I lost and found the little book called Movie Mistakes given to me by my friend Raoul Tidalgo. It’s the same book from which Funfare had reprinted some items, much to the delight of readers who have been asking for more. That was four years ago. I misplaced the book and I got it back by chance a few days ago while moving house.
The author, Jon Sandys, said that the book “is meant to be a fun read, not a checklist,” adding that “films are hugely complicated to make, and all sorts of things can slip through the gaps, such as continuity errors, special effects equipment being a bit too obvious, film crew being in shot when they shouldn’t be, and factual or historical errors.”
I bet you didn’t notice (neither did I) the following “movie mistakes” cited by Sandys when you watched the movies mentioned:
• Apocalypse Now. In the Playboy Bunny scene, the helicopter’s main rotor keeps starting and stopping. The day after the USO Playboy Bunny show, the patrol boat canopy is set afire by some pranksters from a passing boat. Yet, that night, in the scene at the Do Lung Bridge, the canopy is intact. It goes through some amazing transformations during the remainder of the picture.
• Bad Boys. Martin Lawrence is walking upstairs to tell his wife why he is late coming home. She starts to yell at him and say he isn’t wearing his wedding ring. But in the first shot he has it on. It’s only after she points it out that he isn’t wearing the ring.
• Being John Malkovich. The comforter changes patterns in the first scene as the camera switches back and forth to John Cussack in bed.
• Coming to America. When Akeem and Semi get their apartment, the owner says that the room has only one window facing a brick wall. But when Hakeem is out on the fire escape, he yells out to a street, not a wall. And there are two windows.
In the scene towards the end of the movie you can see the dog sitting by the piano. At that time the keys are revealed. A few seconds later, the lid is closed.
• Final Destination. At the memorial service the principal says that it’s been 39 days since 39 loved ones had died. But there were 40 students on the plane and four chaperones, making the total 44. Now, seven people got off the plane which means 37 people actually died, not 39.
• Gangs of New York. When Leonardo DiCaprio arrives in New York and is talking to his new friend, the bag he is holding keeps switching from being held under his arm (camera shot from front) to being carried on his back (camera shot from the back).
• Legally Blonde. When Elle is called to the lawyer’s office, she holds some files and no bag. After he tries to pick her up, she leaves with empty hands. A few seconds later in the corridor, she’s walking with her bag.
• The Living Daylights. The wheel that is shot off James Bond’s car during the frozen-lake chase scene is back on the car seconds later as Bond is jumping over the Russian/Czech soldiers.
• The Mask. When Jim Carrey is in jail, he puts toilet paper on the toilet seat. But a few seconds later, the toilet paper is not on the toilet.
• Me, Myself & Irene. When Jim Carrey is taking Renee Zellweger back to New York on his motorcycle, they come across a supposed dead cow in the middle of the road. Carrey pulls out his gun and shoots the cow a few times, then throws his gun off to his right, way off the screen. Next screen shot, the gun is right beside him.
• My Best Friend’s Wedding. Dermot Mulroney opens the door while Julia Roberts is leaning against it, and while she has a cigaret in her left hand. With no solid object to lean against she falls to the floor of the room, and the cigaret is in her right hand.
• Payback. In the scene where the Asian gang is ramming Mel Gibson with their car, when they hit him the windshield gets smashed. When they all get back in their car and drive off, the windshield is fine.
• Shanghai Noon. At the last part of the hanging scene when Roy falls into his casket, you can see that his hands aren’t tied together when he falls in. But in the next shot, he’s on his back with his hands still tied.
When Jackie Chan is fighting the bad guy at the top of the bell tower, the bad guy bends his sword very badly. When they fall to the bottom and the bad guy retrieves his sword, it is perfectly straight again.
• Fatal Attraction. In the library, right after Michael Douglas breaks into Glenn Close’s apartment, a cameraman’s reflection is visible in a window as a librarian pushes a cart past it.
• Dr. No. When James Bond is waiting in a house, he grabs a pack of cars, sits down and screws a silencer on to his gun. Pay attention to his shirt. In the full-length shot he’s wearing a tie, but when we see a close-up of the gun, his tie disappears.
• Notting Hill. Hugh Grant heads out wearing a belt. When he is in the orange juice shop, the belt is gone but it reappears as he leaves the shop.
(Note: Have your own list of similar “movie mistakes” in local films? Funfare will verify and gladly publish what other moviegoers might not have noticed.)