Log in Register

Share

Follow

Charles Austin Miller

12th Aug 2017

The Box (2009)

New this week Trivia: "The Box" was based on a short horror story entitled "Button Button" by prolific and legendary sci-fi author Richard Matheson. Matheson's original story was first published in a 1970 issue of Playboy Magazine. He adapted his own story for the screen in a 1985 episode of the new "Twilight Zone" TV series, but it was significantly rewritten after he submitted it. Matheson was so angered by the Twilight Zone rewrite that he refused to allow his real name in the episode credits and instead used his pseudonym, "Logan Swanson."

12th Aug 2017

Planet Terror (2007)

New this week Trivia: Ever since "Planet Terror," it's been a common misconception that lead actor Freddy Rodriguez is related to film maker Robert Rodriguez (probably due to the fact that Robert is known for casting family members in his films). However, Robert and Freddy aren't related at all. Robert Rodriguez was born in San Antonio, Texas, in 1968, of Mexican descent. Freddy was born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1975, of Puerto Rican descent.

New this week Revealing mistake: During the high-speed chase with the tractor trailer, Vince fires one grappling wire through the truck's passenger windscreen to pull the glass out. He fires a second grappling wire through the now-open windscreen and grapples the passenger seat, then attaches the grappling wire to his harness and leaps to the front of the truck. So, his only tether to the truck is the grappling wire inside the truck cab. but when the truck driver slams on his brakes, Vince is catapulted around the truck's front-end to the side door, his full weight suspended from another visible line that is attached to something several feet above the truck cab. The taught line from above even crushes the truck's side-view mirror under Vince's weight. This is the stuntman's safety cable, attached to an overhead boom mounted out-of-frame on the truck rig.

12th Aug 2017

Auto Focus (2002)

New this week Character mistake: Although great care was taken to duplicate Bob Crane's distinctive hairstyle for Greg Kinnear, Bob Crane's hairstyle was actually parted on the left, while Greg Kinnear's was parted on the right.

10th Aug 2017

The Thing (1982)

New this month Factual error: At the beginning, MacReady dumps a tumbler of ice and scotch into his computer, which spews out sparks as it shorts out. No electronic device sparks when shorted out.

9th Aug 2017

Dunkirk (2017)

New this month Trivia: In reality, Adolf Hitler ordered his commanders and troops to stand down and allow Allied forces to escape at Dunkirk, because Hitler admired the British as "Aryan brothers," whom he expected to eventually join the Third Reich.

18th Jul 2017

Watchmen (2009)

Trivia: In the Watchmen timeline, Rorschach's polymorphic head mask was supposed to be a commercialized offshoot of Dr. Manhattan technology. It was a double-layered, temperature-sensitive fabric that changed patterns in response to fluctuating body heat, and it was originally intended to be marketed in the garment industry. That is where Walter Kovac (Rorschach) discovered the fabric, when he worked for a dressmaker in his youth. He privately used samples of the fabric to create his own head mask. Unfortunately, the novelty fabric was a commercial failure in the Watchmen timeline, which is why we don't see it used anywhere else in the Watchmen film.

Continuity mistake: During the flashback to 1712, Connor and Duncan fight it out with highwaymen who are collecting fake tolls from travelers. Throughout this scene, Duncan McLeod's five-o-clock shadow starts out dark, becoming lighter, then darker, and then almost clean-shaven from shot-to-shot as the fight progresses. This continuity problem persists, to a lesser extent, throughout the film.

18th Jul 2017

Deepwater Horizon (2016)

Factual error: The British Petroleum Deepwater Horizon accident was erroneously characterized by environmental activists, by some U.S. politicians, by the press and by this film as the "worst" manmade oil spill in history. But it was not. The Pemex Ixtoc 1 disaster off the Yucatan peninsula in 1979 was far worse, lasted much longer, and received almost zero press in the United States, even though it impacted virtually every coastline in the Gulf of Mexico for over a year. The Deepwater Horizon spill was hyped far above and beyond its comparatively minor environmental impact for purely political reasons (i.e., it was used to fuel opposition to offshore drilling).

18th Jul 2017

Deepwater Horizon (2016)

Trivia: During the real Deepwater Horizon oil spill, actor Kevin Costner offered his services, claiming that a small company he bought from the U.S. Department of Energy could clean up 90% of the oil in a week, using poorly-tested technology. His offer was accepted, despite zero evidence that the technology ever worked; and it failed miserably, of course.

13th Jul 2017

Hereafter (2010)

Trivia: Given that Clint Eastwood has composed much of the music for his films over the last 25 years, it's not surprising that the soundtracks of "Hereafter" and "Unforgiven" are incredibly similar, if not interchangeable.

