On a similar note, few have complained about Tom Holland casting as Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe citing that the 19 year old actor is too young to portray Spider-Man, despite the fact he's meant to play 15/16 year old Spider-Man.
In Slacker, a videogeek mentions that he recently saw a Real Life shooting, and complains that it didn't look realistic. "The blood was the wrong color."
Kids: The makers of "Kids" have suggested that a lot of the outrage over the depiction of everyday teenage life in this film has more to do with the fact that people are more used to safe, idyllic depictions of teenagers usually played by actors who are way too old to convincingly portray such roles. Most people aren't aware of actual teenage life or, as Larry Clark said: "Parents forget what it was like when they were kids."
Incredibly common with accents:
In the film A Bout De Souffle, the American actress Jean Seberg played an American character who lived in Paris and spoke French with an accent that was presumably Seberg's own. A poster on the IMDb forums labeled her a French actress that had put on an unconvincing American accent.
Amazon reviews for a 2001 BBC radio production of Sherlock Holmes complained about the actors' "obviously fake" British accents.
"That Bridget Jones gal, Zellweger, when I heard her American accent in Chicago I was amazed. It seemed dead-on perfect. Completely convincing. Similarly in Nurse Betty. But then I saw her in Cold Mountain and that completely destroyed the illusion." (She is from Texas.)
Similarly, a Youtube comment on the trailer for "Perrier's Bounty" complained extensively about Cillian Murphy's "fake" Irish accent. Apparently the man's name wasn't enough of a tip-off ...
While working in The Lord of the Rings, American actor Brad Dourif (Wormtongue) always spoke in an English accent in order to maintain it, and upon reverting back to his American accent at the end of filming Bernard Hill (King Théoden) wondered why he was suddenly using such a fake American accent.
During the filming of Dr. Strangelove, something similar occurred. The B-52 scenes were filmed in Britain. The film crew thought that Slim Pickens was putting on the 'Texan' accent, and someone on the crew expressed surprise when he spoke that way after a shoot, until being informed that that was the way he normally spoke. He wasn't 'putting on' an accent.
People have accused Liam Neeson of having a poor American Accent in films like Taken. While he is Northern Irish, he's lived in America for twenty years; his speaking voice is nigh-indistinguishable from a Yank, especially if you don't know he's Northern Irish. He has lost his Northern Irish accent but still has a tendency to swallow his words, whereas Americans don't.
In the 2007 Hairspray adaptation, some viewers wondered why John Travolta was talking so strangely as Edna Turnblad. He was actually speaking in a Baltimore accent and was the only one in the film to even attempt it.
When Bryan Singer saw Hugh Lauries audition tape for House, he thought the actor was American. Apparently Singer had received several auditions from British and Australian hopefuls who didn't match his ideal of the character. When he saw Laurie's audition he is purported to have said, "See, this is what I want; an American guy." Singer was completely unaware that Laurie is English.
In Singer's defense, Laurie not only nailed an American accent, he nailed the American accent needed to play Greg House: middle-class Central Jersey. Singer thus comes out ahead of the British viewers who complain of Lauries fake American accent. note It is possible that the average English person has no idea what Americans really sound like—hence the improbable Americans met so often on British television.
Common in regard to historical fiction; if a certain fictional account becomes popular enough, people often believe that it is an accurate representation of history.
Case in point: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart once alleged that Antonio Salieri had pulled strings to ensure that Mozart's opera Le nozze di Figaro would be a major flop. Later the two collaborated on composing a song; Salieri was given the task of teaching Mozart's son and he also promoted Mozart's compositions on a number of occasions. Six years after Salieri died, Alexander Pushkin wrote a play based around the original allegation depicting Salieri as greatly envying the genius Mozart, thus beginning the tradition of showing a Salieri hostile to Mozart. The prominent use of this fictional invention in the play Amadeus and the film based on it has led many to perceive the fiction that Salieri was responsible for Mozart's early death as a historical truth.
Additionally, the alleged rivalry with Salieri is said to drive Mozart to such poverty that he had to be buried in the common grave. In reality Mozart enjoyed great popularity and was receiving large commissions but was also a big spender. His modest burial was also not the result of his financial standing but of the strict Viennese burial laws and was a ceremony typical for a middle class man of his era.
Also, Mozart and Salieri by actual historical accounts had a mutual respect for one another.
Indeed, Mozart, a notorious egotist of the first-order, predicted, rightly, that Salieri's student Ludwig van Beethoven would go on to be an even greater composer than Mozart himself.
On the other side of the foot, one of the criticisms of Amadeus is it's treatment of Mozart as a bratty, immature Manchild with a fondness for jokes about poop. While he might not have been quite as immature as depicted, Mozart actually was a bit of a kid at heart with a fondness for playing with toy soldiers and Toilet Humor.
Ditto for the play and film Inherit the Wind, which took many, many liberties in depicting the actual Scopes trial (and not just the names), but are more or less accepted as historical fact today.
And that wasn't even the intent of the author. It was designed as an allegory to parody the ridiculous nature of McCarthyism (much like The Crucible), but now that the Evolution/Creationism controversy has long outlasted the Un-American Activities Committee, the fact that it was written for parodying something else has been forgotten.
Lastly, when asked about the American Civil War, most people recall scenes from Gone with the Wind, which portrayed a very rose-colored picture of the South. Gone With the Wind is the result of that rose-colored picture already being popular.
Napoléon Bonaparte is always portrayed with a French accent. Yet in actuality, during his lifetime some of his French contemporaries complained that his thick Corsican Italian accent made his French nearly impossible to decipher (which may be why a few of his comedic appearances instead depict him as muttering incomprehensibly and needing to have someone else translate for him.) Also, Napoleon was not quite as short as he is often depicted in fiction. In fact he was estimated to have been around 5'7", or 5'8", which would have ironically been of above-average height for a man of his time. Under-measuring of Napoleon's height was done on purpose: in the Imperial System he was 5'8" high, but with the Measure Nouvelle system he had introduced in France he was 5'4", with the British propaganda giving his height as 5'4", but omitting the reason to ridicule him. His large bodyguards and "Petit" nickname (which was not about his height but about him being A Father to His Men) helped too.
