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cjackson
2011-Oct-21, 03:16 AM
Which film or TV series has the most accurate depiction of space and science?

IsaacKuo
2011-Oct-21, 05:06 AM
Apollo 13

AstroFilmmaker
2011-Oct-21, 08:14 PM
Apollo 13 is pretty good. They went above and beyond. But that's because it was potrayimg a historical event. Taking the liberties a lot of sic fi does with space, would have been unacceptable.

One sic-fi that actually tries was battlestar galactica (revamped). At least with a few moments, such as when two crew member had to jettison themselves out into space. They didn't explode, nor did they freeze, and they survived. The way they approached everything, such as how they maneuvered their craft, had a lot of scientific thought put into it. "The science of battlestar galactica" explains a lot of it.

AndreH
2011-Oct-21, 08:41 PM
snip...One sic-fi that actually tries was battlestar galactica (revamped). At least with a few moments, such as when two crew member had to jettison themselves out into space. They didn't explode, nor did they freeze, and they survived. The way they approached everything, such as how they maneuvered their craft, had a lot of scientific thought put into it. "The science of battlestar galactica" explains a lot of it.
Therefore Battlestar Galactica "TOS" was one of sthe worsed thing I have ever seen. Sci-Fi (at least the so called hardcore Sci-Fi) and being realistic is basicly contradictionary. Kubricks 2001 wasn't to bad on the technical part.
Almost all stuff I have ever seen violates basic physics. (And I do not mean WARP or other FTL travelling). WW I dog fighting without taking into account zero gravity and the absence of atmosphere is the most common I can think of.

Cougar
2011-Oct-21, 10:33 PM
Which film or TV series has the most accurate depiction of space and science?

Even though it's now 31 years old, I'd say Carl Sagan's TV series Cosmos. (http://www.hulu.com/cosmos)

Solfe
2011-Oct-22, 01:15 AM
For the knockout best TV/DVD about space and science, I would offer up BBC's "The Planets". That has to be right up there with Cosmos.

For off beat films:
"Happy Accidents" although it depicts very little sci-fi; it does depict how a normal person may react to a possible time traveler. It also has Marisa Tomei which is a big plus.
The Andromeda Strain (1971) was pretty good. There were some glitches, but over all the story was pretty good.

cjackson
2011-Oct-25, 06:52 PM
Are there films that deal with space better than 2001 and Apollo 13?

Rhaedas
2011-Oct-25, 08:37 PM
Babylon 5 did a decent job of realistic space, outside of hyperspace and the more exotic stuff and older race abilities.

Cjackson, where does 2001 and particularly Apollo 13 fail for you? What are you looking for in a space film to give realism?

Terran
2011-Oct-25, 09:42 PM
Cjackson, where does 2001 and particularly Apollo 13 fail for you? What are you looking for in a space film to give realism?
Lunar gravity is the most obvious. Though considering how hard it is to simulate different gravities even today I would find it very unfair to hold that against Kubrick. In my opinion 2001 did an extraordinarily good job a representing space, but film makers and the technology they use are just not completely perfect.

eburacum45
2011-Oct-26, 01:34 PM
I must put in a good word for Star Cops; a mostly forgotten 1980's tv program, set in the 2020's
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Cops
Another good one
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Odyssey_%28TV_series%29
although the storyline in that one was secondary to its quasi-documentary nature.

Paul Beardsley
2011-Oct-26, 05:12 PM
I thought Babylon 5 was an interesting mix of the very good and the very bad.

Van Rijn
2011-Oct-26, 10:44 PM
The most technically accurate science fiction show I've ever seen: Planetes (an anime series). There were a few points I can quibble about, but it's generally about bending rules slightly to tell a story. Things even down to space suits are done realistically (the suits are made to do the job, not to make the characters look good, as you often see in TV shows and movies), and there is not a single "new physics" element in the story - no FTL, no magic space drives, etc.

