Weekend Roundtable: Suspending Disbelief

Almost every movie asks its audience to suspend disbelief on some level – whether for the fact that a superhero jacked up on fancy steroids can single-handedly save the world from apocalyptic disaster, or just that an average schlub could really win the heart of a supermodel girlfriend. Some films have a lot more disbelief that requires suspension than others. In today’s Roundtable, we call out some popular movies that cross a line we just can’t get past.

Please keep in mind that the purpose of this topic is to highlight popular, successful or acclaimed films that the majority of viewers see no problem with. Nevertheless, some aspect of their premise doesn’t make sense, enough so that we can’t get behind them. Outright flops or movies that are widely hated (even despite making money) do not qualify. For example, ‘Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen’ may have grossed $800 million, but do you know anyone who actually liked it? No, of course you don’t. Therefore, it’s off limits here.

On the other hand, why is it that nobody ever questions why Iron Man doesn’t roast in his metallic suit as soon as he fires up those rockets in his boots? Does that really not bother anyone?

Where do you draw the line at suspending disbelief for movies that other people think are great?

Mike Attebery

Forgetting how much I hated the film in every other conceivable way, the whole “cut and paste the face but leave the rest the same” aspect of ‘Face/Off‘ was completely stupid. Moronic even. 17 years later, I still can’t get over how ridiculous this movie was. And almost 2.5 hours long at that! I still get impatient just remembering sitting in the theater waiting for it to end.

Luke Hickman

I had the hardest time accepting the premise of ‘Her‘. Plenty of critics praised the film for being groundbreaking and original, but I simply couldn’t get beyond its absurd concept: a man falls in love with Artificial Intelligence. The reality in which ‘Her’ is set is much too contrived for me to emotionally connect with. A new operating system is released and a dude falls in love with the manipulative Siri behind it. The fact that not a single person questions his actions was just too much for me. Chris Pratt asking hipster Joaquin Phoenix and his iPhone on a double date was simply stupid. Prior to watching it, I expected ‘Her’ to be the best film of 2013, but it quickly became one that I disliked the most.

Adam Tyner (DVDTalk)

The cult classic ‘Battle Royale‘ is set in a mildly futuristic version of Japan where society is on the brink of ruin. This is due in no small part to the wildly out-of-control youth of the nation, culminating in 800,000 students simultaneously storming out of their schools. The Japanese government swiftly responds with the BR Act, which requires that, ever year, a handful of classes of students slaughter one another on a remote island until a single child is left standing.

The idea is that this is supposed to be some kind of deterrent. How does that work? The games don’t significantly reduce the number of untamed youth. We’re talking about a few dozen kids a year, after all. The students are snatched out of school, meaning that the targets are kids who on some level are doing what they’re supposed to be doing. It’s an arbitrarily selected group, mixing the kindhearted and studious along with the troublemakers.

There’s media coverage, yeah, but the Battle Royale isn’t televised, so parents can’t waggle their fingers at their kids and say, “Behave, or you’ll wind up like Mitsuko there…!” Most of the students in the first Battle Royale don’t even seem to know what the BR Act even is before seeing the orientation video, making it that much more pointless. The chances of a kid being in a class that’s selected is small enough that they could wreak havoc and almost certainly not be punished for it. Why would parents subject their children to the possibility of Battle Royale, though? How could lawmakers push legislation like this through without massive opposition?

I really do like ‘Battle Royale’ as a movie, but that’s a whole lot of disbelief to have to suspend.

Junie Ray

Can we talk about ‘Tootsie‘? Or ‘Mrs. Doubtfire? I just don’t get how anyone can suspend their disbelief to confuse Dustin Hoffman or Robin Williams for a woman. If you’re going to beat on one gag for an entire movie, you’ve got to go completely over the top farce to make it work. The problem with these movies is they have some heavy plot points and want you to take the characters too seriously. It completely breaks the suspension. ‘The Birdcage’ came closer to pulling this off, though still, I think it’s time to retire this plot line.

Brian Hoss

Having watched two of the ‘Bourne‘ movies, there’s little doubt that they work as action movies, and in fact have been very influential in a lot respects (for better and worse). Still, for me, the premise, which I’m sure makes all kinds sense in the books, not only ruins the films for me but basically any number of rogue secret agent pictures. You have a deadly operator/assassin character who has amnesia or just wants live an anonymous life away from the machinations of government agencies. Instead of leaving him alone, they send wave after wave of lesser agents after him, antagonizing him to recall whatever he’s forgotten and cause him to attack the heart of the shadow organization that spawned him. This to me is roughly analogous to a zoo administrator sending flocks of ducks after a grumpy lion.

