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'Ello! (Cockney accent) It's tyme fo' Bad Sci-Fi Theatre!

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  • 'Ello! (Cockney accent) It's tyme fo' Bad Sci-Fi Theatre!

    It's another Jerico Poll! Yeee ha!

    It's always annoying for an aspiring writer like myself to see science fiction that is either obviously incorrect/ inaccurate or just stupid!

    Does anything come to mind? If so, please reply! We can come up with an extensive list together. Then when we publish the book, I am the primary writer and editor of course :twisted: and you will be cited as a contributor. just kidding! (kind of)

    Here is what's been bugging me (maybe you caught all these yourself):

    1.) Predator II (starring Danny Glover): the "forensic" scientist examining the predator's weapon said something to the effect (I refuse to watch it again for accuray): "I don't know what it is made of. It doesn't appear on the periodic table!"

    This is the most stupid thing ever! He was analyzing the predator's arm blade. It's shiny and silver-- it's fucking metal! Well it can't be less than a.m.u 1; anything less than hydrogen are sub-atomic particles. If it was off of the periodic chart on the high-end, it would consist of a highly unstable radioactive isotope that would make his skin melt, and he wouldn't be coming back with a report would he? Am I right? Fellow scientists/ writers, your input please. It's retarded

    2.) The obvious.... Star Wars (the real first one). Von Weiner, correct me for accuracy if needed. Han Solo says, "I'll be there in a parsec!"
    As you all should know, parsec is a measure of distance, not time. You astronomy buffs, can go ahead and say how much exactly. parsec = ? light-years.

    Lucas should have paid a bit more attention to the science for accuracy instead of concentrating on all the ideas that he "borrowed" from Japanese cinema such as Kurosawa's "The Seven Samurai."

    3.) The most recent thing I noticed was in The Animatrix. Either the second or the third story told of how the machines took over the world. In that story it said we humans decided that in order to stop the machines we had to block out the sun since the machines got their energy from the sun.

    This is completely idiotic and stupid!! Where the hell do we humans get our energy from? Humans didn't just pop out of the ground! Ever heard of photosynthesis? It came around long before any carnivores or omnivores. If there weren't any autotrophs: photosynthesizing bacteria, algae, and then plants, we would not have come into existence, and we would not be alive today. To begin with, the Earth would not have an adequate atmosphere, if any, for us to live if we didn't have a sun and photosynthesis. Basically the mass extinction theory by asteroid impact is a blocking out the sun idea. It says such an occurence just about killed everything on earth. Humans deciding to block out the sun is the ultimate form of suicide. And it might not stop autonomous machines if they were the dominant sentinents. 'nuff said!

    4.) Star Trek. I don't watch it, and if I did I'd probably find a lot of problems. To think that we live in an enormous if not infinite universe, or multiverse, and then considering possible forms of life that can exist, to depict an extraterrestrial by simply putting a ridge of bumps on the bridge of the nose is ludicrous! Show me a guy with 10 eyes and pincered tentacles and I might be able to suspend my disbelief.

    Yeah I know the original series may have suffered from budget constraints, but the newer Next Generation/ Babylon stuff? There's no excuse! At least Star Wars didn't fail in that respect.
    Give me the multi-oculars and tentacles dammit!
    'nuff said.

    ok your turn ? :D
    \"Bush\'s army of barmy bigots is the worst thing that\'s happened to the US in some years...\"
    Michael Moorcock - 3am Magazine Interview

  • #2
    Matrix III was the absolute worst. Comic book love does not translate to the big screen in this style. It's not even an artisitic flourish.
    The cat spread its wings and flew high into the air, hovering to keep pace with them as they moved cautiously toward the city. Then, as they climbed over the rubble of what had once been a gateway and began to make their way through piles of weed-grown masonry, the cat flew to the squat building with the yellow dome upon its roof. It flew twice around the dome and then came back to settle on Jhary's shoulder. - The King of the Swords

    Comment


    • #3
      I could not stand young Vader (Annie) and his doe-eyed glances with what's-her-face. It was sickening. And his immature ranting about Obi-wan not letting him do what he wanted. Aggghhh!

      The thing I liked about Pred2 was that the game Alien vs Predator2 had more weapons for the Pred, due to the movie, beyond that I agree with Jerico.

      Still have not seen Matrix 3.

      Oh and a parsec:

      When you move, say in a car, things that are closer appear to move faster than those that are farther away. This can also be observed in the mov't of the stars. Stars that are closer seem to move back and forth "quicker" (back and forth due to our orbit of the sun), while those farther away, seem to move slower. This is reffered to as parallax shift.

