Archive for January, 2009

Week Sixteen: #36 – The Incredibles

January 31, 2009
The Nitpicker Guide to the Movies
“See the films you love in a whole new way!”
Now this movie belongs in the top 50.  Not only is the film just technically astounding (Pixar sure has come a long way from Toy Story, huh?), but the story is just crackerjack fun.  Stirring, moving, and something to say about being a hero.
But my job is nitpicking, so here we go.
-0:02:00 Freeze it here, and watch how when Elastigirl blinks, her red mask covers her eyelids.  That’s a pretty good trick, and it works with everybody in the movie who is masked
-0:02:33 Mr. Incredible turns his car to Isolate Pursuit mode, and a flashing dot shows his car, the police car and the bad guys.  I’ll buy that his car shows up on the display, and even that the police have been kind enough to provide lowjack info to the local superheroes.  But the bad guy?  Why is that car transmitting info?
-0:02:52 The car conversion mode is cool, and it reminds me of happier days watching Inspector Gadget–but when I was 9, I didn’t really care that the car in that show, just like Mr. Incredible’s, somehow has greater mass after it changes than before.  Not possible, kiddoes
-0:07:50 It’s amazing that Buddy’s rocketbooks can lift both him and Mr. Incredible, and that Mr. I isn’t burned by said rocketboots as they’re rocketing right in his face
-0:12:20 The file cabinets behind the poor old lady are interesting.  CCC-DDD is one, with EEE-FFF under it, and GGG-HHH under that.  Top of next row, there is OOO-PPP.  Seems to make sense, but if I have a claim for, say, Donaldson, where does it go?  Donaldson is between DDD and EEE, and there’s no drawer for that…
-0:16:03 Only Violet’s physical self disappears, and as a result when she invisibles, her clothes are still to be seen.  Tony is only about a foot away, looking over a wall right at a blouse hanging in midair.  Yet he doesn’t react.  Either he needs glasses or he is really blasé
-0:17:40 Does Dash have a superhigh metabolism?  I guess it would make sense, since he’s superfast, but really–that steak on his plate looks like it would feed three full-grown men
-0:17:55 Mom tells Dad about Dash’s misadventures: “He put a tack on the teacher’s chair.  During class.”  Why the emphasis on during?  Would it have been okay if it had been before class?
-0:18:42 Back when Violet was not seen by Tony, she reappeared and had her hair over her right eye.  Now at the dinner table, the hair is over her left eye.  Is it possible to part one person’s hair on either side of her head?  At random?
-0:19:08 Mom tries to elastically stop her kids from killing each other.  Ignoring her, they dive under the table, causing her arms to stretch.  She says “ow.”  Is she kidding?  This isn’t nearly as stretched out as we’ve already seen her–and if she has control over the stretchiness, how are the kids getting away with this?
-0:29:36 Mr. I really needs to learn anger management.  I’m in complete agreement that his boss is an absolute tool–but Mr. I throws him through not one but four walls…that is not acceptable or heroic!
-0:45:20            Thunderhead’s cape gets caught on a missile, and away he goes.  His cape is so strong it can withstand the force of a missile?  That’s some serious fabric!
-0:52:30 Well, Mr. I better be invulnerable, splashing down from a hundred feet right on his spine like that
-0:53:30 A probe pops out of the water and starts scanning for Mr. Incredible.  What is keeping this probe in the air?  Evil?
-1:05:55 Helen, a.k.a. Elastigirl, turns on the autopilot and goes into the plane bathroom to change clothes.  That’s good, because unbeknownst to her Violet and Dash are onboard, and it might be traumatizing if she just stripped down in the cockpit.  But since Helen doesn’t know the kids are on board, how safe of a pilot does it make her that she just leaves the plane on cruise control to change clothes?
-1:08:32 There are missiles coming at the plane.  How does Helen warn her children?  By flipping on the FASTEN SEATBELT sign.  Sheesh, mother of the year…
-1:10:01 I think it’s time to give the Will Award!  Elastigirl abandons her attempts to get the missiles aborted, runs from the cockpit, forms an elastic globe around her children just before the plane explodes.  Aaaaand because she also is conveniently invulnerable when she wants to be, like her husband, the exploding shrapnel does not hurt her or the children in any way, besides knocking her unconscious.  Hard enough to knock her out, but not a drop of blood.  Thank goodness!
