Charles Austin Miller

New this week Factual error: When Zephram Cochrane, Riker and LaForge activate the warp drive of the prototype starship Phoenix, the prismatic starscape is seen streaking past (same effect as in the Star Trek: TNG series). However, the Phoenix never leaves the solar system or even the vicinity of Earth, achieving only Warp One (the max velocity of the Phoenix) for a few seconds. Even at lightspeed, the Phoenix did not enter interstellar space nor pass any other stars; therefore, the starscape should have remained almost motionless.

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Charles Austin Miller
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New this week Suggested correction: What happens when a ship goes to warp it essentially creates a subspace distortion. This causes the starscape to change and move, as they exit regular space and enter subspace.

lionhead

At Warp One, there should be zero prismatic distortions. It takes a full 24-hour DAY for light to cross the solar system. In a few seconds, a vessel traveling at Warp One, within a solar system, would see no distortions.

Charles Austin Miller

A ship slips out of regular space when going to warp, it creates a bubble around the ship, that bubble causes the starscape for the people inside it to appear moving or at least distort. That's what you see. That's what you always see when a ship goes to warp.

lionhead

The prismatic effect was created for the TNG series to depict the ship passing stars at hundreds of times the speed of light. The Phoenix only achieved Warp One, one time the speed of light (lightspeed). As fast as that sounds, it wouldn't be fast enough to create any visual distortion.

Charles Austin Miller

Even at hundreds of times the speed of light you would only pass a star every few seconds, they didn't make that effect for TNG as in TOS they were going that fast too (as high as warp 9) and the same distortion is seen. You also keep saying its the speed that causes the visual distortion whilst I specifically mention its the fact the ship exiting regular space and into subspace is whats causing the distortion.

lionhead

11th Jun 2018

Sleepwalkers (1992)

New this week Revealing mistake: At the end, when the monster grabs the sheriff and throws him across the front yard, the sheriff lands on his back and his right arm falls into a beartrap. The trap snaps and the sheriff screams in pain, but only one jaw of the prop beartrap actually snaps into vertical position (the opposing jaw remains flat and doesn't move it all). A real beartrap snaps both jaws together vertically. So, the sheriff's hand doesn't get snapped at all.

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Charles Austin Miller

New this month Plot hole: At the very end, when Leo Davidson crash-lands in Washington, DC, on the very steps of the Lincoln Memorial, the modified Lincoln statue depicts General Thade (the founder of the ape civilization on Earth) as wearing mid-19th Century clothing. This suggests that Thade escaped from his home planet Ashlar (aboard the recovered single-passenger Delta Pod, no doubt), entered the time-rift, and arrived on Earth in the early-to-mid 19th Century to begin taking over the human population. So, Thade by himself (with no advanced scientific knowledge) completely conquered human civilization on Earth in only about 150 years, which is absurd even for space fantasy.

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Charles Austin Miller
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New this month Suggested correction: This is based on a lot of assumptions. Firstly, it's a perfect duplicate of the Lincoln memorial even though it's a different past, where humanity isn't the dominant species so it's obviously fantastical. Secondly, nobody says it's an historical accurate sculpture, in the middle ages and Renaissance they often depicted historical figures with modern clothes on. Just the sculpture doesn't give you the story behind it.

lionhead

Judging from the closing shots of Washington, DC, Thade's ape civilization is a virtual duplicate of human civilization, right down to the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, The Mall, the city itself, the makes and models of automobiles, and even the police uniforms. It's identical social evolution, except with apes in charge. The real Lincoln Memorial was constructed decades after Lincoln died (when fashions had dramatically changed) to memorialize a fallen president, realistically depicting him wearing his own 19th-Century clothing. If the apes followed an exact duplicate of human development (which is obviously the case in this film), then the Thade Memorial was constructed to realistically memorialize Thade, wearing his own 19th-Century clothing. This attempted correction makes no sense at all.

Charles Austin Miller

The idea alone that the apes evolved and build a society identical to our own makes it clear that the fact that they have a memorial of General Thade in 19th century clothes completely irrelevant to anything about any historical accuracy you might be referring to, as it isn't there. You can make an entire list of all the hundreds of things that don't make any sense in that scene, if that pleases you. But the clothing on a spoof of the Lincoln memorial doesn't make it a plot hole that Thade couldn't have taken power over such a short period. It's not supposed to make sense. Hell, Leo could be having a nightmare for all we know.

lionhead

It's called a "plot hole," a poorly-reasoned concept with equally bad writing and production that does nothing to bring the plot full circle.

