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November 21, 2011

Did They Think No One Would Notice?

by Harley

Dsc04617qYears ago I saw Dead Poets’ Society. I recall nothing about it because I was with my friend Laurie. Laurie does wardrobe for film and TV, and she spent the whole movie outraged about collar button continuity. It’s all she could see, collars buttoned in one shot and unbuttoned in the next. Collars wrinkled becoming ironed in closeup and then once again wrinkled, all in the space of 2.3 seconds. It made her crazy. She nearly walked out of the theatre.

A few years later I dated a producer—not the kind that puts up the money, the kind that’s on set to make sure the money is being properly spent. Every movie we saw had a running commentary from Eddie: “A two-shot? That scene’s crying for a closeup. And that's not New York, that’s Vancouver, it's Stanley Park, for God’s sake! And are they using the same three extras over and over? That guy died ten minutes ago in the battle scene.”

For my friend Andrew, a former jockey, it’s horse films. In the olden days, rather than cast “Indians” who could ride bareback, they’d throw Indian blankets over saddles, thinking, “who’s going to notice?” Andrew noticed. Andrew also knows that a real cowboy wouldn’t ride a horse with four white socks, as Adam Images Cartwright did in the last episodes of Bonanza. Worst of all are racing movies, “the jockey whispering kind and encouraging words in the middle of the race, while traveling 40 mph and wailing away at the horse with a stick. No race-rider talks like that," Andrew says. "It’s all swearing and screaming.”

We, the audience, will put up with the ridiculous in order to enter into the magic of the story. It’s called the Willing Suspension of Disbelief. Most of us don’t care about self-buttoning collars or Stanley Park masquerading as Central Park, or racehorse whisperers. But we all have something, some expertise that throws us out of the story and back into our theatre seats, cranky because they didn’t get it right.

For intance:

The Implausible Apartment: if you’ve ever lived in New York, you’re calculating how much rent the poor-but-plucky heroine is paying for that charming brownstone and whether she’s sleeping with the super to afford it.

Fargo_movie-11589The We’re Not All Hicks Complaint: Apparently the residents of North Dakota weren’t universally happy with how they were portrayed in the Coen Brothers’ Fargo. The Americans of Italian Descent version of this is We’re Not All Mafiosi. With the polygamists, it’s We’re Not All Big Love.

The Player Piano Piano Player: Even if we don’t see hands of the “piano player" actor, if her body’s gonna sway, it should sway to the right when Placido-domingo the music goes higher, and the left when she’s playing the bass chords. And I’m no Placido Domingo, but every shower singer knows that the dubbed actor should take a breath while belting out “Nessun Dorma” because you can’t sing like this without exercising your lungs.

William_talman_raymond_burrThe Perry Mason Exception:  On Perry Mason, district attorney Hamilton Burger was always saying, “Your honor, Mr. Mason is turning this courtroom into a circus!” That’s right, Ham. Because Perry’s the star. Nothing’s changed. Watch Law & Order with a trial lawyer and see how long he can go without yelling “Objection!” at Sam Waterston.                                    

The CSI Effect: Try getting a crime lab scientist to watch a CSI episode without rolling her eyes.

The Giant Baby Phenomenon: Ask a new mother to believe that the newborn popping out of the TV tummy isn’t a six-week-old.

You don’t have to be a professional hairdresser or a Native American to wonder 8925_view what’s going on with Mary McDonnell’s hair in Dances with Wolves. (I’m not blaming Mary. I’m an actor; I never blame actors.)

So what is it that makes you throw popcorn and yell at the TV, “Did you think no one would notice?”




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Hi Harley,

I hate when someone makes a film about a town in New England, and they film it in a Pacific rain forested island. If it's a story that stands on its own why bother making a huge deal about the locality when it doesn't really fit? Why not just tell the story? But if the story does have everything to do with New England, why try to make it fit a different locality? I'm sure it has to do with money. It still irks me.

OK, you pressed my Marblehead-is-nothing-like-Vancouver button.

