TV & Movie Clichés

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We know a marriage is jaded or on the rocks when we see husband and wife sharing the bathroom. They will be talking about money or their kids, the husband brushing his teeth, when the wife sits down to use the toilet.
 

Swifty

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There's been a kidnapping and the victim is a female in her late teens/early twenties who lives at home with her wealthy parents. As they wait in the parents living room, the police instruct them on how to conduct themselves when the kidnapper calls on the phone. "Stay calm and keep them talking for as long as you can". There is an officer in plain clothes wearing headphones operating a tape recorder. He is going to trace the call.

When the phone rings, the father answers and listens to the kidnapper's demands. The plain clothes officer will press a button on his tape machine. Then his wife will grab the phone and scream down the line demanding to know if her daughter is safe. The kidnapper hangs up.

The police officer in charge then looks to the man operating the tape machine/tracer device, who merely shakes his head as the call wasn't long enough to get a trace on it.
Not in Liam Neesons world .. he has a particular set of skills, he will find them and he will kill them.

edit: .. and ask The Evil Dead's Sam Raimi who directed Liam in this scene from DARKMAN .. he'll tell you ..

 

escargot

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When we're shown a happy little family where the mother is heavily pregnant, she will a. sigh and hold her back, whether or not she's going into labour and b. soon die suddenly along with her unborn baby.
 

Swifty

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That is the only scene from that film that I remember.
The bit in that clip with Liam's third thrown ball travelling through the air was shot in the same way Raimi did the 'eyeball flyball' shot in Evil Dead 2 .. he also used the Peter Gabriel Sledgehammer video technique camera work wise in this (DARKMAN) scene as well as again in Evil Dead 2 when Ash is sent hurtling backwards through the trees ..
 

maximus otter

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As a knowledgeable shooter, there are lots of Hollywood/pop culture myths out there about firearms. The "bottomless magazine" that never needs to be replaced or topped up, the 80s action hero who can mow down opponents while firing from the hip and so on.

Some specific piss-boilers include:

1. "Silencers" that emit nothing more than a pffft or "squeak" sound". Most cartridges launch their bullets from a rifle or pistol at over ~1,100 feet per second (the speed of sound). That means that as soon as they exit the barrel into open air, they break the sound barrier with a deafening whiplash crack! A silencer - more accurately a "sound moderator" merely reduces the sound of a centrefire rifle being fired from the noise level of a Jumbo jet engine at full revs to that of a pneumatic drill. Typically it's about a 25- to 30dB sound reduction. This protects the hearing of the shooter and those around him, but anyone who thinks that it "silences" a rifle is welcome to come to my shooting club and stick his ear near the muzzle of my .260 or my .308 when I fire it and see if it's "silent". I can guarantee that said witness will wish that his mother had never met his father...

2. Bullet impacts that throw victims ten feet backwards. People, I shoot 30lb. muntjac with a 6.5 x 55mm rifle whose bullets carry over 2,000 foot-pounds of energy: If this nonsense were true, the impact would throw said deer sixty feet through the air, yet they obstinately insist on dropping in their own hoofprints. Why? The time period over which the energy acts on the deer's weight as it passes through the deer. Consider closing a massive safe door weighing hundreds of pounds: Do you (a) Lean your shoulder against it and heave for a long period, or (b) Punch the door once and watch it slam shut?

3. "Bulletproof vests" are "bulletproof". Nope: any armour capable of stopping any bullet would be so massively heavy that its wearer would be rendered immobile. Typical police body armour will protect the area that it covers against relatively low-energy rounds like .22LR or 9mm. Military armour is protection against shell splinters and low energy small arms fire. Ceramic inserts to protect vital areas are an optional (heavy) extra.

