Autocorrect is a way of life

While Rush Hour (CBS) occasionally features rather funny writing, it’s main bullet point seems to be the terrible production quality which is on par with the worst NBC shows.  Of course, the show is cheaply made, but some of the more glaring mistakes could have easily been avoided by taking a little extra care (or at least one more look at whatever you’re filming).

This post is about episode 11 in the show’s first (and thanks to early cancellation, last) season. Captain Cole has a date at the LA Concert Hall (also known as Walt Disney Concert Hall), but it doesn’t really go as planned. The guy she dates is a total bore, and for good reason: he’s talking like he wants to advertise something.

Boring date
But it’s not just about looking good. CrossFit is a way of life.

Captain Cole
Huh. Is that a fact?

Boring date
Yeah. Cardio boxing for endurance and tai chi for precision and focus.

Captain Cole
Oh, fantastic.

Fantastic, yeah, considering CrossFit isn’t just a way of life, it’s also a real product, so this dialogue turns out to be actual advertising. And it’s definitely not a coincidence either, since the CrossFit brand is dropped on another CBS show as well – American Gothic (episode 7):

Reporter
So, how married are you exactly?

Allison
Very publicly married with two kids, as you know.

Reporter
And yet you still somehow find the time for… CrossFit, I’m guessing?

No, actually she finds time to fool around with her lesbian lover, but I disgress.

Anyway, of course things go sideways when armed gangsters storm the concert hall and take hostages. Before all that, we get a look at the concert hall’s loading dock where we can spot a very sloppily redressed sign:

Image (c) CBS

Image (c) CBS

Of course it was too expensive to print a new sign instead of just taping over the real phone number. Renting the LA Concert Hall was probably cutting into the budget so much nothing was left to put up a proper sign.

When Cole finds out there’s something going on, she pulls out her gun (on a date? no wonder she’s not dating well!) and her cell and – as luck would have it – she has the LAPD on speed dial:

Image (c) CBS

Image (c) CBS

Unfortunately, her phone doesn’t have service so she can’t actually place the call. She tosses her phone and moves on just to find two guys on the ground along with a purse and another cellphone. After some shooting, she grabs the phone from the ground (why she ditched her own phone in the first place is beyond me) and hides in an unlocked room. Here, she uses the phone she picked up to call the cops, and lo and behold – it has service!

Image (c) CBS

Image (c) CBS

What we see is the lock screen of an Android phone (although it looks like it was doctored as there’s no carrier designation in the upper left corner). While there’s definitely a way to call the police or emergency services from the lock screen, I doubt it would show up as “LAPD” just like on her own phone – it just makes no sense, especially after learning later on that the cell belongs to a person who lives in Switzerland. Instead, it would likely say “Emergency Services” or something unspecific like that.

Cole manages to call for help and the cavalry arrives. She’s on the move through the venue, looking for the kidnappers. Suddenly, the phone has no reception any more. Despite being an experienced police woman, she’s standing out in the open where everyone can see her, and that’s exactly what happens: she gets jumped. She manages to knock her attacker unconscious and would be able to go into hiding, but she doesn’t. Instead, she’s kneeling down basically right next to the downed guy and rifles through his duffle bag. Oh well, at least she gets some intel about the kidnappers.

She then sends a short message to Carter’s phone:

Image (c) CBS

Image (c) CBS

Carter (while looking at his phone)
Unknown number.

Carter (reading aloud)
“I’m upstairs. Alone.”

Carter 
Ah, this must be that Latin chick I met at the club last night.

Carter (writing message)
Busy right now. Will hit your sexy ass back later.

Cole
Come on, you worthless piece of…

Carter (reading aloud)
“Carter, you loudmouth jackass.”

Carter
It’s Cole!

Image (c) CBS

Image (c) CBS

Carter runs to the commander to tell him about this revelation when Cole starts to type another SMS:

Image (c) CBS

Image (c) CBS

However, thanks to the autocorrect function, the message she actually sends reads:

Image (c) CBS

Image (c) CBS

That’s not how autocorrect works – she should have seen the wrong words as she was typing the message, and since we could see her screen, it’s clear there was no autocorrect at work here. Not to mention that it’s highly unlikely to get the word “grenade” corrected to “Teddy” and the word “Picture” to “Peanut” – at least the second word is so damn common that it would never be autocorrected even by the worst autocorrect ever. What’s also odd is that the message was supposed to read “Grenades, Picture of … Pickering” yet the word “of” vanished entirely. It’s also noteworthy that her previous SMS didn’t have any issues in that regard despite using words like “jackass” and “loudmouth” which would be equally prone to auto correction.

Of course, Cole gets caught and is used by the kidnappers to communicate their demands to the police outside. The cops send a negotiator to, well, negotiate. As you can see, he’s clearly the only one at the top of the stairs aside from the kidnapper and Cole:

Image (c) CBS

Image (c) CBS

So why is there someone standing behind him in the reflection?

