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mythic_fci

Stuff wrong with space movies

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The ansible was another technology they got from the buggers but never understood. It felt a little bit of an excuse from the author not to have to explain himself, but that's still better than movies where they try to justify everything with dubious claims.

Actually the Formics developed the ansible after reading about it in Ursula K. Guin's science fiction. (laughs)

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I dont care about scientific mistakes if the storry is good enough.

What bothers me in scifi films theese days is.

- Bad story. Apparently modern film makers got an impression that any **** can be succesfull if you label it Sci Fi. Most of the TV production especially Stargate series.

- Using film for propagation of autors ideological, political, or religious beliefs. It is ok if you put a bit of your own beliefs in your creation, but revolving entire story around them

changes the storry to propaganda. U.S. "Book of Eli"( religious) and "Elisyum" (That one reminded me of the old comunist propaganda films ,i know from my part of the world hystory, so much), Austria "the Cloud" (enviromental antinuclear).

- Million times repeated cliches. like defusing the bomb just second before explosion. Seriously it was entertaining the first few thousand times, but now it is getting annoing.

- Awkward (wannabefunny, wannabebadass, wannabesmart) characters. "PACIFIC RIM" The characters in this piece of **** was so bad, i just refuse to believe that the same guy who made Labirinto del fauno made this.

- Misplaced Actors. Profesional soldier played by 20yearold 60kg hairstylemodel/emoguy or Fashionmodel annorectic girl. Well this is more of an issue with cartoons than normal films, but still bothers me.

- Katanas. I maybe saw one or two Scifi with katana in it, that was somewhat OK. But in General, if there is Katana in SciFi, then the film is trash.

- Putting Martial arts in scenes where shooting would fit more. This is not problem of only SciFi but almost every action film ever.

1. Bad story - Fair enough. Bad stories are bad stories. Some people differ in what they’d class as bad and good.

2. Personal views – Fair enough. I’m a huge Heinlein fan and he was fairly criticized for putting mouth piece characters into his books to espouse his own personal philosophies. The best science fiction, in my view, doesn’t just tell an excellent story but also allows the author to explore concepts. Think Isaac Asimov and the 3 laws of robotics. Would such laws, when combined with a robot designed to follow Turing-type logic, keep humanity safe from a robot uprising? Outright stating things with no subtlety is bad, but exploring ideas through the story of your book is classic, good SciFi.

3. tropes/clichés – This is generally a problem with movies and TV in general, you don’t see it in books as much from what I’ve seen. The best stuff tends to avoid them, though in some things you cannot avoid them. I love the show Justified and think it’s one of the best written television shows I watch, but it does suffer from some southern clichés from being set in Kentucky. They do their best to minimize it, but sometimes these tropes are easy to relate.

4. Bad characters – the main character of Pacific Rim, whom is only really known for this movie and Sons of Anarchy, is not exactly a stellar actor. His character has generally the same image and emotions as his Sons of Anarchy character. I didn’t exactly go into Pacific Rim expecting Oscar worthy performances though… I didn't recognize anyone else in that except his boss, the tough as nails dude who would die if he drove a mech again. That dude was pretty decent at the character he was given. It seemed to be written to have the same typecast characters as all the Japanese mecha animes, and if that was the goal they did an excellent job. Still, this is part of Hollywood casting. They examine a script, see a bad boy with an attitude problem and trouble past and go through a list of people who supposedly do that type of character well.

5. Bad casting -- This largely comes about through Hollywood not financing anything with a certain formula of known star power for television shows or movies. They tend to hand wave people in their 20’s being characters in their teens, or people in their teens and early 20’s being characters who should be about 30 or 40. That said, my expected age for someone to be called a professional soldier should be roughly 24 to 40. Younger is unrealistic, older is silly. There are exceptions, but America’s army at least skews very young.

6. Katanas – not a huge shadowrun fun? Don’t like Neal Stephenson? Katanas generally pop up in Cyberpunk treatments. Swords do help with the fact firearms can be impractical for close quarters combat. I understand your point, but swords can have their uses and for the most part can be much more quiet than firearms. Till you mess up and your victim is bleeding out loudly and an alarm sounds.