Many, many residents of Texarkana, Arkansas, would swear that one of the victims of the Phantom Slayer, a Serial Killer who'd stalked the area in 1946, was killed with a knife attached to the end of a trombone. This bizarre method of killing was wholly invented for the docudrama The Town That Dreaded Sundown, a thriller loosely based upon the actual Moonlight Murders. Annual Halloween showings of this film by Texarkana's park department have likely contributed to this misconception.
In Valkyrie, some of Colonel von Stauffenberg's cooler moments were actually cut from the film - for instance, he refused morphine because he was afraid of being addicted, but it was cut because it was felt audiences would think that the filmmakers were trying to turn Von Stauffenberg into an action hero.
Similarly, the film's General Beck kills himself with a single shot. In reality, he botched his suicide very painfully, and had to be finished off by a sergeant.
Another similar example from a World War 2 movie comes from the old film "To Hell and Back," which detailed the journeys of the soldier Audie Murphy (which actually starred Audie Murphy as himself). Many of his achievements were cut from the film for being so unbelievable that even Audie didn't think the audience would buy it.
Many film critics who otherwise enjoyed Schindler's List complained that the one thing they found unbelievable was Ralph Fiennes' villain Amon Goeth, saying that he was far too evil to be believable. Not only was Amon Goeth a real person, as bad as he is in the movie he got a Historical Villain Downgrade—the real Amon Goeth was much, much worse. Stuff like his morning ritual of shooting innocent people with a sniper rifle from his house made the movie; stuff like his Torture Cellar did not. The most fictional aspects of his character are actually his (attempted) Pet the Dog moments, put in to make him seem more human. Goeth was so horrible in real life, in fact, that he was actually fired by his superiors for maltreatment of prisoners. Imagine how bad you have to be, to be fired for maltreatment of prisoners as the Commandant of a concentration camp.
This could probably be extended to many occasions when a critic or an audience are taken out of a movie because they think a character is acting too evil to be real. Goodfellas is another example of a film based on real events where the villainous characters were even more violent and nasty in Real Life than they were portrayed on-screen, but even many completely fictional Card Carrying Villains get up to stuff that Real Life tyrants, terrorists or criminals might find tame.
When James Bond used a Bell Rocket Belt in Thunderball, its natural sound was replaced by a supposedly "more realistic" fire-extinguisher sound.
In Goldfinger, Sean Connery thought the scene where Bond takes off a wetsuit to reveal a pristine tuxedo was too humourous and unbelievable. It was actually drawn from screenwriter Paul Dehn's wartime experience of a Dutch resistance operation. It was later successfully tested on MythBusters.
Thunderball ends with Bond and his latest woman floating a balloon that they're tethered to, which is then snagged by a transport plane, lifting them in the air to be reeled into the cargo bay. A few reviews said that out of the many the gadgets in the movie, this one was just too much to believe. It's the Fulton surface-to-air recovery system (STARS, or Skyhook), and the US military and intelligence services really did use it until 1996. A similar scene took place in Licence to Kill as Franz Sanchez's airplane is lassoed by Bond and Felix Leiter's helicopter.
Apollo 13 was said by some reviewers to have an unrealistic ending, in the astronauts coming back to Earth alive. One thing was added to serve the Rule of Drama - Marilyn dropped her wedding ring in the shower, but the drain holes were too fine for it to go down and be lost. (It went partway down the drain. It was just reachable for recovery.)
Jim Lovell himself, in the audio commentary for the Laserdisc/DVD, said that the initial seconds of the Saturn V ignition looked like Ron Howard had "just run the film backwards," and were thus inaccurate. Real footage of a Saturn V launch, however, shows the initial fire plumes being sucked down into the trench below the engines, and it really does look like film of fireballs being run backwards!
Most of the film's changes from history were events being deleted, not added for dramatic effect. The actual mission involved two other course corrections and another major equipment malfunction. Ron Howard cut these out because it would have made the film too melodramatic to be believable. It also shortens the time frame before NASA was able to reestablish contact with the astronauts after reentry- the film mentions that the longest time any communications blackout had lasted before a crew was returned safely home was for three minutes, which is true, but the time given before the astronauts contact them is slightly over four. In real life, it was six, double the time of any previous blackout.
The way that mission control figures out how to fit the Command Module's air filters to the Lunar Module's insert slots was a much more "Hollywood" solution in real life than the movie depicts it. The film depicts it as the work of a team of engineers working tirelessly around the clock to come up with a solution, in real life it was thought up by one guyin his car while driving to work.
While Armageddon is largely scientifically inaccurate, it actually got one thing right: sending the shuttles around the far side of the Moon to create a "slingshot effect" to steal a little momentum and kick them on their way. The effect has been used by space agencies for decades to launch deep-space probes such as Voyager, often looping from one planet to another to gain multiple slingshots. Ironically, the movie was criticized in some quarters for being unrealistic because of this, the argument being that cars tend to fly off corners when you go around them fast. And as we all know, spaceships behaveexactlylike cars.
Oddly, the very name of the slingshot effect exhibits this effect: slingshots do not work that way - slings do. Slings are rather different from slingshots, but nevertheless the slingshot terminology has stuck.
Mentally add a space and it works fine: "sling shot", as in what the ammunition is called and what the vehicle is doing.
Used outright in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, where the American businessman chooses the most ostentatious goblet from the table of possible Holy Grails, drinks, and promptly dies horribly. Indy and Elsa Schneider quickly search the table for the least ornate cup, because that's the kind of cup a simple carpenter would actually have.
In Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, there is a reference to the Japanese bombing Shanghai. Many believe this to be anachronistic, referring to an event from 1937 (the movie takes place in 1935). Actually, the Japanese also bombed Shanghai in 1932.
