Is realism that important in film and TV?

Discussion in 'Movies and Television' started by Hand Of Omega, Jun 29, 2009.

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Is realism that important in film and TV?

  1. Very Important

    7 vote(s)
    12.7%
  2. Somewhat Important

    10 vote(s)
    18.2%
  3. Not Really Important

    5 vote(s)
    9.1%
  4. Depends on the film

    33 vote(s)
    60.0%
  1. Hand Of Omega

    Hand Of Omega Well-Known Member

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    Well, is it? For most people its good to have a balanced film, but I have met many people that are very adamant about realism. Even limiting their genres to drama and biopics!
    My question is, 'is realism so crucial'?
    Does it affect the enjoyment that much?
    Personally, I could watch a true story one day and 'Star Wars' or 'Ultraviolet' the next. I'm flexible.
    I guess it comes down to how much suspension of disbelief you want to invest.
    I always thought films are supposed to be better than real life - real life is what cinema is an escape from IMO.
    Your thoughts?
     
  2. Gigatron_2005

    Gigatron_2005 President of Calendars

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    Completely depends on the film. Some things are great because they completely avoid any sense of realism (something like King Fu Hustle), while other things are great because they transport you to another time and place in a fully realized world (something like There Will be Blood). Both can be very entertaining, but neither are inherently good ways of approaching a film production. The action genre tends to float around the middle in terms of realism, and the film can suffer if it is too serious yet unrealistic at the same time.
     
  3. Macross7

    Macross7 Well-Known Member

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    Considering we are all on this board because of sentient alien robots that can fold their bodies into Earth vehicles....probably not.


    In reality, it depends on what it is. In a Godzilla movie, a giant radioative monster is fine but if it showed up in Shawshank Redemption (that would be frickin' awesome!!) it would be out of place.
     
  4. Optimus Sledge

    Optimus Sledge Yar har fiddle di dee

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    Yes. Yes it is. And no, I don't mean we should say "Well, transforming robots and Jedi aren't realistic, so those films and TV shows are shit." Characters need to believe realistically within the context of their world. If they don't, it's impossible to give a crap about them because you keep getting jarred out of your disbelief.
     
  5. flamepanther

    flamepanther Interested, but not really

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    I think its more important for a story to be internally consistent. If a story has been trying to maintain realism throughout, it shouldn't suddenly have something happen that clearly couldn't. If, on the other hand, it plays by a different set of rules than the ones we live in, then "unrealistic" things are just fine, as long as they match the bounds of that universe. Obviously, biographies and such have a lot more obligation to adhere to realism.
     
  6. Hand Of Omega

    Hand Of Omega Well-Known Member

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    All extremely good points. I have to agree with everyone so far! :thumbs2: 
     
  7. flamepanther

    flamepanther Interested, but not really

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    You would be surprised how many fans will try to defend that as plausibly realistic.
     
  8. Cheetatron

    Cheetatron Eh

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    this
     
  9. Optimus1986

    Optimus1986 TMNT & Hulk Fanatic

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    Like it's been said, depends on the subject matter. Like Batman can be done "realistically" so that it feels like it could actually be feasible. But if you apply that same realism to, say, Superman or Green Lantern, it doesn't work because those fail unless they have unrealistic, far-fetched premises and action. It can look real, but to take the same "do it for real" premise of Batman, it falls flat on its face.
     
  10. Scantron

    Scantron Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I'm more interested in internal consistency and realism within the setting of the story, rather than whether the subject matter is realistic. No matter how bizarre the subject matter, I'll accept it as long as the fictional world has consistent "rules", characters behave in a manner that makes sense (from their perspective) and everything progresses logically. I generally avoid stuff with realistic subject matter because I have no interest in it and those types of movies/TV shows bore me (drama, biopics, history, historical drama, etc).
     
  11. flamepanther

    flamepanther Interested, but not really

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    Even Batman is a stretch. It just doesn't have to stretch as far.
     
  12. Lord Of Tetris

    Lord Of Tetris Well-Known Member

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    This. Something can be as out-of-this-world as can be (let's say Star Trek), and I can buy it as long as the entire story has a consistent logic that makes some kind of plausible sense. EG, if I'm watching Public Enemies and Agent Purvis beams down from his police car and uses a phaser on John Dillinger in the climax, I will not be pleased.

    Hell, Speed Racer has almost no ties with reality as we know it. Amidst the movie's many problems, it nevertheless managed to create a plausible world in which I never questioned the internal logic of the movie's events.

    Terminator Salvation spoilers ahead.

    I often complain about things being "unrealistic," but I always mean so in the vein of the story. For example, I thought Terminator Salvation's T-800 fight was really unrealistic. Why would the T-800 throw John Connor across the room as its primary attack? T1-3 showed us that Terminators are just as deadly whether completely nude or armed with machine guns. T1 had Arnold put his fist into some guy's stomach and his guts spilled out. The T-1000 stabbed a bunch of people. I don't remember T3 all that much, but I think the TX had a buzzsaw, she put her hand through some guy's chest, and did at least one neck snapping.