4. You can engage in a ferocious firefight, especially in a building, then have a normal conversation. People, gunfire is loud! Anyone whose ears have been exposed, unprotected, to even one round of 9mm being fired from a pistol on an indoor range will attest that it's like having a 6" nail driven into one's ear! The idea that the cast of The Walking Dead can fire off hundreds of rounds of .223 or 7.62 x 39mm, then have a wee chat is laughable. The pain threshold for human hearing is 140 decibels. Permanent hearing damage occurs at 150 decibels. Gunfire comes in at 160...

maximus otter
 
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As a knowledgeable shooter..
In a Graham Greene book I read, can't remember which one, he described the sound of a handgun with a silencer on it as like the 'pop from a tube of toothpaste'. So not just an inaccurate trope in TV and films then.

Something Maximus Otter might be able to throw light on - It's a bit gruesome but regarding point blank shotgun wounds to the head. I've seen this a few times in films and it always results in the total destruction of the head. Like atomised, gone. How accurate is this?

Also, shooting locks in doors to gain access. That's got to be bollocks hasn't it? I would have thought that if you put a bullet into a lock then even a locksmith wouldn't be able to open it.
 

Bigphoot2

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In a Graham Greene book I read, can't remember which one, he described the sound of a handgun with a silencer on it as like the 'pop from a tube of toothpaste'. So not just an inaccurate trope in TV and films then.

Something Maximus Otter might be able to throw light on - It's a bit gruesome but regarding point blank shotgun wounds to the head. I've seen this a few times in films and it always results in the total destruction of the head. Like atomised, gone. How accurate is this?

Also, shooting locks in doors to gain access. That's got to be bollocks hasn't it? I would have thought that if you put a bullet into a lock then even a locksmith wouldn't be able to open it.
i've seen some rather gruesome images of gunshot injuries - I used to work as an AV technician and we'd have talks by forensic scientists which sometimes required assistance (Like how to switch a projector on and when it comes on we get a lovely view of something gory). Some of the shotgun wounds resulted in massive destruction to the head - in one image I saw there was a bit of lower jaw would be left and everything else gone. In another, the face looked like a rubber mask with nothing behind it.
Not the sort of thing you want to see before your dinner break.
 

escargot

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Also, shooting locks in doors to gain access. That's got to be bollocks hasn't it? I would have thought that if you put a bullet into a lock then even a locksmith wouldn't be able to open it.
I learned all one needs to know about this from 'Alias Smith and Jones', where one goes to shoot out a lock and the other stops him, saying 'Bullets bounce', i.e. it would be dangerous because the bullet might or might not do the job and might also ricochet and wound someone.

Sometimes people shoot a padlock off. That'd be risky too.
 

Naughty_Felid

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As a knowledgeable shooter, there are lots of Hollywood/pop culture myths out there about firearms. The "bottomless magazine" that never needs to be replaced or topped up, the 80s action hero who can mow down opponents while firing from the hip and so on.

Some specific piss-boilers include:

1. "Silencers" that emit nothing more than a pffft or "squeak" sound". Most cartridges launch their bullets from a rifle or pistol at over ~1,100 feet per second (the speed of sound). That means that as soon as they exit the barrel into open air, they break the sound barrier with a deafening whiplash crack! A silencer - more accurately a "sound moderator" merely reduces the sound of a centrefire rifle being fired from the noise level of a Jumbo jet engine at full revs to that of a pneumatic drill. Typically it's about a 25- to 30dB sound reduction. This protects the hearing of the shooter and those around him, but anyone who thinks that it "silences" a rifle is welcome to come to my shooting club and stick his ear near the muzzle of my .260 or my .308 when I fire it and see if it's "silent". I can guarantee that said witness will wish that his mother had never met his father...

2. Bullet impacts that throw victims ten feet backwards. People, I shoot 30lb. muntjac with a 6.5 x 55mm rifle whose bullets carry over 2,000 foot-pounds of energy: If this nonsense were true, the impact would throw said deer sixty feet through the air, yet they obstinately insist on dropping in their own hoofprints. Why? The time period over which the energy acts on the deer's weight as it passes through the deer. Consider closing a massive safe door weighing hundreds of pounds: Do you (a) Lean your shoulder against it and heave for a long period, or (b) Punch the door and watch it slam shut?