Josh Zyber

Although ‘Gattaca‘ didn’t make any great amount of money at the box office during its original release, it became a cult item on home video. I know people, a lot of people, who swear by it as a science fiction classic, but I had some major problems with its premise. The lengths that the lead character has to go to in order to conceal his identity – including scrubbing literally every single stray hair or flake of skin that his body may shed in a day from everything he touches – seem far too improbable to me. Surely you’ve tried to clean your computer keyboard at some point, right? It’s a major pain in the ass and virtually impossible to get as thoroughly spotless as the character would require. Yet we’re to believe that he never misses even the tiniest speck of dander or biological residue? Wouldn’t the fact that he never leaves any molecular trace of himself behind be enough to make the employers spying on him suspicious in itself? I kept thinking about questions like these the whole movie.

What popular movies were you unable to suspend your disbelief for? Tell us in the Comments.


  1. Josh Zyber

    The part that really gets me in Face/Off is the ending. When they put John Travolta’s face back on, they also give him back his love handles. Mrs. Z and I groaned very loudly when we watched that on DVD.

  2. Chris B

    Totally agree on Face/Off…and it is indeed waaaay too long of a movie.

    I agree with Luke on “Her”, I checked mentally pretty early on in the movie. The scene in which a computer program that has no physical form of any kind (biological or inanimate) is able to achieve an orgasm…gimme a break.

    The casting of “Valkyrie” was too much for me to swallow. Tom Cruise as a Nazi officer with an eye patch who speaks perfect English in a distinctly American accent? Or the fact that all the “good” Nazis speak with either British or American accents and all the “bad” Nazis speak with German ones? Nope.

    Another example of immersion being ruined by poor casting is Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker. Well actually Hayden Christensen in ANYTHING is pretty hard to accept because the wooden ass clown cannot act.

    I know I’m opening a can of worms with this one but…in The Dark Knight Rises, we are supposed to believe that the city of Gotham allowed Wayne Enterprises to build a huge atomic device (that could ver easily be turned into a bomb) directly beneath the city. I’m not on expert on civic planning but I’m pretty sure New York or Los Angeles would say “hell no” if a corporation proposed a similar project. Not only that, but then Bruce Wayne hands control of the device over to some mysterious woman he barely knows?! Jesus give the key to Lucius! He’s the caretaker of R&D as it is! Give it to Alfred! He’s more trustworthy than anybody! Give it to Commisioner Gordon! Etc.

    So endeth the rant.

    • Josh Zyber

      There are a million things in The Dark Knight Rises that I couldn’t suspend disbelief for. After escaping from a hellhole prison halfway around the world, Batman races back to Gotham on a tight deadline before the nuke goes off, and then decides to waste a couple hours painting a giant bat symbol in gasoline on a bridge for no reason at all other than to alert the bad guys that he’s back in town. How is that a good plan?

      • There wasn’t a thing in The Dark Knight Rises I could suspend my disbelief for. The whole movie was a mess. Loved the first two films, despised the third with white hot intensity.

      • Timcharger

        Hey New Yorkers (Gothamites),

        At Jets/Giant’s stadium, you watched me snap the neck of a Russian
        scientists dude, and I showed you metallic device, so you must believe
        that I have nuclear weapon.

        And my 100 henchmen with 100 automatic weapons will protect me
        from the 8 million New Yorkers with millions of guns.

        And I expect you to lock yourselves up in your homes for the next 3
        months despite your milk spoiling in 1 week, and no Starbucks will be
        open. So don’t go out on the streets.

        Oh, yeah, I’m going to have 3 giant trucks driving around the city
        continuously. Pay no attention to that. The logistics of having to
        refuel every 4-6 hours and drive continuously for 3+ months… don’t
        worry about that. Clearly, no New Yorker needs gasoline for the
        next 3 months anyway.


        P.S. I know it was a major suspension of disbelief for everyone in the
        stadium to understand what I was saying through the P.A. system
        without subtitles on the jumbotron.

