Science related movies currently in theaters

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Science related movies currently in theaters

Postby Cosmo on December 1st, 2014, 11:57 pm 

So Interstellar was awesome IMO... so much of it plausible.

It's my observation that the sci-fi movies are getting better not only as a result of better special effects (although the SE are insanely cool these days), but additionally because Homo sapiens' understanding of the universe is developing at an impressive rate, and of course, reality is so much more mind-blowing than fiction.
(Besides, Anne Hathaway stars in it, a smokin' hottie always adds to the movie's watchability).

Going to see The Theory of Everything this week, looks really good IMO, not only because of the obvious, but it looks like a really well written/acted/directed drama/love story.


Avoiding "spoilers", what's y'all's thoughts regarding the scientifically-oriented movies that are out right now?

Afterthought: Just realized that there's a forum for "Sci-fi", perhaps I should have posted this thread there, if so, sorry- still getting used to this site ; )
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Re: Science related movies currently in theaters

Postby TheVat on December 2nd, 2014, 2:19 pm 

Cosmo: Would you like me to move this post (well, now it's a thread, since I'm replying) over to sci-fi?

I liked Interstellar for reasons Dave mentioned, but I thought some of the stars (actors, that is) were wasted - both Hathaway and Damon were not well-written roles and seemed like weak links, to me. But the visuals were amazing, and Matt McUnspellable is the kind of actor who brings something to any movie role. I'm not sure I've ever seen an SF movie really get into time dilation and get it right - having Kip Thorne as the film's science consultant was a big help, I'm sure.
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Re: Science related movies currently in theaters

Postby Cosmo on December 2nd, 2014, 2:51 pm 

Whatever you think is best man...

Cheers!
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Re: Science related movies currently in theaters

Postby TheVat on December 2nd, 2014, 8:53 pm 

Well, maybe it would be good to have two sf threads, one about movies, the other more book-ish. In the event we are talking about adaptations to the screen from books or short stories (e.g. Philip K. Dick), then whichever seems best.

I'm still hoping Larry Niven's Ringworld might reach the big screen someday.
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Re: Science related movies currently in theaters

Postby Cosmo on December 18th, 2014, 10:26 am 

I know The Interview is far from a 'sci-fi' movie, but holy wow, can you believe what a bunch of crapola it's created?
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Re: Science related movies currently in theaters

Postby TheVat on December 18th, 2014, 11:35 am 

Pathetic that such a country can tell us what movies not to watch. Gutless theater companies.

And it seems so....N. Korea that they have to use Babelfish to make their threats. :-)
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Re: Science related movies currently in theaters

Postby Cosmo on December 18th, 2014, 11:51 am 

Agreed.
Not a good precedent for the US, an utter 180° from the country's policy regarding dealing with terrorist threats.

I will admit, however, that I do understand the Regal and whatnot refusing to feature the film in their establishments, as it would likely detour moviegoers from attending their theaters.


Now matter how ya slice it, it comes up 'shitty'.
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Re: Science related movies currently in theaters

Postby BurtJordaan on February 16th, 2015, 11:39 am 

Cosmo » 02 Dec 2014, 05:57 wrote:So Interstellar was awesome IMO... so much of it plausible.

...

Afterthought: Just realized that there's a forum for "Sci-fi", perhaps I should have posted this thread there, if so, sorry- still getting used to this site ; )


There is now a scientific paper on the software and equations used in the movie, available on IOP Science: http://iopscience.iop.org/0264-9381/32/6/065001. Prof. Kip Thorne is a co-author. Quite an enjoyable read and some real science to boot!

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Re: Science related movies currently in theaters

Postby Darby on February 16th, 2015, 12:42 pm 

Haven't seen Interstellar yet, but I'm looking forward to it when it arrives on Amazon in March of this year.

I saw a promo trailer on youtube that shows they got the 'shine' correct (very cool), but I saw no visual evidence in the same vid that they got the rotational photonic doppler shifting correct*, so that's at least one minor gaffe right there. I'm sure there are more, and that others have doubtless spotted them before me, since I' havent dont much reading on it yet.

--------------
* On a purely conceptual basis, if you were able to look at a black hole from flat on its rotational plane, because they spin at relatavistic speeds the side of the black hole thats moving towards you SHOULD appear much brighter than the other side (which is receeding), and in addition, the light from the approaching and receeding sides would be blue and red shifted respectively.
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Re: Science related movies currently in theaters

Postby Darby on February 16th, 2015, 12:45 pm 

The Interview seems OT for this thread, and never had much artistic merit to begin with. The entire situation seemed like a trainwreck of the absurd, best forgotten.
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Re: Science related movies currently in theaters

Postby BurtJordaan on February 16th, 2015, 1:16 pm 

Darby » 16 Feb 2015, 18:42 wrote:* On a purely conceptual basis, if you were able to look at a black hole from flat on its rotational plane, because they spin at relatavistic speeds the side of the black hole thats moving towards you SHOULD appear much brighter than the other side (which is receeding), and in addition, the light from the approaching and receeding sides would be blue and red shifted respectively.

