We’ve all seen it before: A soundman’s boom mic dips slightly into frame or an entire camera crew shows up in the reflection of a shiny car window. For as long as there are humans making films, there will inevitably be mistakes in those films. We are, after all, only human (unless of course 10 more years pass and James Cameron figures out a way to change all that).
Personally, I love finding mistakes in movies – and not just the microphone and crew type, either. Mistakes in continuity, timelines and even scenery can sometime run amok in a film. The script supervisor is usually the person responsible for making sure that the character wearing a pink ball cap turned to the left and standing in front of a tall fichus tree in one scene looks exactly the same after the camera cuts away and then back to the actor. If the camera comes back and the guy is wearing a blue hat turned backwards standing in front of a banana tree, then that would be a “whoops” on their part and continuity is broken.
Every year MovieMistakes.com publishes their list of the worst offenders in terms of cinematic blunders – and 2009 has some real gaffs. We’ll have a look at the top 10 films and some of their major goofs, starting with number 10 and working our way to the film that had 94 mistakes (and it’s probably not the film you’re thinking of).
2009 brought us 146 films containing a total of 1049 mistakes. While that may seem like quite a few, the year that had the most problems was 2003… with 5651 mistakes. Apparently that was the year that Hollywood tried to “go by memory” while shooting movies instead of using a script supervisors. You can visit Movie Mistakes for the entire list of 146 films, but we’ve shaved the big list down to the worst 10 offenders.
[WARNING: SOME OF THESE “MISTAKES” MAY BE CONSIDERED SPOILERS!!!]
#10 – Inglorious Basterds – 25 mistakes
Oh, Quentin Tarantino! You make one helluva fun flick (even though your films do seem to be full of exposition) but you may need to get a better script supervisor. As Brad Pitt says, “We’re in the mistake bidness, and bidness is a boomin!”
Glaring Error – In the bar scene, the Gestapo officer says that he will buy the men a ’33 whiskey. However, later, the Gestapo officer says that Lt. Hicox is no more German than that “scotch.” Hicox perpetuates this later by saying that there is a “special rung in hell for people who waste good scotch.”
#9 – 2012 – 26 Mistakes
2012 may have made an earth-shattering amount of money (pun intended) but the number of mistakes in the film is what made it truly disastrous.
Glaring Error – Nima says that Tenzin will meet them at the West Gate of Cho Ming valley, but a sign at the gate says it is the East Gate.
#8 – Paul Blart: Mall Cop – 26 Mistakes
A surprising hit with audiences this year was the bumbling but sweet mall cop protecting his territory from robbers. Too bad he couldn’t protect the movie from having a shopping cart full of mistakes.
Glaring Error – After Blart gets spray tanned, his shirt is a mess with the tanning spray. A few shots later, his shirt is clean again. Then a few shots later, his shirt is once again dirty.
#7 – Knowing – 28 Mistakes
Knowing is a movie about a little boy communicating with a group of aliens who allow him to foresee bad events before they happen. I guess the intelligent alien race forgot to include scene continuity as well. Also a mistake? Nicholas Cage’s recent choices in movie roles.
Glaring Error – In the last couple of scenes, when John is driving through the city from the gas station, the back door of his truck constantly changes from open to closed, to no door at all.
#6 – Angels & Demons – 30 Mistakes
When Hollywood powerhouses Tom Hanks and Ron Howard decided to bring Dan Brown’s novel to life they choose to take a more literal route, which makes me wonder if they also intentionally left in the mistakes as well.
Glaring Error – In their first visit to the Vatican Archives, Robert and Vittoria are sitting the table across from one another. When Vittoria asks Robert “Do you need help with Latin?” the shadow of the boom mic is seen moving on Robert’s face.
#5 – Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian – 33 Mistakes
A decent attempt at a sequel to a good family film that ultimately left me feeling “blah” after leaving the theater. I can’t help but wonder if director Sean Levy let Dexter the monkey act as script supervisor with all these mistakes.
Glaring Error – In the scene with Darth Vader and Oscar the Grouch, watch Darth Vader’s eyes. You can see the light screens and crew reflected in his eyes in every shot.
Glaring Error – In the opening sequence, Sacajawea is placed in a crate of tan, straw-like packing material. When Larry visits the museum a few hours later, Sacajawea emerges from a crate full of white packing “peanuts” (styrofoam pellets).
#4 – The Twilight Saga: New Moon – 45 Mistakes
In their rush to cash in on the vampire blood-bank and to collect the money of screaming 12 year old girls to 40-year-old women, Summit Entertainment apparently let a few things slip through the cracks when it came to continuity. Still, it didn’t stop New Moon from breaking The Dark Knight’s record for single day ticket sales.
Glaring Error – When Edward takes his shirt off on the steps in Voltaire, his nipples are different colors and sizes. The closer one is grey while the far one is more pinkish, as though the makeup had rubbed off.
Glaring Error – In the very last scene, right before the ultimatum, if you look into the tail lights on Edward’s car you can see various members of the crew reflected.
#3 – Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince – 72 Mistakes
The boy wizard with the round glasses, lightning bolt birth mark and wooden wand uses his wizardly skills to fight off the evil Lord Voldemort. Maybe he should have waved his wand at the screen and made all those mistakes go away?
Glaring Error – In Potions class, when Slughorn removes the vial of Felix Felicis, he turns to face the class and holds the vial up for the class to see, but in the next shot facing him he holds only the very bottom point of the vial.
Glaring Error – Whenever Draco is standing in front of the wall for the Room of Requirement, there is a large tapestry there. At other times, the wall is bare.
#2 – Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen – 76 Mistakes
If there is one thing Michael Bay knows, it’s huge over-the-top explosions. Other things he knows about include Megan Fox’s cleavage and giant robot-sized mistakes in his movies. Since the film made well over $500 million dollars worldwide, perhaps he can afford a new script supervisor for the next film.
Glaring Error – In the scene where Josh Duhamel’s character is demoted, his rank insignia is ripped from his chest. When he turns around the insignia is back where it was originally.
Glaring Error – When Sam and Mikaela are running towards the soldiers and Lennox rushes to help them, he runs right past a cameraman.
Glaring Error – While Mikaela and Sam are running through Egypt, they both take off their jackets. Sam drops his jacket, but in the next shot it’s in his hand again.
And now, the best of the worst – and it’s a film that some people may not have even seen. If you think big action flicks and high production dramas are the biggest culprits, then think again:
#1 – 17 Again – 94 Mistakes
A mildly amusing film where a grown up Matthew Perry gets a chance to go back to being a teenager and correct the wrong decisions from his past as Zac Efron. What he should have done was go back and correct the nearly 100 mistakes throughout his film.
Glaring Error – After Mike and Ned fight with light sabers, they are in the kitchen and Mike’s wedding ring moves from his left hand to his right hand and back again, between shots.
Glaring Error – After Ned and Jane arrive at his house, they walk toward the kitchen as he shouts, “Everybody out!” In the shot from behind, Ned is to Jane’s right then moves to her left; however, in the front shot, Ned is once again to her right.
Glaring Error – After Ned and Mike arrive in the courtroom, the judge’s nameplate moves from being to the right of the gavel, to being directly in front of it, then back again.
There are plenty more out there, and be sure to keep your eyes open in 2010 and see if you can spot this year’s mistakes. Did you see any movie mistakes in 2009 that you would like to tell us about?
Source: Movie Mistakes