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"Ad astra", lunar thriller


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Read a review over at NSF. Waiting for a few more, but I give this a pass based on the one reviewer, as I'm likely of a similar mind.

He said if you have any understanding of physics, orbital mechanics, etc, empty your mind before going.

 

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Just now, tater said:

Read a review over at NSF. Waiting for a few more, but I give this a pass based on the one reviewer, as I'm likely of a similar mind.

He said if you have any understanding of physics, orbital mechanics, etc, empty your mind before going.

 

Pretty much SOP for any movie short of a documentary. All I really expect from movies these days is eye-candy. I just put my brain on pause, while my inner scientist is locked, ranting and raving, in a little cell deep in the dungeons of my brain. Right next to the story analyst.

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9 minutes ago, StrandedonEarth said:

Pretty much SOP for any movie short of a documentary. All I really expect from movies these days is eye-candy. I just put my brain on pause, while my inner scientist is locked, ranting and raving, in a little cell deep in the dungeons of my brain. Right next to the story analyst.

I don't want to pay a bunch of money to be annoyed for 2 hours.

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2 hours ago, tater said:

Read a review over at NSF. Waiting for a few more, but I give this a pass based on the one reviewer, as I'm likely of a similar mind.

He said if you have any understanding of physics, orbital mechanics, etc, empty your mind before going.

 

Using that logic, you shouldn't watch any film. Ever. At least this one is trying. I honestly don't understand why some people enjoy to attack films that are trying to elevate above the mediocre. You don't hear such attacks with really dumbs stuff, but as soon something goes higher, there's the nerd police to fling turds like monkeys. That's so sad.

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46 minutes ago, lajoswinkler said:

Using that logic, you shouldn't watch any film. Ever. At least this one is trying. I honestly don't understand why some people enjoy to attack films that are trying to elevate above the mediocre. You don't hear such attacks with really dumbs stuff, but as soon something goes higher, there's the nerd police to fling turds like monkeys. That's so sad.

Well, it is tough. The major problem with mistakes in something that is trying to be realistic is that the general public starts to think that it really does work that way. Although in the end analysis, it often doesn't really matter because the general public isn't going to perform an orbital rendezvous or try to predict a trajectory on the Moon.

It's like watching a "Western" set in the 1800's, showing an Indian a native on horseback with tomahawk raised, with the sun glinting off his wristwatch while a jet etches a contrail across the sky in the background. It breaks the immersion when you know better. So I really try not to think about it, but glaring mistakes can be hard to ignore...

Star Wars is, in a way, a little better because it doesn't try to be realistic, even if the novels try to inject a little science here and there. It just shows what people expect to see, i.e. laser guns and WWII-style dogfights. The storytelling errors and mis-steps in later episodes, OTOH...

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2 hours ago, lajoswinkler said:

Using that logic, you shouldn't watch any film. Ever. At least this one is trying. I honestly don't understand why some people enjoy to attack films that are trying to elevate above the mediocre. You don't hear such attacks with really dumbs stuff, but as soon something goes higher, there's the nerd police to fling turds like monkeys. That's so sad.

Near future SF is incredibly hard for me to watch, sorry.

I have a similar issue with certain period movies as well (explosions from cannon fire instead of it being round shot, and canister, for example).

In many cases, the physics problems are not an issue of plot, either. That is, doing something right might not harm, or it might even help the story. Often they do things wrong just out of laziness.

I remember we went to see Dr. Strange. It was a superhero movie, like all the others (not my fave genre). My wife, OTOH, was annoyed by the scene with him in the OR, because they showed him scrubbing---and they did it wrong. They did the right things, mind you, they flipped the order around. So ding it right would have cost zero seconds of extra filming, everything literally exactly as it was, but with the scrubbing order corrected. For her that was like watching a rocket engine light, then having mission control say that prop pressing had begun (after liftoff). In Apollo 13, I was supremely liquided when the did the countdown wrong---on purpose. Howard later said people might get confused if the engines started before 0. Moron.