7. Martial arts – Meh. I can suspend disbelief for things like the Matrix. I used to be a soldier and I know what you’re saying. I totally get the action movie stuff, but when you go to see something with some of these actors you almost expect it. For the most part the Hong Kong style action film came about entirely because firearms were very hard to get there, and therefor Kung fu was the logical path for action movies. They couldn’t do what America does with firearms simply because firearms aren’t as big a part of the culture. There is an Extra Credits about games that tackles a similar concept:

Anyway, martial arts films became a thing and people in America decided to emulate them. Cross overs happened. There is a reason behind it. I get your frustration and I know it doesn’t make sense, but at the same time there is a guilty pleasure there if you can get into it.

Edited by air805ronin

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Actually, one thing that really worries me about modern tech is that it will be impossible to write a good adventure anymore.

The communication age is doing things that make 1984 look like a joke. The Empire wouldn't even need to put a tracking device on the Millennium Falcon to know what planet it went to. John Connor resistance against the machines would've been put down before it even started, because micro-drones with recording devices would've been everywhere, as inconspicuous as a fly on the wall. Futuristic warfare probably won't even have a human element. At least not one anymore interesting than some guy in a bunker operating an army like some kind of IRL RTS game.

Seriously, even now, it seems like anything would have to take place exactly where all modern horrors do, in a cell phone dead zone. Think of any classic story, even on that's only a decade old or more. Goonies would've been over in five seconds if it had taken place today.

I think we're going to be seeing a very common "the spy satellites were broken that day" trope very soon.

Particularly in response to tropes 5 & 6, Katanas/Martial Arts. Combat is only going to become more dull as time goes on. Sure, you could make it more about strategy than action, in order to keep it interesting, but that won't attract the majority of viewers. As a result, filmmakers are more and more often required to pretend that common sense doesn't exist, in order to get something to remain cool.

Edited by vger

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Actually, one thing that really worries me about modern tech is that it will be impossible to write a good adventure anymore.

The communication age is doing things that make 1984 look like a joke. The Empire wouldn't even need to put a tracking device on the Millennium Falcon to know what planet it went to. John Connor resistance against the machines would've been put down before it even started, because micro-drones with recording devices would've been everywhere, as inconspicuous as a fly on the wall. Futuristic warfare probably won't even have a human element. At least not one anymore interesting than some guy in a bunker operating an army like some kind of IRL RTS game.

Seriously, even now, it seems like anything would have to take place exactly where all modern horrors do, in a cell phone dead zone. Think of any classic story, even on that's only a decade old or more. Goonies would've been over in five seconds if it had taken place today.

I think we're going to be seeing a very common "the spy satellites were broken that day" trope very soon.

I saw one where they used a variation of that trope to do an interesting story. The Unit had an episode in their second season where "sunspots" caused communications to be sporadic nearing disabled. Its a classic siege story where they are outnumbered and must last through the night. The science may not have been right, and it may not really be possible and maybe not even written particularly well, but it was an interesting adventure story.

Your argument tends to go for classic books too. Novels, tv shows, and movies tend to be written in the times they exist in. Historical fiction and science fiction do their best to either emulate the past, or imagine the future. That imagination tends to be tied to what futures the authors can imagine from where they are at today. Science Ficiton writers of the 1940's and 50's are lauded for predicting things like the personal computer and the cellular phone. Authors of the 70's and 80's are lauded for foreseeing the Internet and humans interacting with it. For everything they begin predicting correctly there are a million things that would seem silly now, or still seem like possible future tech.

Examples: Heinlein predicted moving walkways in all cities akin to the walkways you now ONLY find at Airports. He also predicted helicopters would replace the personal automobile in everyday transportation. Both seem a little silly now but probably seemed like a possibility back then.

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Star Trek Into Darkness:

Teleporters magic-tracking celestial bodies as they orbit.

Plane-esque orbital physics i.e. velocity inputted is magically lost upon turning

Instant plunge from Moon-distance to Earth in a few minutes if the power is out

Complete disregard for centres of masses and lift

more to come....

