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Bad science in fiction Hall of Shame


peadar1987
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Interstellar. Cooper's fall into the black hole was rendered from a static frame of reference rather than a moving one causing the universe to contract above him as he's enveloped in darkness. This does not happen - the black of a black hole remains below you as the Universe stretches above you. In addition, Gargantua is rendered as if it rotated at roughly 0.6x the speed of light despite actually rotating much closer to 0.998x c. The Endurance is also somehow able to pull enough Delta V out of its engine bell to maneuver between planets orbiting at a significant fraction of the speed of light. Also, Cooper wasn't incinerated by conflicting streams of matter at the inner horizon.

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50 minutes ago, StrandedonEarth said:

Apparently Mr Jones didn't think it was really gold, or maybe that it was hollow, or his bag of sand would have been bigger...

Maybe it isn't a bag of sand.  Maybe it is a bag of depleted uranium dust.

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1 minute ago, darthgently said:

Maybe it isn't a bag of sand.  Maybe it is a bag of depleted uranium dust.

Pre WW2? Extremely unlikely, to say the least. IIRC it's sand he scooped up on the way, but I would have to rewatch the opening scene to be sure. Such a great movie...

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2 hours ago, darthgently said:

Maybe it isn't a bag of sand.  Maybe it is a bag of depleted uranium dust.

Having probably ended up on a government watch list, I can tell you first hand obtaining significant quantities of this is not easy to do. And as mentioned, quite harder pre war. 

Edited by Gargamel
Typo
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4 hours ago, StrandedonEarth said:

maybe that it was hollow

Inflatable golden foil. 

When a priest fills it with helium, it flies and speaks thin voice, impressing the cultists.

Or it's a bag of platinum powder.

3 hours ago, Gargamel said:

obtaining significant quantities of this is not easy to do. And as mentioned, quite harder pre war. 

Harder than the Ark, the Spear, the Chalice, etc.?

It's Indiana Jones, after all. He can.

Say, stolen from a pedant secret uranium facility in the previous trip.

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6 minutes ago, kerbiloid said:

arder than the Ark, the Spear, the Chalice, etc.?

Well yes, as those things are supposed to exist pre war, and depleted uranium doesn’t.  

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12 hours ago, Gargamel said:

Having probably ended up on a government watch list, I can tell you first hand obtaining significant quantities of this is not easy to do. And as mentioned, quite harder pre war. 

The problem would not be to get it, it would be to get it depleted. It was used to alloy steels in the WWI era, not to green glass.

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21 hours ago, StrandedonEarth said:

Apparently Mr Jones didn't think it was really gold, or maybe that it was hollow, or his bag of sand would have been bigger...

(Raiders of the Lost Ark, golden idol swap scene)

Probably assumed it to be hollow, nobody make an large massive decorative gold item. however it could be cast over or filled with something heavy. 
I would also not expect an thousand year old trap to trigger. 

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38 minutes ago, magnemoe said:

I would also not expect an thousand year old trap to trigger. 

See, that's part of how they get you...

38 minutes ago, magnemoe said:

Probably assumed it to be hollow, nobody make an large massive decorative gold item. however it could be cast over or filled with something heavy. 

Did they have the ability to cast hollow things then?  The only method I know that easily does hollow casting, roto casting, wouldn't really be on their tech level.    But the substrate idea is plausible. 

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5 hours ago, Gargamel said:

Did they have the ability to cast hollow things then?

Of course they did.
Didn't you see the Viserys execution from Game of Thrones?

6 hours ago, magnemoe said:

I would also not expect an thousand year old trap to trigger. 

It wasn't a trap.
That's why the Indiana's silly trick "worked", when he took up the idol before putting the bag. There was no pressure plate at all.

Just the building was too decrepit, and these idiots were breathing too loudly.

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  • 3 months later...

TV's on in the background. The movie Absolute Zero is on. I've already seen this absolute dumpster fire of bad science, but I missed this little gem.

For those of you lucky enough to not be introduced to this disaster of a movie with absolute zero real science, long story short, Earth's magnetic poles are shifting (over the period of couple of hours) which naturally causes the temperature in Miamy, FL to instantly drop to absolute zero.