Sorry, but I'm going to wait and see on this one, I'd rather not get any space movies than get lousy ones, just like I'd rather see good WW2 movies than lousy ones, etc.

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Just saw it. Brad Pitt in the role of Jeb Kerman. Steely eyed missile man.

Some spoilers.

-Jumping over crater edge in rover going super fast on the moon and somewhat landing on all four wheels and regaining control. The huge number of quickloads it took me to make it happen is not even funny.

-Taking manual control of a rocket landing on Mars at interplanetary speeds after magic gamma ray burst EMP shuts down auto-landing sequence. Landing precisely on the pad.

-Climbing on a launching rocket, entering the airlock while said rocket is staging, all crew accidently killed trying to fight him. He taking control of the rocket as if nothing happened and getting the rocket to the exact trajectory to aim for Neptune. Nice.

-Using radar bar circular motion to launch himself to another ship through Neptune's rings using a piece of the radar as shield from ring particles. Using his own sense of "situational awareness" to gauge delta-v change to accurately intercept his ship which he couldn't even see before launching himself. Using his suit's cold gas jets to correct his trajectory as needed. Catching ladder rungs at high relative velocity.

-Using antimatter anihilation reaction to get enough delta-v to go back to Earth from Neptune. And surviving Earth atmosphere reentry at full interplanetary velocity and not even wincing from high G load.

If that's not a "badS = True" character, then who is.

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18 minutes ago, ioresult said:

-Jumping over crater edge in rover going super fast on the moon and somewhat landing on all four wheels and regaining control. The huge number of quickloads it took me to make it happen is not even funny.

I think you're on to something here...

18 minutes ago, ioresult said:

-Taking manual control of a rocket landing on Mars at interplanetary speeds after magic gamma ray burst EMP shuts down auto-landing sequence. Landing precisely on the pad.

I could do this in KSP. All my missions are manually controlled and I nail landings to the meter pretty often. Every time when I can quickload/save.

18 minutes ago, ioresult said:

-Using radar bar circular motion to launch himself to another ship through Neptune's rings using a piece of the radar as shield from ring particles. Using his own sense of "situational awareness" to gauge delta-v change to accurately intercept his ship which he couldn't even see before launching himself. Using his suit's cold gas jets to correct his trajectory as needed. Catching ladder rungs at high relative velocity.

I could totally see the "Sarnus EVA Rendezvous Challenge" here.

18 minutes ago, ioresult said:

...surviving Earth atmosphere reentry at full interplanetary velocity and not even wincing from high G load.

Totally simple assuming pre-1.0 physics.

Conclusion: This movie occurs in the Kerbal universe, complete with quicksave and quickload.

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On 9/6/2019 at 1:22 PM, kerbiloid said:

Helmets are strange, not highlighted from inside. Not for true spaceman. Or for true but with hard life.

00:45(...)

They skimped on the sound. The rovers don't make a whirring sound our "woosh" as they pass by.

 

Crashes without violent explosions? What kind of sorcery is this?

On 9/7/2019 at 2:16 AM, purpleivan said:

Apparently James Gray (writer/director) wanted to make "the most realistic depiction of space travel that's been put in a movie",  which obviously means car chases and gunfights on the moon, in what's clearly earth gravity.

Think I'll pass.

We can only assume James Gray is somehow unaware of Kubrick's 2001

Still, it looks entertaining and fun.

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The science advisor was permanently whining about realsim. He was keeping insisting that

Quote

"the most realistic depiction of space travel that's been put in a movie"

is six months of washing, cleaning, exercise biking, and nothing more.

So, they logically decided that they need a fitness trainer and an additional caretaker instead of him.
When they hired those two for the former science advisor's salary, the movie became a dynamic and vibracnt action movie instead of a dull fanfic for nerds.