I'd put Star Cops a little behind that. There were a few minor issues with Star Cops (for instance, communication between the Earth and Moon was instantaneous though it wasn't ever said this was FTL - it was probably only done because it made for faster dialogue and most of the audience probably wouldn't understand why there were pauses in the first place) but it was another show that had a highly realistic background.

The best thing about both these shows is that they put a lie to the claim that you can't have a good science fiction story with a realistic science background. Both of these shows are well worth watching.

Noclevername
2011-Oct-26, 11:45 PM
The film Destination Moon, based on a Robert Heinlein story and produced with him as technical advisor.

(I have a Planetes DVD that I haven't watched yet. Sounds like it might be worth a look.)

Paul Beardsley
2011-Oct-27, 01:24 PM
It is important to distinguish between mistakes, compromises and imaginative elements. A lot of people can't do this, I've noticed - these are generally people who do not frequent BAUT.

In Doctor Who, the TARDIS is obviously an imaginative element. It wasn't as if the writer thought police boxes really were bigger inside than out and could travel in time and space.

Many series feature faster-than-light travel. This is either an imaginative element (e.g. to demonstrate how advanced a civilisation is) or a compromise (because without FTL travel, the story would lose the drama of contrasting the cosmic with the domestic, and the hero wouldn't get to visit a broad range of planets) or both.

Sound in space was a mistake in the past, but its continued use has become a tradition which makes it a compromise. In UFO (and, I think, Firefly) they got around this by having sound effects for spaceships, but they made it clear that the characters couldn't hear it.

The lack of a linguistic barrier was clearly a mistake in the original Planet of the Apes film - who needs the Statue of Liberty to clue you into the fact that you're on Earth when you've got apes speaking English? Nowadays it's more of a compromise; we typically see a short scene of hero and alien unable to communicate, after which a magical device is introduced to make the problem go away.

Other compromises include budgetary and other limitations where special effects are concerned - in UFO, the dust on the Moon billowed whenever it was kicked up, presumably because Gerry Anderson couldn't afford to film it in a huge vacuum chamber. And as in 2001, his characters tended to walk around normally without making any effort to pretend they were in a one sixth gravity environment - probably because it would have looked ridiculous.

Mistakes are those things that the writers simply get wrong, ranging from trivial details that don't affect the plot to egregious errors that jerk the reader or viewer out of the experience.

In answer to the thread's question, I would have to agree with Apollo 13, and some of the other non-fictional suggestions. When it comes to fiction, it is a less straightforward matter. If we include wormholes and force shields, we are dealing with fantasy elements, but it's equally unrealistic to suppose that we'll be limited to present day technology in the space-faring future. The best science fiction is likely to introduce exotic devices, but the writers will know their limitations and think through the consequences of them existing.

Swift
2011-Oct-27, 01:31 PM
I can't say it is the most accurate depiction of science, but it is certainly a very different one and one of my favorites, is the movie The Man in the White Suit (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0044876/), with Alec Guinness. It is certainly very different from the usual evil mad scientist usually seen in the movies.

Gillianren
2011-Oct-27, 03:49 PM
I had real problems with the sociology in that movie, believe it or not.

Swift
2011-Oct-27, 08:36 PM
I had real problems with the sociology in that movie, believe it or not.
I can believe it and I don't particularly disagree. The movie isn't particularly a realistic depiction of anything, it is mostly for humor and satire. But I do like that it gives a different, and I would say relatively more realistic depiction of a scientist, and to some degree, industrial science, than the Dr. Frankenstein depiction usually seen (particularly in movies up to that time).

Van Rijn
2011-Oct-27, 09:27 PM
In answer to the thread's question, I would have to agree with Apollo 13, and some of the other non-fictional suggestions. When it comes to fiction, it is a less straightforward matter. If we include wormholes and force shields, we are dealing with fantasy elements, but it's equally unrealistic to suppose that we'll be limited to present day technology in the space-faring future.


But it is realistic to assume we'll be limited to known physics.



The best science fiction is likely to introduce exotic devices, but the writers will know their limitations and think through the consequences of them existing.


