foreshadowing, no justification, it just poops out of nowhere to let Aang get scot free from the dilemma. I'm not even suprised one of my friends refuse to watch Legend of Korra because they made that Dues Ex machina important part of the plot, it reminds him of tht terrible ending.

Xondoure
2012-07-07, 02:19 PM
Another thing that break my suspension of disbelief - breaking in-universe rules to make somebody special. Many anime and Japanesse games have this problem:

* In Darker Than Black every Contractor has some sort of habit, thing they must do every time they use their powers (usually after but at least one guy needed to do it to even use his powers at all), that are some sort of ironic torture for them. Except for main character, who doesn't have one for pretty dumb reason.
* In Persona 4 every character has to confront their evil self, Shadow, and accept it in order to aquire Persona. Except for main character who gets one out of nowhere.
* In Fate/Stay Night everyone summons Servant who is so,e sort of legendary or historical figure from world's history. Except for Rin, who, for soem reason, managed to summon Servant from Future or Alternate Universe or whatever, I'm not exactly sure where she got the guy from, but certainly from where she should get him from.

Breaking rules you yourself estabilished to make hero special is cheap, lazy and creates plot holes.

Also, I don't know if I haven't mentioned it already but Deus Ex Machina used to let heroes get an easy way out of reasonable moral dillemma breaks it for me too.


Like in the end of Avatar: The Last Airbender. For those who don't know, the dilemma was if Aang should kill fire lord Ooazi (or is it Oazi?) or let him live, knowing well that the man will continue his evil deeds. Theen in the ifnale they suddenly bought out of nowhere stupid power allowing to seal Ooazi's powers - no foreshadowing, no justification, it just poops out of nowhere to let Aang get scot free from the dilemma. I'm not even suprised one of my friends refuse to watch Legend of Korra because they made that Dues Ex machina important part of the plot, it reminds him of tht terrible ending.


First, it's Ozai. Second, it's odd that you mention special rules for protagonists being an immersion breaker when, well... Avatar Aang. As for the ending. I can understand why people don't like it. But I don't think it was ever in doubt that Aang would stop the fire lord, the question was really how. And that instead of taking the easy way and killing the man, Aang was determined enough to find a different solution. Or to quote an earlier discussion "You were right about what Katara needed. Violence wasn't the answer." "It never is." "Then I have a question for you. What are you going to do when you face my father?" :smalltongue: My point being people remember the last line but forget the first two. Specifically that violence in this instance is a poorly veiled word for killing. And that a big part of Aang's philosophy, and the philosophy they were trying to convey to the audience is that killing is wrong. Now there is something to be said about being forced into a choice of compromising your beliefs for the fate of the world, but Avatar was never that story.

Man on Fire
2012-07-08, 06:31 AM
First, it's Ozai. Second, it's odd that you mention special rules for protagonists being an immersion breaker when, well... Avatar Aang. As for the ending. I can understand why people don't like it. But I don't think it was ever in doubt that Aang would stop the fire lord, the question was really how. And that instead of taking the easy way and killing the man, Aang was determined enough to find a different solution. Or to quote an earlier discussion "You were right about what Katara needed. Violence wasn't the answer." "It never is." "Then I have a question for you. What are you going to do when you face my father?" :smalltongue: My point being people remember the last line but forget the first two. Specifically that violence in this instance is a poorly veiled word for killing. And that a big part of Aang's philosophy, and the philosophy they were trying to convey to the audience is that killing is wrong. Now there is something to be said about being forced into a choice of compromising your beliefs for the fate of the world, but Avatar was never that story.

Still, they should have estabilish this spirit-sealing before, not suddenly bring it up from their arses in the lastmoment. Drop some hints or make it a subplot that Aang cannot master this technique and he realizes how to use it in finale.Something.

Also, two other things that breaks my suspension of disbelief:

* Incoherent technological progress. Avatars again. In The last Airbender aang has sleept in ice for a hundred years and during this time technology didn't advanced at all, despite that entire world was thrown into a war, a.k.a. time when technology makes biggest leaps foward. In Legend of Korra during rest of Aang's life, which clearly wasn't anywhere near 100 years, at the time of peace, technology managed to jump from steampunk-esque right into equivalent of Earth between the World Wars I and II.

* Characters accidentially coming out as jerks. I'm right now reading J.M. McDermott's Never Knew Another. At the very begining the protagonist senses that man she is talking to is sick and will die soon and she laments she cannot help him, because her godess forbids using magical powers in cities. Problem is that she could just tell him - nothing indicates she cannot do that (she gave him money for funeral when she had an excuse, so she clearly can interffere in mundane ways) and I think that dude would like to make amends and say goodbye to his loved ones, or even try to go to his gods and ask for help, when there's still time. Narration goes to lenghts to show us how sad it makes the protagonist, but it's all undone by lack of this simple thing.

Sotharsyl
2012-07-08, 07:24 AM
Another thing that break my suspension of disbelief - breaking in-universe rules to make somebody special. Many anime and Japanesse games have this problem:

* In Darker Than Black every Contractor has some sort of habit, thing they must do every time they use their powers (usually after but at least one guy needed to do it to even use his powers at all), that are some sort of ironic torture for them. Except for main character, who doesn't have one for pretty dumb reason.
* In Persona 4 every character has to confront their evil self, Shadow, and accept it in order to aquire Persona. Except for main character who gets one out of nowhere.
* In Fate/Stay Night everyone summons Servant who is so,e sort of legendary or historical figure from world's history. Except for Rin, who, for soem reason, managed to summon Servant from Future or Alternate Universe or whatever, I'm not exactly sure where she got the guy from, but certainly from where she should get him from.


Breaking rules you yourself estabilished to make hero special is cheap, lazy and creates plot holes.

Also, I don't know if I haven't mentioned it already but Deus Ex Machina used to let heroes get an easy way out of reasonable moral dillemma breaks it for me too.


Like in the end of Avatar: The Last Airbender. For those who don't know, the dilemma was if Aang should kill fire lord Ooazi (or is it Oazi?) or let him live, knowing well that the man will continue his evil deeds. Theen in the ifnale they suddenly bought out of nowhere stupid power allowing to seal Ooazi's powers - no foreshadowing, no justification, it just poops out of nowhere to let Aang get scot free from the dilemma. I'm not even suprised one of my friends refuse to watch Legend of Korra because they made that Dues Ex machina important part of the plot, it reminds him of tht terrible ending.



I've got to say I agree with this completely about your last spoiler though:

What annoyed me the most was Aang was choosing the Airbender way over the Avatar way, he goes and talks to 4 other avatars and they all give their honest opinion that killing Ozai was necessary, the Airbender Avatar even spelled it out for him the reason why he doesn't want to kill Ozai is due to his clinging to his Airbender spiritual beliefs.

So we had a huge Deus ex Machina just so Aang could feel better about himself.


Another thing from the same show wars which are described as having lasted 100+ years but are resolved in 1 short battle/epilogue etc.

Also hero is traveling somewhere stops with a tribe for example the chief's daughter is instantly smitten with him although he' s only been there for a day and will leave in another day.

And everybody seems treat this as perfectly normal except the villain of the week who has the hots for the girl.

Mr. Villain of the Week I get your jealousy is helpful in this case but you're the top warrior of the tribe and courting her for who knows how long if she gives you the cold sholder and wants to hook up with a random travelling guy maybe you should try looking somewhere else.

dehro
2012-07-08, 10:30 AM
there are plenty of things that can turn out to disrupt the magic or jank me away from being immersed in the tale/movie/whatever. Mosty it has to do with something that has been handled badly or portrayed badly or that is blatantly fake (not in-plot fake, but the kind where you can see where the magician pulled the rabbit from fake).
there are however 2 major things that I could single out:
1) cross-overs. In any medium, when there are 2 estabilished characters with their own distinct tales, sagas, series, universes or whatever and they come together for what in 99% of the cases is a marketing gimmick, I can't take either of the 2 characters or the tale seriously, no matter how much I may have loved them individually. there are maybe 1 or two exceptions that I can think of where this didn't ruin the fun for me.
2) fire in movies...especially when done with CGI. I cannot think of a single CGI generated flame/fire/explosion that looked in any way believable. As for real explosions..they're so often so over the top and unreal that they too spoil the fun for me.
why is it that in most action movies, the ba guys always surround themselves with barrels of petrol? what is a barrel of petrol doing in a laundry? why is every abbandoned warehouse full of cans of flammable stuff? why do all cars in movies explode in a ball of fire when even bombs have very little in the way of visible flames and are more about the disrupting power of shrapnel? why do all cars involved in accidents blow up? do they not adhere to safety standards in the US? to the best of my knowledge, fuel tanks are build to shut down in case of accidents and to resist most kinds of impacts. Yes..occasionally a car goes up in flames..but rarely with explosions, and it's an uncommon event to begin with... in action movies, every time there's a serious car crash, the cars will either pile up for comedic effect rather than be scattered about or crammed into one another, or they will explode in a ball of fire, often knocking the heroes off their feet at the very last second.
enough of it already!

