Thursday, July 23, 2009

This week's LVW Col: Vegas Movie Mistakes!

I've been saving up this one for a while. Finally, it's ripe. Hooray! Here goes! In fact, here's a shot from "Fools Rush In" that I didn't even get to mention in the piece. Where's this exit? Not near the Mirage, that's for sure. Enjoy! -sf

Film Flam
Lottery tickets, magic tunnels, scorching heat in January and other Vegas-movie flaws

Dwayne “not-The-Rock” Johnson’s much-punished yellow cab burst out of the valet stand at the Planet Hollywood —which is, by the way, below ground—and, a frame later, is barreling along a street lined with parking meters that could only be Downtown. They evidently took one of those magical Vegas tunnels I can never find.

I was so overwhelmed by delight, I nearly fell out of my seat. I turned to my companion at the Vegas premiere of Race to Witch Mountain in March and overwhispered, “They did it again!”

And, indeed, they had. They do it just about every time. It might be Sandra Bullock and company passing the Bellagio twice heading south during a Strip drive and then passing New York-New York as if heading north in Miss Congeniality. It might be the impossibly panoramic view from the Caesars suite used in The Hangover. Or maybe it’s that part in The Mexican when James Gandolfini kidnaps Julia Roberts at the clearly marked Belz Factory Outlet Mall, which at the time was on Las Vegas Boulevard South. To escape, he cuts a right to hop on what a Town Center exit sign reveals to be the northbound Summerlin Parkway before we learn via dialogue that both characters were “heading” to Vegas.

For one reason or another, Hollywood has a tremendous amount of difficulty getting Vegas right, and that has spawned a hobby among Vegas aficionados and locals of going to see movies set here with an eye for something that’s not quite right. Many of the examples cited in this piece are ones I’ve been hanging onto for a while or spent the weekend spotting in a work-related movie marathon—Fools Rush In holds up, by the way; Honeymoon in Vegas, not so much—while others are favorites provided by Facebook friends or cited on the brilliant site

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Anonymous said...

The old James Bond film "Diamonds are Forever" has a classic turn off of Fremont Street that winds up at the Las Vegas Hilton. But at least those scenes are fun to see how much the city has changed; there was nothing but dirt near that property.

Also, a good one was in that awful "Showgirls" film when Jesse from "Saved by the Bell" walks out of a doorway at the Forum Shops and ended up outside the Stardust.

Peter said...

This is done all the time in many city locations. You notice it because you live in Vegas. My friends and I laugh at Los Angeles locations in movies all the time. At the beach and then in the Valley in minutes. Movies aren't about reality.

Michael said...

21's views from the Hard Rock of the Bellagio fountains is a nice one too.

gregoryzephyr said...

One of the difficulties for movie geographic continuity is that scenes are shot at different times and not necessarily in the order of the script or screenplay. Then, everything gets edited much later. Suppose the original script has our hero walking through the Bellagio with his girlfriend. He then walks out onto the Strip and spots the villain on the sidewalk and a chase ensues.

Suppose now in the editing room the director decides the Bellagio walk with girlfriend scene works better as a way to end the movie. There's another scene where the hero has just finished meeting with the mayor in City Hall. The director decides that the scene where the hero spots the villain works better immediately after the meeting with the mayor so he edits it that way.

Now, you have a movie where the hero is seen walking out of City Hall and immediately spots the villain and gives chase. But, savvy viewers realize there's no way the hero could get from City Hall to the mid-Strip instantly. But, the story itself flows better.

So, something's gotta give. Either continuity or story/plotline. And, I can't imagine any director that would sacrifice the story in favor of geographic accuracy.

Anonymous said...

I howled at that "What Happens In Vegas" scene where Ashton uses one quarter to win the obviously marked two coin progressive.

You did miss one of my favorites though. The moment in "Con Air" where the airplane lands on the Strip and suddenly they're having a big chase downtown...


Everyone has their favorites, that's for sure. I actually haven't seen Con Air -- and the Hollywood video didn't have a copy -- but i had heard it had numerous examples.