View Full Version : Gaffe Squad
09-05-2000, 02:10 PM
I was perusing the Zoetrope site and one user was railing against GLADIATOR. Now, I happen to enjoy the film, but was taken out of the movie early on by a gaffe. I was curious if anyone else caught it, or if there are other notable gaffes from recent movies that you would like to mention.
In GLADIATOR (in fact, in the first ten minutes), Maximus rides up to his sentry and asks where their scout is. The sentry responds, "He's been gone for two hours...", after which the scout returns sans his head.
My question is, did the sentry have a Flintstone wrist-sundial? And did anyone really have a concept of "hours" in Roman times? Gawd, I howled when I heard that, and couldn't get past it for most of the movie. Otherwise, it was a really good film, but that gaffe really fried me.
Also, in U-571 (another pretty good flick), Harvey Keitel is referred to as having been in "World War One". I don't believe that it was called that until after the end of World War Two. Up until then (and even afterwards), I believe it was "The Great War". Anyone else find that odd?
Hope this is a good thread... thanks!
09-05-2000, 03:20 PM
Thanks for bringing up this topic. I found one in the Patriot that ruined the movie for me. It happend when the Mel Gibson character approached his sister in law and asked "Mind if I sit here?" her response was "Go ahead, it's a free country, or it will be soon." I couldn't believe it! Would anyone in the 1770s say that? That kind of thing really can take you out of the movie.
09-05-2000, 03:58 PM
Good ones. There was a thread a couple weeks back on "Realism" and how important was it and another one on "Suspension of Belief". I'm of the opinion that even one or two out of place items can take the air out of a movie.
Romans had sundials including small pocket watch like folding ones. The sun moves 15 degrees in an hour so 2 hours make 30 degrees. 30 degrees is a pretty easy measurement to eyeball. Boy Scouts learn tricks like this and anything a Scout knows today, a Roman soldier surely knew then.
09-05-2000, 04:22 PM
Thanks for the very enlightning lesson on sundials. Still, the concept of hours and minutes is difficult to believe was widespread (if at all) in Roman times. I believe it was more a matter of navigation.
Nonetheless, even if he had a "wrist sundial," if memory serves me right, it was cloudy that day of the battle (wasn't it snowing?). Eh, whatever, it still didn't fly with me.
09-05-2000, 07:19 PM
Cloudy! Yeah, I remember that now.
09-06-2000, 07:33 AM
Casting often takes me out of a movie. While I don't remember the title, there was a Mickey Rourke movie about 15 years ago (Year of the Dragon??) where he played WAY older than his age...I never bought it.
And in THE INSIDER, Russell Crowe was playing way too old...I also never believed that his character, a doctor who had held extremely high-paying jobs at several multinational companies, would be financially strapped...like there weren't a few stock options he could have cashed for a rainy day?
Nicole Kidman was a 22 year old doctor in DAYS OF THUNDER? Sure.
Elizabeth Shue is a physicist who discovered cold fusion in THE SAINT? Right.
Val Kilmer was a master of disguise in THE SAINT? I never recognized him. Fooled me.
And how about ARMAGEDDON? Where do we start?...
An object one fourth the size of the moon gets inside the orbit of Mars and we don't notice it?
We've got TWO titanium-shelled space shuttles that nobody knows about?
A dead guy from one space shuttle just HAPPENS to fly into the windshield of a second shuttle, long enough for us to be to identify it as a body?
A shuttle travelling 15,000 mph crashlands on a giant asteroid, and several people inside the shuttle survive?
...even though the pilots were sucked into space?
...and many of the items on the destroyed shuttle are still perfectly functional as well?
A nuclear blast a mere two miles deep will completely split a 500 mile wide asteroid? (Frankly, we're lucky we haven't split the Earth in two with all that underground testing over the years.)
Hunky Ben Affleck wins an Oscar for Best Screenplay? Oh, wrong movie...well, you get my point.
09-06-2000, 07:44 AM
Sorry, but in fact the Romans of old did have a sense of time, including hours. An hour was one twelfth of the time between sunrise and sunset. I was made to read Latin literature when I was younger. You know, "Gallia in tres partes divisa est", and so on.
09-06-2000, 11:37 AM
Okay, Bill, point conceded, but it still felt very out-of-place.
As for ARMAGEDDON, Couchguy, I still can't believe that movie made the money that it did. I got my degree in Aerospace Engineering, and the movie, outside of being badly acted, written, and shot, was just plain ludicrous! The only saving grace was seeing Michael Clarke Duncan in his first breakout role.
When I was an agent, I would visit the set of THE WAYANS BROTHERS television show. M.C. Duncan was on the set security staff. I would call him "Big Mike" and would marvel at his enormity. He was one of the nicest guys I'd ever met. A true Hollywood success story, and he really earned it.
One of my other (many) pet peeves is when cops @#%$ their guns. My brother is in law enforcement, and police officers are expressly forbidden from @#%$ing their guns when approaching a suspect. You see, they are much easier to discharge in that position. I know it sounds good on the film, but it just wouldn't happen.
09-06-2000, 11:41 AM
I've never been bothered when Romans talk about hours, even though I realize they didn't call them "hours"...actually, they didn't speak English, did they, so whatever they called an hour wouldn't really matter. Now, if someone order a "Caesar salad", THAT would take me out of the movie.
What bothers me is when sci-fi productions throw in "lingo" as an attempt to make something sound "different". Take 'Battlestar Galactica' (please)...instead of "seconds" they used "centons". Why? Everybody KNEW they meant seconds. Why not just say "seconds"? Afraid some nit-picker would say, "Hey, if those guys are really from the time before recorded history, how did they know there's such a thing as a second?" Not to mention George Lucas' misuse of parsec. Okay, I mentioned it.
Was I just discussing Battlestar Galactica a centon ago? How low I've sunk. Sank. Sunken. Whatever.
09-06-2000, 01:38 PM
AHA! Another engineer. What's that make now? 5? 6? This board is getting to be a regular contruction zone.
09-06-2000, 02:17 PM
What are the nine most terryfing words a person could ever hear?
"I'm an engineer and I'm here to help you"
Bwahahahaha.... I think I hurt something.
There are technical screw ups in most movies - I've learned to turn off my brain and try to enjoy it.
The WORST ones that bug me are six shooters that fire twenty shells without a reload... some waif hanging onto a massive gun like a DE .50 and shooting it with no recoil... a guy that every secne seems to be working the action on a shotgun without firing a shot (like, where are all the loaded shells you've been ejecting dude)
09-06-2000, 05:29 PM
some user on IMDB sumed it up: a movie that
wants us to believe it makes more sense to turn a bunch of drillers into astronout than to train astronouts to dig a hole...
09-06-2000, 06:33 PM
Boy, talk about PC. About four entries earlier on this board, I used the phrase "c*ck his gun." Well, you know what I wanted to say, i.e., "pull back the hammer."
So, Bill, does this bulletin board automatically assume I was talk about the male genitalia?
09-06-2000, 06:42 PM
Everyone is shocked the first time it happens. It is EZBoard. I never knew there were so many words with c0ck as a component.
09-06-2000, 06:52 PM
It seems that ezBoard has a built in morality checker. Obviously a feminist plot to have all @#%$s removed.
From Halloween, when Donald Pleasance was being academic, expository and explanatory in the classroom, pointing to the chalkboard where Michael Meyers has written "Samhain", and then proceeded to elucidate upon the term.
Pronouncing it "Samm-Hane".
It's not an entirely esoteric word; it's in some English dictionaries. The pronunciation is "Sow-Ehn" or "Sahv-Ihn" depending on the region of the speaker, which anyone explaining the term would know (or at least know one of them).
And then there are always the mental weebles that say "Seltic" rather than "Keltic" (note: there is no soft "c" in the Gaelic dialects). Unless you're talking about a Basketball Team, the "c" is hard.
BTW, Toddin, did you ever see any stories in the "True Stories" thread that you think should be posted?
And thank you for an intertaining thread here, too.
Daughter of Lir
09-06-2000, 08:08 PM
Sorry, mine is always when they BLATANTLY screw up period costuming. I can forgive a lot and I am actually generally pretty mellow re: costuming, but the PINK CRUSHED VELVET gown on the French princess in Braveheart reeeeeeally pissed me off. And dont get me started on kilts. <grin> Oh and messing up serious history to make a film? That French princess wasnt BORN when William Wallace was doing his thing, nor did she ever come in contact with the Scots...
But yeah, ditto what was said above: when people are being scholarly in movies and utterly destroy the pronunciation of a foreign word (see: samhain) especially when it would have been SO bloody easy to do correctly.
Oh yeah, never mind the fact that the whole FILM sucked, but the part about the "evil Celts" in "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves"??? I was with an entire theatre full of historical re-enactors and we all had a field-day... (Their garb was wrong, the English wouldnt have generally said 'those evil Celts', but they would have said the Welsh or the Scots, they weren't furry barbarians, etc...)
09-07-2000, 04:11 PM
Okay, Kosk. I went back and reviewed those great stories, and the ones that jumped out at me were, as follows:
ZeeMan13's kindergarten story - a comedy classic!
TinaRM had two - sorry to say that her tale of sitter abuse is tragic, but very compelling. Also, I loved the vignette about the boy with a paintbrush for a head!
Teris1 - The story of the exploding VW was amazing.
Callitt - The crash was a horrifying story.
ksk2 - Both the story of Wiggy the witch and the awful car wreck were fascinating.
and Paula413 - I adored the tale of her Dean who helped her, then died before she could thank him in person.
These are just a taste of what everyone has hidden somewhere in their memory. We at storyXchange plan to give everyone a place to tell those stories, and maybe find someone who wants to tell it to a larger audience.
Hope that helps, Kosk! And thanks for your support!
If things play out the way I hope they will, then no thanks needed. Helping a site that actually ends up helping writers will, in turn, help me and my own.
And your replies have been both helpful and informative, which is about all anyone can ask for in a place like this.
So thanks to you, pard. :)
I'll put up the Wiggy stuff (plus the climax/crescendo of the story; our final date; very funny if you like Abfab/Blackadder) soon. Gotta write a bio and hype-sheet today first (pass the dramamine...). And I'll throw in a little something else after that too... something that would indubitably be interesting RE coldplay's afterlife thread, but not for this board, not today...
I'm sincerely glad you joined us, Toddin. Not just due to your BG as an agent, but primarily from the goodwill I perceive. And pal-to-pal, from someone who's had to draw/paint for a living, your tale of the ripped-hand got me where I live. Literally. Gut is still clenched.
09-07-2000, 07:10 PM
I believe we're having a lovefest, Kosk. That always makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside.
Glad to hear that you'll be posting material. We are getting more and more requests for our users' material, so I hope we can live up to your expectations.
As for my hand, it was a life-changing, and life-affirming experience. As traumatic as that was, I still wince when I stub my toe. But it's a great story and, believe it or not, I have photos to go with it! Not from the day of the accident, mind you, but from throughout the recovery.
I have two sayings/cliches that I remember when I think og the accident:
"That which does not kill me only serves to make me stronger"
"If this is the worst thing to happen to me before I die, then I'll be a lucky guy"
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