Breaking: The Titanic is Real!

While we’re enjoying Retweet Monday, please pleasure yourself with this selection of Actual Discoveries Regarding a Recently Rereleased Blockbuster Movie. And offer @boring_as_heck mad props for curating America’s Idiocy.


Just wait ’till someone breaks it to them why Leonardo DiCaprio looks so much younger in the movie than in real life.

@ManchuCandidate: I remember watching Time Tunnel one night, and—

Oh. Right. Time Tunnel was a Sixties scifi series where Our Heroes were sent into the past each episode, only to Barely Escape and be sent Somewhere Else into the past. You had to be there.

—after escaping whatever trap befell them, the stars ended up on a ship somewhere. The camera pulls out to reveal the name on the bow:

Andrea Doria.

This was deemed sufficient by the producers to shock the audience into watching Next Week’s Episode.

I, being seven, had no clue. And the sinking was only ten years old.

Also, not only was the Titanic “real” but so was everything you see in the movie… including Leo’s death at the end and the fancy necklace and all.

@Serolf Divad: Neil deGrasse Tyson was famously pissed that Cameron got the stars wrong.

Cameron assured Tyson that the grave error would be fixed in the new version.

@Serolf Divad:
Or if Cameron pulled a Lucas and “revised” it so that the Iceberg shot first.

@nojo: Hey – continuity is important. I got all up in it when the protagonist’s car wasn’t the same in two scenes in The Killing … how fucking hard is it to use the same goddamn Ford Focus episode to episode?

@blogenfreude: Well, that’s the thing: you noticed.

The Fight Club DVD commentary includes a discussion of the office wall thermostat while Ed Norton is talking to the boss. Part of the scene was reshot, so at one angle the thermostat looks like this, while at another angle the thermostat looks like that.

If it wasn’t brought to your attention, how many viewings would it take to catch it? Dozens? Hundreds?

Movies cheat all the time. That’s part of the fun of filmmaking. The problem isn’t bad continuity, it’s inept continuity.

@blogenfreude: I have a friend who got hired as the continuity person for the first season of The Simpsons. She figured it would be a fun gig for a year or two. She’s in the same job today.

@nojo: Darling, do you have any idea what continuity involves? You step foot on a set and 28 crew are photographing your every move to recreate it if the shot needs to be repeated. It is totally exhausting. Buddy of mine was in the first (unwatchable) Harry Potter (all of them are). She had a cake dropped on her head. They took her to Paris and bought Manolo Blahnik shoes and hugely expensive underwear, plus Fendi handbag. Plus a bespoke tweed suit. They bought 9 versions of everything so they didn’t have to deal with the cost of continuity. In movies, continuity is an incredibly demanding discipline crossed with the ballet.

It was difficult enough when it came to matching how much martini was in Hank Fonda’s glass in The Lady Eve (case in point, how many dinner jackets did they need to accommodate all the crap dropped on him? Every time an actor runs into a river you have to calculate how many retakes and how many times he had to have all his clothes dried, his make-up restored, and the lighting put back in some sort of order to match the master.

OK. Scene. A bar: not necessarily gay. Two people. Long shot, both framed in shot. OK? Gate clear? Next: medium shot. Same scene but closer: from elbow height upwards: the two-shot. OK? Gate clear? Are we understanding that each set-up requires new lighting? New set construction? Next: over the shoulders of each actor (a gender neutral noun) to record the reactions of each to the other in said scene. (good luck with that on TV). Then whole new set-ups are required for close-ups. Hours upon hours are spent lighting stars. Saw The Tourist the other night (don’t judge!). A perfectly putrid retread of North By Northwest which featured some of the most astonishing eye make up on a female star since Audrey Hepburn. while you’re in the bathroom pissing think how much work it involves to make that eyeliner/shade/under eye look the same from shot to shot. So when Tiffany’s hand is being pressed onto Tadd’s tumescent member in the 12-plex, just before he shoots at least she can know that the sweat stain on that boring woman’s leotard who didn’t do the dancing in Black Swan matches the previous shot in which the ludicrous ‘choreographer’ exhorted her to DO MORE. Or something.

And now, children, think of something greenscreenish like Inception, a film of stultifying banality cleverly disguised as a thriller by extravagant use of FX. Think of that most terminally boring scene: the minivan falling. Now imagine yourself a 20something wannabe tasked (sic) with removing any obvious contradiction from the last shot.

@Benedick: Yes, but you see, when the minivan’s falling off the bridge, the score is mimicking the structure of the movie, with long slow bass beats, medium winds, and stacat—

Oh, never mind.

@nojo: Angel dearest, you’re looking at the result not the construction.

Continuity is like writing code. Except really boring.

@nojo: “Oh. Right. Time Tunnel was a Sixties scifi series where Our Heroes were sent into the past each episode, only to Barely Escape and be sent Somewhere Else into the past. You had to be there.”

The Not-Quite-AARP Contingent thanks you for the explanation. And probably that Dishy Dude.

@Serolf Divad: Heh.

@nojo: They’re coming right at us!

@nojo: I see that shit a lot with characters’ hair. Pisses me off. Not hard to fix, People. Wait, You People. Wait. No blacks in Hollywood, so “You People” need not apply.

@Benedick: tl;dr. Maybe when I’m sober.

If anyone wants to watch Titanic nonsense I would recommend A Night to Remember, a Limey film from the 50s which is strangely effective. Look out for Pussy Galore playing a lady. It’s everything the Cameron movie isn’t: interesting, intelligent, convincing.

And her sister ship was? And she sank where? When?

Most amazing feature of the great transatlantic liners? Four bath taps. Hot and cold fresh water and hot and cold sea water.

I remember seeing Jamie Lee Curtis in “Blue Steel” loading her revolver with cartridges that all had the primers previously hammered.

When I wanted to point it out at another viewing a few years later, the scene had been deleted. Maybe that is one way of solving continuity problems.

@ Benedick
Yeah, this is 8 days old, but Brittanic, Greece 1916.

And there was one survivor who had also been on the Titanic.

You might find the 1898 story “The Wreck of the Titan: Or, Futility” of interest. Written 14 years before, but eeriely similar. Find it for free at the Gutenberg Project.

@RevZafod: File under “Fortean phenomena.”

Apropos of nothing, I found this headline from an online legal newsletter entertaining:

Oracle, Google Prepare for Android Battle in Federal Court

Which side gets Data?

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