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Zeuzzz
22nd November 2008, 04:03 PM
I've got an assignment where I've got to write a mini 4000 word essay about a scene in a movie that defies the laws of physics and why this is the case. You can write about something that in fact turns out to fit the laws of physics, but thats just boring and means you cant moan about anything and how stupid people are. Preferably about the laws of motion, but it can be about anything really as long as the physics involved is not exotic and questionable.

I had thought of the scene in (I think) the movie Speed, where a car approaching a gap in a bridge simply accelerates before reaching the gap and manages to completely clear it, even though both sides of the gap are completely flat and there can be nothing acting against gravity while the car is airbourne. But someones already used that. So I'm a bit stumped for a good one now.

Any ideas on a good one?

Third Eye Open
22nd November 2008, 04:11 PM
The entire movie The Core (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0298814/).

Lennart Hyland
22nd November 2008, 04:14 PM
Well the classic must be in Star Wars, where the ships goes into lightspeed (or is it even over-lightspeed?).

The explosions of the death star or the planets are also wrong. But wouldnt be so effective for the cinema crowd to stare at a white flash :P

Sherman Bay
22nd November 2008, 04:17 PM
In Star Wars and other Sci-Fi pix where, in open, outer space where there is no atmosphere to transmit sound, spaceships make a loud sound.

JihadJane
22nd November 2008, 04:24 PM
This is real life so maybe it doesn't count:

In "Control Room" a US adviser suggests that an Iraqi journalist could present the news in a more balanced way by smiling when reaading out news of the US bombing of Iraq.

This would defy the laws of gravity.

I'm not sure I've got the details of who 's who exactly right but that's the gist of it. It's a great film if you want to check, by Jihane Nouijaim.

Also, in "Lord of the Rings", Gandalf make sparks fly out of the end of his walking stick.

Lennart Hyland
22nd November 2008, 04:26 PM
Also in movies where some agent, James Bond for example, is using smoke to detect laser-beams from the alarms, when that smoke hits the light it bounces into our eyes the sensor that triggers the alarm should feel that the light has been broken.... though the alarm doesnt goes off.

grayman
22nd November 2008, 04:30 PM
Come on, no one mentions Phil Plait's Bad Astronomy (http://www.badastronomy.com/bad/movies/index.html)page yet?

steve s
22nd November 2008, 04:41 PM
The entire movie Armageddon, but two scenes specifically.

1)When their shuttle lands on the asteroid, there's a scene where they are still inside the shuttle and everyone is moving around normally. But as soon as they step outside they're suddenly walking in slo-mo due to reduced gravity. Either the shuttle has artificial gravity or air pressure really is the source of gravity.

2) The asteroid is about to ram into the earth when the nuclear bomb splits it in two. There's a shot of a computer screen in the command center showing the two pieces splitting apart and narrowly missing earth. Apparently earth's gravitational field has a very limited extent.

Steve S.

steve s
22nd November 2008, 04:46 PM
Also in movies where some agent, James Bond for example, is using smoke to detect laser-beams from the alarms, when that smoke hits the light it bounces into our eyes the sensor that triggers the alarm should feel that the light has been broken.... though the alarm doesnt goes off.

The Mythbusters addressed this in the Crimes and Mythdemeanors episode. They used powder instead of smoke. As long as the cloud wasn't too dense it didn't break the beam. But as soon as Kari blew too much powder, it set off the alarm.

Steve S.

Lennart Hyland
22nd November 2008, 04:47 PM
The Mythbusters addressed this in the Crimes and Mythdemeanors episode. They used powder instead of smoke. As long as the cloud wasn't too dense it didn't break the beam. But as soon as Kari blew too much powder, it set off the alarm.

Steve S.

Oh I have to check that out! Thanks for letting me know!

Jeff Corey
22nd November 2008, 05:05 PM
In all the scientifiction movies, the spaceships have to bank to turn. In vacuum.

ETA, not all. Destination Moon was fairly accurate.

portlandatheist
22nd November 2008, 05:37 PM
In all the scientifiction movies, the spaceships have to bank to turn. In vacuum.

ETA, not all. Destination Moon was fairly accurate.

Good point and along those same lines, spaceships are generally aerodynamically shaped. It seems like a better design would be for the greatest amount of space with the least amount of materials/mass, perhaps the cube of the Borg would be better shape for space travel.

Bikewer
22nd November 2008, 05:41 PM
Any film in which someone fires a shotgun (or other weapon of choice) at someone and the impact throws them 20 feet through the air.

Any film in which a grenade, tossed into a foxhole/bunker, results in flailing bodies being tossed a similar distance.

Myriad
22nd November 2008, 05:51 PM
You could do a very interesting paper on the biomechanical problems of giant monsters. Especially where the giant monster is some ordinary animal or person transformed to giant size rather than a totally invented creature, King Kong being one example. (Better still would be one where the transformation happens during the movie; that is, the monster is a normal-sized individual that gets growth-rayed or something. However, those movies are less well known.)

Issues include locomotion and joint stress, angular momentum and joint stress, thermoregulation, and lung capacity. (The latter is where the difference between a born monster and a growth-ray monster comes in -- a born monster that's n times taller than a normal member of the species could in principle have n^3 the number of air sacs forming its lungs, with each air sac being of normal size, while an animal increased vastly in size from a normal individual, with each part simply scaled up directly, would quickly suffocate.) Most of these problems are related to the square-cube law.

There are similar issues in shrink-ray stories like Honey I Shrunk the Kids, but these (while based on the same principles as the problems of giant movies) are a little harder to explain. Think about why the shrunk kids should have a very difficult time coordinating their movements, why they should be able to fall any distance without harm, breathing problems, thermoregulation problems, etc.

If you want a simpler topic, you might come up with an explanation why jumping out of the window just as the huge explosion goes off wouldn't really save the hero's life. (Plenty of movies to choose from there.)

Respectfully,
Myriad

fromdownunder
22nd November 2008, 05:54 PM
Superman 2, where the Villains are conversing in outer space, and later on the moon, Ursa asking questions, and getting an answer from one of the Astronauts. neat trick if you ask me.

And of course, in Superman The Movie and the Donner cut of Superman 2, Supes reversing time by flying around the earth at superspeed. Super!

Norm

Tubbythin
22nd November 2008, 06:00 PM
You could always try here ('http://www.intuitor.com/moviephysics/').

shadron
22nd November 2008, 06:13 PM
I always liked the scene in Wargames where they were starring into the digital readout that it searching for the thermonuclear code. When the shot is reversed onto their faces, the numbers flashing by are also projected onto them. I would think that would really wreck visibility of the readout elsewhere in the room, if that's how it worked. There's also the fact that the Whoopa' is finding digits in the code and "locking them in". If McKittrick programmed it that way I'da fired 'em.

The Whopper itself was right out of the 1950's.

"Mr. McKittrick, after very careful consideration, sir, I've come to the conclusion that your new defense system sucks."

Beerina
22nd November 2008, 06:34 PM
I always liked the scene in Wargames where they were starring into the digital readout that it searching for the thermonuclear code. When the shot is reversed onto their faces, the numbers flashing by are also projected onto them. I would think that would really wreck visibility of the readout elsewhere in the room, if that's how it worked.

Similarly, whenever anyone is in a space suit or pressure suit, there are always little lights in the helmets lighting up their faces, when in fact it would make it hard for them to see outside, especially in darker scenarios. I've gotten to the point of always looking for it, then ignoring it as something needed to show their face. Some of the lights are obviously built to look like they're supposed to be there, not some hidden light.


I like the "banking in space" issue. Star Trek: Next Gen used it a number of times. It's kind of strange, but TOS actually did flights correctly, so to speak. In their universe, they had integrity fields and massive amounts of energy to use impulse engines to go to 99% the speed of light in almost an instant. In one episode, they approach a planet at a rate that I'd estimate was about 1/5 the speed of light, then just stop. They leave the same way.

Also, that giant lightbulb "drink the Tranya?" ship approaches the Enterprise the same way, and just suddenly stops.

You can argue the hard vs. soft SF issues, but at least they're consistent with what such ship abilities would look like.

Myriad
22nd November 2008, 06:44 PM
You could always try here ('http://www.intuitor.com/moviephysics/').


Cool, they put the jumping-from-the-explosion trope on the cover!

Gord_in_Toronto
22nd November 2008, 07:43 PM
You could always try here (http://www.intuitor.com/moviephysics/).

I see the first one on that page Flashing Bullets that I was going to mention.

Fnord
22nd November 2008, 08:06 PM
A hand-held weapon that contains and controls enough energy to completely vaporize an adult human being.

A revolver with a silencer only make that sillly "THEWP!" sound, when in reality the interface between the cylinders and the breach releases enough gas to make a very noticable pop.

Any vehicle with FTL drive violates both the speed of light and causality.

Delvo
22nd November 2008, 08:36 PM
How about cars exploding or catching fire when they hit a bush, or getting flipped in the air so they go spinning around...

Zeuzzz
22nd November 2008, 08:39 PM
Thanx for all the suggestions. I might use one of the many films where someone gets shot and get catapulted meters into the air as Bikewer suggested. But I think that the impossibility of Gandalfs wooden staff creating electrical sparks would be a very entertaining thing to moan about, in a facetious way. Could include the conductance of wood and the voltage needed, the breakdown voltage of air, and.... other stuff. Maybe not the most extensive thing to write about.

Keep going peeps, this is all good stuff. :)

rjh01
22nd November 2008, 11:50 PM
In Star Trek they often bring a space ship to a "Full Stop". With respect to what?

Mythbusters often have movie myths and test to see how real they are. They did one on on how people being shot get thrown back several meters in the movies. I suggest you find myths they have done and avoid these ones. The person marking the assignment may be a mythbuster fan and know that you have added very little.

Best to do one that no-one has thought of before. This will be hard. Or say why the Mythbusters did it all wrong. Maybe without even mentioning them.

alfaniner
23rd November 2008, 01:14 AM
My first thought on this subject is always Armageddon. There are so many bad things in that movie, but the one that always gets me is this.

They start rotating the Russian space station before the shuttles have docked, ostensibly to "provide gravity to make work easier".

Is it easier to jump on a merry-go-round when it is stationary, or after it has started moving? Think about the incredible maneuvering it would require to attach to a spinning hub as opposed to a static one.

I hope this is enough to get you going...

Ranb
23rd November 2008, 01:18 AM
A revolver with a silencer only make that sillly "THEWP!" sound, when in reality the interface between the cylinders and the breach releases enough gas to make a very noticable pop.

Well it would work if it was an 1895 Nagant revolver. The cylinder moves forward when the hammer is cocked to seal the gap with the brass mouth. Alas the 1895 is a puny little thing that probably is not "sexy" enough for the typical movie hero.

http://i171.photobucket.com/albums/u320/ranb40/firearms/1895nagant.jpg

Ranb

theMark
23rd November 2008, 03:05 AM
Also, in "Lord of the Rings", Gandalf make sparks fly out of the end of his walking stick.

Sparks?! That’s nothing. "Tim" (from Monty Pythons Holy Grail) obviously has both a rocket launcher and a flame thrower in his. And don’t let him point his finger at you. Never. Ever.

SF0KaTW3Hg4

AntiTelharsic
23rd November 2008, 03:38 AM
There were a couple of Mars mission sci fi movies that came out within nanoseconds of each other some years ago, variously featuring Gary Sinise and/or Val Kilmer and/or Carrie-Anne Moss...

I can't remember which one it was in, but there was one scene where a character in zero gravity was making a rotating (on its long axis) model of a DNA double helix out of M&Ms floating in the cabin in front of him.

This was obvious ******** as the M&Ms would have traveled in straight lines rather than revolving around an imaginary axis.

Edit: It was probably this one: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0183523/

IndridCold
23rd November 2008, 04:25 AM
Use any old martial art movie. Watching people jump around or punch people in awkward directions is entertaining, but not very likely.

moopet
23rd November 2008, 04:57 AM
after very careful consideration, sir, I've come to the conclusion that your new defense system sucks."

... was my new email notification sound for most of my time working for the MoD.

moopet
23rd November 2008, 05:02 AM
In all the scientifiction movies, the spaceships have to bank to turn. In vacuum.

ETA, not all. Destination Moon was fairly accurate.

Banking isn't just about aerodynamics. If you were in a spaceship that made a sharp turn without banking into it, you'd end up squashed against the opposite window. See any episode of Automan for definitive proof.
Just because we don't currently do that with our spacecraft doesn't mean anything. We don't currently have dogfights between space shuttles.

hgc
23rd November 2008, 07:28 AM
Any vehicle with FTL drive violates both the speed of light and causality.


Too much sci-fi plot depends on interplanetary travel. You gotta let this one slide. That's what I like so much about Dune - The stuff that makes interplanetary travel possible is central to the plot.

Luciana
23rd November 2008, 08:11 AM
And it doesn't have to be sci-fi. There's an old Almodóvar movie with Antonio Banderas, a gay drama/comedy, in which the last scene shows a mechanical typewriter being thrown out the window... and exploding. Completely absurd ending for an absurd movie.

