Best adventure movie mistakes of 2004
Factual error: As Ben is clinging to the staircase while it is falling apart, there is a close-up of a nail being pulled out of the wood. This nail is round-headed, rather than square as it would have been over 200 years ago. It's also shiny instead of rusty, which indicates that it's galvanized. Galvanization as an industrial, metal-preservation process was not patented until 1837, and was not used in building materials until well into the late-1800s. Since the film states the staircase was made by "the Founding Fathers, " and there was no galvanization of iron nails in any industrialized nation in 1780s-1830's, this is a huge anachronism.
Other mistake: At the end of the film when they arrive in NYC looking for the library, we know that they survived because they are inside with a roaring fire burning. But where is the smoke up above, as Jack Hall approaches? There must be a chimney, or else they would have all died of asphyxiation.
Continuity mistake: When Malfoy and his friends bother Ron and Hermione, Harry shows up and messes with the three boys. He grabs hold of Malfoy's feet, lifts them in the air and pulls him across the snow. In the first close-up of the soles of Malfoy's boots, not a speck of snow is on them, though he was just walking in it. Then in the next close-up, his feet still in the air, the soles are now covered in snow.
Continuity mistake: Hellboy tosses Dr. Manning through the quickly-closing door to escape the pendulum on the bridge - he barely makes it under. Hellboy then spends thirty seconds dodging the pendulum, but when he dives for the door it's still closing at the same point and speed - just enough for him to pass.
Factual error: I normally wouldn't bother with this sort of nitpicking, but this film specifically claims to be historically researched - and it's full of historical blunders. For a start, the film is set as the Empire withdraws its last troops from Britain - which was in 407 AD. Now Artorius Castus was a real Roman officer who really did command Sarmatian foederati at Hadrian's Wall, but he died around 200 AD. Cerdic was a real Saxon warlord who did go raiding the Britons with his son Cynric, but he did this in the early 500s. Pelagius really was tried for heresy, but he was acquitted and died of old age; the trial was a decade after this setting, and in the fifth century you couldn't be executed for heresy anyway. Also in the fifth century the Pope had no authority over Imperial troops. I could go on and on but that will do for now.
Factual error: After the scene where they fall over the waterfall, and go through what they have left of the equipment. Bill, the Latino doctor, holds up the CD-reader from a desktop computer and says that the hard drive is broken, which would be OK if he actually had the hard drive present.
Factual error: Townes taxis the C119 far too close to the buildings next to the oil platform. The nose of the plane is almost touching the wall. The only anchoring point on a C119 for a taxiing tractor is on the nose wheel, and he hasn't left enough space for the tractor to link up and turn the aircraft without the wing (and engine) hitting the building. There are no anchoring points on a C119 that allow it to be towed backwards, even if they could steer it that way.
Continuity mistake: As the priest descends down the rope ladder into the church for the first time he is handed a lantern by his friend. In the next shot the camera is looking down and you can see that the friend is holding the lantern. Then the next person goes down the same rope ladder and the friend is not holding the lantern, where did the lantern go?
Continuity mistake: When Emily is spying on Cody on the sightseeing bus, she sits down and the camera goes to a close up of her face and we see small worm like camera device comes out of the right side of her sunglasses, but when it cuts to the next shot, further back from her face, we can see the device has disappeared even though no time has passed between shots.
Continuity mistake: When the crew is in the submarine and they're just about to see the shark, Steve is holding on to the steering wheel. But when the view is of the steering wheel and little windows, no hands are on the wheel. Cut back to the crew, Steve is once again holding on to the wheel.
Continuity mistake: A montage scene of newspaper headlines early on has March 12, 1939 as the date. Much later in the film, Jude Law asks Gwyneth Paltrow the date so he can calculate the position of a star. She responds "March 2" but there is absolutely nothing to indicate that nearly a year has passed.
Continuity mistake: When Creasy's friend Ray is sitting on the couch at the Agency for Federal Investigation and calls Creasy an artist of death, from a side shot he eats a piece of food, licks his fingers clean, and from the shot it is clear that he is holding nothing in his hand. However, on the next shot from the front, Ray is holding something in the same hand, points to it with the other hand, leans forward and throws it on a plate, then picks up a napkin and wipes off the fingers he had just licked clean in the shot before.
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