Traab
2012-07-08, 10:50 AM
Another thing that break my suspension of disbelief - breaking in-universe rules to make somebody special. Many anime and Japanesse games have this problem:

* In Darker Than Black every Contractor has some sort of habit, thing they must do every time they use their powers (usually after but at least one guy needed to do it to even use his powers at all), that are some sort of ironic torture for them. Except for main character, who doesn't have one for pretty dumb reason.
* In Persona 4 every character has to confront their evil self, Shadow, and accept it in order to aquire Persona. Except for main character who gets one out of nowhere.
* In Fate/Stay Night everyone summons Servant who is so,e sort of legendary or historical figure from world's history. Except for Rin, who, for soem reason, managed to summon Servant from Future or Alternate Universe or whatever, I'm not exactly sure where she got the guy from, but certainly from where she should get him from.

Breaking rules you yourself estabilished to make hero special is cheap, lazy and creates plot holes.

Also, I don't know if I haven't mentioned it already but Deus Ex Machina used to let heroes get an easy way out of reasonable moral dillemma breaks it for me too.


Like in the end of Avatar: The Last Airbender. For those who don't know, the dilemma was if Aang should kill fire lord Ooazi (or is it Oazi?) or let him live, knowing well that the man will continue his evil deeds. Theen in the ifnale they suddenly bought out of nowhere stupid power allowing to seal Ooazi's powers - no foreshadowing, no justification, it just poops out of nowhere to let Aang get scot free from the dilemma. I'm not even suprised one of my friends refuse to watch Legend of Korra because they made that Dues Ex machina important part of the plot, it reminds him of tht terrible ending.


The problem isnt breaking your own rules to make the hero special so much as it is going too far breaking them. Virtually every hero has something special about him that noone else does. Its why he is the hero. The difficult part is only breaking them enough to make him able to win the series, while not breaking them so much it just makes you yell out, "OH COME ON!" Bleach kinda did this for me. Ichigo goes from being some replacement shinimgami to being able to stand up against rukias brother, when maybe a month earlier that same person ganked him so hard he didnt even realize it till he fell over with his sword shattered and a new hole in his torso. His power creep was stupid. These captains and such spend YEARS getting to their level of strength, it takes ichigo a month to go from unranked levels to beating up kenpachi.

dehro
2012-07-08, 01:09 PM
An easy explanation for whenever the Doctor's technobabble uses real life terms and still makes no sense is that the humans he's explaining it to simply have no idea what he's talking about and the TARDIS picks out words from their brain which kind of sort of work.

well..doesn't the Doctor also constantly goes something like this:
"you know when the x goes y and gives z as a result?"
"yeah..?"
"well..it's nothing like it, but it's the closest you'll ever get to understand it"

Wardog
2012-07-08, 01:47 PM
Most of what breaks it for me has already been mentioned.

The big things are inconsistency / not followign the rules that have already been established, and people just doing really stupid/OOC things for the sake of Plot.

Other things:
* Stuff Blowing Up for no good reason (e.g. cars in low-speed collisions). Its funny in The Simpsons/Futurama when e.g. a desk gets overturned and catches fire, or a giant bee crashes and explodes, because it's meant to be silly. When a supposedly serious film does something almost as crazy, its just a moment killer. The car chase in Ronin was great, right up until this point: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zPOW1kLvWEg&feature=player_detailpage#t=295s

* Hollywood Tactics, particularly when it involves a catastrophic failure to understand the slightest thing about how the troops or weapons involved work. Pirates of the Caribbean 3 is a particularly bad offender, in the final battle between The Black Pearl & The Flying Dutchman vs. The Endeavour, when the two ships hold fire until they have positioned themselves right along side their target on either side, and then unleash broadsides.

* Stripperiffic costumes in any situation where they would be completely inappropriate and when there is no reason for the person to be wearing them. A little while ago I decided to reinstall and play Heros of Might and Magic 3, and just couldn't take the opening movie seriously when I saw what "armour (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qVeBw3S020E)" the queen of Erathia was wearing. (Also, on rewatching it just now, I see that she seems to have clamped her hair the back of her cuirass. Why?!).

* Physical imposibilities in stories that are supposed to be realistic. (The clip posted earlier with the guy jumping off a cliff and latching onto another with his picks is (seen in isolation at least) just enough on the right side of "acceptible for a movie" for me. The bus jumping off the broken bridge in Speed is not).

* Getting basic science completely wrong. I can accept "magic" as an explanation. I can accept "alien/futuristic super-science" as an explanations. I cannot accept "evolution as understood by ST:Voyager" as an explanation for for anything.

* Likewise, complete failure to understand how people lived in the period a work is set in (or is the inspiration for, in the case of fantasy). Eragon is a good example. I wouldn't expect (or want) a detailed explanation of the economy of Analgesia (or whatever its called), nor would I even expect it to exactly mirror that of medieval Europe. But you would only need a brief flick-through of a primary-school history book to know that Eragon isn't poor and medieval villages don't work like that.

* Authors trying to show off their volcabulary and getting it wrong. (Eragon again is a bad offender, but having said that, a lot of the anti-Eragon criticism that I've read has gone too far, castigating the author for the use of any moderately fancy language at all).

* Too-abrupt changes in genre/theme. From Dusk to Dawn starts as a good serious crime thriller, and ends as a good silly vampire-fest, but personally the switch from one to the other just doesn't work.

Traab
2012-07-08, 03:12 PM
Hey wardog, that stripperific costume? I swear to god it looks like she is wearing her night clothes and got called out of bed, and since it was important she didnt take the time to get dressed. :p Too bad that isnt the actual case, because it would make that outfit make sense.

GolemsVoice
2012-07-08, 07:34 PM
why is it that in most action movies, the ba guys always surround themselves with barrels of petrol? what is a barrel of petrol doing in a laundry? why is every abbandoned warehouse full of cans of flammable stuff? why do all cars in movies explode in a ball of fire when even bombs have very little in the way of visible flames and are more about the disrupting power of shrapnel? why do all cars involved in accidents blow up? do they not adhere to safety standards in the US? to the best of my knowledge, fuel tanks are build to shut down in case of accidents and to resist most kinds of impacts. Yes..occasionally a car goes up in flames..but rarely with explosions, and it's an uncommon event to begin with... in action movies, every time there's a serious car crash, the cars will either pile up for comedic effect rather than be scattered about or crammed into one another, or they will explode in a ball of fire, often knocking the heroes off their feet at the very last second.

I actually believe this trend has died down a little in recent movies (safe those of the Bay variant)

But also, cinema is a visual medium. Shrapnell and the force of the blast are much harder to satisfyingly show on screen than simple, fiery explosions.

Traab
2012-07-08, 07:57 PM
fuel tanks are build to shut down in case of accidents and to resist most kinds of impacts

They are, and generally, they dont blow up irl. Mythbusters unloaded entire clips of ammo directly into gas tanks, everything from hand guns, to rifles, to automatic weapons, even using incendiary rounds. No boom. A car driven off a cliff generally wont explode either. They tried that several times too. Also, sorry bruce willis, but lighting a trail of fuel that catches up to a leaky engine thats driving away and blows it up? That doesnt happen unless the vehicle is going slow enough for my grandmother to catch up on foot. Even then, its not going to explode like gunpowder, itll just catch on fire. Oddly enough though, the leaking barrel of gunpowder in cartoons DOES work. It will catch up at a decent clip, climb up the falling powder, and go boom. Assuming its leaking enough.

dehro
2012-07-08, 07:59 PM
I understand the reasons for it..I just find that often it janks me away from "inside" the movie and makes me go "oh, yeah..it's a movie allright".. and again, flames nowadays are often managed with CGI...and I can't say that I've yet seen a convincing flame that didn't look.. computergamey

Surfing HalfOrc
2012-07-08, 11:16 PM
One that REALLY got under my skin was Mercury Rising. :smallfurious:

The villain of the plot wanted to protect the U.S.'s encryption system, but when an autistic boy is able to crack the code, he tries to have the boy killed. It's up to Bruce Willis to save the kid.

Um, hello! If this kid can crack YOUR code, he can crack YOUR ENEMIES' codes! You don't try to kill this kid and his entire family, you offer him a job and around-the-clock protection! Only if he and his family attempts to defect to an enemy country do you have him snuffed.

DigoDragon
2012-07-09, 08:04 AM
Another thing that break my suspension of disbelief - breaking in-universe rules to make somebody special.

Yeah, I agree with you on this. If an in-universe rule has some loop-hole, there should be a really good reason it's not been exploited before or why only the hero/villain can exploit it.


Something that hurts my Suspension of Disbelief is when a story needlessly over-explains an in-universe concept, ability, or device. For example, with faster-than-light travel I desire only the minimum information needed to know what it does. i.e. "This makes us travel super fast between stars. It gets energy from antimatter". That's usually enough for me to get the concept and accept it.

