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Interstellar - Spectacularly Stupid Movie

  1. Nov 6, 2014 #1
    I saw "Interstellar"in IMAX. Fantastic visuals, but lazy dumb writing and very bad basic physics. Kip Thorne should be embarrassed to have is name so prominently associated with the movie.
     
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  3. Nov 6, 2014 #2

    Doug Huffman

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    Do you have criticism of specific points which are not constrained by the medium?
     
  4. Nov 6, 2014 #3

    phinds

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    Yeah apparently so. I just read a BIG piece on it in Time magazine and after emphasizing over and over how the director was adamant about using actual science, not science fiction, it then went on to describe some of the physics in the movie and while it didn't sound quite like they were just making stuff up, it sounded ridiculous by the standards of today's technology.
     
  5. Nov 6, 2014 #4
  6. Nov 7, 2014 #5

    Bandersnatch

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  7. Nov 7, 2014 #6

    Doug Huffman

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    So, Slate is somehow equivalent or appropriate to PF?
     
  8. Nov 7, 2014 #7

    Bandersnatch

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    What do you mean? Should we cite only peer reviewed papers from reputable journals when talking about movies?
     
  9. Nov 7, 2014 #8

    Doug Huffman

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    In the instant case, my request was "Do you have criticism of specific points ... ?" Hardly a request for reputability.

    I remember when Scientific American was considered reputable.
     
  10. Nov 7, 2014 #9

    Ryan_m_b

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    For reviews of popular media magazines are an acceptable source. This isn't really a scientific discussion. I've yet to see the film, hankaaron can you outline what you specifically had a problem with? Science fiction by it's very necessity has to utilise speculative science/technology. Is this the problem or did the plot rely on some fundamental misunderstandings of known science?
     
  11. Nov 7, 2014 #10

    Bandersnatch

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    The Slate article was written by Phil Plait of Bad Astronomy, by the way.

    Some of the points he mentions are:
    -habitable planets around a black hole, with sunlight!
    -a planet orbiting the black hole near the event horizon(way past the Roche limit)
    -said planet having tidal waves(i.e., not being tidally locked)
    -vastly egaggerated gravitational time dilation
    -accretion disk being cold
    -no spaghettification

    But more importantly, he makes a point that the characters don't talk or act like people. This coupled with the general clumsiness of the plot and hamfistedly telegraphed messages makes it impossible to overlook the dodgy science.
     
  12. Nov 7, 2014 #11
    God, where do I start? Well first of all it's never good when a movie starts with a flashback scene where the protagonist is facing possible death, followed by the character suddenly waking up in bed. Now I have go through the whole considering that everything to follow isn't real. The flashback isn't even relevant to anything in the movie. But here's a list of my major gripes. Spoilers below so beware.


    1. Being anywhere near a few billion miles of a black hole- much less surviving one.

    2. Escaping a black hole.

    3. They need a Saturn V rocket to escape earth's gravity. But have no problem leaving in a small shuttle craft from the surface of a planet (on the other side of the wormhole) with 130 percent of earth's gravity.

    4. In the movie NASA is a stealth organization. People have been led to believe that the moon landings were faked and that NASA had been disbanded decades ago. However this stealth NASA has no problem launching Saturn V rockets in the middle of populated areas. There's even a scene where Cooper’s (Matthew McConaughey) family watches the launching of his rocket from their farmhouse..

    5. Apparently during Cooper's training no one bothered to ask if he knew anything about wormholes.

    6. The movie has one of those chicken or the egg plot devices where Cooper (near the film's end) uses gravity to move books and manipulate dust to send coded messages to himself and his daughter. But wait, that’s not the worst part.

    One message is “Stay”. It’s a message for him not to accept the mission and leave earth and his family. But the other message is the coordinates to the secret NASA base. But he wanted to send messages to stay on earth, then why the hell would he also send himself the location to NASA.


    7. A wormhole is barely just outside of the planet Saturn’s orbit. Just on the other side of the wormhole is a supermassive black hole. Why the gaseous planet isn’t sucked into the wormhole is a question Kip Thorne should answer.


    There’s a lot more than that. Including one of the worst lines in a Hollywood movie since “Love is never having to say you’re sorry”.
     
  13. Nov 7, 2014 #12
    This is very disappointing, I was very excited to go see the movie in its full IMAX glory. Oh well...
     
  14. Nov 7, 2014 #13
    IMAX was great visually. Visually, its stunning. But the sound was a mix bag. Great for loud passages and effects, awful for dialog. It may still be worth seeing. I kind of expected to be disappointed- just not to the extent that I was.
     
  15. Nov 7, 2014 #14
    Yes, I know what you mean. I liked Prometheus somewhat right after seeing it. But the more I thought about it... yikes! I completely disliked Interstellar when I left the theater. In fact during the "wrestling match" scene I consider walking out of the IMAX theater.
     
  16. Nov 7, 2014 #15
    I wish you would try. I haven't seen the movie yet, but off the bat I'm wondering why Plait is whining about "accretion disks" that are discernible at cosmological distances when the visual apparently involves objects many, many orders of magnitude closer to one another. It's also never a good start when someone starts talking about getting turned into spaghetti by tides without even discussing the scale of distances and gravitation involved.
     
  17. Nov 7, 2014 #16

    DaveC426913

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    Wait. What?

    I'm going to see this tomorrow night. I'm not holding my breath for a great sci-fi.

    But did assume that, when I heard they were talking black holes for travel, they would at least address the giant elephant - i.e. how you get through a black hole without spaghettification.

    Are they really just ignoring that? Then this is just a fantasy. They might as well hitch a carriage to a flock of swans.
     
  18. Nov 7, 2014 #17

    No spaghettification. More like an airplane flight through a turbulent hail storm. You'd think maybe we'd see a minor character meet there demise via spaghettification. But nope.
     
  19. Nov 7, 2014 #18

    DaveC426913

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    I think when that scene is coming up, I'll take a stroll to get some popcorn, while repeating to myself "...and then magic happens!"
     
  20. Nov 7, 2014 #19

    phinds

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    maybe it's a supermassive BH, in which case sphagettification doesn't happen until well inside the EH. On the other hand, there's that business about being on a planet so close to a BH that gravitational time dilation is 7 days to 1 hour, but apparently the associated gravity that could CAUSE that large a gravitational time dilation is no problem at all.

    From everything I've seen/heard, the science is just stupid even though Kip Thorne was an advisor on the movie. Dave, I'll be interested to hear what you have to report after seeing it. I was psyched to see it when I first heard about it, but now I've already decided to give it a pass.
     
  21. Nov 7, 2014 #20

    DaveC426913

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    I'm going to push for 'Big Hero Six' instead. Prolly more scientifically accurate.
     
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