The Big Picture: Plothole Surfers

MovieBob

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Plothole Surfers

The Internet is arguing about the right way to criticize movies - and the problem is more complicated than you think.

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Neurotic Void Melody

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Am in agreement with the annoyance of people who expect perfect logic and conformist, expected ways of thinking from characters in entertainment as if they're supposed to be all infallible identical robots instead of, you know, human. People don't act logically at the best of times, let alone during times of stress or panic or any other state of emotional concern. Hell, I can't even act logically when out doing shopping for fuck's sake, and mess up all kinds of ridiculously stupid things. People can be messy and unpredictable in all kinds of unforseen situations, it's the beauty of the variety upon which enriches any character whether real or fictional.
 

Jacked Assassin

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Jun 4, 2010
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They don't go to the police because its boring reminded me of a post I have in a different forum. Though that rant has more to do with the word Practical.

The whole problem with black though is its an over used color scheme. Even worse when it replaces the original color schemes that would've stood out more.
We can't have a Blue, Gray, &/or Yellow outfit Batman.... Nope we can only get black outfit Batman.
We couldn't (originally) have the X-Men in Blue & Yellow or any of their original color schemed outfits. Just a bunch of Black Leather Suits.
And forbid that no one in The Matrix not remind us of The Trench Coat Mafia.
So having Robocop follow along with this doesn't sit well with me at all. Even if someone were to label this as practical the whole point of any of these (Super) Heroes isn't to really be practical in the first place.
If they were practical
Superman would wear all black as black absorbs heat from sunlight more easily.
Spider-Man fighting at night would have an all black outfit with a hard to see Spider Logo if there was a Spider Logo at all.
Tony Stark would have remotely controlled his new Iron-Man suits in every situation.
Thor would have never been cast out of Asgard because this time around he was too practical to get into trouble.
Any Super Hero (or Villain) wearing the colors of their country as their color scheme would be replaced by camouflage.
Kick Ass, Big Daddy, & Hit Girl would have easily been replace by SWAT Teams.
Even being "Practical" by using Military Forces in movies has caused movies to probably be less exciting then they could have been.
Godzilla 1998 (even though my favorite looking Godzilla) suffered from the use of Military Forces. They should've gone with a Mecha Godzilla 1998. That could have been a much better movie.
Cloverfield suffered from similar problems but with the added annoyance of a bunch of pricks from a party.
Michael Bay's Transformers.... Yeesh.... The Military Forces Had / Has the ability to destroy Decepticons without the need for Autobots to be there.
Maybe that's why we can't get a Gundam movie on the big screen. Someone is going to want it to be practical. RX-78-2 (If that's the Gundam they use) wouldn't be able to have its color scheme or its roll out color scheme. It would have to have either a camouflage color on earth or be black since that's basically the camouflage color of space. Then they would probably change it to a Mobile Armor since a Mobile Suit isn't as practical. By the time it was done making practical changes it would be like the Battleship movie.
No wonder I had the urge to defend Pacific Rim. Pacific Rim being impractical is what made it fun.
So once this Practical Robocop comes out I honestly & hopefully expect it to bomb. Because practicality is what ruins these (super hero like) movies.
 

Samtemdo8_v1legacy

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Patrick's video became viral because of Mauler's 5 hour long stream criticising it:


Honestly to me this is gonna soon create precendent where everyone are gonna now criticize youtube critic's videos when it comes to movies and tv. Making video responses to other videos.
 

darkrage6

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May 11, 2016
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I do despise folks like Cinemasins and Red Letter Media for their insane obsession with the most minute details in films. Plot Holes I don't tend to notice in films unless i'm already not enjoying a film. I don't give a shit about the plot holes in the DCEU films and the live-action Transformers series, I still find them fun dammit, and i'm sad Cavil won't be Superman anymore, I genuinely thought he did a damn good job playing him.
 

LaughingAtlas

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While I think things should generally make sense, a story about sapient lifeforms that never make any mistakes or miscalculations while being allegedly human kind of sounds like it wouldn't make sense by itself. Unless this was some hypothetical future where human thought is governed entirely by nanomachines or chips in our brains or something, a cybernetic mockery of what once was mankind now just going through the motions without any real understanding, a system enacted in the first place by people hoping to escape their feelings and failings altogether by outsourcing it all to programming and becoming 'perfect,' even though making such a decision to throw away their own being out of fear of being imperfect is itself a very human error to make, but I'll bet that's already been explored somewhere.

As for Q&A, did you ever find time to enjoy Mario: Odyssey? And if so, did you finish the Darker Side of The Moon? :)
 

darkrage6

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Jacked Assassin said:
They don't go to the police because its boring reminded me of a post I have in a different forum. Though that rant has more to do with the word Practical.

