While the entire world watches the largest meteor shower in 10,000 years, a rogue asteroid, hidden by the meteor field, smashes into the moon in a tremendous explosion of rock and debris. ... See full summary »
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Charles S. Dutton
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While the entire world watches the largest meteor shower in 10,000 years, a rogue asteroid, hidden by the meteor field, smashes into the moon in a tremendous explosion of rock and debris. Fragments from the asteroid, and even from the moon itself, penetrate Earth's atmosphere and make impact. Even though the initial damage is minimal, nerves are frayed throughout the planet. There is significant physical damage to the lunar surface, but experts quickly conclude there will be no lasting ramifications. Then strange anomalies begin to manifest themselves on Earth. It starts small - cell phone disruptions, unusual static charges and odd tidal behavior. The world's leading scientists, including Alex Kittner, Maddie Rhodes and Roland Emerson, begin piecing together evidence that suggests the moon's properties, and its orbit, may have been permanently altered. Their fears are realized when the anomalies increase to the point where the effect of "simulated" gravity is being manipulated by ... Written by
cute kids, cool grandpa, lousy science and writing.
Hey, did anyone else notice that the patch on the general's sleeve was for the First Cavalry? What!?! Cavalry? Couldn't they at least have invented some bogus "Joint Astrospace Defence Command" patch?
I must admit, I didn't watch the movie intently: my wife was watching, and I would sit with her until the bogusness got too bad, then I'd go clean my closet or something. But I must also admit that I'm biased by my own history. I worked for NASA for 37 years, then taught high school for six, so the stunning level of bad science really grated on my sensibility. As someone noted, couldn't the writers have at least talked an amateur astronomer into critiquing the script. Maybe he could have explained the law of the conservation of momentum, and if the writers were quick studies, they might have progressed to complex topics like basic orbital mechanics.
There were redeeming features, of course. The little girl proved herself a fine young actress with her expressive face in that video conversation with her dad, and the grandpa was splendid, just as he was in "Babe". (I'd like to look for more of his movies to rent: I enjoy his work.) And, of course, all us old-timers know that all female space scientists are blonde, slender, very attractive, 30 to 35 years old, and possessed of big boobs. So they did get that part right.
Seriously, there should be no excuse for such bad science fiction on TV. Too much of the US population is nearly illiterate in science. And I am not talking about the kids in school now. This movie was shown in prime time, so was presumably intended for adult audiences. But this is the population who agree, in the majority, with the statement "early humans often had to defend their caves against marauding dinosaurs." And let's not forget there are politicians that claim to not believe the theory that is actually the fundamental guiding principle of contemporary biology. With a little more effort, some of the major flaws in the story could have been corrected and the audience might have gone away with a little better understanding of the underlying science. Yes, it's science FICTION, but fiction still needs internal self-consistency and a clear understanding of its own premises and their consequences. (Think "Jurassic Park" as a good example.)
Some of us have worked hard to educate this country in science, and seeing this movie is so discouraging, as if taunting us by saying we are never going to win.
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