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.