While there is a lot of science fiction that uses FTL or other fantasy/new-physics notions that I like very much, to me the very best science fiction is a good story that I can believe could really happen. It's not the only type of story I like, but it is a very important type of SF.


One of my biggest annoyances with science fiction today is how few do near term space-themed science fiction these days. That is: No FTL, no aliens, just humans living in and exploring the solar system. It was common in the Golden Age science fiction era, and I miss it terribly. Shows like Planetes demonstrate such stories can still be done, and done well, even on TV, not only in written form. They just need a bit of updating for what we've learned in the last few years, and people who pay attention to technical advisors.

Paul Beardsley
2011-Oct-27, 09:42 PM
But it is realistic to assume we'll be limited to known physics.

I'm not sure that's true. When Jules Verne wrote his lunar duo, we didn't have relativity, for instance, or nuclear power. Granted neither were necessary in real-life moon missions, but they will probably play a significant role in future space exploration.

He used existing physics and technology to get men into lunar orbit. We know it wouldn't have gone to plan, given the sudden acceleration involved, and he made other mistakes. But he was quite disparaging about Wells' Cavorite.

There's a lesson to be learnt here, I think. If we try to project our existing science and technology into the future, we can end up writing stories as ludicrous as those which feature impossible breakthroughs.

Nevertheless, I agree it would be nice to see some nuts and bolts space fiction now and then.

Swift
2011-Oct-28, 02:15 AM
One of my biggest annoyances with science fiction today is how few do near term space-themed science fiction these days. That is: No FTL, no aliens, just humans living in and exploring the solar system. It was common in the Golden Age science fiction era, and I miss it terribly. Shows like Planetes demonstrate such stories can still be done, and done well, even on TV, not only in written form. They just need a bit of updating for what we've learned in the last few years, and people who pay attention to technical advisors.
Very good point. I hadn't thought about it, but yes, I'd like to see that too.

tnjrp
2011-Oct-28, 07:10 AM
Jupiter Moon was an awful series (it's a space teen soap opera, of all things) but the awfullness didn't stem from their breaking every law of physics.

AndreH
2011-Oct-29, 04:20 PM
But it is realistic to assume we'll be limited to known physics.

not necessarily. Jules Vernes was given as an example




While there is a lot of science fiction that uses FTL or other fantasy/new-physics notions that I like very much, to me the very best science fiction is a good story that I can believe could really happen. It's not the only type of story I like, but it is a very important type of SF.

I myself like stories were new technologies are introduced having a final turning point showing the limitation of that technology. Very famous: The Time Machine.....which was built to save his beloved one, but he could not use it for that because without loosing her he would not have constructed the machine.
There are more of these.


One of my biggest annoyances with science fiction today is how few do near term space-themed science fiction these days. That is: No FTL, no aliens, just humans living in and exploring the solar system. It was common in the Golden Age science fiction era, and I miss it terribly. Shows like Planetes demonstrate such stories can still be done, and done well, even on TV, not only in written form. They just need a bit of updating for what we've learned in the last few years, and people who pay attention to technical advisors.

You are right, maybe this is because producers of such shows and movies are afraid to flop. They might think Star Trek is what people want. People like us who want "realistic" SF are maybe a minority not worth producing for.

tnjrp
2011-Oct-31, 06:36 AM
Indeed a "realistic" scifi show would likely be even more expensive to produce than a space operatic one ("so John, you want to simulate zero G for every scene of this entire season, do you..?") and since nobody is going nowhere fast you'd need a pretty good script to keep things interesting while that happens. Plus the true reality freaks (you know who you are!) would scream blue murder over each and every detail regardless ("zOMG did he just use a cellphone -- in the supposed year 2030 lol")...

That said, I think Defying Gravity would've worked equally well as a realistic show without the angels or whatevertheyweresupposedtobe, and it might not even tanked completely if it wasn't so insipid.

EDIT: with --> without

SkepticJ
2011-Nov-01, 01:00 AM
That's why animation would be the ideal way to produce it, at least at this time.