13th Jul 2017

Hereafter (2010)

Factual error: At the very beginning, "Hereafter" makes the same factual mistake as was made in "2012" and "San Andreas": Crystal-clear tsunami flood waters. Of course, tsunami floods are always inky-black, filled with churned-up silt, sediment and debris.

Stupidity: In the scene with the water-jug puzzle, both Zeus Carver and John McClane initially suspect that the small carrying case contains a bomb. McClane goes ahead and opens the case, which confirms that it is a bomb (the electronic readout in the case even says: "I AM A BOMB. YOU HAVE JUST ARMED ME"). If they suspected it was a bomb in the first place, why didn't McClane immediately try to warn the dozens of pedestrians all around them to evacuate the area before he opened it? That would be a seasoned police officer's first instinct. Instead, McClane and Carver banter and bicker and never attempt to warn the public, even as the timer is ticking down.

13th Jul 2017

General questions

Question: When did purely percussive movie and television soundtracks become popular? What landmark movie or TV soundtrack set this percussive precedent?

Continuity mistake: We see Vic outside the halfway house, just starting to chop a 4-foot log with a double-bit axe. In the same scene a few moments later, as Joey approaches, Vic has chopped about a third of the way through the log. Problem is, it's a completely different log (different shape, texture and color).

Question: The largest sandstorms ever recorded are less than a mile high (reaching only about 5000 feet in altitude). Isn't 5000 feet considered low altitude for a Fairchild C-119G "Flying Boxcar," which could easily climb over such a storm in a matter of minutes?

Answer: This would most likely be a case of "pilot error." He didn't do what he should have and that led to the accident. If he had flown above the sand storm and didn't crash, then there'd be no movie to watch.

raywest

Trivia: After Charlie Sheen performed brilliantly in such highly-acclaimed Oliver Stone films as "Platoon" and "Wall Street," film maker Stone had a face-to-face meeting with Sheen to discuss him starring in "Born on the Fourth of July." Charlie Sheen came away from the meeting confident that the lead role belonged to him. However, after several weeks, Charlie Sheen was stunned and infuriated to learn (from his brother, Emilio Estevez) that Oliver Stone had chosen Tom Cruise for the lead role. Stone never even bothered to call Sheen with the news. The resulting bad blood between Charlie Sheen and Oliver Stone persists to this day, as the two men have never spoken to one another again.

Continuity mistake: When Prince Nuada defies his father, he kills every royal guardsman in a matter of seconds. There are only two guards left, and he kills them, also, before he kills his father. As he kills his father, we see a background shot of Mr. Wink still fighting a royal guardsman.

13th Jul 2017

I Am Legend (2007)

Factual error: When Robert Neville is driving golf balls off the deck of the ship, he sees a deer on the mainland. He and his dog go in pursuit. In a wide, distant shot, we see the deer fleeing full-tilt down a city street, with Robert Neville pursuing at the same speed as the deer, only about 10 yards behind the animal. Impossible. A panicked deer can run over twice as fast as the fastest human being.

13th Jul 2017

Max Payne (2008)

Continuity mistake: In the final scene on the rooftop helipad, Mark Wahlberg raises his semi-auto handgun and shoots Beau Bridges once, straight through the heart. Bridges is dead before he hits the ground: His knees buckle and he falls face-down, with both arms hanging limp at his sides. The camera cuts to a close-up of Bridges face-down on the helipad, but now his left arm is raised with his hand directly in front of his face. That would only be possible if he fell with his left arm raised after he was shot.

13th Jul 2017

Backcountry (2014)

Factual error: Writer/director Adam MacDonald boasted that he studied black bear predatory behavior and black bear attacks on humans for years in preparation for making this film, because he wanted to depict a black bear attack in as factual and as authentic a manner as possible. But, at the most crucial point in this film (when the black bear actually does attack Alex and Jenn), factual accuracy goes out the window. As Alex and Jenn cower in terror, the bear lunges into their tent and bites into Alex's leg; whereupon, Jenn fires a can of bear spray (a stifling pepper-based chemical) point-blank into the animal's face. The startled bear retreats for a moment, but then lunges into the tent again, dragging Alex outside and killing him; thereafter, the bear continues pursuing Jenn for the remainder of the film. However, according to years of extensive study by the University of Calgary, no bear has ever attacked a human after the animal was sprayed with bear spray, much less resumed an attack, as depicted in this film. To date, the success rate of defensive bear spray is 100%. So, the factual accuracy of "Backcountry" was abandoned for the sake of cheap thrills.