When the story starts explaining all the components behind the device and then revolves entire plots over these components (like breaking an established in-universe rule just to have a plot) then I stop believing that it's doing what it originally was advertised for and I ask questions like why this never happened before, why isn't this some weaponized bomb if it can do that, shouldn't there be a safety measure against it doing that, etc.

Karoht
2012-07-09, 05:13 PM
@Large Obvious Fuel Tanks
The kind which store thousands of liters/gallons of gasoline, diesel, or the massive propane tanks you see at the gas station.

I have a friend who used to sell those. He was always told that they were highly resistant to just up and exploding. A leak with flames coming out? Maybe. Outright explosion? Probably not. Not enough air flow, as they are designed that way.

The other thing he pointed out was impact damage those things could take. he once sold a fertilizer tank to a trucking company. And they filled it with fertlizer, particularly the kind which is highly explosive. Well, one day a gasoline truck drove in their yard and hit the tank, the truck was moving at about 50mph/80kmh. It was a 50000kg truck moving at a pretty decent clip.
Ironically, the gas truck caught fire. The fertilizer tank had it's outer shell decimated, it's inner shell had a slight puncture which was contained by the remains of the outer shell. Sure, there was some danger of ignition, but it was pretty remote. The gas truck was more likely to explosively combust.

Zarrgon
2012-07-09, 06:27 PM
1)Super Kids. Often seen in Disney type movies, but some times in others. Where all the adults stand around and are all 'duurrr' and then the kids have to amazingly save the day. The two classic examples are Will from Lost in Space and Penny from Inspector Gadget. But it's worse in 'serious' fiction.

2)Immortal Kids. Much like super kids, this is were tiny little kids fight full grown adults and win. The kids often do goofy things like 'have the adult step on a rake'. And, oddly, the adults(even when they are like hard core international assassins) won't just like punch the kid into next week. This goes the same for bullets and such never hitting kids.

3)Hacking. Where someone just presses a couple of buttons and can do anything with any computer anywhere anytime. I can accept some hacking, but most of the time fiction just goes off the rails with this.

4)The 'off chance' that a main character just happens to know all about X, Y or Z by an amazing coincidence and can fill in the folks. Like when the guy 'just happened' to take a couple years of Egyptology so he knows all about the mummy Mum-Ra.

5)The general PG-ness of movies. While I under stand they need to make PG movies for kids and adults that don't like real life, I just hate when they take an otherwise good idea, and water it down to next to nothing. And I wonder why they even waste the time with a PG version of the story.

For example, when the hulk Smashes his way through buildings and such....he will hurt and kill people...it's that simple. When the hulk punches a tank and sends it flying a mile away to crash in the desert...the little army guys inside will not crawl out and just hold their heads and say 'ow'.

The Transformers movies were full of this...big battles in cities.....yet oddly no death.

Karoht
2012-07-09, 06:52 PM
Ever see that trailer for the PG version of 300?
Worth a laugh or two.
"Then we will hug in the shade."


I can tell you why hollywood makes PG films rather than leaning more adult or more child. Rating Boards are largely useless at keeping children out of R rated films these days (which means that moron parents try and sue the film makers and not the theater that let their kids in), and G rating turns away older audiences regardless of the subject matter.
PG means that Hollywood is aiming for the same demographic they usually do. Which is "as many wallets as possible"

Obvious generalizations are obvious, but you get the idea. Hollywood runs on stereotypes and generalizations.

Whiffet
2012-07-09, 07:58 PM
3)Hacking. Where someone just presses a couple of buttons and can do anything with any computer anywhere anytime. I can accept some hacking, but most of the time fiction just goes off the rails with this.

Oh, man. Most things that break suspension of disbelief only do so in some conditions, but this one gets me every time. I've almost never seen hacking that I can believe in stories.

Karoht
2012-07-09, 08:23 PM
I like aspects of the film Hackers, as it showed them doing the research to gain passwords into the system they were going to go after.

But other aspects, such as the visualisation of the inner workings of a computer? Yeah, dump that out.

I would love to see a realistic film about hackers. Heck, is there even a good documentary out there about them? One that doesn't demonize them all automatically, or paint them as invincible untracable hacker hero pirates like Anon [the trope, not the actual group]?

Whiffet
2012-07-09, 08:36 PM
Well, when it comes down to it, I did enjoy Antitrust. Apparently other people didn't, though, so...

Anyway, I don't care about "realism" so much as "believability with varying leeway." So, say, a story is about an aspiring kid detective who makes a couple slightly questionable logical leaps? Well, okay, I'm willing to go along with that. A story is about some child genius who concludes that a museum's painting has been replaced with a fake because a crescent moon doesn't look like that in reality, and it turns out the kid is right? That will break my suspension of disbelief so hard that you'll hear it snapping from across the street.

Karoht
2012-07-09, 09:02 PM
Well, when it comes down to it, I did enjoy Antitrust. Apparently other people didn't, though, so...

Anyway, I don't care about "realism" so much as "believability with varying leeway." So, say, a story is about an aspiring kid detective who makes a couple slightly questionable logical leaps? Well, okay, I'm willing to go along with that. A story is about some child genius who concludes that a museum's painting has been replaced with a fake because a crescent moon doesn't look like that in reality, and it turns out the kid is right? That will break my suspension of disbelief so hard that you'll hear it snapping from across the street.
I find your example isn't exactly clear, but I get where you were going.

Now if the painting was the work of a cubist, okay, THAT would be odd indeed.

Whiffet
2012-07-09, 09:35 PM
I find your example isn't exactly clear, but I get where you were going.

Now if the painting was the work of a cubist, okay, THAT would be odd indeed.

You're right, that was very unclear. I apologize.

See the moon in the first panel of this (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0742.html) strip? That's what I had in my head when I said "the moon doesn't look like that" (unless, I suppose, there's a partial lunar eclipse). That example is very close to a story I read a long time ago. No "this artist took pride in being scientifically correct" reasoning, just "THE MOON DOESN'T LOOK THAT WAY! IT MUST BE FAKE!!" Now that I think about it though, there are many ways the painting could be "incorrect" without automatically being fake. Say there was a star inside the crescent, for example.

Gamer Girl
2012-07-11, 11:10 PM
Anyway, I don't care about "realism" so much as "believability with varying leeway."


Sure a movie is fiction, but I kinda like more 'real' fiction. Or I'd like the 'fiction' part to be the story itself, and not some crazy pointless thing. I'm fine with 'might maybe be possible', but they loose me with 'beyond impossible'.


I also hate that most movies have a single 'hot' male lead and a single 'hot' female lead and that they automatically just fall for each other. And this is in any type of movie except a romance movie, where they just randomly feel they 'must' throw in romance. It's worse when they are in New York and 'just happen' to meet at a coffee shop or otherwise randomly meet more then once.

I'm also bugged by 'action girl' types. When they are like 105 pound models, yet they are also like martial arts experts. And then they kick a 250 pound guy and send him flying away.

Avilan the Grey
2012-07-11, 11:25 PM
Sure a movie is fiction, but I kinda like more 'real' fiction. Or I'd like the 'fiction' part to be the story itself, and not some crazy pointless thing. I'm fine with 'might maybe be possible', but they loose me with 'beyond impossible'.


I also hate that most movies have a single 'hot' male lead and a single 'hot' female lead and that they automatically just fall for each other. And this is in any type of movie except a romance movie, where they just randomly feel they 'must' throw in romance. It's worse when they are in New York and 'just happen' to meet at a coffee shop or otherwise randomly meet more then once.

I'm also bugged by 'action girl' types. When they are like 105 pound models, yet they are also like martial arts experts. And then they kick a 250 pound guy and send him flying away.

So... in conclusion you cannot watch any movie, at all, ever, without breaking your suspension of disbelief? :smallwink:

JCarter426
2012-07-12, 12:40 AM
Rating Boards are largely useless at keeping children out of R rated films these days (which means that moron parents try and sue the film makers and not the theater that let their kids in), and G rating turns away older audiences regardless of the subject matter.
When I saw 300, a woman had in fact brought her kid. At least I hope it was hers.

Man on Fire
2012-07-12, 03:41 AM
I also hate that most movies have a single 'hot' male lead and a single 'hot' female lead and that they automatically just fall for each other. And this is in any type of movie except a romance movie, where they just randomly feel they 'must' throw in romance. It's worse when they are in New York and 'just happen' to meet at a coffee shop or otherwise randomly meet more then once.

I'm also bugged by 'action girl' types. When they are like 105 pound models, yet they are also like martial arts experts. And then they kick a 250 pound guy and send him flying away.

Yup, this annoys me too. Holywood and everybody else seems to think there is only one female body type out there and that's a supermodel. And if woman is even a bit out of this masturbational-fantasy then she's immiediately potrayed as ugly and disgusting, and God save u if she is even a bit chubby, because then they'll immiediately potray her as obsessed about food to disgusting levels, God is pisses me off so much.

