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Worst movie physics/common sense

  1. Aug 28, 2005 #1


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    Ok lets have some fun here :D

    What do you consider the #1 bad physics/common sense movie. Which movie demonstrates the absolute worst ideas about physics or that absolutely insults its viewers by how improbable various sequences are?

    Independance day is absolutely #1 for me. Right off the bat I can think of this...

    10 mile or so in diameter body is hovering above a city and showing no real source of prupolsion (and no devastating effects of its pressure)

    B-2 bombers can outrun a nuclear bomb that detonates a mile ahead of it

    Area 51 has absolutely 0 defense systems

    Now I may be wrong about this... but what US fighters are equipped with parachutes for the aircraft?

    Feel free to contribute :D
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  3. Aug 28, 2005 #2
    Its been a long time since I've seen that movie. I do remember seeing Will Smith with a parachute though. I believe he was flying an f/a-18 hornet which can be equipped with ejection seats. Or was it that the parachute actually came out of the back of the aircraft, because I've never seen or heard of that in actual fighters.

    A popular one would be sound in space which Star Wars is famous for, among other movies.
  4. Aug 28, 2005 #3


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    Nope, a parachute for the airplane. He "fired" the parachute and released it so that it blinded the little enemy space craft and then he ejected from his own aircraft (they were in a canyon so he escaped, alien crashed into the mountain kinda).
  5. Aug 28, 2005 #4
    Eh, in science fiction films I haven't got a problem with levitating space ships or anything like that. It's creative license.

    Well, B-2s were designed to drop nuclear bombs and outrun them. Hell, B-52s were capable of that. I don't remember the bomb detonating ahead of the plane. If I remember it dropped the bomb and there was some kind of APC on the ground observing it.

    Fighters can and often are equipped with parachutes for carrier landings or landings on short runways. I don't think they're standard issue, but their not unheard of. Again, creative license. That said, that whole chase scene was pretty hokey.

    The thing that got me groaning was the computer virus from the Mac laptop. Although I thought the computer virus idea was a neat play on Wells' original idea. The whole thing, imo, was better than Spielberg's latest crap.

    People often complain about sound in outer space. Yeah, it's not scientifically accurate, but it's creative license. Listening to TIE fighters and X-wings zoom around is half of the experience. If spaceships behaved scientifically they'd be boring as hell.

    Take 2001. Boring as hell. Good movie overall but really drags in the middle. The spaceship scenes are probably the most scientifically accurate with one major exception that springs immediately to mind when ever anybody asks about bad movie physics. Dave Bowman survives total vacuum from the pod to the pod bay simply by holding his breath. Sure, it was essential to the plot. You can't have Dave exploding halfway through the movie. But it still drives me nuts.
  6. Aug 28, 2005 #5


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    It didnt drop a bomb, it fired a missile to be exact. It was (or at least had to have been) a nuclear cruise missile fired at the same height as the aliens. It was fired from about a mile out (you can figure out that the aircraft was really close based on the stupid "radar" images they were using at the command center) and hit like an A-A missile (flew right at it and blew up on impact)

    They were from a marine air base... so i suppose its not impossible but it is HIGHLY improbable that they were equipped with them for the mission.

    haha yah that was stupid as hell.

    Hey I think independance day actually got the sound thing right! Or well, at one point I think they did. There was sound when they were inside the mother space ship but you could see a sort of gas floating around. But then again how in the world was there a big hole in the mothership without the whole thing depressurizing?

    haha. Even The Simpsons got that right!

    But there still are a lot of stupid things in movies these days. This one website that is in the Blog portion shows Eraser as a good example. They have this gun that fires a aluminum slug at "near the speed of light" but SOMEHOW people are still capable of missing their shots (even though the gun has a lock-mechanism).
  7. Aug 28, 2005 #6


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  8. Aug 28, 2005 #7


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    Why do people give so much initial credit to screewriters to start off? If you really stop to think about it, 99.5% of all screenwriters are those tools that maybe went into a liberal arts major in college and have zero scientific background. For some reason people treat movies like the internet...."I saw it on the screen so it must be true." Hollywood types are a bunch of tools that, at best, are business people. Heaven forbid any writer spends some time researching what they are writing about. It would be nice if they all were like Tom Clancy who researches the bejeezus out of his novels. But then again, the script factories wouldn't be able to turn out scripts on a weekly basis. The million chimps on the million typewriters would be slowed down. I do give artistic license to a point though...like Star Wars.