Obvious breaks in continuity, like the button example, bother me. Someone is supposed to be watching for that. But they have to be obvious, because I don't watch with the eye of someone in the Business (or the jerk you were dating).

Yeah, obvious places that are not where they are supposed to be, like the snow-capped mountains of Cleveland in Howard the Duck.

Or getting facts wrong that I know. Because then, what else is wrong.

There's plenty more, but I have the NYT to read in the next 10 minutes.

Right now the thing that hits me in movies is the overly long, slow product shot. Yes, I know that corporations pay thousands of dollars for their products to be featured in the movie, but really! How long does Tom Cruise have to hold up the phone for a close up so we see the brand? In the Highlander movie the entire epic battle was filmed in front of a giant JVC sign.

Last summer in Bad Teacher, the camera panned at snail's pace over the Porsches in the opening scene. Okay that last example is a little hypocritical of me, considering I loved the close up of the Adopt a Dolphin certificate in the principal's office for obvious reasons. :-)

My favorite is LOVE, ACTUALLY, where careful viewing shows Hugh Grant is in a different necktie in every scene he's in. It was a continuity error the first time, but Grant and the producer decided 'what the heck' and made a running gag out of it. Subtle, but funny! As L, A is one of TLC's All Time Great Holiday Movies, watch closely this year..:)

If we ever have a TLC Gathering, as has been discussed before, and I am fortunate enough to have a solo cabin with a Big Screen TV and a DVD player, everyone is invited to come over and watch the following with me:

LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD (this gets half a pass because it IS a 'Die Hard', but still)

Any episode of CSI/NCIS where the CIA, FBI, NSA, or even the Bad Guy's computer is 'hacked' into in less than fifteen seconds, or a hard drive gives up all the secrets with a push of a button. (Bonus points if a character mutters something about it being encrypted, but accesses the information in less than ten seconds anyway.)

Any episode of L&O/SVU, but no comments when I holler, "SEE? This is why SVU is my favorite sitcom!"

Various flavors of pizza and popcorn will be served, but you're responsible for your own drinks....

Television shows and movies where characters are talking about an embassy located in Los Angeles or New York. There may be a consulate there but not an embassy. Those are all in Washington, DC.

The entire premise of The Proposal. I love the chemistry between Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds but Canadians don't need visas to work in the US. At least not doing the job she was. If she had opened her own publishing company, maybe she'd need one.

Southerners don't sweat all the time. Especially not in the comfort of their a/c'd homes. This particularly drives my mom nuts. We won't get into the accents. Shudder.

Oh, just yesterday I said exactly the same phrase: Did you think no one would notice? It was about a French series where a salesgirl was renting a three-bedroom apartment in Paris (LOL) and having a full-time nanny for her baby (ROTFL). I mean it would have been lovely but as you say, Harley, I was wondering who the poor girl’s been sleeping with?

Other things that make me love:
-Russians in Hollywood films.
- Mistakes or misspelling in French and Russian signs/inscriptions (even in such a good film as Dr. Zhivago they couldn’t help making grammatical errors in Russian slogans)

What Summer said! People in the South set their home a/c to Arctic Blast.

My personal all time pet peeve is the use of "y'all" as singular. Grrrrrr.

Thirty-three-year-old actors playing teenagers. Or teenager characters using language that no teenager would ever use. Or forty-year-old women in relationships with sixty-five-year-old men and it isn't even acknowledged in the storyline. Seriously?! He's old enough to be her father, but no one notices? By the same token, an on-screen "parent" who, off screen, is only a few years older than their "child." Sean Connery played Harrison Ford's father despite being just 12 years older, for example.

I love watching the new Hawaii 5-0, but the things they supposedly get away with when interrogating suspects drives me nuts. (The actors sure are pretty, though.)

And maybe this is wishful thinking, but I can't believe that everyone but me has a perfectly spotless home at every moment of every day. Especially the shows with children - is that backpack they left on the steps the only indication that there's a child in the house?!!