Xondoure
2012-07-12, 03:49 AM
Yup, this annoys me too. Holywood and everybody else seems to think there is only one female body type out there and that's a supermodel. And if woman is even a bit out of this masturbational-fantasy then she's immiediately potrayed as ugly and disgusting, and God save u if she is even a bit chubby, because then they'll immiediately potray her as obsessed about food to disgusting levels, God is pisses me off so much.

Don't be silly. Movie stars are much to overweight to be super models! :smallsigh: (Oh society...)

Sith_Happens
2012-07-12, 05:17 AM
You're right, that was very unclear. I apologize.

See the moon in the first panel of this (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0742.html) strip? That's what I had in my head when I said "the moon doesn't look like that" (unless, I suppose, there's a partial lunar eclipse). That example is very close to a story I read a long time ago. No "this artist took pride in being scientifically correct" reasoning, just "THE MOON DOESN'T LOOK THAT WAY! IT MUST BE FAKE!!" Now that I think about it though, there are many ways the painting could be "incorrect" without automatically being fake. Say there was a star inside the crescent, for example.

Let me guess: Encyclopedia Brown? :smallsigh:

Fragenstein
2012-07-12, 05:54 AM
I'm also bugged by 'action girl' types. When they are like 105 pound models, yet they are also like martial arts experts. And then they kick a 250 pound guy and send him flying away.

Sandra Bullock in Demolition man. Here's a physical lightweight who's learned everything she knows about violence from old action movies. Her entire world is populated by pacifists to the point where rude comments are the height of aggressive behavior. The extent of her law enforcement training seems to be no more intense than asking someone, nicely, to stop being a criminal.

And yet when she's faced off against several feral maniacs straight out of Mad Max with the bodies of linebackers... she creams them.

What the hell, man? What the hell. I've watched a lot of Jackie Chan. I guess that means I can survive a nine-story fall through construction scaffolding.

I'm going to go give that a shot. I'll let you all know how it turns out.

Marillion
2012-07-12, 09:04 AM
When I saw 300, a woman had in fact brought her kid. At least I hope it was hers.

The theater was FULL of kids when I went to see Pan's Labyrinth. After the infamous bottle scene, it was suddenly empty.

Tyndmyr
2012-07-12, 10:15 AM
Sure a movie is fiction, but I kinda like more 'real' fiction. Or I'd like the 'fiction' part to be the story itself, and not some crazy pointless thing. I'm fine with 'might maybe be possible', but they loose me with 'beyond impossible'.


I also hate that most movies have a single 'hot' male lead and a single 'hot' female lead and that they automatically just fall for each other. And this is in any type of movie except a romance movie, where they just randomly feel they 'must' throw in romance. It's worse when they are in New York and 'just happen' to meet at a coffee shop or otherwise randomly meet more then once.

I'm also bugged by 'action girl' types. When they are like 105 pound models, yet they are also like martial arts experts. And then they kick a 250 pound guy and send him flying away.

I have no problem with "action girl" types. My gf deployed with a few seal teams. However, I do hate the cliched stupid romance that they tack on to other stories. Seriously, just skip it. It's not usually adding anything. And the action sequences can sometimes be ridiculous. I find myself annoyed when it's obvious that there's a crowd of people carefully waiting and attacking one or two at a time, obviously setting themselves up for the hero to be done with the previous one.

D_Lord
2012-07-12, 11:37 AM
About nothing, it seems that I enjoy movies more than most people than, because it seems a lot of nitpicking about things that don't really matter. It's a movie, nothing is real, and nothing should be real, because if things in most movies were real, the world would be doomed several times over.

Avilan the Grey
2012-07-12, 11:41 AM
Yup, this annoys me too. Holywood and everybody else seems to think there is only one female body type out there and that's a supermodel. And if woman is even a bit out of this masturbational-fantasy then she's immiediately potrayed as ugly and disgusting, and God save u if she is even a bit chubby, because then they'll immiediately potray her as obsessed about food to disgusting levels, God is pisses me off so much.

The first part of that is NOT true. The Hollywood Ugly part is still going on, but the supermodel thing is definitely not true.

Man on Fire
2012-07-12, 11:55 AM
The first part of that is NOT true. The Hollywood Ugly part is still going on, but the supermodel thing is definitely not true.

Name me one movie that doesn't show character who dosn't fit common standard of sexy in somewhat negative way (as ugly, obese, man-hating, etc) or doesn't kill her of in favor of more standard female characters (Vasquez in Aliens).

Avilan the Grey
2012-07-12, 12:04 PM
Name me one movie that doesn't show character who dosn't fit common standard of sexy in somewhat negative way (as ugly, obese, man-hating, etc) or doesn't kill her of in favor of more standard female characters (Vasquez in Aliens).

Why? That was not what I argued against. In fact, I agreed with the statement that almost all of them are beautiful.
I specifically argued against the statement that women in movies are looking like supermodels. That is definitely not true.

Man on Fire
2012-07-12, 12:08 PM
Then I think we have misunderstanding here - I used supermodel as synonymous of beautiful, trying to invoke stereotypical (oversexualized) image of supermodels, not the actual (anorectic) one. Maybe I should have say "porn stars" instead, my bad.

Avilan the Grey
2012-07-12, 12:51 PM
Then I think we have misunderstanding here - I used supermodel as synonymous of beautiful, trying to invoke stereotypical (oversexualized) image of supermodels, not the actual (anorectic) one. Maybe I should have say "porn stars" instead, my bad.

You know, porn stars is even more wrong. I don't think I recall a single upper tier actress that looks like a (stereotypical) porn star.

Traab
2012-07-12, 01:47 PM
The general gist is, gorgeous women that no hetero male would ever kick out of bed for eating crackers. That being said, yeah vasquez died, ut sigourney weaver was far from sexy in that film, or really, just about any of them. So there are exceptions, but they are exactly that. For every vasquez, there is a dozen carmens from starship troopers. For every christopher walken, there are a dozen brad pitts.

Tyndmyr
2012-07-12, 02:16 PM
Name me one movie that doesn't show character who dosn't fit common standard of sexy in somewhat negative way (as ugly, obese, man-hating, etc) or doesn't kill her of in favor of more standard female characters (Vasquez in Aliens).

Sigourney Weaver wasn't exactly the most sexy in that movie either...Hell, I'd consider Vasquez as more attractive.

Karoht
2012-07-12, 05:05 PM
For every vasquez, there is a dozen carmens from starship troopers. For every christopher walken, there are a dozen brad pitts.I would personally be quite happy if they got that ratio down to 1 in 6 as opposed to 1 in 12. 1 in 3 would be cool. More would be good.


As far as I recall hearing, there are very very few female screen writers, and very few scripts/screenplays that get accepted are from female writers. Few female producers and directors as well. Fixing that could go a heck of a long way towards seeing more believeable female characters.


I'm okay with Romantic Comedies, even if some of them are incredibly contrived. You tend to see a lot of female characters portrayed the same way. 30something single woman (possibly single mom), has an awesome professional career, wants a long term commitment relationship. It's believable to a point. But when an actress like Kathryn Haegel (however you spell that, too lazy to wiki) seems to play the same person in just about every film she's in, thats when it starts to pierce the veil.
Don't get me wrong, I like Kathryn Haegel, I think she does the comedy part of romantic comedies well, but the characters she plays are all stereotyped/troped.

Avilan the Grey
2012-07-12, 08:52 PM
Don't get me wrong, I like Kathryn Haegel, I think she does the comedy part of romantic comedies well, but the characters she plays are all stereotyped/troped.

I don't think I have ever watched a romantic comedy featuring her. So I wouldn't know :smallsmile:.

Gamer Girl
2012-07-12, 09:10 PM
I'm okay with Romantic Comedies, even if some of them are incredibly contrived. You tend to see a lot of female characters portrayed the same way. 30something single woman (possibly single mom), has an awesome professional career, wants a long term commitment relationship. It's believable to a point.
Don't get me wrong, I like Kathryn Haegel, I think she does the comedy part of romantic comedies well, but the characters she plays are all stereotyped/troped.


I'm fine with Romantic Comedies, I don't don't like the flimsy cardboard romance they tack into all the other movies. Take Transformers. You get the Sam and Makala 'romance', but why? It adds nothing to the movie. Sure the date part is funny with Bumblebee, but why exactly does she follow Sam after he flips his bike right in front of her. So she sees a guy she barley knows fall off his bike, and decides to hop on her scooter and follow him? Why? And why does she even get inside Bumblebbe after that? And they kinda forget the 'romance' part after that and Sam and Makala act out the rest of the movie as just friends.

JoeMac307
2012-07-12, 09:19 PM
I'm fine with Romantic Comedies, I don't don't like the flimsy cardboard romance they tack into all the other movies. Take Transformers. You get the Sam and Makala 'romance', but why? It adds nothing to the movie. Sure the date part is funny with Bumblebee, but why exactly does she follow Sam after he flips his bike right in front of her. So she sees a guy she barley knows fall off his bike, and decides to hop on her scooter and follow him? Why? And why does she even get inside Bumblebbe after that? And they kinda forget the 'romance' part after that and Sam and Makala act out the rest of the movie as just friends.