    The worst movie physics (and worst movie period) I can remember was "Wing Commander." I can't believe I wasted a part of my life watching that crap. Anyways, the missiles shot in space that 1) left smoke trails and 2) tracked/squiggled like airborne air-to-air missiles were just jorrible.
  9. Aug 28, 2005 #8


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    Dearly Missed

    Gandalf in a long, flowing robe overtaking the sword he lost during his plunge down the abyss in Moria.
    Do wizards have some gravity-tweaking abilities, perhaps?
  10. Aug 28, 2005 #9
    heck yes they do, they can cast fly. just look it up in the players handbook
  11. Aug 28, 2005 #10
    Currently laughing out loud at this!!!!!!!!!
  12. Aug 28, 2005 #11
    The new movie "The Cave" had some questionable content. For example divers were speaking very clearly to one another under water. While this is somewhat possible with a full face mask (even with those you hear the regulator and exhales) it is not with the rebreather setups they were using. The amount of gear they carried into the cave, including a microscope, food, and enough batteries for 12 days was very far fetched. They also said they were running a fiber optic cable into the cave so they could communicate with the other team at the start of the cave, but I only noticed them running a standard cave reel with nylon string. I only watched about 1/2 of the movie, but if the beginning was any indication of what was to come I think they failed miserably.
  13. Aug 28, 2005 #12


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    Well I personally feel I should patronize directors who don't act like they are high and godlike as if there movies are reality-on-a-screen. I'm not gonna patronize that spieldberg jackass. Guy acts like hes the second coming. I like John Woo movies because I've never really heard him gloat (but then again doesn't he barely speak English?). I also like patronizing actors/actresses who arent in every other tabloid and who havent married 10 people by the age of 25. I like Jet Li because I never hear about him in the stupid section of the news (the first 30 minutes) and Bruce Willis. Now they may not be the best actors and may have been in some stupid movies, but they arent pompous jerks as far as I can tell. I will NEVER go see a tom cruise or nicole kidman or any rap-star-turned-actor.

    As far as scientific possibilities.... I really do hate when the movie makes no real differentiation between science and science fiction.Maybe its not really Lucas's fault but for example, Star Wars fans think everything in that movie is doable and real and will actualy make up some type of fake science to support their BS. My professor always joked about how if some star trek kid comes up and tries to tell you in detail how a "heisenberg compensator" works, you need to walk away immediately.
  14. Aug 28, 2005 #13
    Drogue Chutes are used on fliers like the Flankers (Soviet - SU etc). And of course you will have seen them on the space shuttle but on a US aircraft i'm not too sure!!

  15. Aug 28, 2005 #14


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    Yah I've also seen the Soviet fighters that have parachutes and the Shuttle but never a modern US fighter deployed in any reasonable #
  16. Aug 28, 2005 #15


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    Actually, the movie got this right. The human body can survive exposure to vacuum for up to about 30 sec without any ill effects. You will not explode, nor will your blood boil, etc.
  17. Aug 28, 2005 #16
    Actually, there can be sounds made in outer space movies - - just inside the spacecraft. I seem to recall that "Alien" and "Aliens" had a lot of clanks, murmurs and other sounds inside the spacecraft.

    My vote for the worst scientific nonsense, came in a TV movie about a year ago. In it a 'super hurricane' was created when two regular hurricanes came together. To know how ridiculous that was, all the writers had to do was draw hurricanes on two separate sheets of paper and bring them together over a light table or the like. Then, they would have noticed something interesting. The winds that meet each other are going in opposite directions. They cancel each other. I recall having heard that that once happened, and that the hurricanes wiped each other out.

  18. Aug 28, 2005 #17
    the day after tommorow was junk science, but it made for a good plot. how could a blizzard-hurricane killing everyone in new york except for a few people who burned books not attract the mindless sheep who make up most of america?
    if you totally ignore everything that you learned (were supposed to learn) in school, then its a good movie.

  19. Aug 28, 2005 #18


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    pff! Some people on this talk show actually brought up that stupid movie. They were saying "Lets look at the day after tomorrow. This is what might happen if the Bush administration continues its intentional destruction of our environment!". This was shortly after the movie came to theatres. Then of course there are a lot of other various children (ok they were adults but there minds can be classified as childish) who use that movie as evidence that global warming is a serious and immediate threat (I mean come on, theres a lot better evidence for global warming being a threat then some hogwash from Hollywood)
  20. Aug 28, 2005 #19


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    In The Matrix, why don't the machines simply harvest a non-human animal for energy, something that processes food more efficiently, produces more energy, and wouldn't stage revolts due to their freedom of choice?

    Oh yeah, and one more things about The Day After Tomorrow. How on earth did those timberwolves survive the flooding of the city by a thirty-foot wave?
  21. Aug 28, 2005 #20


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    Oh yah and again in the matrix, why dont the machines fire a missile or two or flood their cities??? I mean that dock scene, sweet as hell but if you have the resources to send in tens of thousands of sentinals, how hard is it to throw a bomb down the tunnel they dug and set it off?
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