News Shocker: Movies Are Unrealistic

A couple of physicists have gotten an article published, discussing the fact that movies get the science wrong.

Ars Technica gives us a list of some of the worst offenders.

So, yeah, turns out that Superman probably couldn’t have reversed time.

Ars Technica points out that grad students work for peanuts, so these movies could have easily hired one to help them learn the science. But that’s not really the point.

The makers of Speed know damn well that the bus couldn’t jump across that big gap in the bridge. The reason they know is that they MADE it jump across, using lots and lots of extra (and hidden) help. Either that, or they faked it in some other way, but again, they faked it because they knew they couldn’t do it. They know better than anyone that it couldn’t have happened the way they showed it.

So it’s not that they don’t know. It’s that they don’t care. And they don’t think the viewing public cares, and usually they’re right. It’s not Hollywood’s fault if the public is scientifically illiterate and apathetic about science.

Rather, Hollywood can get away with making movies that way because the public is ignorant and apathetic. [Not that ars or the scientists say that Hollywood makes the public that way. They’re just saying that Hollywood is aggravating an already bad situation.]

I do get annoyed when the science is all wrong, so I understand these guys getting annoyed, too. It’s just that I blame the public more than the pandering entertainers who feed them what they want.

Still, it’s funny how some things are ok. I don’t mind that Superman can fly, for example, but the reverse time thing just doesn’t make sense. I hated the reverse-time thing in Superman just as much as any other red-blooded American, but the science was only part of it. I hated it because of the lazy writing. I hate it whenever movies make the situation completely impossible, then give us an impossible fix.

In one of those Lethal Weapons, they shot Riggs about 50,000 times at the end, but then had him live. Either don’t shoot him that much, or kill him. That’s all I ask.

And lastly, ars points out that every space movie (outside of 2001) has us hearing sounds in space, which we shouldn’t be able to do. I remember thinking about that way back in Star Wars days. But I’d like to point out that Serenity doesn’t do that, so go see it.

4 Responses to News Shocker: Movies Are Unrealistic

  1. JB August 22, 2007 at 8:42 am #

    I agree only to a point. Sometimes it’s just so ridiculous that I can’t stay in my suspension of disbelief.

    But I think there’s a place for artistic license, and in making things work not as they do but as we wish they would. It doesn’t matter to me that a bus could never jump that gap in the highway, it’s just cool to watch. I’m not placing so much faith in Speed that it’s my basis for understanding mass vs. power ratios. And Sandra Bullock was hot.

    It always matters a lot more when you’re an expert in whatever field Hollywood is corrupting. I grind my teeth at a lot of the computer “hacking” they do in the movies, and my hackles raise whenever someone fakes playing a musical instrument.

  2. weeklyrob August 22, 2007 at 10:14 am #

    Now it’s my turn to agree with you only to a point. In my humble opinion, Sandra Bullock is not, has never been, and will never be, hot.

    If she were my next door neighbor, I wouldn’t even notice her.

  3. Mom August 23, 2007 at 2:38 pm #

    I agree to a point. I don’t care when the event is so unrealistic it’s pretty obvious that it’s not something that really happens. That’s imagination at work and I like science fiction or any other kind of fiction. Ok- Superman can fly and even turn time back- no one believes any of it. It’s just fun to watch. However, I agree that I want a realistic movie to be real- no one getting shot 50 times and living while at the same time firing 15 shots and killing 15 bad guys. YUK!
    I hate it when the portrayal is about something that one MAY actally believe is true. I agree with JB that one is more sensitive to those areas where one has some expertise or strong interest. I dislike the sappy portrayals of therapists and I cringe when I see it.

  4. weeklyrob August 23, 2007 at 2:55 pm #

    Ah, but some people DO believe that Superman could turn back time.

    Or, rather, they don’t believe that, but they may believe that if he could fly fast enough around the world that maybe, according to Einstein, that would turn back time.

    That’s what the scientists are saying is bad, I think. That even with all his powers (which we accept as impossible, but part of the imaginary world we paid to see), he couldn’t have done what they showed him doing.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Subscribe without commenting

Powered by WordPress. Designed by Woo Themes