      • Chris B

        I love this game! Or how about the fact that Talia’s mother supposedly gave birth in a Men’s prison? What the hell was the point of Bane’s attack on the stock exchange? (Other than to have a reason for Batman to make his return with news cameras rolling). When Commisioner Gordon wakes up in the hospital, the first thing he sees is a guy next to him wearing a ski mask and somehow he manages not to scream (remember the last thing Gordon would remember is people were trying to kill him in the sewers). Hundreds of police officers go bumbling into the sewers with no planning, co-ordiantion or knowledge of the situation they’re facing. Catwoman won’t even apologize to Bruce after leading him into a trap that resulted in a) his back being broken, b) him being imprisoned in some shithole half way around the world and c) putting Gotham under threat of an atomic bomb going off and destroying the entire city. And then at the end of the movie, THEY END UP TOGETHER!!!!?!?!?!? SERIOUSLY?

      • Timcharger

        Yes, yes, I almost forgot…

        Woody Harrelson should have learned that White Men Can’t Jump,
        because they believe they can land safely. Bruce Wayne couldn’t
        jump out of the hole prison, because he had the rope to save his life.
        One he knew that he’ll die jumping, he’ll then jump out. Obviously.

        Little girls can jump of the hole prison, too (as long as they have
        the fear of death in their hearts). You didn’t know that Michael
        Jordan jumped so well in his dunks because Mike didn’t have a
        safety rope tied to him. See, scientific proof. True. True.

  3. Paul A

    Hmmm…let’s see. How about the entire running length of Prometheus. Now I loved the movie itself, just because i am a Alien franchise homer and a big fan of “Building Better Worlds”, but Prometheus really pushed my limits of suspension disbelief. One example is the part where Noomi Rapace laser cuts through her abdomen to abort the nasty fetus growing inside her, then just staples herself shut. After which she proceeds to run around for the second half of the film as if NOTHING happened. I’m sorry, but when you cut through your core muscles in such fashion, there is no way in hell you are going to have any kind of mobility, particularly the kind required of her as she runs all over the place, jumping this and leaping away from that. Gimme a break! I don’t care what kind of pain reliever she took. Just not physically possible.

    • Chris B

      Or the fact that Logan Marshall-Greene is supposed to be a brilliant archeologist…he looks like a CK model. And has about as much common sense as the token slut from any cliched slasher film, never mind a keen scientific intellect…

      • Junie Ray

        Yes, as I was thinking about this week’s topic, I thought about this pitfall too…so many movies ask us to believe that actors are wildly successful/brilliant professionals. It’s a hard one to pull off. Those same movies typically also ask us to believe that people of all income levels live in beautiful apartments with views in NYC, and everyone wears perfectly tailored clothes. Chick flicks in particular seem to require this…

  4. Timcharger

    There’s the “fun” kind of suspending disbelief:

    Superman wearing glasses becomes Clark Kent. Yes, yes we know it’s stupid, otherwise
    Lois Lane is the dumbest person on earth.

    But we go along with it, because the Superman movies, “asks” the audience, hey,
    common, just go with us on this.

    If you ever get the chance to watch Superman with a little kid for the first time. It’s
    the best. The little kid is like screaming: That’s Superman! And I’m like, who? That’s
    Clark; that’s not Superman. And the kid will be pulling his hair out!


    • At least they fixed that with Man of Steel. Lois know about him even before the glasses. Too bad they didn’t kill the shaky camera operator. Shaky cam must die.

      • Timcharger

        Yes, thank goodness the modern version did away with the eyeglasses disguise silliness.

        Not many things in remakes are an improvement, but this one is for the better.

  5. D Barnes

    Morgan Freeman being incarcerated with and, more improbably, becoming a leader among white convicts in the 1950’s prison system (Shawshank Redemption) was always a hard deal for me. Not that I’ve gotten my head around the notion but after awhile I realized I had to let that go in order to appreciate the greatness of the total movie as a whole

    • Chris B

      I don’t really think he was the leader was he? I mean, they all hung around in a group and he happenned to be the dude that took bets and managed to smuggle in contraband, but I never really got the sense he was giving orders or calling the shots…

  6. Timcharger

    Brian Hoss: “This to me is roughly analogous to a zoo administrator sending flocks of ducks after a grumpy lion.”

    In the Bourne movies, they sent other “lions” to go after Bourne. You’re just wrong.

    Of course the other “lions” weren’t going to win, you ARE watching the Bourne
    movies. You’re not watching the Clive Owen Identity or the Karl Urban Supremacy.