To follow up on William's post, I constantly comment on "how much RAM they must have" in computers when they are able to pull every little thing up in a millisecond. IRL, these computer systems are probably just as slow and buggy as the ones I use at work. Maybe even worse, like the California payroll system, which was apparently designed in the 1960's and never updated.

Sandi said: "Sean Connery played Harrison Ford's father despite being just 12 years older, for example."

Agreed, Sandi. But, as Harrison Ford himself said when asked about that very thing, "Well... it IS Sean!"

The audience howled...:)

The New York apartments make me laugh, too. Ditto gigantic California houses for the middle class characters.

Mostly, if the story is good, I don't notice. For example, I have watched Love, Actually many times and never noticed the ties.

This is a book pet peeve. I've seen numerous authors with books set in New Orleans that describe the horse drawn carriages in Jackson Square. Those are mules, not horses.

Oh my GOD how can anybody listen to Nessun Dorma without bawling BUCKETS at the beauty and human achievement and spectacular effort that results in such soaring gorgeousness! That wonderful MAN!! And when the sopranos come in, so hushed and dramatic, and he's on the brink of that awesome (and I use the word as it was intended!) finale! Oh my GOD, OH MY GOD.

Wait, what was the question?

Yes, yes, I didn't even think about the computer issues. People guessing the clever passwords of the dead man's top secret files is particularly amusing. (Of course, in my case they'd just have to look on my desktop for the file marked "passwords" . . .)

In my 30's, I once had a 28-year old "teenage" daughter (because she was short) and this kid--I forget his name--who was my "teenage" son, but such a hottie it was awfully fun to work with him, but in a mildly alarming way.

Accents. [Shudder.] Don't get me started. But okay, as long as you brought it up, Kevin Costner's in Robin Hood made me flee the theatre.

Oh, yes -- and along with the houses so spotless and junk-free that no children could possibly live there, what about the babies that are never around to scream or swallow the goldfish the minute the parents are on the phone, never fight with their siblings in the background, TV characters who rarely watch TV, and toddlers that sit happily in their playpens whenever they're not needed?

On the soaps, we'd always laugh at how they'd bring in the baby for one closeup, send it off for a nap, and it would emerge 3 months later as a teenager.

Roman cavalry using saddles with stirrups always gets to me. [shrug] Mistakes in movies are a trivia nut's treasure trove. So are mistakes in the History Channel's "documentaries".

Harley, you know that's SORAS--Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome.

Right now, Lesley Anne Down is playing Jack Wagner's mother on The Bold and the Beautiful. Now, she has had good work done, certainly better than Hunter Tylo's clown look, but it couldn't be THAT good. (According to IMDB, she's 57, and he's 52.)

Kevin Costner's accent in Robin Hood was good, and I hate, hate, hate Sienna Miller's roving accents in movies such as that Pittsburgh movie and that corpse married to James Franco movie.

Yeah, I used to be mad for Pavarotti, but now it's all Placido Domingo for me. But it was Pavarotti who actually inspired me to learn all the words for Nessun Dorma. That is some aria!

It was Brian Austin Green who was my son in some mildly awful TV movie. Not such a stretch, as I could've had him when I was 16.

In fact, in that very TV movie, I was heading to my car one workday and they called me back in because they needed my hand for an insert shot. "You won't even need to get in costume," the director said. "Just slip on your prop watch." So I did, but I was too lazy to take off my real watch--because I thought no one would notice! -- but there it is in the movie. Me tucking a blanket around a sleeping kid, wearing 2 watches.

One reason I love British tv series...they do show the screaming babies, the messy houses, the less than opulent digs, the grumbles about the bills and very few of the people are 'pretty'.

My favorite is "A Touch of Frost".

There are a series of books on movie flubs. One has a typo in it.

I don't see many movies any more, other than Disney movies, but some of my favorites: Primal Fear, the Whiskey bottle on the bar rotates so the label is always facing the camera as the two actors talk; Dodges incredible repairing windshield in Twister; The contemporary FedEx truck in Catch me if you can.