I am in no way defending the Transformers movie franchise... But my guess is Bay probably thought so called "geeky" Transformers fans would identify with Sam and as such really want to see him get a hot girl that supposedly no Transformers fan could get in real life. Bay is fond of stereotypes, whether they be of women, minorities, or fans of niche pop culture (so called "nerds" and "geeks")

Avilan the Grey
2012-07-13, 06:53 AM
The one thing I don't get about Transformers is why they didn't let the INCREDIBLY hot AND plot-important Australian woman (all that AND a sexy accent! *drool*) be the love interest?

JoeMac307
2012-07-13, 08:28 AM
The one thing I don't get about Transformers is why they didn't let the INCREDIBLY hot AND plot-important Australian woman (all that AND a sexy accent! *drool*) be the love interest?

Maybe they thought Megan Fox was a more talented actress? Heh, heh, heh, heh. That's a funny thought.

Wardog
2012-07-14, 05:54 PM
Hey wardog, that stripperific costume? I swear to god it looks like she is wearing her night clothes and got called out of bed, and since it was important she didnt take the time to get dressed. :p Too bad that isnt the actual case, because it would make that outfit make sense.

Just to be clear, I didn't mean the white and gold thing she was wearing at the start. I'm mean the bikini-bottom-and-thigh-high-steel-boots armour that she changes into later.

TheSummoner
2012-07-14, 07:10 PM
So... I thought of a new one that bothers me today... When people use words in either dialogue or internal monologue that a person would never use in conversation.

I was reading a book earlier today... In first person so a good deal of internal monologue... and there was a bit where he was more or less thinking that it was raining and because of all the mud and dog and horse crap in the streets, there was no way he was going to be able to keep his boots clean.

Fair enough... Except the word used was "feces." I have never heard anyone use that word except maybe in a medical context. It just doesn't seem like the sort of word a person would use in most situations. "Dung" "droppings" "waste" "crap" Another four letter version that the board would block. All better choices (some moreso than others granted). Vulgarity wasn't an issue since the book did get rather obscene in places, especially when one character was insulting another (and some of those were quite creative and colorful, which I enjoyed).

That sort of thing immediatly takes me out of the story and makes me think about just how awkward the word choice is.

Androgeus
2012-07-14, 07:12 PM
That sort of thing immediatly takes me out of the story and makes me think about just how awkward the word choice is.

Damn other people and their different vocabularies. :smalltongue:

TheSummoner
2012-07-14, 07:21 PM
What, you don't find someone using that word in that situation even the least bit awkward? :smallconfused:

An Enemy Spy
2012-07-14, 07:31 PM
So... I thought of a new one that bothers me today... When people use words in either dialogue or internal monologue that a person would never use in conversation.

I was reading a book earlier today... In first person so a good deal of internal monologue... and there was a bit where he was more or less thinking that it was raining and because of all the mud and dog and horse crap in the streets, there was no way he was going to be able to keep his boots clean.

Fair enough... Except the word used was "feces." I have never heard anyone use that word except maybe in a medical context. It just doesn't seem like the sort of word a person would use in most situations. "Dung" "droppings" "waste" "crap" Another four letter version that the board would block. All better choices (some moreso than others granted). Vulgarity wasn't an issue since the book did get rather obscene in places, especially when one character was insulting another (and some of those were quite creative and colorful, which I enjoyed).

That sort of thing immediatly takes me out of the story and makes me think about just how awkward the word choice is.

I hear people say feces. It's less common but it happens.

Gnomish Wanderer
2012-07-14, 07:51 PM
What, you don't find someone using that word in that situation even the least bit awkward? :smallconfused:
Nope, I have friends who prefer to say feces.

The thing I think most breaks my suspension of belief is whenever the director or screenwriter or whatever purposefully try to be 'cool'. For example the scene in Diary of the Dead where the deaf Amish guy blows up the zombies with dynamite and holds up a sign he managed to write as it went off. That is like the worst example I can think of, but pretty much whenever a piece of media has a scene like that where they're just appealing to something not related to the film (the love of explosions like the example above or in Transformers, fan service like in almost EVERY anime, etc.) it just puts me off.

Whiffet
2012-07-14, 08:13 PM
What, you don't find someone using that word in that situation even the least bit awkward? :smallconfused:

I'm going to start using it now. :smallbiggrin:

kpenguin
2012-07-14, 08:15 PM
What, you don't find someone using that word in that situation even the least bit awkward? :smallconfused:

I hear feces flung around more often than droppings, at any rate.

McStabbington
2012-07-14, 08:36 PM
I'm fine with Romantic Comedies, I don't don't like the flimsy cardboard romance they tack into all the other movies. Take Transformers. You get the Sam and Makala 'romance', but why? It adds nothing to the movie. Sure the date part is funny with Bumblebee, but why exactly does she follow Sam after he flips his bike right in front of her. So she sees a guy she barley knows fall off his bike, and decides to hop on her scooter and follow him? Why? And why does she even get inside Bumblebbe after that? And they kinda forget the 'romance' part after that and Sam and Makala act out the rest of the movie as just friends.

I'm not going to defend Transformers in any way, but that is actually a fairly standard Hollywood scheme based on "quartering" the audience. Basically, Hollywood markets its products to four "quarters" of the population: men and women under the age of 35, and men and women over the age of 35. A movie is only seen as commercially viable if they can get 2 of the 4 quarters of the demographic to come and see it. So for a movie like Transformers, that's basically money for the "men under 35" quarter, but you need to get another quarter. Men over 35 tend to be very finicky in what they watch, so they are rarely marketed to, so the usual route is to tack enough subplots onto a story to sell it to women. Which usually means tacking on an ad-hoc romance that has little to do with the plot. Transformers was just more obvious about this than most movies.

As a side note: yes, I agree that it's ridiculously sexist that "marketing to women = romance." But Hollywood has been able to market romances to women in the past, and has never really gotten how to market anything else, so that's what you get.

Blisstake
2012-07-14, 08:47 PM
I uses "feces" all the time, especially when concerning animals who excrement would be too large to be considered droppings.

Anyway, the thing that annoyed me the most about Transformers (and, oh wow, was there so much I hated about that movie) was the scene where they're picking cars, and Bumblebee shatters every single one except him. Oh, this isn't weird at all, let's just pick out the one that's left! It's like, don't they think there's anything even remotely strange about that, or at the very least, go to a different dealer since that place's cars all shatter. :smallsigh:

dehro
2012-07-14, 09:50 PM
do I have to mention a certain shield surfing elf? or that other time when he vaulted on a horse by basically going through said horse? or the massive uruk-hai that were thrown off a certain bridge by the dozens simply by a couple of horses charging through them? or a certain other charge that should by rights have basically killed all the horses from falling over because the hill was too steep? as much as I love those movies, there were plenty of moments that had me facepalm and swear

Avilan the Grey
2012-07-15, 06:51 AM
do I have to mention a certain shield surfing elf? or that other time when he vaulted on a horse by basically going through said horse? or the massive uruk-hai that were thrown off a certain bridge by the dozens simply by a couple of horses charging through them? or a certain other charge that should by rights have basically killed all the horses from falling over because the hill was too steep? as much as I love those movies, there were plenty of moments that had me facepalm and swear

None of these things are unrealistic. Just saying. Except the steepness of the hill, maybe.

And what do you mean "going right through said horse"? He sure doesn't do that on my DVD.

dehro
2012-07-15, 07:10 AM
None of these things are unrealistic. Just saying. Except the steepness of the hill, maybe.

And what do you mean "going right through said horse"? He sure doesn't do that on my DVD.

well..ok, he didn't go through the horse.. but he might as well.. he performs a movement to jump in the saddle that spits in the eye of the humanly possible..so much so that even taking into account elvish agility and nimbleness.. it's just a little bit too much.
as for the surfing down the stairs whilst shooting arrows..yes of course it's....realistic? not so much.. let's settle for possible.. the fact however is that the entire idea reeks of PJ having a giddy moment of silliness and throwing it in purely for his personal pleasure.
anyway, I'm not debating whether a scene is well made, thought off or realistic... I'm mentioning it purely because it made me facepalm and become acutely aware that I was watching a movie... which is what the thread is all about. it may not have the same effect on others..it does for me.

P.S. a charging horse may throw down/trample a few passersby if it's really determined not to stop.. but a bunch of hulking warriors in a compact line of assault would either stop said horse in its tracks or make it rear up/be pushed back by the sheer mass of bodies...especially so on the stone pavement of the bridge..which is a very unsteady surface for a horse with 2-3 feet off the ground...there's a reason why you shouldn't bring a horse to a gallop on a common asphalted road

Halberd
2012-07-21, 06:43 PM
One that isn't extremely common, but really bugs me, is selective anthropomorphism, i.e., when some animals act like people in a story and some simply act like dumb animals.