      • Chris B

        Oh oh! Or the fact that Bane was kicked out of the league of shadows for being too “extreme”. Huh? This is a group that methodically murders millions of people on a routine basis, yet Bane with his goofy accent and slightly off-putting mask can’t hang? I call B.S.

        • Chris B

          I actually really enjoyed the first Bourne movie, it had a somewhat novel premise and (as much as I hate to give credit to the guy who directed “Jumper”) I really enjoyed Doug Liman’s direction and bold use of colour. The sequels put me to sleep though, once you realize Bourne isn’t a ruthless killing machine and refuses to cross the line into the darkside, you quickly realize the movies will be pretty safe and pg-13 friendly. Not to mention the vomit-inducing cinematography…

          • Chris B

            Haha yeah, I was having technical difficulties on friday and accidentally posted a comment twice (Josh has since deleted one of them). Although, that does pose the question: who would win in a brawl? Bourne or Bane?

      • Guy

        Assuming the two you watched were the first two, you seem to have fundamentally misunderstood what happened in The Bourne Supremacy. (Considering Greengrass’ storytelling style, that’s pretty forgivable.)

        -spoilers follow-

        It was not an official operation, nor even carried out by fellow American personnel. The US government had essentially let Bourne be for two years as you suggest they should. Brian Cox’s character was attempting to cover up his own soon-to-be-exposed corrupt activities from years before by using a dirty Russian agent to frame and kill Bourne so that any US investigation would be chasing a ghost. The assassination attempt failed and, in the absence of actual fact, Bourne mistakenly thought it was his former employers coming after him. So it was a frame job and a botched assassination, not any official poking of a sleeping lion.

      • Timcharger

        Glad that you now see the light.

        Because in a blog about suspending disbelief and you picked the spy-action-adventure genre, it would be “completely contrived” that you would have the biggest hangup over “lesser lions” attacking the Bourne-lion.

        That may be analogous to a zoo administer sending a flock of ducks in an invisible car, windsurfing a tsunami, to hunt down a grumpy lion with a lair on the moon, after the grumpy lion let himself be caught intentionally to hatch a “completely contrived” plot to kill the zoo administrator.

        Crystal clear, Brian?

        • I was perfectly convinced by the first thing you wrote, but now you’ve lost me. I haven’t read all the Bourne fan faction that you must be referring to. If you could write out a careful summary of each Bourne movie where Bourne isn’t just antagonized in a contrived manner it would be really appreciated.

          • timcharger

            Even greater appreciation to those who realized that they get called out on making bad analogies and take it without passive aggressive sarcasm.

            The Bourne movies while still are summer, popcorn movies have elevated the realism to the spy-action genre, and that’s your choice for this blog? Which is fine. But bad writing about “zoo administrators”, “flocks of ducks” and “grumpy lions” was called out.

            What zoo do you go to where the CEO is a pipe-playing animal controller?
            Grumpy lions? What’s a grumpy lion, the bashful lion’s brother?
            This is a zoo in the land of Oz?

            Should have taken the jab and shook it off. Defend your Bourne opinion, it’s easier than defending your bad writing.

            Let me try a Hossian Analogy:
            It’s like a school principal sending the cheerleaders to play the surly Seattle Seahawks.

          • It’s hard to pinpoint, but you seem to be on about something. It can’t be about the Bourne movies, as we both agree (it seems) that they are contrived in their plotting. Do you have some special issue with zoos? I’ll try to avoid mentioning zoos in future roundtables as the topic is more incendiary than I would have thought.

          • timcharger

            No, it’s nothing against zoos.

            And no, we don’t agree about the Bourne movies. In the spy-action genre, there are many, many better candidates for the suspension of disbelief. I guess you like invisible cars, moon lairs, getting captured intentionally, etc.

            I just have a “special issue” with passive-aggressive sarcasm.


            Let me try a Hossian Response:

            A: “It’s like a school principal sending the cheerleaders to play the surly Seattle Seahawks.”

            B: “No, your analogy is wrong; the other agents were like the Broncos or 49ers. The Bourne-
            Seahawks in the 2014 Seahawks Championship blu-ray were obviously going to win, so that’s
            not a suspension of disbelief. The “school principals” sent their best assassins; they weren’t
            sending their “cheerleaders”.

            A: “Thanks for your insight. I’m a changed man. Please write a treatise so that I know how
            to build a Super-Bowl-winning NFL team.”

            Acting like a Hoss is fun. But it’s even more fun, calling you out. Brian, don’t be a Hoss.
            Your zoo administrator analogy isn’t worth defending.

