Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Good, The Bad, And The Nonsensical

I was browsing around the blogosphere (holy crap, Word says blogosphere is a word) when I saw someone talking about the implausibility of something. It probably had to do with The Walking Dead. I mean, it usually does. Anyway, it got me thinking: how much must belief be suspended before something becomes unlikeable?

Obviously the threshold is different for different people, and sometimes one part of a movie/book/show can be enjoyed while the other isn’t, which is the only reasonable explanation for how the above mentioned The Walking Dead still exists. For example, sometimes in that show you see cool, gory zombies. But then the characters start talking and I get all screamy at the television.

It also depends on how well done something is. For example, I went to see the latest Die Hard movie (don’t ask me the title, I don’t remember) and as breathtaking as the twenty-minute car chase was, I regret the money spent on that turd bomb. Nothing that happened made sense. [WARNING: Spoilers ahoy. But only if you actually are worried about the plot of that Die Hard movie and really. Really. Are you? Didn’t think so] First of all, if you’re trying to break someone out of prison it might seem like a good idea to get arrested yourself by murdering someone, but, hello? You freaking murdered someone. It’s the kind of thing that causes a butt load of bad feelings between countries with already strained relations. So it’s kind of a stupid idea. There’s no way they’d let a CIA operative get a free pass for that. And the saddest part? That’s only one example of why that movie is a betrayal to American storytelling.

But while Die Hard 5 had nothing to redeem its leaps of common sense, several movies with equally unlikely situations are still good. The Hunger Games had a few iffy spots, but I still liked it—although there are plenty of people who didn’t. Again, The Walking Dead is another good example of something I can’t discern the appeal that gives it such a powerful following.


So there are good things, there are bad things, and there are things that some people like and some people hate. Ever been to Rotten Tomatoes? It’s basically that, but you can see how other people voted. They really need one of those for books.

16 comments:

  1. I never got into zombies either. My son loves it, though.

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  2. I think you have to buy the overall premise in order to suspend belief when it comes to smaller issues. I didn't buy the premise of the Hunger Games so the movie didn't work for me.
    And Goodreads is the closest thing to a book version of Rotten Tomatoes.

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  3. It depends on people's tastes. Execution is also important. Some things are written and acted out well, while those that aren't might seem unbelievable.

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  4. I was going to say what Alex said...
    Also, part of it is how well the movie/book follows its own rules. So, when a story says "This is just like the real world except for this one thing," but, yet, the story continues to do things that are unrealistic, it loses its plausibility.
    Which is why I couldn't buy into Hunger Games. The people didn't act like people would really act in those circumstances.

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  5. A story has to follow its own rules, even if those seem far out there. Some genres allow more flexibility than others, but when a story can't follow its own rules, it loses credibility.

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  6. That is why I rarely go to the movies anymore. (Well, that and my problem with watching something with still hands.) Some movies are all about the "awesome" chase scene or the "amazing" stuff that explodes without having a coherent plot.

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  7. Wait a minute, isn't that what Goodreads is?

    I have a further beef with film. Not only does the script, cinematography, and acting/directing have to be stellar, but if the scoring is off in any way--as in boring, agitating, or extremely repetitive, you can bet I'm going to hate the film. How ridiculous is that? We don't own that many movies. (Well, besides kids movies.)

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  8. I wandered into this site and found the phrase "turd bomb". I am forever in your debt. Great post. I can only remember the first Die Hard movie because Alan Rickman was in it. *love him*

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    1. Every now and then, I hit a home run :)

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  9. Turd bomb. Hehehehe.

    I haven't watched the latest Die Hard. Not sure I want to now. ;)

    One thing that always annoys me is when every single alien on a sci-fi show has an American accent. :P

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    1. If you watch the new Die Hard, just skip all the talky bits. They actually take away from enjoying the outrageously awesome action scenes.

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  10. Yeah.... I guess I am a realist. A movie or book has to feel at least reasonably plausible. If I am shaking my head and saying, "REALLY????" a lot, then it is not going to work for me.
    Goodreads is good!

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  11. I enjoyed The Hunger Games, and I admit I like The Walking Dead, but I see your point. I followed LOST for seven years, and then was slammed by an ending that made no sense -- AND was an explanation we all spotted in Season 1 that the directors denied and denied.

    I still maintain I could have written a better ending to LOST, but nobody asked me.

    Everybody's standard for plausibility is different. I've read a few books lately where the plot holes seemed like canyons. But my own editor hammered me on every little thing in my latest book -- and I'm glad she did. It shows a high standard of caring to work that hard on making everything *make sense.*

    Let's not talk about SharkNado ...

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  12. Aw, Diane, I was going to talk about SharkNado or Snakes On a Plane. I did hate the obvious answer to the ending of LOST that the producers and writers denied repeatedly. If a movie or book entertains you then, for me, that is enough. With fantasy books, the rest of the world and its inhabitants should ring true to what we know of cause and effect and human nature for it to ring "true." Great post, Roland

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  13. Of course, Die Hard 5 would have been better if they'd cast John's son better. Kind of hard to believe that cipher was a McClane....

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Please validate me.