Monday, 7 September 2009

Making an Impact

Epic disaster movies and tv series have always been with us, with an extreme example coming up (about the Mayan calender flipping the page), and the most recent example was a two-parter called Impact. The moon is impacted, it draws nearer the earth, and Strange Things(tm) happen.

Now, they do obvious tropes of "families in danger" who must cross vast distances to be reunited, etc, etc., and so on and so forth, but we must have this. Apparently. It's the "Human angle". Bah. But... that's nothing compared to another trope:

TV SCIENCE! Which has absolutely no bearing with actual, real, reality-based science. Gravity doesn't work like that. Objects don't react to impacts like that. Science doesn't work like that! "But it's more visual!" The actual science can be incredibly visual too, possibly not on a tv timeframe though. We need an impending clock! And if something like this did happen in this time scale, there's nothing we'd be able to do about it in time.

Check out Bad Astronomy for more. Phil Plait wrote about this after seeing the trailer, it wasn't well received. As he wrote about what really would happen in something like this in Death From The Skies! Movie science doesn't stand a chance.

But it's all about the people. Natasha Henstridge is a beautiful scientist that early on is presented as an atheist (to Chang Lee... I mean Yee Jee Tso's faith believer). You just know she'll be a believer by the end. We have the Dad With Kids whom will get his kids. And the Guy With Fiancee, a variation on a theme that we still know the outcome of.

As ever, at the end, we come back to one basic question: if we must have disaster porn, why can't we can good disaster porn?


1 comment:

Rich said...

With Natasha Henstridge's film debut being the part of 'Sil' in Species, I'm not certain if Disaster Porn is the right way to describe this!