            Even you can’t say “zoo administrator” without chuckling, no?

          • Bourne’s former employers, who theoretically know how capable he is in terms of surviving assassination, continue ineffectively to try to kill him, all the while hastening their own demise, when they could leave him alone in an inert state. He’s just a tool, and only the movie’s poor premise dictates that the bad guys keep trying to kill him without success. You find this premise to be realistic, based on James Bond movies, I guess, and have some odd fixation on a reasonably clear analogy because it involves the triggering term zoo administrator. Perhaps you may have read but not factored in how my zoo analogy was specifically described with regards to only my perception of the Bourne movies and certainly not you in particular or every person who doesn’t have an issue with the movie’s premise.

            Or course, the possibility remains that you may not be at all serious and are well aware of the bizarre nature of your many quotes that are neither quotes nor are relevant. If on the other hand, I have somehow upset your personal relationship with the Bourne movies, that was not my intention. They are decent movies but deserve a better overall plot.

          • Timcharger

            Brian, nice things first, I appreciate your last reply’s tone and sincerity.

            Bourne’s employer’s knowledge of his capabilities isn’t a forgone conclusion of his invincibility. (The CIA doesn’t know Matt Damon’s name appears before the titles and that there’s the books & films franchise. You and I know Bourne’s gonna pull through in the nick of time.)

            As for letting sleeping dogs lie in an inert state, why do you assume that is a permanent state? If a witness gets amnesia, the mob will just say fuggedaboutit and let that witness live out his life in peace? Organizations wanting to tie up loose ends isn’t a suspension of disbelief.

            Now THAT would be suspension of disbelief if a spy organization said to an operative who knew their dirty secrets, but now has amnesia, “No, we’re not gonna kill you; you don’t remember anything. Here’s a card, call this number if you start to remember. We’ll kill you then.”

          • Setting Bourne’s special amnesia cliche aside, the guy is an asset, not a liability. They poured tons of resources into him, and he completed various assignments appropriate to his highly skilled operator level. So after one botched job, where he was hurt, they go all-in on killing him. It makes sense in an unrealistic, poorly plotted movie way. The constantly (but ineffectively) being hunted by his former organization is the core of the movie and the character, but doesn’t suit the rest of the movie’s wish to be taken more seriously.

          • Timcharger

            >Setting Bourne’s special amnesia cliche aside, the guy is an
            >asset, not a liability. They poured tons of resources into him,
            >and he completed various assignments appropriate to his
            >highly skilled operator level.

            What do you call an asset that has gone bad? An asset that
            doesn’t work anymore? If not a liability, it’s a loose end that
            needs to be tied up.

            >So after one botched job, where he was hurt, they go all-in
            >on killing him. It makes sense in an unrealistic, poorly
            >plotted movie way.

            If I remember correctly (it’s been a while), Bourne is AWOL
            or doesn’t check-in as he is supposed to. He resurfaces on
            the grid, and his controllers are forced to conclude that
            Bourne has turned or is working for himself now. Either
            way, he isn’t working for the Agency, so is a threat to the
            agency. Especially since this part of the Agency was doing
            unsanctioned/illegal jobs.

            >The constantly (but ineffectively) being hunted by his
            >former organization is the core of the movie and the
            >character, but doesn’t suit the rest of the movie’s wish to
            >be taken more seriously.

            Brian, you do know that Bourne IS CONSTANTLY hunted,
            because the previous attempt WAS INEFFECTIVE. Your
            criticism is like the joke: why is everything you’re looking
            for at the last place you look? It better be the LAST place
            you look, because who would find something and KEEP
            looking for it?!

            To satisfy your criticism, Bourne’s former employers
            would take only 1 attempt at assassinating Bourne, and
            learn their lesson at sending “ducks to kill an invincible
            lion.” And say: we give up; let’s let a sleeping dog lie;
            we can’t try again because that would lead to demise of
            our organization. Sorry folks, this is gonna be a short

            Wouldn’t your way, lead to a greater suspension of

          • Again, Bourne’s just a tool. The moment he resurfaces, the organization that created him elects to have him killed at all costs (or at least at the costs of plenty of other expensive tools). Presumably, Bourne’s organization has plenty of enemies and actual threats to deal with.

            Only if it’s standing policy to immediately eliminate an agent without an attempt to recover that agent does the premise of the Bourne movies begin to make sense, but even then it just comes off as unrealistic as the results turn a non-threat into a threat.