Look at Cowboy Bebop, the Gundam series, or any of the numerous other shows that've depicted zero gee*, or environments and technologies that would make Avatar's budget seem like an indy film in comparison if they were to be produced photo-realistically.


*Not always accurately: Cowboy Bebop has cigarette smoke convecting upwards in zero gee.

AndreH
2011-Nov-01, 03:57 PM
Indeed a "realistic" scifi show would likely be even more expensive to produce than a space operatic one ("so John, you want to simulate zero G for every scene of this entire season, do you..?") and since nobody is going nowhere fast you'd need a pretty good script to keep things interesting while that happens. Plus the true reality freaks (you know who you are!) would scream blue murder over each and every detail regardless ("zOMG did he just use a cellphone -- in the supposed year 2030 lol")........

I know what you are pointing at.....but those who are sitting there with the FFW, RW and PAUSE button will never be satisfied. Zero G scenes could be reduced with people being strapped into seats or close ups to reduce cost "Realistic" to me does not mean that always every detail must be exactly depicted. The general depiction must be correct or at least credible.

Van Rijn
2011-Nov-01, 09:24 PM
*Not always accurately: Cowboy Bebop has cigarette smoke convecting upwards in zero gee.

You might think that animation would make the depiction trivial (I did), but in the Planetes commentary, they made the point that animators had no experience drawing people in microgravity. It is substantially more work, and microgravity scenes have to be thought through much more carefully than, for instance, scenes of people walking around. It's easy to get things wrong.

Van Rijn
2011-Nov-01, 09:42 PM
I know what you are pointing at.....but those who are sitting there with the FFW, RW and PAUSE button will never be satisfied. Zero G scenes could be reduced with people being strapped into seats or close ups to reduce cost "Realistic" to me does not mean that always every detail must be exactly depicted. The general depiction must be correct or at least credible.

Right. In Star Cops, they clearly didn't have a huge budget, but they did have microgravity scenes and I thought they did them quite well. I agree that credibility is more important than huge special effects budgets. In this show, environment was often an important plot point. They weren't ignoring the space environment - they were using it.

Of course, because of the difficulty, they avoided a lot of the problems by having the team move to a moon base instead of a space station. The one place where that was an issue for me was that transportation seemed to be incredibly easy, and in one episode there were multiple scenes taking place on the Moon, in orbit, and on Earth, with main characters moving back and forth very quickly. That particular story could have been done better, but I'll happily forgive minor issues like that given all the good things they did in the show.

SkepticJ
2011-Nov-02, 06:04 PM
You might think that animation would make the depiction trivial (I did), but in the Planetes commentary, they made the point that animators had no experience drawing people in microgravity. It is substantially more work, and microgravity scenes have to be thought through much more carefully than, for instance, scenes of people walking around. It's easy to get things wrong.

That was really the only place I spotted where Cowboy Bebop fell down in that regard. Characters and objects moved realistically in zero gee.

Either they weren't aware that air doesn't convect without gravity, or they chose to depict it that way because the truth would be oddly unfamiliar to audiences. Similar to how S. Kubrick chose to have moving stars in 2001 to indicate Discovery's motion--he knew better.

Probably weren't aware. Fire-in-space doesn't have the same recognition in the media that floating objects and blobs of liquid do. There haven't been that many experiments with it.

Van Rijn
2011-Nov-02, 09:44 PM
That was really the only place I spotted where Cowboy Bebop fell down in that regard. Characters and objects moved realistically in zero gee.


I didn't worry about it too much anyway, since Cowboy Bebop wasn't trying to be very realistic. (Planetes is very much the exception in anime). However, there was a related issue with lack of low gravity on Titan, the moons of Jupiter and Mars. People walked and moved pretty much the same way everywhere except when it was explicitely microgravity.