The whole problem with black though is its an over used color scheme. Even worse when it replaces the original color schemes that would've stood out more.
We can't have a Blue, Gray, &/or Yellow outfit Batman.... Nope we can only get black outfit Batman.
We couldn't (originally) have the X-Men in Blue & Yellow or any of their original color schemed outfits. Just a bunch of Black Leather Suits.
And forbid that no one in The Matrix not remind us of The Trench Coat Mafia.
So having Robocop follow along with this doesn't sit well with me at all. Even if someone were to label this as practical the whole point of any of these (Super) Heroes isn't to really be practical in the first place.
If they were practical
Superman would wear all black as black absorbs heat from sunlight more easily.
Spider-Man fighting at night would have an all black outfit with a hard to see Spider Logo if there was a Spider Logo at all.
Tony Stark would have remotely controlled his new Iron-Man suits in every situation.
Thor would have never been cast out of Asgard because this time around he was too practical to get into trouble.
Any Super Hero (or Villain) wearing the colors of their country as their color scheme would be replaced by camouflage.
Kick Ass, Big Daddy, & Hit Girl would have easily been replace by SWAT Teams.
Even being "Practical" by using Military Forces in movies has caused movies to probably be less exciting then they could have been.
Godzilla 1998 (even though my favorite looking Godzilla) suffered from the use of Military Forces. They should've gone with a Mecha Godzilla 1998. That could have been a much better movie.
Cloverfield suffered from similar problems but with the added annoyance of a bunch of pricks from a party.
Michael Bay's Transformers.... Yeesh.... The Military Forces Had / Has the ability to destroy Decepticons without the need for Autobots to be there.
Maybe that's why we can't get a Gundam movie on the big screen. Someone is going to want it to be practical. RX-78-2 (If that's the Gundam they use) wouldn't be able to have its color scheme or its roll out color scheme. It would have to have either a camouflage color on earth or be black since that's basically the camouflage color of space. Then they would probably change it to a Mobile Armor since a Mobile Suit isn't as practical. By the time it was done making practical changes it would be like the Battleship movie.
No wonder I had the urge to defend Pacific Rim. Pacific Rim being impractical is what made it fun.
So once this Practical Robocop comes out I honestly & hopefully expect it to bomb. Because practicality is what ruins these (super hero like) movies.
As someone who never read X-Men or watched the animated series, I couldn't have cared less what the color of their suits were, I just cared that the films were compelling.

I was glad that the military were actually portrayed as competent in the Transformers films, as I get so tired of seeing humans portrayed as completely inept in those types of movies, so it was downright refreshing to see one where the humans aren't completely helpless in defending themselves. I think Godzilla 1998 was way better then most people said, it was first Godzilla film I ever saw, so I didn't have any preconceived notions of what I wanted the film to be like.
 

Samtemdo8_v1legacy

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You prefer Kirk over Picard?

To me that's like choosing between my children.

And I have yet to see Deep Space 9 to see if Sisko can even compete.
 

darkrage6

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Samtemdo8 said:
You prefer Kirk over Picard?

To me that's like choosing between my children.

And I have yet to see Deep Space 9 to see if Sisko can even compete.
Kirk is too much of a dick for me to like him over Picard.
 

Callate

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Suspension of disbelief is a funny thing. It doesn't just apply to "that's not the way physics works" or "that person couldn't do that action-movie stunt after experiencing the kind of injuries they would sustain from the last three action-movie stunts and being shot five times". If you're on board with the story, themes, and characters, you're more forgiving of inconsistencies and logical flaws (and/or you come up with your own reasons that they aren't flaws at all, regardless of whether or not the movie actually provides those reasons). If the movie handles that story with disregard for what has come before, a haphazard and ham-handed overemphasis of those themes in some instances and a complete abandonment of them when it's convenient, and makes the characters shallow, incompetent, and pushes them in new directions of motivation and action without warning, rhyme, or reason, a distracted mind might wander to why we're spending all this time on the world's slowest chase in a series that has never been particularly concerned about "fuel" before Why a commanding officer would deprive her subordinates of vital information as she appears to be leading their allies into a drawn-out death march, effectively sabotaging her own plan Why we should feel releasing a few animals through a casino is a meaningful act of "fighting the power" in a world with actual human slaves "plot holes", of various sizes, that a more engaged mind might overlook. (Or "theme holes" or "character holes", for that matter, though by nature such things are harder to pin down.)

