Movie physics mistakes

  1. siddharth

    siddharth 1,197
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    I was browsing through some movie channels on TV, and there was this movie called "Ice Princess" where Michelle Trachtenberg's character was talking about the physics of ice skating and said "tucking in your arms will increase your moment of inertia and make you spin faster"

    If they're going to go to all the trouble of including physics talk on the conservation of angular momentum in a movie, atleast make it right?
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2007
  2. jcsd
  3. ZapperZ

    ZapperZ 29,834
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    I hope you've read this to add to your collection of movie physics mistakes. :)

    http://arxiv.org/abs/0707.1167

    Zz.
     
  4. lolzzzzz they are movie stars. they are suppsed to be dumb
     
  5. awesome pdf link zapper. all the movie stuff is crap. movie people think that they know more. well they dont.
    why look so far for mistakes?? think of superman. dude flying high, running like light, beating up a thousand thugs alone, fire coming out from the eyes and all crap. whats the physics behind it???
     
  6. now the latest one i saw.
    spiderman 3, first that experiment which turns sandman into "sandman". what is it?? so large machine in open?? what are they doing??
    n if you spin something very fast around you, you end up being of the same material lying around you?? guess i ll try water myself, lolzzz
    how could the producers even think of us believing that crap??
    how come so many people believe it???

    (i am sure there is a lot more physics involved in this, haha)
     
  7. ank_gl, there is a difference between science and science-fiction. :wink:
     
  8. Danger

    Danger 9,879
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    Wrong. Science fiction gets the science as correct as it can be while still allowing for the story. If it doesn't, it's fantasy.
    Anyhow, as Siddharth demonstrated, there's more bad science in 'mainstream' movies than in science fiction ones. Just check out any of the Die Hard series, or anything with a car surviving a jump.
    Thanks for the link, ZZ; now I have something to do with the rest of my day.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2007
  9. Sorry. I may have used incorrect terminology, but I was just telling ank_gl not to take Superman and Spider-man too seriously. :smile:
     
  10. Danger

    Danger 9,879
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    True. In that regard, I think that 'mainstream' movie errors are potentially more dangerous than those in a comic book or fantasy genre. People expect something that they see in an action movie to be realistic because there's no hint that it's impossible without special effort, such as the aforementioned car jumps. Several people per year are injured or killed as a result of trying to duplicate stunts that they see in the theatre without understanding what's really going on. I can't cite a source on that, but I keep reading and hearing about them.
     
  11. G01

    G01 2,687
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    Zz,

    Where is this article from? Was it published in a journal. I can't seem to find anything that tells me where it came form. Maybe I'm just blind... Can you help me out?
     
  12. berkeman

    Staff: Mentor

    What about the TV show Jeopardy lately? Man, they usually have high standards for info, but just in the last two weeks they've had a couple science bloopers.

    ** They show a picture of eight encyclopedia books in a stack, where each book overhangs the one below it by about a third. They want to know that the structure is called a "cantilever". But the answer starts out, "Over half of the weight of these books is on the table..." Over half?! Well yeah, 100% is over half I guess!

    ** The question they want is "What is a refrigerator?", But the answer is "The coils inside this keep the contents cold...." Inside?!
     
  13. Moonbear

    Moonbear 12,266
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    :uhh: What makes you think you're supposed to believe it? Really, I don't think anyone walks out of a spiderman or superman movie thinking, "Gee, I wonder if I spin around really fast, if I can do that?" At least nobody over the age of 6 would think that. It's entertainment, an escape from reality. If you want reality in your entertainment, stick to documentaries...you're allowed to complain if those get their facts wrong. But the entire reason something is called "fiction" is because it isn't real, and doesn't pretend to be.
     
  14. siddharth

    siddharth 1,197
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    Well, there's wacky fiction, like superman flying and all that. But there's also really bad physics even allowing for all the fiction.

    For example, superman flying is ok in an entertainment movie, cause it's clear it's fiction. However, later in that movie, the director tries to use the principle of conservation of angular momentum when superman flies around the earth the other way to slow it down and then somehow relates it to time going backwards.

    That's the stuff I don't like, explicitly trying to use physics as a plot element, and then botching it up so bad that you can only laugh.
     
  15. russ_watters

    Staff: Mentor

    Spiderman and Superman are comic books turned into movies. That makes them fantasy. Talking about physics in a fantasy film/comic book shouldn't be taken to imply that it is no longer fantasy.
     
  16. ZapperZ

    ZapperZ 29,834
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    The Comment say:

    "Comments: includes 28 pictures; invited article for the German journal Praxis der Naturwissenschaften Physik "

    So that's all we have.

    Zz.
     
  17. FredGarvin

    FredGarvin 5,087
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    So...you're OK with a guy that is part spider, that walks on walls and shoots webs out of his wrists, but these details are just too far fetched? Is that what you're saying?
     
  18. Chi Meson

    Chi Meson 1,772
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    One of my favorite websites is "Insultingly Stupid Movie Physics."

    I am a proud owner of a second-hand copy of "The Core," one of the finest accidental comedies known to mankind.
     
  19. FredGarvin

    FredGarvin 5,087
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    The only good part of that movie was the 5 seconds of footage of CH-47s. Other than that, the movie was horrible.
     
  20. nah. i am not really ok with all those superhero movies. i just had to watch spiderman 3 coz of some reason. they all really suck.
    as moonbear pointed out, i stick to documentaries(fahrenheit 911(not trying to offend any US people) and blood diamond being my fav)
     
  21. now i cant take names of every superhero. they all equally suck
     
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