Archive for the ‘1’ Category

Week Eighteen: #34 – Star Wars II

February 13, 2009
The Nitpicker’s Guide to the movies

“See the films you love in a whole new way!”


It’s the digital age!  We can make explosions, spaceships, entire planets that don’t slightly exist!  It’s absolutely incredible!  By the way, we spent the whole budget on the effects computers, about a thousand of them, that there wasn’t any left to hire a writer—but who cares if the script is terrible?  Digital explosions!!!


-0:05:40           Yoda, to Senator Amidala: “Seeing you alive brings warm feelings to my heart.”  Is he just being polite?  The Jedi know no emotions, only peace

-0:12:57           R2 is supposedly on watchdog duty.  Yet there is no reaction from the droid as a bright green light lasers the outside window apart, and nasty centipedes loudly drop to the floor…is the droid sleeping?  (Do androids dream of electric sheep?)

-0:14:24           And, oh yeah, the window.  This is the top floor of a hundred-some story building.  Why is there glass in this window, instead of Star Wars Universe brand transparisteel?

-0:19:27           Well, old Annie must be using the Force to help him—he jumps over the side of the speeder and falls about a thousand feet before catching the assassin.  By that time he’s probably at terminal velocity, yet he catches the speeder without breaking any bones.  Apparently he was using the Force to cushion his fall…

-0:20:10           Then the assassin gives Annie thirty seconds uninterrupted free-time to climb back onto the ship.  She doesn’t try to brush him off, shoot at him again, roll the ship and let inertia help dislodge him…nothing

-0:20:49           The way Annie falls off the assassin’s ship and the way he lands are inconsistent.  Plus he falls off a ship doing at least fifty miles an hour, yet he only rolls for about three feet?

-0:25:08           Yeah, Yoda’s definitely losing it.  Obi-Wan is sent to track down the bounty hunter, so who will watch over Amidala?  “Handle that, your padawan will.”  Sure, have the hormone-crazed teenage boy watch over the woman he’s thought about every day for ten years.  Even if Yoda can’t sense the kid’s emotions, can’t he at least read his body language?

-0:27:44           They make Jar-Jar the representative for Naboo?  Jar-Jar the mentally challenged?  Oy

-0:29:07           Maybe I don’t understand females.  (Okay, there’s no maybe about it.  Anyway)  Anakin stands in Amidala’s room whining about how Kenobi won’t listen to him, how the counsel doesn’t understand…why does Amidala fall for this petulant child?  Emotionally, he’s still nine years old!

-0:30:48           I honestly have never thought about this before.  Obi-Wan: “Anakin?  May the Force be with you.”  Anakin: “May the Force be with you, master.”  Why do they say this?  Is it possible for a Jedi not to have the Force with him?  I don’t tell my friends “Hey, keep breathing.”  It’s a given that they will.  I dunno, just never considered how silly that iconic saying really is…

-0:31:41           It’s a long time ago, and far, far away—and yet the 50’s diner looks exactly like a 50’s diner, buzzing neon sign in the window and all!  Okay, the server is a droid and it’s an alien wearing the stained cook’s apron, but still…it’s a freaking 50’s diner!

-0:34:34           Snooty librarian: “If an item does not appear in our records, it does not exist.”  Is that any sort of attitude for a gatherer of knowledge to have?  If we can’t find it nobody can?  Seems very closed minded

-0:36:15           A group of young children wave around little lightsabers, their faces covered with helmets, so they can’t see.  Does anybody else have a problem with this?  Giving a bunch of kids lightsabers?  Then blinding them? 

-0:38:15           “Only a Jedi could have erased those files.”  Yoda couldn’t be wrong, therefore only Jedi are used to do archiving.  Because if any regular human was involved, that regular human could have done the erasing.  So the all-powerful, all-important Jedi have some in the ranks who just do data-entry?  What a waste of the Force…

-0:41:10           Interesting how the ship’s design is older, more art-deco looking than the X-wings we know from the classic movies—yet the digital information readouts are much more advanced!  Apparently at some point in the near future they do away with such elegant design, preferring instead Commodore-64 type graphics?

-0:41:34           I suppose this isn’t a nit.  Kenobi lands on the heavily rain-soaked platform, and opens the canopy to get out.  Which allows roughly a gallon of rainwater to pour inside.  This is a starship.  Wouldn’t that be a bad thing, rain on the electronics?

