Film Faux Pas

I had a big debate in my head whether to name this post “Movie Missteps” or “Film Faux Pas.” I obviously just wanted to write the word ‘faux pas’ and now I’ve written it thrice, so mission accomplished.

Are there certain moments in movies that ruin the experience for you? It happens to me a lot. I think I spend too much time concentrating on what’s going on in the background or actor’s expressions to fully get absorbed into the experience of just watching. That’s probably why movies don’t make me cry. I just can’t get into them enough to let my emotions get all crazy. I’m usually too busy concentrating on whether the actor or actresses’ tears are in the same position between cuts. Which brings me to my first point.

Bad cuts/Sloppy editing

I grew up knowing how to spot a bad cut. It’s a skill that will never come in handy unless your goal is to sound like a total douche. A “bad cut” is basically when a scene ends and goes onto a different scene without a smooth transition. OR it can take place within the same scene, which makes it more obvious and even more frustrating. Here is an example from one of my favorite movies during one of my least favorite scenes: between 2:40-2:45. It’s quick! See if you can catch it.

Dancing is extra tricky. You have to do a perfect take all the way through otherwise it’s easy to spot the mistake. Gene Kelly is always perfect so I’m going to assume it was Cyd Charisse’s fault.

This happens a lot when props (usually food or drinks) are involved. Have you ever seen a movie where someone is eating an ice cream cone and the director cuts away and then when he cuts back to the person eating the cone, it’s a different size, shape, or height?  The worst. Consistency is a big deal. The damage that’s done between takes is big. And it shows the audience that the scene wasn’t accomplished in one fluid moment. They had to stop in the middle of it, take the ice cream away, get the person a new cone that looked nothing like the other one that had already almost melted, and start again from where they took off. Movie magic? I think not.

Another example happened in the movie Titanic when Jack hands Rose a white note to meet him at the stairs and when she opens the note, it’s on yellow paper. What genius made that mistake? Did they even have yellow paper in 1912?

Movies within movies

I don’t like to give my dad credit for things, but he did bring this faux pas to my attention. When you show characters in a movie watching another movie, it takes the attention off of the movie that you’re watching and puts it onto the movie that they’re watching. This is especially bad if the characters are watching a great, classic movie. It makes the audience think about how great that movie is compared to the stupid movie they’re watching right now.

I can’t really think of any examples off the top of my head besides Gilmore Girls. They would over-use obscure pop culture references and often sit in front of their television watching movies that were immensely better than Gilmore Girls itself.

Too much length

It turns into a problem if I can identify a scene that doesn’t belong in a movie. If a movie starts to head into the longer-than-two-hours zone, I begin thinking of ways I could’ve solved this problem if I were the editor. Most movies, even the classics, have pointless scenes that make the film a little longer than it should be. You know that rare feeling when a movie is so succinct and perfect? Nothing could be removed, yet nothing is missing either? Yeah, that’s what a lot of movies miss now. Trust me. I accidentally watched the director’s cut of Amadeus and it was like, 3 hours long. I feel like I’ve seen The Magic Flute in it’s entirety because of that movie. Rough.amadeus-movie

Using a name to fill in the gaps

It seems to me that whenever a scene in a movie or TV show includes an argument between two characters, or a moment where one character is trying to convince another of something, names will be overused. I couldn’t have described that any worse. What I mean is when actors are trying to add more emotion, and steer away from their lines. I think when they do that, it causes them to get flustered and overuse their counterpart character’s name.

For example, if a character was crying and fighting while talking to her boyfriend and saying something like this:

“But Brad, I love you Brad. Brad, why won’t you talk to me? I can’t believe you would do this to me Brad. Brad, I’ve always been there for you!”

Bad example, but you get the point. They rely too much on an character’s name and it doesn’t seem like a real conversation. That kind of thing always takes me out of the moment and usually ruins what is supposed to be an emotional scene.

Any movie moments that bother you?

Movies, TV

Politically Correct or Just Can’t Take a Joke?

I hate getting opinionated. Mostly because everyone finds a way to tell you that your opinion is wrong and that you don’t know what you’re saying. Well, not everyone. But a lot of people say that.

