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Defining moment: films

Just a caution: I feel like sharing some irrelevant details in this post.

Last night at the gym, as I was warming up on the elliptical machine for my workout, Mission Impossible III was playing on one of the many silver Sony LCD screens suspended off the ceiling. I plugged my earphones into the machine and began listening.

One scene came up where everyone is in a helicopter heading away from a burning building, and the pilot says something like “They’re coming after us, I’m going to try to lose them.” So strong is the association in my mind that I immediately remembered the incident when, some years ago, I was watching the Samuel L. Jackson- and Colin Farrell-starrer S.W.A.T. Toward the end they’re in a car, on a bridge. I think they’re being chased, and Samuel L. Jackson or another major character says, right before he’s about to do something dangerous:

This is where watching The World’s Worst Car Chases comes in handy!

Maybe the show they referred to was different, but it started with “The World’s…” Anyway, that was a defining moment for me. That moment forever removed me from the action in such high-intensity films and shifted my attention to the then-new revelation of how fake and cheesy most film and television dialog lines are; how scripted the pauses in a conversations are; how incredulous the shifts from one character speaking to another picking up where they leave off are.

Last night, when that scene came up in the movie, it immediately discredited the film for me because, realistically speaking, which helicopter pilot flying in the face of danger states something obvious like “I’m going to try to lose them?”

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