-1:10:19 The airplane explodes and the Incredible family falls straight down.  At this frame we’re looking straight up at them falling–yet every last bit of airplane debris has disappeared
-1:10:40 Galileo proved (I think it was Galileo, anyway it has been proven) that objects fall at the same speed regardless of weight.  The airplane and the Incredibles were all at roughly the same height when the explosion happened, yet Helen and her children land in the water (with the aid of air resistance, since she’s acting as parachute) and only twelve seconds later does the previously unseen airplane debris land.  Given the air resistance, it should have hit before they did, and certainly not so long after
-1:17:52 It’s a nice touch that upon seeing a mirror, Elastigirl checks out her rear.  It is probably exactly what any woman would do who hasn’t seen what her suit looks like.  But wait–why is there a full-length mirror in the middle of an evil villain’s secret volcano lair hallway?
-1:25:10 This always bugged me about the Flash, too–Dash has been running at full or near-full speed for about a minute.  Doesn’t he get winded?  Tired?  I know he’s fast, but how does he maintain that speed for so long?  I guess I’m just jealous
-1:28:00 The bad guy, who has already fired off a few bullets at hidden Violet, starts firing at Dash and Violet in the bubble.  This guy is pretty stupid, as every one of his bullets ricochets off and it’s only a matter of time before he gets hit–but he keeps firing.  In fact, he fires a steady burst for about ten seconds, which is like, two hundred bullets.  That’s quite a clip he’s got there!
-1:33:54            Syndrome isn’t all that smart.  He could have just built an OmniDroid that would be easy to defeat and made sure to show up at the right time.  But no, he has to make one that is really intelligent, and can learn, and then whaddyaknow, Syndrome can’t defeat the thing!  Putz
-1:34:33 Since Elastigirl yelped in pain when her kids dragged her arms under the dining table, I am flabbergasted at how she can handle holding onto the Winnebago and the rocket
-1:38:08 Mr. Incredible sees Syndrome’s dropped remote control.  Follow me on the road of amazingness!  A: he just happens to have been dropped right by said remote.  B: he remembers that this device is what Syndrome was using to control his OmniDroid.  C: the device is still in working order, even though the OmniDroid shot it off Syndrome’s wrist with a laser!  D: when Mr. I very foolishly shouts “Syndrome’s remote!” and the OmniDroid hears this, the beast doesn’t shoot the remote again and render it useless–he just smashes Mr. Incredible into the ground.  E: Mr. I and the remote survive this.  Remarkable!
-1:40:10 This remote is an interesting device.  It can freeze the robot, make each individual arm disconnect, shut down the robot and even cause the claws at the end of each arm to open and close and spin and be jet propelled…  And all that with only four buttons!  No wonder it’s hard for the Incredibles to figure it out
-1:40:17 The OmniDroid, perhaps sensing that the Incredibles need time to think, doesn’t fire any lasers at them, or throw its claws at them, or start rolling at them, or do anything but kind of slowly, menacingly walk forward–while they all stand around discussing the remote for thirty seconds
-1:47:10 At least supervillains make it convenient.  The Incredibles walk out of the track meet, and what to their wondering eyes does appear but the Underminer!  Right there in the parking lot, and not, say, three states over
-1:47:20 So they’re still in civilian clothes, the same clothes they just walked out of the stadium in, and now they all have masks on?  That won’t compromise any secret identities, nossir!
I suppose that will do it for The Incredibles. if you just can’t get enough, or come back next week for noodles, fireworks and some serious animated butt-kicking with Kung Fu Panda!
See you in seven…

Week Fifteen: #37 – Ice Age 2: The Meltdown

January 23, 2009
The Nitpicker Guide to the Movies
“See the films you love in a whole new way!”
Star Wars.  The Lord of the Rings.  Spider-Man.
Ice Age 2: the Meltdown?
This movie proves that some of the Top 50 Grossing Movies of All Time owe a great deal to children, and to parents using movies and TV to entertain said children.  I’m not riffing on being a parent, I’m not now and never have been and have no right.  I’m just saying that as a movie lover, Ice Age 2: the Meltdown is not one of the best 50 movies of all time.  It’s fun, it’s humorous, and I enjoyed myself–but this movie being one slot down from The Incredibles, which is a truly fantastic movie, illustrates that Top Grossing doesn’t equal Top Cinematic Excellence.
I’m also going to leave alone, as a nitpicker, things like “how come everybody speaks English” or “how come animals have a water-based amusement park?”  Some things are made man-like (see Anthropomorphic) for the sake of telling a story to humans.