There's a film made for Channel 4 called Yasmin where in one scene, a Muslim woman is being abused by children on the high street. At the end an old woman comes out and apologizes in a really badly acted way that completely ruins all verisimilitude. Apparently this old woman was a random person off the street who didn't realize there was filming going on and the director decided not to reshoot the scene.
In many movies, when an eagle is shown calling, the sound of a red-tailed hawk's screech is dubbed over it. Apparently the red-tailed hawk's cry is stronger and more dramatic than the eagle's (and audiences have come to associate the red-tailed hawk's sound with eagles).
A studio executive allegedly complained that the actor playing Senator Joseph McCarthy in the historical biopic Good Night, and Good Luck. was overacting badly. Actually all of Senator McCarthy's scenes consisted of Stock Footage of the man himself, who actually did overact badly.
The makeup artists in the movie Hannibal went through several iterations of Mason Verger's mangled face before getting to the one you see on screen. The first few they did looked how somebody who had cut his own face off would actually appear, but they realized that it looked ridiculous. So they made his face less realistic and more disturbing.
The film's creators first used accurate measures for the head of the Statue of Liberty, but test audiences complained that it looked too small. For this reason they made it 50% larger than it really is. Even then some people still complain that it looks too small.
Another major sticking point was that the main characters can use their cell phones in subways. Guess what? People do that, especially in New York City, where some subway stations actually go the extra mile to enable cellphone usage. At this point it wouldn't be surprising to find out that if there really are giant monsters, they work just like Clover do just because people call him impossible.
During the scene in Live Free or Die Hard (also known as Die Hard 4.0) in which Bruce Willis ducks under a car flipping through the air and is only saved when it lands on two other cars that just happen to be driving right by him, a lot of people complained about how obviously fake the CGI cars looked. In reality, all of the cars were real.
Many people made fun of the plot, believing it to be unrealistic. Actually, similar events had been performed in the past (gas line explosion, hacking with laptop, etc.), just never all at once.
Used extensively, and influentially, throughout Saving Private Ryan and Band of Brothers, with realistically low-key bullet impacts and deaths as well as explosions that are more concussive than fiery. Furthermore, several of the acts perpetrated by Allied soldiers were deliberately un-Hollywood, such as shooting enemy soldiers In the Back, and killing soldiers who were in the process of surrendering, although this tendency also dates back to revisionist war films of the 1950s and 1960s, such as The Dirty Dozen, Kelly's Heroes, and Robert Aldrich's Attack. On the other hand, Saving Private Ryan also suffered from Painting the Medium, with its jerky cinematography and desaturated color palette (despite being set in the middle of summer in Northern France).
And another war movie example: In The Big Red One the soldiers hide from a group of German soldiers. After the Germans have passed by the American soldiers get up and want to walk on, but find one of their comrades is dead. Upon finding his body in the hole he was hiding in, a soldier comments that he had not even heard a shot being fired. The experienced squad leader just explains that the dead guy is not the first soldier to die from a heart attack in the middle of a war and won't be the last.
Christopher Lee has told a story (in The Films of Christopher Lee) that when he tried to perform a scene of his being shot the way he'd seen people shot in WWII — "I put an expression of slight surprise on my face and slowly sank to the floor with great dignity" — the people on set found it hilarious.
For those who didn't see the DVD extras, Christopher Lee served with the Special Operations Executive in World War II. The SOE's job was to perform sabotage across Europe. While the actions of all SOE agents are still classified, during filming of The Lord of the Rings, Christopher Lee told Peter Jackson from firsthand experience exactly what kind of sound Saruman would make on being fatally stabbed in the back.
A similar incident occurred to Curtis Jackson (who was shot 9 times by someone in 2000) while making Den of Thieves. Jackson and the director had a dispute over how a person actually would react to being shot, and the director found Jackson's explanations unbelievable.
Lee was also turned down for a role in The Longest Day... for not looking like a military man. Which would actually make sense, the SOE were involved in covert actions more than direct combat and looking like a regular soldier would actually be a disadvantage.
In Milk, a number of reviewers complained that a scene involving a gay teen being unable to flee his abusive parents who are planning on sending him to a "special facility" because he's in a wheelchair — and then turning up safe and sound in Los Angeles at Milk's moment of triumph — was unrealistic and played only to tug at the heartstrings. This actually happened in real life.
The plot calls for a man (Daniel Gélin in the role of Louis Bernard) to be discovered as "not Moroccan" because he was wearing black makeup. The makeup artists couldn't find a black substance that would come off easily, and so they painted the fingers of the other man (Jimmy Stewart) white, so that he would leave pale streaks on the other man's skin (according to Patricia Hitchcock, this idea was suggested by Daniel Gélin).
Many people have questioned the famous scene from in which The Joker's request for a phone call in jail is refused. In reality, there is no law or precedent requiring people in jail to get a phone call. Of course, that being said, most police officers are more than happy to let a prisoner make a telephone call from a department phone. The reason being, unless the prisoner speaks to their lawyer, whatever they says over the phone isn't confidential speech, and the police are more than free to listen in and/or record the conversation.
During the making of the film, the filmmakers thought that Batman's cape would get caught in the back wheel of the Batpod, and as such a backpack-mode was designed for the cape. However, the cape did not, and so Christopher Nolan and costume designer Lindy Hemming went with letting Batman wear the fabric cape while on the Batpod as well.
The SWAT Team's entry tactics late in the movie were questioned, especially regarding them never opening fire on the Joker's minions or the disguised hostages. In reality, the SWAT team was following actual procedure: until the suspect raises their weapon, they are not an immediate threat and cannot be fired upon.
Similarly, Two-face's face. The original design was a realistically burnt face, but test audiences found it so unsettling that the filmmakers turned the damage Up to Eleven in order to make the face more outlandish than sinister.
The Chinese movie Men Behind the Sun was criticized as being an exploitation film and being too over the top with its violence, despite the fact that everything in the film is based on some experiment the Japanese scientists actually performed (Unit 731).
