May 10, 2004

When fantasy and science collide

Great articles from Gregg Easterbrook and Bjorn Lumborg about how the over-the-top scifi bent of The Day After Tomorrow can only hurt the environmental agendas. Excerpt from Easterbrook:

Once Gore was a serious thinker on environmental issues, and diligently sought out top-notch scientific advice; say what you will about his 1992 Earth in the Balance--it's an earnest, conscientious work by someone concerned with getting the details straight. Now Gore appears ready to affiliate his reputation with a cheapo third-rate disaster movie that makes Fantastic Voyage seem like a peer-reviewed technical paper. It's easy to see why wants the reflection of the new movie's limelight; wild exaggeration is a good fundraising tool. But if Gore associates himself with this mindless flick, he will have completed his descent from serious thinker and national leader to's sock puppet. Why would Al Gore do this to himself?

Because he's an asshat? Just asking. And now from Lumborg:

In the final minutes of the Hollywood doomsday spectacular The Day After Tomorrow, which opens in Britain at the end of the month, the US president makes a ludicrously over-the-top State of the Nation speech. It is a great deal less realistic than the performance by the undoubted star of this $125 million blockbuster of a film: a 100 ft high tidal wave that engulfs New York.

Indeed, the film loses any credibility long before that. This is not because of any one of the far-fetched incidents that occur in the course of its 125 minutes. It isn't the flash freezing of a presidential motorcade, or even the escape of man-eating wolves from New York Zoo. No, this extremely enjoyable film has been let down by the simple fact that it has got its science all wrong. None of it could happen.

Go read them both.

Posted by Physics Geek at May 10, 2004 04:39 PM StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble It!

Sounds like the moviemakers misinterpreted the H.G. Wells rule. You get one stupid idea per story. Not one per scene.

Posted by: Bob Hawkins at May 12, 2004 04:00 PM