-0:41:44           It’s subtle, but Kenobi’s position changes here as the shot changes

-0:44:19           This also may not be a nit.  As previously stated, I just don’t understand females sometimes.  (Often)  Amidala has said that Anakin must not look at her in that smoldering way of his, that it makes her uncomfortable.  We’ve established that Jedi are not allowed to love.  Yet here she is in a very clingy, alluring outfit, one that exposes her shoulders and all of her back.  Does she not know how this outfit is going to act upon Anakin’s hormones?  Is she that stupid—or does she desire to manipulate him?  Either way, that outfit is not okay.  But I’m sure she’ll come to her senses and we’ll see no more of this kind of behavior…

-0:50:10           Once again I spoke too soon.  Happily playing in the meadow, the Jedi padawan and the Naboo Senator are here found rolling in the grass as if they were seven.  If he must not be in love with her, what in the world is she doing?  We’ve already seen that Anakin has no emotional maturity, but what’s the Senator’s excuse?  I suppose she’s just getting it out of her system—we’ll be fine from here on out…

-0:50:50           No wonder Boba Fett grows up to be so screwy.  He’s living on a planet completely inhabited by weird tall aliens, his own father, and eight skillion clones of his father in different stages of development.  Hardly a normal childhood…

-0:53:52           For someone who doesn’t want to be fallen in love with, Amidala is sure wearing a very revealing gown.  She’s almost topless.  What is the deal?  “We can’t,” she says to his advances.  “We can’t.  It’s just not possible.  We’re living in a real world.  Come back to it.”  And yet she’s wearing that. 

-0:57:47           Windu and Yoda sit in a council room, alone, watching Kenobi in the rain via hologram.  Were they sitting there playing Mahjongg or something, waiting for him?  Or did they have to be fetched?  If so—why didn’t Kenobi have enough sense to get in out of the rain, and send his transmission where he couldn’t be overhead or rained on?  And how is he hearing what Windu and Yoda are saying back to him, over the rain?  Is he seeing little Windu and Yoda holograms?  This method of communication looks cool but makes very little sense

-0:59:25           Okay, by now it’s ridiculous.  Miss “Don’t Touch Me, Don’t Kiss Me, We Must Live Separate Lives” comes out in the morning in another clinging, almost sheer gown.  I know she’s not that stupid, and I can’t imagine she would be that cruel, so it just makes no sense at all!  In fact the whole love story between these two is stupid!  So I officially give it the Will Award!  My exclamation key is stuck!!!!!!!!!

-1:00:58           Jango Fett fires three shots at off-screen Kenobi.  There’s no sound of lightsaber deflection.  Is Fett that bad of a shot, that he just missed with the first three?

-1:01:00           Big continuity error here.  One shot Kenobi is swinging his saber, it’s pointed at the ground, then the shot changes and it’s still in front of him.

-1:01:55           Obi-Wan is dragged along the ground by a very thin wire…yet doesn’t lose a finger, doesn’t even get cut!  Not even when he braces himself against the tower, to bring Jango down out of the sky!  Amazing!  He shouldn’t have any fingers left!

-1:02:29           Or now, as he hangs by his full weight from the same cable—no problem!

-1:07:15           I know I harp on this a lot, and the sound is very cool—but an explosion in space wouldn’t have any sound.  No sound in a vacuum.  Ever.  Even a long time ago, far, far away.

-1:11:43           What are the odds—Threepio, which little Annie inexplicably build when he was nine, is still around!  Is serving at the Lars place!  Sheesh.  I’m surprised they didn’t work in a tiny Han Solo around here somewhere…

-1:14:50           Even the first time I saw this movie I laughed right here.  Anakin is blazing along on a hovercycle, doing probably seventy, eighty miles per hour.  No helmet visor, no goggles…I may not know from lightsabers, but I do ride a motorcycle.  Believe me, over about thirty miles an hour without eye protection and you can’t see anything, even if you’re not on the extremely dusty, wind-whipped, desert planet of Tatooine

…There were tons more, we’re only halfway through the movie, but that’s all space will allow me today.  If you want the full version, keep coming back and watch for exciting news soon to come!  In the meantime, you can always go to if you just can’t wait until next week—where we exchange spaceships for pirate ships, and lightsabers for cutlasses!  Pirates of the Caribbean, right here, right then!