Charles Austin Miller

Additionally, the original mistake is making the assumption that the statue is of Thade. It could very well be (more likely in fact) that Thade made it to Earth in the distant past, causing the switch from human to ape evolution, and the statue is simply an ape who resembles Thade, possibly a descendant.

Jason Hoffman

Nah, the text behind the statue specifically refer to the figure as General Thade.

lionhead

It's called a "plot hole," a poorly-reasoned concept with equally bad writing and production that does nothing to bring the plot full circle.

Charles Austin Miller

It could very well be that after General Thade arrived in the 19th century he took a Simian virus with him that wiped humanity out like in the newer planet of the apes movies.

lionhead

10th Jun 2018

Kingpin (1996)

New this month Trivia: In the fight scene between Roy Munson and Claudia, it's very obvious that actress Vanessa Angel's acrobatic stunts were performed by a much more muscular woman. The stuntwoman is Donna Keegan, who played the attempted-rape victim in "RoboCop" nine years earlier.

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Charles Austin Miller

10th Jun 2018

Animal House (1978)

New this month Question: Near the end, when Dean Wormer and Mayor DePasto are in the grandstand, officially launching the parade, there is an elderly gentleman in the background (also in the grandstand, about 2 levels up, on the left side of the screen) who is making odd, excited gestures and comical facial expressions. His appearance and odd mannerisms are so striking that he draws my attention away from the dean and the mayor every time that I've seen this film, and that's a lot of times. Surely, director John Landis must have been aware of the gentleman and his antics in the background through multiple takes, so it would seem Landis intended the peculiar distraction. Who was that gentleman, and was there any significance to his appearing in the scene?

Charles Austin Miller

New this month Plot hole: We know that Pericles the chimp (in Alpha Pod), then Leo Davidson (in Delta Pod), and then the entire Oberon space station are all pulled into the time rift and end up on planet Ashlar, each arriving at (drastically) different times. Apparently, just before the Oberon crashed on Ashlar, Commander Vasich sent a mayday transmission ("We're going down!") which is actually received by the Oberon itself before it entered the time rift. Commander Vasich and the Oberon crew are startled to see a very elderly Commander Vasich in the mayday transmission. This implies that Vasich and the Oberon crew instantly aged by decades while going through the time rift; yet, Leo Davidson and Pericles the chimp didn't age at all.

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Charles Austin Miller
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New this month Suggested correction: The mayday was broadcast years after Leo and Pericles had disappeared into the future, whilst still orbiting the planet, Vasich isn't as old as the later video recording Leo watches at the end of the movie, possibly a decade older. Eventually, after years of orbiting they crashed onto the planet, probably because they attempted to get closer. Then decades pass after the crash until finally the apes on the crashed ship take control. It's possible the Oberon never went into the time portal itself. It crashed in the past after all.

lionhead

According to the backstory, Alpha Pod, Delta Pod and the Oberon were pulled into the time-rift in quick succession, and they almost instantly arrived at their respective destinations in time (in the case of the Oberon, it travelled back thousands of years to a time when Ashlar was uninhabited). If the Oberon then orbited Ashlar for decades before crashing, then the Oberon crew and Commander Vasich certainly knew that there was nobody to respond to their radio transmissions. but after decades of silence, the elderly Vasich suddenly transmits a mayday signal just before "going down"? No, this is a plot hole, just like the ending in which General Thade (the founder of the ape civilization on Earth) is depicted in statuary as wearing mid-19th Century clothing.

Charles Austin Miller

No, they didn't broadcast, they made a video log. They decided to record what happened.

lionhead

Or, the went through the time-rift, stayed in orbit for as long as they could and got a signal from the rift coming from the past station and send a distress signal to them. Not knowing they were sending a signal to themselves.

lionhead

9th Jun 2018

2010 (1984)

New this month Question: In the original film, the Discovery's onboard computer states: "I am a HAL 9000 Computer, Production Number 3. I became operational at the HAL plant in Urbana, Illinois, on the 12th of January, 1992." So, "HAL" was a manufacturer identification prefix (standing for Heuristically-programmed ALgorithmic Computers), "9000" was its model number, and "No.3" was its production lineage. but in this sequel, Dr. Chandra is chatting with one of HAL's earth-based twin computers which has a feminine voice and is called "SAL"; but how can they arbitrarily change its manufacturer identification prefix? Being produced by the HAL plant in Urbana, Illinois, and being identical to the computer aboard the Discovery, the twin's name should have a different production number, but it should still be called "HAL," should it not?