Don’t think I didn’t find things to nitpick, though…
-0:01:11 Scrat climbs the iceberg, loses his grip, and is saved by his tongue, stuck to the ice itself.  Remarkable that the outer layer of skin on his tongue can support his whole weight
-0:01:38            Climbing a vertical slope with sudden vigor (he sees the nut he is always after) Scrat is, at times, completely disconnected from the slope, yet gravity seems to have no effect on him
-0:02:25 Scrat then falls roughly a mile to an icy surface, and even if he did break through, he would also break himself, completely.  Though winded and sore, he seems otherwise fine.  (They made rats tougher back then!)
-0:03:45 I said I wouldn’t harp on the animal waterpark, but it is nice that with all sorts of different species hanging out together, nobody seems to be trying to eat anybody else
-0:04:29            Suddenly the kids pull a fast one and Sid is hanging by one leg.  Where did the log and the rope that accomplish this come from?  Neither are in the close-up shot just before
-0:12:23 Manny, Sid and Diego fall down the Eviscerator after all, and upon reaching the bottom, kinda lazily skip across the pond.  After a fall that far, they would either break right through the ice curve at the bottom or, if they made the curve, would shoot across the pond like bullets
-0:13:20 “If you can make it to the end of the valley, there’s a boat.  It can save you.”  A boat?  From where?  The grunting nomadic humans don’t have that capacity…this better not turn out to be a gigantic, unexplained remnant of tree trunk!
-0:17:48 Scrat comes across his acorn under the ice.  I’ll buy that somehow Scrat has such a sensitive nose he can smell the acorn under two inches of ice, but that he found said acorn out of what looks to be a flat square mile of unmarked ice?  No
-0:18:42 This is getting annoying, I’m sure, so I’ll hold back as much as I can.  As Scrat pushes his whole head through a hole only big enough for his nose, and then turns in a circle using his teeth to cut out the ice around his head, and then somehow gets the whole ensemble up onto the ice…his teeth aren’t long enough to fully cut the ice.  They would need to be about twice as long.  (In fact, the underwater shot proves I’m right–he’s started to turn but you don’t see his teeth protruding from under the ice!)  There.  I’m done.
-0:19:50 Is Sid really Manny’s friend?  It’s been established that he’s tactless, but during the montage where he changes pop song lyrics to sing about how all the mammoths are dead…that’s really mean
-0:22:30            Wouldn’t think I would have a gun-reloading nit in this movie, but…the two possums never seem to need to put stones in their peashooters, they just always have one more
-0:22:47 And right here, the peashooters become pea-machine guns, as the possums shoot, like, twenty or thirty shots apiece!  Without ever loading!
-0:23:42 Wow–right after Manny accepts that he’s the last of his kind, what does he run into but…another mammoth!  What are the odds!  And she’s a female!  Yay! 
-0:23:44 And oh, by the way, somehow this entire mammoth was hiding in a tree and he never realized she was there.  What amazing possum powers she has!
-0:25:10 And the Will Award goes to…the fact that Ellie truly, honestly believes that she is a possum, rather than a mammoth!  I would buy that she knew she was different, but to utterly believe it?  She’s not sort-of possumlike, she’s not just-slightly-removed…they’re possums and she’s a woolly mammoth.  I never bought it in the theater and I don’t buy it now. 
-0:25:50 The possums have only been traveling at night so that the birds don’t carry them off.  Is that really a problem for the actual possums, since they travel with a mammoth (whether she knows this or not?)  And why wouldn’t they make it in time if they only travel at night?  And if they only travel at night, and sleep during the day, why were the two possums messing with Sid and Diego during the day?
-0:26:25 As the one possum whips Sid with his tail, said tail becomes about three times as long as usual, just to reach Sid.  That’s a good trick
-0:31:20            Discussions abound about how thin the ice is as the group travels across a patch.  Seems like if the ice might be thin, you wouldn’t want two mammoths traveling side by side
-0:38:20            Possums are pretty resilient–Crash is thrown straight into a tree from a couple hundred feet away, leaving an impression in the bark, and breaks no bones whatsoever
-0:45:30 We hear a very slight flapping of wings, see a shadow, and suddenly Mama Eagle is home.  She must be a ninja eagle, to come in and land that quietly
-0:45:42 Well, this is strange.  Mama Eagle pokes a hole through her nest to get rid of Scrat.  Why endanger the integrity of the nest by making holes when she could just toss him out–and while I’m on the subject, why didn’t Mama Eagle eat Scrat?  How much available food is there, during an ice age?
-0:50:30 Did you see the part where they’re all trapped on the precariously balanced rock formation?  An interesting scene, if ever-so-slightly implausible…
-0:50:50 Diego tells Manny and Ellie to lock trunks–seems like locking tusks would be more effective, less slippery, so forth
-0:57:25 Sloths must be incredibly flame-retardant.  Sid bungees down within inches of boiling hot magma–enough to singe the hair on his head–yet suffers no damage!
