Thursday, May 29

Are You Serious?


On Monday, I took the kids to our annual Memorial Day Movie. We do this every year, and as it's kind of a celebration of the advent of summer, we choose a blockbuster-type movie. This year it was Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. No, that's not really what I want to talk about today, but it did get me thinking...

As a writer, I am very mindful of the whole suspension of disbelief thing. Even though I write fiction, I'm careful to check facts, weigh plausibility and try to support even the most outlandish ideas. And yet... in the movies, have you ever noticed at times that dazzling special effects or fast pacing can be thrown in as a sort of smoke screen and that plausibility or even logic are completely overlooked? Why is that?

And why is it that Ironman with its completely unreal premise worked so well and IJatKotCS just seemed silly? Is it execution? Is it Robert Downey Junior? : ) What do you think? And why do you think some movie makers don't feel the need to support their plots with logic?

Just curious...

5 comments:

Cara King said...

I'm not sure I totally agree with you on the just-plain-silliness of Indy, but...interesting question.

I think Iron Man sells its improbabilities to the audience in part because of:

1) Robert Downey Junior's realistic, understated acting style;

2) the stylized nature of the production (though Indy has that, too);

3) the way they take some time to create the mind-boggling-bits: that is, Tony Stark spends more then five seconds building the first Iron Man suit, and more than ten seconds designing the second one (and they actually address some of the difficulties involved, such as how to keep it from tumbling when flying);

4) not a lot of story that we don't see. This I think is a big difference between Iron Man and this Indy: Indy 4 has tons of "this group in the past did this, no they did that, and this other group in the further past did a, b, and c," whereas most of the mind-boggling bits in Iron Man take place before our eyes...

Okay, I'm sure that was way longer an answer that you wanted, but these questions interest me, too! :-)

Cara (the geek)

Melissa Walker said...

I love Robert Downey Jr. Just wanted to make that clear from the start. But I agree with Cara's "there were three before" point regarding Indy. I mean, they were playing nostalgia cards left and right. We already love this character so all he has to do is put a hat on his head and we have chills. I enjoyed both a lot, by the way. Yay action heroes! And yay nostalgia!

Alyson Noel said...

I haven't seen either of these movies, but one of the main things that always helps me suspend my disbelief is whether or not I care. I have to care about the character, his /her quest, and the outcome. I'm willing to forgive a lot if they can make me commit!

TJBrown said...

I'm with Alyson. I have to really care about a charcter and the disbelif has to be believable. So didn't make sense, but does anyone know what I mena? LOL
Teri

Wendy Toliver said...

I start out any book or movie thinking to myself that it will be somewhat plausible, then adjust my mindset as it goes. But with horror movies, for example, I'm much more scared (which I think is the point, right?) if it's something that COULD happen, by some stretch of the imagination. You know, like Silence of the Lambs or Hostel, or even The Fly?