In real life, the grainy surveillance footage is as good as it gets. And sign me up for the crack in 30 seconds and instant computers.

And count the number of buttons someone on TV pushes on a phone. They know it is a prop and will be answered, so why really dial?

Look on the bright side; It has been awhile since a WWII movie has had a 50 star flag.

Just read William's link. Police don't turn off on computers in a suspects home until they have to. That is one of the reasons.

And I forgot! On L&O rebuttal questions are treated as a brilliant insight. Pity they are a part of every testimony if the lawyer so wishes.

Drives me crazy too! When you kill yourself to make everything perfect when you are set dressing and then see someone else's shoddy work on screen it makes you wonder who they are sleeping with!
Another reason why I love live theatre. No do overs. If you can't do a double pirouette you can't pretend the magic of editing can make you look like you can.
Dance movies. Even the best choreographer in the world can't help you if you can't dance either.
Hats off to Richard Gere in Chicago!

Another favorite soap memory is hair and makeup for the coma patient. The fact that a person is comatose (and on soaps, someone usually is) is no reason to forego lipgloss.

Harley, I LOVED that movie. I wished that I could have been him and had an affair with such a hot older woman (that was that Sharon something actress from NYPD Blue).

But then, that's sort of my limited history.

Military uniforms wrong!
Cocking sounds for automatic weapons!
Pumping shotguns three or four times and shooting once!!
I could go on but getting to emotional GRRRRRRR

Nancy, thanks for the Pavarotti link. Insert girlish sigh here.

Talk about a continuity issue. The entire premise of Turandot is goofy as hell, but the lush and gorgeous music makes up for the idea of a Chinese princess (who is usually enormous and not at all pretty) singing in Italian and having suitors' heads lopped off. LOL

Now I'm wondering why cowboys don't ride horses with four white socks.

I caught a few minutes of that movie about Bill Clinton's election (John Travolta as Bill, why am I blanking on the title?) and the usually wonderful Emma Thompson trying hard to sound like an American, but . . . oh, dear. Even the great ones pull a Costner once in a while.

Typepad is having "issues" today. Sorry for the inconvenience, ya'll. (Is that use of 'ya'all' correct?)

White socks on horses mean weak ankles or hooves or feet or something. Some internet sites calls this an old wives' tail, but Andrew-the-jockey says it's real. All true cowboys know this.

Yes, SusanCo! I was waiting for someone to weigh in on the weaponry!

Aha! Thanks, Harley.

An awful lot of racehorses seem to have white socks. Hmm.

Apparently it's okay to have one or two white socks, but four is a problem. Andrew?

Oh, yeah! How could I forget this one?:

Good Guy or Bad Guy has other party at gunpoint with an automatic pistol. Quips or lectures are traded, THEN and *ONLY THEN* is the slide of the weapon pulled back, chambering a round. NOW it's scary.

Prior to that, all the person holding the gun can do is say "Bang, you're dead!" Until the slide is racked and a round chambered, an automatic pistol is nothing more than an ugly paperweight.

We'll forget all about revolvers that shoot 137 rounds without re-loading.... we'll skip right over that.....

I am always amazed at how each episode of a cop show has the obligatory chase scene. The perp is chased down for twenty city blocks, alleys, dumpsters etc. by a detective who never seems to get winded.
The obligatory takedown confrontation between the good and bad guys where they keep pummeling each other and yet keep on getting up and asking for more.
The classic scenes in the movie Quo Vadis where Tony Curtis is speaking in his Brooklyn accent.
And Ben Hur classic where telephone lines are visible in the background during the chariot races.

Its not the stockings per se that are the problem, but the white feet that go along with them. There is no physiological reason for this, because the actual structure of white and dark feet are the same, but from a practical standpoint, white feet are considered "soft" relative to dark feet. I heard one person call their consistency "Buttery", which is quite poetic for a cowboy. White feet crack more easily, they are prone to bruising and abcesses, and shoes seem to fall off of them. There are many racehorses with white feet, but they often experience problems and commercially it is considered a negative. And a cowboy ropin' and tyin' the doggies out on the range or being chased by bad guys up a rocky path can't risk having a horse with bad feet. Clint Eastwood as the Preacher (in Ghost Rider?) rode a gorgeous horse with four big white socks and feet and I just couldn't get beyond it.