I guess that you are referring to the accretion disk, not the black hole itself, because big black holes do not 'shine' by themselves.

They discuss the red- and blue shifts of the accretion disk in the paper that I referred to, but I do not think they included that in the movie, maybe for simplicity. I have also not seen anything but trailers...

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Re: Science related movies currently in theaters

Postby Darby on February 16th, 2015, 2:25 pm 

If there's an accretion disc present, there will be so much light and radiation present that it would be impossible see anything. My assumption for the shine and doppler effects to be visible is no accretion disk at all ... just the effect of ambient starlight warping around the s-radius of a non-feeding black hole. Easy enough to picture a rouge black hole that got slung out of a galactic core eons ago ... it's been theorized that there are many millions of them in the known universe like this, and this type is probably by and large the most common type. We just havent seen them yet.

Nobody has ever actually seen a black hole like this, so this is just mental conceptualization.

I find it amusing to picture the lateral photonic doppler shifting as being somewhat analagous to the port and starboard lights used on ships at sea ... only in this case, the color indicates the direction of relatavisitic spin. Here, it's red and blue instead of red and green. ;)

Again, I'm not a physicist.
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Re: Science related movies currently in theaters

Postby zetreque on February 16th, 2015, 2:50 pm 

my two cents is.... I did not like Interstellar at all. I would also agree with Braininvat that Matt Damon's part was horrible and so predictable that I almost did finally fall asleep in my imax chair.. I'm just going to go with the only thing good about the movie was perhaps the special effects. The entire plot was.....after you see the ending you are like uhhh....

As for other new sci-fi movies out. I can't think of any good ones I have seen lately.
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Re: Science related movies currently in theaters

Postby Darby on February 16th, 2015, 2:56 pm 

Gravity was the last film I can think of that made a non-negligable effort at better than average science.

It did pretty well, all things considered ... not perfect, but a lot better than what's been done before, in hollywood.

Before that 2001 and 2010 both did fairly decent jobs at tying to get their physics at least somewhat decent.
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Re: Science related movies currently in theaters

Postby BurtJordaan on February 16th, 2015, 5:06 pm 

Darby » 16 Feb 2015, 20:25 wrote:If there's an accretion disc present, there will be so much light and radiation present that it would be impossible see anything. My assumption for the shine and doppler effects to be visible is no accretion disk at all ... just the effect of ambient starlight warping around the s-radius of a non-feeding black hole. ...

I find it amusing to picture the lateral photonic doppler shifting as being somewhat analagous to the port and starboard lights used on ships at sea ... only in this case, the color indicates the direction of relatavisitic spin. Here, it's red and blue instead of red and green. ;)


I'm not sure that you have this right; starfield images get warped by a black hole, but I think there is no Doppler shift other than the movement of the camera itself (being in orbit around the hole). The gravitational redshifts are the same for every direction around the hole. The accretion disks are however in motion themselves and their lensed images will show Doppler shifts.

I have neither seen the film, nor have I read the whole technical article, but a quick scan seems to confirm what I have roughly described. Maybe we should open a new thread under Astro to discuss this technicality, in order not to hijack this thread...

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Re: Science related movies currently in theaters

Postby Darby on February 16th, 2015, 5:30 pm 

The gravitational redshifts are the same for every direction around the hole.


I think we're talking past one another.

Let's say we're looking at a non-accreting black hole located beneath us, and we're looking at it from from inline with its rotational plane (we'll assume we can do this without dying), and the apparent spin direction is from our left, across our feet, and to the right. Ambient photons of oblique approach (striking from the sides and from behind the BH) will tend to bend around the s-radius if they are moving in the same direction as the spin, otherwise they'll be absorbed. The closer to the s-radius, the greater the warpage. Viewed from some fraction of an AU, the effect might be a shimmery blur (like a spherical mirror reflecting a star pattern as it, and the star pattern both spin at great speed), and as you move further away, the warpage around the BH gradually would decrease and the periphery gradient would transition from said shimmery blur to displaying the telltale signs of gravitational lensing around the phenomena. In any case, looking back at the orbital plane below, photons that are following the curvature of the s-radius should appear doppler shifted in spectrum depending on whether the relatavistic distortion is towards (from the left side) or away (towards right side). To me, this should add an irridescent rainbow like effect to the shimmering/warpage mentioned earlier. At least, that's the way I picture it. I could be wrong.