I fully admit that I have my own sliding scale. If I'm less engaged with a movie, or actively dislike it, I'm more likely to enjoy a "Cinema Sins" video, for example, whereas if I enjoyed the movie, I'm more likely to find such lists nit-picky and mean-spirited. (Really? You looked up which notch on the record contained what the soundtrack is playing, and it's not the one the needle is on in the movie? Aren't you a clever boy.)

But it shouldn't be overlooked that what Bob presents is just another side of the same damn coin he's deriding. Yes, if you're in the moment, you can come up with reasons that Rose didn't find room on the door for Jack- but it doesn't mean the movie itself is providing them. I enjoyed Titanic, but I recently ran into a joke about Rose not moving over for Jack in some other show, and I found it pretty funny, in part because some people do still hold a grudge about it. I'm not so invested that I can't recognize why some people might find that element distracting. And yes, some people might lump a racist or sexist point amid plot holes in the hope that it will be overlooked- but that's a terrible reason to dismiss all the other points out of hand, or all criticism of a work as inherently sexist and racist, which does far more harm to criticism and discussion than any list of plot holes could ever hope to IMO.

Arguably it's better for a critic to be nit-picky or adopt an unwarranted pedanticism than for them to be so caught up in a work (and/or whatever attendant buzz/controversy/real-world-parallels follow it) that they cannot produce criticism of value to someone who doesn't see the world in absolute parallel.
 

darkrage6

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Titanic really is a fucking terrible movie though, the plot holes are the least of that movies problems. It might as well be called "First World Problems the movie", hated the acting in it(and Kate Winslet apparently was not a fan of it)thought Jack and Rose were bland characters with zero chemistry, the film dragged for way too fucking long and engaged in too much bullshit emotional manipulation("instead of selling this valuable necklace to help out some other unfortunate folks, i'm just going to throw it away!") it's the prime example of style over substance. No way in hell it should've beat out L.A. Confidential for Best Picture, Titanic is the worst kind of Oscar Bait imaginable.

Sorry Bob, but Jack basically committing suicide was fucking dumb both narratively and in a technical sense.
 

Samtemdo8_v1legacy

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darkrage6 said:
Titanic really is a fucking terrible movie though, the plot holes are the least of that movies problems. It might as well be called "First World Problems the movie", hated the acting in it(and Kate Winslet apparently was not a fan of it)thought Jack and Rose were bland characters with zero chemistry, the film dragged for way too fucking long and engaged in too much bullshit emotional manipulation("instead of selling this valuable necklace to help out some other unfortunate folks, i'm just going to throw it away!") it's the prime example of style over substance. No way in hell it should've beat out L.A. Confidential for Best Picture, Titanic is the worst kind of Oscar Bait imaginable.
Would you go as far as to say that Cameron's Avatar was a better movie then Titanic?
 

darkrage6

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Samtemdo8 said:
darkrage6 said:
Titanic really is a fucking terrible movie though, the plot holes are the least of that movies problems. It might as well be called "First World Problems the movie", hated the acting in it(and Kate Winslet apparently was not a fan of it)thought Jack and Rose were bland characters with zero chemistry, the film dragged for way too fucking long and engaged in too much bullshit emotional manipulation("instead of selling this valuable necklace to help out some other unfortunate folks, i'm just going to throw it away!") it's the prime example of style over substance. No way in hell it should've beat out L.A. Confidential for Best Picture, Titanic is the worst kind of Oscar Bait imaginable.
Would you go as far as to say that Cameron's Avatar was a better movie then Titanic?
Yes, though i've got my issues with that film too-it's basically a live-action version of Ferngully and it's environmental message is so heavy-handed it makes Captain Planet look downright subtle in comparison(and i'm saying that as someone who generally leans left). Most of the reviews praising that film were in regards to the 3-D, which was revolutionary at the time yes, but once you watch the film on home video, you realize it's just another blockbuster and there's nothing too special about it(give me the DCEU and Transformers films over it any day of the week). Honestly I don't think the sequels are going too do that well at the box-office, because Avatar's cultural relevance is long gone by this point, and honestly I don't see where else there is for the sequels to go.
 

JakubK666

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Eh, I feel like it varies on a case by case basis and swinging too much into either direction is equally bad. It's not unreasonable to want a story to have some kind of a structure that holds itself together, but that's far different from the stereotypical tripe nitpicky crap. Unless you're someone like David Lynch, which most people aren't, I don't want every film to be a barely coherent mess just because it's got THEMES.

Hack bloggers and Youtube essayists absolutely deserve to be called out on their bullshit, but picking on CinemaSins-tier stuff as an example of all "plothole-driven criticism" being wrong almost becomes its own strawman counter-argument. No one with any serious interest in film thinks CinemaSins is good or takes them seriously.