Oh, I love this! And I'm incessantly watching.

Last night on The Good Wife! Did you see it?

In shot number one, Alicia's sttting on a bench with her legs crossed.
Cut to another person.
Bsck to Alicia, two seconds later, now her legs are UNcrossed.
Cut to a wider shot--now her legs are crossed!

I shrieked! Jump cut! DID YOU SEE THAT?

Jonathan said--huh?

SO, he's a happier person than I am.

In the program "Gilmore Girls" the father of Lorelai Gilmore is an insurance company executive with an office in Hartford CT. That's OK. However, the writers, or whatever, seem to think that Hartford is a wealthy city, as that is where they have the parents living in their ritzy mansion,and that mansion appears to be out in the country. I am a life-long CT resident. My friends and I just cannot conceive of any executive who would choose to live in Hartford, which is one of the poorest cities in the entire USA. In fact, it is shameful that such a poor city exists in one of the richest states in the country. It would have been far more believeable to have them living in one of the nearby wealthy towns- perhaps WEST Hartford. It has no relationship to Hartford but lots of people who live there drive to work in nearby Hartford. And there is no "Countryside"in Hartford. I seem to remember seeing some mansions up there, but they are all close together on smallish lots, and are historical buildings of some sort.

If ever I'm in a coma, please somebody apply lip gloss. And the occasional powdering of my nose, that would be appreciated too.

Nancy said: Typepad is having "issues" today. Sorry for the inconvenience, ya'll. (Is that use of 'ya'all' correct?)

Yinz did just fine, Nancy....:)

Actually, William, the singular of "yinz" is "younze," but even I do not make the distinction because technically I was born 70 miles from Pittsburgh. It's a fine line, but a line nonetheless.

Here's Secretariat. Three white stockings. I can't tell if the hooves are light, too. Who knew??

Yinz are really getting into the spirit of this!

Okay, Nancy, now I have to go look at the Pavarotti performance and then we can have dueling Nessun Dormas (Nessun Dormi?)

Yes, okay, Luciano was pretty spectacular. (Kind of orgasmic on that high note, huh?) But that was a concert. Is it fair to compare a concert with an opera production?

Thank you, Andrew. Now we are all white sock experts.

Hank, imagine the cast and crew being told, "Sorry, sweetheart -- magnificent take, great acting, perfect camera moves, amazing stunt work, but Alicia didn't have her legs crossed in the master, so we have to do it again." Grrr. And maybe they were way over budget that week and couldn't go back and do it again. Or maybe the script supervisor didn't see it, and they only realized it in the editing room and so they shrugged and said, "It's not like anyone's going to notice."

I agree with Reine on Vancouver for Marblehead. People around here hate that kind of thing. I'm also tired of hearing everyone speaking in those bad Massachusetts accents. Not many people talk that way these days, and even if they did, Hollywood seldom gets the accent right.

I get a kick out of seeing Vancouver portrayed as many places, it entertains me to try and figure out where exactly stuff was filmed in my great city . . .

When my friend Anne came out of her first medically induced coma, it took her at least 3 days to get coherent. I can't watch medical shows anymore, watching perfectly coiffed and made up people wake up from a coma/surgery and be all there and start talking, what a crock.

Any movie where the cast has been in the woods/artic/desert etc for days on end and still they have clean hair, faces and their clothes are only slightly dusty. Really, after 3 days you know they would be stinky, greasy messes. It just cracks me up when said cast has been in the wilderness for X amount of days and they have a love scene. Ewwwwww, get a shower!

I have noticed that Buffy's hair often stays quite nice after a huge fight scene, sure she will have a bloody cut on her forehead but her hair stays nice. Then again, she is Buffy!

I believe it's y'all. Margaret?