An example of this that really bugged me when I was little was in a Richard Scarry story that featured a pig farmer, and his inept cat assistant, attempting to milk some decidedly non-anthropomorphic cows. The thought that was going through my young mind at the time was something along the lines of: "How is it that a pig can walk on two legs and talk and wear overalls, but a cow is just another farm animal? Seriously, they're both farm animals in the real world. In this world where pretty much every other mammal acts like a person, what makes cows so much dumber?"

Another example would be in Redwall, during a scene in which Cluny and his rat force are riding in a cart pulled by an ordinary, unintelligent horse. The world of Redwall has intelligent mice, rats, ferrets, badgers, otters, cats, owls, and snakes (to name a few) and yet a horse is somehow considered just an animal? This baffles me.

And don't even get me started on Pluto and Goofy...

irenicObserver
2012-07-21, 06:47 PM
I want to be brief and say that bad writing breaks my suspension of disbelief. For the sake of enjoying the story I will let a lot of things slide but just plain terrible writing is where I draw the line.

kpenguin
2012-07-21, 08:25 PM
I want to be brief and say that bad writing breaks my suspension of disbelief. For the sake of enjoying the story I will let a lot of things slide but just plain terrible writing is where I draw the line.

I think we have a thread winner

http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w118/kpenguin222/kippy_approval.png

Xondoure
2012-07-21, 10:13 PM
One that isn't extremely common, but really bugs me, is selective anthropomorphism, i.e., when some animals act like people in a story and some simply act like dumb animals.

An example of this that really bugged me when I was little was in a Richard Scarry story that featured a pig farmer, and his inept cat assistant, attempting to milk some decidedly non-anthropomorphic cows. The thought that was going through my young mind at the time was something along the lines of: "How is it that a pig can walk on two legs and talk and wear overalls, but a cow is just another farm animal? Seriously, they're both farm animals in the real world. In this world where pretty much every other mammal acts like a person, what makes cows so much dumber?"

Another example would be in Redwall, during a scene in which Cluny and his rat force are riding in a cart pulled by an ordinary, unintelligent horse. The world of Redwall has intelligent mice, rats, ferrets, badgers, otters, cats, owls, and snakes (to name a few) and yet a horse is somehow considered just an animal? This baffles me.

And don't even get me started on Pluto and Goofy...

That particular part of Redwall was retconned away (only anthropomorphic animals dwell there after a few books.)

And I don't see the problem with it myself. Humans are just animals, whose to say super intelligent hybrid creatures couldn't exist alongside normal animal species when magic / other fictional solution is involved?

Avilan the Grey
2012-07-22, 05:03 AM
One that isn't extremely common, but really bugs me, is selective anthropomorphism, i.e., when some animals act like people in a story and some simply act like dumb animals.

Since I grew up with the classical Disney shorts... One word why this is not the case for me: Pluto.

dehro
2012-07-22, 05:26 AM
I think we have a thread winner

http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w118/kpenguin222/kippy_approval.png

we believe in the hammer?

http://squabbles.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/mc-hammer.jpg

Halberd
2012-07-22, 09:57 AM
And I don't see the problem with it myself. Humans are just animals, whose to say super intelligent hybrid creatures couldn't exist alongside normal animal species when magic / other fictional solution is involved?

But there is no magic, or any explanation whatsoever. That's just how it is in their world. The sun sets every evening, objects gravitate toward the earth, and all animals walk on two legs, talk, and wear clothes. Except for those that don't, of course.
I'd be fine with it if there were some sort of explanation, say, whatever ancient spellcaster gave all these animals sentience found some animals unworthy of the gift for some reason, or that their sentience is due to drinking some sort of magic water that some animals find unpalatable. I'm also fine with there being no explanation, so long as every animal (or just every vertebrate, or just every mammal) is sentient. But when you combine the lack of explanation with the strange exceptions that seem to follow no real rules whatsoever, it just makes my SoDB shatter.

Omergideon
2012-07-22, 04:30 PM
I have an extremely flexible SoD, so I cannot recall too many times it was broken. There are plenty of times when I facepalm but not lose SOD. For instance characters being morons/the idiot ball. When it gets bad I may facepalm. I may even turn away from the series if it is stupid enough. But I would keep my SoD as, well, people can be right morons sometimes.


However the thing that gets me is the asspull or the Deus Ex Machina. When the solution is pulled out of thin air, with no build up or foreshadowing or even necessarily hard work. Even one of my favourite books, Legend, falls foul of this with it's ending. There is a minimal build up but it happens within about half a chapter which is not enough time. Thankfully the suthor got better over time (it was his first book after all). But the events still annoy me. And even after the fact explanations don't work to mollify this for me.

If you are gonna have some sort of solution to the big problem present itself, give us some warning so we can appreciate it when we re-read the story.


Related, but not quite SoD, is when the universe craps on a character massively. When everything that can go wrong for them does. It's bad enough when played for comedy, but when it is treated seriously it is enough for me to damn near burn the book/movie/tv and never speak of it again.

JetThomasBoat
2012-07-23, 02:13 PM
But there is no magic, or any explanation whatsoever. That's just how it is in their world. The sun sets every evening, objects gravitate toward the earth, and all animals walk on two legs, talk, and wear clothes. Except for those that don't, of course.
I'd be fine with it if there were some sort of explanation, say, whatever ancient spellcaster gave all these animals sentience found some animals unworthy of the gift for some reason, or that their sentience is due to drinking some sort of magic water that some animals find unpalatable. I'm also fine with there being no explanation, so long as every animal (or just every vertebrate, or just every mammal) is sentient. But when you combine the lack of explanation with the strange exceptions that seem to follow no real rules whatsoever, it just makes my SoDB shatter.

I think for me, the thing that made it harder for me to handle was the fact that some of the animal sizes were kind of weird. Like how friggin' big was this horse compared to all the beasts of the Redwall Abbey? And like...I realize rats can be ferocious and in this, they're decidedly evil, but would they really be able to just boss around a fox?

Inglenook
2012-07-24, 11:43 AM
An example of this that really bugged me when I was little was in a Richard Scarry story that featured a pig farmer, and his inept cat assistant, attempting to milk some decidedly non-anthropomorphic cows. The thought that was going through my young mind at the time was something along the lines of: "How is it that a pig can walk on two legs and talk and wear overalls, but a cow is just another farm animal? Seriously, they're both farm animals in the real world. In this world where pretty much every other mammal acts like a person, what makes cows so much dumber?"
I remember being horrified as a child because the deli owner in Richard Scarry's Busytown was a pig. :smalleek:

Karoht
2012-07-24, 05:22 PM
Donald Duck
Walked around town without pants on.
But when he got out of the bath/shower he put a towel around his waist.

???
Suspension of Disbelief = BLOWN OMG!


Making less sense, he occasionally put his hair up in a towel after bath/shower, but didn't exactly have enough hair to justify such a thing.

Apply these pieces of knowledge to Ducktails. An entire town of people walking around without pants. Except for the dog people like the Beagle Boys and similarly anthropomorphic characters.

I'm able to handwave off Disney because, well, it's Disney, it's the norm for those guys.

Zaggab
2012-07-24, 05:35 PM
1) Overly oversized things, like spaceships the size of california or castles that virtually never end

2) Really old characters. All too often i fantasy, there are things likt immortal elves and other characters that have lived for centuries or millenia, yet is not affected by it in the least.

GolemsVoice
2012-07-25, 07:21 AM
Isn't that kinda the deal with immortality/very long life? Living very long/forever and not being affected by it?

Aiani
2012-07-25, 08:00 AM
Related, but not quite SoD, is when the universe craps on a character massively. When everything that can go wrong for them does. It's bad enough when played for comedy, but when it is treated seriously it is enough for me to damn near burn the book/movie/tv and never speak of it again.

Oh man you just hit on one of the things that irritates me the most in any movie. I agree it doesn't exactly break suspension of disbelief but it is super annoying.

For something that actually breaks my SoD I have one that doesn't happen too often (thankfully) but it takes me right out of the story when it does. Sometimes writers feel the need to make it seem that a TV show or movie is all the dream or delusional fantasy of one of the characters. It feels like the writers are winking at me and saying hey we all know this is just make believe. I already know it's make believe and I don't really need the reminder. Some TV shows I've seen do this are Buffy, Deep Space Nine and News Radio. I like those shows but I could have done without the episodes where they pulled this nonsense.

Man on Fire
2012-07-25, 08:04 AM
Isn't that kinda the deal with immortality/very long life? Living very long/forever and not being affected by it?

I think Zaggab meant not affected mentally, not physically.

Xondoure
2012-07-25, 02:00 PM
Oh man you just hit on one of the things that irritates me the most in any movie. I agree it doesn't exactly break suspension of disbelief but it is super annoying.