Speaking of Rambo, the 2008 film's climax had Rambo using a .50 caliber machinegun mounted on a jeep to brutally dispatch dozens of government troops, along with an armored patrol boat and a transport truck. Critics and audience members thought that the ease with which the machinegun dismembered or mangled anything it was pointed at was unrealistic. Military veterans who saw the film, inversely, more or less nodded and said, "Yeah, that's pretty much what a .50 round will do to a human body," understanding quite well that the .50 cal is an extremelylarge bullet◊.
Earlier in the film, there's a scene where Rambo detonates a Tall Boy bomb to kill a squad of soldiers. The resulting explosion created a mushroom cloud. Some viewers criticized this, sarcastically commenting on how Rambo apparently survived a nuclear explosion and resulting fallout. In truth, some non-nuclear explosions can produce a mushroom cloud, and the Tall Boy is one such bomb.
One example from the filming of the movie JFK: Two railroad employees' testimonies of seeing smoke behind the grassy knoll fence on November 22, 1963 is used by Oliver Stone as indisputable proof that there was a second gunman present to help kill President Kennedy. Problem was, during filming of a flashback, none of the rifles they used emitted any visible smoke. The special effects team had to be brought in with a smoke machine to complete the illusion.
SFX artist Tom Savini, who often uses his memories of dead bodies he encountered during his tour of duty in the Vietnam War to create his gore effects, is criticized by some because his makeup effects look "faker" than others.
In The Shining (1980), apparently for the scene in which Jack breaks down the bathroom door, the props department built a door that could be easily broken. However, Jack Nicholson had worked as a volunteer fire marshal and tore it apart far too easily. The props department was then forced to build a stronger door for the storyline and dramatic effect.
Real Life doors are, in fact, exactly as easy to break down as portrayed in the movie, even by amateurs. This is because your average indoor door is actually pretty flimsy, being composed more of empty space (to reduce weight and material costs) than actual wood, since they're mostly meant to block sight and noise rather than attempts to break them down. A safety door made of massive wood, on the other hand, is nearly impossible to break through with a simple axe in any reasonable timeframe. In fact, it's usually easier to attack the doorframe, which doesn't have as much mass.
Some viewers of Munich complained that the scene in which the Mossad agents dress as women in order to approach the apartment they are raiding in Tarifa without suspicion was ridiculous, contrived, and ruined the realism of the film. Presumably they were unaware that this particular sequence was closely based on Operation Spring of Youth, a real Mossad operation, in which the men did indeed dress like women to approach their target.
Ridley Scott actually declined to include any reference in Gladiator to the historical practice of gladiators endorsing products from their sponsors, specifically out of fear of this trope.
In addition, Commodus agreeing to enter the ring seems like plot device to allow Maximus to have his revenge. The real Emperor Commodus actually did in fact fight in the Colosseum, though it didn't lead to his death.
The movie's recreation of the Battle of Zama in the Colosseum was criticized for the inclusion of female archers on the Roman side of the battle. Female gladiators did in fact exist in the time period the movie takes place, and are certainly no less realistic than any of the film's other breaks with history.
The Bad Guy's lair in the first Dungeons & Dragons movie not only looked fake but actually a bit on the nose and over-the top evil. Turns out, it was filmed in a real bone church made out of actual human bones during the Black Plague. (Near Prague, if anyone's interested.)
There was a Discovery Channel show on it in 2007. The church is beautiful in a somewhat macabre manner.
The Agony Boothrecap of Howling II: Your Sister is a Werewolf runs into a similar example as Dungeons & Dragons, where writer Ed Harris makes fun of the cheesy "spooky" props in the opening montage, in particular saying that "the skeletons look like the sort of thing you get for Halloween out of the bargain bin because all the good decorations are gone." In reality, this montage was shot at a similar real-life ossuary in the Czech town of Mělník, and the skeletal remains are real.
The movie The Great Raid was lambasted by some critics, especially bloggers, as being unrealistically gung-ho about the rescue mission due to the large differences in casualty rates as very few Americans and Filipinos died in the film compared to the scores of Japanese. The brutality of the Japanese in the film was also criticized as over-the-top, even racist. This ignored the fact that in the real life mission the film was based on the Japanese sustained 523 casualties total (killed and wounded) while the total casualties of the Filipino guerrillas performing the rescue numbered under 30, and the American Rangers suffering two. The brutality of the Japanese in the film was also very much downplayed compared to the multiple documented cases of how horribly Imperial Japan treated the people in its conquered territories.
The 1996 film The Ghost and the Darkness, about a pair of man-eating lions, featured "conventional" maned lions. The real-life Tsavo man-eaters were actually part of a maneless subspecies. This may have been for the crew's safety as well as this trope; the Tsavo subspecies is well known for aggressive behavior (without manes, they have to be to attract mates).
The screenwriters averted the trope by choosing to fictionalise many of the events rather than include events that actually happened according to eyewitness accounts for fear that viewers would find the lions' brazen acts such as pulling passengers out of train car windows unrealistic.
Also there was no other hunter to help kill the lions... Patterson supposedly did pretty much everything himself. The secondary character's addition is one part Wag the Director on the part of Michael Douglas, and one part this trope. If Val Kilmer's Patterson had been the badass big game hunter the real Patterson was reputed to be, people would have claimed he was demanding the director and writers make him cooler.
One of the complaints about the film The Kingdom is that it's an American imperialist propaganda film about how evil Arabs are, even in countries aligned with America. However, the attacks that drive the film are based on actual bombings possibly involving Saudi terrorists.
And recording of the action on the portable camera? Very common among various group, prevalent in the Hezbollah, where such recordings are used for propaganda and training purposes.
One of the criticisms raised about Enemy at the Gates was that it interrupted an exciting story about the sniper duel between Soviet sniper Vasily Zaytsev and his Nazi counterpart during the Battle of Stalingrad with a pointless Romantic Plot Tumor between Zaytsev and Rachel Weisz's character. Thing is, the 'sniper duel' was pure Soviet propaganda, whereas Zaytsev actually did have a relationship with the woman Weisz's character is based on.
