Sunday, September 24, 2006

The Portrayal of Tech in Films

I'm not exactly a techno-geek, though I suppose I know more than the average American. It's easy to mis-peg the average and bias it with your own knowledge, but trust me. There are plenty of people who think you can shut down a computer by turning off the monitor, etc, etc, etc, so I'm pretty sure that saying I'm above average isn't saying much at all.

Still, though, you have to wonder how people are willing to suspend disbelief that when movies do things that people with even a cursory understanding of technology have to realize doesn't make sense. It's a total Deux ex Machina for lazy scriptwriters, so you have to respect it when filmmakers at least make a valiant effort.

Gideontech has ranked the top ten worst portrayals of technology in film. Reading through it, I must say I'm not at all in accord with their list. I mean, really, how can you exclude Independance Day, in which Jeff Goldblum writes a virus in the universally destructive language of AppleScript to take down an alien computer system, about which he has no knowledge? And while Mission Impossible is right where it belongs, I think the biggest problem is that is internet search for "Job" instantly turned up relevant biblical references rather than, say,

But as I was preparing my formal letter of complaint, I realized that it is such a huge and pervasive problem, that most peoples' lists won't overlap much at all. It's so common for films to be so bad in this regard, that it's really tought to narrow it down. So kudos to Gideontech for at least trying to bring attention to the problem.

Please, filmmakers, is it really too much to ask that you hire a Tech Support Representative, Level 2, to give your script a once over before you turn on the camera? I hear you can get them pretty cheap in India.