Factual Errors in Movies

Discussion in 'Movies' started by kaneda, May 10, 2010.

  1. kaneda

    kaneda Auditioning

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    I was recently watching Pirates of the Carribean: At World's End and noticed a factual error in the movie. During the moment where Captain Barbosa and Captain Jack Sparrow are looking at the map that they received from Sau Feng and I noticed that, on the map, Ponce de León is listed on the map as 1523. However, while doing some easy research on Wikipedia, I noticed that Ponce de León, or rather Juan Ponce de León y Figueroa, died in 1521.


    I'm curious if movie studios ever do any research before they start filming a movie. Especially when they are referencing real historical figures. Ponce de León, as it's indicated, wasn't a pirate, but rather, he was the first governor of Puerto Rico and was associated with the Fountain of Eternal Youth, which was reputed to be in Florida, which he was the first explorer to, and which he also named.


    Has anyone discovered any factual errors in movies on Blu-ray that you never noticed before?
     
  2. Zack Gibbs

    Zack Gibbs Screenwriter

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    In the Pirate's universe the fountain of youth would in 'fact' be real, and Ponce de Leon wouldn't have died...ever.
     
  3. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Producer

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    It's a fantasy about cursed men who turn into worm-eaten ghosts in moonlight. Why would they bother doing a fact check on something that 99% of people wouldn't notice? In a historical biopic such a faux pas would really matter, but in a ghost story/fantasy......not so much. I can't name one offhand but if I tried I could probably find some type of factual error in every movie. Some would say that Oliver Stone's JFK is one big factual error, while I think it is an entertaining movie.
     
  4. Joel Fontenot

    Joel Fontenot Supporting Actor

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    So, is the "factual errors in Blu-ray movies" any different than the factual errors in the movie itself?


    We could spend years discussing factual errors in movies in general.


    Sprinklers that go off in entire buildings when the initial cause is in an isolated spot is one of my pet peaves (The Matrix being a recent offender that I know of)
     
  5. Leo Kerr

    Leo Kerr Screenwriter

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    I think part of it might be, apart from the initial theatrical run, many fine details might not be noticable. While I don't know this particular instance, there are a lot of times now that the previously illegible text is.. now readable.


    That said, I just watched something where the credits were completely unreadable... and this was off of the DVD, not over-the-air.


    Leo
     
  6. kaneda

    kaneda Auditioning

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    Normally, I don't do much research on these kind of things. I just know that something caused me to look up this information and that's where I discovered the factual error. I did notice that the Fountain of Youth is actually closely tied into Leon de Ponce's journey to Florida and that it's actually part of the history of Spain and Great Britain.
     
  7. Doug Otte

    Doug Otte Supporting Actor

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    Because this thread is all about nitpicks, I'll indulge my nitpickiness: It's spelled Caribbean, not Carribean.



    Doug
     
  8. Jesse Blacklow

    Jesse Blacklow Cinematographer

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    Yeah, the OP's questions don't apply to Blu-ray at all. Change the title and move to the movies section, IMO.
     
  9. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    I have changed the title and moved this thread

    to the MOVIES area.
     
  10. GlennH

    GlennH Cinematographer

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    There are factual errors in most movies, and sharp-eyed people spot them regularly. IMDB lists them under "goofs."


    In fact, the one noted for POTC: AWE in this thread is listed on the goofs page here, along with many others:


    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0449088/goofs



    It's fun sometimes to look these up for your favorite movies that you've seen many times and then realize how much you haven't noticed.
     
  11. Don Solosan

    Don Solosan Supporting Actor

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    The Fountain of Youth is a major part of "On Stranger Tides," the Tim Powers book that is reportedly being adapted into the fourth Pirates movie. So I vote for Ponce de Leon still being alive in that fictional universe.
     
  12. WillG

    WillG Producer

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    Sarah Connor telling Dr. Silberman in T2 that there are 215 bones in the human body always makes me take notice. I suppose, technically, it could be a character mistake, but they just should have correctly wrote it as 206.
     
  13. drobbins

    drobbins Screenwriter

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    One of my biggest "factual" nitpicks has to do more with reality checks from a mechanical point of view. For instance - for the sake of the movie, I will believe that superman can fly and has super strengths, etc... But that does not mean that everything that he comes in contact does. So he is strong enough to pick up a plane, that does not mean that the plane is strong enough to be picked up with all it's weight resting on the two points where his hands are. The plane would probably break or his hands would go through the fuselage. Spider-man my be able to stop a train, but applying the breaking force to only the front car, would cause the others behind it to derail, especially on an bend.


    Then there are the countless movies with cars hitting objects that act like a ramp, fly through the air, and then land and keep going. I don't think there is a car built in the past 30 years that the suspension can survive those forces. My favorite is the beginning of "The Fall Guy" where his 4X4 truck is airborne. When it lands, you can see axles and other parts brake before they cut to another camera angle. In movies almost every car that crashes explodes in a huge fireball especially if it goes off a cliff. Now cars do catch fire from time to time in accidents, but that is rare and I don't know if I ever heard of one exploding. Myth Busters did a show on that one.


    I read somewhere that is the movie Wild Wild West, that they wanted to actually build the mechanical spider. But the tons of weight focused on the 8 pointed feet would have made them sink into the ground.
     
  14. Will_B

    Will_B Producer

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    That's one of the reasons I liked Superman Returns so much -- because it presented that very fact: that sure, Superman can grab a plane, but it is going to break apart due to the stresses. They really nailed a good balance between real world and imaginary world with Superman Returns.


    My nitpick is similar to yours: CGI characters (in other movies) often move much faster than any real object could possibly move. It's like most animators don't even care if they break the laws of physics. And not just move from place to place, but CGI characters will move their limbs and joints faster than anything could more.
     

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