See you in seven…


Week Seventeen: #35 – Kung Fu Panda

February 6, 2009
The Nitpicker Guide to the Movies
“See the films you love in a whole new way!”
If you haven’t seen the movie, I don’t think this will ruin anything for you—the secret of the dragon scroll, the secret to unlimited power, is believing in oneself.  This would be a fantastic movie for that message alone—but the incredible art direction, character progression, and story make it a thoroughly fantastic movie.  Truly marvelous!  (By the way, if you haven’t seen the movie, why are you reading this?  Not that I mind…)
-0:03:28 Well, this bugged me all film—Po’s father is a stork of some kind?  I really thought when Dad went to tell Po his big secret at the end, it would be “you’re adopted”, but they never did explain this…
-0:05:30 As Master Shifu defends against attack, all of the Fearsome Five jump in at the same time—yet somehow Viper gets to him first?  That shouldn’t be
-0:05:52 The messenger bird must be practicing at the ninja school down the road—Master Shifu is berating the Five when suddenly the messenger bird is there in the circle, with no sound alerting us to his sudden presence!  Ninja bird!       
-0:07:00 Master Uguay says, and I quote: “Nothing is impossible.”  Obviously Master Uguay has never tried to ski through a revolving door
-0:07:03 Ninja duck returns!  Master Shifu calls for him, and though he and Uguay were completely alone in the great hall, now suddenly the bird is there, again silently!
-0:10:48 How long of an opening ceremony did this tournament have?  It’s, like, a couple of thousand steps up to the palace, and Po isn’t exactly running up them.  Did the fanfare go on for three, four hours, and he just barely gets there late?  And why do they shut the doors anyway, besides that it makes it conveniently hard for him to get in and he has to burst in with a rocket chair?
-0:12:48 Po flings himself out of the tree and bounces off the pagoda—which is some distance inside the wall, yet he drops straight down and lands somehow outside once again
-0:13:02 “I sense the dragon warrior is among us.”  Interesting choice of words, as the dragon warrior turns out to be Po, and Po certainly isn’t among them, he’s locked outside!
-0:14:24 These are pretty dangerous fireworks.  The fuse goes out, seemingly, and nothing happens for ten seconds, and then they go off!  Probably a lot of children in the village missing fingers, I would think
-0:14:49 It is remarkable that Po survived a fall from that height, straight into stone, without a single broken anything.  Dude is seriously resilient!
-0:19:33            Considering that carrying Po into the temple is supposedly a task of honor, I find it surprising (though funny) that the pigs would just dump him on the floor while the doors are still open and everybody can see them do this
-0:25:10 Is the kiddie punching bag made of steel?  It knocked out one of Po’s teeth!  (Which we never see missing later)
-0:25:25 The Will Award: Po is thrown haphazardly into the Fearsome Five’s training ground, and though he is seriously knocked about, everything that could kill him doesn’t.  The club has its non-spiked side turned to him, the flames char but don’t seriously burn…it’s fun, I laughed, but I don’t buy it!
-0:27:45 After all the bruises and burns Po suffered in the training ground, he is surprisingly bruise-and burn-less as he talks to Crane later that same evening.  Does Po have a Wolverine-like healing factor?
-0:29:08 I’m not sure how Master Tigress and Tai-Long can make their eyes glow like that.  Sure, cats’ eyes glow, but only when light reflects off them, they don’t glow from inside.  It’s cool, though
-0:30:22 It’s funny that Po has to stop his belly from jiggling—but this is the only time in the whole movie.  Why?
-0:34:42 Tai-Long uses the explosives to blow the door off the jail, yet the guards and messenger duck caught between door and explosion are not only not killed, but not even badly hurt.  (And that is all the nitpicking I can bring myself to do on the prison breakout!  It is so fantastic!)
-0:36:09 The next morning, Po is found stuck during his morning warmups.  Master Shifu sends Crane to help him.  Crane?  Are Tigress and Monkey too important?  They certainly have a better chance of lifting Po without sustaining major injury
