Charles Austin Miller

20th Oct 2017

The Children (2008)

New this week Continuity mistake: At the end, Casey and Elaine flee the house in the Volvo and find Chloe's crashed SUV. As Casey goes to investigate the SUV on foot, Miranda suddenly comes sprinting out of the woods, intending to kill Casey. To save Casey, Elaine rams Miranda with the Volvo, slamming her into the rear of the SUV. A camera shot from inside the SUV looking out shows that Miranda impacted right in the center of the SUV's rear hatch. In the same shot, we see Miranda's lifeless body slowly slide straight down the hatch, meaning her body should have collapsed directly between the Volvo and the SUV. But when the camera cuts to an exterior view, we see Miranda's lifeless body stretched out in the snow a couple of feet away from the Volvo's front right fender (so her body is now about 6 feet away from where it should be).

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Charles Austin Miller

New this month Trivia: Longtime actor Michael Keaton seems permanently attached to winged superhero roles. Keaton began the superhero phase of his career in 1989 as "Batman" in the original film and its first sequel. Keaton was nominated for an Academy Award for 2014's "Birdman," playing a washed-up actor who was once a flying superhero movie star. In "Spiderman: Homecoming," Keaton plays the high-flying villain Adrian Toomes (aka "Vulture").

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Charles Austin Miller

9th Oct 2017

Willard (1971)

New this month Continuity mistake: When Willard goes to confront his boss, Al Martin, about killing Socrates earlier that day, we get a good view all around Al Martin's office. There are a few rats on the desk, coffee table and a chair; but there are absolutely no rats climbing the curtains. Al Martin realises Willard is insane and they struggle briefly, whereupon a single rat leaps on Martin's arm and bites him as he screams. In that moment, seven rats suddenly appear climbing high up on the curtains behind Al Martin. The camera makes a one-second cut to Willard for his famous line, "Tear him up!" The camera immediately cuts back to Al Martin, and now all the rats have disappeared from the curtains in the background.

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Charles Austin Miller

28th Sep 2017

The Prestige (2006)

New this month Question: At the beginning, Robert Angier (the Great Danton) travels to Colorado Springs to see Nikola Tesla. When Angier meets Tesla's assistant, Alley, it's obvious that his arrival was not expected. Angier then explains that Tesla had built a machine for Angier's colleague (and Angier wants to purchase the same or similar machine). However, when Alfred Borden gave Angier the "Tesla" clue, it was a complete ruse to waste Angier's time and money and throw him far off the much simpler secret of The Transported Man trick. Tesla had never built such a machine for Borden and had never attempted to build a teleportation device before. So, why did Tesla just agree to build the mysterious machine without questioning Angier's "colleague" remark? Was Tesla colluding with Alfred Borden? And why?

Charles Austin Miller

New this month Chosen answer: Tesla was not colluding with anyone...he built Borden a simple machine that created lightning effects. So Borden thinks Tesla is just a red herring, and he has no idea Tesla can actually build a teleportation device. Tesla, however, takes on the challenge, and ends up inventing the cloning machine. He doesn't think anything of the remark about Borden because he did, in fact, build a machine for him...just not the one Angier is thinking of.

22nd Sep 2017

Twin Peaks (2017)

Part 16 - S1-E16

Bushnell Mullins: What about the FBI?
Dale Cooper: I AM the FBI.

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Charles Austin Miller

14th Sep 2017

Croc (2007)

Continuity mistake: When Andy Konsong discovers his brother's mutilated body in the bloody swimming pool, he vomits, then tries calling for help on his cellphone. As he makes his call, the gigantic crocodile lunges out of the pool and bites off Andy's arm, cellphone and all, above the elbow. Andy screams, staggers and lands on his back, but his only injury thus far is his severed right arm. His mouth is not bloody at all, nor should it be. The camera cuts to another angle as the crocodile lunges a second time; but, before it even enters the frame and bites into his legs, Andy's mouth is suddenly full of blood, his teeth are bloody, and blood is streaming down his chin, even though he has suffered no abdominal injuries.

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Charles Austin Miller

6th Sep 2017

Colossal (2016)

Continuity mistake: At the end, when Gloria hurls Oscar completely out of sight beyond the horizon, a huge crowd of South Koreans rush up directly behind Gloria, cheering and applauding, only a few feet away from her. The camera cuts to a frontal shot of Gloria, and now the crowd is 30 feet or more in the background.

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Charles Austin Miller

6th Sep 2017

Damien: Omen II (1978)

Factual error: After the raven attacks journalist Joan Hart, pecking her eyes out, she blindly staggers into the highway and is run down by a Mack tractor-trailer. As the truck locks up its brakes and strikes her, we see Joan Hart levitate straight up into the air, arc completely over the truck's massive front-end (even over the cab of the truck), and finally impact the top of the freight trailer, which is about 13 feet in height. More than merely absurd-looking, this sequence utterly defies Newtonian physics. From her standing position at ground level, Joan Hart should have been instantly pulverized on impact and launched many meters down the road in the same direction the truck is traveling.

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Charles Austin Miller

6th Sep 2017

I.Q. (1994)

Factual error: Following his lecture on cold fusion, Ed Walters attends a reception, mingling with the academic crowd. At one point, millionaire Louis Bamberger approaches Walters and excitedly presents him with a Bic 4-Color Ballpoint Pen, which suggests that the pen was new on the market in the early-to-mid 1950s. Problem is, the Bic 4-Color Ballpoint Pen wasn't invented and marketed until 1974, some 20 years after the setting of this film.