Ernie M
23rd November 2008, 09:07 AM
While I’m not listing all movie titles with a related scene, you might consider looking at the MythBusters show, on the Discovery Channel for insight. Some of the MythBusters titles are shown below, with the date they originally aired. I’ve included part of the actual episode synopsis as it appears on:

http://dsc.discovery.com/fansites/mythbusters/mythbusters.html

The MythBusters TV show includes Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman as the two key characters, and various shows may also include:
Tory Belleci
Kari Byron
Grant Imahara

James Bond, Part 1 (Jan 16 2008)
Can an electromagnetic watch really deflect a bullet?

Motorcycle Flip (Oct 29 2008)
Can a flagpole in the front wheel of a motorcycle create a head-over-handlebars flip? (Like in one of the Indiana Jones movies where a motorcycle and sidecar get catapulted into the air?)

Walking on Water (Apr 25 2007)
Can ninjas run on water as movies like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon would have us believe?

Baseball Myths (Aug 8 2007)
Can filling a baseball bat with cork inject more spring into your swing?

Holiday Special (Dec 6 2007)
Can six reindeer run fast enough to launch an ultralight glider?

Elevator of Death, Levitation Machine (Oct 6 2004)
If an elevator suddenly falls, can you save yourself in the nick of time by jumping just before it hits the bottom?

Penny Drop (Oct 17 2003)
Can a penny dropped from a skyscraper kill a person below?

I couldn't find the MythBusters episode title, but one show did portray Hollywood movie myths, and I think there were several items from the movie Point Break, where there were some inaccurate portrayals (myths) about skydiving, which included being able to talk and hear what's being said during free-fall (not able to in real-life from the wind noise, but in the movie they could converse during free-fall), and it is possible to "catch" another person if you exited the plane after them, by assuming an aerodynamic "tuck" within a given time frame and grab on to them and land on one parachute.

The Man
23rd November 2008, 09:58 AM
2001 A Space Odyssey (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2001:_A_Space_Odyssey_%28film%29) was intended to be as accurate to physics as possible, however the scene where Dr. David Bowman (Keir Dullea) blasts himself from his EVA pod into the ships emergency air lock in the vacuum of space without a helmet and survives has always been debatable. Soon after as Dr Bowman is entering HALs central control, now wearing a spare helmet and presumably with the ships atmosphere evacuated by HAL, as he passes over the camera it can be clearly seen that the left wrist coupling of his suit has become detached. An unintended wardrobe malfunction that would have caused serious problems if real, it is ironic for such a clearly visible blooper to have made its way to the final cut in a film that was intended to be so meticulously physically accurate. Might be a good route if you what to go with the physically accurate angle yet still have the questionable scene with the emergency air lock as well as the obvious and potentially deadly wardrobe malfunction to gripe about, the best or worst of both worlds.

Gord_in_Toronto
23rd November 2008, 10:11 AM
There are no giant potatoes in space. :D

In Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, at least one potato was used to portray the asteroids of the Hoth asteroid field. ...
http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Asteroid

technoextreme
23rd November 2008, 11:48 AM
2001 A Space Odyssey (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2001:_A_Space_Odyssey_%28film%29) was intended to be as accurate to physics as possible, however the scene where Dr. David Bowman (Keir Dullea) blasts himself from his EVA pod into the ships emergency air lock in the vacuum of space without a helmet and survives has always been debatable.
No. I always thought that surviving in space without a helmet isn't debatable. You will survive but you will get the bends.Good point and along those same lines, spaceships are generally aerodynamically shaped. It seems like a better design would be for the greatest amount of space with the least amount of materials/mass, perhaps the cube of the Borg would be better shape for space travel.
Ehhhh... That could be explained away by the fact that the ships were built on earth and needed to be shot into space. Also, Voyager was built to go through the atmosphere and land on planets. Plus, some other shuttles in the Star Trek Universe did the same.

Chris Haynes
23rd November 2008, 12:17 PM
While I’m not listing all movie titles with a related scene, you might consider looking at the MythBusters show, on the Discovery Channel for insight. Some of the MythBusters titles are shown below, with the date they originally aired. I’ve included part of the actual episode synopsis as it appears on:

http://dsc.discovery.com/fansites/mythbusters/mythbusters.html

....

They have done lots of movie specials. Just look for the MacGyver (sp?) specials, Jaws special (usually during Shark Week), Old West myths (shooting hats off, etc) and the more recent Ninja specials. They have recently tackled internet videos that have gone viral.

I also remember watching the commentary on the first Spiderman movie where there was a comment that the swings he did would have involved enough force to rip his arms off.

Another pet peeve of mine is when one object is free falling (no drag from parachute), that something else that is dropped (human, car, etc) afterwards can catch up without propulsive assistance (the acceleration of gravity should be the same for both).

Naughtyhippo
23rd November 2008, 01:20 PM
The entire movie The Core (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0298814/).

Mwahahaha.

We had a similar excercise to do for my geology degree, only the Core was banned because there was too much to rip to pieces. Apart from the giant diamonds. I think. You know how we geologists drink!

I believe our group went with Armageddon - there was some physicsy stuff to mock as well the 'asteroid'.

The Man
23rd November 2008, 01:49 PM
No. I always thought that surviving in space without a helmet isn't debatable. You will survive but you will get the bends.

Well that is just one problem you also have the door blown out by the explosive bolts hopefully not damaging the emergency air lock or rebounding back and killing him. As well as the rapid decompression being sufficient to expel him into the air lock so it can be recompressed within a survivable time frame (about 90 seconds). Not to mention that the air escaping from the EVA pod would tend to push it away, unpredictably (and also the reactive force of firing the explosive bolts to blow out the hatch) from the air lock perhaps more then the RCS (reaction control system) could adequately compensate for in that time frame. The physics of it could push the pod away from him and the ship leaving him just out of reach of the airlock and the pod. As I said survival in the scenario of the scene (as in any dramatic survival scene) has always been debatable with specific physics being the primary concern in this case. It is really a very complex physical situation then just surviving zero atmospheres for a brief period.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vacuum#Effects_on_humans_and_animals



Another pet peeve of mine is when one object is free falling (no drag from parachute), that something else that is dropped (human, car, etc) afterwards can catch up without propulsive assistance (the acceleration of gravity should be the same for both).

True, acceleration from gravity is the same but drag, even without a parchute, is not hence different terminal velocities (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terminal_velocity).

Delvo
23rd November 2008, 01:53 PM
Similar to the bad hand-to-hand combat and bad gunshot effects, there's also the way bladed weapons keep getting portrayed. European swords' weights tend to get exaggerated, blades slice right through things they wouldn't really slice right through, they get broken too easily but also sometimes survive things that would actually have broken them, and they make a metal-scraping sound every time they move, no matter what they're touching or even if they're not touching anything at all.

not daSkeptic
23rd November 2008, 02:52 PM
Ooh ooh ... I have one ...

People being "out-of-phase" with the rest of reality. Nobody can see them, yet somehow they can see everything and everyone else just fine. How's that supposed to work?

Also, how are they able to effortlessly pass through walls yet they don't fall through floors?

Chris Haynes
23rd November 2008, 02:57 PM
...
True, acceleration from gravity is the same but drag, even without a parchute, is not hence different terminal velocities (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terminal_velocity).

Many times it is the same type of object (a person), or where the smaller object is caught by the larger object (like catching up to and grabbing a gun that was thrown from the plane first)... or over a too small span of height.

Sure, some are plausible... but most are not.

JoeTheJuggler
23rd November 2008, 03:02 PM
My pet peeve is the aerodynamic stuff in the vacuum of space which has been mentioned here already. I don't know if anyone specifically talked about the "whooosh" sound of spaceship flying past the camera in the vacuum of space. Or the sound of explosions traveling through the vacuum.

Another gun thing is shooting in a confined space yet there are no bullets bouncing around or causing other damage (depressurizing an airplane, e.g.).

ETA: Not really a physics issue per se, but in the new Bond flick he apparently kills a guy by slashing his throat and there isn't even 1 cup of blood spilled. In most TV and movie deaths, there is nowhere near the amount of blood you'd expect.

Elizabeth I
23rd November 2008, 03:38 PM
Larry Niven once did a whole essay on how impossible Superman would be, according to the laws of physics. One of the things he speculated about was that, if Lois Lane were actually to get her wish and have a romantic relationship with Superman (this was according to the comic book oeuvre at the time, when Superman was still fending her off), their first physical intimacy would kill her due to the superspeed of Superman's sperm.

NobbyNobbs
23rd November 2008, 04:08 PM
Everybody is focusing on sci-fi, understandably. But how about Space Jam (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0117705/)?


The entire movie Armageddon, but two scenes specifically.

1)When their shuttle lands on the asteroid, there's a scene where they are still inside the shuttle and everyone is moving around normally. But as soon as they step outside they're suddenly walking in slo-mo due to reduced gravity. Either the shuttle has artificial gravity or air pressure really is the source of gravity.

2) The asteroid is about to ram into the earth when the nuclear bomb splits it in two. There's a shot of a computer screen in the command center showing the two pieces splitting apart and narrowly missing earth. Apparently earth's gravitational field has a very limited extent.

Steve S.



Now, now. Don't be too hard on Armaggedon. After all, it did get one very important thing right.













Asteroids do exist.

Fredrik
23rd November 2008, 04:17 PM
There were a couple of Mars mission sci fi movies that came out within nanoseconds of each other some years ago, variously featuring Gary Sinise and/or Val Kilmer and/or Carrie-Anne Moss...

I can't remember which one it was in, but there was one scene where a character in zero gravity was making a rotating (on its long axis) model of a DNA double helix out of M&Ms floating in the cabin in front of him.

This was obvious ******** as the M&Ms would have traveled in straight lines rather than revolving around an imaginary axis.

Edit: It was probably this one: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0183523/
Yes, it was "Mission to Mars". It was even worse when they got close to Mars and tried to begin the deceleration. The rocket engine that was supposed to slow them down blew up the moment it was switched on, so they solved the problem by strapping on their jetpacks and jumping out of the ship. They used them to get to a satellite that was in orbit around Mars, and then they landed the satellite.

That was the scene that bothered me the most, but people who are more into genetics than physics might have found it more disturbing when they looked at a picture of small piece of a DNA molecule and said "It looks human! But there's a chromosome missing...here."

AWPrime
23rd November 2008, 04:20 PM
Good point and along those same lines, spaceships are generally aerodynamically shaped. It seems like a better design would be for the greatest amount of space with the least amount of materials/mass, perhaps the cube of the Borg would be better shape for space travel.Not exactly, they may need the surface area to cool the craft, also being able to land on a planet sounds nice.

Zeuzzz
23rd November 2008, 04:31 PM
Whoa, I'm a bit overwhlemed for choices by the looks of things. Cant decide. And I hate getting started on essays, once I'm going I'm okay but things like choosing the very start of it I am always really indecisive on. And its gotta be in by next friday. Have known about it for two months now. Typical me.

Anyone good at writing essays and got some spare time on their hands? :D

Fredrik
23rd November 2008, 04:31 PM
I might use one of the many films where someone gets shot and get catapulted meters into the air as Bikewer suggested.

One of the best is in this one (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0114214/). When Sharon Stone finally shoots Gene Hackman in the head, the bullet hits him so hard that his body turns 270 degrees (he falls backwards and lands face down). (The force that the bullet delivers to the target is always less than what it delivers to the gun). The moment before that, she shot him in the chest and you could see through him, through the bullet hole. There was a bright dot on his shadow on the ground after that, so the sunlight made two sharp turns to go through the hole and hit his shadow on the ground.

If I were you I'd pick the TV show Smallville. There are plenty of scenes where Clark catches someone falling, by standing on the ground holding out his arms. They'd be just as dead, but in three pieces. There's also a scene where a dam fails and the water comes crashing down towards some kid. Clark gets to the kid and then vaporizes all of the water in a split second. This would of course cause an enormous explosion that would kill the kid and knock down all the trees in the area, but nothing like that happened of course.

gnome
23rd November 2008, 04:47 PM
I remember the mythbusters episode about being shot failing to throw one back... the problem I had is that I feel they missed one detail.

In fact I don't expect this to work, but I'm annoyed they didn't try it... they had the firearm hit the ballistics gel representing human skin etc. BUT they didn't test the effect if it were a bone hit instead of a flesh hit all the way through.

Wouldn't it have been a better result if they'd put an armature inside the ballistics gel, and made sure one of their trials hit the "bone"?

sol invictus
23rd November 2008, 07:07 PM
IIRC there was another stupidity in Speed - at some point the bus rounds a corner, and everyone falls violently.... the wrong way!

It goes around a corner to the left, and everyone hurls themselves to the left...

Zeuzzz
23rd November 2008, 07:15 PM
Sparks?! That’s nothing. "Tim" (from Monty Pythons Holy Grail) obviously has both a rocket launcher and a flame thrower in his. And don’t let him point his finger at you. Never. Ever.

SF0KaTW3Hg4


LOL! Still makes me crack up even though I've seen it a thousand times. :)

Its the scene just after that which has to be the funniest moment in TV history though.

Elizabeth I
23rd November 2008, 07:30 PM
I remember the mythbusters episode about being shot failing to throw one back... the problem I had is that I feel they missed one detail.

In fact I don't expect this to work, but I'm annoyed they didn't try it... they had the firearm hit the ballistics gel representing human skin etc. BUT they didn't test the effect if it were a bone hit instead of a flesh hit all the way through.

Wouldn't it have been a better result if they'd put an armature inside the ballistics gel, and made sure one of their trials hit the "bone"?

If I recall correctly, they also tried it with a pig carcass, with the same results.