-0:36:39 Tigress shatters several ceramic plates high in the air, and the debris falls around Po.  With one last piece hitting him in the head all by itself.  Why did that piece take longer to fall than the others?  Galileo would not approve
-0:40:00 Shifu found Tai-Long as a cub.  So some mother who didn’t want her baby climbed all those steps just to drop him off?  There ain’t no orphanages in Peaceful Valley?
-0:42:04 We find Master Shifu surrounded by hundreds of candles.  Considering how long it would take to light those suckers, why aren’t some of them more burned down than others? 
-0:43:50 Shifu halves a peach in mid-air, lands, and the seed falls to his hand.  How did he hit the ground before the seed, and where did the peach halves go?  (And is there any sort of peach tree that has both blossoms and fruit at the same time?  That one bugs me)
-0:54:13 “Panda, we do not wash our pits in the pool of Sacred Tears.”  Master Shifu is just being cruel here—not with what he says, but with how he led Panda all the way to a pool of water, knowing how tired and hot Panda must be, and said nothing about how he shouldn’t touch it.  This is, by Shifu’s admission, the birthplace of Kung Fu.  We’ve seen how incredibly enamored of Kung Fu ol’ Po is—for Shifu to allow Po to dishonor the pool and himself…that’s just mean!
-0:55:40 Shifu has discovered that Po’s secret is food—tempt him with food, and he’ll train for Kung Fu.  One shot in the montage has Po trying to do pushups over burning coals, just an inch away from the broth he craves.  Come on, this guy survived the thousand tongues of flame, back in the Fearsome Five training area.  As hungry as he is, Po would just smother the coals and drain the bowl!
-0:55:48 Po sneaks into the clearing, goes for the cauldron of food, and Master Shifu comes out behind him—out of nowhere.  Apparently his Kung Fu skills include invisibility
-1:00:23 The battle on the bridge (another great martial-arts setpiece) has Tigress hit so hard by Tai-Long that she slides along the ropes, breaking a hundred footboards as she goes.  I’ve been nice about physics up to this point, it’s a kung fu movie—but I don’t buy that one.  That the bridge would stay together yet allow all those boards to break—and that Tigress wouldn’t be broken herself, being hit that hard
-1:00:44 And Mantis can hold the entire bridge by himself, while Monkey, Snake, Tigress and Tai-Long fight all over it?  Never in a million years.  Not gonna happen. 
-1:01:40 What incredible Kung Fu magic does Tai-Long have, that he can swing the severed rope bridge around without the use of his arms or legs hard enough to throw himself across the chasm to where the Five are waiting?  The physics on that are mind-bogglingly impossible!
-1:05:04 After Shifu kindly opens the dragon scroll for Po, the Panda drops the scroll holder—and we never do hear it hit the ground
-1:07:38 Po’s dad has some ninja in him, too—Po returns to the family restaurant, and dad comes over to give him a big hug, empty-handed.  Po’s arms engulf his dad, and then when Po pulls back, dad has magically whipped his old apron around him
-1:13:45 Tai-Long pounds Master Shifu into the ground, hard enough to break the marble underneath him—yet Master Shifu is not seriously injured.  (Lucky for the little kids watching this…)
-1:15:10 Po and Tai-Long bounce each other down the steps from the Jade Palace to the village below.  They bounce only 9 times total, which is remarkable considering those same steps are about three miles long
-1:16:10 Tai-Long throws Po into a batch of fireworks.  Even granting that Po has matches in his pocket, or the foolish firework makers leave matches lying around…Tai-Long is racing for the scroll, and yet somehow Po has time to attach fireworks to another chair?
-1:18:14            Throughout the movie, Tai-Long has been taking hits like vengeance.  Right here Po steps on his foot and he reacts in pain and fear.  Whahuhh?
-1:19:08 Tai-Long falls from the sky where Po’s midsection has thrown him (love it!) and we see the crater he made when he landed.  A very well cut-out crater, it even includes a long hole for his tail.  Really
Still a great movie.  But I feel the need…the need for lightsabers! if you just can’t wait, but Star Wars II: The Attack of the Clones is under the knife next week!
See you in seven…