In any case, you're right about not hijacking the thread. Easy enough to agree to disagree.
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Re: Science related movies currently in theaters

Postby BurtJordaan on February 17th, 2015, 12:25 am 

I'll read some more of the paper and also see if I can find (other) evidence, one way or the other, and then open a thread in Astro.
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Re: Science related movies currently in theaters

Postby Darby on March 31st, 2015, 8:06 pm 

Finally rented interstellar. Props for accuracy on time dilation, but a double thumbs down on all the rest of the writing ... major suck fest.
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Re: Science related movies currently in theaters

Postby TheVat on April 1st, 2015, 1:37 am 

I was mystified at the low points for several otherwise fine actors...Anne H. seemed to think she was Liza Minelli and I wondered that no one shoved her into an airlock and vented her. Michael Caine, after a sterling career, seems to have become a paycheck whore. Matt Damon seemed to have been abandoned by the writers and had no means to give us some real backstory - a caricature IOW. Very disappointing to see so much talent wasted.
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Re: Science related movies currently in theaters

Postby Darby on April 1st, 2015, 7:11 am 

Enjoy ...

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Re: Science related movies currently in theaters

Postby Darby on April 1st, 2015, 8:15 am 

Oh, and just as a palate cleansing courtesy, here's a hyperactive testosterone boosting straight ahead action trailer to counteract all the confused mubling and sluggish pacing in Interstellar. If I had to pick the more entertaining post apocalypse movie to spend $13 USD on, I'd have to go with Mad Max: Fury Road. ;^)

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Re: Science related movies currently in theaters

Postby TheVat on April 26th, 2015, 4:19 pm 

Ex Machina - newly-released movie, looks like it might be of interest to SCF members. A code writer goes on a weekend retreat with the company CEO, where he is assigned with giving a Turing test to an AI (a pretty AI - this is a movie, after all). Will see this afternoon and report back.
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Re: Science related movies currently in theaters

Postby zetreque on April 26th, 2015, 4:27 pm 

Braininvat » Sun Apr 26, 2015 1:19 pm wrote:Ex Machina - newly-released movie, looks like it might be of interest to SCF members. A code writer goes on a weekend retreat with the company CEO, where he is assigned with giving a Turing test to an AI (a pretty AI - this is a movie, after all). Will see this afternoon and report back.


cool.

My chemistry professor was just talking about the turing test and correct me if I am wrong, but something about how in Turing's (the inventor) older age it is questionable that he could even pass his own test due to mental illness.
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Re: Science related movies currently in theaters

Postby Watson on April 26th, 2015, 5:58 pm 

I heard a review of the movie. It is apparently very good.

At 41, it is hardly old age, and mental health was not an issue. Emotional issues may have resulted from his celebrity status as a war hero, but over shadowed by being gay, and the needs of the day, to fix it.
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Re: Science related movies currently in theaters

Postby Darby on April 26th, 2015, 6:05 pm 

Planning to see it as time permits this week.

Reminds me of Project Kara that I posted about a fre months back. The "uncanny valley".definitely applies, but as a moviegoer who knows all the AI was shot with a human actor, the experience will be softened considerably.
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Re: Science related movies currently in theaters

Postby TheVat on April 26th, 2015, 10:39 pm 

They do a good job and, I think it's not a spoiler to say, the film gets into the philosophical issues in a way that leaves it up to the viewer as to the value of the test and what said test can really determine. The film is dark and cerebral and Domnhall Gleeson looks very like Bertrand Russell when he was young, which added a nice meta resonance for me. Also strong perfs from Svensk stunner Alicia Vikander (Ava, the AI) and Oscar Isaac, who shows us a very credible version of an arrogant scientist/CEO driven by massive ego. To be sure, there are the usual movie compressions and composites - one guy is not going to build an AI by himself. But the film is going for psychological depth more than realism.
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Re: Science related movies currently in theaters

Postby Darby on April 27th, 2015, 7:04 am 

Sounds good ... I always go for movies that place a high emphasis on solid writing. That's sadly rare in these days of jazzed-up and heavily intercut action movies that cater to the increasingly attention-span challenged hoi polloi.
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Re: Science related movies currently in theaters

Postby zetreque on September 29th, 2015, 9:12 pm 

For those of you who didn't like Interstellar like me. And for those of you who did and don't understand why others don't.

Feat Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=68&v=mnArCFSrkg8[/youtube]
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