There's absolutely some stories out there where a couple of plotholes or cases of people uncharacteristically acting like idiots can make or break one's suspension of disbelief. "The Cold Equations" is a famous 70 year old example of a controversial story that bends over backwards to justify its themes, to the point where it hugely undermines itself due to just how contrived its set up is. Likewise see: anything Ayn Rand ever wrote.
 

CrazyGirl17

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Sep 11, 2009
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I admit to liking Cinema Sins but I don't take it seriously. I do kinda prefer its counterpart Cinema Wins, which is more positive and also goes into detail of why the movie is so good.

Also as a wannabe writer, the fear of plotholes in said writing makes it tricky to even do it since people nowadays are critical about that sort of thing.

(Also I can't be the only one who got the reference in the title, right?)
 

Falseprophet

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Callate said:
But it shouldn't be overlooked that what Bob presents is just another side of the same damn coin he's deriding. Yes, if you're in the moment, you can come up with reasons that Rose didn't find room on the door for Jack- but it doesn't mean the movie itself is providing them. I enjoyed Titanic, but I recently ran into a joke about Rose not moving over for Jack in some other show, and I found it pretty funny, in part because some people do still hold a grudge about it.
No, if you're in the moment, you don't care about the reasons for X and Y. Rather, the film has successfully pulled off its magic trick of making you care about these fictional people (or heavily dramatized real people) in this fictional (or heavily dramatized) situation without stopping to think "why?" or "how?" Any reasons you then come up with later are just rationalizations after the fact, but that doesn't change how you felt in the moment. And the door jokes didn't originate with a bunch of haters who never gave the film a chance--it was an in-joke among the superfans who saw it half-a-dozen in theatre and bought the DVD and knew every detail by heart.

Callate said:
Arguably it's better for a critic to be nit-picky or adopt an unwarranted pedanticism than for them to be so caught up in a work (and/or whatever attendant buzz/controversy/real-world-parallels follow it) that they cannot produce criticism of value to someone who doesn't see the world in absolute parallel.
To what end? Neither the cineaste nor the average film-goer spares a second thought for the tiny bunch of pendantic never-satisfied nerds whinging about expanded universe/fanon/retconned continuity nitpicks. Which by the way--pot to kettle--is also being "so caught up in a work" but in a tedious, priggish way far fewer people can relate to. And I resemble that remark, I've just become more self-conscious of it over the years. So why should a critic bend over backwards to accommodate them? To alienate the majority of their audience in the attempt to please a minority who's never satisfied anyway? That doesn't make sense for the critic, and frankly nerds shouldn't seek validation for their opinions if they can't be mature enough to take the criticism with the praise.
 

darkrage6

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You know what the worst part about Titanic is though? The despicable way it turned real life heroic figures into outright villains, if Titanic had come out today, there would've tons of Twitter threads about how unbelievably disrespectful that Cameron was to real life figures. Murdoch got screwed over big time by the film:https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/8933109/The-30-seconds-that-sank-the-Titanic-fatal-delay-in-order-to-change-course-doomed-liner.html

The filmmakers were actually forced to apologize to Scotland for how badly they fucked up:http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/78839.stm
 

Falseprophet

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For the Q&A:

-Did you get ownership of The Big Picture's back catalogue when you rejoined the Escapist?
-Whether yes or no, do you still feel compelled to go back and update older entries?
-Are you planning any more "If I pitched it" videos? Would you do those here or on your own channel?
 
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The Last Jedi is a rather bad film for other reasons though, and it is not about "plot holes". It has more to do with Rian Johnson's approach to "subverting expectations". I have seen quite a few outlets praise the film for "subverting expectations", but this is not a good thing in and off itself, and to claim so is really just an empty appeal to novelty.

"Subverting expectations" essentially means nothing if you don't try to doing something emotionally meaningful with the act of "subversion" itself. Rian Johnson's approach to "subverting expectations" seems for all intents and purposes to be "You expected me to bring you a bottle of beer, but I gave you a beer bottle filled with phosphor! Sure fooled you!"
 

Ukomba

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Samtemdo8 said:
Patrick's video became viral because of Mauler's 5 hour long stream criticising it:


Honestly to me this is gonna soon create precendent where everyone are gonna now criticize youtube critic's videos when it comes to movies and tv. Making video responses to other videos.
Soon? Do you not remember the days of youtube where the response video's use to be listed directly below the video being responded to? Youtube use to promote that exact thing to fuel debate.

Mauler, Rags, and Wolf do a great job here though. Mauler in particular absolutely destroys The Last Jedi in his review really breaks these things down. His deconstruction of the whole "Theme" argument really puts Bob's shallow defense of it to shame.