Charles Austin Miller

2nd Oct 2018

Dark Shadows (1966)

Show generally

New this month Continuity mistake: Over the course of many Dark Shadows episodes set in the year 1795, Countess Natalie Dupres' dark, distinct, three-dimensional facial mole changes sides from left jaw to right jaw, briefly vanishes altogether, then returns as a faint, painted beauty mark on her right jaw.

Charles Austin Miller

New this month Trivia: A phrase that is traditionally attributed to Liberace is "crying all the way to the bank." Liberace used the phrase throughout his career as a response to critics who often derided his extravagance and flamboyance on stage (in spite of the fact that he was a popular and financial success). The first documented time Liberace used the phrase was following a reception at Madison Square Garden (New York City) in 1956, when he humorously remarked, "The take was terrific, but the critics killed me. My brother George cried all the way to the bank." Thereafter, Liberace used the phrase so often that, over the decades, he came to be regarded as the originator of "crying all the way to the bank"; some sources have even retro-credited him with originating the phrase as far back as 1954. However, newspaper columnist Walter Winchell apparently originated the phrase in 1946, nearly a decade before Liberace started using it.

Charles Austin Miller

25th Sep 2018

Dark Shadows (1966)

New this month Trivia: Of Dark Shadows' 1225 videotaped episodes, the master tapes of 30 episodes were inadvertently destroyed by the time the series went into syndication. Of the 30 episodes destroyed, 9 were black and white (from the series' first year) and 21 were full-color. Fortunately, 29 of the destroyed episodes were recovered, but only as black-and-white kinescope copies. Thus, when watching the entire original series today, the sequential episodes occasionally switch from color to black-and-white and back to color, with much lower image resolution in the black-and-white kinescope copies. The last episode (number 1225) was lost and the video was never recovered; only an audio backup existed. So, the final episode can only be seen today as a slideshow of production stills accompanied by the audio backup.

Charles Austin Miller

21st Sep 2018

Dark Shadows (1966)

New this month Trivia: In the opening lines of episode 286, when Victoria Winters admits that she feels very close to the late Josette Collins, Barnabas says, "It's very easy for me to believe that you are descended from Josette." Except that Barnabas knew very well Josette had no descendants; Josette died childless in the late 18th Century (a suicide). The implication is that Victoria is a reincarnation of Josette. Later in the series, however, Victoria travels back in time and actually meets Josette, but the two characters share no closeness at all, even though they share the same soul.

Charles Austin Miller

21st Sep 2018

Dark Shadows (1966)

New this month Trivia: Actor Dennis Patrick brilliantly portrayed the cruel, manipulative character of Jason McGuire in the first and second seasons of the show. In the story line, Jason McGuire was blackmailing Elizabeth Collins-Stoddard for the death of her husband, Paul Stoddard, 18 years earlier. Deservedly, Jason McGuire was murdered by Barnabas Collins. Two years later, Dennis Patrick returned to the show, this time portraying Elizabeth's long-lost and very-much-alive husband Paul Stoddard.

Charles Austin Miller

21st Sep 2018

Dark Shadows (1966)

New this month Trivia: A prominent first-season character, Burke Devlin was originally portrayed by actor Mitchell Ryan. However, Ryan was abruptly fired from the show in 1967 due to his alcoholism. Actor Anthony George assumed the remainder of the role until Burke Devlin's death (in a plane crash) in 1968.

Charles Austin Miller

21st Sep 2018

Dark Shadows (1966)

New this month Trivia: Barnabas is typically seen wearing a gold ring with a large black onyx stone on his right hand (as also depicted in both of his portraits). However, depending on the requirements of the camera shot, the ring occasionally appeared on his left hand (as when Barnabas reached from his coffin to strangle Jason McGuire, for one example).

Charles Austin Miller

Revealing mistake: Early in the film, when Commander Chris Draper is still wearing his space gear on the Martian surface, multiple helmet reflections reveal that at least two and as many as four powerful artificial light sources (in addition to the Sun) were used to illuminate the exterior scenes.