            I still think we agree that the nature of the bad guys is do to the fact that they are bad guys in a movie, but Bourne’s character could have been made into an actual threat. Even as an operator, he might ally himself with an ex-director, but that would have removed his new found desire to be left alone. As it is, everything about him that they try to neutralize or cover up is made more visible by the ensuing action and bloodshed.

            For me, the weak premise, and the villainesque actions of the bad guys make the movie about as realistic as ‘Commando.’ Again, that doesn’t make it an awful or unenjoyable movie series, just one that I think needed a better premise than an unthreatening rogue agent forced into killing inept bad guys.

          • Timcharger

            After reading that above, I think I changed my mind.

            I prefer your analogies. 🙂


            Seriously though, you keep thinking that the Agency should try to recover or rehab Bourne. Bourne didn’t work for the Agency as a whole. He worked for an arm of Agency that was illegal. If Bourne worked for the legitimate parts of the Agency, then yes, they would likely try to save/salvage him. Among criminals, it IS standard procedure to assume your former partners are a threat once a job goes bad. And what criminal leader would buy an amnesia excuse?

            (Last attempt from me, I hope.)

  7. I didn’t “play along” this week, because I think I already played this game last summer when STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS came out – a movie that just drove me bonkers (and I’m a huge Trekkie).

    Then again, Josh wanted movies that the majority actually liked, and I’m not sure that was the case with that one (probably about a 50/50 split).

  8. Bill

    The Die Hard films especially the airplane one (2?). No one could survive what Bruce Willis goes through in that one. Also Almost any Schwarzenegger film. Arnold himself makes fun of the action in True Lies because he knows how ridiculous and unbelievable the stunts really are.

    Finally a nod to Star Wars Attack of the Clones. Some of the CGI is so terrible it pulls you right out of the story. I walked out before the movie ended because of the unconvincing rendering of the clone army’s ships.

  9. I’ve never been a fan of the Fast and the Furious movies all that much but I did enjoy the fifth one, so I decided to rent the sixth one and man there was too much bullshit. Like when the Rock interrogates the thug and pretty much pulls a Hulk on the guy by throwing him into the ceiling, or when he jumps out of the building about three stories onto a moving car I believe and lands with a ugh!! It made me think of The Other Guys, “aim for the bushes!” Last but not least, Vin Diesel rescuing Michelle Rodriguez on the bridge with barely a scratch. Too much for me. I don’t mind over the top movies at all, but with this one I never felt like they were winking at the audience. Maybe cause I never really warmed up to this franchise, but I rolled my eyes at this one quite a bit.

  10. EM

    People have often given the Star Wars movies and other space epics some flak for sound effects in the vacuum of space, but those contrivances never bother me; I figure such effects are nondiegetic enhancements akin to the score, the opening crawl, and subtitles. It’s not as though Han cups an ear to an outer bulkhead and says, “Listen…sounds like only two TIEs to aft!”

    But what gets me about The Empire Strikes Back is the journey of the Millennium Falcon. Time and again we are led to believe that the ship’s hyperdrive, the technological marvel that allows the Falcon to travel faster than light, does not work at all until near the end of the film. Yet somehow in a period of probably days or weeks the Falcon manages to travel interstellar distances that we should expect would take years at sublight velocities. It’s entirely nonsensical. I usually invent the excuse that Han can somehow steer the Falcon to naturally occurring phenomena (e.g., wormholes) that somehow help the ship limp along at FTL speeds…it’s too good a movie otherwise for me to dismiss because of a mere spacetime discrepancy!

  11. Blasonj

    I never could understand why the reporter started to search for the meaning of Rosebud in Citizen Kane.
    The man whispered it and he was alone in his room!

  12. @josh

    not to be “that guy” but in gattaca after he removes any trace of himself he carefully places hairs, fingerprints, dander, etc from guy he is impersonating. because the companies do random checks for that sort of stuff.

    sorry, im one of the people who love the movie and think it is a great sci fi classic.

    • Absolutely correct. They go out of their way to show him doing this. However with the prevalence of surveillance these days we know that in the future you wouldn’t be able to do all those things whiteout being seen at least once. But I can’t remember if they showed him hacking the security system beyond fooling it.

