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Thread: What have you watched lately?

  1. #2351
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: god dammit dantes
    Quote Originally Posted by Brethren View Post
    Saw Interstellar - pretty good film, although it didn't blow me away like some of Nolan's other movies. The worst part however was the sound mix, which has been taking a lot of heat for drowning out the dialogue. Nolan says it's intentional, but I say that's either BS or just a really bad creative decision. Does anyone want to go to a movie where you can't hear key plot points because Hans Zimmer's blaring organ music is overpowering everything else? I'm not sure what he's trying to accomplish by doing that.
    The loud organ music cues are callbacks to 2001's OST and its climactic scenes. At least, if I'm remembering things correctly.
    Last edited by Sulphur; 19th Nov 2014 at 15:37.

  2. #2352
    Loud music is not the issue, playing it over spoken dialogue is.

  3. #2353
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: god dammit dantes
    True. The theatre I went to had the movie with subtitles on for some reason, so I guess I didn't really notice that because I was reading the subtitles out of sheer force of anime habit.

  4. #2354
    Registered: May 2004
    Location: Canuckistan GWN
    On the topic of music, it seems that the new fashion for blockbuster trailers is blasts on what seem to be steroid enhanced Tibetan ceremonial trumpets. These have replaced big drums and huge human choruses shouting wordless acerbic chords, as a means of reminding us that something very, very important is happening on the screen.

    Any predictions for the next noise de jour?

  5. #2355
    Weird, never heard of a theater using subtitles unless it was an actual foreign language film.

    The other annoying sound thing with the movie was Matthew McConaughey's unintelligible mumble/southern drawl things he does. I realize that's part of his appeal to some, but as far as I'm concerned SPEAK UP BITCH!

  6. #2356
    Registered: May 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by Sulphur View Post
    Interstellar: great visuals, questionable plot, scientifically trained astronauts continue to do boneheaded things because plot, the movie's answer to what lies on the other side of a black hole is... a girl's bedroom; never mind the fact that Coop's piddly space vehicle would have been stressed and smashed apart from tidal forces before he even dipped his wing into its surface, and if gravity can move past time, that doesn't explain how he's able to apply kinetic force to the books on the shelf to make' em drop, and oh... fuck it. 2001 had the benefit of being written by Arthur C. Clarke and directed by a man who was utterly fastidious about every single detail. Nolan's just paying homage at this point, and not altogether well, unfortunately.

    Nolan's character writing has always been two-dimensional at best, so making a movie that bases its beats on character nuance and development was a bad idea. Movie's still hella fucking stylish, though.
    As someone recently explained it to me: "Actually a supermassive black hole such as Gargantua with the mass of more than 100 suns would not cause spaghetification due to tidal forces at the event horizon. An astronaut crossing the event horizon of such a black hole wouldn't feel anything because singularity is hundreds of thousands of miles from the event horizon. Noticeable tidal forces outside or near the event horizon can be felt only around stellar black holes which are considerably smaller and have their schwarzchild radii much closer to their singularities (say a few thousand miles). So it was pretty cool to see they did their homework on that aspect as well."

    Astrophysicist Kip Thorne was an executive producer on this film and oversaw all of this. He wrote a book on the film - what's accurate, what's speculation, what's plot device. He's even publishing papers as a result of working on the film. From wiki:
    In creating the wormhole and a supermassive rotating black hole, which as opposed to a non-rotating black hole possesses an ergosphere, Dr. Thorne collaborated with visual effect supervisor Paul Franklin and a team of 30 computer effects artists at Double Negative. Thorne would provide pages of deeply sourced theoretical equations to the artists, who then wrote new CGI rendering software based on these equations to create accurate computer simulations of the gravitational lensing caused by these phenomena. Some individual frames took up to 100 hours to render, and ultimately resulted in 800 terabytes of data. The resulting visual effect provided Dr. Thorne with new insight into the effects of gravitational lensing and accretion disks surrounding black holes, and will lead to the creation of two scientific papers; one for the astrophysics community and one for the computer graphics community.[59]
    Even NDT was impressed, and he highly criticized the science in Gravity. Some tweets from him:
    Quote Originally Posted by Neil DeGrasse Tyson
    The producers knew exactly how, why, & when you’d achieve zero-G in space.
    Experience Einstein's Curvature of Space as no other feature film has shown.
    Experience Einstein’s Relativity of Time as no other feature film has shown.
    And in the real universe, strong gravitational fields measurably slow passage of time relative to others.
    You observe great Tidal Waves from great Tidal Forces, of magnitude that orbiting a Black Hole might create
    You enter a 3-Dimensional portal in space. Yes, you can fall in from any direction. Yes, it’s a Worm Hole.
    if you didn’t understand the physics, try Kip Thorne’s highly readable Bbook “The Science of Interstellar"

