My Closest Companion sometimes has trouble watching movies and TV shows with me.
These days, we’re spending more time together, which is terrific. When I was working for the newspaper, I was going to be at ungodly hours and waking up at ungodlier hours. We hardly saw each other some days.
So now that I am retired from all that, I go to bed a bit later and get up a bit later. Which means we can actually spend some time together after dinner.
But I AM tough to watch TV with, I admit. We both notice lacks of continuity. One shot shows two guys with their hats on, then comes back to them and their hats are off, but in the same scene, comes back a third time and their hats are on again. Or something is in an actor’s left hand, then his right, then his left. Or a newspaper is on the table. Then it’s not. Then it is.
One of my favorite continuity flubs was in some 1980s movie, the title of which I forget. When it got to a scene where a fancy new car catches fire then explodes, the fancy new car was an old Ford Bronco. The vehicles looked nothing alike, but the producers apparently didn’t have enough money in the budget to blow up a fancy sedan, so they opted for an old, beat-up Bronco.
I’m even worse though when it comes to weapons and tactical situations. I suppose it’s because I had such good teachers over the years, SWAT team guys and tactical cops and even some folks who were into secret squirrel stuff.
“That pistol wouldn’t have done that,” I’ll point out.
“It’s just a movie,” my Closest Companion will say.
“That car couldn’t have wound up in that tree,” I’ll say.
“It’s movie magic,” she’ll say.
After I dispute what we’re seeing about three times, my Closest Companion will say with a sigh, “I’m not watching TV with you anymore.”
But she does, and I continue to spot things that are impossible or tactically wrong, whether the actor’s finger is in the right position when he’s holding a gun, whether the star was wearing his coat or not.
I can’t help it. It’s a gift.