I think one reason I became a critic is that I am fascinated by mistakes. I don’t mind seeing bad movies (most of the time) because I like to think about what it is that makes them so bad. And of course it is a lot of fun to find mistakes in movies. One of my favorites is the bunch of flowers that Katharine Hepburn carries in “Desk Set.” They are one color when she enters the elevator and another when she gets out! There are great compilation of movie mistakes on, Nitpickers.com, Movie Goofs, and, of course, movie mistakes.com.
Here are the top five from Moviemistakes.com. I’d love to hear your favorites:
1 Commando After chasing down Sully, the yellow Porsche is totally wrecked on the left side, until Arnie drives it away, and it’s fine.
2 Star Wars When the stormtroopers break into the control room, the stormtrooper on the right of the screen hits his head on the door frame. On the DVD release they’ve added a thump when he hits it.
3 The Rocky Horror Picture Show The criminologist describes the events of the movie as taking place “on a late November evening”. In the very next scene, Brad and Janet are driving in Brad’s car, and President Richard Nixon’s resignation speech is playing on the radio. Nixon resigned in August of 1974.
4 Charlie’s Angels When the Angels are fighting the “Creepy Thin Man,” right before Drew Barrymore lifts up Lucy Liu to spin her around and kick the thin man, to get Lucy’s attention, Drew hollers out “Lucy!” even though Lucy Liu’s character’s name is “Alex.”
5 Gladiator In the “Battle of Carthage” in the Colosseum, one of the chariots is turned over. Once the dust settles you can see a gas cylinder in the back of the chariot.
And don’t forget — anyone who finds 10 of my mistakes on this site gets a free copy of my book!
While we were in San Diego for Comic-Con we had a chance to visit the legendary Hotel Del Coronado, where Some Like It Hot and The Stunt Man were filmed. We had breakfast overlooking the water and imagined Marilyn Monroe and Peter O’Toole getting ready to go on their sets.
And I loved going to the studio to do my weekly movie reviews in person on the Jeff and Jer Show on Star 94.1. I look forward every week to talking to them about what’s going on in theaters and on DVD and they are every bit as charming and delightful — and handsome — as I expected. (Yes, that’s me with the black eye — car accident, I was rear-ended, everyone is all right and my eye is now much, much better.)
Jeff and Jer and Little Tommy treated us to a dinner at Trattioria Fantastica that lived up to its name. Many, many thanks for your graciousness and hospitality and for the great fun I have every week being on your show.
My very favorite DVD series for kids is saluting the 40th anniversary of the classic book Corduroy with a beautiful new DVD version. It is the story of a toy bear who goes off in search of his missing button and finds a caring friend. Has there ever been a better last line in a book?
This DVD also includes some of the series very best, Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel and the one that really made my children laugh, Smile for Auntie. This is a gem.
“Swing Vote,” starring Kevin Costner, opens this week. It stars Kevin Costner as a slacker whose vote will decide the outcome of a Presidential election. There’s nothing in the credits to indicate any connection to an earlier movie, but it sounds a lot like a 1939 film starring John Barrymore called “The Great Man Votes.” Both are about men who drink a lot and have young daughters who love them and want them to do better. And Barrymore’s character, like Costner’s, through a technicality, has the deciding vote in an election. It’s worth seeing for Barrymore’s performance — Garson Kanin, who directed, said that Barrymore was so out of it he needed cue cards — then a rarity — even if the only thing he had to say in a scene was “No,” but that he was able on command not just to cry but to determine whether the little tear would come before or after the big one.
Michael Wohl has a great introduction to the language of film — the way different kinds of shots and camera movements help to tell the story. This is an outstanding resource for anyone who wants to understand the way that movies communicate with us — not just what is going on but what the characters are thinking and how their environment and the perspective of each frame helps us to understand their stories.