For something that actually breaks my SoD I have one that doesn't happen too often (thankfully) but it takes me right out of the story when it does. Sometimes writers feel the need to make it seem that a TV show or movie is all the dream or delusional fantasy of one of the characters. It feels like the writers are winking at me and saying hey we all know this is just make believe. I already know it's make believe and I don't really need the reminder. Some TV shows I've seen do this are Buffy, Deep Space Nine and News Radio. I like those shows but I could have done without the episodes where they pulled this nonsense.

I like the inverse of it Community pulled when Chang hired a fake therapist to convince them Greendale doesn't exist.

Zaggab
2012-07-25, 03:11 PM
I think Zaggab meant not affected mentally, not physically.

Precisely. I should have been clearer. My suspension of disbelief evaporates when centuries old characters think and behave exactly as the 20-year olds on the cast.

Consider what a 1000 year old character have been through - several religions, political landscapes, technological advancements (weaponry, armor, transport, printing press, etc.), 30+ generations of mortal people, language shifts and so on.

Consider the senior employees on you workplace, how much experience and skill they've achieved in maybe 40 years of work (or, how outdated their knowledge is). Imagine if they'd been working for 1000 years.

Consider your grandparents, and how they have been shaped by everything in their 80 years of life. Imagine if they were 1000 year old.

Imagine if Aristotle, various kings and popes, Einstein, Shakespeare etc had never died, and how the world would have looked.

Most authors that use really old characters haven't considered this. Centuries old characters rarely seem to have been doing or learning anything their entire lives.

Though, perhaps, a superior ability to forget and learn things anew is a requirement for living that long without going mad?

Math_Mage
2012-07-25, 03:35 PM
When I think of broken suspension of disbelief, I think of how spaceship distance/velocity/maneuvering is handled in Firefly. I'll be sailing along on a tide of great dialogue and action and so on, and then a giant enemy vessel suddenly appears out of nowhere and something in my mind goes *snap*. Then I start thinking about things like the number of Asian leads in a universe supposedly created by a merger with China, that is to say, none.

I still love that show, though. It's part of the netizen contract: love Batman, Teddy Roosevelt, and Firefly; hate Twilight, the Star Wars prequels, and any Highlander after the first one.

dehro
2012-07-25, 05:24 PM
Precisely. I should have been clearer. My suspension of disbelief evaporates when centuries old characters think and behave exactly as the 20-year olds on the cast.

the opposite is true and disheartening as well.
I have seen too many 3-8year olds behave, speak and think (not to mention perceive reality) like adults to find it funny anymore, instead of seeing them crying for mum, wanting to play, ask for food and wanting to go potty.
if you don't know how children behave, don't write one!

Karoht
2012-07-25, 05:27 PM
Precisely. I should have been clearer. My suspension of disbelief evaporates when centuries old characters think and behave exactly as the 20-year olds on the cast.

Consider what a 1000 year old character have been through - several religions, political landscapes, technological advancements (weaponry, armor, transport, printing press, etc.), 30+ generations of mortal people, language shifts and so on.

Consider the senior employees on you workplace, how much experience and skill they've achieved in maybe 40 years of work (or, how outdated their knowledge is). Imagine if they'd been working for 1000 years.

Consider your grandparents, and how they have been shaped by everything in their 80 years of life. Imagine if they were 1000 year old.

Imagine if Aristotle, various kings and popes, Einstein, Shakespeare etc had never died, and how the world would have looked.

Most authors that use really old characters haven't considered this. Centuries old characters rarely seem to have been doing or learning anything their entire lives.

Though, perhaps, a superior ability to forget and learn things anew is a requirement for living that long without going mad?

Adaptability and the illusion thereof (faking it) are a partial explanation. They have to blend in so that they aren't discovered. None the less, I agree completely. Very very few authors thought this sort of thing through.

Tvtyrant
2012-07-25, 05:31 PM
Seeing as how we have no meetings with or records of a 1,000 year old person, I highly doubt any attempt to write them would be more realistic than writing them as a human. Made even more so by the fact that humans age fairly rapidly, so we don't even know what someone who lives to 100 would be like if they had a 20 year olds body. It is all speculation.

endoperez
2012-07-25, 06:07 PM
Seeing as how we have no meetings with or records of a 1,000 year old person, I highly doubt any attempt to write them would be more realistic than writing them as a human. Made even more so by the fact that humans age fairly rapidly, so we don't even know what someone who lives to 100 would be like if they had a 20 year olds body. It is all speculation.

It's not about being realistic, but about being believable.

Magic doesn't exist. Some writers make magic feel like something almost real. Some writres make a deus ex machine and say it was magic. It's all speculation and fantasy, but some of it is more believable.

Karoht
2012-07-25, 06:13 PM
Seeing as how we have no meetings with or records of a 1,000 year old person, I highly doubt any attempt to write them would be more realistic than writing them as a human. Made even more so by the fact that humans age fairly rapidly, so we don't even know what someone who lives to 100 would be like if they had a 20 year olds body. It is all speculation.

Indeed. The issue is that these characters tend to blend in too well. No odd little quirks (IE-Collects old typewriters and is computer illiterate), no leftover customs from a bigone era. Though typically they have a differen outlook on right and wrong, and occasionally it sounds like the opinion of someone who has had 1000 years of observations. Other times it just comes across as cynicism and little else.

Slayer Lord
2012-07-25, 07:20 PM
Anachronisms in an historical movie. Or worse yet, a movie based off of classic tales/legends/mythology/etc. that not only commits major anachronisms, but also ignores vital aspects of the myth as well. And stupid wardrobes. And "tactics," that should not work. And we'll throw in plot-driven stupidity as well.

The biggest offender of all of these was the 2011 film The Immortals. Let us analyze the single most horrific example of each of these:

Anachronisms- 1500 BC- Not only does everyone use steel (seriously, everyone does this with Bronze and Iron Age stories!), but the Big Bad's Dragon (the "minotaur") wore a bull mask made entirerly out of barbed wire! It was also poisoned.

Tactics- "Their numbers mean nothing in these narrow tunnels!" Well, sure, but only if you don't break formation- oh, there they go! Come on Hollywood, is a proper shield wall formation holding off a much larger force actually not that visually thrilling?

Wardrobe- Ugh, the hats! The HATS! Seriously, it was like Valve's reject pile for Team Fortress 2 hat ideas. The "minotaur," was the worst offender of this by far but everyone else was a close runner up.

Plot Driven Stupidity- Let's see here, Zeus. You say that the gods can't interfere with mortal affairs, but you know Hyperion's plan is to unleash the titans, your divine brethren. And yet when Aries, Athena and Poseiden break the law, it's okay for you to interfere once you've made an example (read as killed) out of Aries? And your interference consists of giving the heroes horses that'll run themselves to death, even though the dog sent to deliver the MacGuffin to the big bad (!?!) probably doesn't even have a ten minute head start on you. And you're a god. And if you've been watching this whole time. The hell!
A very close runner up is Big Bag hyperion's motivation for wanting to unleash the Titans in the first place: The gods didn't save his family from being killed by bandits. Suck it up, buttercup!

Mythology Fail- By far the biggest gripe I have. This movie doesn't even have a passing resemblance to Greek myth. Never mind that the epic tale of Theseus and the minotaur was made into a minor plot point and otherwise butchered like a herd of sheep run through an industrial fan, the gods themselves didn't even have their proper powers or equipment. Aries? War hammer. Athena? Tiny, itty bitty sickles (I can only imagine that the phrase "as befitting a woman," was running through the screen writer's mind). Zeus? No lightning, but he got to swing a giant (steel) chain around like a lunatic. Poseiden alone survived the butchery.

Seriously, this movie will break your suspension of disbelief all over the friggin place even if you don't know a thing about mythology.

Slayer Lord
2012-07-25, 07:28 PM
Sorry for the double post. Friggin internet hates me .

JetThomasBoat
2012-07-25, 08:18 PM
Wardrobe- Ugh, the hats! The HATS! Seriously, it was like Valve's reject pile for Team Fortress 2 hat ideas. The "minotaur," was the worst offender of this by far but everyone else was a close runner up.

Plot Driven Stupidity- Let's see here, Zeus. You say that the gods can't interfere with mortal affairs, but you know Hyperion's plan is to unleash the titans, your divine brethren. And yet when Aries, Athena and Poseiden break the law, it's okay for you to interfere once you've made an example (read as killed) out of Aries? And your interference consists of giving the heroes horses that'll run themselves to death, even though the dog sent to deliver the MacGuffin to the big bad (!?!) probably doesn't even have a ten minute head start on you. And you're a god. And if you've been watching this whole time. The hell!
A very close runner up is Big Bag hyperion's motivation for wanting to unleash the Titans in the first place: The gods didn't save his family from being killed by bandits. Suck it up, buttercup!

Mythology Fail- By far the biggest gripe I have. This movie doesn't even have a passing resemblance to Greek myth. Never mind that the epic tale of Theseus and the minotaur was made into a minor plot point and otherwise butchered like a herd of sheep run through an industrial fan, the gods themselves didn't even have their proper powers or equipment. Aries? War hammer. Athena? Tiny, itty bitty sickles (I can only imagine that the phrase "as befitting a woman," was running through the screen writer's mind). Zeus? No lightning, but he got to swing a giant (steel) chain around like a lunatic. Poseiden alone survived the butchery.

