Tom Cruise Wants You to Fight Back Against Your TV's 'Soap Opera Effect'

David James/Warner Brothers Pictures, Getty Images
David James/Warner Brothers Pictures, Getty Images

Tom Cruise has taken a break from flying fighter jets on the set of Top Gun: Maverick to deliver an important video message to the viewers at home. In a video posted to Twitter, Cruise and Christopher McQuarrie—who directed Cruise in both Mission: Impossible – Fallout and the forthcoming Top Gun sequel—explained how a setting on most high-definition televisions that produces something called the “soap opera effect” is probably messing up your movie-watching experience.

Many TVs come with the setting enabled by default, but it can be switched off if you know where to look. The setting goes by different names, depending on the brand of TV you own—LG calls it TruMotion, Samsung calls it Auto Motion Plus—but they all refer to a technique called motion interpolation, or motion smoothing. Essentially, it inserts fake frames to increase the frame rate and prevent blurring during fast-moving sequences. It’s great for watching sports, but not much else.

“The unfortunate side effect is that it makes most movies look like they were shot on high-speed video rather than film,” Cruise says. “This is sometimes referred to as the 'soap opera effect.'" According to The A.V. Club, the effect “removes the filmic, dreamlike essence from films, giving them a hyperreal quality.”

Cruise and McQuarrie aren't the only major Hollywood players to object to motion interpolation. Oscar-nominated directors Christopher Nolan and Paul Thomas Anderson have waged an all-out war on the setting. And cinematographer Reed Morano, who shot a few episodes of The Handmaid's Tale as well as the Sandcastles music video from Beyoncé's Lemonade album, launched a petition four years ago to "stop making 'smooth motion' the default setting on all HDTVs." It received more than 12,800 signatures.

Check out the video below to see if you can tell the difference between scenes that have been altered by motion interpolation.

Since instructions for disabling this feature vary from brand to brand, the easiest way to figure out the steps you'll need to take is by typing “turn off motion smoothing [your brand of TV here]” into a search engine. Tom’s Guide (no relation to Tom Cruise) has detailed instructions for disabling the effect on Samsung, LG, and Sony televisions.

Jason Momoa is Glad Game of Thrones's Khal Drogo Only Lasted One Season

Helen Sloan, HBO
Helen Sloan, HBO

Although Jason Momoa had a pretty minor role in the grand scheme of Westerosi things in Game of Thrones, fans of his character Khal Drogo will attest to him being an extremely important part of the series—particularly in how he helped to shape the character of Daenerys Targaryen. But the actor, who is currently starring in Aquaman, is happy his time on the series ended when it did.

Drogo met his untimely demise in Season 1, and Momoa has no regrets about it. “I’m actually really, really happy with how it all turned out because, you know, you just can’t keep that character alive,” Momoa told the New York Daily News. “Even when I watch it, it just wouldn’t fit. Khaleesi [Daenerys] … I feel like she inherits that strength and she has to be by herself and do it that way."

Momoa also commented on how popular a character Drogo still is, adding, “Even now, people just can’t stop ... they love Khal Drogo. It’s unbelievable. Like, one season. I don’t know any other character that’s done one season out of eight or nine that people just go [wild]. I didn’t know it was going to be that big.”

Even though Momoa hasn’t been on the show for years, he’s still a huge fan of the series. “It’s the greatest show on Earth,” he stated, sharing that he and his wife Lisa Bonet are devoted fans.

There's a Prequel to How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and It's Halloween-Themed

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

Everyone knows that the Grinch didn't care much for Christmas, but how did he feel about Halloween? We just learned that he spent All Hallows' Eve terrorizing the fine citizens of Whoville, thanks to Insider, who spotted this lesser-known prequel to How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

Titled Halloween is Grinch Night, the short animated movie ran as a television special in October 1977. Although it was designed to be a prequel to the classic Christmas special, Dr. Seuss wrote it 20 years after How the Grinch Stole Christmas, which was published in 1957.

The TV special opens with the Whos of Whoville cheerfully going about their business … until they catch a whiff of the "sour sweet wind," which tips them off that the Grinch is coming to town. The word "Halloween" is actually never spoken in the movie; it's replaced by the term "Grinch Night" throughout. Instead of a sleigh, the Grinch descends on the town with a wagon full of monsters pulled by Max. And instead of Cindy-Lou Who coming to the town's rescue, it's a little boy named Euchariah who intervenes.

In addition to the Halloween prequel, another TV special called The Grinch Grinches the Cat in the Hat aired in 1982. Although both of these specials won Emmy Awards, their impact wasn't as long-lasting as How the Grinch Stole Christmas, which was adapted into a live-action version starring Jim Carrey in 2000, and again in 2018 with a 3D animated version called The Grinch, with Benedict Cumberbatch voicing the title character.

Check out the Halloween-themed prequel in the YouTube video below, or get all three specials on Amazon with the Dr. Seus’s's Holidays on the Loose ultimate edition DVD.

[h/t Insider]

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER