Charles Austin Miller

New today Question: Isn't this film blatantly derivative of Guillermo del Toro's earlier films, "HellBoy" and "HellBoy: The Golden Army"? It seems to me that the Asset in "The Shape of Water" is a direct knock-off Abe Sapien from the Hellboy films. The amphibious Asset is held at a top secret facility, as was Abe Sapien; the Asset is fed hard-boiled eggs, as was Abe Sapien; the Asset develops a love interest and romantic relationship with a female air-breather, as did Abe Sapien. To top it off, del Toro called in contortionist-actor Doug Jones to play the Asset in "The Shape of Water" (Doug Jones also played Abe Sapien in the HellBoy films). "Shape of Water" could almost be a spin-off the old HellBoy films, given Guillermo del Toro's involvement and recycling of familiar themes.

Charles Austin Miller

New today Answer: There are a lot of Hellboy fans who speculate this is an origin story of Abe, or at the very least the Asset is the same species, but del Torro has denied it. Abe is a copyrighted character that del Torro's Hellboy was based on, and he doesn't own the copyright. In addition, prior to The Shape of Water, del Torro was in talks with Universal about remaking "The Creature from the Black Lagoon", only making the movie center on the creature's (Gill-Man) perspective and getting together with Kay (the female lead). Del Torro has stated that the Amphibious Man is based on Gill-Man and this film is what he had pitched to Universal, but was turned down by them. Although, a creature developing a love interest in a human female isn't unique, nor is capturing a creature to study (both happen to Gill-Man, Abe, and Amphibious Man). But the fact that Doug Jones plays both Abe and the Amphibious Man only seems to strengthen theories of some connection to Hellboy, but at this point we only have del Torro's word that it's not and why he choose the creature to be so similar at this point would only be a guess.

Bishop73

New this week Continuity mistake: Near the beginning of the film, Bill Murray takes a seat front-row-center in court. Moments later, he's doing push-ups in the corridor. A few moments later, he's back in the same seat front-row-center in the courtroom.

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Charles Austin Miller

26th Nov 2017

Psycho II (1983)

New this month Trivia: For the last murder scene, when Norman brains his mother with a shovel in the kitchen (the only murder Norman actually commits in the entire film), his mother turns into a life-size dummy just before the fatal blow. You notice that she inexplicably leans far forward and bows her head (to hide her face for the dummy transition) just before Norman hammers her. This scene took several days to shoot, to get the transition just perfect, and it is the best practical special effect in the movie.

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Charles Austin Miller

26th Nov 2017

Bleed for This (2016)

New this month Factual error: When Vinny Panzienza has his cervical halo brace removed (without anesthetics), he yells and groans and grunts in pain, but his hands are relaxed on the arms of the chair. I can tell you, from experience with this exact situation, the pain is so intense that his hands should have been clenched as tight as a vise.

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Charles Austin Miller

24th Nov 2017

K-Pax (2001)

New this month Question: Despite Dr. Mark Powell's certainty that "Prot" is a delusional man named Robert Porter who lost his mind and attempted suicide years earlier, no explanation is ever given for Prot's extraordinary resistance to powerful psychiatric drugs, his superhuman vision (into the Ultraviolet range), and his knowledge of deep-space astrophysics, which not only rivals but exceeds the knowledge of Earthly astrophysicists. Prot's enigmatic abilities are tested by experts, and the experts are left scratching their heads. The probability that Prot actually is an alien entity occupying a deeply-damaged and "discarded" human body seems confirmed on many levels, above and beyond the rantings of a mere mental patient. So, why does Dr. Powell consistently reject the hard evidence before his eyes?

Charles Austin Miller

New this month Answer: He rejects it for two main reasons. First, each of the items you mention have possible, even if unlikely, explanations. Some people have strange or no reaction to certain drugs (for example I have almost no response to any painkillers). People who have had their corneas replaced with artificial lens can see near ultraviolet (though nowhere near 300-400 angstroms). The sheriff described Porter as being very bright, and he was in to astronomy, so while a great stretch, not impossible he somehow formulated the information he presented. The second reason, building upon these, is Occam's razor. As a person in the sciences, Dr. Powell is driven to believe things have a reasonable explanation, even if we don't currently know what it is, and thinking Prot is just a bright and unusual human is a more reasonable belief to him than believing Prot is an alien possessing a human's body.

jimba

Just remarking, there's no comparison of painkillers and psychiatric drugs. Thorazine and Haloperidol (Haldol) are both powerful anti-psychotic drugs with numerous side effects. Prot is immune to Thorazine and Haloperidol (as well as alcohol), which is more than extraordinary, it's otherworldly.