  13. Bruce Banner from The Incredible Hulk and The Avengers and the creature from Alien both violate the law of the conservation of mass. From whence does Bruce Banner gain his muscle mass as the Hulk? He is a closed system, and yet he quadruples in size and, presumably, mass as well. Perhaps the gamma radiation opens up a transdimensional gateway that feeds mass – or energy that is converted to mass – into Banner’s humble frame. It’s never adequately explained.

    Likewise the creature from Alien goes from being a phallus sized chest-burster to a man-sized monster in the matter of hours. This transformation is never adequately explained either. I could believe it if the creature got into the food stores of the ship, but apparently this violation of a fundamental law of physics is what Ridley Scott had in mind; the filmmakers show the same transformation again with the thing Noomi Rapace removes from her abdomen in Prometheus.

    • “Perhaps the gamma radiation opens up a transdimensional gateway that feeds mass – or energy that is converted to mass – into Banner’s humble frame.”

      It’s been decades since I last looked at it, but I’m pretty sure that was the explanation in The Official Handbook to the Marvel Universe. I seem to remember seeing “pocket dimension” in a pretty significant number of entries with anyone who grew, shrank, etc.

    • Timcharger

      No, that’s not the most obvious suspension of disbelief for Hulk’s transformation.

      It’s clearly the lack of mass growth for the most important male organ. If that’s the one
      thing that doesn’t grow on Hulkie, well… he’s not that incredible, is he?

      • Josh Zyber

        Why don’t Hulk’s purple shorts tear apart when he hulks out like the rest of his clothes do? And why don’t they fall off when he shrinks back down again?

          • EM

            Or (how could I forget?)…in one issue of her own series, Bruce’s cousin She-Hulk (she’d gotten a gamma-irradiated blood transfusion from him) found in one of her outfits a tag bearing the seal of the Comics Code Authority, thereby explaining her persistent ability to remain decent. Maybe movie Hulk’s pants have tags bearing an MPAA rating…

  14. Scott H

    How about Monuments Men, it was just too pretty and clean to be a war movie. The scene that really got me thinking, this is ridiculous, is when their in the mine searching for art later in the movie and one of the guys steps on a mine, they devise a way to try and get him off it safely. But instead of walking away and keeping their distance as he steps off it, they decide to stand around him. Wonderful idea, if it didn’t turn out to malfunction they all would have been dead or severally injured. Also I wasn’t sure if that was supposed to be a comedy or a drama. Also Prometheus in the scene were the scientist come across the female genitalia looking creature and approach it like its a freaking puppy, face palm. I’d be running away in a heart beat if I came across that thing. Totally agree with the latter half of that movie after her surgery.

  15. William Henley

    I am going to go with a few recent ones. Now I actually really liked most of these, but there were certainly some things I had issues with.

    Captain America: The Winter Soldier – Okay, why don’t you just assemble the Avengers? Most of the issues in this movie (trying to avoid spoilers) could have been handled in just a few minutes with Thor’s and Iron Man’s help.

    Divergant – They THINK they are the only city left? You mean, no one has actually gone to look? And if you only have four classes, who the heck does all the rest of the work that is needed to make a city work, like utility workers, entertainment producers, sanitation work, etc?

    The Hunger Games and Catching Fire. What happened in the previous 2 quarter quells? if districts 1-3 usually win this thing, how do all 12 districts have at least one male and one female contestant to compete? How come it took 75 years for the districts to rebel? And how heartless are the people in the capitol to allow for this to happen? And for that matter, what the freak has happened to the rest of the world, and if they still exist, how do THEY let the Captiol get away with this?

    Ender’s Game Really? The best stratageists and commanders that earth has to offer is a bunch of preteen kids?

    Pacific Rim These things have been attacking for years, and you haven’t evacuated areas around the Pacific Rim? Wow, major fail on the world government’s part. And why are we mounting these weapons on giant robots – why not have a similar defense system mounted on the coasts? And these monsters destroy cities, what makes the world government think a giant wall will keep them out?

    Gravity Hubble to ISS to Chinese Space Station? Come on! And how freakin big was this satelite they took out? Even if it took out a few other satelites, this has enough derbris to take out stuff at different orbital positions and oribital heights around the globe? They blew up a satelite, not an Imperial Star Destroyer!

    Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness – Why do we have starships when we can just instantaniously transport anywhere. And if we can get from Earth to Vulcan or Earth to Kronos (spelling varies depending on source) in a matter of minutes, why the heck do we need a five year mission? And if we have magical blood, does that mean we no longer have to loose a Red Shirt? Of course, this makes me think of an issue back with TNG – how the heck to they get back to Earth and Betazid as often as they do if they are supposed to be exploring deep space? Oh, and this brings me to the TNG movies – how the heck did Janeway get promoted to Admiral? Yes, she brought her ship back and desroyed the Borg, but she threw regulations out the window whenever she felt like it, was bipolar, had PTSD before she even got to the Borg, and committed genocide against an entire species (forget if they were the Alpha Quadrant’s greatest threat). She should have been forced retired, placed in mental evaluation, with a nice pension, and never be allowed any type of command again. But we can forgive all of that and promote her because she brought her ship home.

    Harry Potter So, because we use magic, we can’t have any technology? How about a gas / electric / oil furnace in this drafty castle? How about text messaging – way easier than learning how to form a Patronous. We can have radio but not television? We are magical, but have to use cameras that are at least 100 years old because we reject Muggle inventions? Looking up spells in the library would have been so much easier if it was digitized with a search function. Oh, we can also have plumbing and hot water (with no mention of how they are heating the water – maybe by MAGIC!) And apparently people in the magical world don’t need dentists. And why the heck do kids need to take the train, why don’t they just use flo powder or a port key? And you have to travel to London to take the train? What if you live closer to Hogwarts than to London? If Hogsmede is an all magical town, why aren’t there any families living there? Where are the kids? How in the world are the three events in the TriWizard Tournament spectator sports? How long was Harry gone at the end of Goblet of Fire – everyone just remained sitting in the stands waiting for him to appear out of thin air? So did the crowd know the cup was a portkey and think it was supposed to transport Harry back to the start of the maze? because they cartainly are acting like he won.

    Back To The Future – Why 88, what’s so magical about that? If Doc went through all the trouble of knowing he had issues getting Marty back, and the whole bullet proof vest and all of that, in all his planing, don’t you think he would have made sure there was extra plutonium already in the car? If Doc wrote Marty a letter telling him where to find the car, couldn’t he have sent another one asking him to also bring a can of gasoline?

    Every Bond movie.

    As I said, though, at the top of my comment, I love all of these movies, but man, was there some major disbeliefs in these movies!

    • Chris B

      About Back to the Future, why not 88 miles per hour? There’s all sorts of random numbers in mathematics and physics. Why is a full circle 360 degrees? Why is pi = to 3.14… If the speed for time travel had been a perfect 100 MPH that woulda seemed a little too perfect and contrived doncha think?

  16. worth

    One of my major pet peeves in the last ten to fifteen years is that we’re asked to accept that overworked doctors, lawyers, architects etc. somehow still find the time to spend three to four hours a day in the gym to maintain their six-packs. It’s up there with coffee shop employees being able to afford Manhattan lofts.

  17. Yeah, the entirety of Face/Off depends on the audience believing that these two different human beings can survive an entire facial swap, and not show even the slightest hint of surgery. No matter how futuristic or advanced the surgery is, the simple fact that John Travolta has a MUCH LARGER HEAD than Nicholas Cage should have been the determining factor in their casting. Square-face Travolta vs. Oval-bony-face Cage would be obvious if they only swapped faces. But their heads are just so completely different that it’s an absolute joke that anyone could be made to believe their faces were swapped. And no amount of slow-mo doves can change that.

  18. eric


    One of my favorite sci-fi movies of all time. This movie tackles time travel, so you have to suspend your disbelief (SYD) from the get go. If you don’t their are plot holes all over this thing. Like, why would the gangsters in the future go through all the trouble of sending people back in time to kill them but kill his future wife. Wouldn’t that expose them immediately and set off alarms. This is just one of a dozen inconsistencies in this movie, but I chose to ignore these and just embrace the movie for entertainment. One of my favorites.

  19. VIOZ

    If there’s one thing an action movie asks from you it’s that you leave your disbelief at the door, yet I always end up getting it back everytime they present an anorexic model as the hot chick. Why is it that a movie that’s supposed to be drenched in testosterone aims to arouse only a small group of bone fetishists? How can Michelle Rodriguez be the hottest woman in the “Fast & Furious” franchise?

  20. VIOZ

    The inabilty to suspend disbelief also occurs in reverse, as in when the torture of suffering through a superhero movie for the sole purpose of watching its corresponding CinemaSins video is over and you later check the High Def Digest review of that movie and go: “ARE YOU F—–G KIDDING ME!!!?”

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