Image (c) CBS

Image (c) CBS

Ah, it’s probably nothing (or it’s the steadycam operator, which is more likely).

After much back and forth, the two detectives decide to sneak inside the theater to get to Cole. But the entire building is surrounded by police snipers, so it’s kind of difficult to get inside. Their solution? Dress up like theater guests and just go inside via a stairwell on the back of the venue. I have the feeling police snipers would definitely report two civilians sneaking around the area but maybe the snipers fell asleep, who knows? Even if the snipers knew the detectives played dress-up, they’d still have to report it since order was that nobody gets in or out (especially not Carter and Lee, who have been more or less banned from the area for disobeying orders).

But they do get in via an air duct and quickly stumble upon a kidnapper:

Image (c) CBS

Image (c) CBS

There’s a clock hanging on the wall. It’s 9:55pm and 20 seconds.

Image (c) CBS

Image (c) CBS

After Lee downs the kidnapper, Carter comes out of the air duct and the clock still shows the exact same time – in fact, the seconds don’t move at all during the entire scene. The clock is obviously out of batteries in order to make preserving continuity easier, but since it’s so clearly visible, the effect this achieves is exactly the opposite. The timeline fits, though, as we can see on Carter’s cellphone:

Image (c) CBS

Image (c) CBS

Ah well. Shouldn’t expect too much from these movie adaptations, should you? These mistakes aren’t exactly shocking, but they really show the creators aren’t exactly commited to excellence either.

Easy to read

Ah, Rush Hour. If this terrible movie spinoff is any indication of the quality of all the other remakes or spinoffs coming in the near future, that future looks pretty grim. Fortunately, CBS already cancelled the show a while back and is now burning off the remaining episodes on saturday nights.

In episode 9, the two (mostly annoying) detectives are briefed by their (also mostly annoying) colleague. She’s showing them an article about a suspect:

Image (c) CBS

Image (c) CBS

Let’s take a look at the paragraph of text in the center of the picture. Well, for one, it’s terribly formatted – no real news site would publish an article with that kind of block formatting, especially not with such small text. However, the text is really irrelevant anyway since it’s Lipsum – there’s nothing there, just Latin gibberish. Seems that whoever had to put the screenshot together made every effort to add more or less legit looking advertisements and video links to the page but couldn’t be arsed to write a halfway decent article. Granted, considering how low-effort the entire show is, that’s not entirely a surprise, but it’s funny nonetheless.

Later in the episode, the detectives are tracking a car using this incredibly detailed map:

Image (c) CBS

Image (c) CBS

I like how the map has to state it’s Los Angeles in (comparatively) huge letters so everyone is aware it’s not any of the countless other cities built in a grid layout. Pretty amazing tech, folks!

And while writing this post, I went back to the beginning of the episode where I found this little gem:

Image (c) CBS

Image (c) CBS

Yep, that’s the camera sitting on a dolly, and there’s the camera operator and a dolly grip pushing the dolly. Ah, glass fronts, they are always so tricky to film!

These guys are everywhere

This is from the latest episode of Castle (season 7, episode 11). Please take note of the guy marked with a red arrow:

Image (c) ABC

Image (c) ABC

He’s standing there, holding his super-sized coffee to go, staring intensely at past the camera. I wonder if he’s got anything to do with production?

Image (c) ABC

Image (c) ABC

Hm. Now he’s on the other side of the road, trying to look harmless. Wonder how he got there, but no matter! Instead, focus your gaze intensely on the guy with the bright yellow backpack, helpfully marked with yet another red arrow. Also, observe this harmless young man wearing a scarf. He’s looking down, because he’s not involved with production in any way.

Image (c) ABC

Image (c) ABC

Now would you look at that … the guy with the backpack, in an entirely different scene, over 20 minutes later! But that’s not all …

Image (c) ABC

Image (c) ABC

.. here’s the guy with the coffee again, and who is he talking to? The young man with the scarf! It’s a small world …

Picture (c) ABC

Picture (c) ABC

… really small:

Image (c) ABC

Image (c) ABC

I found that one later, but the scene is actually at the beginning of the episode, when Beckett and Esposito first visit the school. For comparison purposes, I’ve added a blowup of the backpack wearing guy in the third picture – they are identical in every way. It’s really okay to reuse background extras, but if you do, at least have them wear stuff that doesn’t make it so easy to identify them.

Talking about easy to identify – everyone knows Castle isn’t actually filmed in New York. While they try to cover it up by putting NYC taxis and signage up, sometimes they just can’t help themselves:

Image (c) ABC

Image (c) ABC

One quick Google search reveals that the historic Haas Building is at 219 W 7th Street, Los Angeles. Would have been easy to avoid that one by just shooting a bit down the road or having Castle’s head covering the background …

Picture (c) ABC

Picture (c) ABC

… and waiting for the bus to pass before rolling the scene would have been a good idea too.