Thursday, August 26, 2010

You're Dead Now. Movie Over.

I recently sat down with a few friends to watch/listen to the guys over at Rifftrax (the same geniuses who brought us Mystery Science Theatre 3000) skewer the first two Twilight movies. (I don't regret it. They were hilarious.)

I knew I was in for some mediocre film experiences. But while there were thousands of eye-rollingly bad parts of the movies, only one small scene made me so furious that I was compelled to write a blog post about it.

In the middle of the second movie, New Moon, the anti-feminist anti-heroine, Bella, decides to go cliff diving. Unsurprisingly, she sucks at it. But spoiler alert! She doesn't die. Unfortunately. Her friend Jacob pulls her out of the water just as she's about to drown, and then revives her. By doing something with his arms. Something that is definitely not CPR.

"OK, Jacob, think back to your Red Cross training. Step 1 was not take off your shirt."

Twilight is by far not the only movie I've seen that's egregiously ignored that there actually is a correct way to do CPR. (I'm sad to say that even my beloved Buffy, the Vampire Slayer, was [SPOILER ALERT] revived after drowning in Season One with a really piss-poor example of CPR.)

I just have to believe that SOMEWHERE on the set of a multi-million dollar movie, SOMEONE is certified in CPR and First Aid. In fact, I'd go so far to make the claim (based only on the assumptions my brain has made and no facts that I've researched whatsoever) that with that many people shooting a movie, including highly paid celebrities, it'd be REQUIRED to employ someone who knows how to perform rescue services in case bad shit went down on set. What I'm trying to say is, couldn't SOMEONE have stepped in and said, "Hey, actually, let me show you the right way to resuscitate her. You know, so it'd actually work and her revival wouldn't be complete bullshit."

"Oh, you saw it on the Internet? Well nevermind then, let me just step aside."

Now, the argument could be made that the director of the movie doesn't want his character to be an expert in CPR. Maybe he doesn't think it's realistic that he'd be able to do it correctly. And I'm torn on that interpretation. On one hand, I'd like my movies to contain real characters. On the other hand though, we all know how much what we see in the movies can affect what we believe to be reality. And the last thing I'd want to hear is that a person in distress died because someone thought they knew how to do CPR because they "saw it in Twilight."

There's also the counter-argument, of course, that if your character doesn't actually know how to do CPR correctly, that it likely WON'T WORK, and your character will die. Or wake up with a number of broken ribs. Sucks.

In Bella's case though, maybe that would mean she'd have to take a break from being a COMPLETE IDIOT ALL THE TIME, which might make it all worth it.

So I'm putting this to you, Hollywood directors and producers: CPR is not all that difficult to do correctly. It is oh so easy, though, for anyone who's had any training to recognize when ur doin it wrong. So maybe spend $75 out of your $50 million to have someone come in and show you how it's done. More living, less flailing. It just makes sense.


Carrie said...

Hahaha... This is the part where I have to tell everyone that I'm IN the Red Cross video for infant CPR and infant choking. Little side note on my resume.

That being said, the REAL way to do CPR and the way you have to angle your hands and body to FILM you doing CPR, are different.

So it IS possible that Jacob put himself in the mentality of an actor in a Red Cross video and improvised a bit.

(But I think your theory is MUCH more accurate...)

B.Graham said...

Yeeaaahhh my first thought was, "oh, I'm sure they had to do it differently For The Safety Of The Actors..." but then I remembered that I'm an actor. And that's what fight choreographers are for. Guhhh Twilight.

ali d said...

I would love to believe that there's an easy answer like OH DUH CAMERA ANGLES that would explain everything away, but it's usually not so much positioning of the actors or anything like that. It's simple things, like "Please for the love of all things holy, keep your damn elbows straight." Or "Well that air you just blew in her mouth flew right out her open nose. Helpful."

It's the little things.