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Author Topic: What's your favorite fiction "clanger"?  (Read 647 times)

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Offline dominomaskTopic starter

What's your favorite fiction "clanger"?
« on: September 01, 2010, 12:34:11 AM »
I had once read an article about people who work in various security-clearance jobs in DC who go to spy and/or espionage movies as a group so they can crack up with each other about "clangers"...elements or concepts that appear in the movie that anyone who works in that sector (or anywhere near it) recognizes as utterly absurd or at least a careless mistake..."Mission Impossible" and "National Treasure" are absolute gems.  Or like a palaeontologist who can't help noticing that "Jurassic Park" would be more appropriately named "Mesozoic Park".  Or my old roommate at one of my internships who can't watch "House" because the number of jobs the characters do every episode makes her head implode ("They just waltzed right in to the hematology lab!? Gah!!")  I know people that will fall on the ground in a verifiable conniption if they hear the phrase "snuck in silently through the ventilation ducts."

The one that I notice most often (I have a MS in health science) is when authors and game systems use the word "prone" to describe someone lying on their back, when they really mean "supine".  "Prone" specifically describes someone who is face-down, not merely horizontal.  I've also noticed a lot of people (Jim Butcher among them!:O) sometimes confuse the clavicle and scapula.  If you don't know which is which, just say collar bone and shoulder blade.  That's what lay-terms are for, after all.

I'm curious about other peoples' clangers, partially because they're always amusing, and partially because I know I tend to write fiction willy-nilly about places and jobs I know little-to-nothing about, and I'd love to make fewer avoidable mistakes.:)

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Re: What's your favorite fiction "clanger"?
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2010, 08:46:09 AM »
I have trouble watching movies set in D.C. because I lived most of my life in that area.  For example, the movie 'No Way Out' (a spy thriller) includes the 'Georgetown Metro', when Georgetown has adamantly refused to put one in (above-ground would make the neighborhood too noisy and below-ground is difficult to retro-fit). Also, Die Hard 2 (set at Dulles International Airport) has Pacific Bell payphones, and 'two hours of fuel' and a snowstorm would cause most pilots to re-route to somewhere below the snowline.  I hear Miami's nice.

Offline Lypiphera

Re: What's your favorite fiction "clanger"?
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2010, 01:04:42 PM »
Films have mostly been 'ruined' for me by my degree.

I did a bachelors in Theatre and Textual Practices (theatre and writing) and it was a very contemporary course, dealing more with performance art than traditional practices. One of the key skills we were drilled in was critical overview - i.e. to be able to take everything apart and analyse the hell out of it.

Now, everything (plot, characters, context, politics, the fluidity of the composition etc) gets analysed. Luckily I am the type of person that is hard put not to enjoy a film / Tv but still, i'm not the type of person you want watching your film if you want to ask me 'so what did you think' because you WILL be there for hours... :D

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: What's your favorite fiction "clanger"?
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2010, 02:16:37 PM »
'Con Air' using the CONTROL BOX to spoof the IFF signal, considering the transponder and antenna are elsewhere in the aircraft and require a HUGE amount of stuff to remove from the plane to actually work. (Not to mention you could simply have the guy sneak into a nearby hangar and change the plane's settings to something else)

My more detail oriented friends hate uniforms with ribbons (Hollywood nearly ALWAYS screw up the order of precedence on medals/ribbons)

Offline Lady Annabelle

Re: What's your favorite fiction "clanger"?
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2010, 02:34:36 PM »
I think Armageddon is the biggest one I can remember.

http://www.space.com/opinionscolumns/opinions/plait_000217.html
http://www.badastronomy.com/bad/movies/armpitageddon.html

They are both from the same guy who explains all the things that were absolutely absurd.  When I saw it, I was amazed at the craziness of the idea and I hardly know anything about space.

For me, historical inaccuracies bother me the most.  I'll see a film set in a certain time period and they are just completely inaccurate by having items that weren't even close to that time period.  It's like having an iPod in a Victorian movie.  I just want to scream.

Offline dominomaskTopic starter

Re: What's your favorite fiction "clanger"?
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2010, 02:27:10 AM »
I think Armageddon is the biggest one I can remember.

http://www.space.com/opinionscolumns/opinions/plait_000217.html
http://www.badastronomy.com/bad/movies/armpitageddon.html

They are both from the same guy who explains all the things that were absolutely absurd.  When I saw it, I was amazed at the craziness of the idea and I hardly know anything about space.

For me, historical inaccuracies bother me the most.  I'll see a film set in a certain time period and they are just completely inaccurate by having items that weren't even close to that time period.  It's like having an iPod in a Victorian movie.  I just want to scream.

Scorpion King is *huge* for historical clanger objects.  A catapult?  Really?

And as much as there are things that I like about Moulin Rouge and I get it's supposed to be kind of an impressionist work, and I generally love John Leguizamo....I found that portrayal of Tolouse LaTrec pretty movie-ruining.

Offline Hemingway

Re: What's your favorite fiction "clanger"?
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2010, 05:47:53 PM »
I tend to notice when something defies physics. Firearms that send people flying are one such example. But it's not really something I tend to remember.

One thing that comes to mind, though, is sound in space. Not first and foremost because it makes no sense, but because whenever I see a sci fi movie with battles in space, that have all kinds of sound effects, I think of how much better it'd look if there was nothing but utter, oppressive silence.