      The parsec is the distance a given star must have for its parallax shift to equal one second of arc over a year's time. This distance is a constant - One parsec = 3.262 light years. This shift, combined with the radius of Earth's orbit (AU) can be used to determine distances of other stars (through geometry).
      When they had advanced together to meet on common
      ground, then there was the clash of shields, of spears
      and the fury of men cased in bronze; bossed shields met
      each other and the din rose loud. Then there were
      mingled the groaning and the crowing of men killed and
      killing, and the ground ran with blood.

      Homer, The Illiad

      Comment


      • #4
        My vote for "other" goes to.... Strange Days

        There are only two films I have ever considered walking out of halfway through, this one and Crow: City of Angels. I know a lot of people who quite enjoyed Strange Days, but I also know that these people are wrong. This film commits so many unforgivable crimes, I barely know where to begin. First of all, Juliette Lewis murdering innocent PJ Harvey songs in cold blood. Second of all, the wheelchair-bound character who appears in a single scene just so we can go, "gosh, that chap is in a wheelchair, I bet he wishes he could play back the memories of someone with legs using a futuristic helmet-thingie", and then mysteriously disappears despite the other charcters returning to his office several times. Third of all, the way the film suggests that racial prejudice in the police force, rather than being institutional, is simply the fault of a few "bad apples" and once they're dead everything will be peaches and cream. Fourth of all the prolonged and entirely gratuitous rape footage, the unpleasantness of which could have simply been implied by the reactions of the character observing it through the futuristic helmet-thingie. Fifth of all, I hate it, I hate it, I hate it!!!

        Breathe, relax, let it go...

        Sorry about that.

        D...
        "That which does not kill us, makes us stranger." - Trevor Goodchild

        Comment


        • #5
          Hey D,
          The only good thing about Strange Days
          is that the rap/ hip-hop artist's name
          was Jeriko One.
          At least they tried to incorporate
          the idea of virtual reality technology
          rum amok. I can't recall many stories and
          movies doing that.
          There was Stephen King's The Lawnmower Man.
          That was a bad movie also. :( As most his movies.
          I like some of his books though. I kinda grew up on
          him, as I did with Michael M.

          I must also add that in End of Days, the main
          character played by Guvanuh Ahnold was Jericho.
          Then again, big deal. There was an episode of CHiPs
          starring Erik Estrada that featured a drug-sniffing narcotics
          dog (German Shepherd of course) named Jericho.

          cheers!
          --J-dawg :twisted: ::arf! Arf!::
          (I was born 1970; Chinese calendar: Year of the ... guess?... Dog! :woof!:
          P.S.
          There was a movie called The Jericho Mile.
          The soap opera Days of Our Lives once had a bad
          guy-- Colonel Jericho.
          The movie Action Jackson The character-- Jericho Jackson.
          The movie The Pick-up Artist (Robert Downey Jr.)-- Jack Jericho
          Ok. that's all the Jericho in cinema trivia you can ever want/ need!
          "Joshua! and the Battle of Jericho!" sing it, everyone!
          \"Bush\'s army of barmy bigots is the worst thing that\'s happened to the US in some years...\"
          Michael Moorcock - 3am Magazine Interview

          Comment


          • #6
            I haven't seen it, but I've heard that Battlefield Earth was one of the worst sci-fi movies ever.
            WWED -- What Would Elric Do?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Marie-Bernadette
              I haven't seen it, but I've heard that Battlefield Earth was one of the worst sci-fi movies ever.
              I have. And it was.

              More generally, though, I've never understood the insistence on the part of many on scientific accuracy, or at least plausibility, in sf. The s is part of the f, surely? It's a bit like dismissing the narrative voice of a literary novel on the grounds that no-one could possibly remember a novel-length story in such detail. : )

              There's a great deal of good imaginary science - which is essentially a form of literary material - in some pretty passable sf novels/movies, but insisting that every plot premise in an sf story should be capable of reduction to real-world scientific principles strikes me as rather dull. MM, you've alluded to literal-mindedness on the part of sf readers in the past. Would you care to comment further? It's always struck me as ironic that such a trait should be so easily found when we're dealing with a genre that is supposedly 'imaginative'!

              Comment


              • #8
                Yes. I see your point, Zax, but I am a scientist, so my criteria for good sci-fi may be higher than a lot of people-- in fact my standards for almost any kind of entertainment might be higher than many (which is the artistic side of me talking).
                You wrote:
                "It's always struck me as ironic that such a trait should be so easily found when we're dealing with a genre that is supposedly 'imaginative'!"

