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Tom Cruise PSA Takes on the Evils of Motion-Smoothing

Remember when DVD first came out, and we all had to explain to our parents and grandparents how no, the black bars don’t crop the movie, and the movie “filling the screen” is actually bad, not good? Well, this decade has provided a new television presentation hurdle. So-called “motion- smoothing,” or video frame interpolation, makes most movies and television shows look absolutely terrible. And many people don’t know there’s actually an easy way in most HD televisions to fix that problem. Well, if your folks won’t listen to you on this subject, then maybe they’ll listen to Tom Cruise.

While on the set of Top Gun: Maverick, Tom Cruise and the film’s screenwriter/two-time Mission: Impossible director Christopher McQuarrie made this joint Public Service Announcement about how to fix the settings on your HD television to avoid the “soap opera effect,” as they call it, which gives everything that weird, cheap-looking appearance. The common term for this effect is “motion-smoothing,” but for many cinephiles, it is anything but smooth, and the fact most people just accept it makes us all crazy. Of course, this nice little PSA also serves to promote Mission Impossible: Fallout, which hits Blu-ray on December 4.There are a handful of movies that employ the “soap opera effect” on purpose, most famously Peter Jackson’s Hobbit movies, which were shot at 48-frames-per-second. But most other big Hollywood creators hate it, and recently several of them, including The Handmaid’s Tale director Reed Morano, have come out publicly asking for the big manufacturers to stop making video frame interpolation the default setting. But if they don’t listen to these guys, maybe they’ll listen to the dude from Minority Report and Jerry Maguire.

Images: Paramount Pictures

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