How realistic should 'real-world' films be?

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Ben@Forest
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How realistic should 'real-world' films be?

Postby Ben@Forest » 29 Jun 2020, 10:21am

Some spoilers in this. Saw ‘The Mountain Between Us’ last night. Disaster film (in every sense!) where Idris Elba and Kate Winslet have to get themselves out of snowy mountains after a light plane crash. Their only help is a labrador. Over the course of three weeks they survive on way too little food, especially considering they’re expending huge amounts of calories in walking out and staying warm at night; the dog eats nothing; they appear to suffer no frostbite (even though Kate falls into an icy lake) though there’s a very slight nod to such things at the end; they miraculously find a cabin just as required and neither of them lose any weight (there’s not even an effort to depict this).

So, it’s a poor film with poor acting anyway – but does the complete lack of reality of being in such a situation matter?

mercalia
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Re: How realistic should 'real-world' films be?

Postby mercalia » 29 Jun 2020, 10:34am

Ben@Forest wrote:Some spoilers in this. Saw ‘The Mountain Between Us’ last night. Disaster film (in every sense!) where Idris Elba and Kate Winslet have to get themselves out of snowy mountains after a light plane crash. Their only help is a labrador. Over the course of three weeks they survive on way too little food, especially considering they’re expending huge amounts of calories in walking out and staying warm at night; the dog eats nothing; they appear to suffer no frostbite (even though Kate falls into an icy lake) though there’s a very slight nod to such things at the end; they miraculously find a cabin just as required and neither of them lose any weight (there’s not even an effort to depict this).

So, it’s a poor film with poor acting anyway – but does the complete lack of reality of being in such a situation matter?


would you want to see a film that tells it as it is? rather grim from start to finish. The only disaster film I rate is the original Flight of the Phoenix with Jimmy Stewart ( not the pathetic remake which makes it out to be "lost in the Ruislip Lido beach"), you could almost feel the punishing heat and the creeeping exhaustion. Fine acting all around. Now the actors mustnt be seen to sweat or have rumpled hair or un shaven, they are "stars"

Ben@Forest
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Re: How realistic should 'real-world' films be?

Postby Ben@Forest » 29 Jun 2020, 11:20am

mercalia wrote:would you want to see a film that tells it as it is? rather grim from start to finish.


There are both factual and fictional examples that do it well though. 'Alive' which is the true(ish) story of Andes survivors who had to resort to cannabalism was far more realistic, though nothing like as good as the book. And in the fictional 'Cast Away' Tom Hanks lost a couple of stone and gained lockdown hair which looked realistic.

Which is another thing, l don't think Idris gained any facial hair during his 'ordeal'!

Cyril Haearn
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Re: How realistic should 'real-world' films be?

Postby Cyril Haearn » 29 Jun 2020, 11:36am

The Revenant was quite good, Di Caprio had an argument with a bear and was half-dead for the duration. His enemies thought he had perished, they got a surprise when he turned up to deal with them :?
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peetee
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Re: How realistic should 'real-world' films be?

Postby peetee » 29 Jun 2020, 11:54am

Cyril Haearn wrote:The Revenant was quite good, Di Caprio had an argument with a bear and was half-dead for the duration. His enemies thought he had perished, they got a surprise when he turned up to deal with them :?


Yes, that is a good film. Normally I’m not a fan of Di Caprio but one gets the impression that the suffering inflicted on the character by the elements was also felt by him in the course of filming and it wasn’t just make-up and acting skill.
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Syd
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Re: How realistic should 'real-world' films be?

Postby Syd » 29 Jun 2020, 12:26pm

I watched Underwater the other evening, a disaster movie set 6 miles below the ocean surface.

There were so many factual inaccuracies I wouldn’t know where to begin!!

reohn2
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Re: How realistic should 'real-world' films be?