3. "Bulletproof vests" are "bulletproof". Nope: any armour capable of stopping any bullet would be so massively heavy that its wearer would be rendered immobile. Typical police body armour will protect the area that it covers against relatively low-energy rounds like .22LR or 9mm. Military armour is protection against shell splinters and low energy small arms fire. Ceramic inserts to protect vital areas are an optional (heavy) extra.

4. You can engage in a ferocious firefight, especially in a building, then have a normal conversation. People, gunfire is loud! Anyone whose ears have been exposed, unprotected, to even one round of 9mm being fired from a pistol on an indoor range will attest that it's like having a 6" nail driven into one's ear! The idea that the cast of The Walking Dead can fire off hundreds of rounds of .223 or 7.62 x 39mm, then have a wee chat is laughable. The pain threshold for human hearing is 140 decibels. Permanent hearing damage occurs at 150 decibels. Gunfire comes in at 160...

maximus otter
 

Swifty

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Skargy warned me that TV's Grey's Anatomy only gets worse and she was right .. do any of these women ever breath ? .. are they all going for The Guinness Book Of Record's 'who can talk the fastest' record ? .. and how many cover versions of popular songs have they got until whatsherface does her inevitable 'Inspector Gadget' ending style speech "Well, the lesson we all learned from this episode is ...." and still the shit cover version music swirls up and down in the background .. I'm not a fan ...
 

maximus otter

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1. In a Graham Greene book I read, can't remember which one, he described the sound of a handgun with a silencer on it as like the 'pop from a tube of toothpaste'.

2. ...regarding point blank shotgun wounds to the head. I've seen this a few times in films and it always results in the total destruction of the head. Like atomised, gone. How accurate is this?

3. ...shooting locks in doors to gain access. That's got to be bollocks hasn't it?
1. I'm 99.9% sure that was an early James Bond book.

2. Despite working in a rural environment with a high proportion of firearm- and shotgun owners, I only saw two firearm deaths in my 30 years. One was a murder, the other a suicide, entirely unrelated. Both involved 12 bore shotguns, both used the same brand of cartridges and both occurred during the same 8-hour shift!

The suicide was a "barrel in the mouth" job, and caused great damage to the head, but not total destruction.

The murder shot was fired into the victim's face at very close range, probably three feet or less. The damage was massive. I remember thinking that the remains of the deceased's skull looked like the shell of a boiled egg after breakfast, but with the bottom 20% present rather than the top 20% missing, if you see what I mean. There were stalactites of brain hanging from the ceiling, and approaching the corpse involved crunching across a carpet liberally sprinkled with skull fragments and teeth. I recall with amusement that three of us - me, the night detective and a female detective acting as Scenes of Crime Officer - were tasked to place as much of the loose tissue as possible into a plastic bag. The largest single lump of detritus was a huge clot of brain matter lying in the fireplace. For some reason, none of us really wanted to handle it, and we all eyeballed each other to see who'd break first. It was the WDC, who earned my respect by completing the job despite being the colour of putty.

So, to answer your question: based on personal experience of a sample of one, I would say that total destruction would be possible, dependent on range, calibre and size of shot. (Both of the above used birdshot, about the size of No.6 or No.7 if I remember correctly).

3. Shooting door locks is entirely possible, if you use the correct kit. In the UK, police and army units use what are known as Hatton Rounds in 12-bore shotguns. Instead of a large quantity of loose lead pellets of appropriate diameter, or a solid lead slug, Hatton Rounds use metal powder suspended in a hard wax medium. When fired into a door hinge or lock, it hits like a solid heavy slug, destroying the hinge or lock, but then disintegrates into (relatively) harmless metal powder.

Shooting padlocks or door locks open with conventional rifle rounds is theoretically possible, but they'd be more inclined to mangle in a closed configuration rather than in an unlocked one. Shooting locks with pistols would present far more danger to the shooter than potential advantage, as low-velocity pistol bullets would be more inclined to ricochet off the metal surfaces at unpredictable angles, endangering the shooter or his team. Stick with Hatton Rounds.

maximus otter
 

dreeness .

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As a knowledgeable shooter, there are lots of Hollywood/pop culture myths out there about firearms. The "bottomless magazine" that never needs to be replaced or topped up, the 80s action hero who can mow down opponents while firing from the hip and so on.

