Tom Cruise Is Going To War With A Setting On Your TV

By Holly Brockwell on at

Tom Cruise has gone to war with a lot of things in his career, but the latest is something of a surprise: it's a setting on modern TVs that makes films look a bit rubbish.

Called motion smoothing or 'the soap opera effect,' Cruise is completely right that it's a terrible setting and should be turned off. Still, we weren't expecting this serious PSA on the issue from Maverick himself, plus Chris McQuarrie:

If you haven't fiddled around with the settings on your TV, there's a good chance motion smoothing is switched on by default. It's instantly noticeable when you go to someone else's house and Inception looks like Eastenders, but if you're used to it, you might not know it's a setting you can change. And Cruise is making sure everyone knows that now.

As McQuarrie puts it, "without a side-by-side comparison, many people can't quite put their finger on why the movie they're watching looks strange."

Here's a good intro to the effect and what it does to films:

Apparently, filmmakers are working with TV manufacturers to change the way the feature is named and presented, so that people are actually aware of it and know how to turn it off. Which is fair enough: it'd be a bit of a fucker if you spent years making a beautiful piece of art and then everyone saw it on an Etch-A-Sketch.

At the time of writing, Cruise's PSA already has almost 2 million views, so we're guessing Motion Smoothing is getting deselected in droves across the world. Have you turned it off? Were you aware it was even a thing? Let us know in the comments while we spend three hours navigating the labyrinthine menu structure on our HDTVs.