-1:01:15 What did I say earlier?  “A boat?  From where?  The grunting nomadic humans don’t have that capacity…this better not turn out to be a gigantic, unexplained remnant of tree trunk!”  And here we have…sigh
-1:05:22 Scrat is back in the eagle’s nest, and whatdya know, no hole!  If the eagle had just tossed him out of the nest, she wouldn’t have had to go to all that repair trouble…however, that’s one strong nest.  As the dam breaks, we see Scrat being swept along on the thing, which somehow didn’t break into twigs when the water hit
-1:11:53 Ellie was underwater for a whole minute–she’s lucky she survived.  I’m not saying it’s impossible, but it is pretty lucky.  By the way, the moment she goes under I always hold my breath to see if I would make it to be rescued.  I do that in any movie when someone goes under.  Am I weird?  Does anybody else do this?
-1:19:48 Now that Manny and Ellie have decided to hook up, the whole mammoth herd trumpets in salute.  This same herd was absolutely silent when they first saw each other.  Why do they trumpet now?
Betcha there are things I missed–try and we’ll see.
Meanwhile, come back in a week as we look at one of the best superhero movies ever–The Incredibles!  No capes!
See you in seven…

Week Fourteen: #38 – Hancock

January 16, 2009
The Nitpicker Guide to the Movies
“See the films you love in a whole new way!”
Good old Will Smith–always a surefire blockbuster.  Even when he’s in something that feels like two different movies smushed together.  The first half, the superhero redemption, is a phenomenal story.  As Hancock approaches the bank situation, the “Good job”s he hesitantly hands out…it was moving, it was fantastic.  I loved it.  Then everything after the bank, the whole “there’s another superhero let’s have a battle even while we still love each other” thing–I suppose it wasn’t awful, but it was nothing compared to that beginning.  What happened?
You probably don’t know either.  Oh, well, on to the pickery…
-0:01:03 Guy leans out of the white SUV to fire at the cops, then we cut to a helicopter-high shot and nobody’s leaning out of the window
-0:01:14 Maybe the continuity person was off the day they shot this scene!  Now a guy is leaning out the window behind the driver’s seat, but when the shot changes here he disappears
-0:03:31 As the sign falls onto the police car, the front end of the left one pops into the air before anything has touched it, and then it bounces into the air for no reason–sloppy!  These signs also must be made of titanium, or something–one sign takes out, like, twelve cop cars…
-0:03:47            Hancock has his booze with him as he flies up to the bad guys–but we see both of his hands rip the car roof off and no booze.  Where’d he put it?  It’s back in hand a second later
-0:05:56 I question the shot of the SUV impaled on the building roof spire.  Compared to the building itself, it looks like the SUV is giant-sized
-0:08:32 Wow, continuity guy slept through this day too.  Ray is doing his presentation, and as the shot changes, his yellow “heart” sign jumps from his left hand to his right!
-0:10:28 I’m sorry.  I don’t care if Hancock is the equivalent of Superman, and I don’t care if his feet are molecularly bonded to the concrete.  No way does he just stop a moving train like that.  The laws of physics must be rolling in their graves…
-0:11:56 Maybe Los Angelinos are different than most folks–but if you just saw a guy stop a train by standing in front of it, would you gather around and insult him?
-0:22:14            Michelle the bully comes falling, like, a mile out of the sky and Hancock just catches him.  And in the process, breaks every bone in his body!  It doesn’t work like that, people!
-0:29:40 Proof that cons aren’t that bright–they’re trying to beat down on Superman?  Okay, it’s Hancock, but same concept!
-0:33:05 I’m harping on physics here, but something seems wrong about the way Hancock throws the basketball across the court.  Plus does he have superhuman shot abilities, too?  I’ll buy that his strength allows him to attempt the shot, but make it?
-0:38:06            Hancock misses one of his famous full-court shots, and the ball shoots skyward–apparently his touch gave the ball special powers of flight!
