Hollywood got it right!

Proof of Life had the most realistic looking and sounding grenade explosions I’ve seen in a movie as well as very good gun-handling.

The Wire nailed the un-glamorous and often mundane nature of many professions.

*i’ve always hated how most TV series/movies portrayed normal, middle class professions (police, fire, paramedic, teacher etc.) with ultra-hot, well dressed, and apparently wealthy characters.

Classic Bic pen commercial that got it right.

The first scene of the 1980 movie It’s My Turn has Jill Clayburgh doing a reasonably accurate imitation of how a math professor would explain the proof of the Snake Lemma to a class and has Daniel Stern do a reasonably accurate imitation of the questions a grad student might ask about the proof.

In the godawful mess that is “Wild, Wild West” Kevin Kline took the time to interview people and portray Ulysses Grant as he was: a likeable, serious authority figure with courage and a hard bitten sense of humor.

When I first saw a trailer for *“Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World” * I knew it would be an accurate adaptation of life at sea, and battles, for the period.

Two ships in fog, enemies, searching for each other. Russell Crowe, as Jack Aubrey, sees a flash of light in the mist and dives for whatever cover may be found. THEN you hear the blast of a cannon. The two items aren’t simultaneous, as the firing vessel would be far enough away to have the faster light arrive instantly, but the sound, not to mention the cannonball, would take longer to arrive.

The action scenes in almost any Michael Mann movie. Mann puts his avtors through intense training with actual firearms and tactics instructors.

In Mann’s movie ‘Thief’, all the safecracking is real, performed by the actors with actual safecracking tools provided by ex-cons who were technical advisors on the movie. Small details were accurate right down to the voltages shown on the multimeters when they were tapping into a building’s security and telephone wiring. James Caan was trained in room clearing techniques by Jeff Cooper, a famous combat pistol instructor. And so it goes.

I’ve been pretty impressed with the historical details in the show ‘Timeless’. I haven’t seen any glaring errors yet, anyway.

It used to be that when you saw a blackboard full of equations in a movie, it was utter nonsense (see, for instance, the 2002 The Time Machine). But lately, Hollywood seems to have realized that science consultants work for cheap, and has been doing a much better job. All of the Marvel movies, Interstellar, and even the otherwise-bad Keanu Reeves The Day the Earth Stood Still have all had appropriate board-scribblings.

Oh, and speaking of The Time Machine, they did do the holograms right, which so many movies don’t. Yes, full-motion AI photorealistic holograms are way beyond our tech level, but it was correctly shown as behind a pane of glass, and you couldn’t see it beyond the edge of the pane.

I’ve only watched the first episode, but the passenger and crew manifests of the Hindenburg are known, and that reporter wasn’t on it.

Were the equations in Good Will Hunting correct?

Yes and no. The math is real. It isn’t the difficult problem that it’s claimed to be:


The science in The Big Bang Theory is generally pretty good. The equations on the board and the discussions between the characters is quite accurate:

I have heard that too about My Cousin Vinny and I believe it. I am not a lawyer but I have been in small town courtrooms and I have seen the movie more than 50 times. It is a legal comedy but everything in it is plausible and consistent with real court procedures unlike almost every other legal TV show and movie out there. Whoever was involved in the story was obviously interested in plausible accuracy much more than most others.

I don’t know if it is a good answer because it started with a book but, The Martian is pretty good hard sci-fi and the movie is faithful to it. It isn’t 100% because the dust storm that starts the whole saga couldn’t really happen that way but everything else is well thought out down to small details that mesh well with actual NASA missions. It took a whole lot of real knowledge to come up with that storyline as opposed to something like Star Wars or Star Trek where you can just make up anything you want.

My Cousin Vinny gets Cross examination mostly right, the witnesses are mistaken rather than malevolent. The Judge, Police and Prosecutor are civil servants doing their duty as opposed to ideologues.

It did occur over a lot more truncated timeline than it should have.

They had to because the movie would be weeks long and extremely boring otherwise. One very important thing they got right is that there was no good versus evil. It was simply a murder trial based on simple facts and, when those basic facts were shown to be wrong, the prosecutor simply dismissed the case and (presumably) went after the real killers after that. If you haven’t seen the movie, I don’t want to give any spoilers but it was a case of misidentification based on the antique car in question and one dead gas station clerk. That can easily happen in the real world unless you have Marissa Tormei on your side to explain the difference between tire tracks made by a 1964 Buick Skylark and a 1963 Pontiac Tempest.

There is even a legal website devoted to the procedures involved in the movie and they mostly check out.

That scene was shot at Franklin Square. The train was an elevated section of the Orange Line (Washington Street Elevated). While St Elsewhere was on the air, the Orange Line was rerouted underground several blocks west and the elevated section was demolished about the time the show’s run ended. The building on East Newton St. that the camera pans to at the very end of the opening credits was built as the St. James Hotel and is now The Franklin Square Apartments.

I’d heard that it was a section of the Orange Line that doesn’t exist anymore. I guess I always figured it was further south, down near Stony Brook or Green St.; that seems like the only part of Boston I haven’t been to very much.

I’ve actually been a lot closer to Franklin Square than I realized. I get my hair cut on Tremont; next time I’m there I’ll walk a few blocks over and check it out. Thanks for the info.

According to the episode, the reporter was standing beneath the Hindenburg and was killed by the crash. She wouldn’t have been one of the crew or passengers.

Stranger Things is the only bit of pop culture I’ve seen set in the 80s that has actually captured the look and feel of actually living in the 80s, rather than 80s pop culture - not a Nagel in sight!