Because physical culture always looks better in science fiction than just physics. Culture rulez.

Edited by kerbiloid
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Ugh, not another one of these "realistic" space movies that's anything but to join the likes of Gravity and Interstellar.

If you're going to make a realistic, hard sci-fi movie, then stick to real science. If you want to do crazy stuff, then either make a space fantasy like Star Wars, or do a comedy like Rocket Man.

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8 minutes ago, Lord Aurelius said:

Ugh, not another one of these "realistic" space movies that's anything but to join the likes of Gravity and Interstellar.

If you're going to make a realistic, hard sci-fi movie, then stick to real science. If you want to do crazy stuff, then either make a space fantasy like Star Wars, or do a comedy like Rocket Man.

Yeah, that's pretty much where I am.

There's talk of a TV series version of the Culture Series by Banks. Pure space opera, and if well done, I'll love it. Talk of a version of Foundation, too. Same thing, I'll take it as drama, and not nitpick as much.

Make something take place in 50 years? Unless the premise is aliens come and give us magical space tech, then I have no choice but to notice what I notice in real time. In Gravity, I could not avoid noticing the problems I had with it. Ditto Interstellar (my space version of the truly awful Pearl Harbor). Note that in addition to hating the dumb tech/science/orbital mechanics issues, the sort of movie that fails at those also tends to fail at, you know, PLOT.

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14 hours ago, tater said:

 

LOL. They don't fire them. They just listen very carefully to everything they have to say in the production meetings, and then proceed to completely ignore it. Has to be the most frustrating job in the industry. I swear that somewhere in the Hollywood Hills there is a rehab clinic just for science advisors.

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Possibly some very minor spoilers in the following tweet thread (I didn't think of them as spoilers, but just to be safe for people deeply concerned):

Spoiler

 

"The director James Gray has explicitly said he wanted to make “the most realistic depiction of space travel that's been put in a movie”. On this front he failed utterly." (he's an astronomer)

Edited by tater
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Saw it the other night. Wow that was bad... Don't even know where to begin. Overall a complete and total violation of orbital mechanics and physics in general. But all that aside this is literally a movie about nothing. I couldve gotten by the ridiculous disregard for the laws of motion.

Nothing happens. No explanation is given for what the Lima project was. No explanation as to why it was discharging these pulses nor why they were being aimed at Earth. No revelation in the end. Just "hey Dad let's go home" - "Nope" - "Okay see ya." End of movie... The only thing I liked was the proper depiction of lighting at Neptune. It being really dim. 

I was hoping they were going to touch on the empty universe theory. I really thought that was going to be the big brain buster at the end. It would've been an interesting spin on Hollywood space. But no. Nothing is ever done with it. Save your time and money. 

Edited by Motokid600
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4 hours ago, Motokid600 said:

The only thing I liked was the proper depiction of lighting at Neptune. It being really dim. 

Even that was off.  At 30 AU (Neptune's distance) from the Sun, the Sun would be 900 times dimmer than it is here...

... which is still more than five hundred times brighter than the full Moon as seen on Earth's surface.  The Sun is deceptively bright.

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11 minutes ago, tater said:

Maybe I'll watch it on TV at some point (on prime or netflix, but I won't pay extra for it).

This is my current plan. Looks like interesting eye candy if I can get past the apparent lack of a plot and the totally borked physics. (Like Elysium - where things were floating around in their shuttles while still under thrust. (*groan*)) 

I figure I'll watch it once, and then get angry at the physics and go back to watching bootlegged Russian space movies. 

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1 hour ago, tater said:

Wow. Just, wow.

If a movie is not even going to try to realistically portray physics and space travel (Star Wars, Star Trek, etc.), that's fine. But when a movie tries to bill itself as realistic, and then gets things this wrong, it drives me crazy. Because now there are people out there walking around thinking that this is how things actually work. Good science fiction should educate you. That's not possible if the science is fundamentally wrong.

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