Charles Austin Miller

20th Feb 2018

High Anxiety (1977)

New this week Deliberate mistake: After the hotel murder, Brophy makes a series of photographic enlargements to prove Dr. Thorndyke's innocence. However, instead of holding his magnifying glass directly in front of his face as he examines the photos, Brophy angles the magnifying glass far to his right so the movie audience can see the magnifying glass details, but he can't possibly see anything.

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Charles Austin Miller

New this week Continuity mistake: When the giant bronze statue, Talos, attacks the Argo, the crew flees across the beach and up the ship's boarding ramp, and one sailor chops through a mooring line so the Argo can escape. But, in subsequent shots as the Argo departs, no chopped-off mooring line remains on the wide-open beach, and there's nothing to which they could tie a mooring line, anyway.

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Charles Austin Miller

New this week Trivia: Although released to theatres in 1966, this beautifully-shot film was actually the pilot for an unrealised television series entitled "House of Wax" (which was never picked up by the networks). Despite its title, "Chamber of Horrors" was not particularly scary, much less horrifying; in fact, it was more like a 19th Century crime-detective drama. After the TV pilot was rejected, Warner Brothers opted for a theatrical release, even though the film was shot in television screen format rather than wide screen format. Attempting to sensationalize "Chamber of Horrors" for the big screen, Warner Brothers added the preposterous "Fear Flasher and Horror Horn" gimmick to warn audiences of imminent violence and gore...except that there was no gore and practically no onscreen violence.

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Charles Austin Miller

New this month Factual error: This film begins with a foreboding quote attributed to Edgar Allen Poe: "Sleep. Those little slices of death. How I loathe them." Problem is, Poe never wrote any such thing (and neither did Henry Wadsworth Longfellow), despite decades of misquotes and misattributions across the Internet. So, where did the quote actually originate? The answer is Walter Reisch, lead screenwriter on the 1959 film "Journey to the Center of the Earth." In Reisch's screenplay, the antagonist Count Arne Saknussemm is urged to get some rest, to which he memorably replies, "I don't sleep. I hate those little slices of death."

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Charles Austin Miller

New this month Trivia: A naggingly familiar quote that has been attributed on the Internet to various authors (ranging from Edgar Allen Poe to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow) is "Sleep. Those little slices of death. How I loathe them." Problem is, Poe never wrote any such thing, and neither did Longfellow. The 1987 horror film "Nightmare on Elm Street III" seems to be the genesis of the misquote, which it incorrectly attributes to Poe. So, where did the actual quote originate? The answer is Walter Reisch, lead screenwriter on the 1959 film "Journey to the Center of the Earth." In the screenplay, the antagonist Count Arne Saknussemm is urged to get some rest, to which he memorably replies, "I don't sleep. I hate those little slices of death."

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Charles Austin Miller

New this month Question: After the Reliant ambushes the Enterprise, Kirk tricks Khan and hammers the Reliant into retreat. As Kirk turns to assess damage to the Enterprise, Scotty inexplicably appears on the bridge, carrying the charred body of Midshipman Peter Preston. Why on earth would Scotty bring the dying Preston to the bridge, rather than to SickBay with all the other injured? He had to deliberately bypass SickBay just to make an unnecessary appearance on the bridge.

Charles Austin Miller

New this month Answer: I believe Preston was already dead at that point. An earlier scene was edited out of the film that explained Preston was Scotty's nephew (his sister's son), and which may account for Scotty's rather odd reaction of first bringing him to the bridge.

raywest

Yet Preston is shown alive (still dying) in the SickBay moments later. Preston shares last words with Captain Kirk before he actually dies. So, this is a case of bad editing?

Charles Austin Miller

What was edited out of the film was an earlier explanation that Preston was Scotty's nephew-this was way before the Enterprise was attacked.

raywest

These scenes, which include several of Preston's lines which were cut, were restored in the 2002 Director's Edition. Curiously, when the film is aired on TV they still run the original video cut which has the scenes removed. The editing is really sloppy with the scenes cut out and the scenes establishing that Preston is Scotty's nephew add another emotional layer to the film. It makes Scotty's actions make so much more sense, he's overcome with grief over his nephew and anger at Khan. With the scenes cut what Scotty does makes very little sense.