Mountains in Kansas. Balls on cows. Babies who never look at the tv parent, but only at the real parent off-camera, or at the shiny light overhead. Can't they find a way to fake a baby looking into its tv parent's eyes??

Fun post, Harley.

I want to know why a cowboy wouldn't have a horse with white "socks" -- or is it that they wouldn't stay white what with all the dust and dirt?
When I taught in Jamaica, dusty and dry in Kingston, my white book bag from St. Cecilia's Academy darkened so that at the end of my stay, my friends on campus thought I had a second, brown one . . .
I watch fewer and fewer movies in theaters these days. I can't stand paying the high prices and then having to tune out noises and lights from rude audience members.

Bad science. More accurately, trying to base your movie in real science, then totally ingnoring the laws of physics or biology or whatever. I'm not talking Star Trek technobabble here, because you know that's part of the whole deal. But things like a guy in a car outrunning the pyroclastic flow from a volcano or Bruce Willis blowing up an asteroid the size of Texas or about 200 fifty mile wide spacecraft gently crashing into the ground? Nope, that'll be sure to piss mr off.

William! You + all = y'all.

Ya'll is what somebody yells when they are dipped into a vat of ice water. It sounds like a cat screeching. (Okay, I just made that up.)

Y'all. Don't make me explain this again.

Gaylin, my husband and I were watching something recently where a patient woke up from surgery and he was instantly coherent. Whenever I've had surgery it has taken me two or three times of surfacing and nodding off again to get to the coherent stage.

I always think the same thing when I see love scenes in those kinds of situations. Ewww.

I'm with Ramona on the y'all question. Some "expert" recently wrote that "y'all" was singular and "all y'all" was the plural. Ack!

Come all of you from other parts,
Both city folks and rural,
And listen while I tell you this:
The word "you-all" is plural.

If I should say to Junior Smith
For instance, "You-all's lazy,"
Or "Would you-all lend me your knife?"
He'd think that I was crazy.

And when we say, “Now you-all come
Or we shall all be lonely,”
We mean a dozen folks perhaps,
And not one person only.

So if you'd be more sociable
And with us often mingle,
You'd find that on the native tongue,
"You-all" is never single.

Don't think I mean to criticize
Or act as if I knew all,
But when we speak of only one
We just say "You" -- like you-all.

When I was in college in the '60s, my dormitory friends and I would often watch soap operas between classes. There was one soap in which one of the characters had a heart transplant. Remember - back then, this was very new, and people were in the hospital FOREVER when they had such surgery. The soap character was in the hospital maybe a couple of weeks or so, and a week after being released, he was going out for walks in his neighborhood. Gee, when I had far lesser surgery, it took me longer than that to talk a walk through the neighborhood, and I have a reputation for pushing myself to the limit! I was walking on my own block but definitely NOT taking half hour walks through the neighborhood! I think the same soap character went on a business trip about 2 or 3 weeks later. Ridiculous! I had a friend who had a heart transplant in the 1980s and he was the sort who pushed the limits, but even he would not have done something like that!

One of my sisters was in a really bad car accident in 1975. She was 19 years old, looked younger, and was very tiny. Among other things, she suffered a concussion and badly broken/splintered jaw. I did not recognize her when I visited her in the hospital twelve hours later - her face was a swollen mess, and she looked about thirty years older than she was. In the movies or on TV, you might see fake bruises or cuts/gashes on an accident victim, but you'd never see any other evidence of a head or jaw injury.

Margaret Margaret! YOU are..hilarious! That may be the funniest thing ever...

My God, I can't keep up with y'all!

My daughter lost her brand new retainer and we were at her dad's house, looking through the garbage for it. I'm having flashbacks from PARENTHOOD. (We found it in the garage, on her bike. Of course.)

Margaret, excellent poem. And I especially like women who give birth and look lovely and svelte immediately after as opposed to still looking 7 months pregnant and kinda blotchy.

Margaret, brilliant!!

Margaret, you rock.

In Blue Bloods, Len Cariou plays Tom Selleck's father. They're 5 years apart in age.