Charles Austin Miller

New this month Answer: The most likely reason the name was changed was probably a literary one. It makes it easier for the audience to differentiate SAL from HAL, showing how they are two distinct computers playing different roles in the film. It may also just be a feminine nickname being that SAL has a female voice.

raywest Premium member

I thought perhaps "SAL" was a nickname, also, until I saw that the computer's maker nameplate reads "SAL 9000" (visible in close-ups of SAL's glowing eye).

Charles Austin Miller

New this month Revealing mistake: When Dr. Floyd arrives at the Moon and goes to the Monolith site at Tycho Crater, the moon shuttle never casts a shadow on the lunar surface. This is especially noticeable in the first shot, wherein the shuttle is coming straight at the camera, the Sun is on the far right, and there is a giant lunar cliff on the far left. No shadow of any sort.

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Charles Austin Miller

27th May 2018

Psycho (1998)

New this month Question: When private investigator Milton Arbogast is attacked on the stairway, this film inserts two non sequitur pieces of footage right in the middle of the attack sequence: Just as Arbogast's face is slashed twice, a shot of a virtually-nude woman wearing a sleep-mask is inserted for a split-second, followed a moment later by a split-second insert of what appears to be a small calf standing in the middle of a road in a rainstorm. What is the meaning of those two inserts?

Charles Austin Miller

New this month Answer: His life flashing before his eyes? Snapshots of Norman's fractured psyche? The director's vision?

Alan Keddie

Those are just more questions.

Charles Austin Miller

New this month Question: When Kirk and McCoy try to rescue Chekov at Mercy Hospital, Kirk removes the 20th Century medical team into an adjacent room and uses his phaser to instantly fuse the metal door lock. The medical team cannot directly see Kirk do this, as they are visibly several feet away on the other side of the door. It's also safe to say that the medical team has never seen a phaser and can't comprehend its function or capabilities. As Kirk turns away from the door to rejoin McCoy, the trapped medical team only then rushes up to the door, and the trauma surgeon exclaims, "He melted the lock!" However, it seems that you'd have to laboriously dismantle the doorknob to determine that the lock's internal components were fused. So, how did a 20th Century surgeon deduce at a glance that Kirk had somehow melted the lock?

Charles Austin Miller

New this month Answer: The lock, and the area around it, would have become hot as a result of melting the lock. The hospital staff would then jump to the conclusion that the lock was melted. The real reason they mention it, however, is so the audience knows what he did to the lock.

But you would think, if the doorknob was still searing hot two seconds after being fused, that the first thing out of the surgeon's mouth would be a scream of pain, rather than "He melted the lock!"

Charles Austin Miller

New this month Answer: The knob would have been super-heated by the phaser blast. Enough that it could be felt without touching, and he simply could have come to the conclusion that a metal object that hot would likely have its internal components melted without a systematic analysis of the doorknob.

Captain Defenestrator Premium member

New this month Trivia: Originally, Metro Goldwyn Mayer had planned for producer Roger Corman to make a film entitled "Captain Nemo and the Floating City," but the project collapsed early on. Producer Steven Pallos later resurrected the project as "Captain Nemo and the Underwater City," and this time the film was completed.

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Charles Austin Miller

New this month Revealing mistake: When the castaways discover two women and a man washed up on the beach, they quickly determine that the women are still alive. The journalist, Gideon Spilitt, checks the pulse of the male and pronounces him dead; but the dead man's limp left hand very noticeably and unnaturally jerks twice just as Spilitt releases his wrist. The actor playing the dead man obviously had an anticipatory reflex action, but they chose to keep the shot in the film, anyway.

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Charles Austin Miller

New this month Factual error: Captain Nemo takes the castaways on an underwater tour around the island, where they observe Greek temple ruins on the sea floor. The ancient Greeks were pioneers of philosophy, politics and engineering, but they never colonized beyond the general area of the Mediterranean and they certainly never colonized the South Pacific (which is the setting of Mysterious Island).

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Charles Austin Miller

New this month Plot hole: At the very beginning, as the passenger ship is foundering in a powerful storm, the little boy places his kitten in a box and tucks the box inside his shirt just moments before he is cast into the churning sea. Sinking into the depths, the boy and other passengers are presently rescued by Captain Nemo's team of divers, who supply the drowning passengers with oxygen until they board the submarine Nautilus. Once aboard, the little boy opens his hidden box to reveal a wet but very much alive kitten that could not possibly have survived submersion for that length of time in a box that was not waterproof.