Charles Austin Miller

New this month Revealing mistake: At the beginning of the film, even though the sky is cloudless and clear blue, the streets and highways are uniformly wet, as if a storm had just swept the area. Then, even though all of the vehicles on the highway are raising clouds of wet spray, none of the vehicle windshields are splattered with moisture, and none of the vehicles are using their windshield wipers. In fact, the only time we see a woman use her windshield wipers is when the guy throws a lit blunt onto the woman's windshield and it catches some dry leaves there on fire. So, in summation, dry leaves catch fire on the windshield of a car in spite of heavy road spray on a wet highway on a cloudless day. Multiple inconsistencies.

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Charles Austin Miller

New this month Question: In the tavern, the dwarves emphatically tell the huntsman that dwarven females are so repulsive that dwarf reproduction only happens accidentally, in bad lighting and under the influence of drink. Which sounds quite repulsive. But, when the huntsman and male dwarves are later captured in the net trap, the female dwarves turn out to be perfectly lovely, even quite sexy. Then, even stranger, one of the male dwarves later apologizes for the appearance of a lovely female dwarf (who is standing right next to him in plain sight), claiming that she was hit in the face with a rock. So, what was the purpose of the male dwarves obsessively lying about the beauty of female dwarves? Or were the male dwarves blind to true beauty for some reason?

Charles Austin Miller

New this month Answer: Most likely it was to protect dwarf females by deterring other males' interest in them with tales of their ugliness. Men are less likely to pursue unattractive women.

raywest

New this month Question: During the botched raid on the university campus, the troops move in too quickly (alerting Bruce Banner), and General Ross snarls, "I wanna know who jumped the gun!" Did General Ross ever find out who jumped the gun? Was it Emil Blonsky? If it was Blonsky, why did General Ross never reprimand him?

Charles Austin Miller

New this month Answer: Since some time has passed probably between the Hulk taking Betty to safety and General Ross talking to Doc Sampson, there's a possibility that he was told who was responsible for alerting Bruce to their presence. When Bruce looks up, it isn't Blonsky he saw but another soldier.

21st Nov 2017

Speed (1994)

New this month Factual error: At the airport, Jack attempts to disarm the bus bomb from underneath, on a dolly towed by another vehicle. Meanwhile, Annie must continue driving the bus in circles on the runway at a speed above 50 mph. This scene takes 8 minutes, meaning Annie makes at least 2 laps of the entire 2-mile-long runway, complete with turns at the ends. There is no way that the towed dolly could remain positioned directly underneath the bus through the turns, as Jack would have swung out under centrifugal force.

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Charles Austin Miller

21st Nov 2017

Speed (1994)

New this month Continuity mistake: Early in the film, Jack shoots Harry through the left thigh (taking the hostage out of the equation). At the police awards ceremony, Harry is using a cane on his right side and his limp favors his right leg. After the ceremony, in the bar, when Harry gets drunk and starts to leave, he's using his cane on the left side and his limp favors his left leg.

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Charles Austin Miller

New this month Trivia: When Scotty and Kirk are discussing the mysterious fate of Capt. Balthazar Edison, Scotty mentions a couple of theories, including the possibility that the USS Franklin was "captured by a giant green space hand." This is a direct allusion to the original Star Trek television episode "Who Mourns for Adonis?" in which the giant green hand of the Greek god Apollo actually grabs the USS Enterprise in space. Also, during the kaleidoscopic end credits of "Star Trek: Beyond" (specifically, at the moment the credits read "Paramount Pictures and Skydance Pictures present"), a giant green space hand reaches straight for the camera.

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Charles Austin Miller

3rd Nov 2017

The Good Son (1993)

Trivia: For the treehouse sequence, young Macaulay Culkin and Elijah Wood made the 30-foot climb up the tree themselves, with no safety nets or wires. However, the tree was mostly surrounded (everything outside of the camera frame) with elaborate scaffolding, sufficient to support all the camera crew and equipment, so the boys were always within arm's reach of an adult.