    The T-800's repeated use of "throw John Connor across the room" broke the reality of the movie for me when everything in every Terminator movie suggested that Terminators use the most direct, quick, and effective methods. Everything up to the fight, I bought with no reservations. Motorcycle bots, AI, harvesters, etc certainly aren't realistic, but they coincided with the movie's rules of realism.
     
  13. Dolza_Khyron

    Dolza_Khyron Well-Known Member

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    what others said, was what i was thinking when i clicked this thread.

    depends on the film/tv series

    a tv/film set in reality, like let's say, a crime show, BEST be based off facts, and best not be making up "science" or "tools" just to make it easier for the episode to come to an end... lol

    but now if you have a film about a bunch of giant robots, transforming in to space ships, all piloted by half naked teddy bears... then, no i think if you have all that, you can leave all "realism" at the door... :lol 
     
  14. Dropshot

    Dropshot Transform your destiny

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    It is extremely important, if something doesn't feel realistic, it pulls you off the movie.
     
  15. Ironhide2005

    Ironhide2005 PS3tag=DeaDPooLTFW

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    For me it depends on what the film is. Also I think alot of movies nowadays try to be to realistic when really it doesn't need to be.
     
  16. Greyryder

    Greyryder Kitbashed

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    I'm with the "depends on the movie" crowd. Some movies can make the rediculous work. Shoot Em Up is a prime example of this. It constantly pulls things that you know could never happen in reality, but it somehow makes it all work.

    On the other hand, sometimes small details can really annoy me. I know that a Transformers movie is never going to be realistic, just because of the premise. But, a semi covered in blue marker lights would be getting pulled over like every five miles.
     
  17. grimlock1972

    grimlock1972 "No Mas" My Wallet

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    depends onthe film , if your making a biopic you absolutely need to be spot on for the era inwhich it takes place, but if your making a fantasy film or Sci Fi its not as important
     
  18. shibamura_prime

    shibamura_prime Jumpin' Jellyfish! Super Mod

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    It depends on how you describe "realism," and is almost completely subjective.

    But in a nutshell, I believe that if all films were completely "realistic," we'd all be going to the theater to watch 90 minutes of a guy doing his taxes.
     
  19. Witwicky Camaro

    Witwicky Camaro Sabbatical Is Required

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    Yeah, I think it really depends on what kind of movie or tv show it is. Even then, when its not "Realistic" by our definition of the term, the TV or movie has its own rules of reality it has to follow (most of the time). Honestly, Realism vs. Non-Realism, isn't ever a issue with me unless the film or tv show is just bad. Then I'll point out "That's not Realistic" for the hell of it.

    I lol'ed @ this.

    Simple. If the T-800 had done anything else, like jab his fist into his target's stomach (like he did in the first film), or tore his head off his shoulders, or broke his neck, John Connor would be d-e-a-d and there wouldn't be much of a movie, and then people would be bitching on forums and blogs all over the world about Terminator Salvation killing John Connor/Batman like he was a random background character designed for cannon fodder. So the movie solves this by having T-800 throw John's ass around into dentable objects :p , allowing the character plenty of time to escape, thus drawing out the climax of the film in a plauisble fashion (IMHO).

    Besides its not completely unrealistic within said franchise's universe. I mean, The T-1000 could've easily killed the cop who's clothes it hijacked, instead it just knocked him out. The T-800 could've killed the biker who refused to give him his clothes, or even the guy who it shoved out of Phone booth in 1984, but it didn't. He also could've killed the trucker's buddy, instead he tells him "get out" (the same applies to the T-1000 with the helicopter hijacking).

    Speaking of which: It made me to wonder why no one knew what this "One Day Serial Killer" looked like in the first film, given that in a deleted scene, the T-800 is seen walking, calmly, back to the station wagon he hijacked after killing Sarah Connor #1, thus giving the surrounding witnesses plenty of time to get a good look at his face. The ones that weren't running anyway. One could argue a "deleted scene" doesn't count, but within the context of the film, he killed the chick in broad daylight with plenty of witneses around, albeit unseen, and doesn't seem too worried about blowing his cover. Most likely because they can't stop him.
     
  20. Sol Fury

    Sol Fury The British Butcher Administrator News Staff

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    I believe in "acceptable breaks from realism". As long as the fictional world has some rules established and it sticks to them most of the time, all will be well.

    Additionally, I allow one break from realism per film / TV series arc, for dramatic effect. When you've got rules like "you can only fire this twice before you use up all your lifeforce" and you fire the thing four times, with a visible drain but still doing it, executed right, it looks badass and powered up.
     

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