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…

Week Eleven: #41 – The Passion of the Christ

December 21, 2008
The Nitpicker Guide to the Movies
“See the films you love in a whole new way!”
This is going to be a short one–because this is one movie I just can’t put my Nitpicker’s hat on for.  To tell the truth, I have never even seen The Passion of the Christ.  I can’t bring myself to watch it.
See, I believe that the story represented in this movie, the story of Jesus Christ, is absolutely true.  I believe every scripture about Christ is absolutely true, and I have accepted (with all my heart) that he lived a sinless life, and that by his death on the cross Jesus paid the price for my sins.  I not only believe in the Scriptures but have a personal relationship with Jesus himself–I speak with him, listen to him, and consider him my best friend.
And I cannot bring myself to watch a movie where the death of my best friend is so realistically and (as far as I’ve heard) accurately portrayed.  It is the most beautiful story ever told, but just like I can’t bear to watch the ending of Pay It Forward, so much more can I not bear to watch The Passion of the Christ.
So it’s a Free Pass week.  Have a safe and merry Christmas, don’t forget that if it weren’t for Easter we wouldn’t have anything to celebrate on December the 25th…and I will see you on the 26th.
Cadillacs and Dinosaurs…it’s Jeff Goldblum and The Lost World: Jurassic Park next Friday!