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Charles Austin Miller

3rd Nov 2017

The Mexican (2001)

Audio problem: During the failed kidnapping attempt at the mall, Nancy Sinatra's "These Boots Are Made for Walking" is playing over the mall sound system, and the song is badly edited to extend it for the duration of the scene. In the actual song, Nancy Sinatra famously says, "Are you ready, boots? Start walkin'!" only once. But, in this movie's chopped-up version, she says it twice.

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Charles Austin Miller

27th Oct 2017

The Ring (2002)

Revealing mistake: After Rachel tumbles down the well, we see her heavy-duty Eveready Commander Flashlight, 12-volt battery and all, bobbing above the surface of the water like a cork. Which is ridiculous. A real 12-volt Commander Flashlight would sink like a rock, because it weighs about 4 pounds. However, the filmmakers needed to explain how Rachel could see at the bottom of a pitch-black well, so they used a lightweight, floating flashlight prop, supposedly providing a light source for the scene.

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Charles Austin Miller

Continuity mistake: Near the beginning, J.M. Barrie encounters Sylvia and the children in the park and performs a dancing bear routine with his dog, Porthos, for their entertainment. Afterwards, Barrie is kneeling with his arms around the dog as Sylvia and the children depart. The camera cuts for just a moment to the children as they say goodbye. As the camera cuts back to Barrie, the large dog has vanished entirely from the scene and Barrie is now kneeling with a two-piece fishing pole in both hands. The camera cuts for a split-second back to the children, then back to Barrie, and the fishing pole has vanished but Barrie is kneeling with the dog again.

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Charles Austin Miller

27th Oct 2017

The Prestige (2006)

Factual error: When Robert Angiers (The Great Danton) meets Nikola Tesla for the first time at the laboratory in Colorado Springs, Tesla makes his grand entrance by walking straight through the crackling electrical discharge arcs of a full-size, fully-powered Tesla Coil. This is impossible, given that Tesla is not protected in any way from the multi-million-volt arcs of electricity and radio-frequency energy. In reality, an unprotected human being would suffer instant heart failure from the high-voltage discharge, and internal organs would literally cook from the extreme radio-frequencies. Oddly enough, the myth that an unprotected human being could survive within the Tesla Coil's discharge field was inadvertently started by Tesla himself, in real life, when he posed for double-exposure publicity photos that appear to show Tesla casually sitting and reading a book within the active discharge field.

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Charles Austin Miller
Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

Suggested correction: Nikola Tesla, in this movie, is building a machine that uses electrical discharges for teleportation/duplication. The electrical currents he passes through are from the machine and not a fully powered Tesla coil, or magnifying transmitter. Next to that, at radio frequency the damage to the skin can be decreased by having a small metal object with you to deter the current and evenly disperse it over the body. Doing it just this once to show the effects is dangerous but not directly harmful. Since Tesla is an expert at the field he knows what frequencies are harmful and how to take precautions. He of course teaches those to the Great Danton who later on passes into electrical arcs himself for the trick.

lionhead

The original submission is 100% correct as a factual error. The fictional correction might serve to explain a plot hole, but a fictional explanation does not negate the fact that a human being would die almost immediately within such a discharge field in real life.

Charles Austin Miller

Except its not "such" a discharge field. Its the same type of arc that Danton passes through himself every night in his show. Like I said, in the movie its not a fully powered tesla coil but a fictional device, thus any real life errors are irrelevant.

lionhead

Trivia: During a September 2017 interview on the BBC 4 Today programme, legendary comedian and comic filmmaker Mel Brooks was asked if he thought he could make some of his most famous films (such as "The Producers," "Blazing Saddles," and "Young Frankenstein") in today's over-sensitive, thin-skinned political climate. Brooks replied: "Maybe Young Frankenstein, but never Blazing Saddles, because we have become stupidly politically correct, which is the death of comedy. It's okay not to hurt feelings of various tribes and groups. However, it's not good for comedy. Comedy has to walk a thin line, take risks. Comedy is the lecherous little elf whispering in the king's ear, always telling the truth about human behavior."

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Charles Austin Miller

20th Oct 2017

The Children (2008)

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. When the camera cuts to an exterior view, we see Miranda's lifeless body stretched out in the snow (parallel to both vehicles) 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

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)

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

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