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Charles Austin Miller

6th Sep 2017

Excalibur (1981)

Trivia: Producer/screenwriter/director John Boorman deliberately chose renowned stage actors Nicol Williamson and Helen Mirren to play the sorcerer Merlin and the sorceress Morgana, knowing very well that Williamson and Mirren hated each other in real life (because of a disastrous stage production of Macbeth they worked in years earlier). Boorman anticipated real friction, tension and anger between the two actors, which was the effect he wanted onscreen. On the contrary, the experience of working together in "Excalibur" completely changed Nicol Williamson and Helen Mirren into the best of friends.

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Charles Austin Miller

Factual error: The Kiss of the Dragon acupuncture point, known as "Point 15," is in a delicate area of the spinal column, a little below the second cervical vertebra. It's a definite knock-out target in fighting, and it can even be a lethal target. But Jet Li's explanation that it somehow prevents blood from flowing away from the brain is pure nonsense.

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Charles Austin Miller

Question: Sean Connery took dancing lessons for 11 years in his youth, and he surely knew how to dance when he made this film in his 50s. So, why is his choreographed tango with Kim Basinger in this film so painfully, embarrassingly awkward and heavily edited? Is this perhaps due to the fact that Kim Basinger had virtually no dancing skills?

Charles Austin Miller

Chosen answer: Neither is a professional dancer. Having studied dancing some thirty years before does not mean someone has retained the same level of skills. As you mentioned, Connery was in his 50s by that time.

raywest

6th Sep 2017

Sin City (2005)

Question: While re-watching "Sin City" on HBO recently, I realised that the closed captioning for this film has been noticeably censored. While the audio track seems intact, every instance of the word "fag" results in that entire line of dialogue being omitted from closed captioning. Is this strangely selective closed captioning censorship featured on the original "Sin City" DVD, or is this HBO's own particular brand of censorship?

Charles Austin Miller

Chosen answer: The word "fag" is only used once in the entire movie, spoken by Becky who refers to a club called the Amigo as a "fag joint." The omission in the subtitles might just be an oversight. HBO is known for having original content that pushes the envelope of what people consider to be tasteful (such as "Game of Thrones" and "The Sopranos") so it's highly unlikely that they would be resorting to censorship.

Serious B

Factual error: Scarlett and George use the Rose Key to translate the inscription on the back of Flamel's ancient tombstone, and it translates into a rhyming English lyric puzzle. Problem is, they are translating this lyric puzzle from Aramaic (an ancient and virtually dead Middle Eastern language) to modern English. Aramaic would not and could not translate into rhyming modern English.

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Charles Austin Miller

6th Sep 2017

Auto Focus (2002)

Trivia: When "Auto Focus" debuted, Bob Crane's son, Scotty Crane, complained loudly that the film was completely inaccurate and misleading. Scotty said that, while his father had been a lifelong sex-addict who recorded and photographed sex acts as far back as 1956, he was not a church-goer (as depicted in the film), he never tried S&M (as depicted in the film), and that he only started socializing with John Henry Carpenter in 1975, long after the Hogan's Heroes TV series ended, just 3 years before the unsolved murder that took Bob Crane's life. The film jumbles all of these events out of chronological order, omitting factual events while fabricating pure fantasy events for no other reason than to sensationalize Crane's troubled life and death.

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Charles Austin Miller

6th Sep 2017

Auto Focus (2002)

Deliberate mistake: Although much of Auto Focus revolves around the 1960s hit television series "Hogan's Heroes," the producers of this independent film could not work out a licensing agreement with CBS regarding the famous "Hogan's Heroes" theme music. As a result, the familiar "Hogan's Heroes" theme music is entirely absent from Auto Focus, replaced with contrived theme music that isn't even remotely similar to the original.

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Charles Austin Miller

6th Sep 2017

The Evil Dead (1981)

Continuity mistake: When Shelly is possessed, she and Scotty fight and she amputates her own right hand before she goes down. Moments later, she comes back to life and Scotty starts dismembering her with an axe, starting with her left hand. We plainly see the axe come down full-force on her left wrist. However, in two subsequent shots, we see her intact left arm and hand in the foreground, reaching for Scotty as he continues chopping.

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Charles Austin Miller

6th Sep 2017

Solaris (2002)

Trivia: The original 1961 story by Polish sci-fi writer Stanisław Lem was about the utter futility of attempted communications between humans and intelligent extraterrestrial species, because humans and aliens would have no common physical or psychological frame of reference for any attempted communication. For example, in the book, human scientists study the ocean planet Solaris for many decades without ever deciphering what they think are intelligent, changing patterns on the planet's fluid surface. They attempt to provoke a response from Solaris by firing X-rays at the planet, and the planet responds by reaching into the minds of the scientists and creating physical manifestations of their most guilty and painful memories. This has a traumatic effect on the baffled scientists, of course, and they have no idea what kind of communication they have established. Ultimately, the human scientists realise that the intelligence of Solaris is so vastly different from human intelligence, no meaningful interspecies communication is possible. This is a common theme in other works by Stanislaw Lem.

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Charles Austin Miller

22nd Aug 2017

M*A*S*H (1972)

Trivia: Throughout its long run on American television, M*A*S*H employed "canned laughter" (recorded audience laughter used to punctuate humorous lines of dialogue and comedic antics). However, the producers deliberately omitted the canned laughter in every surgery scene, even when the jokes were still flying thick and fast.

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Charles Austin Miller

22nd Aug 2017

M*A*S*H (1972)

Trivia: Jamie Farr (who played the cross-dressing Corporal and later Sergeant Maxwell Klinger) really did serve in the U.S. Army in Japan and Korea for two years, starting in 1955. When he joined the M*A*S*H television series in the 1970s, Jamie Farr wore his actual U.S. Army dog-tags in every appearance.

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Charles Austin Miller