Week Ten:#42 – War of the Worlds

December 13, 2008
The Nitpicker Guide to the Movies
“See the films you love in a whole new way!”
-0:07:44 Ray follows Maryanne down the hall, hair messed up six ways from Sunday.  Then the shot changes, right where he says “That’s a good look for you,” and his hair is nice and neat!
-0:10:23 Robbie fails to catch Ray’s last throw, and the ball breaks the window behind him.  Robbie walks away, and then we see Ray through the hole–except that the hole the ball made and the hole we look at Ray through are two different holes!  How many broken windows does this house have?
-0:19:15 The lightning stops, Ray realizes everything is dead and wanders outside.  He passes an auto shop where the mechanic tells him that the starter is fried–so he tried changing it and that didn’t help.  He had time to change a starter in the three minutes since the lightning storm?
-0:21:16 I know New Yorkers are smarter than this.  The asphalt starts to buckle, and huge cracks appear.  Something underneath is moving.  But the onlookers just slowly back away, instead of turning and running for it.  Believe me, if some street ever begins to crack underneath my feet, you’ll see how fast I can run!
-0:24:51 The Will Award!  These huge, massive, ginormous alien machines have been buried beneath the Earth’s surface for some time (unless the aliens dropped them in last week when everybody was sleeping) and nobody has ever noticed!  Even when they put in the sewer system!  And the subway!  The hugantic machines remained completely unknown!  Is my astonishment coming through okay?
-0:26:27 Are the aliens sadistic, or just inefficient?  The tripod throws out beams of laser that incinerate folks where they stand.  Well and good–but we’re talking about six billion people here.  Do the martians have any idea how long that’s going to take, one person at a time?  (Maybe they just like seeing puny humans run and scream)
-0:27:14 Lucky Sunovagun award–Ray sure is fortunate to survive the first wave of laserings, considering the person right next to, or behind, or in front of him gets it about seventeen times
-0:30:37            Runner-up for the Will Award: obviously our heroes have to find a working vehicle, or else this movie would be really short.  But still, the odds that the EMP takes out every vehicle in New York, yet Ray finds the one vehicle that can be (and is!) fixed within ten minutes…
-0:38:52 Shot of the basement window, with white light coming in–a light beam very visible because smoke is drifting past the window.  On the inside.  One of the kids light a campfire, or something?
-0:39:58 The lights and screeching starts, and Rachel runs from under the stairs to hug her brother.  Shot changes here to show Ray and Robbie–and Rachel has disappeared!  Next shot she’s clinging to her brother again.  Where’d she go?
-0:48:32 Rachel goes to the river, needing to take care of business–and is held up when a dead body floats by.  A dead body?  I thought the aliens were disintegrating people.  Conveniently for her little lost innocence, the river suddenly teems with dead folks, where none where before…
-0:52:00 As the mob descends on the minivan, I remember that for me, this is easily the scariest scene in the entire movie.  Aliens from another planet I consider farfetched, but watching what a mob of frightened people can do to one another…
-0:57:07 I will be the first to admit that the train speeding by, gutted and on fire, is a spectacularly creepy and cool effect.  But the train was hit that hard, and it’s still on the rails?  Also, the aliens will bother to hit something as minor as a passenger train, but this whole town is sitting here lit up?  Somebody needs to get smart, here
-1:03:15 The weather needs to make up its mind.  One second it’s raining, the next it’s snowing…
-1:10:10 The whole horizon lights up.  Poor Robbie.  No way he survived that.  It would be ridiculous for the filmmakers to allow any assumption of his survival.  He must be dead
-1:21:21 Maybe the aliens aren’t that smart either.  The tentacle turns in Tom’s direction, and his head is sticking over the couch arm at least an inch–but the eye doesn’t seem to notice him
-1:24:19 Wow, I didn’t know Ray and Rachel and creepy Shotgun Guy had ninja skills!  They’re all hiding behind the mirror, the alien eye sees Rachel’s shoe, comes straight into investigate–and finds nothing but an old boot!  They disapparated!  Leaving a boot behind!  Seriously, how the hell did they pull that off???
-1:36:12 Whoa, where’d that come from?  Ray wanders around outside, calling his daughter’s name, looking in all directions.  Then suddenly there’s a tripod overhead, out of nowhere!  It’s not like these things could easily hide
-1:36:21 How lucky Ray is (again) that the aliens choose to go to the trouble of capturing him, rather than just disintegrating him
-1:44:08 Of course, just like it was Ray and not the soldier in the basket who managed to get the alien to suck up a few grenades, it’s also Ray and not any of the soldiers who notices that the birds are picking at the alien and therefore its shields are down.  Why are the shields down just because all the onboard aliens are dying of influenza?  Why are the birds picking at this metallic craft in the first place?
-1:46:52 The aliens, these same aliens that have been destroying everything up until now, apparently like old brownstones.  Enough that they leave the entire block where Grandma lives apparently untouched.  I’m starting to wear the word out–but how lucky!
-1:47:58 What the hell??  I remember when I saw this movie in the theaters, this was the moment I wanted to throw something at the screen.  Bad enough that Mom, Stepdad, Grandma and Grandpa are all alive and completely unhurt, but ROBBIE survived?!?  Gung-ho, devil-may-care, race-over-the-horizon-into-a-sky-clearing-explosion ROBBIE is still alive?  How in the world does Señor Spielbérgo expect us to swallow that one?
You want more?  I’m going to keep the rest of the nits I found to myself for now–but head to and see what other people have discovered!  And I will see you in seven!

