By Jeff W. Zimba
Just shut-up and watch the movie. I would be willing to bet that most of you reading this magazine have heard those words from your “significant other” while pointing out that the guy shooting the revolver just fired 14 rounds without re-loading. How about when the bad guy’s M11 SMG is captured and used by the good guy to fire it’s “9mm Cop Killer Bullets” through the 1” thick steel blade of a bulldozer and kill the other bad guy? When loudly proclaiming it is impossible, did you get “the look”? How about bursting into laughter whenever a criminal uses his shotgun and it blows up an automobile or helicopter, something that could never really happen off the silver screen? Well, you are not alone.
If you are educated in a particular field, firearms in the above case, mistakes and bloopers are easy to pick up on. If you don’t have a background in a particular area, things you see and hear may not raise any red flags, and in many cases may even seem believable. While we can find humor in this while watching television and movies, it is also a problem we desperately need to overcome. You see, many people in our society have forgotten that movies and television shows are for entertainment, and not for education. This may have come from too many parents using the television as an electronic babysitter, or may have come from not spending enough time talking about the difference between movies and reality. Either way, we seem to have a problem in society today differentiating fact from fiction.
The first time I noticed this was actually a problem was several years ago. I owned a retail gun shop and a few kids stopped in on their way home from school. One of them was telling his buddy about some armor piercing 9mm bullets that could shoot right through a bulldozer blade. This kid had obviously watched one of the Lethal Weapon movies and had believed what he had seen. I told him it was just a movie, but he insisted that those bullets were real and he knew it. I wish this kid was the only example but there were several cases, and many were adults.
This blur between fact and fiction would seem quite harmless except it reaches well out of the movie realm and far into society. One quick look at Handgun Control, Inc’s. literature will show its ill effects. They used to brag about their important role in banning something they called “Cop-Killer Bullets”. The particular ammunition they were making reference to was only available to law enforcement in the first place, and had never actually been involved in the homicide of a policeman. Many Police officers actually felt that their life was being placed in jeopardy by HCI as they were publicizing the fact that many of them did wear body armor, something that was not widely known in the early 1980’s. Still, fiction being more interesting than fact, the Brady Bunch found legislators to buy into their story.
It is on this note, that I will give you my Website pick of the month: http://www.movie-mistakes.com. This is a very cool website that lists movies and their mistakes, and solicits new finds from the readers. At the time I last visited the site it listed 1,408 films with 8,680 entries.
Check it out and send them any mistakes you have found while watching movies. And, oh yeah, when you are in front of the silver screen with the wife or girlfriend, just shut up and watch.
If you find an interesting site our readers may be interested in, drop me an e-mail at Production@wtvl.net.
|This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V4N11 (August 2001)