Saturday, May 11, 2013

Hey scriptwriters! Sort it out!

One look at YouTube channels like Cinema Sins and Honest Movie Trailers and you'd be forgiven for thinking that professional movie makers had completely lost the plot.

It's a recent phenomenon where cinemagoers are questioning what they see up on the silver screen. No longer are we all taken in by expensive looking CGI and big name stars. We have begun to challenge everything that is displayed before us, and I'm not just talking about continuity errors. Plot holes, illogical decisions made by character and unrealistic scenarios are still being wheeled out in order to make a story hang together over 90-120 minutes. Even IMDB has a goofs section for each movie listing continuity errors, crew appearing in shot, factual errors and other mistakes.

Here's an honest trailer for Avengers, which nicely points out what's wrong with the movie:

And here are the sins of Prometheus, a complete mess of a film in my opinion:

So what has changed? Is it that audiences are more discerning? Or is it the fact that filmmakers have become sloppy? Perhaps movies have always been flawed, it's just we didn't notice or make such a big deal about it. Or maybe it's just that a bunch of guys got together and thought they could run a successful YouTube channel simply by picking apart blockbuster films?

The downside of such admittedly hilarious videos is that it takes away from the magic of films. It looks at something that on the surface looks perfect, and reveals it for what it is – a creation born of flawed and imperfect human beings. No matter how hard you try, you'll never achieve perfection.

I wonder if, looking at other pieces of art, you could list all of the flaws they have too. Perhaps Shakespeare was half asleep when writing King Lear and could have tried a little harder? Maybe Da Vinci's Mona Lisa is a bit off-colour? Or Michaelangelo's David slightly out of proportion? A valid point ... but then, Avengers is not Shakespeare (sorry, Joss – you know it's true).

It would be good if filmmakers took notice of the likes of honest movie trailers and made the point of hiring 'Plot Police', 'Logic Lawyers' and 'Script Supervisors'. Actually, I think they do employ such people ... it just seems they're not very good at their jobs. 

To conclude, I just hope they leave classic movies alone. If they pulled apart the likes of Citizen Kane, 2001, Psycho or It's a Wonderful Life I think I'd get really depressed.

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