Nowhere Man
2011-Nov-02, 11:42 PM
I myself like stories were new technologies are introduced having a final turning point showing the limitation of that technology. Very famous: The Time Machine.....which was built to save his beloved one, but he could not use it for that because without loosing her he would not have constructed the machine.
Only in the recent movie. In the original story and the 1960 movie, he built the machine... for SCIENCE! (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ForScience)

Fred

SkepticJ
2011-Nov-03, 02:11 AM
I didn't worry about it too much anyway, since Cowboy Bebop wasn't trying to be very realistic.

That's true. There's no way that much terraforming could happen across the solar system by 2071, even with the virtually total diaspora of humanity off of Earth as an impetus. It's just not physically possible, especially with Venus. Terraforming that hell-world would be quite an undertaking.

Solfe
2011-Nov-03, 04:21 AM
Hum... Planetes. I think that one has to go on my Christmas list.

I think that as long as you don't mess around with something too outlandish, you can make huge "reality breaks" without disturbing the viewer. Even the geeky viewer. Space Above and Beyond did something unusual with FTL. They never showed it. I think that style of presentation, or lack thereof when it came to FLT was kind of neat. "Nothing to see folks, we just used a wormhole..." Of course, they did so really bad stuff too.

BSG was supposed to have some sort of weird dimensional bending/ships folding like origami to go into FTL and they nixed it because it would have been too flashy. Independence Day was originally scripted to have a biplane fly into to the enemy ship. Thankfully they changed it to something more realistic like the military turning a fighter jets over to a bunch of civilians.

chrlzs
2011-Nov-03, 05:56 AM
So where do we vote? :p

2001. No question. Let's be fair here - nowadays with CGI at the level it is (if you doubt this, go see Avatar in 3D in a good cinema..), it is possible to depict anything accurately, given the desire and an informed & serious film-maker. But in 1968? There had been nothing like it to date (and would not be anything like it for some years). BTW, I think it is important to note that 2001 on dvd, even on a good home theatre system, falls well short of the 'reality'. It was filmed in Cinerama, and on anything less.. you lose a significant amount of the grandeur of the panoramas in that film - there's a good discussion about that here (http://popzu.blogspot.com/2009/09/2001-great-movie-in-cinerama-troubles.html). I'd LOVE to see it again in the format it was designed for..


So, given appropriate historical handicapping, it was/is in a league of its own (and still stands up very well even today).

Gillianren
2011-Nov-03, 07:24 AM
I had a boyfriend who had the theory that any story is allowed one great impossibility, but anything more than that starts to take you out of the story. I'm not sure I'd limit it to one, but I think the concept is accurate enough. Suspension of disbelief is easiest when you have to lift the least.

Noclevername
2011-Nov-03, 09:12 AM
Cowboy Bebop has two impossibilities: the Gate network and the rapid terraforming. Actually three: the episode with the immortal little boy.

SkepticJ
2011-Nov-03, 03:50 PM
Cowboy Bebop has two impossibilities: the Gate network and the rapid terraforming. Actually three: the episode with the immortal little boy.

And Mad Pierrot's force-field.

And the virus "Monkey Business", how quickly it works.

And the power of the orbital laser. Look at the size of Ed's doodle on South America at the end of that episode.

The immortal boy (and the events in "Boogie Woogie Feng Shui") were linked with the science of the Gates.

AndreH
2011-Nov-04, 02:50 PM
Right. In Star Cops, they clearly didn't have a huge budget, but they did have microgravity scenes and I thought they did them quite well. I agree that credibility is more important than huge special effects budgets. In this show, environment was often an important plot point. They weren't ignoring the space environment - they were using it.

Of course, because of the difficulty, they avoided a lot of the problems by having the team move to a moon base instead of a space station. The one place where that was an issue for me was that transportation seemed to be incredibly easy, and in one episode there were multiple scenes taking place on the Moon, in orbit, and on Earth, with main characters moving back and forth very quickly. That particular story could have been done better, but I'll happily forgive minor issues like that given all the good things they did in the show.

I have never seen that one. I guess it never aired in Germany (or in one of the minor chanels at some ridicoulus time, like they did with Firefly).

