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Movie physics mistakes

  1. Jul 18, 2007 #1

    siddharth

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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
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  3. Jul 18, 2007 #2

    ZapperZ

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  4. Jul 18, 2007 #3
    lolzzzzz they are movie stars. they are suppsed to be dumb
     
  5. Jul 18, 2007 #4
    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. Jul 18, 2007 #5
    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. Jul 18, 2007 #6
    ank_gl, there is a difference between science and science-fiction. :wink:
     
  8. Jul 18, 2007 #7

    Danger

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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. Jul 18, 2007 #8
    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. Jul 18, 2007 #9

    Danger

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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. Jul 18, 2007 #10

    G01

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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. Jul 18, 2007 #11

    berkeman

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    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. Jul 18, 2007 #12

    Moonbear

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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. Jul 18, 2007 #13

    siddharth

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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. Jul 18, 2007 #14

    russ_watters

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    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. Jul 18, 2007 #15

    ZapperZ

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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. Jul 18, 2007 #16

    FredGarvin

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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. Jul 18, 2007 #17

    Chi Meson

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    One of my favorite websites is http://www.intuitor.com/moviephysics/" [Broken]

    I am a proud owner of a second-hand copy of "The Core," one of the finest accidental comedies known to mankind.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2017
  19. Jul 18, 2007 #18

    FredGarvin

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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. Jul 18, 2007 #19
    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. Jul 18, 2007 #20
    now i cant take names of every superhero. they all equally suck
     
  22. Jul 18, 2007 #21
    I think if your going to watch a fantasy film, then you have to suspend your sense of belief, after all we don't watch Wile E Coyote and think there's no way he could of fallen that far and survived, and then been hit by that rock afterwards, and appear in the next scene, alive but flat as a pancake. Same if I watch Batman or Spider man, I don't say aw come off it that's just silly the gravitational force would mean that for Spiderman to...

    I didn't watch the scene in Lord of the Rings where Gandalf fights the Balrog and falls for days through the mountain, without acknowledging that if he had he would probably end up some distance into the upper mantle. No I watched it and enjoyed it because I was caught up in the story not the details.

    Not that I don't mind thinking about the details, but I think they can wait until after reality has reintroduced itself :smile:

    Thinking about it I'm pretty sure when Gandalf falls they don't spend the whole time falling, after all the Balrog can fly, and don't get me started on the laws of gravity: a 30 tonne monster flying :rolleyes: :smile:

    Why doesn't Gandalf get burnt up by the Blarog (it's magic)? And after all that it is on fire and how can a creature be on fire and survive intact?
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2007
  23. Jul 18, 2007 #22

    Chi Meson

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    If you listen to the commentaries on the DVD, Peter Jackson himself laughs at the fact that Gandalf and the Balrog have fallen about 20 miles. He also explains the bit about Gandalf's staff, as in "why did he not use any of his magic during the battle?" Turns out the staff's batteries ran out, and there weren't any more in Minas Tirith.
     
  24. Jul 18, 2007 #23
    well thats why i laugh at wile E coyote. n so do i for all the other superhuman stuff
     
  25. Jul 18, 2007 #24
    fire in space is a perennial one. has anyone ever seen event horizon? folding spacetime? hell in between?

    hey hey who could forgot the flux capacitor and Doc Brown's time machine???? i wonder how they came up with 88mph, seems so arbitrary
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2007
  26. Jul 18, 2007 #25

    BobG

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    I like that website.

    Fortunately, one of my favorites, "Terminator", gets a fairly good rating (aside from the time travel aspect).

    The write up on "Armeggedon" is hilarious. They provide a more realistic method of preventing armeddon than the movie did. That would have been a creative approach. :rofl:

    Another movie I liked, "Road to Perdition", survived their critique fairly well. I went to high school with the sound editor.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2017
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