-0:40:26 Okay, gonna geek out a little bit here.  Would Hancock be able to shave his own beard?  Sure, he’s got the superstrength and the invulnerable fingers, but isn’t his facial skin equally invulnerable?  I postulate that it would be as unlikely as me being able to do that to my own normal skin with my normal fingernails–and as a proof of concept, Superman can’t do that, so Hancock shouldn’t be able to.  I’ll stop now
-0:43:50 Hate to nitpick a superhero, but considering that Hancock could fly the endangered policewoman right out of the situation in an eyeblink, it seems strange (though admittedly very cool) that he lifts the police car and walks along using it as a barrier.  A ricochet could still injure her, and a powerful enough weapon (which we’ve seen they already have) could still punch through
-0:45:00 Pretty lucky that as Hancock starts picking off the bad guys one at a time, the remaining leader doesn’t start popping hostages…
-0:45:15 Head bad guy says “What is happening?” as his three cohorts magically disappear.  One of the bad guys said, “It’s Hancock!” back when he was saving the policewoman…where is this question coming from?
-0:46:59 May have to give this one the Will Award–the bad guy has a dead-man detonator.  If his thumb comes off the switch, the bomb explodes.  Hancock solves the problem by cutting off the bad guy’s hand, and we see him now carrying detonator and hand over to the bomb squad.  Question: since the man’s arm is no longer attached, and the tendon that would keep the pressure on the thumb switch is way back in the bank, how is the thumb still holding down the button?  Hancock isn’t holding the thumb down.  Hmm?
-0:48:00            Hancock puts his cool sunglasses on and takes off into the sky.  How do the glasses stay on his face, when he’s doing 380 miles an hour?
-0:55:48 “I apologized to the neighbors, called State Farm, and everything is taken care of.”  Um…is there superhero insurance?
-0:56:00 No, this has to get the Will Award–somehow, Mary is so good at hiding her secret that her husband of almost a decade has no idea that she has superpowers!  She should put a pair of glasses on to complete her impenetrable disguise!
-0:58:03 Mary catches Hancock threatening to cream her with the frying pans.  He’s got the pans up by his head, then the shot changes and his hands are under the counter
-0:59:40            Speaking of Big bad guy, how is it that he’s sitting in a prison with a hook for a left hand?  They give prisoners weapons now?
-1:00:00 Mary comes flying in to Hancock’s cliffside pad.  With all that wavy blonde hair, one would think she would tie it back or put it in a bun or something before she goes flying
-1:03:41            Tornadoes are touching down on the L.A. street, and as people run for cover, there’s a guy on stilts (had to watch this twice, looked like some kind of robot at first) walking towards the tornado.  Not hugging the ground, walking towards the tornado!
-1:04:00 Now that Mary has revealed herself and told Hancock that they’ve been going around and around for thousands of years…what are the odds that Hancock would save the life of the husband of the only other one of his kind?  Out of all the other billions of people in the world?  (And why, outside of the sake of movie convenience, do Mary and her husband still live in L.A., where Hancock does, if the last thing she wants is to be around him?)
-1:04:35 Any idea how many people there are in Los Angeles?  And yet the battle between Hancock and Mary just happens to smash through the windows of the building where Ray is giving a presentation.  What are the odds?
-1:05:16 Ray drives home in his hard-traveling car, which still needs to have the trunk held closed by a rope.  Nothing else looks damaged.  After tossing this car ten feet, Hancock then dropped it into Ray’s driveway…so either a lot of damage fixed itself magically, or Ray got the car back from the shop with everything fixed–except the trunk.  You decide
-1:09:30 This world just has weird physics, apparently.  Or the filmmakers were lazy.  Anyway, Hancock throws a candy bar at a guy which knocks him out the window.  I know hurricanes can blow straws through trees, but a straw has some tensile strength to it, longwise.  A candy bar does not–it would blow apart on the dude’s head
-1:15:52            Disappearing blouse!  Mary wears a white blouse over her t-shirt all throughout the hospital visit–until right here, when the bad guys have shot her and she lies on the floor.  Next time we see her (two seconds later) it’s back on again
-1:16:12            Continuity…again…Mary lies back on the bed, and just at the end of the shot we see her left hand.  The same hand that is clutching Hancock’s shirt one frame later
-1:16:25 I am confused.  (Happens a lot.)  Mary said that she and Hancock lose their powers when they get close, which is why Hancock bled when he was shot.  They’ve just been having a very close conversation, and yet Hancock is throwing things around like he has his strength, and shrugging off bullets like he’s invulnerable.  What gives?
-1:17:15 Well, Hancock didn’t get shot, but the knife sure went into him good.  I’m so confused
-1:23:10 Well, Mary survived, and she and Ray and the kid are a family again.  Of course, she’s not going to age, and that just might somehow be a bit of a problem, you know, down the road…
-1:24:30 And it’s a fabulous thing that the moon is being used to promote a corporate logo, however philanthropic it might be.  Defacing the moon.  Hancock said he was “out of cel range” which must mean that he was on the moon, doing the defacing.  He can fly in space?  He doesn’t have to breathe?  How did he get the hundreds of thousands of gallons of red paint or food coloring or whatever up there?  Why is it suddenly a surprise to see this–couldn’t it be seen during the construction stages?  And how is he going to get rid of it, since the moon has no atmosphere, no rain, and so it’s not going anywhere?  Is the fairly adventurous but ridiculously physicked movie over yet?