Foster Zygote
23rd November 2008, 09:56 PM
Superman 2, where the Villains are conversing in outer space, and later on the moon, Ursa asking questions, and getting an answer from one of the Astronauts. neat trick if you ask me.

I remember a bit in an old Robert Heinlein short story in which two men in space suits need to communicate without their radios. I can't remember if it was because they needed to go unheard by someone monitoring their channel or if they had lost their radios. But anyway, they touched the face-plates of their helmets together so that it would transmit the sound from one to the other as long as they talked loudly enough. I thought that was cool!

Foster Zygote
23rd November 2008, 10:04 PM
I remember the mythbusters episode about being shot failing to throw one back... the problem I had is that I feel they missed one detail.

In fact I don't expect this to work, but I'm annoyed they didn't try it... they had the firearm hit the ballistics gel representing human skin etc. BUT they didn't test the effect if it were a bone hit instead of a flesh hit all the way through.

Wouldn't it have been a better result if they'd put an armature inside the ballistics gel, and made sure one of their trials hit the "bone"?

Real life can often be much more shocking than Hollywood. The .50 cal round from a Colt Browning M2 heavy machine gun or a Barrett M82 will literally blow a person to shreds. In fact, the shock wave of its passage can kill if the round passes within a meter or two of a person.

Ranb
23rd November 2008, 10:32 PM
Real life can often be much more shocking than Hollywood. The .50 cal round from a Colt Browning M2 heavy machine gun or a Barrett M82 will literally blow a person to shreds. In fact, the shock wave of its passage can kill if the round passes within a meter or two of a person.

I think my BS meter just pegged on this one. While I have seen photos of the dramatic tissue damage caused by the 50 caliber round, it is not the kind that rips a target to shreds. It is just a bullet a bit over one half inch wide moving at less than 3000 feet per second.

No bullet of that size and speed can create a lethal (to humans) shockwave. Think of it as a 30-06 on steroids. The link below is one example of a lack of shredding. I'm not sure if the photos will show as I can not get them through the firewall in Japan. A 50 caliber bullet will lose about half its energy after 800 yards.

http://forums.accuratereloading.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/619104082/m/960109673/p/1

"It was a spinal shot just infront of the hind quarters. It did not do that much damage. Unfortunatly it did not die right away and needed a 30-06 at close range to finish it. BTW a 30-06 did more damage than the 50 BMG did. Well for the ones that wanted to know here are some autopsy photo's (sort of ). 50BMG entrance wound, the size of your finger. Some 2 1/2- 3 inches of bruising around the area. Exit wound on other side. 2 inch hole + 2-4 inches of bruising around hole."

Ranb

Morrigan
24th November 2008, 10:24 AM
Good point and along those same lines, spaceships are generally aerodynamically shaped. It seems like a better design would be for the greatest amount of space with the least amount of materials/mass, perhaps the cube of the Borg would be better shape for space travel.

What if that ship needs to make atmosphere entries, though?

GreyICE
24th November 2008, 11:40 AM
Yes, the 0.50 is probably less damaging than a lot of other rounds. Reason being, a good FMJ slug from one isn't even going to deform in the human body, it will just pass through. They're anti-material weapons, through and through. You don't hunt animals with one, you hunt helicopters.

Worst physics mistake in a movie? So many. If we're talking physics mistakes instead of engineering mistakes (guns not firing if they get wet? Really? Come on now) then I have to go with Armageddon and the artificial gravity on Mir. The centrifugal force (yes it exists, shut up) would tear the station into pieces.

I also nominate the entire movie "The Day After Tomorrow" as the single worst physics movie in the history of ever.

gnome
24th November 2008, 04:09 PM
What if that ship needs to make atmosphere entries, though?

Not that it ever seemed to help the Enterprise make planetfall...

Fnord
24th November 2008, 06:17 PM
Invisible people (or cloaked ships) being able to see their surroundings.

If a person is completely invisible, then photons either pass through them unimpeded, or they pass around them and continue on their original trajectory. Either way, if the photons do not interact with a person's retina (having passed through unimpeded), then the person sees nothing.

Thus, I submit for your approval, the idea that a completely invisible person sees nothing just as if they were in complete darkness!

Zeuzzz
24th November 2008, 06:26 PM
I think I may do the scene in monty pythons the hold grail where the cow gets catapulted out of the castle and lands on one of King Arthurs servants. which he survives. Could include some projectile stuff, and kinetic energy transfer and momentum, etc. Though I wouldn't know where to start with how much force the human body could withstand in a sitaution like this to survive or die. The fact the cow lands on his backpack is handy as I could just spread the force of the cow over the his entire body and not localize it. I think he should be as flat as a pancake.

Could do the african or european swallow coconut migration issue too :) but bird aerodynamics and kinematics isn't really my speciality

quixotecoyote
24th November 2008, 06:33 PM
I think I may do the scene in monty pythons the hold grail where the cow gets catapulted out of the castle and lands on one of King Arthurs servants. which he survives. Could include some projectile stuff, and kinetic energy transfer and momentum, etc. Though I wouldn't know where to start with how much force the human body could withstand in a sitaution like this to survive or die.


a force of 73 netwons can cause a skull fracture...

http://www.portfolio.mvm.ed.ac.uk/studentwebs/session2/group62/head.htm

Molinaro
24th November 2008, 06:56 PM
In all the scientifiction movies, the spaceships have to bank to turn. In vacuum.

ETA, not all. Destination Moon was fairly accurate.

And Babylon 5 is the only episodic show to get that right.

I would do something that is not 1 scene in 1 movie, but rather a general principle that is fudged on a regular basis. Most people, if they jump from 10 feet, will be injured. Yet in movies, the height from which people jump/fall wihtout getting hurt is always streched out to facilitate the plot, or make it more interesting/exciting.

Shalamar
24th November 2008, 08:56 PM
My favorite from a recent Movie is in Iron Man. Tony Stark is testing his 'jet boots' for the first time. He's immediately flung into the air, impacts a concrete wall at a high rate of speed across the entirety of the front of his body, then falls to the ground. All he says is 'ow'. Nary a broken bone...

Uncayimmy
24th November 2008, 09:08 PM
In Star Trek they often bring a space ship to a "Full Stop". With respect to what?

Their destination?

How about when Wile E. Coyote runs off a cliff and continues to go straight out. He then stops. He doesn't fall until he looks down. I've tried that. It doesn't work.

GreyICE
24th November 2008, 10:45 PM
My favorite from a recent Movie is in Iron Man. Tony Stark is testing his 'jet boots' for the first time. He's immediately flung into the air, impacts a concrete wall at a high rate of speed across the entirety of the front of his body, then falls to the ground. All he says is 'ow'. Nary a broken bone... Comic book movies don't count.

GreyICE
24th November 2008, 10:46 PM
Invisible people (or cloaked ships) being able to see their surroundings.

If a person is completely invisible, then photons either pass through them unimpeded, or they pass around them and continue on their original trajectory. Either way, if the photons do not interact with a person's retina (having passed through unimpeded), then the person sees nothing.

Thus, I submit for your approval, the idea that a completely invisible person sees nothing just as if they were in complete darkness!

Since we already have developed technology that allows invisible people to see things (or, to be perfectly accurate, and give away the method, people indistinguishable from their surroundings), I submit that 24th century technology should have this one in the bag.

Even if we assume perfect photon pass on the way around across all wavelengths, there's a variety of methods to solve the 'can't see anything' problem.

NobbyNobbs
24th November 2008, 10:53 PM
Could do the african or european swallow coconut migration issue too :) but bird aerodynamics and kinematics isn't really my speciality

You could, but depending on where you live, it may be difficult to get your hands on some coconuts. They aren't migratory, you know.

:D

Comic book movies don't count.

Why not?

GreyICE
24th November 2008, 11:05 PM
Why not? For the same reason that Monty Python doesn't - it didn't screw it up. It not only doesn't care, it blatantly laughs at them. It's like complaining about the fact that the border of Terran space in the Fifth Element is an actual physical border, because 'space isn't like that!' It's complaining about the fact that you never hear new tunes when you listen to Weird Al songs. Or complaining that a martial arts movie has too much fighting, and that everyone would use guns in real life.

You have to shoot for a movie where they actually care, like Armageddon, they just arse it up.

fuelair
24th November 2008, 11:16 PM
Good point and along those same lines, spaceships are generally aerodynamically shaped. It seems like a better design would be for the greatest amount of space with the least amount of materials/mass, perhaps the cube of the Borg would be better shape for space travel.
Sphere has the most inside for it's outside.

fuelair
24th November 2008, 11:26 PM
Larry Niven once did a whole essay on how impossible Superman would be, according to the laws of physics. One of the things he speculated about was that, if Lois Lane were actually to get her wish and have a romantic relationship with Superman (this was according to the comic book oeuvre at the time, when Superman was still fending her off), their first physical intimacy would kill her due to the superspeed of Superman's sperm.

"Man of Steel, Woman of Tissue Paper" IIRC:)

Deetee
25th November 2008, 02:37 AM
Have you read the book "the science of harry potter (http://www.amazon.com/Science-Harry-Potter-Magic-Really/dp/0670031534)"?
Fantastic.
I read it a while back. It takes all the physical impossible aspects like levitation for example and subjects them to critical scientific analysis.
You'll get plenty of ideas.
It also had an excellent section on woo and pseudoscience.

AWPrime
25th November 2008, 03:14 AM
Invisible people (or cloaked ships) being able to see their surroundings.

If a person is completely invisible, then photons either pass through them unimpeded, or they pass around them and continue on their original trajectory. Either way, if the photons do not interact with a person's retina (having passed through unimpeded), then the person sees nothing.There is another way. But that relies on active camo or replacing used photons.

wafonso
25th November 2008, 03:27 AM
I'm surprised no one mentioned the curving bullets from "Wanted".

Cuddles
25th November 2008, 04:44 AM
Anything with spaceships. As already mentioned, they make noise, they fly at the wrong speed, they turn wrong, they're the wrong shape, they have too much fuel to fit on board and so on. Pretty much any scene with a spaceship in it will have plenty of things wrong with it.

Anything with asteroids. If you fly through an asteroid field you don't need to dodge anything. You'd be incredibly lucky (or unlucky, depending on how you look at it) to get close enough to even see one.

Anything with explosions. They may look pretty, but Hollywood explosions don't happen in real life. Especially not every single time a car is shot, crashes or has someone look at it a bit funny.

Anything with aliens. OK, so we haven't actually met any, but the one thing we can be pretty sure about is that they don't all look like humans with facepaint. The biggest problem is probably food. Why would something that evolved somewhere completely different from Earth be able to eat our food? Or us? As for breeding, let's just not go there.

Anything with climate. Yes, global warming exists. No, it's not going to start chasing people down corridors.

Anything with guns. Guns have recoil. Magazines don't hold millions of rounds. Bullets don't magically home in on any small pieces of metal like bannisters while carefully avoiding actually hitting anyone.

Basically, anything. The thing is, real physics just doesn't look that good on film. A silent space battle would be really boring. An action film with no explosions would be boring. If the hero herorically escaped by jumping out a window and was left lying on the floor with a couple of broken legs, it just wouldn't work. Similarly, if the hero ran away up the stairs and actually got shot, it wouldn't work. Escaping the bad guys by flying through an asteroid belt would seem a bit odd if it consisted entirely of people looking through a telescope at a faint dot and then getting caught. The problem with a lot of physics in films isn't that it's bad physics, it's just movie physics. There's an important difference between breaking the laws of physics because the director's an idiot and breaking the laws of physics because otherwise the film wouldn't work.

Mashuna
25th November 2008, 04:59 AM
Basically, anything. The thing is, real physics just doesn't look that good on film. A silent space battle would be really boring. An action film with no explosions would be boring. If the hero herorically escaped by jumping out a window and was left lying on the floor with a couple of broken legs, it just wouldn't work. Similarly, if the hero ran away up the stairs and actually got shot, it wouldn't work. Escaping the bad guys by flying through an asteroid belt would seem a bit odd if it consisted entirely of people looking through a telescope at a faint dot and then getting caught. The problem with a lot of physics in films isn't that it's bad physics, it's just movie physics. There's an important difference between breaking the laws of physics because the director's an idiot and breaking the laws of physics because otherwise the film wouldn't work.

Was it Last Action Hero where the on-screen hero comes into the 'real' world, then suddenly finds that he can't punch through car windows without cutting himself, and that gunshot wounds really hurt?

ThatSoundAgain
25th November 2008, 05:49 AM
Basically, anything. The thing is, real physics just doesn't look that good on film. A silent space battle would be really boring. An action film with no explosions would be boring. If the hero herorically escaped by jumping out a window and was left lying on the floor with a couple of broken legs, it just wouldn't work. Similarly, if the hero ran away up the stairs and actually got shot, it wouldn't work. Escaping the bad guys by flying through an asteroid belt would seem a bit odd if it consisted entirely of people looking through a telescope at a faint dot and then getting caught. The problem with a lot of physics in films isn't that it's bad physics, it's just movie physics. There's an important difference between breaking the laws of physics because the director's an idiot and breaking the laws of physics because otherwise the film wouldn't work.

Well, while I enjoy the silly physics of a well made action movie as much as anyone, I wonder how much of it is really just convention.

