motion smoothing

Tom Cruise took a break from cheating death to offer-up an important public service announcement: turn your god damn motion smoothing off, people. Cruise and his frequent collaborator and Mission: Impossible – Fallout director Christopher McQuarrie got together to helpfully let you know that motion smoothing looks like absolute garbage, and the best way for you to watch Fallout – or any movie – at home is to turn that unnecessary feature off. 

At some point, TV manufacturers introduced motion smoothing. This technology artificially increases the frame rate of whatever you’re watching, essentially inserting phony frames with the intent of removing any sort of blurring caused by motion. It’s the type of thing your parents usually leave on their TVs, unaware that there’s an option to turn it off. Filmmakers – like Rian Johnson – have been railing against motion smoothing for years. Now, the biggest movie star in the world is here to help, too.

In the video above, Tommy Cruise and Christopher McQuarrie, on the set of Top Gun: Maverick, urge you to turn motion smoothing off. “Motion smoothing is a digital effect on most high-definition televisions that’s intended to reducing motion blur in sporting events and other high-definition programming.”  McQuarrie says. “The unfortunate side effect,” Cruise chimes in, “is that it makes most movies look they were shot on high-speed video, rather than film.” Cruise adds that this overall look gives movies the appearance of a soap opera. Cruise goes on to say that most TV’s come with this feature already on (sneaky!). 

If you’re unconvinced, here’s a good side-by-side video that shows you how terrible motion smoothing looks.

Motion Smoothing Stinks

Some TV menus make it difficult to turn off motion smoothing, but McQuarrie points out that a quick internet search of your brand of TV should give you the info you need to turn the nightmare that is motion smoothing off. The video then ends with Cruise hang gliding over a volcano! Okay, I made that last part up, but you believed it for a second, didn’t you?

In all seriousness, it’s commendable that Cruise and McQuarrie took the time to bring this to light, because there are a shocking amount of people who aren’t even aware of it. The holiday season is upon us, and that usually means many of us will be forced to spend time with our extended families. So when that happens, and you’re stuck at a relative’s house, take the time to turn off their damn motion smoothing. Tell them Tom Cruise sent you.

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