Baby it’s cold outside…Ice Age, the Meltdown, is up for week fifteen!
See you in seven…

Week Thirteen: #39 – Ratatouille

January 10, 2009
The Nitpicker Guide to the Movies
“See the films you love in a whole new way!”
How did this movie get so high up on the list?  Rats and food?  I love Pixar to death, honestly I think they make some of the best movies ever, and I won’t deny that the quality of Ratatouille was outstanding…but the content!  Rats and food!!!
-0:01:59 Our first view of Remy is as he jumps through a window.  French windows must be very weak, for the book/rat combination to shatter it so easily
-0:03:17 Remy makes a joke about cleanliness being close to godliness—the quote is actually that cleanliness is next to godliness, and what does a rat know from clean anyway?
-0:09:50 Granny tries firing her shotgun at Remy and Emile, only to have an umbrella pop open.  Funny visual, but how exactly does pulling the shotgun’s trigger (a) cause the umbrella to open and (2) not cause a shot to fire?
-0:10:12 Much like the guns in Terminator II, Granny sure gets a lot of shots out of her pump-action without reloading.  Eleven, to be exact.  Seems one or two too many
-0:11:10 Eeeugh.  Granny shoots a hole in the ceiling, the chandelier falls, and the whole enormous, teeming colony of rats falls to the floor.  I suppose she doesn’t have great hearing, but the colony was only just above her head, and she never knew they were there?
-0:17:07 Isn’t it wonderful how every rooftop in Paris has a view of the Eiffel tower?
-0:21:08 Remy falls into Chef Gusteau’s kitchen and right into a plate of (now seriously) dirty dishes.  There are zero dishes on the surface when he hits the water, but as he comes up for air a convenient cup is there for him to grab
-0:21:15 One of the kitchen staff comes by, Remy ducks under the water, the guy looks right into the sink and yet doesn’t see the rat in the water
-0:24:18 Remy takes a drop of water from the faucet and rubs his hands together.  Yeah, because that makes everything okey-dokey sanitary
-0:24:27 Is the entire kitchen staff watching a movie?  The rat runs around and around fixing the soup, and nobody notices him!!!  This restaurant doesn’t even deserve the three stars they have left!
-0:29:57 It’s absolutely necessary for the story progression, and I feel like a jerk bringing it up…but sure is convenient that the rat understands English
-0:31:22 I’ve been picking nits and generally leveling my disgust at the movie, but there are many things that Pixar does right—so here’s one.  It is absolutely right that as soon as Linguini opens the bottle, Remy runs off, despite promising to stay and help.  A rat really would do that.  The fact that he comes back…well, it is a Disney movie, after all
-0:32:34 And oh yes, every apartment in Paris has a view of the Eiffel tower as well
-0:33:40 The rat cooked breakfast.  Bet that’s yummy.  (No, I’m not going to let this go!  It’s nasty!!)
-0:37:55 I am led to understand that scientists that work with the human brain can stimulate nerve responses by touching certain areas.  Your hand, for example, would spasm open and close much faster than you could make it do so by itself.  How remarkable that Linguini has hair that has the same function!  Remy pulls up on the hair in a shrugging motion—and Linguini shrugs.  In fact…yes, I think I will give this concept, cute as it is, the coveted Will Award!  It’s ridiculous that Remy can control Linguini’s actions by pulling on tufts of his hair!
-0:39:18 Maybe this proves that French windows are very weak—now an omelette breaks one (of course, they could just be using a heavy cream, ha ha)  And then the omelette on the street causes an accident…
-0:43:05            Continuity error—Chef and his lawyer look through the office window at Linguini and Collette.  Linguini is standing about six inches behind her, then the shot changes and he’s about two feet away
-0:46:51 Again, I appreciate this for movie-watching sake, but why are the cooks in a French kitchen speaking English?
-1:02:02 Now the involuntary motions Remy can accomplish by yanking on Linguini’s hair reach amazing new heights.  Linguini is asleep, yet Remy can completely control him!