Postby reohn2 » 29 Jun 2020, 1:11pm

Films can,like art,be escapism or realism.The Mountain Between Us was pure romantic escapism,though they did eat the Mountain Lion which,thinking about it,there's many a good meal on one of those :wink:

PS,perhaps they gave the Lab a bone now and again to chew on :)
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Mike Sales
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Re: How realistic should 'real-world' films be?

Postby Mike Sales » 29 Jun 2020, 1:24pm

There is a term in criticism: "willing suspension of disbelief".
We can enjoy films, and of course stage plays, because they engage our feelings and emotions even though we know, and can see, that they are not real events happening in front of our eyes. Our imagination can make the necessary leap.
Perhaps when the make believe becomes too obtrusive, it is because the quality of the art itself is poor.
We cannot really expect that the events on the silver screen are real, but nevertheless we go to watch, knowing full well it is not a documentary, and even a documentary has to employ a certain amount of staging and artful cutting.
I think that the recent criticisms of nature documentaries for this are misplaced too.

drossall
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Re: How realistic should 'real-world' films be?

Postby drossall » 29 Jun 2020, 11:10pm

I struggle more with "historical" films that rewrite the events - there have been loads recently. If the film is presented as fictional, the writers can do what they like with the story, within reason :D

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Syd
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How realistic should 'real-world' films be?

Postby Syd » 30 Jun 2020, 5:14am

drossall wrote:I struggle more with "historical" films that rewrite the events - there have been loads recently. If the film is presented as fictional, the writers can do what they like with the story, within reason :D

Or films like ‘The Perfect Storm’ based on ‘true events’.

The true parts appear to be that the fishing boat set sails then sinks, with a loss of all crew , in a destructive storm.

All the other stuff is made up.

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Cunobelin
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Re: How realistic should 'real-world' films be?

Postby Cunobelin » 30 Jun 2020, 6:19am

I vaguely remember a film that hit the headlines about a couple of teenagers, one of whom was dying of cancer.

The strory was that in the end the character died, and the other had to deal with that loss.

However when it was shown to focus groups they found that the death was unpopular and could afect ratings and box ofice success

The end was refilmed with the character surviving

Ben@Forest
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Re: How realistic should 'real-world' films be?

Postby Ben@Forest » 30 Jun 2020, 7:53am

Mike Sales wrote:There is a term in criticism: "willing suspension of disbelief".
We can enjoy films, and of course stage plays, because they engage our feelings and emotions even though we know, and can see, that they are not real events happening in front of our eyes. Our imagination can make the necessary leap.
Perhaps when the make believe becomes too obtrusive, it is because the quality of the art itself is poor.


I guess that is true. I read the book `The Martian' and found out later the radiation levels on Mars would not have allowed the hero to have lived his solitary, extended stay there. But l still enjoyed the film, well-acted by Matt Damon and with a engaging level of plausibility.

The 'Mountain Between' had poor acting and with no real feeling of a romantic undertone or friction developing between the characters. If that had been superbly done l might have missed more of the howlers.

ANTONISH
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Re: How realistic should 'real-world' films be?

Postby ANTONISH » 30 Jun 2020, 10:05am

Did they eat the dog?

reohn2
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Re: How realistic should 'real-world' films be?

Postby reohn2 » 30 Jun 2020, 10:21am

ANTONISH wrote:Did they eat the dog?

No they ate the cat :shock: :wink:
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Tangled Metal
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Re: How realistic should 'real-world' films be?

Postby Tangled Metal » 30 Jun 2020, 2:04pm

With a 7 year old kid I'm used to family movies and a total lack of reality at times. Add in talking n trains in Thomas the tank engine books I can quite happily suspend reality for the length of a movie. You have to with American made movies. Brave heart, that U-boat film and pretty much any jeopardy film where the hero is fighting the masses of bad guys goons and the bad guy boss has an exaggerated English accent.

Of course entertainment isn't documentary. Even the realistic films are fictionalised to make them actually interesting. If they did reality you'd possibly not watch the film.