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If we're on the phase of nominating for the category of worst sci fi movie of the century I'm going to nominate Exploding sun,

It's a movie where the things like near instant radio communication and gravity where there shouldn't be any are it's redeeming qualities. I won't go into the details but the entire plot could have been solved in about five seconds if the writers understood how RCS works.

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I hate it in things like Star Trek when they say something like, "Take us to 400 Kilometers" and the scene outside the ships looks like they are about 500 meters apart. That pisses me off the most.

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5. Bad casting -- This largely comes about through Hollywood not financing anything with a certain formula of known star power for television shows or movies. They tend to hand wave people in their 20’s being characters in their teens, or people in their teens and early 20’s being characters who should be about 30 or 40. That said, my expected age for someone to be called a professional soldier should be roughly 24 to 40. Younger is unrealistic, older is silly. There are exceptions, but America’s army at least skews very young.

My problem here is not with the age, but with the "playboymodel" appearance.

6. Katanas – not a huge shadowrun fun? Don’t like Neal Stephenson? Katanas generally pop up in Cyberpunk treatments. Swords do help with the fact firearms can be impractical for close quarters combat. I understand your point, but swords can have their uses and for the most part can be much more quiet than firearms. Till you mess up and your victim is bleeding out loudly and an alarm sounds.

No iam not huge fan of theese, and as i deal with swords and other old weaponry a lot, as an Medieval reanactor and as an "HMB sport" team member. i Can tell you that sword would be really stupid idea of an weapon in any situation except gentlemans duel. For silent kills i would use knife and for anything else firearm.

Even in medieval times where the sword was popular, soldiers tended to use spears halberds axes and hammers for battle and sword was only for emergency for duels, and as an simbol of one´s social status.

The ansible was another technology they got from the buggers but never understood. It felt a little bit of an excuse from the author not to have to explain himself, but that's still better than movies where they try to justify everything with dubious claims.

Ansiblers are not excuse they are important for plot of some of the later books about Ender.

Edited by KOCOUR

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- Using film for propagation of autors ideological, political, or religious beliefs. It is ok if you put a bit of your own beliefs in your creation, but revolving entire story around them

changes the storry to propaganda. U.S. "Book of Eli"( religious) and "Elisyum" (That one reminded me of the old comunist propaganda films ,i know from my part of the world hystory, so much), Austria "the Cloud" (enviromental antinuclear).

I agree with you on everything else but this one, I have to disagree on.

Now don't get me wrong, when done badly it's bad, but that's just executuion.

science fiction without exploring the human condition is just fluff. Science fiction has ALWAYS been about the author's beliefs, Frankenstein was all about Mary Shelly's thoughts on science pushing the boundaries of what should be the domain of god. Well's Time Machine was about capitalism, while his War of the Worlds was about colonization and the British empire. Star Trek was highly political, and important to shaping the world we live in today. I really can't think of any GOOD science fiction without ideas. When it's not there it's just the scifi drek pushed out for a quick but, and I don't think that's what you're after.

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I'm in agreement with Moon Goddess, as I believe science fiction is an important tool for trying on various ideas, exploring ramifications, and perhaps making wiser choices about which futures are safe or desirable to steer toward (or avoid). That said, there's also room in SF for stories lacking strong sociopolitical themes, such as Rendezvous With Rama.

Back to the topic of movies that get space stuff wrong. One film that I didn't expect to annoy me as much as it did was Sunshine. I'm fine with the idea of rebooting the sun, but it's the stupid stuff they COULD have gotten right and didn't that bugs me. The orbital science is completely whacked, and even just basic physics.

Here's an example. There's an impressive scene where the crew must rotate their massive ship (the size of Manhattan!) so the crew can fix something on the edge of the solar shield, by putting that part in shadow. You really do sense the enormity and mass of that ship. But later, there's a teeny tiny hull breach and the escaping air causes a similar torque on the craft? Ugh. There's more besides, but that bit really irritated me.

And don't get me started on the Abrams Trek films, particularly Into Darkness. Just about everything involving any science-fictional concepts is completely broken. The writers don't understand the first thing about how the universe works.