AndreH
2011-Nov-04, 03:01 PM
Only in the recent movie. In the original story and the 1960 movie, he built the machine... for SCIENCE! (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ForScience)

Fred

:eek:So I am a victim of the Capricorn effect? (Taking something, which in reality was totally different, for real after having seen a movie?

Noclevername
2011-Nov-04, 03:18 PM
The immortal boy (and the events in "Boogie Woogie Feng Shui") were linked with the science of the Gates.

I guess if the gates' energy could alter a person like that, it could also have accelerated the terraforming process... somehow.

AndreH
2011-Nov-04, 03:40 PM
snip......


So, given appropriate historical handicapping, it was/is in a league of its own (and still stands up very well even today).

I totally agree.

Paul Beardsley
2011-Nov-04, 03:51 PM
:eek:So I am a victim of the Capricorn effect? (Taking something, which in reality was totally different, for real after having seen a movie?

'Fraid so.

The Time Machine is a wonderful book. The 2002 film version is a terrible travesty.

Nowhere Man
2011-Nov-04, 11:48 PM
Agreed. Sure, The Time Machine is famous... But it's the original written story that's famous, not the recent movie.

Fred

SkepticJ
2011-Nov-06, 05:10 AM
I guess if the gates' energy could alter a person like that, it could also have accelerated the terraforming process... somehow.

The boy's condition was an enigmatic side effect of the Gate disaster. Per the episode, up to that point, his condition defied precise scientific understanding--how the Gate fallout affected him so. He was one-of-a-kind.

Otherwise, wouldn't they build Gates far away from planets or moons once in a while, and intentionally cause Gate explosions to create immortal people? Imagine how much people would pay to be immortal.

SkepticJ
2011-Nov-06, 05:31 AM
The Time Machine is a wonderful book. The 2002 film version is a terrible travesty.

But that movie gave us one of the most beautiful (and expensive) movie props ever created.

I'm not a fan of the George Pal version, either. It's incredibly hokey--the melodramatic Time Traveler, the ludicrous, painful dialog* with the Eloi, the dated clothing and hairstyles (yes, in the year 802,701 they're going to wear their hair like they did in 1960). And, of course, the totally different origin of the Eloi/Morlock split from that in the novella; which, to me, totally changes the point. I felt sorry for the Morlocks in the written story. They couldn't help what they became. The Eloi's ancestors were the villains in my mind.

*Oh yes, eight hundred thousand years in the future they're still going to be speaking 20th Century English.

Paul Beardsley
2011-Nov-06, 09:49 AM
But that movie gave us one of the most beautiful (and expensive) movie props ever created.

You don't mean the time machine itself, do you?


I'm not a fan of the George Pal version, either. It's incredibly hokey--the melodramatic Time Traveler, the ludicrous, painful dialog* with the Eloi, the dated clothing and hairstyles (yes, in the year 802,701 they're going to wear their hair like they did in 1960). And, of course, the totally different origin of the Eloi/Morlock split from that in the novella; which, to me, totally changes the point. I felt sorry for the Morlocks in the written story. They couldn't help what they became. The Eloi's ancestors were the villains in my mind.

All valid criticisms. However, I am inclined to cut it a lot more slack because, er, because... Because I saw it before I read the book! Oh, also because it was made in 1960, and (AFAIK) they didn't use the "these days audiences are so much more sophisticated" excuse for trampling on the original work.

Incidentally, in the 1990s and early 2000s, when the only new Doctor Who was books and audio plays, I got frustrated by the writers' failure to land the TARDIS anywhere other than Earth. (Now and again you'd get a token other-planet story, but invariably it was either Earth in all but name, or else no effort was made to make it credible, let alone interesting.) When I pointed this out, some authors explained, "Ah, I've always thought of the TARDIS as just a time machine rather than a space ship." When I pointed out that the very second story (the one which introduced the world to the Daleks) was set on another planet, they countered with, "Ah, but the plot was exactly the same as the plot of the movie version of The Time Machine, and that was set on Earth, therefore the planet Skaro is really just Earth in the future."