13th Jul 2017

My Blue Heaven (1990)

Revealing mistake: Near the end, when the little league ball field is under construction, mob hit men suddenly appear and Vinnie dives for cover behind a stack of pallets; as soon as Vinnie dives for cover, he almost instantly stands up behind the pallets and opens fire. Of course, Vinnie is played by two people in this shot: A stuntman (who dives) and Steve Martin (who stands up). Watch the right side of the screen, and you will see the shadow of Steve Martin crouched and hiding behind the pallets while the stuntman makes his dive for cover. As the stuntman dives out of sight, you then see Steve Martin's crouched shadow stand straight up.

Continuity mistake: During the big motorcycle chase, we see the windscreen of Ethan's motorcycle is repeatedly smashed-out and then intact, from one shot to the next.

13th Jul 2017

The Big Lebowski (1998)

Question: At the very end of the scene in which Walter and the Dude are spreading Donnie's ashes at the coast, a dark and unidentifiable figure appears for a few seconds in the upper right screen, apparently hiking a trail along the cliff. Was this an accidental walk-on by an actual hiker, or was it written into the script? With all the star-power in this film, I thought every bit of background action was supposed to be meticulously crafted.

Answer: There's no way of knowing. If the hiker was that far away, it could have been someone who happened to stray into the scene by accident. The filmmakers may or may not have noticed, but if they did, may have felt it added to the realism. I did this myself during the filming of a street scene for the TV show, "Northern Exposure." Filming was underway before I realised I was in the midst of it. I just kept walking like I was supposed to be there.

raywest

13th Jul 2017

The Exorcist (1973)

Trivia: While rumors of many deaths and strange events surrounding The Exorcist's production were largely fabricated and/or sensationalized for publicity purposes, two of the film's actors did in fact die before the movie was released. The character of Burke Dennings was killed in the film, and the actor who played him, Jack MacGowran, died of influenza shortly after completing his role. Likewise, the character of Mary Karras (elderly mother of Fr. Damien Karras) died in the film, and the actress who portrayed her, Vasiliki Maliaros, also died of natural causes shortly after completing her role.

13th Jul 2017

The Exorcist (1973)

Trivia: Actress Eileen Dietz doubled for Linda Blair in many of the film's possession sequences, including the infamous projectile-vomiting scene. Dietz, however, received no screen credit for her work, and she later unsuccessfully sued Warner Brothers and the film makers for puking credits.

13th Jul 2017

Doctor Detroit (1983)

Revealing mistake: When Doctor Detroit and his girls make their escape from the automobile salvage yard, they drive a wrecker straight through a large sliding wooden gate, which punches a perfectly clean outline of the truck and Doctor Detroit through the gate. Problem is, the resulting (pre-cut) hole does not match the dimensions of the wrecker or Doctor Detroit at all. In fact, at the point of impact, the stuntman playing Doctor Detroit hugs in close to the wrecker for protection as it plows through the gate, and the outline of his body just magically opens up two feet away from him.

13th Jul 2017

Wrecker (2015)

Deliberate mistake: The wrecker used in this film is a Western Star Model 4964. The manufacturer emblem (a chrome 5-point star superimposed on a large "W") is normally displayed at the top-center of the truck's radiator. Apparently, the film makers could not bring Western Star on board for an advertising agreement, or Western Star specifically objected to their logo appearing in the movie, because the Western Star emblem on the wrecker's radiator is carefully kept out of frame or otherwise obstructed from view throughout the film. For scenes in which a full frontal shot of the wrecker is unavoidable, the Western Star emblem is very deliberately covered up with dark green tape.

13th Jul 2017

Passengers (2016)

Stupidity: At the end, Jim tells Aurora that the medical diagnostic and treatment unit "AutoDoc" can place her back into a state of hibernation so that she can complete the journey to Homestead II. She immediately objects, saying, "But there's only one AutoDoc!" (i.e., saying she won't do it if it means leaving Jim behind). Really? Only one AutoDoc unit on a half-mile-long starship with over 5,000 passengers and crewmen? Stupidity.

Question: As I always understood Ant-Man, he always retained the same mass, regardless of his physical size. When he reduces his size, he still retains about 160 lbs of mass, which makes him more formidable, like a 160 lb grain of sand. When he enlarges, even to gigantic size, he is still only 160 lbs. So, how can he kick vehicles around in the airport scene?

Answer: We never get a specific explanation to what happens to him when he enlarges. Hank Pym explains to him that when he shrinks, it's the result of reducing the distance between atoms which is why he retains his original mass. However, being a giant with a mass and strength of only 160lbs would not be very advantageous in a fight, so they must have found a way for him to grow in size and strength in this situation. Ultimately, we just don't know - the movies and comics differ in a great many respects, so there's just not enough information to work with. Might technically qualify as a mistake, but it's something which could easy be solved with an in-universe answer, however scientifically dubious.

Serious B