BaconIsMyBFF

Plot hole: It is firmly established in the last half of the film that movie characters and movie weapons do inflict damage and death in the real world. However, early in the film, a bundle of dynamite comes straight through the movie screen and explodes in the real world movie theatre. That quantity of dynamite should have gutted the theatre, easily; but, when Danny Madigan and Jack Slater cross from the movie world back into the real world, there is absolutely no damage to the theatre.

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Charles Austin Miller

21st Jan 2018

Stargate (1994)

Factual error: When they first power-up the Stargate in the military facility (using Jackson's decryption), the thing surges to life, and electrical sparks spray out of overloaded connections all around the control room. This could only happen if there were no fuses or electrical breakers in the military's control system, which is a ridiculous notion for such advanced military technology. In real life, a powerful overload situation would instantly burn out fuses and trip breakers and the whole system would simply go dead (there would be no sparks). Showers of sparks are a common error in many science fiction and space fantasy films dating back many decades.

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

Suggested correction: If there would be breakers and fuses then yes, the system would simply go dead and then they would have nothing. They intentionally let the system nearly overload because without power they wouldn't be able to finish the sequence.

lionhead

No, that's not the way sophisticated (and expensive) electronic technology works. If you have sparks spraying out of electrical connectors, that means you're melting down millions and millions of dollars of hardware. No technician or electrician or even a first-year auto mechanic would intentionally design and hardwire an electrical system without fuses and/or breakers.

Charles Austin Miller

21st Jan 2018

Chaplin (1992)

Continuity mistake: Near the end, when the elderly Chaplin and his biographer are seated on the terrace, chatting about madness, Chaplin's hands are clasped high up on his chest, clutching the shawl around his shoulders. In several subsequent shots, his hands are relaxed in his lap, then clasped again high on his chest, again and again, from shot to shot.

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Charles Austin Miller

Continuity mistake: In at least two shots, as the Phoenix first becomes airborne, it is obvious that there are no men clinging to the wing surfaces.

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Charles Austin Miller

16th Jan 2018

Chaplin (1992)

Trivia: Anthony Hopkins played George Hayden, Charlie Chaplin's biographer (throughout the film's many flashbacks). However, biographer George Hayden was a completely fictional character created only for this movie. In real life, Charlie Chaplin alone wrote his autobiography.

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Charles Austin Miller

Question: When the Enterprise recovers Chekov and Captain Terrell, they just accept Chekov's and Terrell's false explanation, even though McCoy is standing right there with a medical tricorder. Why didn't McCoy's medical tricorder pick up the Ceti eels lodged in the brains of Chekov and Captain Terrell?

Charles Austin Miller

Answer: It's unknown. The tricorder may not have been programmed at the moment to detect any parasites.

raywest

Answer: The eels bond with the host brain and are virtually undetectable until the host dies or they are found for some reason.

Other mistake: At the beginning, as Eggsy is pursued through city streets by the Golden Circle henchmen, the three pursuit vehicles are all firing rooftop mini-guns at Eggsy, in spite of the fact that they are all in single-file, one vehicle behind another. The Golden Circle vehicles would have been riddled with their own gunfire.

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Charles Austin Miller

Trivia: When the animated series was being voice-cast, the only original actors chosen were William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelly, James Doohan and Majel Barrett (Gene Roddenberry's wife). James Doohan was going to double as Chief Engineer Scott and as Lieutenant Sulu, as well as any needed additional male voices; Majel Barrett was going to perform several female voices including the Ship's Computer and Communications Officer Uhura. When Leonard Nimoy (Spock) learned about the casting choices, he threatened to quit the animated series unless original series actors George Takei and Nichelle Nichols were hired to play Sulu and Uhura. Nimoy's opinion carried a lot of weight, so Takei and Nichols were immediately hired.

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Charles Austin Miller

The Practical Joker - S2-E3

Trivia: The animated series featured the first appearance of the Holodeck (called the Rec Room) in this episode only. Gene Roddenberry wanted to use the Rec Room/Holodeck idea in the original live action series of the 1960s, but found that budgetary constraints were prohibitive at that time. The Rec Room finally appeared once in the animated series, in this episode, in 1973. It wouldn't be seen again until Star Trek: The Next Generation, in 1987, some 14 years later.

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Charles Austin Miller

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

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

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)

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)

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)

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

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

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