*Oh yes, eight hundred thousand years in the future they're still going to be speaking 20th Century English.

The very best (IMO) adaptation of The Time Machine is the BBC radio play of a few years ago. We finally get to hear the Eloi language!

Jeff Root
2011-Nov-06, 07:21 PM
I just now got around to this thread. Although I was a fan of
SF long before 2001: A Space Odyssey was made, it instantly
became the paragon of filmed SF as far as I was concerned
when I saw it at age 15. The only problem I remember noticing
was a most unfortunate "shuttering" of the image when the
Space Station moved rapidly across the Cinerama screen. That
was caused by stop-motion photography in which the individual
frames are sharp, but the image of the Space Station moved so
much from one frame to the next that it caused a visual illusion
of vertical bands. (John Dykstra found that projection at 60 fps
would fix that and gave a startlingly realistic image. Some years
later, Industrial Light & Magic developed "Go-motion" for 'The
Empire Strikes Back' to fix the problem.) My friend complained
during the intermission how extremely unlikely it would be for
two (very small) asteroids to be so close together. (As seen in
a long shot of Discovery. Obviously intended in part to show
that the spacecraft was passing through the main asteroid belt.
A Class-A certified Geek. I think showing the micro-asteroids
like that was was technically ok and a good idea.)

Now that I can watch 2001 on DVD, I find all sorts of problems,
and just the other day I was thinking about how I would have
improved one of them if it were in my power to influence Stanley
Kubrick circa 1967. With only a couple of (very noteable)
exceptions, whenever people in the spacecraft moved around,
they walked, supposedly using Velcro to hold their feet to the
floor. In the extreme closeup introducing this idea, the Orion
stewardess is shown wearing "Grip Shoes", and walking very
clumsily. Clearly, she was not given adequate coaching on how
to walk. For the closeup, I'd have had her hold onto a rail
over her head, so that she was putting nearly all her weight
on her hands, and very little weight on her feet. That at least
would make the weightless walking look more realistic.

Of course, they should have done it all the way they did when
Dave goes into HAL's brain -- hanging from wires. That must
be hard on the actor / stuntperson, though, and only works
when you have a pressure suit to hide the harness.

Now, with DVD, I have the ability to find loads of errors in the
movie I love in large part because of its extreme realism.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

chrlzs
2011-Nov-07, 02:24 PM
Of course, they should have done it all the way they did when
Dave goes into HAL's brain -- hanging from wires. That must
be hard on the actor / stuntperson, though, and only works
when you have a pressure suit to hide the harness.

Now, with DVD, I have the ability to find loads of errors in the
movie I love in large part because of its extreme realism.

I watched it again a day or so back, and yep, that hostess staggering was a little bit hokey, as was the obvious plucking of Floyd's pen off that transparent disk..

But I have to say.. there are some scenes that I think are just staggeringly well executed, esp. Bowman 'catching' Poole in the arms of the Pod (and in fact almost all of the external space scenes) - I still cannot for the life of me work out exactly how/where they positioned the support wires for the shots of Poole tumbling, then being gently caught, and how the heck did they light all the 'sunlit' scenes so perfectly without obvious penumbra?

And that emergency hatch scene.. still gives me goosebumps as I hold my breath...

SkepticJ
2011-Nov-07, 07:26 PM
You don't mean the time machine itself, do you?

Yep. Thing of beauty, isn't it? Cost around $1,000,000, in 2002 dollars.


All valid criticisms. However, I am inclined to cut it a lot more slack because, er, because... Because I saw it before I read the book! Oh, also because it was made in 1960, and (AFAIK) they didn't use the "these days audiences are so much more sophisticated" excuse for trampling on the original work.

The War of the Worlds is why I don't cut it any slack. Pal showed that he was capable of doing an exceptional adaptation, that has aged very well (only exceeded, IMO, by the 1954 version of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea).