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Thread: Good Science in The Andromeda Strain

  1. #1
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    Good Science in The Andromeda Strain

    Spoilers Below:
















    I'm watching The Andromeda Strain, and I'm surprised by how good the science is in it. The book was excellent for this sort of thing, but they didn't drop it for the movie. What really struck me was that the epileptic scientist had a seizure, and the MD did exactly what he was supposed to do: he gently lowered her to the ground and got his foot under her head to keep it from hitting the ground. Just a little thing, but it's the details that really sell a movie.

    Edit:

    In the ending scene, the automated defence system (designed to kill escaped lab animals) uses gas and lasers against the main character. Surprisingly, the lasers are only visible when they fire through the gas. Any other time, the only thing that you see is their impacts. Now I'm very impressed.

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    Well Michael Crichton did qualify as a doctor, so he should have been able to steer the film-makers in the right direction.

    However a disease which turns humans rapidly into dust would only have a limited lifespan before running out of victims. This strain would probably be revealed as some kind of artificial nanoswarm if they made it today...

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    More spoilers:

    Well, the disease in question fed on everything and could in fact directly convert energy into matter and matter into energy. Since its primary means of procreation wasn't like that of a virus or bacterium, it wouldn't run out. It did, however, mutate into a form that fed primarily on plastic.

    Also, I'm surprised that they would have listened to Crichton at all. Things like accuracy and expertise are usually ignored in film-making.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eburacum45
    This strain would probably be revealed as some kind of artificial nanoswarm if they made it today...
    Really...

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    Heh. True. The Andromeda Strain was a far better book, though, in my opinion.

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    I loved both--it is his best picture. And the sets have a good look.

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    Having worked in a government facility, I can relate with the fact that the lab wasn't quite finished (I once worked in a 3.5 sided building called "The Hexagon").

    They also managed to build suspense without having the count-down to self destruct go all the way to "one second". I wonder if the self-destruct sequence had already reached cliche status when the movie was made?
    I may have many faults, but being wrong ain't one of them. - Jimmy Hoffa

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    They couldn't have gone down to 1 second. I think it is mentioned (probably in the book, not the movie) that all of the air is pumped out of the lower level to help direct the blast a number of seconds before detonation.

    I love how they sprung that one on the main character after the bomb had been disarmed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Extravoice
    I wonder if the self-destruct sequence had already reached cliche status when the movie was made?
    Not quite. The Satan Bug was on not long ago--and Basehart's voice made that picture. We are losing a lot of good old-school actors. Meteor was only watchable due to the cast. Joseph Campanella work and all.

    I think they need to do a documentary on the people who lend their voice talent to documentaries. Will Lyman, Stacy Keach, Richard Kiley, Peter Coyote, Peter Thomas, Ernie Anderson--and of course the master of the weird Ken Nordeen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Supreme Canuck
    Also, I'm surprised that they would have listened to Crichton at all.
    I have never met him, but someone who has met him told me he is 6 feet 11 inches tall, and well built. Maybe the film makers thought it wise to listen to him...

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    Hey, it sounds like good advice...

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    Re: Good Science in The Andromeda Strain

    Quote Originally Posted by publiusr
    Quote Originally Posted by Extravoice
    I wonder if the self-destruct sequence had already reached cliche status when the movie was made?
    Not quite. The Satan Bug was on not long ago--and Basehart's voice made that picture. [edit]
    Basehart's voice always had a heavy, uplifting quality to it, didn't it? 8)

    I found the flashing light section very realistic, due to personal experience. So real I had to look away from the screen. The resulting symptoms were well depicted.

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    this is perhaps the only mistake-free movie of all time, since even 2001 has its minor slips.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Extravoice
    ...
    They also managed to build suspense without having the count-down to self destruct go all the way to "one second". . . .
    I once checked it, and the sequence plays out in real time.

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    Well, the disease in question fed on everything and could in fact directly convert energy into matter and matter into energy

    this is perhaps the only mistake-free movie of all time

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    I'll admit that there's a bit of very implausible stuff in the movie, but at least they don't try to cover it up with technobabble. And compared to other movies?

    No contest.

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    The film held up well, looked modern for a couple of decades. Now, the computer terminals seem a bit clunky.

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    I'd like to see a remake, if I didn't know that they'd screw it up.

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