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My problem here is not with the age, but with the "playboymodel" appearance.

No iam not huge fan of theese, and as i deal with swords and other old weaponry a lot, as an Medieval reanactor and as an "HMB sport" team member. i Can tell you that sword would be really stupid idea of an weapon in any situation except gentlemans duel. For silent kills i would use knife and for anything else firearm.

Even in medieval times where the sword was popular, soldiers tended to use spears halberds axes and hammers for battle and sword was only for emergency for duels, and as an simbol of one´s social status.

I hear you. though many fellow soldiers I knew lifted quite a lot of weights to get that kind of appearance. and I can think of at least one I'd put on a most handsome list.

I think another forum goer has pointed out the cool factor, and I pointed out Hong Kong flicks. Largely, the same goes for cyberpunk. They put it in because the same people who dig cyberpunk are into Asian stuff, so why not have characters who go around swinging Katana's instead of shooting guns. The katana winds up in lots of things like zombie flicks (The Walking Dead). For a lot of people there is a lot of romance to it.

I know for my own bowels sake, I hope I have a gun at ready, loaded, and safety off if a Street Samurai ever comes after me. The 20 ft rule may not be steadfast anymore, but it did exist at one time for a reason.

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And don't get me started on the Abrams Trek films, particularly Into Darkness. Just about everything involving any science-fictional concepts is completely broken. The writers don't understand the first thing about how the universe works.

<fighting words>

This is why I'm glad he went to star wars, He admited he never liked Star Trek before he took over, too much science in it in his eyes. Star Wars will be a better fit for him, it was never science fiction anyways, it's always been Fantasy in space.

</fighting words>

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<geeky_rant> How come no one mentioned Independence Day. How slow the explosion (made by the aliens) moves demolishing everything it touches, that is NOT how physics work!:mad: </geeky_rant>

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<geeky_rant> How come no one mentioned Independence Day. How slow the explosion (made by the aliens) moves demolishing everything it touches, that is NOT how physics work!:mad: </geeky_rant>

That didn't bother me as much as the hundreds of F-18s flying straight toward the miles-wide alien ship, loosing their entire arsenal of puny air-to-air missiles, and then having to make an emergency zoom climb because their ordnance had no effect. Duh!

But let's suppose the missiles actually had damaged the ship, or knocked its drives offline, causing it to fall. The vacuum created by the ship's movement would have sucked all those planes to their doom. (That's why you have to swim away from a sinking ship, for example.) And never mind the hapless people living underneath this battle.

Ugh. I really didn't like Independence Day much.

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Sunshine deserves a mention, I was quite enjoying that until the ridiculous plot twist after they board the other ship, completely ruined the film.

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The vacuum created by the ship's movement would have sucked all those planes to their doom.

What about the great rush of air out from under the ship? What effect would that have on the planes? Or on the vacuum?

To keep the ship airborne, it would have to exert a downward force. Anything below the ship would have been destroyed before they even fired their weapon.

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Their experimental protocol is dubious at best. Scaling does not always work in physics (take the square-cube law for instance) and they did not even scale the passengers (they could have used dolls with the right density or something). You can clearly see water rushing in as the surface is bent down by the sinking. Now scale this a few thousands times and the effect might be significant enough to move people.

On the other hand, several according witness reporting a phenomenon makes a good claim. If there were actual serious tests of the effect, I would be interested in reading that.

What about the great rush of air out from under the ship? What effect would that have on the planes? Or on the vacuum?

To keep the ship airborne, it would have to exert a downward force. Anything below the ship would have been destroyed before they even fired their weapon.

It's not like if it's the one movie doing this. We can pretend they have an antigravity device deflecting the gravitons or something (don't take me seriously on this).

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Let's be perfectly, completely honest here: In modern and future society, combat is a second--long game where the Military, the Government, or the Police will always win.