I’m interested in movies and the media. I watch the Academy Awards some years and other I don’t. If you really take the ceremony apart, bit by bit, it’s slightly disturbing. Yeah, let’s award these people for pretending to be someone else in front of a camera. Their payment of millions of dollars isn’t enough already. This is just a way for people to continually stroke their own egos. I also hate when people say actors or actresses are so “normal”. No, none of them are normal. They all want to be in front of a camera and have people tell them how great and talented they are. That’s not normal. Normal people wouldn’t chose that lifestyle.

Take the most eloquent, distinguished actor you know- Daniel Day Lewis or Meryl Streep, whoever. Sure, they seem like controlled, classy people, but when you break it down, they like to be other people in front of the camera. They want people to review them, critique them, and love them. It’s kind of sick when you think about it. All of Hollywood should have “Hey, look at me!!!” sharpied on their foreheads.tumblr_mf4zg4E4VA1qioqu5o1_r1_500

I can probably hone in on their love for attention, because I love attention too. I mean, who doesn’t right? But there are people that will go to greater lengths to get it. Like showing their boobs for example.

That was the only way I could segue into what I intended to write about. A bunch of people I know have been posting links to articles written about Seth MacFarlane’s job as a host. All of them have been awful. See, if I hadn’t watched the show myself, I would’ve just assumed that he was terrible and taken everyone’s word for it. But he wasn’t.

I am a fan of Family Guy and American Dad, both shows created by Mr. MacFarlane. I always thought he was super smart, comical, and had a great singing voice but I wasn’t sure about him hosting the Oscars. I warned my mom multiple times that he might do voices from Family Guy which will be super cringy, in which case I would change the channel immediately. seth-macfarlane-talks-oscars__oPt

To my surprise, there weren’t any voices (unless you count him doing the voice of Ted, the teddy bear). The audience laughed at all his jokes, he sang, he danced, he made fun of how long the show was dragging on for, it was great. Of course I expected him to make some borderline offensive comments, but the only thing the audience seemed to gasp for was a joke about Abraham Lincoln getting shot. Like, who cares?! There wouldn’t be a movie about him if he didn’t get shot! Actually, there probably still would’ve been because Daniel Day Lewis looks too much like him to not reenact his life. And to be honest, which Abe definitely was, I bet Mr. Lincoln would’ve laughed at that joke. Okay maybe not, but only because he wouldn’t understand our amazing 21st century humor, am I right?

The thing that really seemed to upset America was a little song that Seth performed called, “We Saw Your Boobs”. Journalists have been calling this song misogynistic. This honestly makes my blood boil. It just shows that people, women in particular, can’t take a joke. The actresses were the ones that CHOSE to show their boobs! If they’re upset at someone pointing it out, maybe they shouldn’t have been so ready and willing to take off their shirts. And pants for that matter. The Kate Winslet bit was perfect because she has been naked in almost everything that she’s been a part of. I don’t think there was a nude scene in Finding Neverland, but she probably asked for one. That song was nothing but funny, I would even call it silly. To get upset by a harmless tune like that is just ridiculous. He was only making an observation–something anyone could’ve done. If Jennifer Lawrence had sang the song I bet you a million dollars that everyone would’ve raved about how relatable and fun she is. She can do no wrong! But because Seth is a man, he’s now a misogynist. Okay, that’s fair.

Another thing that Seth said when he was acting as the voice of Ted alongside “Marky” Mark Wahlberg, was a joke about Jews in Hollywood. To sum up the joke, Ted basically announced that “Jews control Hollywood.” So journalists have called MacFarlane an anti-Semite as well. I mean, I don’t really find that offensive. Maybe because I’m not Jewish? Everyone knows that Jews don’t control Hollywood, but there are definitely a lot of Jewish people in that area of California. That’s just a fact. They made their voices known during Passion of the Christ, remember? I wouldn’t call MacFarlane an anti-Semite because of that joke. Nothing about that quote was offensive in any way.

MacFarlane was also called racist for making a joke about Daniel Day Lewis being in character at all times. He asked aloud, “If you bumped into Don Cheadle on the studio lot would you try and free him?” People are so overly sensitive to other people’s reactions. I feel like more white people felt “offended” than black people did with this one. He’s not racist because he tried to make a joke about Lincoln, slavery, and method acting. It’s a real shame that he’s being so attacked for making light-hearted jokes.

Of course on his shows, Seth MacFarlane pushes the envelope and says many crazy things. But that doesn’t mean he’s a bad person. As a host, he was tamer than I ever expected him to be.  Since the show, he’s been asked if he will ever host the ceremony again to which he responded, “No way.”