Anyway I just so happened to look at the screen when one of the scientists gives somebody a hand held compass, points to the S marking on it and instructs them to enter the bunker when the dial reaches the S mark.

Movie scripts should be peer reviewed.

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35 minutes ago, Shpaget said:

Anyway I just so happened to look at the screen when one of the scientists gives somebody a hand held compass, points to the S marking on it and instructs them to enter the bunker when the dial reaches the S mark.

"Thanks!" Notes compass needle pointing at N. Turns around to walk away. "Oh no!"  Runs to bunker.

I just watched Day Shift on Netflix and while you don't go into a "Jamie Foxx the Vampire Slayer" movie looking for hard science, I got a chuckle every time someone used a shotgun with one hand, had no recoil, yet somehow managed to blast a vampire across the room (and sometimes through a wall) with it.

Edited by Superfluous J
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1 hour ago, Shpaget said:

Anyway I just so happened to look at the screen when one of the scientists gives somebody a hand held compass, points to the S marking on it and instructs them to enter the bunker when the dial reaches the S mark.

When you have an extra compass, and wish to reduce the number of eaters.

51 minutes ago, Superfluous J said:

Vampire Slayer" movie looking for hard science, I got a chuckle every time someone used a shotgun with one hand, had no recoil, yet somehow managed to blast a vampire across the room (and sometimes through a wall) with it.

The vampires don't reflect in mirros.

The vampiric shotgun doesn't have a recoil.

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2 hours ago, Shpaget said:

which naturally causes the temperature in Miamy, FL to instantly drop to absolute zero

By switching from the CSI: Miami orange filter to a nuTrek blue one?

Edited by DDE
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  • 4 weeks later...
6 hours ago, Gargamel said:

At least Armageddon had good dialogue and acting.  

Hm. What made it bad, if the core aspects were good?

Bad science doesn't mean bad, it just means the writers didn't feel like restricting their visions to what physics says is possible.

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24 minutes ago, Bej Kerman said:

Bad science doesn't mean bad, it just means the writers didn't feel like restricting their visions to what physics says is possible.

It's when they mis-apply science and don't stick with the new science.   I'm ok with taking a premise that might be a bit wonky and implausible, but they keep trying to apply actual science to it, and undermining their plot and credibility.  

And yeah Armageddon was great in a very bad way because it was horrible on the science and facts, but great in the script and acting.   This was neither.    It was as If Emmerich just threw up his hands and yelled "I'm done! You guys figure it out" and left it to the other writers who weren't sure what they were doing.   Emmerich has done other sketchy science movies and you just ran with it cause the whole concept worked together.  Not this time.   There were a number of scenes that used decent science to force a plot point, but then the effects of that science were completely ignored a scene later.    Quite a few times my SO looks over at me to gauge my reaction to something, and quite a few times I'm like "Yeah, ok that works if they want it to, everything they just said is sorta ok", but then I'd lose my mind the next scene when everything they just laid out was ignored.

I felt belt for the four or five people credited with being "NASA Consultants".

It would have been a fun movie to watch if they had given the script a few more passes, just for the dialogue and plot, not even the science.   The whole premise is kinda interesting, I can dig that.  It was just their execution of it was dreadful. 

55 minutes ago, DDE said:

Why did everyone suddenly remember this movie existed? Wasn't it released in February?

It just came on out HBO (or one of the streaming services I get)

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18 minutes ago, Bej Kerman said:

Hm. What made it bad, if the core aspects were good?

Bad science doesn't mean bad, it just means the writers didn't feel like restricting their visions to what physics says is possible.

It can get to a point where the discrepancies between the movie and reality become very distracting, though. Usually when the writers fall back on "... and then this happens!" as a major plot point or set piece, and the audience goes "Umm, that wouldn't happen at all".

I think the worst example I've seen in a blockbuster movie was that G.I. Joe movie where a seafloor base underneath the Arctic ice cap is destroyed by blowing up the ice sheet above it. Huge chunks of ice then sink down at freefall speeds and crush the base. Some visual effects director must have had this great vision he pushed through, unaware of the fact that ice floats in water. Hence why it forms on the surface to begin with, and not on the seafloor.

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