I mean, it's definitely possible to make a realistic action scene be very interesting. I just rewatched Seven, see the chase scene at John Doe's apartment building for an example. Mills even wears a bandage on his hand afterwards, after not much more than negotiating a fire escape and a busy street.

I think the bullet sparks everywhere etc. sometimes lessens the impact. If guns aren't really dangerous in this fictional world, why am I supposed to be thrilled by the gunplay? It's easy to increase the effects budget and play oneupmanship with the competing summer blockbusters, but there's a difference between making things explode and making me care about the characters' actions and their consequences. Great movies do the latter, and it is very possible to do without resorting to silly physics.

OK, offtopic rant over, I think the movies that lend themselves most to criticism are the ones that are supposed to take place in the real world but take shortcuts due to incompetent writing. No point in going after the Fifth Element, Pirates of the Carribean or Hellraiser, as their premises already involve magic. Go after something like Air Force One that's supposedly rooted in the real world but just fails, or Sunshine which is so close to getting many things right but is annoyingly just a little off.

Horatius
25th November 2008, 08:42 AM
Since we already have developed technology that allows invisible people to see things (or, to be perfectly accurate, and give away the method, people indistinguishable from their surroundings), I submit that 24th century technology should have this one in the bag.

Even if we assume perfect photon pass on the way around across all wavelengths, there's a variety of methods to solve the 'can't see anything' problem.


I discussed some of these issues in another thread a few months back. (http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?postid=3988577#post3988577)

NobbyNobbs
25th November 2008, 08:53 AM
For the same reason that Monty Python doesn't - it didn't screw it up. It not only doesn't care, it blatantly laughs at them. It's like complaining about the fact that the border of Terran space in the Fifth Element is an actual physical border, because 'space isn't like that!' It's complaining about the fact that you never hear new tunes when you listen to Weird Al songs. Or complaining that a martial arts movie has too much fighting, and that everyone would use guns in real life.

You have to shoot for a movie where they actually care, like Armageddon, they just arse it up.

What evidence do you have that the makers of Armageddon cared about physics?

I mean, isn't that the point of this thread? That if they did care, they wouldn't have arsed it up quite so much?

Kestrel
25th November 2008, 09:18 AM
What about the movies with spy satellites that can resolve the razor stubble on the hero's face from orbit? Most modern spy thrillers seem to have these magical devices.

A simple calculation of the Raleigh limit for a device like the Hubble telescope looking at Earth from orbit gives a resolution around 15 cm.

GreyICE
25th November 2008, 09:25 AM
What evidence do you have that the makers of Armageddon cared about physics?

I mean, isn't that the point of this thread? That if they did care, they wouldn't have arsed it up quite so much?

They felt the need to explain themselves. Mir had gravity because it was 'spun really quickly.' The asteroid 'split in two' so momentum was conserved (instead of being knocked off course). They had to go through astronaut training for pete's sake.

Iron Man doesn't care if Tony Stark could in reality build an iron robot while imprisoned in a cave under the watchful eyes of terrorists. The Fifth Element doesn't care if the flying cruise liner in space would have gravity or not. The Hulk doesn't care if a man could gain, say, 10 times his mass and turn big and green.

Criticizing these is silly, because the movie doesn't bother to explain them, and doesn't want explanations. Tony Stark is a genius, of course he could do it. The cruise liner is in space, of course it has artificial gravity. Bruce Banner got hit by gamma radiation. Of course he can turn into a giant green guy.

It's the horrible explanation that makes Armageddon fail physics while those movies just don't even ask to pass muster. If it was the sort of movie where astronauts hopped off into a space station and suddenly there was gravity, no explanation needed or wanted, it wouldn't be a physics problem.

Morrigan
25th November 2008, 10:23 AM
I already posted this before, but here it goes again:

One episode of Alias starts off in Siberia. Sydney is exploring a cave with snow and frost all over. At some point she falls under enemy ambush, who pushes her on an ice sheet. The ice is thin enough to break and she falls in the cold water below.... and as she hurriedly swims back up, the surface of the water instantly freezes, to create an ice barrier thick enough that Sydney cannot break it by hammering furiously on it.

Silly Green Monkey
25th November 2008, 10:29 AM
I'd seen that, and I thought she actually missed the hole in the ice (which is very easy to do in frozen lakes) and instead came up under thick but clear unbroken ice.

technoextreme
25th November 2008, 10:38 AM
They have done lots of movie specials. Just look for the MacGyver (sp?) specials, Jaws special (usually during Shark Week), Old West myths (shooting hats off, etc) and the more recent Ninja specials. They have recently tackled internet videos that have gone viral.

Another pet peeve of mine is when one object is free falling (no drag from parachute), that something else that is dropped (human, car, etc) afterwards can catch up without propulsive assistance (the acceleration of gravity should be the same for both).
Ummm... The Mythbusters proved your pet peeve is possible.

Delvo
25th November 2008, 11:02 AM
Here's a specific scene in a specific movie that you could use for your project, with not only the big obvious standard Hollywood problems but also some subtler ones...

Near the end of the latest "Die Hard" movie, there's a scene in which an F-35B is shooting at a big rig. (In case you don't know, F-35 is the next-generation light fighter jet for the USA and several of its allies, and version B has a downward-pointing fan behind the cockpit and the ability to bend the jet nozzle in the back to point downward and direct small streams of jet bypass air through small nozzles under the wings for balance, so that it can take off and land on very short runways or even vertically. They aren't in service quite yet, but we can say the movie's set a few years in the future.)

Much of what's wrong with the scene is a matter of tactics and how the plane would really be used, rather than how it physically could: engaging a target at pointlessly close range surrounded by other civilian traffic and bridges, fighting a battle in hover mode instead of in straight forward flight when hover mode is really just meant for launches & landings, flying under bridges, getting right in the truck's path at its level near the ground...

But there are some basic impossibilities there, too, that aren't hard to see because the actual main force vectors come from known obvious points on the plane's body and point in known obvious directions, and the plane is frequently shown moving in a way it can't move. It hovers at weird angles that would have made it slide to the left or right, it tips up or down from a hovering position without moving backward or forward, and then, when its front lift fan is ruined while hovering, it doesn't immediately flip rear-up-nose-down as it really would if it still had thrust coming out of the rear nozzle, nor does it immediately fall flat on the ground as it really would if the rear nozzle's thrust were lost; what it does instead is start spinning around a vertical axis like a helicopter that's just lost the use of its tail rotor.

Its guns also did too little damage to the truck, at least on the first time through, if we presume that they were Vulcans. But it could be realistic if you just presume that the plane mysteriously had some much smaller, lighter guns that it wouldn't have had (and that idea actually fits better with the location and number as shown anyway because they showed muzzle flare from two points instead of just one and neither was where an F-35 would actually carry its Vulcan), so that's more of an equipment & design inaccuracy than a physics one. But comparing how little damage was done the first time to how much was done the second time could be a physics problem because whatever kind of weapons we figure that plane had, it had the same ones both times.

On top of that, if you wanted to dig more, you could also check on whether or not the missiles that hit the bridges would really have done the type and amount of damage that's shown, and whether or not the falling bridge fell correctly.

Delvo
25th November 2008, 11:04 AM
Here's a specific scene in a specific movie that you could use for your project, with not only the big obvious standard Hollywood problems but also some subtler ones...

Near the end of the latest "Die Hard" movie, there's a scene in which an F-35B is shooting at a big rig. (In case you don't know, F-35 is the next-generation light fighter jet for the USA and several of its allies, and version B has a downward-pointing fan behind the cockpit and the ability to bend the jet nozzle in the back to point downward and direct small streams of jet bypass air through small nozzles under the wings for balance, so that it can take off and land on very short runways or even vertically. They aren't in service quite yet, but we can say the movie's set a few years in the future.)

Much of what's wrong with the scene is a matter of tactics and how the plane would really be used, rather than how it physically could: engaging a target at pointlessly close range surrounded by other civilian traffic and bridges, fighting a battle in hover mode instead of in straight forward flight when hover mode is really just meant for launches & landings, flying under bridges, getting right in the truck's path at its level near the ground...

But there are some basic impossibilities there, too, that aren't hard to see because the actual main force vectors come from known obvious points on the plane's body and point in known obvious directions, and the plane is frequently shown moving in a way it can't move. It hovers at weird angles that would have made it slide to the left or right, it tips up or down from a hovering position without moving backward or forward, and then, when its front lift fan is ruined while hovering, it doesn't immediately flip rear-up-nose-down as it really would if it still had thrust coming out of the rear nozzle, nor does it immediately fall flat on the ground as it really would if the rear nozzle's thrust were lost; what it does instead is start spinning around a vertical axis like a helicopter that's just lost the use of its tail rotor.

Its guns also did too little damage to the truck, at least on the first time through, if we presume that they were Vulcans. But it could be realistic if you just presume that the plane mysteriously had some much smaller, lighter guns that it wouldn't have had (and that idea actually fits better with the location and number as shown anyway because they showed muzzle flare from two points instead of just one and neither was where an F-35 would actually carry its Vulcan), so that's more of an equipment & design inaccuracy than a physics one. But comparing how little damage was done the first time to how much was done the second time could be a physics problem because whatever kind of weapons we figure that plane had, it had the same ones both times.

On top of that, if you wanted to dig more, you could also check on whether or not the missiles that hit the bridges would really have done the type and amount of damage that's shown, and whether or not the falling bridge fell correctly.

Starthinker
25th November 2008, 12:08 PM
They felt the need to explain themselves. Mir had gravity because it was 'spun really quickly.' The asteroid 'split in two' so momentum was conserved (instead of being knocked off course). They had to go through astronaut training for pete's sake.

Iron Man doesn't care if Tony Stark could in reality build an iron robot while imprisoned in a cave under the watchful eyes of terrorists. The Fifth Element doesn't care if the flying cruise liner in space would have gravity or not. The Hulk doesn't care if a man could gain, say, 10 times his mass and turn big and green.

Criticizing these is silly, because the movie doesn't bother to explain them, and doesn't want explanations. Tony Stark is a genius, of course he could do it. The cruise liner is in space, of course it has artificial gravity. Bruce Banner got hit by gamma radiation. Of course he can turn into a giant green guy.

It's the horrible explanation that makes Armageddon fail physics while those movies just don't even ask to pass muster. If it was the sort of movie where astronauts hopped off into a space station and suddenly there was gravity, no explanation needed or wanted, it wouldn't be a physics problem.

Funny you should mention that. In my latest book aliens are pestered by humans on how their ship is propelled and how the artificial gravity works. They explain that they flip a switch in the control room. The humans are frustrated because that doesn't explain how it works. In the end, the aliens admit that the ship was built by the lowest bidder and the contracter didn't want other contractors to know their industrial secrets so they simply don't know how it works. I prefer to work around technobable.

Ashles
25th November 2008, 12:20 PM
I can't believe no-one has mentioned the invisible car from Die Another Day.

And no it is not 'adaptive camouflage', it is completely invisible which is completely impossible (unless someone builds a car smaller than the wavelength of a light beam).

I always wondered how you make wing mirrors invisible.

Ashles
25th November 2008, 12:22 PM
Armageddon is fairly benchmark for physics stupidity.

I love the fact that they made a big deal of the fact they consulted with NASA for the film.

The consultation must have gone like this:

Michael Bay: "So, that's our film. What did you think of it?"
NASA: "Well you got lots of things wrong."
MB: "I don't really care."
N: "Oh."
MB: "Thanks, bye."

kbm99
25th November 2008, 01:07 PM
"Man of Steel, Woman of Tissue Paper" IIRC:)

Close. It's "Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex" (http://www.rawbw.com/~svw/superman.html).

Chris Haynes
25th November 2008, 01:32 PM
Ummm... The Mythbusters proved your pet peeve is possible.

I saw it, it was a special case and involved drag.

Show me where a person can catch up to a gun or knife thrown before they jump after it, and I'll concede the point.

GreyICE
25th November 2008, 01:45 PM
I saw it, it was a special case and involved drag.

Show me where a person can catch up to a gun or knife thrown before they jump after it, and I'll concede the point.
Not to say any given movie was correct about anything, but the 'special case' of drag occurs in any motion on earth. If you're skydiving from space, you have all sorts of other issues. The 'special case' of drag is about as relevant as the 'special case' of gravity. Please do not pay too much attention to those diagrams in your physics book. 45 degrees is not the ideal angle to fire a projectile for maximum range, drag cannot be neglected in real motion, and masses are not ideal.

Tsukasa Buddha
25th November 2008, 01:55 PM
I just saw in Twilight where characters move super fast also make super fast parabolas when they jump, which is just silly. Their vertical velocity should slow, stop, and then increase downwards just like any other persons, they would just be able to get higher.

Also, when characters have the ability to move through things/can't touch anything, yet they still walk around. Clearly, they are still being effected by gravity and thus should fall through the floor. But even so, to be able to walk requires friction with the ground, which obviously would be impossible if they can't touch anything (See: X-Men, Star Trek).

Also, I think Battlestar Galactica got spaceship things mostly right, at least in the beginning.

ETA: Oh, and there is also the issue of how they are breathing/talking.

Chris Haynes
25th November 2008, 01:59 PM
I saw it, it was a special case and involved drag.

Show me where a person can catch up to a gun or knife thrown before they jump after it, and I'll concede the point.