Some specific piss-boilers include:

1. "Silencers" that emit nothing more than a pffft or "squeak" sound". Most cartridges launch their bullets from a rifle or pistol at over ~1,100 feet per second (the speed of sound). That means that as soon as they exit the barrel into open air, they break the sound barrier with a deafening whiplash crack! A silencer - more accurately a "sound moderator" merely reduces the sound of a centrefire rifle being fired from the noise level of a Jumbo jet engine at full revs to that of a pneumatic drill. Typically it's about a 25- to 30dB sound reduction. This protects the hearing of the shooter and those around him, but anyone who thinks that it "silences" a rifle is welcome to come to my shooting club and stick his ear near the muzzle of my .260 or my .308 when I fire it and see if it's "silent". I can guarantee that said witness will wish that his mother had never met his father...

2. Bullet impacts that throw victims ten feet backwards. People, I shoot 30lb. muntjac with a 6.5 x 55mm rifle whose bullets carry over 2,000 foot-pounds of energy: If this nonsense were true, the impact would throw said deer sixty feet through the air, yet they obstinately insist on dropping in their own hoofprints. Why? The time period over which the energy acts on the deer's weight as it passes through the deer. Consider closing a massive safe door weighing hundreds of pounds: Do you (a) Lean your shoulder against it and heave for a long period, or (b) Punch the door and watch it slam shut?

3. "Bulletproof vests" are "bulletproof". Nope: any armour capable of stopping any bullet would be so massively heavy that its wearer would be rendered immobile. Typical police body armour will protect the area that it covers against relatively low-energy rounds like .22LR or 9mm. Military armour is protection against shell splinters and low energy small arms fire. Ceramic inserts to protect vital areas are an optional (heavy) extra.

4. You can engage in a ferocious firefight, especially in a building, then have a normal conversation. People, gunfire is loud! Anyone whose ears have been exposed, unprotected, to even one round of 9mm being fired from a pistol on an indoor range will attest that it's like having a 6" nail driven into one's ear! The idea that the cast of The Walking Dead can fire off hundreds of rounds of .223 or 7.62 x 39mm, then have a wee chat is laughable. The pain threshold for human hearing is 140 decibels. Permanent hearing damage occurs at 150 decibels. Gunfire comes in at 160...

maximus otter

 

EnolaGaia

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... So, to answer your question: based on personal experience of a sample of one, I would say that total destruction would be possible, dependent on range, calibre and size of shot. (Both of the above used birdshot, about the size of No.6 or No.7 if I remember correctly). ...
Thirty-some years ago I had the opportunity to view a massive set of crime scene / forensic lab photos collected from years of incidents.

I can attest to the variability of results when applying a shotgun blast to the human head. The most massively disintegration / scattering damage seemed to correlate with external shots (i.e., anything other than muzzle-in-the-mouth suicides).

I can also attest to the fact it's possible to bifurcate the head into still-attached right and left halves with a muzzle-in-the-mouth blast. I hesitate to call it 'cartoon-ish', but in all honesty it was ...
 

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Is there a difference between a silencer and a suppressor? Opinions seem to differ.
 

EnolaGaia

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Is there a difference between a silencer and a suppressor? Opinions seem to differ.
'Silencer' is the older - and more popularly known - term. 'Suppressor' is the later term for a noise-reducing attachment to a gun. However ...

'Suppressor' is a more general term, covering devices designed to suppress effects other than noise. For example, there are dedicated flash suppressors designed to minimize the visible muzzle flash from a long gun, without regard to suppressing the noise of firing.

Some 'suppressors' reduce both flash and noise; others don't (or at least aren't specifically designed to do so ...).

I've occasionally seen or heard the term 'suppressor' used in relation to muzzle brakes - devices designed to vent gas so as to reduce recoil forces (e.g., the lateral forces that shift the aim point when firing in full auto).
 