-1:04:01            Collette, feeling jilted, rushes out to hop on her motorcycle.  Linguini follows, and it only takes five seconds for Collette to mount the bike, get her helmet on, and start the engine.  As a motorcyclist myself, there just ain’t no way, even if she doesn’t fasten the helmet properly
-1:09:58 Well, France must not have much of a crime rate.  Linguini and Collette jump on her motorcycle and immediately take off—which means she must leave the key in the ignition all the time, since she certainly doesn’t have time to insert it!
-1:12:35 Whoo, bit of a stretch of credibility—the rat is soooo much a fan of Gusteau that when he stumbles across the man’s will, he’s just gotta read it!  Because he can read, and he knows what a will is, and cares anything about the contents!
-1:12:55 I guess if we buy that the rat can read at all, we buy that he can read cursive writing…
-1:15:55            Linguini’s nice new large apartment is fortunately yet another building within sight of the Eiffel tower…
-1:17:40            Someone calls reporting a rat infestation, and the health inspector says he’ll be by in three months.  Three months to check on a rat infestation?  Remind me never to eat in France
-1:22:37 Linguini discovers the betrayal.  “You’re stealing food?”  That is what he has a problem with, the theft.  Not the fact that diseased, plague-carrying RATS have been IN the food!!!
-1:29:15 Remy is revealed in the doorway of the kitchen, all the staff rush at him to kill him, and somehow Linguini, who was in his office on the other side of the kitchen, gets there first.  He’s no chef, but he’d make a great Flash
-1:31:49 Collette rides away, furious and hurt, and slides to a stop between to lines of cars.  Then the light changes and suddenly she’s in a lane, with cars behind her waiting to go
-1:32:48 Ugh!  Eew!  No!  I don’t care that the rats get steam cleaned, I don’t care that they’re being “sanitary”, the rats are making the food!  No!  Ack!  Ptui!
-1:33:56 And since the rats are doing the cooking, Linguini, who up until now has been a total klutz, digs roller skates out of somewhere and skates around waiting on the tables.  Which isn’t silly in any way
-1:38:15 And the greatest food critic in Paris doesn’t mind learning that a rat has prepared his marvelous food, because as long as it was marvelous who cares if it also includes a touch of botulism?
I’m just too grossed out to continue.  Come back next week for another superhero movie and another Will Smith movie: Hancock!  Be sure to wash your hands in the meantime, and I will see you in seven…

Week Twelve: #40 – The Lost World, Jurassic Park

January 2, 2009
The Nitpicker Guide to the Movies
“See the films you love in a whole new way!”
Sequels are rarely better than the original, and this is no exception.  However, the sight of a cherry red muscle car being chased by a Tyrannosaurus Rex?  Priceless…
-0:00:20 Again with the Universal logo–not a cloud in the sky…
-0:24:40            Malcolm holds up Sarah’s pack, asked if she’s been attacked.  (Pack is grungy and full of holes.)  She responds that her lucky pack always looks like that–this is a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship.  Malcolm doesn’t already know her pack looks like that?  It’s her favorite thing in the world!
-0:26:45 Nick the photographer really needs some ADHD medicine.  One shot he’s framing a shot with his little videocamera.  Fifteen seconds later he’s got his 35mm out.  Ten seconds later it’s the videocamera again.  Sure, there’s enough time for him to go back and forth while we’re away–but hardly enough time to get any decent footage/pictures!  Pick a camera, already!
-0:29:40            Enormous big surprise–Malcolm’s daughter stowed away somehow in the equipment and is now on the island with them.  Barring the implausibility that she could hide so well that nobody knew she was around for the two or three days it took to get here, how bad a father is Malcolm?  Hasn’t checked in on his daughter once, in several days, to be aware that she’s missing?
-0:41:50 Roland says Rexy’s parents won’t leave him alone for long.  Yet Momma and Daddy leave him alone long enough for Roland and friend to tranquilize him, tie him up and drag his fat baby dino butt off to another location?  Is big momma off eating a Starbucks, or something?
-0:45:35            Suddenly the meeting is broken up by an irate Triceratops.  He comes into the tent with no warning–a good trick, for a thirteen ton dinosaur.  Was he on tiptoe?
-0:54:35 Even the dinosaurs aren’t immune to continuity error.  The Rex on Sarah’s side of the trailer roars pretty much straight on–shot changes and he’s roaring to one side, in line with the window, so Sarah’s face is framed between his jaws–shot changes again and it’s straight on again
-1:03:25 The rope that three people are hanging on comes loose, and they all fall to the bottom of the trailer, rope included.  Somehow, though, the rope doesn’t fall right through and out to sea, it just…stops falling when they let go.  Anti-gravity rope?  Eddie grabs the upper end here to do a better job tying off…
-1:04:38 For some reason Sarah starts sliding down the rope—she hits Malcolm and Nick on the way down, and they all start sliding.  Nobody lets go, and nobody falls off, despite the severe rope burn they must all be dealing with.  What serious adventurers!  (And does anybody else feel like they padded this sequence to make the movie longer?)
