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The "realism" hang-up...

I can't be the only one noticing this. Any time a work of fiction is discussed, people always bring up how it should be more realistic or sucks because it isn't realistic or such-and-such is better because it's more realistic. Seriously, that word is used more than the f-word in rap music anymore. When did this whole trend start, and am I the only one who still enjoys a bit of escapism now and then?
 

Endless Humiliation

Banned
Banned
I don't read a lot of literary criticism but I can get this.

I have no idea why people are like that.

But then again I love surrealism so maybe people are just boring like that.
 

pheonix

back'n up back'n up
People always find something to complain about no matter how good something is.
 

pheonix

back'n up back'n up
I know that, but it's too ubiquitous anymore to just blame on a couple whiny twats.

I don't think that word fits there well with anymore and find it hard to see what you mean by it. And there's more then just a few whiny twats I can assure you.
 

pheonix

back'n up back'n up
Doesn't it mean that it's everywhere, basically? Because that's what I mean.

Yes that's what it means but that sentence was horribly put together.

I like my fiction to be nice and unrealistic, if I wanted realistic I'd go read/watch a documentary or biography. RL sucks anyway. Honestly I don't see many people that complain about this but when I do I just let them bitch. No reason to bitch about others bitching.
 
Yes that's what it means but that sentence was horribly put together.

I like my fiction to be nice and unrealistic, if I wanted realistic I'd go read/watch a documentary or biography. RL sucks anyway. Honestly I don't see many people that complain about this but when I do I just let them bitch. No reason to bitch about others bitching.

That's my way of thinking, too, which is why I don't get it. Realistic just seems like code for "the stuff I'm allowed to watch without sacrificing my nerd cred."
 

M. LeRenard

Is not French
Concerning books, anyway, the term 'realistic' generally means something more like 'logical'. In other words, contains few cop-outs to further the plot, no deus-ex-machinas (machinae?), people don't randomly change personality just to support a point, etc. It doesn't mean the work must be 'realistic', in the sense that it should completely mimic real life, but it does mean that it should be more or less believable. So, like, you could write a book about a guy who mows down entire legions of well-trained knights with a plastic spork, and it would be considered realistic if you set it up just right so that we as the audience believe he could actually do that.
If everyone's throwing it around, though, I'm thinking lots of folks are using it to excess and fudging the meaning, like critics usually do with such terms. These are the kinds of people who scoff at any author who doesn't take every single bloody contingency into consideration, and who might on occasion use a *gasp* coincidence or two to further the plot in some small way. Which I would think is perfectly okay, but you know... I'm not a professional.
 
Concerning books, anyway, the term 'realistic' generally means something more like 'logical'. In other words, contains few cop-outs to further the plot, no deus-ex-machinas (machinae?), people don't randomly change personality just to support a point, etc. It doesn't mean the work must be 'realistic', in the sense that it should completely mimic real life, but it does mean that it should be more or less believable. So, like, you could write a book about a guy who mows down entire legions of well-trained knights with a plastic spork, and it would be considered realistic if you set it up just right so that we as the audience believe he could actually do that.
If everyone's throwing it around, though, I'm thinking lots of folks are using it to excess and fudging the meaning, like critics usually do with such terms. These are the kinds of people who scoff at any author who doesn't take every single bloody contingency into consideration, and who might on occasion use a *gasp* coincidence or two to further the plot in some small way. Which I would think is perfectly okay, but you know... I'm not a professional.

It's not anything that well thought out, actually. It's more aimed at the idiots who, say, trash any of the pre-reboot Bond movies for being "too unrealistic" then defend the newer ones even though they're just as ludicrous and use just as many cliches. The same goes for the Batman movies (or indeed, the whole franchise) after Batman Begins, and from the looks of it, the Grand Theft Auto series after IV.

Maybe I should've just titled this "Grim-n-gritty reboots and why I hate them."
 

M. LeRenard

Is not French
It's more aimed at the idiots who, say, trash any of the pre-reboot Bond movies for being "too unrealistic" then defend the newer ones even though they're just as ludicrous and use just as many cliches.
So wait... like, people are complaining about the realism in old movies as compared to new ones? Like on grounds of special effects, or what?
 
So wait... like, people are complaining about the realism in old movies as compared to new ones? Like on grounds of special effects, or what?

Generally it's things like the helicopter scene from Tomorrow Never Dies or the gadgets from '60s and '70s iterations. Essentially anything that real spies and terrorists can't do.

I don't want to make this entirely about Bond, though. Action movies in general have been getting this lately, and what it amounts to is removing any trace of spectacle or humor and making it a bleak, depressing mopefest.
 
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M. LeRenard

Is not French
Ohhh.. so people who complain because the spectacle in action movies and the like doesn't accurately portray real current military/operative/whatever technology or capability.
Yeah, that's pretty silly. I mean, if you're writing a serious piece, like Hotel Rwanda or something, you'd want to keep it realistic, yes. But James Bond, Sahara, the Mummy movies, things like that? They're supposed to be fun.
Then maybe these are the folks who believe that anything that doesn't have a deep philosophical or historical message isn't worthy of being written. People who are stuck so far up their overly-elite bungholes that they forget to judge things relative to their purpose, rather than on a single, ephemeral criterion generally known as 'art'. Am I hitting the mark here?
 
Ohhh.. so people who complain because the spectacle in action movies and the like doesn't accurately portray real current military/operative/whatever technology or capability.
Yeah, that's pretty silly. I mean, if you're writing a serious piece, like Hotel Rwanda or something, you'd want to keep it realistic, yes. But James Bond, Sahara, the Mummy movies, things like that? They're supposed to be fun.
Then maybe these are the folks who believe that anything that doesn't have a deep philosophical or historical message isn't worthy of being written. People who are stuck so far up their overly-elite bungholes that they forget to judge things relative to their purpose, rather than on a single, ephemeral criterion generally known as 'art'. Am I hitting the mark here?

Basically. People watch things they know they'll hate, just so they can say "Yeah, I saw that too," then bitch about things they knew about going in. Probably the best example recently would be the bullet curving from Wanted. It was the framing device for every trailer, every single TV spot, and an intergral part of the movie's story (such as it was)... so what's the first complaint from everybody who saw it? The absurdity of the bullet curving concept, naturally. Like it was sprung on them halfway through.
 

Term_the_Schmuck

Most Interesting Man on FAF
Here's my thing: I love the movie Deja Vu. It's premise of time traveling is completely unrealistic but it presents itself in such a way that it seems plausible. Same thing with Frequency. It's a lot easier to suspend disbelief when a movie doesn't just start having people time traveling for no reason or interacting with the past and tries to bend the rules of science to do so while advancing the plot. That's what I'd mean when I say I want something to be more realistic, not just accepting that things are just the way they are.

I don't think the movies would be as interesting if, for example in Frequency, they didn't explain why the HAM Radios are able to communicate through time using the magnetic forces of the northern lights. Is it likely? No. But does it seem like it -might- be possible? You see where I'm going with this.
 
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