Looked it up at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MythBusters_(season_5 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MythBusters_(season_5)) and noted that it was "By streamlining their body, a person can catch up to another person freefalling at terminal velocity in the skydiving position with a fifteen second head-start from 15,000 feet (4,600 m)."

The streamlining is changing the drag. It is a special case... most of time when I see it does not involve that. I have seen James Bond use the streamline to catch up to someone in a parachute, that does not count.

Not to say any given movie was correct about anything, but the 'special case' of drag occurs in any motion on earth. If you're skydiving from space, you have all sorts of other issues. The 'special case' of drag is about as relevant as the 'special case' of gravity. Please do not pay too much attention to those diagrams in your physics book. 45 degrees is not the ideal angle to fire a projectile for maximum range, drag cannot be neglected in real motion, and masses are not ideal.

Now you just over thinking it. Given that I have done power required/power available flight envelope curves with graphs and tables back in the day when we carried our computer programs on cards around in boxes, I think I have a handle on the physics.

I am going to have check which movies it is when I see one next time... and document it. Though usually it is often over too short a distance (not thousands of feet), and often going after somthing smaller (like the hero diving after a discarded weapon).

NobbyNobbs
25th November 2008, 02:07 PM
I saw it, it was a special case and involved drag.

Show me where a person can catch up to a gun or knife thrown before they jump after it, and I'll concede the point.


Show us a case where something falls out of a plane and there isn't any drag.

The last time I saw James Bond catch up to someone coming out of a plane, he did it the same way Mythbusters did it...by streamlining his body, and diving.

ZirconBlue
25th November 2008, 02:34 PM
Show us a case where something falls out of a plane and there isn't any drag.

The last time I saw James Bond catch up to someone coming out of a plane, he did it the same way Mythbusters did it...by streamlining his body, and diving.

I think Hydrogen Cyanide is referring to cases where the person catches up to an object that should have less drag than a skydiving person.

tomwaits
25th November 2008, 03:03 PM
Ghostbusters

GreyICE
25th November 2008, 03:27 PM
Looked it up at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MythBusters_(season_5 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MythBusters_(season_5)) and noted that it was "By streamlining their body, a person can catch up to another person freefalling at terminal velocity in the skydiving position with a fifteen second head-start from 15,000 feet (4,600 m)."

The streamlining is changing the drag. It is a special case... most of time when I see it does not involve that. I have seen James Bond use the streamline to catch up to someone in a parachute, that does not count.
Hey, that works perfectly well! Certainly a man without a parachute can catch up to someone with a parachute, that's rather the point of the parachute.

Modulating your velocity so you can actually grab him is a bit of a trick.


Now you just over thinking it. Given that I have done power required/power available flight envelope curves with graphs and tables back in the day when we carried our computer programs on cards around in boxes, I think I have a handle on the physics.

I am going to have check which movies it is when I see one next time... and document it. Though usually it is often over too short a distance (not thousands of feet), and often going after somthing smaller (like the hero diving after a discarded weapon). I've done basics with pencil and paper, and advanced in actual languages (sorry, those punch cards, despite being awesome, are... not awesome at all). I'm just saying, special cases where you can neglect drag don't exist.

P.S. Yes, catching up to a gun/rocket launcher/nuclear warhead is impossible, period, the end, game over. Though theoretically I don't see a problem with riding a nuclear warhead waving your cowboy hat in the air.

Chris Haynes
25th November 2008, 11:04 PM
Oh, goody... I am contentious!

Yes, again I mean when the drag of the object dropped first is the same or less!

No parachutes, no streamlining, and over too short a distance (before terminal velocity is reached). I know I've seen it, but don't remember where (probably cartoons and bad action movies), but truthfully I am going to have to document specific cases next time I bring this up. (I think I might look more closely at True Lies (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0111503/), but since Cameron majored in physics it might not be there).

Is this a good time to bring up my problem with the Alien (or Aliens) movie is that when Ripley is in her big yellow cargo loader suit and opens the cargo door in space that there is no decompression? I might be remembering it wrong. :D

alfaniner
26th November 2008, 12:22 AM
Is this a good time to bring up my problem with the Alien (or Aliens) movie is that when Ripley is in her big yellow cargo loader suit and opens the cargo door in space that there is no decompression? I might be remembering it wrong. :D

I think so... a good five minutes was spent with her and Newt and Bishop fighting the effects...

ThatSoundAgain
26th November 2008, 01:51 AM
Yeah, the decrompression was the whole point. You might be thinking of the scene where she opens the bay door and stands there, "high noon" - style, ready to kick ass. In that instance, she came from the cargo bay next door, which would be pressurized.

shadron
26th November 2008, 05:00 AM
My first thought on this subject is always Armageddon. There are so many bad things in that movie, but the one that always gets me is this.

They start rotating the Russian space station before the shuttles have docked, ostensibly to "provide gravity to make work easier".

Is it easier to jump on a merry-go-round when it is stationary, or after it has started moving? Think about the incredible maneuvering it would require to attach to a spinning hub as opposed to a static one.

I hope this is enough to get you going...

Heh. In the 80s I worked on a program called the Teleoperator Retrieval System, that was going to dock a rocket to the Space Lab and boost it up to a higher orbit. We were doing feasibility studies for the controls to be used on a six-degree-of-freedom simulator at 1/4 scale. The actual SpaceLab was beyond it's orientation fuel, and "coning" uncontrollably, that is, rolling about an oblique axis so that the center axis line through the docking port was describin a cone in the sky behind it, with about a 2 minutes per rotation speed. In a mockup of the space shuttle work space we mounted controls and connected them to the simulator through a computer and modelled various conrol methods. Most of us failed to be able to dock with the SpaceLab sim.

One of the early shuttle astronauts (Pete Loutsma, I think) flew himself out to Denver, trundled out to our simulator-in-the-mountains, grabbed the controls and docked the rocket to the station perfectly under six different control regimes, with minimal fuel expended. No practice required, just bam-bam-bam-bam-bam-bam, and he flew off in his trainer back to Houston.

The moral to the story is that all that training the astronauts recieve for years on end at Johnson center does have real world consequences.

The TRS was cancelled when the atmosphere expanded outwards under high solar heating and shortened the SpaceLab remaining life from three years to six months. It eventually re-entered, raining down some pieces on western Australia.

shadron
26th November 2008, 05:43 AM
Another pet peeve of mine is when one object is free falling (no drag from parachute), that something else that is dropped (human, car, etc) afterwards can catch up without propulsive assistance (the acceleration of gravity should be the same for both).

One show of the Mythbusters concerned the ability of a bullet fired up in the air to injure someone on the ground. Without drag, the bullet would presumably be traveling at muzzle velocity when it struck ground, having done the whole kinetic->potential->kinetic energy thing. However, they determined that the terminal velocity of a 45 bullet is about 200 fps (that is, it accelerates downward from the high point until it reaches 200 fps and the remaining PE goes entirely into making the air before the bullet get out of the way). They showed that that speed wouldn't normally penetrate the skull, and then experimentally validated it, though much trial and tribulation. It seems that in the case when a person is killed from a far-away rifle shot it is mostly the horizontal velocity component that does the work, and the fact that the target is more vulnerable horizontally or obliquely than vertically.

The point is that 200 fps is very low compared to what can be reached without drag (vertically, less than seven seconds to reach TV, over 1600 ft of distance). For a human body spreadeagled TV is about 200 fps (120 mph), while the record for freefall velocity of a human is about 900 fps (614 mph). So it is possible to catch up to someone when they cooperate, and they have enough altitude.

Mathematically, terminal velocity is sqrt((2mg)/(pAC)), so it is (non-linearly) proportional to the mass and inversely to the air density (p) and the cross sectional area (A) of the object. g is the gravitational constant and C is the coefficient of drag for the medium, a constant for air. Air density inceases for lower altitude at 1% per 80 meters.

As for catching up with a knofe, the tendency of most objects falling through atmosphere tends to be to orient for maximum cross sectional area (just dropping a deck of playing cards one at a time with various orientations should make that point). A knife falling flat side down would be fairly slow (low mass and high x-section). Unless you put fins on the knife, I think its doable, though I wouldn't count on it in a life-or-death situation.

Almo
26th November 2008, 08:41 AM
Steven Segal running through a crashing train to keep ahead of the compression wave. o_0 Happened in Under Seige II.

Cuddles
26th November 2008, 08:52 AM
Steven Segal running through a crashing train to keep ahead of the compression wave. o_0 Happened in Under Seige II.

Yeah, but Steven Segal would kick the laws of physics' ass.

alfaniner
26th November 2008, 09:25 AM
...

One of the early shuttle astronauts (Pete Loutsma, I think) flew himself out to Denver, trundled out to our simulator-in-the-mountains, grabbed the controls and docked the rocket to the station perfectly under six different control regimes, with minimal fuel expended. No practice required, just bam-bam-bam-bam-bam-bam, and he flew off in his trainer back to Houston.

The moral to the story is that all that training the astronauts recieve for years on end at Johnson center does have real world consequences.


Good point -- I guess the scene in Armageddon was not against the laws of physics, just against logic. (Should have been dock, then spin, not spin, then dock.)

grayman
26th November 2008, 10:21 AM
Good point -- I guess the scene in Armageddon was not against the laws of physics, just against logic. (Should have been dock, then spin, not spin, then dock.)


This reminds me of one of the greatest sci-fi scenes ever:

prjWY0rwM_U

I had to add this. Off topic a bit, but a scene from the same film, with dialogue from another show melded in:

BuGnT1EYvBA

I laugh every time I watch it.

Almo
26th November 2008, 11:21 AM
Yeah, but Steven Segal would kick the laws of physics' ass.

I doubt that. I've heard rumors that he's in fact a skilled martial artist, but nothing I've seen in his movies would lead me to believe that. Too much editing. Though I've only seen a couple of his films as they SUCK so badly.

Morrigan
26th November 2008, 11:31 AM
I'd seen that, and I thought she actually missed the hole in the ice (which is very easy to do in frozen lakes) and instead came up under thick but clear unbroken ice.

Hmm, now that you say this you have put a small doubt in my mind, but I am fairly certain I remember the ice actually "sealing up". The hole wasn't small, after all, she was thrown on the ice and it broke under her weight (which means it wasn't that thick either, so surely she could have broken it back by pummeling it, even if her fists aren't as strong as her being thrown).

Edit: I googled around a bit and the water does freeze back instantly. Apparently (I had forgotten this detail), Dickson even warns her beforehand, "Watch your step. If you fall through the ice, it'll freeze over in four seconds."

steve s
26th November 2008, 11:37 AM
I can't remember which one it was in, but there was one scene where a character in zero gravity was making a rotating (on its long axis) model of a DNA double helix out of M&Ms floating in the cabin in front of him.

This was obvious ******** as the M&Ms would have traveled in straight lines rather than revolving around an imaginary axis.


There was a scene in 2001 where Dr. Floyd is on the shuttle to the space station. He's asleep in his chair and there's a pen floating in the air. The pen travels in a circular arc instead of a straight line. The reason for the arc was that they attached the pen to a large plate of glass and then rotated the glass.

Steve S.

steve s
26th November 2008, 11:43 AM
I remember the mythbusters episode about being shot failing to throw one back... the problem I had is that I feel they missed one detail.

In fact I don't expect this to work, but I'm annoyed they didn't try it... they had the firearm hit the ballistics gel representing human skin etc. BUT they didn't test the effect if it were a bone hit instead of a flesh hit all the way through.

Wouldn't it have been a better result if they'd put an armature inside the ballistics gel, and made sure one of their trials hit the "bone"?

They did do a test where they put a bullet proof vest on the dummy to make sure that the bullet didn't just pass right through it.

Steve S.

Emerson Street
26th November 2008, 11:48 AM
Wanted, Bend the bullet http://www.moviesonline.ca/TheFeed/index.php?id=wanted-bulletcurve It hurts.

steve s
26th November 2008, 11:50 AM
My favorite from a recent Movie is in Iron Man. Tony Stark is testing his 'jet boots' for the first time. He's immediately flung into the air, impacts a concrete wall at a high rate of speed across the entirety of the front of his body, then falls to the ground. All he says is 'ow'. Nary a broken bone...

That was my favorite scene in the movie. I was laughing out loud when he did that. As someone else pointed out, comic book movies shouldn't be scrutinized to closely. It's like arguing that spiderman couldn't really shoot webs out of his wrist.



I caught the final few minutes of Armageddon the other night. When the space shuttle is returning and approaching the runway, you here the sound of jet engines as it passes by the camera. I got a chuckle out of that.

Steve S.

steve s
26th November 2008, 12:01 PM
It seems that in the case when a person is killed from a far-away rifle shot it is mostly the horizontal velocity component that does the work, and the fact that the target is more vulnerable horizontally or obliquely than vertically.



In that episode they talked to a doctor who said that he knew "for a fact that a bullet travelling at terminal velocity can kill." I wish the MBs had done a better job of clarifying that the bullet that killed that man never slowed down to terminal velocity.

If they had the police report, they would have known where the bullet was fired from and where it hit, giving them the distance. They'd know the muzzle velocity from the type of gun. They could estimate the angle at which it was fired as well as the speed at which it hit (roughly.) It would have been nice if they had taken the time to do that.

Steve S.

Chris Haynes
26th November 2008, 12:20 PM
Yeah, the decrompression was the whole point. You might be thinking of the scene where she opens the bay door and stands there, "high noon" - style, ready to kick ass. In that instance, she came from the cargo bay next door, which would be pressurized.