Seriously, this movie will break your suspension of disbelief all over the friggin place even if you don't know a thing about mythology.

I remember I was sort of only half paying attention when I watched this movie, but you touched on a lot of things I noticed (at the time, I was actually just getting into these forums, which, it turns out, was a much better use of my time :P ). I actually had to google a plot synopses to figure out what the hell was going on. When all (what, four?) of those gods showed up to try to contain the titans (which were complete crap, in my opinion. I don't need my titans to be the size of a mountain, but I want them to be more than feral warrior things that only have numbers going for them and no personality) I had to check just to see which gods were brought along, since they all wore the same gold tunic and skirt and Russel Crowe's Gladiator helmet looking things. And yeah, I had no idea which god it was that Zeus killed earlier in the movie, but that part seemed dumb to me "Yeah, someone's trying to let the titans out and we're not supposed to interfere. But we might anyway. But I'll just go ahead and kill our best warrior before I choose whether or not to break my own stupid rule."

I had another one, but I forgot it.

GolemsVoice
2012-07-25, 09:10 PM
Though, perhaps, a superior ability to forget and learn things anew is a requirement for living that long without going mad?

Yes, you make a good point. But as others aid, it's very hard to imagine a person who is ACTUALLY that old, and so I tend to give writers some slack.

But yes, their personality MUST be different from humans, otherwise, they'd be bored to death by the year 200 or so (which IS a point some writers make), and after their 400th or so year they likely have seen everything from revolutions, political changes, wars, inventions, any feat that humans can accomplish, the worst and the best of humanity. I'd imagine a normal human would get incredibly cynical, placing little value in anything "Oh, you want to build an empire that will last forever? See you in 200 years. Oh, you're now a democratic country and you'Re sure everything will be better now? In 100 years it will SUCK."

So an immortal character would have to have a mindset different from that of a human. Maybe with more focus on details, because while great changes may follow patterns, details can vary.

Xondoure
2012-07-25, 09:26 PM
Yes, you make a good point. But as others aid, it's very hard to imagine a person who is ACTUALLY that old, and so I tend to give writers some slack.

But yes, their personality MUST be different from humans, otherwise, they'd be bored to death by the year 200 or so (which IS a point some writers make), and after their 400th or so year they likely have seen everything from revolutions, political changes, wars, inventions, any feat that humans can accomplish, the worst and the best of humanity. I'd imagine a normal human would get incredibly cynical, placing little value in anything "Oh, you want to build an empire that will last forever? See you in 200 years. Oh, you're now a democratic country and you'Re sure everything will be better now? In 100 years it will SUCK."

So an immortal character would have to have a mindset different from that of a human. Maybe with more focus on details, because while great changes may follow patterns, details can vary.

Or be the Doctor.

dehro
2012-07-26, 08:49 AM
Yes, you make a good point. But as others aid, it's very hard to imagine a person who is ACTUALLY that old, and so I tend to give writers some slack.

But yes, their personality MUST be different from humans, otherwise, they'd be bored to death by the year 200 or so (which IS a point some writers make), and after their 400th or so year they likely have seen everything from revolutions, political changes, wars, inventions, any feat that humans can accomplish, the worst and the best of humanity.

about the going mad thing.. it's a reasonable assumption.. then again, madness might loose it's interest too after a couple of centuries.. for all we know a character that's a 1000 years old may have transcended madness and gone knurd.

Halberd
2012-07-26, 08:55 AM
the opposite is true and disheartening as well.
I have seen too many 3-8year olds behave, speak and think (not to mention perceive reality) like adults to find it funny anymore, instead of seeing them crying for mum, wanting to play, ask for food and wanting to go potty.
if you don't know how children behave, don't write one!

Yeah, the otherwise brilliant Calvin and Hobbes did this too much for my liking. He's only six, you say? Then why on earth is he using vocabulary that the average kid twice his age wouldn't know?
Also, his school system is really bizarre. Why are the math questions along the relatively age-appropriate lines of 3+7, while the history questions ask them what the capital of Poland was in 1670?

Man on Fire
2012-07-26, 09:24 AM
Yeah, the otherwise brilliant Calvin and Hobbes did this too much for my liking. He's only six, you say? Then why on earth is he using vocabulary that the average kid twice his age wouldn't know?

He obviously overheard them from TV, I had the same when I was six-seven years old.


about the going mad thing.. it's a reasonable assumption.. then again, madness might loose it's interest too after a couple of centuries.. for all we know a character that's a 1000 years old may have transcended madness and gone knurd.

That imp from Alan Moore's "Whatever Happened With The Man Of Tomorrow". Having been living from always and going to live forever he quickly got bored. So he spend thousand years doing nothing, then another thousand being good, then thousand being malvolent, and in the story decided it's time to try to be evil. As he said, he'll spend next thousand years commiting worst atrocitied and then...then maybe he'll try feeling guilty.

Traab
2012-07-26, 12:25 PM
He obviously overheard them from TV, I had the same when I was six-seven years old.



That imp from Alan Moore's "Whatever Happened With The Man Of Tomorrow". Having been living from always and going to live forever he quickly got bored. So he spend thousand years doing nothing, then another thousand being good, then thousand being malvolent, and in the story decided it's time to try to be evil. As he said, he'll spend next thousand years commiting worst atrocitied and then...then maybe he'll try feeling guilty.

I was thinking more about Nakor, (or Nakor, The Blue Rider as he was once known) From raymond feists midkemia novels. He is long lived, and at one point he had this artifact in his possession that grants knowledge on just about everything, but it drives you insane if you sleep with it under your pillow, (which is also how it helps teach you everything) He basically said, "The thing about being crazy is, you can only do it for so long before you either die, or get better. I got better."

Calemyr
2012-07-26, 01:44 PM
One I hear about regularly from my brother is one I call "the Jetpack Joke".

The generic version is when a series gives a main character a plot-specific all-consuming obsession for one episode, and that this obsession is never mentioned or hinted at before or after that episode.

His favorite example is McGee from NCIS. In one specific episode, which involved a death via prototype jetpack, the cast just "remembers" that McGee had recently forced them to watch a presentation he'd done on jetpacks. It was apparently a driving factor in his life, a passion that fueled his research and made him an expert on techologies and theories about jetpacks. Yet the instant that case was closed, it was never mentioned again.

Sith_Happens
2012-08-05, 07:07 PM
So I have a shiny new example of my "getting the science wrong" one, from The Dark Knight Rises of all things:

Someone rigging a fusion reactor to explode just like a hydrogen bomb? Sure, I can buy that, it probably wouldn't even be that hard.

Rigging a fusion reactor so the fuel core needs to actively be kept from exploding? No, just no. That is the exact opposite of how fusion works.:smallfurious:

Avilan the Grey
2012-08-07, 02:09 AM
So I have a shiny new example of my "getting the science wrong" one, from The Dark Knight Rises of all things:

Someone rigging a fusion reactor to explode just like a hydrogen bomb? Sure, I can buy that, it probably wouldn't even be that hard.

Rigging a fusion reactor so the fuel core needs to actively be kept from exploding? No, just no. That is the exact opposite of how fusion works.:smallfurious:

I am fairly open minded, but it also depends on setting and style. In a Fallout movie a plot like this would not have bothered me. In a movie set in our world? Heck yeah it bothers me!

This is why I could not finish watching 2012. I laughed too much, it was the funniest comedy of the year!

Popertop
2012-08-08, 05:47 PM
When a film/show has a great opportunity for an excellent action sequence, but they stop everything to explain what the main character just did and how he did it and why it worked.

I'll admit, I was liking Naruto, or at least parts of it, but when this happened literally any time the bad guy/s were countered in any way in combat, that is when I stopped watching it.

"Oh my god, this guy is the master of kicking. There is no way that (good guy) can win!"
*Insert banter between master of kicking and good guy*
*Insert action sequence*
*Good Guy kicks Master of Kicking in the face*
"Oh my God, how did he do that?"
*Insert 5 minute explanation of how Good Guy kicked Master of Kicking (with a kick) in the face, mostly filled with slow motion instant replays, sometimes with diagrams*

And for whatever reason, the action completely stops while two characters who have nothing to do with the fight, and are up in the stands or hiding in a tree or behind a rock, have a conversation.
The action stops so that onlookers can have a conversation.

Then, they have the two fighters banter again, run at each other...
*cut away to an entirely different bunch of crap*

This. Naruto irritates me a ton when they do this.

Possible interesting sequence -> Cut away to filler

Action ramping up tension -> Cut away to emotional flashback that kills the momentum

Never in the series do I get a feeling of building up to a satisfying release of tension, its like the writers are allergic to good composition.

It is an action series, right?

At least Saint Seiya Omega is getting it right....