Does Bad Science Make Sci-Fi Movies Worse?

from the does-it-really-matter? dept

Roland Piquepaille writes “Science fiction movies can be fun, and sometimes boring, when Hollywood producers want to show us a 2 1/2 hour film when 90 minutes would be enough. But what about the “science” behind them? BBC News says it’s pretty bad in “When sci-fi forgets the science.” For example, the metamorphosis of Bruce Banner into Hulk, based on work of marine biologist Greg Szulgit from Hiram College, Ohio, about sea cucumbers, is qualified by himself as “really awful”. The article looks at many other recent movies like “Matrix Reloaded” or “Spiderman”, before returning to old ones, like “The Incredible Shrinking Man.” This sidebar to my blog contains additional excerpts from the article.” Is it just me, or does this seem like annoying nitpicking in most instances? Sure, it’s nice when the science follows real science – but for most people, they just want a good story. The real complaint (and this might be valid) is that when sci-fi movies attempt to use real science, and then use it badly, you have to wonder why they even bothered in the first place.

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Comments on “Does Bad Science Make Sci-Fi Movies Worse?”

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Anonymous Coward says:

No Subject Given

Real science ? Would take the sci out of the fi.

All I ask for is a plausible explanation (no matter how un-scientific it is) IF they feel the need to explain it at all.

Do we really care how the T1000 or T2000 were able to go back in time ? Nah.

Two of my favorite reads are crichton and Niven. Think both are college dropouts (science majors). They have just a tinge of plausibility to there stories which makes them that much more enjoyable.

data64 says:

Re: Voyager

Not exactly a movie, but equally bad, where someone threatens a hologram that “if the hologram does not comply, its subroutines will be decompiled.”
WTF is that supposed to mean ? If they are going to use techno-babble at least make it obscure enough that it does not sound corny.

Now, I agree that they do not need to show or explain all the science used, but at least keep it consistent and if they are using terms in use today make sure they are used correctly.

Snore .... says:

Sci Fi

If I want factual information about a scientific topic I certainly do not rely on the ” feel good ” movie of the season …
Movies are for entertainment … and frankly, ” if ” they are TOO Scientific, the only people that want to see them are the geeks that like to debate whether or not Klingons can beat ” whatever the hell the other baddies ” are …
Snore …
Go read a Science Manual.

Kevin says:

No Subject Given

I think its a major blunder when they get the science wrong. There are 2 things bad about it I can think of.
I good script will work around bad science, not walk face first and smack into it. Keep some mystery so nerds cant totally debunk what happened.
A lot of sci-fi does this by elevating the level of the science into the fantasy or god like realms. As arther c clark says, any sufficiently level of technology will look like magic, or something like that.
The second problem is that one of the main rules of good fiction is to “suspend disbelief” and when something is so obviously wrong that doesnt work.
My favorite example is in the old battlestar galactica show, when the Galactica ran outta gas and just stopped dead in space until they could get more fuel, LOL

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