7 Annoying ‘Movie World’ Mistakes


This seemingly random stock photo will make sense later on in reading this piece.

There’s a blatant continuity error in Jurassic Park that terribly irked my six year old brain. I’ve pointed it out to tons of people in my life, so I might as well publicize it here too. I’m sure it’s already on IMDb, but c’mon, this is my life story here.

When the helicopters are landing to deliver our main characters to their exotic location, there are several shots of the helicopter slowly lowering to the landing pad. It’s a great sequence, but in it is a shot of two jeeps pulling up to a stop, and in the wide shot, the jeeps are already there.

This mistake was very bothersome to me. It also awakened me to the fact that movies are fake, and, that they are made by people.

Later in life, I learned that Spielberg doesn’t care about continuity mistakes and just lets them happen. Scorsese has a similar attitude. In their minds, you should be paying attention to the story, and if a mistake like that ‘takes you out of the movie’, then they have already failed. In other words, if a movie is truly lessened by these errors, how good could it be in the first place? Scorsese just lets his actors go nuts and freely cuts between takes, because he knows that, at the very least, he’s adding to the jaggedness of the scene. And when Spielberg overlooks them, it’s because he’s simply more focused on the story than the amount of coke left in someones glass.

Continuity errors don’t bother me—unless we’re talking Troll 2 or something. Instead what’s always bothered me is the bizarre rules that govern the worlds in movies.

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Smug Film Podcast Episode #5 – Rick Harper / The Room / Room Full of Spoons (5/5/14)

51:18 | View on iTunes | Download Mp3

On this episode, Jenna Ipcar and I are joined by Rick Harper, producer and director of the upcoming documentary on the cult film The Room, Room Full of Spoons. We discuss both films, his personal experiences with Tommy Wiseau and Greg Sestero, and answer some questions from mailbag. This episode also contains a free DVD giveaway, so be sure to listen! Five lucky listeners will each win a DVD of The Room. The instructions on how to win are in the episode.

If you have a movie-related question you’d like answered on the show, leave it in the comments or email us at Podcast@SmugFilm.com.

If you enjoy the podcast, be sure to subscribe on iTunes, and leave a rating and a comment on there as well. Doing this helps us immensely as far as our ranking on there, which is what allows people to be able to discover us. Word of mouth is always best of all though, so spread the word!

Movie Stuff Referenced in this Episode:
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My Streets: The Best ‘So Bad It’s Good’ Movie You’ve Never Seen

My Streets (2009)

When I was sixteen, I made an extremely bad feature-length film called The Velvet Autumn.  It’s two hours and thirty minutes, and it makes absolutely no sense.

The reason it doesn’t make any sense is because at that time in my life, I was obsessed with the visual construction of a movie, and I didn’t yet understand that you don’t just construct images, you construct them in a way that expresses a story. I was consciously working off of the Raging Bull hypothesis—that you create the images first, and your story will come later. Scorsese did a better job at this than me, although he had access to much better materials and had way more experience.  But in any event, The Velvet Autumn, and Raging Bull alike, are proof positive that the hypothesis is incorrect—you gotta have the story first.
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Not All Movies Should Have Jokes, But All Movies Should Have a Sense of Humor

Click for bigger version.

There is a moment in Fargo (I’ll never stop talking about Fargo) that makes me die with laughter every single time I watch it. The movie is packed with black comedy and irony and brilliant deadpans (the license plate joke, holy shit) and some basic but perfect physical gags (Jean Lundegaard bursting out of the shower draped in its curtain like a kid in a homemade ghost costume), but I ain’t talking abaout all that stuff. I’m talking about the stills above. This moment seems to be more of an editorial in-joke than an actual written joke, but of course you never can tell with the Coen brothers. After Jean’s dad and Stan Grossman and Jerry discuss the plot’s central ransom over breakfast, Jerry is at the counter. The beaming cashier asks how Jerry’s meal was. After he answers rather shortly, he comes back with an affable “How you doin’” and when it cuts back to her, we see her cock her head to the side before it cuts again. All she does is cock her head to the side. No response, no change in expression, just a slight pitch. It’s hilarious. It’s insanely funny.
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Advice Column #10 (7/19/13)

Do ‘so bad it’s good’ movies, e.g., The Room or Troll 2, represent an ultimate artistic triumph, or a complete failure? – Scott F.

Editor’s Note (12/4/14): We no longer answer movie questions through our advice column. We answer them in the mailbag segment of our podcast. Send them to Cody@SmugFilm.com and we will answer on the show!
Continue reading Advice Column #10 (7/19/13)