And that was one of the few historically realistic things in that movie. Actual veterans of the Battle of Stalingrad were quite pissed off about how disrespectfully their history was portrayed.
A common criticism of Sylvester Stallone's critically-panned racing film Driven is that the crashes are ridiculously overblown and physically impossible. Though the crashes are CG, the reality is that only one of the incidents shown in the film is truly outside the realm of possibility, and most of the crashes are actually far TAMER than crashes that have actually happened in real life. Realism failure in the movie comes more from portraying a single season as having so MANY crashes of such a nature, rather than the severity of the crashes themselves.
William Goldman mentions three examples for A Bridge Too Far. First, a British general (Dirk Bogarde) who sends his troops to a supposedly undefended territory, although he actually has information about German troops being there, but doesn't care. Second, James Caan forcing a medical officer to operate on his captain, who seems to be dead (which he isn't, of course). Third, Ryan O'Neal as general James Gavin who was deemed to be too young for the role by the critics - despite being exactly the same age as the real Gavin had been at that time.
There was also a complaint (or number of complaints) during the filming from Colonel Frost about the way Anthony Hopkins (playing Col. Frost) moved from house to house during the battle of Arnhem - Frost claimed that no British officer (and certainly not him) would do anything but shown disdain for enemy fire by walking from place to place. Hopkins apparently tried, but when the gunfire started instinct took over and he dashed around in a half-crouch.
When The Matrix Reloaded was released, there was a widespread rumor/misconception that the twins were completely computer-generated characters. Many people said that, while looking pretty decent, they still didn't look all that convincing. In actuality they were portrayed by real actors (when not in their "ghost" form).
Critics of Unstoppable complained that the way control was lost over the train was too contrived. Not only was the film inspired by a true story (the "Crazy Eights" incident), but the train in real life became a runaway through an even more improbable set of circumstances.
The original plan in 2001: A Space Odyssey was to have Discovery fly to Saturn. To that end, Kubrick's special effects team tried to create a model of Saturn that was as realistic as possible. However, the more realistic they made it, the faker it looked! The rings looked like a flat band of metal foil held up by plexiglass. Thus, the trip to Saturn was scrapped in favor of a trip to Jupiter. Flash forward a decade-and-a-half, when Voyager 1 sent back close-up Real Life photos of Saturn and its rings — the rings in Voyager's photos looked exactly like the flat, "fake" ones that Kubrick's production team had abandoned!
Also, the Discovery was originally designed with large radiator fins, which is indeed realistic because spacecraft need a way to dissipate excess heat from the engines, life support, electronics, etc. However the production team chose to omit the fins because they looked too much like wings, and they didn't want audience members to think that the Discovery was intended for atmospheric flight.
Stop and think: how many libraries have you seen whose books are not mostly standing straight, one against another like bricks? And yet for some reason movie set designers, such as the one in Ghostbusters (1984), have often insisted on making bookshelves look more "realistic" by having the books be stacked messily and lean crazily against each other on both sides, unlike virtually any real bookshelves.
Speaking of Ghostbusters (1984), Peter Venkman is sometimes given the Ron the Death Eater treatment for using Thorazine to pacify a possessed Dana, since it seems like he brought a powerful tranquilizer with him on a date. While psychology is not a field of medicine, psychologists can indeed prescribe medication if they've gotten sufficient medical training (as for how he got it, Louis earlier mentioned a nearby pharmacy that delivers to the apartments).note They can't do this in real-life New York, but it's nevertheless not an impossibility
In the French movie The Bear, they used natural bear cub sounds for the baby bear, but in real life they sound almost exactly like a human baby whimpering, leading many people to believe the sounds were faked by a human.
People have criticized Martha's reaction to her own sexuality in The Children's Hour; even a few actors from the movie in recent years have criticized that aspect. However this movie is based off a '30s play so it probably takes place in The '30s; even if not so, it takes place in early 1960s America. It'd be an understatement to say that it wouldn't be unusual for her not to protest homophobic people. Considering she was already having a bad time about her unrequited feelings for Karen even before the Malicious Slander began, and that she probably felt she wrecked Karen's life along with everyone considering her horrible and gross due to being gay, her behavior wasn't that out-of-it.
Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith: Bringing up Christopher Lee once again, several people, a number of internet critics included, derided Dooku's flip down from the balcony as bad CGI. In fact, it was an actual live stunt with wirework, with the only CGI being replacing the stuntman's head with Lee's.
In fact, the prequels are frequently criticized for an over-reliance on CGI with critics ironically pointing to examples that were achieved the old fashioned way. Few people realize that each prequel film contained more models and practical effects than the entire original trilogy combined!
Many internet fans went into an uproar about the "fake-looking CGI" droid when the first trailer for The Force Awakens was released showing BB-8 rolling across a desert landscape at high speed. Much eating of words ensued when, during a panel to promote the movie a few weeks later, the effects crew brought the actual working BB-8 puppet out onstage.
Some people watching The Force Awakens bemoaned the "ridiculous fake voice" Adam Driver was using as Kylo Ren when unmasked, apparently unaware that Driver's natural speaking voice really is that deep. From the same film, others were disappointed with the "CGI" used on Unkar Plutt - who was realized totally through Practical Effects, portrayed on set by Simon Pegg in an animatronic suit.
The Last Jedi was harshly criticized for a scene in which General Leia survives after being blown out into space, by using the Force to return to the spaceship, seeming to suffer no lasting harm from it. NASA tests on rapid decompression to vacuum in the 1960s, however, had a 100% survival and full recovery for up to two minutes of exposure once the subjects were repressurized, and Leia was only out there for about one minute fifty seconds.
Much like Unkar in The Force Awakens, some fans complained about the "poor CGI" used to depict Lady Proxima in Solo, who was, again, a totally practical character. Proxima was in fact done much the same way as the original Jabba the Hutt from Return of the Jedi, as a massive puppet onset, albeit much more complex - Jabba was controlled by a team of six puppeteers, Proxima required nearly thirty, most of whom were submerged within her bathing pool during filming.
