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The Stupid, It Burns!

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April 06, 2007 – Comments (4)

I watched part of one of the stupidest movies I've ever seen last night. It was Earthstorm from the Sci-Fi channel. (Pronounced "skiffy channel" since there is no science in the fiction.) This movie sets some type of high water mark (or maybe low water mark) for stupid.

Now I happen to like cheesy movies, and I'll forgive a small effects budget if the writing is good. As an example, Red Dwarf looks like it was done in someone's garage, but the writing is extremely funny and the cheesy sets just add to the charm.

But Eartstorm is a perfect storm of stupid. The premise is that an asteroid misses the Earth, but hits the moon and cracks it. The cracked moon causes hurricanes on Earth and a space shuttle must be launched to drop atomic weapons in the crack to seal it up.

As far at the obvious writing errors that any reasonably bright 14 year old ought to see:

(1) The moon is a sphere because that is the minimum energy configuration, any deviation from that shape takes energy and stuff strong enough to hold that shape. But there is nothing strong enough to keep the moon from reforming into a sphere. So no matter what happens the moon will stay a sphere with very minor surface irregularities.

(2) The space shuttle can't get to the moon. It can barely make it up the couple hundred miles to the space station is at. Even if you use all the cargo space to hold fuel tanks, it still can't do it. Much less come back.

(3) The shuttle does not fly with the engines on all the time. The OMS system is used for short burns and that it it.

(4) The shuttle does not bank to turn like an airplane. For minor direction changes you use the RCS to push you around. For big changes you move so that the OMS engines point in the direction you want to change your velocity and you do a short burn.

(5) In the shuttle, you are in free fall once the main engines shut off. This movie was so cheap they didn't even TRY to show free fall. Everyone walks around like they are on a sound stage on earth.

(6) How can the shuttle fly in the crack, when the engines are pointed along the flight path. There is no air to provide lift, so the shuttle would drop to the bottom of the crack. If you want to hover, you have to have the engines pointed at the moon.

(7) How can the crack be big enough to see with the naked eye from Earth, but just barely wider than the shuttles wings? Why do you need to fly into the crack at all? Drop the nukes from orbit.

(8) How can the shuttle hit debris falling from the sides of the crack and not just disintegrate? How can it hit debris and still reenter successful? The Themal Protection System is pretty fragile as we remember from the last shuttle disaster.

(9) How can a crack in the moon cause storms on Earth? Changes in the tides? To an outside observer, a planet or moon is a point mass as far as gravity is concerned. A crack in the moon would cause no change in the tides at all.

(10) The nukes look like they are about the size of the W-80 warhead. This has yield in the 40 kiloton range. Four of these set off simultaneously on the moon would do? Nothing. Compare to the size of the moon, this would be like a sand flea flying into an elephant. The elephant would never know anything happened.  

I've seen a lot of stupid movie scripts in my time, but this one sets a record. The script writer ought to be ashamed of himself.

4 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On April 06, 2007 at 1:48 PM, TheWho44 (86.62) wrote:

That was the set-up for Thundar the Barbarian, a pretty cool saturday morning cartoon in the early 1980's.  Watch this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LhAobPugvsk 

EarthStorm would have been cooler with sorcerers and a giant wookie looking thing!

 

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#2) On April 12, 2007 at 12:58 PM, FoolishChemist (96.98) wrote:

Didn't see the movie but I've seen much worse that tried to pass as having some reality in science.

http://quicksilverscreen.com/watch/2848

This was the first episode of an Australian show called Supernova about life in an astronomical observatory.  I found myself asking what the frell were they thinking putting a telescope in the desert?  The big temp changes would put so much noise in the data you couldn't do much work.

A radium lens?  And you would never just pop it in!

Lithium-12?  Yeah you could observe that!

No way you could ever get that much resolution on a telescope.

And you don't hire some one to tell you what's in the spectrum, a computer could do that.

Those are just a few things I remember that were wrong and I couldn't bear to watch any more.  That Earthstorm sounds brilliant compared to this piece of dren.

PS- If you don't know what frell and dren are see here.

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#3) On April 12, 2007 at 1:44 PM, FoolishChemist (96.98) wrote:

Didn't see the movie but I've seen much worse that tried to pass as having some reality in science.

http://quicksilverscreen.com/watch/2848

This was the first episode of an Australian show called Supernova about life in an astronomical observatory.  I found myself asking what the frell were they thinking putting a telescope in the desert?  The big temp changes would put so much noise in the data you couldn't do much work.

A radium lens?  And you would never just pop it in!

Lithium-12?  Yeah you could observe that!

No way you could ever get that much resolution on a telescope.

And you don't hire some one to tell you what's in the spectrum, a computer could do that.

Those are just a few things I remember that were wrong and I couldn't bear to watch any more.  That Earthstorm sounds brilliant compared to this piece of dren.

PS- If you don't know what frell and dren are see here.

Report this comment
#4) On April 12, 2007 at 4:03 PM, FoolishChemist (96.98) wrote:

Didn't see the movie but I've seen much worse that tried to pass as having some reality in science.

http://quicksilverscreen.com/watch/2848

This was the first episode of an Australian show called Supernova about life in an astronomical observatory.  I found myself asking what the frell were they thinking putting a telescope in the desert?  The big temp changes would put so much noise in the data you couldn't do much work.

A radium lens?  And you would never just pop it in!

Lithium-12?  Yeah you could observe that!

No way you could ever get that much resolution on a telescope.

And you don't hire some one to tell you what's in the spectrum, a computer could do that.

Those are just a few things I remember that were wrong and I couldn't bear to watch any more.  That Earthstorm sounds brilliant compared to this piece of dren.

PS- If you don't know what frell and dren are see here.

Report this comment

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