    Yes, science was frequently ignored to create certain plot point, but for a science fiction film, the science in this was pretty damn rigorous.

    As for what I thought of the film… I'm happy Nolan finally decided to slow down the pacing instead of bombarding you with so much information that you don't have time to think like in his last 3 films, but it did drag a little at times. I would have liked more ambiguity in the plot, as it seemed quite straightforward for a Nolan script despite great potential for more stuff to ponder. The overall message of 'humanity will prevail' was corny and overdone. Not his best film, but I really enjoyed it - and unlike a lot of people here, my favorite part was the black hole and the tesseract inside.

    Also there was only one line of dialogue I remember missing due to loud music. Gone Girl was a lot worse in that regard - there was a scene early on in that film where I couldn't catch a single word due to the music.
    Last edited by froghawk; 19th Nov 2014 at 19:15.

  7. #2357
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Started watching Gotham. Really enjoying it so far. 4 episodes in. Great acting all around, even from Benjamin McKenzie who to me will always be Ryan from the O.C.

  8. #2358
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: god dammit dantes
    @froghawk: I'm also aware of both Kip Thorne's involvement and Tyson's views. As a consultant, I'm sure Thorne pointed out the classical/relativistic details, which were nice, since most movies miss those completely. There's even some quantum theory thrown in. And that's just dandy. But Kip obviously couldn't tell Nolan his plot didn't make a whit of sense, or if he did, it must have gone unheeded.

    Your set of quotes from NDT talks about tidal waves and forces; so either this thing is small enough to have 'em exist beyond the event horizon, or we've hit a physical inaccuracy later in the movie. And even if Gargantua's tidal forces exist behind the event horizon because of its size (a mass of a 100 suns is pretty small for black holes, by the way) there's the fact that Coop flew straight into the damn thing, so at some point he would have to have turned into taffy. Unless we've created a spaceship that can maintain structural integrity even when something that's able to bend the space and light around it exerts forces enough to crush the ship into an area a hundred million times smaller than a pea*, which in this future Nolan's created is doubtful.

    It's a smaller detail, however, compared to the warping of logic that happens after that point. And that's to say nothing of a separate bunch of disparate points (from the 'blight' to Damon's colossally retarded forced-docking freakout to 'frozen cloud' planet). The movie should have been using the science to shape its plot, but my impression is that even Nolan fell into the Hollywood trap of doing it the other way around in the end, because 'what the fuck just happened?' a la 2001's ending would have made for a pretty unsatisfying story.

    (*or thereabouts. I don't know what the actual mass of this black hole is to make an exact calculation... but even if I did, I probably wouldn't because we've got better things to do. )
    Last edited by Sulphur; 20th Nov 2014 at 02:01.

  9. #2359
    Registered: Jan 2014
    Location: Bangalore, India
    I didn't notice any issues with the sound either, but I had a screening with subtitles too, so I wouldn't've noticed.

  10. #2360
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    I'm suffering somewhat from Nolan fatigue. I very much like Memento and The Prestige and have enjoyed most of his films, but it's a case of diminishing returns: I find his style somewhat repetitive by now and the stories to be less cerebral than they try to appear. Will still want to see Interstellar at the cinema, but I'm not necessarily excited to see it.