The Ruth Bader Ginsburg biopic On the Basis of Sex hit some financing snags early on because the studio had a hard time convincing people that a couple who got married in 1954 were really equal partners and that her husband Martin was always supportive of her career.
Fans of On the Waterfront (including the people who do the commentary track for the DVD version) are fond of claiming that the film's one weak link is Karl Malden's character, Father Barry. According to the critics, his didactic sermons and high moral tone sometimes stand in contrast with the naturalistic dialogue in the rest of the movie, and Karl Malden occasionally overplays the part by being sanctimonious and one-dimensional. What they seem not to realize is that, according to writer Bud Schulberg, about 80% of Barry's "unrealistic" "Sermon on the Docks" was taken from the speeches of the real-life waterfront priest Fr. John Corridan, S.J. Not only that, but Karl Malden lived with Fr. Corridan for several days before shooting (he purchased Corridan's hat and coat and wore them onscreen), and was specifically asked by Corridan not to play the character as "holier-than-thou", and therefore made deliberate efforts to tone it down.
Jon Favreau related this anecdote that took place during the filming of Iron Man for a documentary on the history of Industrial Light and Magic; while looking at the film rushes one day, he looked at a scene of the Iron Man armor and commented that he thought that the lighting effects in the CGI for that scene were off. He was then informed that the shot was of the actual full-sized armor, not CGI.
In the How It Should Have Ended parody of Captain America: The First Avenger, Armin Zola questions the Red Skull why they should label their bombs in English. The words written on the bombs were names of US cities: New York, Chicago, etc. These names are written the same way in both English and German; therefore, the bomb labels were in fact written in German.
In the actual film, many people thought that the skinny Steve Rogers was the actual Chris Evans, while the bulked up Steve Rogers was achieved through CGI. In fact, it was the other way around.
Some fans criticized the quality of the CGI in Black Panther (2018) used to make actor John Kani look like a younger T'Chaka, commenting that the same thing was done in Ant-Man on Michael Douglas to much better effect. As you might have guessed from the rest of this page, there was no CGI used on young T'Chaka's face whatsoever, that was actually John Kani's son Atwande, who looks almost exactly like a younger version of his father.
Avatar: The Last Airbender used real Chinese characters for the posters and messages in its universe, as well as the opening, and actually had an expert in ancient Chinese calligraphy as part of the staff. The Last Airbender used a made-up sqiggle language because Shyamalan thought actual Chinese didn't look Asian enough.note It should be noted many fans believe the real reason for downplaying the Asian elements was to justify the controversial original casting - at first all the chosen actors were white, including Jesse Mccartney as Prince Zuko.
In a similar vein Shyamalan also had the characters' names pronounced "properly", so that "Aang" (rhymes with bang) became "AAH-ng", "Sokka" (SOCK-ah) became "SOE-kah", "Iroh" (AYE-roe) became "EE-roe" etc. Detractors complained that the names were pronounced wrong, even though the Shyamalan pronunciations match their etymology - Sokka was named after the Japanese phrase sou ka? meaning "Is that so?", for example, so there is valid justification for going with the alternate pronunciation.
In How It Should Have Ended's parody of Star Trek, Kirk suggests dumping all of their extra mass in order to allow their ship to move with greater velocity against the black hole, and Spock reprimands him as "that is not how spaceships work"... That's the fundamental theory of astrodynamics, actually.
Clint Eastwood mentioned in an interview that during the filming of The Eiger Sanction, he would have to dangle off the side of a cliff upside down with a rope tied to his leg. Eastwood insisted on doing the stunt himself, because he wanted the camera to zoom in on his face to show that it actually was him. Later, he snuck into a screening of the film to gauge the audience reaction, and most of them thought that the scene was done with special effects.
James Purefoy, best known for speaking The Queen's Latin in the TV-series Rome, puts on a very strange, vaguely British accent to play Solomon Kane in the 2010 film adaptation. The accent happens to be the accent spoken in the West Country, where the character Solomon Kane comes from... and Purefoy's natural accent (Solomon Kane comes from Devon, whereas James Purefoy is from Somerset).
The movie Red Tails, as well as the older Made-for-TV film Tuskegee Airmen, both about the all-black 332d Fighter Group of World War II, features a scene where one of the pilots manages to blow up a destroyer using only his machine guns, and predictably drew complaints that a fighter plane didn't carry enough firepower for that kind of effect. Most American fighter planes in WWII carried six .50 caliber machine guns, firing a rifle round that was a half-inch thick, which was nothing to sneeze at by itself. These planes often carried armor-piercing and incendiary ammo for their guns. And destroyers of that era often carried their torpedoes and depth charges on the deck of the ship, being too small to carry them anywhere else... long story short, that happened, and it wasn't even an isolated incident. The real problem is that the ship that appears in the film is not the destroyer that really was sunk, but a Vittorio Veneto-class battleship. Which a single P-51 wouldn't have been able to significantly damage, much less sink.
Most frogs give a single "Roak" sound. But in most American media the sound of frogs is a steady "Ribbit ribbit ribbit," the sound of the Pacific Chorus Frog, a native of the surroundings of Hollywood.
Fans of the Japanese characters Keroro and Keroppi will be unsurprised to hear that some common Japanese frogs make a Kero..Kero...sound.
The 1990 German film Europa Europa (released in Germany as ''Hitlerjunge Salomon" ("Hitler Youth Salomon") tells the story of a Jewish refugee from Nazi Germany who poses as a German when he is captured after the Germans invade the USSR. He is so persuasive that he is eventually adopted by a Wehrmacht officer and sent to the special elite SS youth school in Berlin, where an instructor at one point pronounces him "an authentic Aryan" despite his dark complexion. He is later saved from exposure when a Gestapo officer who is investigating his background is killed in a bombing ... moments after the hero leaves the building. At the end, he is about to be executed by the Red Army as a Nazi despite his protestations that he is a Jew, when his brother, just liberated from a concentration camp, recognizes him. A lot of critics found these later coincidences contrived and unbelievable. But while the ending was indeed written for the movie, Solomon Perel, who wrote the memoir the film was based on, did indeed survive the war the way depicted in the film.