-1:05:33 I’ll admit I’m not a car designer, but the T-Rex pulls the driver’s seat up by the roots—and the airbag deploys.  Does that seem right?
-1:06:02 These guys sure are hard on equipment—the double-trailer falls over the cliff, past our heroes, followed eventually by the Jeep.  The Jeep that was connected by about twenty feet of cable which has now magically extended to about seventy feet
-1:12:02 Sarah can’t be much of an animal person.  She’s supposed to be all smart, but she’s wearing a jacket covered in T-Rex blood and she doesn’t realize that’s a danger?  It’s not like it’s dried, it smears all over one of the leaves she passes.  Can she not smell the stuff?  I’m pretty sure I can, and I’m just watching a movie…
-1:12:38 I find it very hard to believe that anything could get Roland to turn away from his gun.  Hunting is this guy’s life, and his weapon is his lifeline.  No way does he ever take his eyes off it, much less walk away from it!
-1:21:42 Now Sarah frantically shoves candy bar wrappers into a Ziploc bag.  Since the animals they’re dealing with are, like, a hundred times worse than bears, wouldn’t it be prudent to take at least bear-like precautions?  Like not leaving food out, or traveling for miles with a blood-soaked jacket?  Then she shoves the Ziploc bag under the edge of her sleeping bag…cause that will keep the T-Rex from smelling anything
-1:23:59 The T-Rex can supposedly run about three times as fast as a human.  How nice of Rexy to sorta trudge behind the fleeing people, roaring at them, without trodding on anyone or picking up any bite-sized, bipedal morsels
-1:25:15 Every movie waterfall has a cave behind it.  Every one.  I’ve never found a waterfall-cave in my life, is all I’m saying
-1:28:18 Why don’t our heroes get attacked by the v-raps?  (That’s my new slang for velociraptors, because it’s a hard word to type)  They get to the other side of the long grass unscathed.  The v-raps not hungry anymore?
-1:32:45 Lucky for Sarah the animal attacks her pack, and not her, huh?  Too bad everybody else attacked by the v-raps didn’t have the same luck
-1:33:47 Either the effects guys just wanted to break as much glass as possible, or the v-rap chasing Malcolm is loopy.  There is no logical reason for the animal to break out of the building through a pane of glass—when the hole he already made breaking into the building is still there
-1:33:54            Between looking at the v-rap from the inside of the truck to the POV shot from the outside, the hole in the glass goes from pin-sized to rock-sized
-1:36:03 The coveted and long-awaited Will Award!  How incredibly amazing that the InGen shack’s support beams, or bars, or whatever, are exactly the right height and spacing for Kelly to perform her gymnastics parallel bars routine!  It’s not cheesy or ridiculous at all!  Nor implausible!
-1:43:00 We see a radar screen showing the ship heading for the SAN DIEGO dock—and not slowing down.  At the rate it’s moving, it should hit in roughly thirty seconds.  But…it actually takes over seventy seconds to do so.  (However, the shot of the ship appearing suddenly out of the gloom is truly fantastic!)
-1:44:22 The ship went out of control because there was nobody on the bridge left alive to slow ‘er down.  So…the big ‘ol T-Rex somehow squeezed onto the bridge, and ate everybody?  Really?
-1:55:15            Malcolm and Sarah are now on foot, running from the T-Rex with it’s kid in their arms.  Two steps and he can catch them, and yet somehow the Rex doesn’t squash or chomp either of them
-1:55:36 Well, the Rex was in hot pursuit—he stop off to eat some more neighborhood dogs?  Malcolm and Sarah run past the InGen weenie, baby in arms, and the Rex has disappeared
-1:57:21 Now we see Rexy coming over the lip of the cargo bay, will InGen weenie plays fetch with the Rex child.  Where has Big Daddy been for the past two minutes?
-2:01:26 See, the T-Rexes aren’t so bad.  The whole family is back on the island, within spitting distance of a herd of stegosauri, and nobody’s bothering anybody.  They all play nice together.  Pterodactyl lands nearby, he’s not afraid—everybody’s just happy together!  Cue end music!
From really really big animals to really really small ones, come back in seven for my take on–eww–Ratatouille!  Rats and food!  What fun! if you just can’t get enough nitpicking–see you in seven…