Yeah, that is the one... it is just her and the alien. Though I remember the door being opened to shove the alien out.

ThatSoundAgain
26th November 2008, 01:36 PM
Sorry, could have been more elaborate.
Ripley in the loader comes in from the cargo bay next door as the alien queen is hunting around for Newt, the young girl, who's hiding beneath the floor panels. Bishop, the android, has been ripped in half at the waist while trying to protect her.

The depressurising happens at the end of the sequence, after the big fight. Ripley has jammed the inner airlock door with the loader, and opens the outer door. The alien queen is blown out while everyone else manage to hang on to something.

Spoiler tags probably not necessary, but you never know.

Corsair 115
26th November 2008, 01:40 PM
(I think I might look more closely at True Lies (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0111503/), but since Cameron majored in physics it might not be there).


Well, there's this from the climax of the movie: the bad guy is hanging by his backpack straps off of what appears to be a Sidewinder missile. The hero fires the missile from his Harrier jet, which then, in spite of all that extra weight hanging off the front of the missile, flies straight and true through an opening in a building to impact and destroy a helicopter flown by some henchmen of the bad guy.

Prometheus
26th November 2008, 02:38 PM
IIRC there's a scene in King of New York (I think) in which a cop handcuffed to a piece of furniture shoots the handcuff chain to break it and escape. Seems to me, this maneuver would be more likely to break his wrist.

Horatius
27th November 2008, 07:03 AM
Edit: I googled around a bit and the water does freeze back instantly. Apparently (I had forgotten this detail), Dickson even warns her beforehand, "Watch your step. If you fall through the ice, it'll freeze over in four seconds."



Which of course, makes it even worse. If it's that cold, the ice would likely be a couple of feet thick, and falling through it wouldn't be any kind of concern. People around here routinely drive cars and trucks on river ice when it's not anywhere near that cold!

malbui
27th November 2008, 07:11 AM
I always wondered how you make wing mirrors invisible.


You should check out the ones on my car. They must be invisible to everyone else, judging by the number of times they get knocked around.

alfaniner
27th November 2008, 09:08 AM
Which of course, makes it even worse. If it's that cold, the ice would likely be a couple of feet thick, and falling through it wouldn't be any kind of concern. People around here routinely drive cars and trucks on river ice when it's not anywhere near that cold!

I haven't seen it, but it seems that if it's thin enough to fall through, it should be thin enough to break through.

Morrigan
27th November 2008, 12:06 PM
Which of course, makes it even worse. If it's that cold, the ice would likely be a couple of feet thick, and falling through it wouldn't be any kind of concern. People around here routinely drive cars and trucks on river ice when it's not anywhere near that cold!

Yup. I don't even think if there's any place on Earth cold enough to freeze water within 4 seconds (and freeze it hard enough that you can't break through it!). I swear, when we saw that scene, my boyfriend and I laughed so hard we had to pause, and we still get a chuckle over it (and not just because Sydney would have immediately become paralysed, and died very quickly, in water that cold). There's bad science on TV, and then there's bad science that defies even simple, well-known scientific concepts that any child will know. Haven't these writers ever tried to set ice cubes in their freezers before?

I haven't seen it, but it seems that if it's thin enough to fall through, it should be thin enough to break through.
Falling down will give more strength to the blow against the ice than punching upward, but yeah, the whole scene was ridiculous anyway.

shadron
29th November 2008, 08:36 AM
No, you're right. It simply would not be possible to pull the latent heat of freezing out of a body of liquid water more than a few millimeters thick through air contact fast enough to freeze it over in four seconds. Further, once an thin piece of ice had congealed, it would insulate the water below from further heat loss by restricting conduction and eliminating convection to the surface entirely. Icing is a slow, steady process even at very low temperatures; flash freezing is only available in very special circumstances, and still doesn't mean what they are implying in the movie. The water, if it is liquid, is no lower than 32 degrees F regardless of the air temperature. Of course, a human immersed in 32 degree water won't last long; perhaps 10 to 15 minutes.

GreyICE
29th November 2008, 03:08 PM
Well, there's this from the climax of the movie: the bad guy is hanging by his backpack straps off of what appears to be a Sidewinder missile. The hero fires the missile from his Harrier jet, which then, in spite of all that extra weight hanging off the front of the missile, flies straight and true through an opening in a building to impact and destroy a helicopter flown by some henchmen of the bad guy. Given true lies is a parody of the action movie genre, I think they knew this.

Brendy
30th November 2008, 10:21 AM
Good point and along those same lines, spaceships are generally aerodynamically shaped. It seems like a better design would be for the greatest amount of space with the least amount of materials/mass, perhaps the cube of the Borg would be better shape for space travel.

Thats because those same spaceships have to land on planets with an atsmophere. They need to be aerodynamic.

Spud1k
1st December 2008, 04:41 AM
Late joiner, haven't had time to read all of these, so sorry if these has been already brought up.

Stars moving in the background when you see a spaceship flying are a pet peeve of mine. Not even 2001 got that one right. Other things that wind me up are hand grenades making big red fireballs, bullets giving off sparks when they hit things, people getting electrocuted in water when there is no circuit, virtually any depiction of a nuclear reactor going wrong and of course, cars that explode whenever they take so much as a dink to the bumper.

From an atmospheric science perspective, The Day After Tomorrow is all complete bunk, although admittedly the producers didn't pretend otherwise. A bunch of us from my group went to see it together at the cinema but had an amnesty on pointing out faults. I had to stop myself laughing when they explained the whole freezing helicopter thing though (I can give someone the list of things wrong with that if anyone wants). The one accurate bit I saw was that Dennis Quaid was using a Zarges aluminium box (http://www.zargesuk.co.uk/page.cfm?PageID=371&CatalogueID=90) to keep equipment in; I spend half my life hauling those things around.

Wudang
1st December 2008, 07:54 AM
Re someone catching up with a falling object - how about James Bond in Goldeneye? About 4:40 in he catches a plane.
QH0-2R2ArV4

The space movie with the M&Ms was "Mission to Mars". I may misremember but my problem was that I recall the M&Ms staying still when the air currents from his movements should have them drifting away even assuming he could place them and let go so deftly that they were static.

roger
1st December 2008, 02:36 PM
Thats because those same spaceships have to land on planets with an atsmophere. They need to be aerodynamic.Why? We are positing a ship capable of FTL travel, the capacity to stay in space for long periods (hence enormous energy reserves), yet somehow doesn't have the capability for a slow descent in the atmosphere, and has to sort of fly in like the essentially unfueled shuttle? I'm not sure this makes sense. In every scene they seem to come in, hover, and settle to a landing, proving they have sufficient thrust to directly fight gravity. They don't require 3 mile runways - they aren't landing aerodynamically.

Chris Haynes
3rd December 2008, 10:32 AM
Re someone catching up with a falling object - how about James Bond in Goldeneye? About 4:40 in he catches a plane.
....

That one bothers me. Also, since the plane is initially powered and goes off the cliff it would have acted like a glider and not immediately go into a dive (did it stall?). If I had the time (not today!) I would try to do some of the calculations.

Last night my kids and I watched Monday's episode of "Heroes" on the DVR. All throughout we were commenting that the solar eclipse seemed to cover a large amount of the planet at the same time (Haiti and several parts of the USA), and went on and on and on and on much longer than a real eclipse.

Of course it is a program about people who can travel in time and space, throw electricity and fire, fly, heal, etc. I think because these guys are so invulnerable they story is repeating, and has jumped the shark.

Though the bits in the comic book store was fun (it had Seth Green!).

Corsair 115
3rd December 2008, 02:16 PM
Given true lies is a parody of the action movie genre, I think they knew this.I never got the sense it was a parody. It seemed to me it was more Cameron's version of a James Bond movie.

In any event, I recommend the film to anyone wanting to know how to film action sequences. The cinematography is outstanding.

Furcifer
3rd December 2008, 04:00 PM
Wanted, Bend the bullet http://www.moviesonline.ca/TheFeed/index.php?id=wanted-bulletcurve It hurts.

This scene is currently running in the promo for the DVD, it drives me nuts.

When someone or something picks up a very large object with a very small hand probably tops the list of movie absurdity for me.

Anytime my science fiction gets tainted by fatasy I die a little. No one even bothers with coming up with "Heisenberg Compensators" these days. It's pathetic :(

GreyICE
3rd December 2008, 09:32 PM
I never got the sense it was a parody. It seemed to me it was more Cameron's version of a James Bond movie.

In any event, I recommend the film to anyone wanting to know how to film action sequences. The cinematography is outstanding.

Hmm? There was a chance sequence between a motercycle and a HORSE. Then the horse and the motercycle were in an elevator, and riding up? The jumping into the pool?

I think people are insensitive to actual parody because of the scary movie style stupid spoof that people do (or Austin Powers). True Lies was definitely a parody, no question. I think Cameron called it an Action-Comedy, but it pokes immense amount of fun at the genre as a whole.

Slimething
3rd December 2008, 11:24 PM
When someone or something picks up a very large object with a very small hand probably tops the list of movie absurdity for me.

I get irritated at scenes where a bionic person lifts anything a normal human can't without bones breaking or their spines collapsing.

Dating myself (no one else will) but there's a scene in Ice Station Zebra where a sub is in danger of being bashed in by giant chunks of sinking ice.

Spud1k
4th December 2008, 05:32 AM
OK, just thought of another one. That bit at the end of Finding Nemo where the 3/4 full bags of water float far too high in the water. Not sure why that one in particular winds me up.

Just thinking
4th December 2008, 06:21 AM
Not sure if anyone brought this one up ... but in all those movies that take place in very cold environments (including many a Christmas film) there is seldom seen if ever visible condensation from people's breath. For those handful of films that go to the trouble to get this right, you can easily see how it makes a huge difference in believability.

Just thinking
4th December 2008, 06:26 AM
OK, just thought of another one. That bit at the end of Finding Nemo where the 3/4 full bags of water float far too high in the water. Not sure why that one in particular winds me up.

Me too. And what's even more amazing is how much trouble the technical staff went through to get so many other things right, like the refractions/reflections in the aquarium tank, or the rapid slowing down of the bolts flying off the submarine hatch as they would underwater from Bruce's pounding.

Just thinking
4th December 2008, 06:31 AM
... Stars moving in the background when you see a spaceship flying are a pet peeve of mine. Not even 2001 got that one right.

Besides going through the Stargate (which was not conventional in any sense of the word), where was this noticeable?

Spud1k
4th December 2008, 06:40 AM
Not sure if anyone brought this one up ... but in all those movies that take place in very cold environments (including many a Christmas film) there is seldom seen if ever visible condensation from people's breath. For those handful of films that go to the trouble to get this right, you can easily see how it makes a huge difference in believability.

I can let some of the earlier films off the hook because it used to be difficult to achieve. Part of The Exorcist was famously shot in a meat freezer specifically to get that effect. The first film to do this right digitally was Titanic and the code they developed has been recycled since then.

OK, here's another one: People running and fighting atop a fast-moving truck/train/whatever and only getting a token breeze in their face if anything. The Matrix Reloaded is a good example of this, even if they do have a very good excuse.

Spud1k
4th December 2008, 06:54 AM
Besides going through the Stargate (which was not conventional in any sense of the word), where was this noticeable?

When you see the Discovery from the outside, in some scenes there is a slowly moving starfield in the background (IIRC, I may have to double-check the DVD).

Mind you, if the POV was at a distant, slower-moving point of reference and the camera angle was panning around, I suppose you could let that slip on those grounds...

Just thinking
4th December 2008, 07:35 AM
When you see the Discovery from the outside, in some scenes there is a slowly moving starfield in the background (IIRC, I may have to double-check the DVD).

Mind you, if the POV was at a distant, slower-moving point of reference and the camera angle was panning around, I suppose you could let that slip on those grounds...

Yes, this is true ... but I got the impression that we were thinking of the Star Trek variety of moving stars.

BTW, during the Orion docking with the rotating space station, the star fields were correct from both frames of reference.

GreyICE
4th December 2008, 07:42 AM
OK, just thought of another one. That bit at the end of Finding Nemo where the 3/4 full bags of water float far too high in the water. Not sure why that one in particular winds me up.

Well it would depend a lot on the saline content of both (for a quick demonstration of this, you can spill water over the edges of a glass by melting an ice cube in it, as long as its salt water).

Just thinking
4th December 2008, 08:51 AM
Well it would depend a lot on the saline content of both (for a quick demonstration of this, you can spill water over the edges of a glass by melting an ice cube in it, as long as its salt water).

Sorry, but even if true, these were fish that were going back to their habitat, which had to be virtually identical to the salinity of the aquarium, otherwise how would they have survived?

GreyICE
4th December 2008, 10:35 AM
Sorry, but even if true, these were fish that were going back to their habitat, which had to be virtually identical to the salinity of the aquarium, otherwise how would they have survived?

Well that's a whole different issue ;)

Corsair 115
5th December 2008, 01:44 PM
Hmm? There was a chance sequence between a motercycle and a HORSE. Then the horse and the motercycle were in an elevator, and riding up? The jumping into the pool? Is any of that really any more outlandish than what occurred in the James Bond movies with Roger Moore? Beside, one could argue it was an attempt to do something different. Car chases have been done plenty. But a horse chasing a vehicle? Now that's something not done too often (Raiders of the Lost Ark notwithstanding).