A number of critics complained that the climactic shootout between assault-rifle-wielding bank robbers and pistol-packing cops in Heat was totally unrealistic and broke their Willing Suspension of Disbelief (it had more gunfire than any other film of 1995). Two years later, the North Hollywood shootout proved that the film's version of such an event was actually tamer than reality. Nowadays, it's regarded as one of the most realistic and intense firefights in cinematic history.
The Hard Way has an in-universe example. When Nick Lang is trying to get into the head of cop John Moss, he asks about the piano in Moss' apartment.
Moss: My father played.
Lang: His father played, I like that. It has its own reality. But I can't use it, nobody would believe it.
The film of the musical Brigadoon was filmed in studio. According to some accounts, Vincente Minelli looked into Scottish locations, but couldn't find any that "looked like Scotland". (Other accounts say he decided the weather was lousy, or MGM had an economy drive.)
An in-story example in The Return of the Living Dead, when the three heroes make a failure attempt at killing a walking cadaver by impaling its brain and decapitating it. Simply because it "worked in the movies".
In Party Monster, Michael Alig and James St. James' drug use is considerably less than what they used in real life. The film makers toned it down out of fear viewers would find it unrealistic.
In Hounddog, Lewellen's father is hit by a lightning and survives with massive psychic damage, which prompted many critics to express a complete disbelief. Actually a lightning victim is more likely to suffer brain damage (but survive) than to outright die.
In Mutiny on the Bounty, which was filmed on location in Tahiti, white sand was imported to the location from the USA, because the black beaches of Tahiti didn't fit in with the audience's preconceptions about tropical islands.
The title characters' sex scene in Zack and Miri Make a Porno is an in-universe example. While actually closer to Idealized Sex, it's realistic in universe, what with it being a Hollywood film and all, but unusable in the porno because it isn't pornographically stylized.
In xXx, Xander Cage neutralizes the terrorists' nerve gas missile by sinking it in a river. It seems like a standard action film plot device... except that the standard way of destroying organophosphate-based nerve agents is sinking them in a large body of running water.
Many viewers of Alien³ complained about how fake the "CGI" alien looked; never mind that it wasn't CGI at all.
In a scene from Alien: Resurrection, the Space Pirates and Ripley are swimming through a flooded area. Originally, the film crew just filled the set with water, but they decided that it didn't look natural enough, so they added milk to make it look more turbid.
In the basketball scene, when Ripley throws the ball backwards and lands it in the net, many viewers pointed out the convenience that the ball goes off screen for a split second, inferring that it was either CG'd into the shot or dropped by someone above the net. In reality, Sigourney Weaver practiced hard for the scene and achieved the shot; it was just to her misfortune that the ball went off screen. The scene itself cuts very quickly in the finished film because of Ron Perlman and the other actors breaking character and hollering at the achievement.
In one of her diaries she kept for the filming of Sense and Sensibility, Emma Thompson describes a love scene that was shot near a lake. Right on cue, a pair of white swans drifted past during filming. Director Ang Lee ordered them removed, declaring it too sentimental and fake.
Godzilla fans have complained about the Heisei Mothra prop looking like a plush toy, and how the Showa and GMK Mothra are "so much more realistic"; nevermind real moths can look quite toylike when viewed in extreme closeup.
Another big complaint of the franchise (particularly by Tri-Godzilla fanboys) is that Godzilla himself is unrealistic because of his humanoid posture. In real life, this is a more likely posture for a 300-story dinosaur then an average theropod posture, since Godzilla's posture distributes weight between the thick, crocodile-like tail and the bulky, four-toed feet.
When the first trailer for Godzilla (2014) was first released, some viewers complained that the parachute jump seen at the beginning was unrealistic, and that spending that much time free-falling without deploying their parachute was a death sentence. HALO (High Altitude-Low opening) jumps are very real.
Some critics think that Dr. Serizawa's characterization of Godzilla as the maintainer of nature's balance brings in a goofy mystical aspect to a film that otherwise strives to be as plausible as possible for a Kaiju film. But this fits very well with the real life biological and ecological concept of a keystone species, where a particular species, frequently some kind of alpha predator (i.e. like Godzilla), has a disproportionate influence on an environment compared to how abundant it is. If such a keystone species were to disappear, its ecosystem would end up collapsing on itself due to the imbalance. The way Serizawa words it is rather grandiose, but the underlying notion isn't as far-fetched as it sounds. note See this video for a Real Life example of how having reintroduced wolves to Yellowstone National Park has made trees healthier and even changed the course of rivers.: Youtube link
Better still, the American Alligator, which has a similar appearence to Godzilla, is a wonderful example a Keystone Species.
Another one for Renée Zellweger. Hugh Grant only heard her speak in her British accent while filming the first Bridget Jones movie. Then at the wrap party, he said he initially wondered why she was doing a rather strange American accent all the time.
In the DVD Commentary for Man on Fire, director Tony Scott mentions that when the climactic scene was being filmed in front of a volcano outside Mexico, the volcano actually erupted. However, the eruption looked phony and like it was from a "Disney movie" and was not included in the finished film.
In the DVD commentary of Shanghai Noon, director Tom Dey mentions one review praised the film for using CGI only with creating the Forbidden City in China, even though they actually shot on location at the Forbidden City.
For Big Eyes, Director Tim Burton has said that some of the outlandish elements of the real story (like Walter cross-examining himself) had to be played down or cut so that the film would be believable.
A few people who reviewed The Fault in Our Stars suggested that it was Hollywood-ized to some degree due to Augustus's chemo not resulting in any hair loss, but the writers did their research and the type of chemo that character would be on in their situation wouldn't result in any hair loss.