                Yes, perhaps. But it's possible to be imaginitive in a bad way. Just because it's imaginative doesn't mean it's good. This is all subjective really, but I'm trying to make a point here.
                The examples I pointed out in the first post are things that are glaringly faulty such that they bring out a strong negative emotional response out of me. To me they really are stupid ideas and I think I give adequate reasons as to why. Perhaps because I haven't made any money yet as a writer my thoughts are not so credible, eh?

                If so, well I better start cranking stuff out and sending it out! Hard to do though cuz I work over 40 hours a week to pay the bills in non-artsy professions-- scientist, and tutor. All the creative things I do is on the time left over which means I suffer when it comes to everyday things like cleaning and organizing. But it allows me to have some time to do what I really love. I might have the balls to quit my main job and work less someday soon, and become a true "starving" artist.
                \"Bush\'s army of barmy bigots is the worst thing that\'s happened to the US in some years...\"
                Michael Moorcock - 3am Magazine Interview

                Comment


                • #9
                  I always liked Asimov because he always had a great deal of "sci" in his sci-fi. I absolutley recommend him. He was a scientist as well as a writer. He was the one who created the "Laws of Robotics" and the company "USRobotics" first appeared in his novels. Good writer.
                  When they had advanced together to meet on common
                  ground, then there was the clash of shields, of spears
                  and the fury of men cased in bronze; bossed shields met
                  each other and the din rose loud. Then there were
                  mingled the groaning and the crowing of men killed and
                  killing, and the ground ran with blood.

                  Homer, The Illiad

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Here's another point...
                    I think a good writer is responsible in doing a considerable amount of research if he/she is going to do a serious piece of writing no matter what "genre." I think it even more important in science fiction. I really don't believe in that genre you can just make up anything you want without the research and come up with anything good. No, it doesn't have to be 'hard' sci-fi like Heinlen and others who are good with the facts and theories (empiricism) but lack in aesthetics, and interesting character development and such. But one certainly can have hard sci-fi elements interwoven into a story with all the "standard" elements: ie. symbolism, metaphor, character driven plot, nature vs. man, machine vs. man, inner conflict, climax and resolution, catch 22, etc. etc. whatever other conventions that can be found in a "how to write fiction" class or book. If you can do such a thing, I think the chances are better of making a good story. Not necessarily original story either. But I suppose that would be another discussion. All that being said, it makes sense when a great writer once said something to the effect (I forget who... Hemmingway? :roll: ): "One cannot do any good writing until the age of 40." I suppose it's because by then, you mind/ brain has become developed/ mature enough, and you are wise enough with enough experiences to do all the aforementioned readily.

                    Since I was mentioning movies solely, I didn't bring up the fictional depiction of Schizophrenia. Historically in fiction the mental disorder schizophrenia has been called "split-personality disorder." I've studied a fair share of psychology at university, and I can tell you for a fact, that is completely wrong.
                    The "split-personality disorder" idea perhaps originated in a story called Cybil I believe? Anyone out there know? but it is wrong. And even Stephen King, who I consider a good writier, used this incorrect description in his Gunslinger series. This is a good example of why you can't just make up anything frivolously. What a lot of people think schizophrenia is, is completely wrong. Perhaps this shows how urban legends are born. I don't think it a healthy thing to have false beliefs.

                    P.S.
                    Defining schizophrenia is not an easy thing. I shall try to explain layman-like if possible without being inaccurate...
                    Schizophrenia (sz) is a mental disorder that has a genetic component in it's origin. If you have the gene(s) for schizophrenia, it doesn't mean you'll have the disorder. Last I heard the best theory says the disorder manifests during adulthood triggered by stress. thus when the person leaves mom and dad's home , goes off on his/her own, goes to college, = life becomes more stressful, the environment affects the genes such that the disorder arises. the symptoms of sz is not "split personality" but instead delusions. Paranoid schizophrenia is the most common type and a lot of people have seen this in other people before. Delusion is an irrational false belief. A paraniod schizophrenic has such delusions... they believe someone or a group (perhaps who work for the government) are out to get them. They often suffer from audio hallucinations... they hear mocking voices taunting them. they may hear the phone ring when it doesn't , pick it up and seem to have a conversation, when really all the sounds are in his / her head. If the dementia is even more severe , they may have visual hallucinations, which is more rare. Dementia refers to the physical manifestations of sz. If you examine the brain through MRI , you will see that the structure is abnormal. You will see that there are enlarged "pockets" in the brain which suggests there has been brain loss; loss of brain mass, loss of the grey matter. That's what dementia means.
                    Now isn't what schizophrenia really is a lot more interesting than the split-personality fiction? Gollum in LOTR movies was fairly amusing-- that's split-personality; not schizophrenia. If you do the research you probably can come up with a lot of good, and better ideas. :D