I think Cameron called it an Action-Comedy, but it pokes immense amount of fun at the genre as a whole.I can agree with that. I just never thought of it as parody, but rather as an action movie light on the reality side of the action (which, really, most action movies are).

Prometheus
5th December 2008, 04:38 PM
Anyone seen the French movie (http://movies.nytimes.com/movie/145650/La-Totale-/overview) that True Lies is a remake of?

Harpyja
5th December 2008, 06:11 PM
This may not count, but the scene from Twilight where Edward and the rest of the vampires are playing baseball. They have to play only during a thunderstorm, because they hit the ball so hard with their bats it makes a thunderous cracking sound. I'm not much of a physics buff, but something about that seems inherently wrong.

gnome
6th December 2008, 08:21 AM
The Matrix Reloaded is a good example of this, even if they do have a very good excuse.

That the movie sucked?

The Man
7th December 2008, 01:00 PM
I get irritated at scenes where a bionic person lifts anything a normal human can't without bones breaking or their spines collapsing.

Dating myself (no one else will) but there's a scene in Ice Station Zebra where a sub is in danger of being bashed in by giant chunks of sinking ice.


Are you sure you are not thinking of "Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea" I do not recall such a scene in “Ice Station Zebra”?

Frozenwolf150
7th December 2008, 01:50 PM
There was an interesting discussion on Jurassic Park a few months ago. I'll post the relevant link.

http://people.hofstra.edu/J_B_Bennington/publications/JPerrors.html

This isn't to say that the list is without mistakes itself. Velociraptors, like all dinosaurs, would have been warm-blooded.

One major detail that's not on the list is that the carnivorous dinosaurs, especially the T. rex, waste a hell of a lot of energy trying to eat the little humans. Your average T. rex could not have afforded to run after a Jeep just to get at the 68 kg humans riding inside. This book preview (http://books.google.com/books?id=aQM8bQQFJcYC&pg=PA240&lpg=PA240&dq=&source=web&ots=HHyJVCgBxP&sig=UVi4nsi6Wi3FJ2j4DvU_wzL7iGY&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=3&ct=result) has a humorous take on how many lawyers a warm-blooded T. rex would have to eat in a year. :D

Ausmerican
7th December 2008, 01:58 PM
One that is overused and doesn't break the laws of physics, just the reality factor has always bothered me.

The 'mad genius bomber' that has so many incredibly complex ways of wiring the device that our heroic bomb disposal expert is a heartbeat from death with every bomb he comes across. Has this ever happened IRL?

One would think that the smartest idea would be to just put the bomb where it won't be found until boom time.

And from the little I understand the basic idea of a bomb is a pretty simple device. It shouldn't matter how many hundred wires etc you have attached, seperating the explosive compound from the detonator or the power supply should be it.

gnome
7th December 2008, 02:11 PM
What if the detonator or power supply is wired in parallel redundant connections?

VisionFromFeeling
7th December 2008, 02:22 PM
alfaniner:
Your little blue man is so cute hopping around with that Santa hat! PLEASE post something, anything, on my thread so that we can see it there too! :)

Delvo
7th December 2008, 02:50 PM
There was an interesting discussion on Jurassic Park a few months ago. I'll post the relevant link.

http://people.hofstra.edu/J_B_Bennington/publications/JPerrors.html

This isn't to say that the list is without mistakes itself. Velociraptors, like all dinosaurs, would have been warm-blooded.

One major detail that's not on the list is that the carnivorous dinosaurs, especially the T. rex, waste a hell of a lot of energy trying to eat the little humans. Your average T. rex could not have afforded to run after a Jeep just to get at the 68 kg humans riding inside. This book preview (http://books.google.com/books?id=aQM8bQQFJcYC&pg=PA240&lpg=PA240&dq=&source=web&ots=HHyJVCgBxP&sig=UVi4nsi6Wi3FJ2j4DvU_wzL7iGY&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=3&ct=result) has a humorous take on how many lawyers a warm-blooded T. rex would have to eat in a year. :DOf the two things in that movie that bugged me the most, that page included one of them: a brachiosauroid standing up on its rear legs, which only non-brachiosauroid sauropods were ever thought to do. It's not just a matter of getting some obscure theory wrong in some detail; that was so obviously wrong it even LOOKED all wrong, just at a glance, without having to think about equations from a physics class, because we all have experience with reaching for things and balancing things so we all generally have a feel for how that kind of movement and weight-carrying works. Breaking rules to make something look better, I can understand, but why break rules in a way that just makes it look screwed up and weird?

The most grating thing, though, was not mentioned on that page: the explanation about all vertebrates being inherently female and just needing something to make them male, so you can get an all-female population by denying them that. That myth is bad enough in context of mammals, where you can see some reason why someone might make that mistake. But other vertebrates use completely different methods of determining sex. In birds it's exactly the opposite (males have two of the same sex chromosome and females have one of each of two kinds of sex chromosome), and in ectotherms other than a very few fish species it's not genetic at all, and in some of those non-genetic cases, it can even change during life... and to top it off, the same movie even included that last fact in the resolution to the SAME plot point that raised this issue in the first place! How can you start off by saying something, ANYthing, is true of all vertebrates, and then later resolve that SAME plot thread by saying it didn't apply in this case because they had DNA from... other vertebrates?!:boggled:

Slimething
7th December 2008, 03:06 PM
Are you sure you are not thinking of "Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea" I do not recall such a scene in “Ice Station Zebra”?

Strictly working from memory so I'm not sure. Could have been "Voyage" but couldn't find enough detail in my Goog searches to confirm.

Thansk.

Safe-Keeper
7th December 2008, 03:58 PM
Potentially derailing post moved here (http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?p=4254929#post4254929).

Safe-Keeper
7th December 2008, 04:00 PM
Is it a valid example that no matter how far a starship is from a star in a sci-fi movie, it's always bright as day, seemingly on all sides of the ship?

The Man
7th December 2008, 05:35 PM
Strictly working from memory so I'm not sure. Could have been "Voyage" but couldn't find enough detail in my Goog searches to confirm.

Thansk.

No problem, I’m pretty sure it was “Voyage” but that is just my memory. “Zebra” was on not to long ago but I only caught the tail end.

A couple of extras to throw into the mix.

In the original “Andromeda Strain” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Andromeda_Strain) movie Dr Jeremy Stone picks up a sliced sample ‘just a few cells thick’ with a pair of tweezers and literally stuffs it into a little, apparently metal, ‘bottle’ for the electron microscope. The recent remake is just too ridiculous to be taken seriously at all.


In “THX 1138” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/THX1138) a hologram gets tired of being trapped “in the same circuit for too long” and ventures out into the real world, eats some food then eventually crashes a jet car.

gnome
7th December 2008, 06:14 PM
Hologram?

Chris Haynes
7th December 2008, 11:15 PM
While I’m not listing all movie titles with a related scene, you might consider looking at the MythBusters show, on the Discovery Channel for insight. Some of the MythBusters titles are shown below, with the date they originally aired. I’ve included part of the actual episode synopsis as it appears on:

http://dsc.discovery.com/fansites/mythbusters/mythbusters.html

...Motorcycle Flip (Oct 29 2008)
Can a flagpole in the front wheel of a motorcycle create a head-over-handlebars flip? (Like in one of the Indiana Jones movies where a motorcycle and sidecar get catapulted into the air?)

...
.

We just recently watched the most recent Indiana Jones movie. My younger son and I both cringed when lead shot was expected to be magnetically attracted to some object!

moopet
8th December 2008, 01:26 AM
In “THX 1138” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/THX1138) a hologram gets tired of being trapped “in the same circuit for too long” and ventures out into the real world, eats some food then eventually crashes a jet car.

He was a normal man who had the job of being a hologram - a star of their holographic-tv system.

alfaniner
8th December 2008, 08:44 AM
He was a normal man who had the job of being a hologram - a star of their holographic-tv system.

I think the original intent was that he was a "hologram", but the word was used incorrectly by the creators. It was a new buzzword at the time that sounded cool.

Eos of the Eons
8th December 2008, 10:20 AM
In Wanted (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0493464/), the whole film defies physics. That is the premise of the movie. To be a super assassin, you are super human, and even your bullets (that somehow are able to be made to go around things when they are just metal bullets) are able to defy the laws of physics.

In Titanic, they should have died of hypothermia when they were swimming around in ice cold water while still stuck on the Titanic. They were swimming around forever, but should have been toast.

GreyICE
8th December 2008, 12:06 PM
In Wanted (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0493464/), the whole film defies physics. That is the premise of the movie. To be a super assassin, you are super human, and even your bullets (that somehow are able to be made to go around things when they are just metal bullets) are able to defy the laws of physics.
Didn't we have a little discussion on comic book movies?

I mean I agree they all violate the laws of physics in amazing ways, but it's a bit like complaining about fantasy movies having dragons, when we all know dragons could never fly.

Bikewer
8th December 2008, 12:20 PM
Since the trailer for Wanted aired, we have been getting tons of "can you really curve a bullet?" questions on the Mythbusters forum.

We have a new crop due to the release of the DVD....

Eos of the Eons
8th December 2008, 01:28 PM
Doubled Up

Eos of the Eons
8th December 2008, 01:30 PM
"wanted" isn't based on a comic book. And some people get confused on whether it is totally based on fantasy. Well, yeah it is. However you have so many fallacies put together in one movie, that some people start to think that some of it is possible. I just roll my eyes, and don't bother trying to debunk it though. You should see them on the trains, when they are running around on them, and falling down in one. The whole thing is fantasy, but... If you want a movie with a bunch of stuff to debunk and fill a paper with, have at that one.

The Man
8th December 2008, 02:16 PM
Hologram?

That’s how he introduced and referred to himself.

He was a normal man who had the job of being a hologram - a star of their holographic-tv system.

The Wikipedia article is wrong in that regard based on the dialogue, the fact that he felt no pain when the ear tag was stapled on and that there is nothing in the car after the crash.

I think the original intent was that he was a "hologram", but the word was used incorrectly by the creators. It was a new buzzword at the time that sounded cool.

After all, it was only 1971.


Well, maybe you are right. Maybe there's something wrong with the computer. I don't know, it's a strange life. Cybernetics, genetics, lasers and all those things. I guess I'll never understand any of that stuff. Guess maybe holograms are not supposed to.

The Man
9th December 2008, 07:35 AM
Just checked the DVD and the ‘hologram’ says it best himself.

When THX 1138 asks him “Who are you?”

“I’m a hologram. I’m not real. You know the fantasy bureau, electronically generated reality and all that. I was stuck in the same circuit for too long, the arm and leg routine. Did you see that one? I always wanted to be part of the real world, so I left.”

I think the intent was to deliberately blur the lines between what we consider real and the possible ‘electronically generated reality’ of the future (a prediction not too far from the truth today where some people are more interested in their cyberspace lives then their real lives), which is why he seems to have characteristics of both, being hungry and eating yet not feeling pain and leaving no remains after the crash. However the character himself asserts “I’m not real”.

Spud1k
9th December 2008, 11:36 AM
"wanted" isn't based on a comic book.

Oh yes it is. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wanted_(comic)) One might argue it's a bit of a 'turned up to 11' self-parody though.

moopet
9th December 2008, 11:48 AM
Just checked the DVD and the ‘hologram’ says it best himself.

When THX 1138 asks him “Who are you?”

“I’m a hologram. I’m not real. You know the fantasy bureau, electronically generated reality and all that. I was stuck in the same circuit for too long, the arm and leg routine. Did you see that one? I always wanted to be part of the real world, so I left.”

I think the intent was to deliberately blur the lines between what we consider real and the possible ‘electronically generated reality’ of the future (a prediction not too far from the truth today where some people are more interested in their cyberspace lives then their real lives), which is why he seems to have characteristics of both, being hungry and eating yet not feeling pain and leaving no remains after the crash. However the character himself asserts “I’m not real”.

I remember the film and hadn't read the Wikipedia article. I interpreted it as him meaning he didn't feel real, or like he had any place in the real world. I took it as being part of people being objectivised like the way those guys just sit around and watch the whole "white room" sequence. Like, "I'm just a TV character. I'm not real" says the actor.

GreyICE
9th December 2008, 07:44 PM
"wanted" isn't based on a comic book. And some people get confused on whether it is totally based on fantasy. Well, yeah it is. However you have so many fallacies put together in one movie, that some people start to think that some of it is possible. I just roll my eyes, and don't bother trying to debunk it though. You should see them on the trains, when they are running around on them, and falling down in one. The whole thing is fantasy, but... If you want a movie with a bunch of stuff to debunk and fill a paper with, have at that one.

Oh yes it is. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wanted_(comic)) One might argue it's a bit of a 'turned up to 11' self-parody though.
The comic book is even named Wanted.

I dunno why people think it isn't. You're the second person to, on absolutely no evidence whatsoever, assure me that it wasn't based on a comic book. Vehemently.

The Man
9th December 2008, 08:42 PM
I remember the film and hadn't read the Wikipedia article. I interpreted it as him meaning he didn't feel real, or like he had any place in the real world. I took it as being part of people being objectivised like the way those guys just sit around and watch the whole "white room" sequence. Like, "I'm just a TV character. I'm not real" says the actor.