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Charles Austin Miller

5th May 2018

From Hell (2001)

Trivia: While based on actual events and characters, "From Hell" takes considerable liberty with facts, in addition to leaving much of its convoluted fictional plot unexplained. The real Chief Inspector Frederick Abberline's first wife died of tuberculosis two months after they married (she was not pregnant at the time). Abberline remained married to his second wife for over 50 years, and they never had children. Abberline was not clairvoyant, was never an opium or absinthe user, either, and he died at the ripe old age of 86. The movie fabricated everything except a handful of essential historical facts regarding the Ripper murders.

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Charles Austin Miller

4th May 2018

Casino Royale (1967)

Question: At the beginning, M and agents representing the USA, Soviet Union and France try to convince James Bond to come out of retirement. Bond steadfastly refuses; whereupon, M lights his cigar as a signal for British troops in the distance to destroy Bond's estate with mortar fire (M is accidentally killed in the mortar attack). But what was the purpose of destroying Bond's estate? Wouldn't that action only drive Bond further away from rejoining the spy corps? Why would the British government go to such lengths to punish Bond? And then why did Bond return to the secret service, anyway, after such treachery?

Charles Austin Miller

2nd May 2018

Casino Royale (1967)

Continuity mistake: When Sir James and Mata Bond infiltrate Dr. Noah's headquarters, they hurry down a corridor with dozens of doorways. There are no flashing lights, but the corridor color repeatedly changes from blue with blue doors to red with red doors from one camera shot to the next.

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Charles Austin Miller
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Suggested correction: And exactly how would this have happened unintentionally? This was obviously done on purpose to create a disorienting, surreal effect. It may not be "realistic" but this is not a movie that concerned with realism.

Your attempt to speculatively explain it away as a stylistic choice does not negate the fact that this is a continuity error in a film that is full of continuity errors. It's important to remember that this film had 6 different directors, as well as disgruntled and uncooperative actors (Peter Sellers even quit and walked out in the middle of production). As a result, the movie has a piece-meal appearance and is riddled with plot holes and continuity errors.

Charles Austin Miller

Are you suggesting the two parts of the scene was directed by two different directors and one of them decided to change the color scheme before shooting? Considering the difficulty in creating the two different looks, it is practically impossible for this to have been done accidentally. A break in continuity is not a mistake if it is intentional.

Early in the sequence, Sir James and Mata Bond are looking for an escape route: They glance down one corridor, which is a dead-end that is all blue with blue doors; but they choose another dead-end corridor that is all red with red doors. As they flee down the red corridor, the camera cuts to show them from the front, back and profile as they hurry down the corridor. Although they deliberately chose the red corridor, the color changes from red to blue and back to red from cut to cut. The obvious answer is that they tried alternate takes Sir James and Mata Bond fleeing down the red corridor and then the blue corridor, but then sloppily edited the shots together into one sequence.

Charles Austin Miller

16th Apr 2018

The Craft (1996)

Continuity mistake: When the girls wake up on the beach, they see Nancy out in the surf, walking on water. As she casually strolls back to the shoreline, a wide shot shows the water is calm and flat and blue from the beach to as far as the eye can see. However, as the camera cuts to Nancy reaching the beach, the surf behind her is suddenly rough and crashing and murky brown, with 3-foot waves breaking on the shoreline.

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Charles Austin Miller

10th Apr 2018

Dementia 13 (1963)

Question: At the very beginning, John and Louise stroll down a dock, get into a row-boat and start across the lake; but John dies of a heart attack half-way across, and Louise dumps his body into the water. Throughout this entire scene, John's transistor radio is warbling a rockabilly song that sounds Elvis-inspired (but it's not Elvis). What is the song and who sang it?

Charles Austin Miller

Answer: "He's Caught" by Buddy Fowler and the Fads. It was an unreleased song used for the movie.

Bishop73

Factual error: This horror-fantasy film (a 1958 knockoff "The Mummy") was inspired by the faceless whole-body plaster casts taken from the volcanic ash of Pompeii, at the foot of Mt. Vesuvius. The running mistake in this movie is the assumption that the faceless bodies of Pompeii were 2000-year-old mummies preserved by volcanic ash and could, thus, be re-animated (by radiation, in this case). The fact is, the victims at Pompeii were originally encased in hot volcanic pumice and ash, and the corpses then disintegrated, leaving hollow "molds" of human bodies underground. It wasn't until the mid-19th Century that archaeologists first discovered the molds, filled them with plaster, then extracted the whole-body plaster casts for display. Since the faceless bodies of Pompeii are nothing but modern plaster casts, there would be nothing to re-animate, by radiation or any other improbable means.

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Charles Austin Miller

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