I am one of the movie-impaired. It’s a small, but practically never spoken of sub-group of differently-abled persons, the chief symptom being that I just cannot enjoy a movie like a normal person. I assume that normal people watch movies and let themselves be passively carried away by the story, enjoying the plot twists and turns, choosing someone to root for, and then cheering mentally at the end. I do that too, but it’s so much more complicated.
First of all, if actors are not really famous, and have the fault of looking very similar, I have trouble keeping track of who is the “bad guy” and who is the “good guy”. Generic, central casting Good Looking Actor Guy had better have a different hair color or a big nose or something to distinguish him from the other Good Looking Actor Guy, or I’m lost. Forget it if there is a whole pack of “bad guys” and they all look the same, if I’m supposed to watch out for one of them…I’m mentally ducking the whole time. If they were to cast “The Last Supper”, and didn’t make Judas stick out from the others somehow, well, I’d be just as surprised as Jesus when the sh*t comes down. I have been known to whisper to my movie companion with questions about who is loyal to whom, and why did he just take the bullets out of the other guy’s gun? Sometimes, I just don’t follow.
Also, continuity errors distract me completely from the story. I don’t notice every single one, but once I’ve noticed that the ingénue has her hair tucked behind her ear, and then doesn’t, and then does again, and then doesn’t, I just can’t pay attention to the dialogue at all – I am on earlobe watch. This just happened with an episode of “Charmed”. I was so busy watching where Prue’s hair was tucked, I missed an entire conversation about some demon or another. Was he vanquished? I have no idea. But I know how many times they shot that scene and interspliced the readings they liked best.
Glaring errors in logic or ignoring normal human behavior will completely take away my ability to suspend disbelief as well. If someone is running around an office screaming and carrying on, I’m sorry Jim Carrey, but there will be more fallout from that day than just bemused smiles or a befuddled look on the face of the boss. Security will be called, your desk emptied, and the police will escort you to the looney bin. Huge car crashes where people just unbuckle their seat belt and bolt after the bad guy? Uh, no. Not in real life, sweetie. What kind of meth are these heroes on that they don’t feel the broken ribs, whiplash, and ruptured spleen? I cannot watch people get tortured, electrocuted and hanged, and then turn around and save the day. It’s just.not.happening. I can’t be happy for the good guy when he finally catches the bad guy, because in my gut, I know he cheated somehow.
Monster movies. Oh dear Lord. Get OUT of the house. Don’t check where the moaning is coming from. If there is a scary story about the place you are staying in, don’t try to upset the ghost. Do NOT assume that the monster is dead just because it is lying on the ground, and kick the damn gun out of reach of the bad guy lying in a pool of his own blood. Haven’t you seen enough movies by now to know he isn’t really dead? He has one last murderous lunge left in him – they all do! Man, people in these movies are stupid!
Now great photography and special effects are one of the reasons that I love movies, and some of them are just so full of amazing scenery and detail that I wish that I could stop it frame by frame and see all of the elements and all of the background. For example, the Harry Potter movies are fun in that all of the people in the portraits on the walls move and talk, and I want the movie to run in slow motion so I can catch all of the hidden subtleties of what’s going on with each portrait. I’m sure there are some fun little in-jokes hidden there. And the animation in “Avatar” and the Lord of the Rings movies was so full of layers and gorgeous landscapes and creatures. They all go by too fast for me. I want to get up close to the screen and turn my head sideways to see the action beyond the screen, I get so caught up in it sometimes. Of course, in a movie theater, that is a great way to get popcorn pelted at you and be called names you’ve never even heard of before, so I don’t suggest it.
So, want to go catch a movie with me sometime?