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I’ve also read (in a novel-not sure, might be one of the Hannibal Lecter series) of an empty plastic Coke bottle taped onto a pistol barrel to reduce noise.
That’s got to be next to useless in reality.
 

maximus otter

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I’ve also read (in a novel-not sure, might be one of the Hannibal Lecter series) of an empty plastic Coke bottle taped onto a pistol barrel to reduce noise.
That’s got to be next to useless in reality.
Homemade moderators can be surprisingly effective, as a YouTube search on the term "improvised suppressors" will reveal. Here a rather excitable Italian (?) demonstrates a plastic bottle mod on what appears to be a semi-auto .410 shotgun firing slugs:


Here the excellent Hickok 45 demonstrates a professionally-made adapter which allows an unmodified car oil filter to be used as a mod. (Note: To comply with the NFA of 1934, the adapter costs only $75, but you still have to pay the tax of $200 to buy it...):


As can be seen, the bottle mod performs surprisingly well, but for just one shot. The oil filter demonstrates better longevity, though it's still not as quiet as a purpose-built mod. See here for more info about the efficiency of mods.

Moderators are one of the few areas in which the UK has more liberal gun laws than the USA. Here mods are virtually encouraged because of their positive effects in preventing hearing loss and reducing annoyance to neighbours. In the USA the National Firearms Act of 1934 regulates mods. This means that they are a limited production item, which boosts prices. The Act's other pernicious effect is to impose a $200 tax on each transaction involving a mod. This means that if you buy a mod in the USA you pay a steep price - $1,000 to $1,500 - plus a $200 tax stamp. This leaves you with a mod that's cost you, say, $1,700. If you now decide you want to sell said mod to a mate, he has to undergo a searching background check, then pay another $200 for a tax stamp, in effect adding $200 to the resale value. The process repeats with yet another $200 gouge if he decides to sell it on, and so on.

In the UK we merely have to specify on our Firearm Certificate application that we want, say, "One .308 rifle with sound moderator". Your local gun dealer will have plenty on the shelf, and will typically charge you about £250 to £325. No tax fees, no extra costs to pass on to subsequent purchasers.

maximus otter
 

Swifty

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Homemade moderators can be surprisingly effective, as a YouTube search on the term "improvised suppressors" will reveal. Here a rather excitable Italian (?) demonstrates a plastic bottle mod on what appears to be a semi-auto .410 shotgun firing slugs:


Here the excellent Hickok 45 demonstrates a professionally-made adapter which allows an unmodified car oil filter to be used as a mod. (Note: To comply with the NFA of 1934, the adapter costs only $75, but you still have to pay the tax of $200 to buy it...):


As can be seen, the bottle mod performs surprisingly well, but for just one shot. The oil filter demonstrates better longevity, though it's still not as quiet as a purpose-built mod. See here for more info about the efficiency of mods.

Moderators are one of the few areas in which the UK has more liberal gun laws than the USA. Here mods are virtually encouraged because of their positive effects in preventing hearing loss and reducing annoyance to neighbours. In the USA the National Firearms Act of 1934 regulates mods. This means that they are a limited production item, which boosts prices. The Act's other pernicious effect is to impose a $200 tax on each transaction involving a mod. This means that if you buy a mod in the USA you pay a steep price - $1,000 to $1,500 - plus a $200 tax stamp. This leaves you with a mod that's cost you, say, $1,700. If you now decide you want to sell said mod to a mate, he has to undergo a searching background check, then pay another $200 for a tax stamp, in effect adding $200 to the resale value. The process repeats with yet another $200 gouge if he decides to sell it on, and so on.

In the UK we merely have to specify on our Firearm Certificate application that we want, say, "One .308 rifle with sound moderator". Your local gun dealer will have plenty on the shelf, and will typically charge you about £250 to £325. No tax fees, no extra costs to pass on to subsequent purchasers.

maximus otter
Remind me never to piss you off maximus otter ..
 

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A vicar in a pub will always order a half, never a pint...and sip it as though it were the sherry that all vicars are required to drink at home by law - except Dawn French's lady vicar and Tom Hollander's 'Rev' who, if memory serves, were drunks.

(not that vicars are the mainstay of the British sitcom they once were).
 
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