The heroes / villains in movie scripts will never, ever be able to go head to head with a modern or futuristic paramilitary. Those groups, like the "Empire" from Star Wars, must be "dumbed down" to give heroes and villains any chance at surviving encounters with them. No, Bane would not have been able to take over the US Stock Exchange, Captain America would never have been able to leave SHIELD H.Q., the Serenity would never have been able to fly through an armada of the greatest ships, and Han Solo would have died the moment the Imperial FireTeam opened fire on him and the Falcon in Mos Eisley.

So for those criticizing combat in sci fi and modern era movies, just realize how boring your films will be if things were realistic.

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Let's be perfectly, completely honest here: In modern and future society, combat is a second--long game where the Military, the Government, or the Police will always win.

The heroes / villains in movie scripts will never, ever be able to go head to head with a modern or futuristic paramilitary. Those groups, like the "Empire" from Star Wars, must be "dumbed down" to give heroes and villains any chance at surviving encounters with them. No, Bane would not have been able to take over the US Stock Exchange, Captain America would never have been able to leave SHIELD H.Q., the Serenity would never have been able to fly through an armada of the greatest ships, and Han Solo would have died the moment the Imperial FireTeam opened fire on him and the Falcon in Mos Eisley.

So for those criticizing combat in sci fi and modern era movies, just realize how boring your films will be if things were realistic.

And no one would ever be able to get across the berlin wall by driving a sports that was fast and low enough to go under the gates, or use a hydro line to zipline into west berlin either. Not to mention there's absolutely no way that a five foot five 18 year old would ever be able to join the army get malaria hold off troops from a burning tank destroyer and live to tell the tale.

All of the above happened.

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When will you people recognize, that these are all attempts of the kraken to alter our understanding of reality, so it can hide and strike from deep beyond without being noticed as what it is...

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I hear you. though many fellow soldiers I knew lifted quite a lot of weights to get that kind of appearance. and I can think of at least one I'd put on a most handsome list.

Well i dont mind muscular soldier characters, thats not what iam talking about i talk about slim girly looking "wannabe toughguys" or little girls with guns bigger than the actor.

And i also know few soldiers and lot of them lifts a lot too. Thats actually the reason i know them cause i met them in our local gym, but non of them is ripped, they are mostly bulky and heavy but i know even few wich are bit fatty around corners :-) but non of them is ripped (like sixpacks and stuff).

I allso lift a lot and i do a lot of cardio, but iam not ripped because to get ripped requires a big change in once eating habits wich i consider silly or even stupidly unhealty. forexample one my friend from the gim who is ripped starves 8 weeks a year to get ripped while still lifting. thats utterly stupid in my books.

Edited by KOCOUR

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I don't want Star Wars without ridiculous overpowered and screaming ion engines. Would not be Star Wars anymore.

Let's face reality, ultra realistic space movies would be boring as pooing.

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I don't want Star Wars without ridiculous overpowered and screaming ion engines. Would not be Star Wars anymore.

Let's face reality, ultra realistic space movies would be boring as pooing.

I don't think anyone is asking for realistic Star Wars, that would be like asking for Lord of the Rings to be more realistic, or the Wizard of Oz. But I would like more science fiction movies to be more realistic.

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What about the great rush of air out from under the ship? What effect would that have on the planes? Or on the vacuum?

To keep the ship airborne, it would have to exert a downward force. Anything below the ship would have been destroyed before they even fired their weapon.

So let's imagine a big metal disk a mile across, suspended a couple miles above the surface of the earth. Let it drop. A bunch of things are going to happen.

First, the air under the disk is going to be forced outward to the sides, where it meets with resistance from the surrounding air. That forces it to curl upward and back into the only place it can go, into the partial vacuum produced above the sinking disk. Drop a plate onto dusty ground and you'll see this in miniature. Helicopters which descend too quickly can crash because of this vortex ring effect, which is similar but not exactly the same (the ship is impenetrable whereas a helicopter rotor disk is not).

Here's a photo.

So yes, first the air rushes out, then curls upward, and rushes back in to fill the space above the crashing alien ship. Sucking the planes along with it.

As for the weight of the ship being felt on the ground below, who knows? If they have some form of gravity manipulation (just as likely as any other rationale) it might not exert any force at all on the ground.

Edited by pebble_garden

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