  11. #2361
    Looks like we have some real scientists here on TTLG. I have to admit, I much more enjoy discussing the abstract theories and fiction presented in Incpetion over the real scientific stuff in Interstellar. I'm guessing the majority of the population feels the same way. When they started discussing black holes, relativity, and event horizons and such, I was just accepting of it all and didn't feel a very big urge to research anything. Pretty much took it on face value.


    The one part that threw me was setting down on the first (water) planet, where one hour of the astronauts time equaled seven years elsewhere. Does anyone know, is there any real hard science behind something like that? I'd be very interested to know. Seemed way too far fetched that someone in orbit could age 23 years while the folks on the planet below were only gone a few hours.

  12. #2362
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    Yes, that's general relativity. Gravity affects time. It's factored into how GPS works since the passage of time for satellites which are further from earth's gravitational pull is ever so slightly slower to that on earth. The bit with the watch is probably directly lifted from A Brief History of Time, where the example used is that a watch would tick more slowly the further from earth you get (other sources of gravity would obviously exert an influence at some point). This is probably a decade old info I'm pulling from memory, but I'm sure if I've made mistakes, someone can correct.

  13. #2363
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by Brethren View Post
    The one part that threw me was setting down on the first (water) planet, where one hour of the astronauts time equaled seven years elsewhere. Does anyone know, is there any real hard science behind something like that?
    Oh, yeah. Time dilation around black holes gets quickly absurd. From a frame of reference outside of a black hole, nothing ever actually manages to fall into it; the dilation of space/time approaches infinity as the subject approaches the event horizon.

  14. #2364
    Registered: May 2004
    This might seem strange for me to say after I just quoted all of that stuff, but am I the only one who thinks it's weird that people are picking apart the science of this film this much? I don't think there's a single science fiction film out there that's scientifically accurate - hence the fiction part. I guess people are picking this apart more because of Thorne's involvement, which makes this film more accurate in a lot of ways than any previous science fiction film, but I also think people hold Nolan to a higher standard with this stuff for some reason. People were picking apart the plot of his Batman movies left and right because they took a more realistic approach, but they were still movies about a dude dressing up as a bat and beating people up - it seemed like everyone forgot that and decided that everything had to make perfect sense. And similarly, why does science fiction have to adhere to real science at all? I really don't get why people care this much. You'd be hard pressed to find any sci-fi movie with a plot that makes a whit of sense when held to real world standards. What happened to suspension of disbelief?

  15. #2365
    I get the basics of time dilation, but I referring more to specifics in the movie. Faetal mentioned how satellites experience slower time than people on earth, but considering that the landing crew was able to walk around fairly normally on the water planet, I'm guessing the gravity for Miller's Planet couldn't have been anything extreme enough to cause the 23 year difference in time between them and the guy waiting back on the main ship in orbit. Those numbers just seems out of whack.

  16. #2366
    Registered: Apr 2008
    It sounds right if the people on the planet were travelling away from the people in orbit at close to light speed.

    I still don't know much about the film (besides the time dilation and general relativity), but I agree with froghawk about sci-fi in general.

    For me, science fiction is usually at its best when it uses the sciencey bits to tell stories and play with themes which couldn't be achieved elegantly in other genres.

    I used to love Star Trek TNG as a kid. They would always defeat the danger by reversing the polarity of the whatcha-me-doodad, or tachyons or some shit. Those things didn't matter too much. I hardly remember anything apart from one night, aged about 8, having my mind blown by an episode which had Riker discover that there was another version of himself who had lived a separate life after a teleportation accident, leaving the original him stranded for years. How awesome is that?: 6pm Wednesday evening, I'm 8 years old, and I'm wondering about whether a soul makes any sense, whether any of us are as real as we think we are, and so on.

    Great sci-fi usually takes advantage of scientific possibilities to be thought provoking and accessible at the same time.