Yes, I remembered the film as well having seen it in the original release when I was 10 years old. We always went to the dive in then and had to cover our eyes during certain scenes, like the sex scenes in THX or the opening scene of “Barbarella”. Being older now THX is much like I remember it, interesting and compelling while “Barbarella” is just a farce. Although I remembered the latter for some time, and still do in a different way, as a significant work. The holographic character in THX acts as a foil of the considerations that the main characters could not possibly express. Considering an out of operation elevator where the announcement is that this elevator is out of operation, yet people still enter and expect the elevator to operate normally, an extra element was needed to make the pontifications of their times and how it came to that. The not real holographic character served that purpose, plus the one I mentioned before.

Hey, who would figure when I took the “Film” elective in high school, thinking I could just watch films, I might actually learn and the relate something about films.

ETA: I still enjoy the final chase scenes with the “Lola T70 Mk.IIIs with dummy turbine engines racing against Yamaha TA125/250cc 2-stroke race replica motorcycles through two San Francisco Bay Area automotive tunnels” and that motorcycle crash.

Belz...
10th December 2008, 01:15 PM
Walking on Water (Apr 25 2007)
Can ninjas run on water as movies like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon would have us believe?

"Make believe" doesn't mean they're trying to make you believe anything.

alfaniner
10th December 2008, 02:58 PM
ETA: I still enjoy the final chase scenes with the “Lola T70 Mk.IIIs with dummy turbine engines racing against Yamaha TA125/250cc 2-stroke race replica motorcycles through two San Francisco Bay Area automotive tunnels” and that motorcycle crash.

As with Star Wars, Lucas made some very good, and some very bad, updates to the original with the new release on DVD.

Good: The improved vision of what THX's job actually is. The enhanced motorcycle crash, with the scaffolding.

Bad: The new CGI shell-dweller creatures. The pump thing that comes down from the ceiling while THX watches the erotic channel.

ImaginalDisc
10th December 2008, 04:03 PM
Invisible people (or cloaked ships) being able to see their surroundings.

If a person is completely invisible, then photons either pass through them unimpeded, or they pass around them and continue on their original trajectory. Either way, if the photons do not interact with a person's retina (having passed through unimpeded), then the person sees nothing.

Thus, I submit for your approval, the idea that a completely invisible person sees nothing just as if they were in complete darkness!

In the video game Quake you could turn invisible and still see. How? Your eyeballs would not turn invisible. It was a strange effect.

Brendy
10th December 2008, 07:05 PM
Why? We are positing a ship capable of FTL travel, the capacity to stay in space for long periods (hence enormous energy reserves), yet somehow doesn't have the capability for a slow descent in the atmosphere, and has to sort of fly in like the essentially unfueled shuttle? I'm not sure this makes sense. In every scene they seem to come in, hover, and settle to a landing, proving they have sufficient thrust to directly fight gravity. They don't require 3 mile runways - they aren't landing aerodynamically.

I guess we are thinking of different spaceships. When I wrote that I was thinking of the star wars x-fighters. These fighters were used for fighting on planets and in space, therefore they needed wings and to be aerodynamic.

Also I think you are neglecting thinking about entry through the ozone layer. A square ship would create an enormous amount of heat trying to enter earth's atsmophere. That's where the aerodynamics are needed.

Delvo
10th December 2008, 08:23 PM
I think you are neglecting thinking about entry through the ozone layer. A square ship would create an enormous amount of heat trying to enter earth's atsmophere. That's where the aerodynamics are needed.Our spacecraft so far have done so because they've been entering the atmosphere at Mach 20 or more and using a course of thousands of miles through the air to slow down to landing speed. A vehicle that had some other way to slow down first instead could enter the atmosphere much more slowly (and straight down so the distance traveled in the air is much shorter).

Corsair 115
10th December 2008, 09:12 PM
I guess we are thinking of different spaceships. When I wrote that I was thinking of the star wars x-fighters. These fighters were used for fighting on planets and in space, therefore they needed wings and to be aerodynamic.


But if you look at the actual shape of the X-wing's wings, they wouldn't seem to be very aerodynamic. They've got a rectangular cross-section.

gnome
10th December 2008, 10:08 PM
When it comes to X-Wings, I think the "Rule of Cool" applies :)

The funny thing is, I care a lot less about the science of it when I watch Star Wars compared to when I'm watching Star Trek.

Corsair 115
10th December 2008, 11:54 PM
When it comes to X-Wings, I think the "Rule of Cool" applies :)


The original version depicted in the Ralph McQuarrie paintings is even cooler, but sadly, the visual effects of the day weren't up to handling its thin wings and bubble canopy...

moopet
11th December 2008, 01:27 AM
As with Star Wars, Lucas made some very good, and some very bad, updates to the original with the new release on DVD.

Good: The improved vision of what THX's job actually is. The enhanced motorcycle crash, with the scaffolding.

Bad: The new CGI shell-dweller creatures. The pump thing that comes down from the ceiling while THX watches the erotic channel.

I think (apart from the creatures) it was a really good update. It had been long enough since I'd seen the original that it wasn't until I saw a side-by-side comparison somewhere online that I realised just how much had been changed. Lucas actually changed the plot in minor ways by swapping the orders of some shots.

Klimax
11th December 2008, 10:02 AM
But if you look at the actual shape of the X-wing's wings, they wouldn't seem to be very aerodynamic. They've got a rectangular cross-section.

There are two modes:flying and fighting.
Flying mode has similar cross-section to current planes and high speed,so the only problem is when wings are deployed to X shape. (One of few fighters in SW with this problem - others were from TIE family)

neutrino_cannon
11th December 2008, 10:10 AM
This may not count, but the scene from Twilight where Edward and the rest of the vampires are playing baseball. They have to play only during a thunderstorm, because they hit the ball so hard with their bats it makes a thunderous cracking sound. I'm not much of a physics buff, but something about that seems inherently wrong.

If they're hitting the balls hard enough to send them supersonic that would indeed make a loud cracking noise.

I'll leave it to our resident engineers to tell us whether the bats, and indeed the balls could withstand that sort of violence. I'm guessing balls, maybe but probably not, and bats definitely not.

Corsair 115
11th December 2008, 02:48 PM
There are two modes:flying and fighting.
Flying mode has similar cross-section to current planes and high speed,so the only problem is when wings are deployed to X shape. (One of few fighters in SW with this problem - others were from TIE family)


The deployment of the wings is irrelevant. Look at the cross-section of each of the four wings: it's rectangular. When the wing pairs are closed (joined together), the cross-section becomes an even thicker rectangle. Take a look at any of the shots of the full-size mockups of the X-wing; you can clearly see the leading edges of the wings are flat. There's no curvature as is found in our airfoils.

Now, I'm no aeronatics expert, but I wouldn't think a rectangular cross-section wing shape would be optimal for generating lift in an atmosphere.

alfaniner
11th December 2008, 05:51 PM
Then again, they had to "lock airspoils in attack position!" to make the run on the Death Star. In space. Why? Because It Looks Cool.

Klimax
12th December 2008, 02:54 AM
The deployment of the wings is irrelevant. Look at the cross-section of each of the four wings: it's rectangular. When the wing pairs are closed (joined together), the cross-section becomes an even thicker rectangle. Take a look at any of the shots of the full-size mockups of the X-wing; you can clearly see the leading edges of the wings are flat. There's no curvature as is found in our airfoils.

Now, I'm no aeronatics expert, but I wouldn't think a rectangular cross-section wing shape would be optimal for generating lift in an atmosphere.

I thought that altough it is thicker in un-deployed mode,it had better overall aerodynamics.And then there was speed.

But we need truly expert on planes for resolution...

Then again, they had to "lock airspoils in attack position!" to make the run on the Death Star. In space. Why? Because It Looks Cool.

I think that in fly mode weapons cannot be used,simply.Maybe they have to be deployed to be usable.

Prometheus
12th December 2008, 01:11 PM
....Now, I'm no aeronatics expert, but I wouldn't think a rectangular cross-section wing shape would be optimal for generating lift in an atmosphere.

They wouldn't need the wings for generating lift as they had anti-gravity technology, like all the other ships in the movie. Roll stabilization, maybe?

CORed
12th December 2008, 11:09 PM
In a similar vein, I remember watching an old James Bond movie, I think it was Moonraker, where there was a gun battle taking place on a space station. During the battle, the space station gets holed, and there is a depressurization (whooshing sound, stuff flying around, etc.). The people fighting are in space suits, so they don't die and the gun battle continues, and the guns are still going Bang! Bang!. The scene would have been so much more effective if they had done it right, and the gun battle continued in dead silence.

Spud1k
13th December 2008, 07:10 AM
Do you seriously want to compile a list of scientific liberties in James Bond movies? Moonraker alone would take all day... ;)

rjh01
13th December 2008, 04:01 PM
Mythbusters have done not one but two specials on James Bond. That must be a record. The second was not a re visit. It was doing more myths.

gnome
14th December 2008, 10:48 AM
Hey... this X-Wing flew... until...

5EeAy7ZDYGs

The Man
14th December 2008, 05:22 PM
As with Star Wars, Lucas made some very good, and some very bad, updates to the original with the new release on DVD.

Good: The improved vision of what THX's job actually is. The enhanced motorcycle crash, with the scaffolding.

Bad: The new CGI shell-dweller creatures. The pump thing that comes down from the ceiling while THX watches the erotic channel.

Agreed

The Man
14th December 2008, 05:37 PM
I think (apart from the creatures) it was a really good update. It had been long enough since I'd seen the original that it wasn't until I saw a side-by-side comparison somewhere online that I realised just how much had been changed. Lucas actually changed the plot in minor ways by swapping the orders of some shots.

There was one scene where THX opens a door (after having sex with LUH) and everyone just turns around and stares at him (the camera). Now that scene (the people looking in the camera) is cut next one with SEN watching the monitor. It takes the more dramatic indirect inference that everyone might know what happened and turns it is to a less effective direct inference that everyone knows what happen yet nothing is done until the mind lock incident when he is arrested for sexual perversion and criminal drug evasion.

Zeuzzz
14th December 2008, 06:02 PM
This thread seems to have a life of its own now as theres so much bad physics in movies, but just for the record, I chose the physics involved in the scene in monty pythons holy grail where the cow gets catapulted out of the castle and lands on King Arthurs servant.

If the cow had followed the trajectory implied when it becomes first visible behind the wall, it should be still be in orbit today or hurtling through outer space. And theres no way a human skeleton could withstand the impact of a scottish cow from that height without being crushed flat as a pancake. Ridiculous film. I phoned up the producer and launched a formal complaint.

alfaniner
14th December 2008, 09:35 PM
Having just seen Die Hard 3 (with a Vengeance) again, I had to note that there were many preposterous things that happened in that movie, but it was sufficiently well done that within the context of the series it never destroyed the illusion for me.

gnome
14th December 2008, 11:17 PM
This thread seems to have a life of its own now as theres so much bad physics in movies, but just for the record, I chose the physics involved in the scene in monty pythons holy grail where the cow gets catapulted out of the castle and lands on King Arthurs servant.

If the cow had followed the trajectory implied when it becomes first visible behind the wall, it should be still be in orbit today or hurtling through outer space. And theres no way a human skeleton could withstand the impact of a scottish cow from that height without being crushed flat as a pancake. Ridiculous film. I phoned up the producer and launched a formal complaint.

An Australian cow, on the other hand...

Mongrel
15th December 2008, 07:47 AM
They wouldn't need the wings for generating lift as they had anti-gravity technology, like all the other ships in the movie. Roll stabilization, maybe?
All you ever wanted to know about S-Foils (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/S-foils).

Personally I'd go with "Looks cool" and the rest is ret-conning

Cuddles
15th December 2008, 07:48 AM
An Australian cow, on the other hand...

But they're non-migratory.

Zeuzzz
15th December 2008, 05:03 PM
But they're non-migratory.


heh. I was actually going to do that as a write up, whether two african swallows could carry a coconut between them on a string, but I didn't want to solve the longest standing unsolved physics problem ever asked, so I left it open.

Klimax
15th December 2008, 11:03 PM
Hey... this X-Wing flew... until...

5EeAy7ZDYGs

I recalled original video while writting response,but who the hell allowed TIE-fighter in to test-zone??? :confused: Was not there some AA defense?(Maybe A-wing :D )

OK,IIRC it fell apart because rocket engines where not fine-controlled by computer to compensate for small differencies between engines.

CORed
16th December 2008, 01:02 PM
The Hulk doesn't care if a man could gain, say, 10 times his mass and turn big and green.

The most amazing thing about the Hulk, at least in the old Bill Bixby/Lou Ferigno TV show, was that when he got mad and turned into the Hulk, his shirt always got ripped to shreds and fell off, but the same thing never happened to his pants.

wafonso
18th December 2008, 02:41 AM
The most amazing thing about the Hulk, at least in the old Bill Bixby/Lou Ferigno TV show, was that when he got mad and turned into the Hulk, his shirt always got ripped to shreds and fell off, but the same thing never happened to his pants.

I presume that, after the first time it happened, Dr Banner switched to pants made of some elastic fabric...

Spud1k
18th December 2008, 03:12 AM
Please don't. I only just saw the Ed Norton version of Hulk and their attempt at making a running gag about stretchy pants fell woefully flat.

ThatSoundAgain
18th December 2008, 03:13 AM
Yeah, except for the bits below his knees - they still tear. (?!)