Charles Austin Miller

10th Sep 2018

Fireball XL5 (1962)

Trivia: The characters of "Fireball XL5" frequently left the protection of their spacecraft and floated around in open space with no helmets or spacesuits whatsoever. Producer Gerry Anderson's lame explanation was that, in the year 2067, spacefarers used "oxygen pills" that not only kept them oxygenated but also protected them from vacuum, lethal radiation and temperature extremes (so they didn't need spacesuits). In reality, the "Fireball XL5" characters didn't wear spacesuits or helmets because costume changes meant literally ripping the previous costumes off the puppets and meticulously sewing on new costumes, which would have exceeded the show's production schedule and budget.

Charles Austin Miller

Stupidity: As the movie progresses, we see the deranged killer, Martin, collecting a dozen victims for his Human Centipede project and depositing the victims in a sealed chamber. Every time we see the victims, they are nude, face-down (always in the same positions on the floor), struggling and moaning and sobbing. However, their hands are only duct-taped behind their backs, and their ankles are duct-taped. There is nothing to prevent these victims from rolling over, sitting up, standing, and even assisting each other to escape. Yet they never change positions or attempt to escape.

Charles Austin Miller

Factual error: During the surgical operation, Dr. Heiter makes incisions on the buttocks for the triangular flaps of connecting flesh; but the flaps are pointing outward, rather than inward. The only way to graft the buttock flesh to the face of the next subject would be with the buttock incisions pointing inward.

Charles Austin Miller

10th Sep 2018

The Exorcist (1973)

Trivia: For the scene in which Father Dyer rushes to give last rites to Father Karras before his death, actor William O'Malley (who played Dyer) was not conveying the urgency, anxiety and grief that director William Friedkin wanted for the scene. According to O'Malley, William Friedkin grabbed O'Malley by the shoulders, screamed and cursed in his face and slapped him before rolling the camera. Thus, O'Malley was authentically shaken up, trembling and on the verge of sobbing in that scene.

Charles Austin Miller

10th Sep 2018

Tom Horn (1980)

Factual error: In this poorly-researched film ("based on a true story"), Tom Horn lugs around a government-issue, lever-action 45.60 caliber rifle and even claims that he prefers the 45.60 because the ammunition is plentiful wherever he goes. However, there is no historical or biographical record of Tom Horn carrying and using a 45.60 rifle. In point of fact, the real Tom Horn's weapon of choice was the lever-action 30.30 rifle (a common range weapon of the day, often known as a "brushbuster"). When Tom Horn was arrested for murder in real life, he was carrying his 30.30 rifle, but a 45.60 cartridge was discovered in his pocket. This film fabricated its fictional plot around that 45.60 cartridge found in his possession.

Charles Austin Miller

Factual error: In his crude attempt to replicate the Human Centipede surgical procedure, Martin employs several handyman tools, including a carpenter's staple gun (using T50 staples as sutures). Problem is, carpenter's staples would never join soft human body tissues, they'd pull right out with little effort (T50 staples only join to very solid base materials, such as wood). Martin's victims, hysterical as they were, could have freed themselves from the T50 staples almost immediately.

Charles Austin Miller

3rd Sep 2018

Fireball XL5 (1962)

Show generally

Question: In various episodes, Steve Zodiac, Venus and Matt use odd slang, such as "tootie" and "tooties" and "toot," usually in a demeaning or disparaging way. Venus says, "I'm a tootie!" when she forgets to make the coffee, for example, and Steve says "I'm a tootie!" when he forgets to press a certain button or something. In at least one episode, Matt is called "a cheating old toot." I gather that saying "toot" or "tootie" is like saying "fool" or "doofus" or something similar. Is this slang that producer Gerry Anderson just arbitrarily dreamed up? Or is it part of an English dialect that I've never heard elsewhere?

Charles Austin Miller

28th Aug 2018

Deadpool 2 (2018)

Question: In the first timeline ending, Russell (Firefist) is not convinced or changed by Deadpool's pleading; in fact, he casts Deadpool aside. Cable then lunges for the semi-auto handgun and takes his last shot, which is intercepted by Deadpool in his left chest (a fatal wound). Seemingly, the only thing that really changed Russell's mind was Deadpool's actual death scene, as Deadpool rambled on with his farewells and gradually faded away. But, in the alternate ending, Cable goes back in time a few minutes and uses an arcade token to stop the bullet that killed Deadpool; thus, Deadpool doesn't die from the gunshot and Russell doesn't react to Deadpool's farewells (that never happened). So, what event changed Russell's mind the second time, if not Deadpool's actual death?