                    From what I've seen, split-personality is a real disorder, but it is extremely rare. Actually the correct term is Multiple-personality disorder. It's not limited to just two peronalities. It can be as many as 15 distinct personalities! Wow! That's scarier than The Exorcist!
                    A Learning Channel documentary I saw, theorizes that multiple-personality disorder arises from bad therapy! Now this shows how psychology still has a long way to go! :lol:

                    --J.R.
                    \"Bush\'s army of barmy bigots is the worst thing that\'s happened to the US in some years...\"
                    Michael Moorcock - 3am Magazine Interview

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      A lot of people agree that the movie Memento is good. That is a great example of taking a phenomenon in psychology-- a rare condition of "retrograde (as opposed to anterograde) amnesia"-- and incorporating it into a piece of fiction. It is based on the real world psychiatric patient called H.M. (intials only to protect the doctor-patient confidentiality), who, for the most part, cannot learn anything new after suffering brain damage to the hippocampus, a brain structure essential in learning and memory.
                      Memento has an interesting story, and then the plot "unfurls" in an unconventional manner. I've heard from some people that it is hard to follow or confusing, but all that's going on is the plot is moving in a "retrograde" manner. :)

                      P.S.
                      The good thing I can recall about this unusual story of Memento, is that they don't "quote the source material." I don't think "retrograde amnesia" is ever mentioned in the movie. Come to think of it, I'm probably wrong. Well they probably show what retrograde amnesia is, but don't ever say "retrograde amnesia." (I obviously need to watch it again. Only saw it once.) Should there be a need to cite where the ideas originated from? Doesn't X-Files do that a lot? I don't think it is necessary to do that to justify or make the ideas more credible. All the smarty-pants people in the world can figure it out for themselves.
                      From what I recall Neil Gaiman doesn't cite the source material. He just blows people away with his ideas, and leave people wonderment. Then the smarty-pants guy says "Hey! He got that idea from West-African philosophy!"
                      Ok I'm rambling now Don't want to get all barmy and stuff! I should go rest my brain now... ;)
                      \"Bush\'s army of barmy bigots is the worst thing that\'s happened to the US in some years...\"
                      Michael Moorcock - 3am Magazine Interview

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Gene Wolfe wrote a story about a man who forgets everything each day and has to find out why the gods cursed him with this affliction. He has to write everything he does in a scroll at the end of each day, so when he wakes, he can know who he is.

                        It takes place in hellenic Greece and is very good. He wrote it well before Memento came out. It is called Soldier in the Mist and the follow-up is called Soldier of Arete. I have mentioned them before (amongst my billions of posts :lol: ) and they are some of the best books I have read.
                        When they had advanced together to meet on common
                        ground, then there was the clash of shields, of spears
                        and the fury of men cased in bronze; bossed shields met
                        each other and the din rose loud. Then there were
                        mingled the groaning and the crowing of men killed and
                        killing, and the ground ran with blood.

                        Homer, The Illiad

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Ok. I found an error in my " Fri Feb 20, 2004 4:03 pm" post.
                          I just whipped out my 5th edition of Carlson's "Physiology of Behavior" text and found out the phenomenon used in Memento is "anterograde amnesia†." The term refers to difficulty in learning new information. Whereas retrograde amnesia refers to the inability to remember events that happened before the brain damage occurred (pg. 482).

                          Thus my post should instead read:

                          "That is a great example of taking a phenomenon in psychology-- a rare condition of "anterograde (as opposed to retrograde) amnesia"-- and incorporating it into a piece of fiction. It is based on the real world psychiatric patient called H.M. (intials only to protect the doctor-patient confidentiality), who, for the most part, cannot learn anything new after suffering brain damage to the hippocampus, a brain structure essential in learning and memory. "

                          This sentence:

                          "I've heard from some people that it is hard to follow or confusing, but all that's going on is the plot is moving in a 'retrograde' manner."

                          should remain the same. I don't think I can say, "the plot is moving in an 'anterograde' manner because there is no such layman term as "anterograde." I believe it is unique to science and psychology-- it's not in the dictionary, and without any previous discourse, no one would understand such a statement alone.

                          Ok. This proves how much of a perfectionist I am. But I think this shows why it's important to do thorough research in writing. If I let my previous post stand, a psychologist could read it, and would have to tell me that I'm wrong. (something I try to avoid ;) )

                          † Formal definition of anterograde amnesia: An amnesia for events that occur after some disturbance to the brain, such as head injury, electroconvulsive shock, or certain degenerative brain diseases.
                          \"Bush\'s army of barmy bigots is the worst thing that\'s happened to the US in some years...\"
                          Michael Moorcock - 3am Magazine Interview

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