There are so many British/Irish/Scottish/Australian actors in American TV shows these days, I often hear the mispronounced word. Hugh Laurie does a great job, but I've heard them from Poppy Montgomery, Simon Baker (The Mentalist - Owain Yeoman does a better job), Jake Weber (Joe Dubois on Medium)... Can't think of others at the moment.

I also enjoy when they set a movie or TV show in a location, and then mispronounce area streets/rivers/roads/towns. I enjoy watching Body of Proof, but love to hear them pronounce Philly area things like Schuylkill, not to mention how fast they get places. Apparently they've never actually been in traffic in Philly.

I am probably a tv producer's dream, since I don't notice a lot of things like the ties and the crossed legs from one scene to another. I do sometimes find myself yelling things at the TV about how fast they get things done, and how easily they come up with a solution.

The product placement is getting ridiculous. I honestly don't mind seeing the very close shot of the car emblem or saying the product name in conversation. I mean, most of us will say "I want a Coke", not "I would like some cola." But sometimes lately you get a full-blown commercial.

Laura, yes, I too have to laugh at how quickly movie scenes get from one place to another when they are filmed in Vancouver. I think one of my favourites was in that old movie Stake Out (Emilio Estevez, I think was in it). We went to it to 'see' Vancouver in the film. There was a chase scene that one minute was in downtown Vancouver and the next they were screeching to a halt at the ferry terminal in Tsawwassen . . . That is an easy 1 hour drive with no traffic, 2 hours with traffic! The whole theatre laughed out loud at that one.

And as much as I love Apple computers I am getting tired of obvious computer placement in tv shows and movies so you can prominently see the glowing apple.

I agree with Harley about the post-pregnant beauties in shows! Or the ease of which birth happens on most shows, got forbid the actress gets her hair sweaty!

"Secretariat" - I hate it when they keep swapping out horses - especially when the one used in the closeup has a sripe so obviously painted on his face that the paint is still wet.
And in "Seabiscuit" the various horses in the role weren't even the same color.
I work in Computer Technical Support - don't even get me started about the difference between real life and movies in THAT field.

What I want to know is whether my dogs would come find me if I moved away, like they did in THE INCREDIBLE JOURNEY. I know for a fact my cat wouldn't even have considered it.

Before false rumors get started, please let me make it clear that those "you-all" verses were NOT written by me. It's something I found in an old Saturday Evening Post when I was about 6 or 8. Memorized the poem, but not the poet. Wish I'd written it, but I didn't.

tv shows where the police bust suspects and are involved in shoot-outs but are not wearing Kevlar vests. I can't watch Rizzoli and Isles anymore because of this...and the women are wearing the requisite heels during said shootout.

Transformers 3, Rosie Something slash Something was wearing a WHITE DRESS while Chicago was supposedly getting destroyed, and at the end of the 25 minute fight scene, the dress was still recognizably white. And she still had her heels on. Now I am obviously suspending some disbelief because there are no Transformers in this world but please, make some of it believable. Everyone else is dirty and wrecked except the hot chick. How come in real life the hot chick ( i.e. me) looks like she went 10 rounds with Decepticon when all she did was take the toddler to Target? Hmmm?!?!

Because, Lora, there is no more heroic feat than taking a toddler to Target.

William, "...it IS Sean" - too funny!

Makeup! Yes, coma patients always look pristine, but how about the women waking up after a good night's sleep wearing perfect, heavy makeup? Why doesn't she look like a raccoon?

Product placement - is anyone else sick of characters getting in a car and demonstrating how the sound system works, or the automatic parallel parking, casually working the make and model into the dialogue? Bones is particularly bad about this - I sneer at the screen every time it happens.

Margaret, don't feel bad about citation of the poem. I tried to Google to find an author for you, and found a reference to it as an anonymous poem in
A Man of My Words: Reflections on the English Language By Richard Lederer


I'm not good with continuity errors, but I believe that the ADD (attention deficet disorder) editing techniques used today is used to cover a multitude of sins. I still do not know what happens after Bruce Willis and Michael Clarke Duncan blast off in "Armengeddon."

I recently listened to the audio commentary of "Good to see you again Alice Cooper." After reading the credits, Cooper made a comment along the lines of,
"We had somebody in charge of continuity? We did every thing in one take and kept talking until the film ran out!"

This documentary was a hit on the midnight circuit during the 1970s. What was the ticket buyers thinking?

Okay, you asked for it. Weapons in opera.

Worked on a production of 'Carmen' with one of the greatgreatgreat stage directors. Got to the Smugglers Scene where they ambush the soldiers.
Flintlock firearms all around. Chief smuggler fires his flintlock pistol to threaten the soldiers - and then continues to threaten them with the discharged pistol.
Mentioned this to The Director, famous for his realistic stagings. He shrugged. "No one else is ever gonna notice that. Besides, it's opera."

Nancy, re 'Nessun Dorma,' watch for Tenor Frank Porretta. He's based in NYC, has a Brando-like animal magnetism, and sang the bejeebers out of the role at the Hollywood Bowl this summer. Oh, yeah, and Christine Brewer, our Turandot, was quite beautiful and terrifying.

Tom! Wow! How wonderful is your Frank Porretta! He's an up-and-comer! Just found his Nessun Dorma. (Why hasn't anyone else thought of the Chinese warrior costume before?)This audience is terrible, though. Coughing and TALKING?? And, I think, taping illegally.

So wonderful, but yes, the audience is awful.

Until yesterday morning, I was staying a block from the Arsht Center for four nights!

Oh man, what a night - I've listened to Pavarotti, Domingo, Jose Carreras, Mario Lanza, and now Frank Porretta sing Nessum Dorma, one of my favorite arias, and I got goosebumps with each one.

How is Schuylkill pronounced?

My mother's pet peeve, after working in the insurance industry, is the "life insurance won't pay in cases of suicide" plot. Insurance companies, according to Mom, are required by law to pay for suicides except, in some cases, for a brief period of time after the policy is first initiated. So unless that show specifically says the policy is brand new, it's not true.

My pet peeve is the common plot that marrying an American automatically makes you a legal permanent resident or a citizen. This is not true. You must be here legally on some sort of temporary status(which might be a "fiancee" visa, which doesn't entitle you to work in the States, by the way). You must apply for permanent residency (which does entitle you to work), and you must convince the INS that you are actually living together and holding yourself out to the community as a genuine married couple.

A young friend of mine married a British citizen - they've been married for over a year now and have a nine month old daughter, and he JUST got the final approval for his "green" card (permanent resident), and can now legally be employed. I also knew a Canadian citizen who married a US citizen, and was living in the US, but never applied for permanent residency. She went to Canada to visit family, was "caught" at the border coming back to the States, and was not allowed back in. Ever. They eventually divorced.

Almost not a hijack because it's so late?

Mary Stella, I have to get over to Florida to see those dolphins. I would love to be in the water with them! I love your posts.


It's actually kind of like Schuylkill = "school-kill" - the "Y" comes out just slightly.

I must admit that I am a continuity fanatic. I'm not in the business but just seem to have an eye for detail that is always there. Don't they have people for whom continuity IS a job? I see their names on the credits but they must sleep alot!

The movie "Mr and Mrs Smith" starts in Bogata. The characters are shown sweating under the palm trees in the muggy, muggy Bogata climate. Only Bogata is at 8,000 feet. Which I suppose could be muggy, but probably isn't.

Later in the movie, Brad Pitt talks about wanting to buy a sailboat and move to Bolivia. (If I remember correctly.) Maybe he wants to sail on Lake Titicaca, but he's sure not going to have an ocean.

In XXX, one character insults another by sneering that character 2 hadn't been promoted from sergeant to captain or something like that. You don't get promoted from NCO to officer!

I bet most people cringe at how their own profession is represented in film. As a college professor, I have never had a large, wood-paneled office or any free time whatsoever. Most of us labor 70-80 hours a work in our cinder block cells . . .

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