Did Not Do The Research

Ever see a movie with a scene in it that you know is scientifically impossible? Or ever read a book where the sense of scale is way off? Or how about a song that talks about a type of animal, but you know said animal dose not act in the way they are portrayed? Well, this is your thread!

In the movie Starship Troopers, the astroid reaches Earth in a week. Unless Starship Troopers is set in an alternative universe where space is not so vast, that astroid had to be moving at quite an incredible amount of speed!

Scifi movies are particularly bad with this. I know Star Wars - Revenge of the Sith shouldn’t be taken seriously, but that scene at the beginning where the New Republic Cruiser enters the planets atmosphere and successfully lands after losing half the ship was cringe inducing (as was Hayden’s acting).

Having control of the ship and landing on an airstrip after losing half the hull is just too hard to believe. Many scifi shows and movies also tend to show a spaceships engines glowing at all times. It implies continuous levels of thrust, which would lead to acceleration and continual changes to an orbit. When I see that, it’s hard for me to continue willing suspension of disbelief unless the movie is particularly engaging.

This going to sound stupid, but I always thought Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte was a little off. Not so much the science or even the society, but the scale of the time line. It’s almost as if everything that happens to Jane is just a little too convenient. It’s like if you view the book from Jane’s perspective everything has order and makes sense but if you think about the book from an outside perspective everything is just a little too handy to have happened naturally.

If you can find it check out Ben Bova’s novel “The Starcrossed” about a somewhat future SF 3-D and the producers riding roughshod over the objections of their technical consultants.

Movies are not based in reality.

One of the driving sociological forces behind cinema is escapism. People go into a movie expecting to be relieved of their everyday lives for an hour or two. In the process of catering to the concept of escapism, movies portray amazing events–events that require suspension of disbelief.

That being said, I learned a new one this week after visiting a historical site. When you watch a movie that has ships firing cannons at each other, film makers often portray an entire side of a ship firing all of its cannons. If this happened in reality, the ship would actually tip over due to the amount of force behind each cannon. In a true battle, ships would fire half the cannons at once, or fire them in continuous succession.

You watched “Starship Troopers” and your main scientific criticism is that the asteroids got to Earth too quickly???


I don’t mind suspending my disbelief for the big things, but the little things bother me. :stuck_out_tongue:

Two that come to mind are:
*]Two people, typing fast on the same keyboard, are unlikely to make progress twice as fast as one person. (*NCIS *does this pretty regularly. Hardly anyone uses a mouse or other pointer device either – I guess it doesn’t *sound *as dramatic as typing fast)
*]When someone is typing on a computer, and the camera focuses on the text on their screen, there is no insertion-cursor! I *know *it *can *be turned off, but – *arrgh *-- I cannot imagine working without it on a routine basis. (This one goes all the way back at least to *Doogie Howser, MD *closing each show typing up his journal, but continues to this day)

“I think I sprained my disbelief” :crutches: ,

I’m not sure that this is the kind of thing that the OP was referring to, but I definitely know what you mean… One shouldn’t need to “suspend your disbelief” for things that one sees on a regular, if not daily, basis.

I’m not sure why people don’t just type what they’re supposed to be typing… or if they’re a slow typist at least something similar. :shrug:

Pretty much the entire Armageddon movie. Why does NASA build guns on their ships? Oh so many things I could list.

Yahoo or Time or some news source put out the top 10 unscientific sci-fi movies some time back. Starship Troopers was on it. So was Armageddon, Outbreak, and a few others I can’t remember (I am currently unable to find the list).

I had watched The Knight’s Tale with Heath Ledger several times and heard that it was historically inaccurate when the last time it really got to me. It definitely is with regards to dress, language (everybody speaks English no matter where they are), social status and social interaction, the actual story, etc. Still a good movie to escape with but still very, very off.

Since* NCIS *got mentioned, I know it’s TV but when they showed Abby doing a WHOIS search (which anybody can do) to find an IP address, it doesn’t take more than a few seconds. That annoyed me because it showed her taking minutes and not using an actual website.

Actually, I can’t watch the forensic shows anymore (especially since I no longer have a working TV) because I have to yell at them for Getting. It. Wrong. That’s what I get for getting a degree in Criminal Justice.

My mom (a retired physiatrist) loves to watch House MD, but it infuriates her that he uses his cane wrong. :stuck_out_tongue:

As do most actors, who use a cane to *induce *a limp, rather than using it as if it *corrects *a limp.