Week Nine: #43 – Casino Royale

November 28, 2008
The Nitpicker Guide to the Movies
“See the films you love in a whole new way!”
Woo-HOO!  I will admit to being a pretty fair Bond fan.  I have every one of the previous 007 films, even the one with George Lazenby (and if you don’t know which one that was, you are not a true Bond fan).  And while I did like Pierce Brosnan, the Daniel Craig reinvention is absolutely fabulous.  Getting Bond away from spouting endless clever quips and back to the tough-as-nails, don’t-mess-with-him Ian Fleming version.  I do miss Q, though…
-0:11:17 They just don’t take chances with the star–Bond climbs the fence after Parkourman, and if you freeze here, you’ll see a nice shot of Daniel Craig’s stunt double
-0:11:39 Okay, it’s fun that Bond commandeers a bulldozer.  It’s his bulldog style, and I don’t even need anybody to explain how he managed to acquire the thing (and learn how to use it) in five seconds.  But isn’t 007 supposed to be a spy?  Isn’t part of spying remaining fairly unnoticed?
-0:13:52            Parkourman draws down on Bond and–lucky break for 007, his enemy is out of bullets!  Whew!  How often does that happen?
-0:17:56 The Nambutu embassy has some seriously deep windows.  Bond throws Parkourman right out a window, everything but his feet have disappeared–shot changes and only then does he actually break the window
-0:18:40 A quick crackshot on a convenient propane tank and boom!  Bond escapes another deathtrap.  Umm…except that the best television show in the whole wide world, Mythbusters, proved conclusively that propane tanks don’t explode when you shoot them.  Sorry, 007
-0:19:03 The impossible propane explosion was strong enough to rip the gate out of the wall thirty yards away, yet not kill the guards standing right in front of it?  Remarkable!  (Then again, maybe 007 ripped the gate off with his bare hands)
-0:28:54 Fast-forwarding through security camera footage, the monitor timecode goes from 19:05:19:15 to 19:11:28:22 in less than a second.  Six minutes in under a second.  Then we look at Bond for three seconds before he pushes pause on the DVD player.  So the timecode footage should be somewhere around 19:29:00:00–but no, it’s at 19:11:39:18!  Six minutes in one second, then eleven seconds in the next three!
Also, from the moment we see the Aston Martin come into frame and the moment when the DVD starts playing normally thirty seconds of footage (supposedly) go by.  The counter which read 19:11:39:18 now says 19:12:12:08.  I suppose it’s possible it took the valet thirty whole seconds to walk around from the back of the car to open the door…but I bet he didn’t get a very big tip!
-0:32:49            Another lucky coincidence is how all of the women Bond just has to seduce in order to do his job happen to be stunningly beautiful.  Just once I would like to see one of these movies where he has to woo somebody’s 78 year-old grandmother
-0:45:23 007 distinctly hits nine numbers to get into the security area after figuring out that ELLIPSIS is the security key.  Except that ELLIPSIS only has eight letters (although I thought it rather clever of him to figure that out)
-0:47:25 Say what you will about 007, he sure is in shape.  Here he’s been running after a police car across the airport tarmac, and when he pulls up (having kept the car in sight) he’s not even breathing hard
-0:50:15 The fuel-truck chase has been happening for at least a minute.  But as we watch the cops speed to the scene, a plane is taking off in the background.  Does that make sense?  They’ve had at least a minute to ground every plane out here!
-0:50:50 Now an airplane is coming in for a landing!  Right over where the chase is happening!
-0:53:34 The bad guy bought the Sadistic Detonator kit–he doesn’t know the thing has been clipped to his belt, but when he pushes the Go button, it doesn’t just explode.  No, it starts beeping and gets faster and louder, giving him a good nine seconds to realize what is about to happen–before it goes off
-0:57:15 M, once more: “According to Vilius, you’re the best player in the service.”  What are the odds?  The best single poker player in all of MI-6 is our man James!
-1:41:19 Bond goes all in, Le Chiffre does the same, and there’s $150,000,000 in the pot.  Now that the bets have been called, the dealer needs to have everybody show their cards–but he’s nice enough to wait fifteen seconds before doing so, just to allow everybody at the table to look at each other dramatically
-1:42:36 So Bond wins, which I suppose we knew he would do.  But he wasn’t bluffing, and neither was Le Chiffre–he just lucked into a better hand.  That incredible 007 luck continues to thrive (not to mention being able to play at all, considering just undergoing cardiac arrest!)
-1:46:26 Chasing after the fugitives, Bond comes over a rise and Vesper is lying, tied up, in the middle of the road.  The car carrying her has completely disappeared.  He left the hotel maybe a hundred yards behind these folks–did he stop off for a Slurpee?  When did they have the time to arrange this–or has he been driving really carefully?
-1:46:30 Ooh…I just…I just can’t.  I’m sure there are probably continuity errors in the Aston Martin crash, but I can’t watch that again.  It just hurts so much.  You look–I’m going to go somewhere and have a good cry…
-1:58:05 This one is a lot of fun.  And I checked carefully.  007 needs to enter his 6-digit password, retrieve the 120 million dollars he’s won.  He tells Vesper she can enter it, and then spells out her name.  Wait just one second!  Waaaaay back at 1:10:45 we watched him enter his 6-digit password.  To use “Vesper”, he would have typed 8-3-7-7-3-7.  What he actually types, in close-up no less, is 8-3-6-5-4-7!  (Which would spell TENKIS, VENJIS or UFOLIP, but not VESPER!)
-2:03:45 Bond and Vesper are in bed together, and we see their feet–both of his and one of hers, all three pointing in the same direction.  Apparently they’re spooning.  Wait, no–shot changes and she’s facing him!  (She must be very limber)
-2:12:32 Is it really possible to get or arrange for a nailgun to fire when it’s not pressed against something?  Is there really such a thing as a battery-operated nail gun?  (The bad guy certainly isn’t hooked up to a compressor!)  Can one really set up a nail gun to auto-fire, without having to press the trigger every time?  ‘Cause this particular bad guy’s nail gun does all of these things…
-2:12:46            Improbable Nail-gun hit one into Bond’s left shoulder.  The nail was still sticking out of his shoulder when he was grabbed from behind–and it disappeared.  Fine, maybe the bad guy knocked it out.  But no, in this shot–there’s the nail again!  Somebody stop and jam it back in?
-2:15:30 This happens in a lot of movies–Bond pulls Vesper out of the water and tries CPR for about thirty seconds before he gives it up as hopeless.  I understand EMT’s will try CPR for thirty minutes before quitting!
Did I miss anything?  How can you tell?  Head over to and check and see!
I suppose that’s enough of the spy stuff.  I want to watch aliens try and take over the world!  (Actually, I don’t all that much, but what are you gonna do?)  Tom Cruise, Dakota Fanning, and a whole lot of screaming in War of the Worlds, up next week.
See you in seven…