Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Bad Astronomy May Term: Solar Crisis

Back in May I taught a two week course titled "Bad Astronomy" in which we discussed common science misconceptions and watched several movies identifying as many bad science moments as possible.  The second movie we watched was "Solar Crisis", a 1990 film starring Charlton Heston and Jack Palance among others.  The basic plot of this movie is the Sun is somehow causing problems on Earth and the only way to stop it is to plant a nuke in the Sun, let it blow up, and somehow the Sun is returned to normal.  Yeah, makes no sense to me either.

This movie is filled with bad science.  One of my favorite scenes was when astronauts, not tethered, are guiding in spacecraft manually using orange sticks, very similar to the people who guide airplanes to the gate after they've landed.  ROFL!  Then of course there's the bomb stopping the Sun.  How, exactly does planting a bomb in the Sun stop the Sun for whatever it's doing?  

The other big problem in this movie is the plot.  There's this whole story line of characters on Earth that are never or rarely in space.  Take these characters away and the plot of the movie is unchanged.  These characters play no role whatsoever.  In fact, the movie ends with so many plot holes that the entire class was left shaking their heads.  We had a great time discussing both the bad science and bad plot.  

Do I recommend you watch this movie?  No.  A lot of movies have bad science but are still enjoyable due to a strong plot line.  Solar Crisis does not offer that.  It earned a 3.8/10 from IMDB (how is it even that high!?!?!) and a 13% from Rotten Tomatoes.  A horrible, horrible movie!

No comments:

Post a Comment