  17. #2367
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: god dammit dantes

    I can't speak for everyone else, but I like picking apart most movies I watch that attempt to deal with anything scientific, unless they're incredibly abstract or resistant to analysis. Most of the time it's hilarious, because physics apparently doesn't exist in mainstream sci-fi. Every now and then, though, something comes along that's fun to talk about because it gets something right even if other bits are broken. Interstellar is one of those movies, but unfortunately it gets logic (let alone science) skewered by the requirements of its third act twist. It doesn't have the hallmarks of thought-provoking sci-fi either, IMO, because its core theme of familial estrangement has already been done better elsewhere, and doesn't need sci-fi to explore it.

    Nolan's complained about his movies being taken apart far more than the average film; that's a fair observation to make, but if his work is being held to the lofty standard of 'accessible cerebral cinema', it's going to attract its fair share of people pointing out when things don't work. He has an affinity for making complicated tangles of plot that don't resolve too well under scrutiny, because he also has to balance the needs of entertainment along with plot resolution. I haven't made a film before, so maybe it's presumptuous of me to suggest this given Hollywood, focus testing, executive meddling, and whatever else of politics affects the way a movie is made, but IMO: if he's going to continue to try and make movies with twisty little plotlines, he needs to take a few more pages out of books that already exist to sidestep those issues.

    If he wanted to make a character drama with science at the core for instance, he should have looked to a movie like Contact. Contact deals with a couple of things that can be reduced to MacGuffin status even though they're essential to the movie - the alien signal that drives the plot describes machinery the workings of which aren't ever specified, so we can assume it operates on magical advanced alien science we can't understand yet. That's a fillip in its favour, because if we don't know how the damn thing works, we can't pick it apart and cry foul, so the focus lies on what the MacGuffin enables at a narrative level - the puzzle of decrypting the message (pretty smart, I don't remember the book having that), the characters, and the conflicts of ideology, all of which were fairly (subjectively) well-done.
    Last edited by Sulphur; 21st Nov 2014 at 02:35.

  18. #2368
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    I've lately got to thinking that criticism of realism follows a similar curve to the uncanny valley - the closer you get to the real thing, the more the slight differences jar with people.

  19. #2369
    Registered: May 2004
    OK, all of that is fair. I definitely agree that he's been biting off a bit more than he can chew lately and I wish he would return to something a little more scaled down that works a little better like his first 4 (or even 6) films. For some reason I didn't personally find any of that stuff to be particularly jarring in this film, I guess because I just wasn't as engaged with this film as I was with the last two. The spectacle and concept didn't capture me as much as Inception, and I entered into TDKR already emotionally invested thanks to the first two films. At the same time, I think the scripting problems in those films bothered me a lot more than any realism issues. For example, the lack of really creative dreamy stuff in Inception's 3rd act, which went for James Bond action instead. Or all the superfluous ideas in TDKR that messed with the story arc (like the fact that Batman had two weak comebacks instead of one strong comeback because Nolan felt the need to shoehorn part of his unproduced Howard Hughes script into the start of the movie bothered me a lot more than the way Bruce's back healed). And similarly here, my primary reservation is that I wish it would have gone more 2001 and spent more time seeing crazy stuff in the wormhole and less time on dull actiony stuff like the Mann plot. I guess I just have different priorities - I'll take a weird story and trippy visuals over accurate science in my scifi any day of the week, which is why the black hole and tesseract were easily my favorite part of the film. If there's some accurate science, it's like a cool bonus for me, but I don't care if it extends to the rest. But your reasons for caring are definitely solid.
    Last edited by froghawk; 21st Nov 2014 at 11:16.

  20. #2370
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    Most of my enjoyment from Interstellar was actually emotional rather than intellectual. For me it ended up being less a sci-fi film and more an abstraction of how heart-rending loving your family can be with the most extreme isolation from them possible. The fact that it hewed as close to be being believable as it did, really packed a fair wallop when you see him weeping while watching the videos he missed while on the water planet for an hour, then holding his elderly daughter's hand while she lay dying.

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