In 2001 a UK-Russian co-production film about the Night Witches was to be made but ultimately failed to get backing from an American studio. This was not because of the perceived lack of audience interest in a German-Soviet based film since Enemy at the Gates had proved relatively successful that year, but because the studios at the time had made twenty-five very big World War II films, none of which had mentioned the Soviet participation in the war. The studios deemed it difficult to sell the fact to the American public that the first people to stop the advancing Germans was actually "a small bunch of Russian teenager girl pilots," per email correspondence with Frixos Constantine, the producer of the project at the time.
Disney got accused of digitally altering Cinderella's waist for Cinderella (2015). According to Lily James it was a combination of her wearing a corset, the voluminous skirt making the waist seem small by comparison, and her waist being naturally small in the first place.
Dinosaur Island (2014) has feathered dinosaurs that make bird noises and in some cases are more docile than one might expect. Clearly the filmmakers had Shown Their Work, but the result is dinosaurs that look and act utterly unlike what most people are used to.
One of the criticisms of Black Mass by people who knew the real life Steve Flemmi was that the movie Flemmi was portrayed as far more conflicted about his role in the Winter Hill Gang than he actually was, but the movie's producers feared that portraying him accurately would fall victim to this trope and come off as cartoonishly evil.
During the production if the 1959 film Timbuktu, director Jacques Tourneur at first went to film in the actual town of Timbuktu, but decided the middle of an actual desert wasn't sufficiently hot and miserable for the tone of the movie. He filmed it in Utah.
Night at the Museum features Rami Malek playing an Egyptian Pharaoh. Naturally, like a lot of films have (due to not enough actors being available), it was assumed by some people that this was a case of whitewashing. Actually, Rami Malek is Egyptian - the Ancient Egyptians looked very much like ethnic Egyptians do today, thanks to interbreeding with Hyksos, Greek, Nubians....
Critics sneered at the play because of its laughably improbable premise: a member of the Austrian military aristocracy who was opposed to Hitler. In fact, this was one of the few aspects of the Von Trapp story that was firmly grounded in reality.
Some people have also complained that Georg von Trapp could not have been a Navy Captain, because Austria is a land-locked country and shouldn't even have a Navy. In fact Austria (or rather, Austria-Hungary) did have a Navy up until the end of WWI, which is when Captain von Trapp served.
Tombstone has one particularly egregious and implausible scene, where Wyatt Earp walks through a hail of gunfire by the Cowboys and picks them off without receiving so much as a scratch in return...except that's exactly the way the Shootout at Iron Springs went down in real life, and is actually one of the most historically accurate scenes in the whole film. His general Plot Armor is about as accurate; Wyatt was never injured by a bullet in his lifetime, despite the amount of shootouts he participated in.
Hacksaw Ridge: Mel Gibson decided not to include some of the more unbelievable aspects to the story of Desmond Doss's time as a medic.
While lowering men down the ridge, a Japanese soldier had Doss in his sights several times, and every time he did, his gun jammed, preventing him from shooting him. This was also omitted amidst fears of unbelievability.
In reality, Doss' Bible went missing as he dragged himself to safety. Months after he was shipped home, he found it in the mail; his entire company, who once mocked him for his convictions, searched up and down Hacksaw until they found it.
After being injured and taken off the battlefield, Doss actually rolled off the stretcher when he noticed a man more injured than him and demanded they take him instead. While they were gone, he was shot by a sniper, shattering his left arm, and he crawled 300 yards by himself in the hellfire of battle to safety. This was omitted because Gibson feared that nobody would believe that had happened.
When Margot Robbie received the script for I, Tonya, she thought screenwriter Steven Rogers showed a lot of creativity in coming up with such colorful characters and such an unusual plot. The movie is based on a true story, to the point of the interview scenes being verbatim recreations of actual interviews with the people involved. To be fair, Robbie was four years old and in another country when the incident occurred. And even people familiar with the event were generally unaware of how incredibly weird the details, backstory and personalities involved were.
Dan Savage urges parents to talk to their children about having realistic expectations around sex, because most kids are learning about it from porn, and "pornography is to sex as an action movie is to Tuesday." Porn is scripted, posed, and recorded based on what looks good on camera rather than what feels good for the average human body (not that there are a lot of average human bodies in most porn either).
For the Kim Possible Disney Channel Original Movie, many complain that the actress is "too young" to play Kim. She's actually seventeen. Kim in the cartoon just looked mature for her age.
With Twister, the film attracted critics for the number of tornadoes to appear in such a short time frame. While that is unusual, the current record for number of tornadoes in a single 24 hour period is 206. Before the film came out, the record at the time was 148 in 1974. While a large amount of tornadoes at once is unusual, storms that spawn multiple tornadoes aren't exactly uncommon either.
At the end of Pokémon Detective Pikachu, Harry Goodman is eventually revealed to be played by Ryan Reynolds. Quite a few people said he appears to be too young to be the father of main character Tim, played by Justice Smith. Reynolds and Smith are 19 years apart in age. So while Harry would have been a young father, it's not at all unrealistic.
In movie It (2017) , Pennywise's costume change got a lot of flak from some fans who felt he looked too gothic and scary. Ironically, his appearance is very on par with how a lot of clowns really did dress back in the 50's and 60's. Comparing him to the clowns he was said to look like in the book and you will find this Pennywise bears a little more resemblance than the Tim Curry outfit. However, it still works in the "boomerang" sense as it makes Pennywise look like it's been doing this successfully for a very long time.
The conservative commentator Debbie Schlussel, in her review of the film 300: Rise of an Empire, mocked Artemisia's character, played by Eva Green, saying it was a case of "ridiculous feminist propaganda". However, despite the fact that the film can not boast in any case of historical accuracy, Artemisia of Caria was a real person who led a contingent of ships in Xerxes' invasion.
Zeus and Roxanne: Roxanne punching a shark in the teeth. It can happen, and yet it looks so silly, The Nostalgia Critic committed one of his major fuckups by calling it unrealistic in his review of the film only to get called out on his assertion by Douchey McNitpick.
Dr. Strangelove was reportedly conceived as a very authentic cold-war drama. It turned out that many of the details of nuclear protocol were so absurd that no one could possibly have taken them seriously, so Kubrick changed the genre to a very dark comedy.