Charles Austin Miller

Answer: His change of heart came from Deadpool's sacrifice. In the second timeline, Cable saves Deadpool, but Deadpool had no way of knowing. Firefist still has a change of heart because Deadpool was willing to sacrifice himself, even though he was ultimately saved by someone else.

Jason Hoffman

Now, I can accept that in theory, except that Russell repeatedly saw Deadpool putting his ass on the line to rescue Russell. I mean, Russell knew from the very beginning that Deadpool could have killed him (but chose not to) and took some severe ass-beatings on Russell's behalf. Russell was really, really hard-boiled, and I'm not seeing that Deadpool almost getting killed as enough impetus to change Russell's heart. It seems (to me, anyway) it was Deadpool's actual death that changed Russell, such that a mere deflected bullet would not have the same effect.

Charles Austin Miller

Answer: In science fiction there are two different ideas regarding time travel. In one, the timeline is fixed, so a person who goes back in time does what already happened in their own past, like in The Time Traveler's Wife - however, this is where the grandfather paradox comes in. The other theory as express in the Back to the Future series is the past can be changed and in so doing change the future for the person who changed it. Deadpool 2 follows the second concept, so Firefist doesn't need any motivation to go back the second time and in fact doesn't go back a second time since the timeline is already corrected and that doesn't present a contradiction.

jimba

It presents the contradiction that Deadpool's actual death broke Firefist's cold heart the first time; but the second time Deadpool doesn't die, so Firefist should have no change of heart.

Charles Austin Miller

"except that Russell repeatedly saw Deadpool putting his ass on the line to rescue Russell." Yes, but there's a huge difference between risking your life to save someone and directly sacrificing yourself. Doing something that could get you killed and doing something that will definitely get you killed are entirely different. You may not agree with the change of heart, but that's how it's presented.

Jason Hoffman

Answer: The Firefist the second time around is the one from the first who jumped back in time retaining those memories, and therefore remembers the events from the first time, just like he remembers to place the token to stop the bullet and remembers that he used the device a second time. He doesn't need to experience the death twice to have the change of heart remain.

jimba

"Firefist" is Russell, the dangerous mutant kid with severe emotional problems. Russell is the kid that both Deadpool and Cable are trying to stop, and Cable is the one with the time-jump device.

Charles Austin Miller

Trivia: For the memorable confrontation between two Japanese Mitsubishi A6M Zeroes and two American F-14 Tomcats, a trial flyby was close enough that powerful air turbulence from the passing jets violently threw both Zeroes out of control for a few seconds, like toys. The lead Zero pilot even lost his wristwatch and communications headset, which were vacuumed out of the open canopy. Out of radio contact for several seconds, the condition of the Zero pilots was unknown. Camera angles and distances between all the aircraft were modified so as not to further endanger the Zeroes for the final take as seen in the film.

Charles Austin Miller

18th Aug 2018

Deadpool 2 (2018)

Continuity mistake: When Deadpool and Cable confront Russell (Firefist) near the end, Cable glances to his right and says: "There's one bullet left in that gun!" We see a closeup of the semi-automatic several feet away, and the handgun is elevated above ground level, resting on a slab of concrete with a bit of flame burning just inches away. Moments later, as Deadpool pleads with Russell, Cable again glances at the gun, which is now lying in the dirt, below the level of the nearest concrete slab.

Charles Austin Miller

18th Aug 2018

Silent Running (1972)

Trivia: The interior shots of the American Airlines Space Freighter "Valley Forge" were actually filmed aboard the Korean-War-era aircraft carrier "USS Valley Forge" (LPH-8) at the Long Beach Naval Shipyard in California. After filming was completed, the decommissioned aircraft carrier "Valley Forge" was scrapped.

Charles Austin Miller

Trivia: Early in the film, as the Salt and Son theatrical troupe performs their stage version of Munchausen's adventures, the Baron is eaten by a giant fish; two mermaids immediately enter stage-left and sing a mournful ditty modestly accompanied by the pit orchestra: "What will become of the Baron? Surely this time there is no escape!" To those with sharp ears, this ditty is the same tune as the soaring, symphonic Baron Munchausen theme music featured throughout the movie.

Charles Austin Miller

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