In the movie The Untouchables, during Capone’s trial, Eliot Ness throws Frank Nitti off a building and kills him. In real life, Nitti took over Capone’s gang.

I understand playing fast and loose with minor details for the sake of drama…but REALLY! Nitti was a bigger player in the Capone story. The only thing worse would have been Ness killing Capone.

I also notice on L&O: Criminal Intent, for some reason defense attorneys always let Det. Goren (Vincent D’Onofrio) get into their client’s faces and psyche or browbeat a confession out of them, uttering little more than a lame “We’re out of here” or “Don’t answer that” once every five minutes or so, while Goren wiggles his fingers at them, gets a half-inch away from their noses, or bends over and practically looks at them upside-down.:shrug:

Some plot devices have become such tropes that writers seem loth to dispense with them.

Like the fact that in cop shows, everyone has an answering machine that the cops can overhear, or play back later, not voicemail.

Or that doctors in state-of-the-art hospitals still use defibrillator paddles instead of AEDs.

Or wartime infantry patrols that walk down the middle of a road, and only jump into the tree line when someone opens fire. (Heck, I’m only a Sig, and knew you didn’t do that!)

One thing that bugs me is *Canadian *newspapers and TV shows that use *American *abbreviations for rank titles of *Canadian *military personnel, like CPT for Capt (Captain), PVT for Pte (Private), LTC for LCol (Lieutenant Colonel), etc.

The wife of one my instructors is a pediatric nurse. She couldn’t watch medical dramas at all because she’d yell at them for getting it wrong. He couldn’t watch crime shows for the same reason.

What really gets me is when they are supposedly in a specific city and you know they aren’t. Criminal Minds went to Portland and Bend, both in Oregon. I know Portland. I live near there and worked in it. They didn’t show Portland. I spent the entire show telling them they were in the wrong city (the time of year they were supposed to be in Portland it rains. A lot. Plus, they mention the river but which one because there are several plus several creeks. :banghead:) Bend is in the desert.

Or NCIS went they went to Yuma, AZ. I grew up there. It’s not all desert. It’s a pretty big city surrounded by a Marine base, the Army Proving Grounds, and the Air Force testing range. Plus, lots and lots of farming since they can grow all year round. They couldn’t just ride out into the desert and not find anyone for days. :banghead:

That reminds me of 24, where supposedly, in one episode, Jack went to Portland.

Well, he was either in the wrong city or the creators of the show had never seen Portland before.

Here’s how easy it is to find out what Portland looks like: Google

In movies or TV shows set in Chicago, you frequently see the characters buying hot dogs from street vendors Downtown.
In reality,Chicago does not allow street vendors in the Downtown area.

I actually think writers never look at what a city looks like especially ones in the Pacific Northwest. It’s not that hard to get on an airplane and visit these places. But they write the script and go merrily on their way not caring that the people in these cities are going to find fault with the location when they see it in a show.

Too funny. I’m the same way. I can suspend my disbelief on big things with no problem at all. But the little details will irk me.

You mean, people of that time period didn’t play Queen’s “We Will Rock You” on their trumpets? :eek: :wink:

I remember when the movie came out, and I read a newspaper review address the issue. He mentioned that the typical score for such a movie would have been **classical **music, which he stated was just as anachronistic. So he said that at least rock music is more apropos because it was/is the music of the populace, as opposed to the elites (i.e. if the music were transported back to those times, the plebs were more likely to sing along to Queen than Bach…or even John Williams).

While on the topic of anachronism:

If Tarzan was raised by apes, who taught him…

…that he needed to wear a loincloth?
…how to shave?
…how to comb his hair into a pompadour?

I guess it comes down to budget: Why fly to and film in Portland/Encino/Podunk when you can just find a local neighbourhood that has the same “flavour”, and no one outside the residents will know diff?

One thing I have noticed is that in the opening sequence/establishing shots for a movie, the more they focus on specifically “American” things, the more likely it was filmed in Canada. Like if there’s a street scene in suburbia…and the camera pans across a US mailbox…and then the Stars & Stripes in front of a building…and the “New York” plates on a vehicle…then it was shot in Toronto. It’s like they try too hard to convince you, “Hey! Look! We’re in America! See? Inside that house is a baseball-playing mom baking apple pie!”

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