April 23, 2007

Sunshine movie review

Writing about web page http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0448134/

Sunshine movie poster

Things to remember if asked to send bomb to re-ignite sun

  1. Send robot, not humans. Humans get maths wrong, forget stuff and go mad. Plus makes ship one thousand times more complicated with oxygen, food and shielding, plus wretched crew want to come home afterwards.
  2. If sending humans, don’t take nervous tics, edgy eye movements and tendency to start SHOUTING SUDDENLY as desirable attributes.
  3. But do favour glossy hair, attractive stubble and bright blue eyes. Ship spec to include eye-level lighting in all areas so that eyes can glint brilliantly even if face in shadow.
  4. Don’t include observation deck. Staring at sun for prolonged periods causes, at best, headaches and eye strain, at worst, hideous lesions and full-blown psychosis.
  5. Don’t call ship Icarus. Is stupid name, like calling new boat Titanic. Suggests a lack of confidence in mission. Also, if first mission fails, don’t build second ship and then call it Icarus 2; is tempting fate to unreasonable degree. Choose something upbeat like Sunbeam instead. Or possibly Sunchyme after Dario G’s cheery pop hit.

Things to remember if asked to make film about re-igniting sun with bomb

  1. Making everything in front of space shield too bright to make anything out and everything behind shield too dark to make anything out not a recipe for aiding audience understanding.
  2. Decide whether making sci-fi actioner, slasher pic or psycho-drama before starting film. Especially, don’t make a third of each and then glue them together hoping nobody will notice.
  3. Avoid pointless jump cuts, flash frames and freeze frames. Not big. Not clever.

- 3 comments by 3 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. Was the physics up to much?

    23 Apr 2007, 17:05

  2. John Dale

    Paging Mr May with his fancy-pants physics degree, but speaking as a non-physicist I’d say not. They were going to chuck a bomb into the sun without it melting, and that troubles my plausibility meter.

    23 Apr 2007, 17:35

  3. Chris May

    In a word, weak. The whole premise of the film is on deeply shaky ground, as it relies on the behaviour of a particle that so far has only been observed in funding applications for CERN research (a nucleus composed of supersymetric particles, AKA a ‘q-ball’, capable of annihilating regular matter). How such a particle becomes trapped in the sun is not covered (actually it would whip straight through, neutrino-style) and how exactly a giant bomb would fix it is likewise not really covered.

    Then there’s the slight issue that It takes them 2 years to fly from earth to mercury, and then 2 days to do the remaining 30 million miles to the surface of the sun, at which point they move low-sun orbit with no discernible change in momentum. And the heat-proof nuclear bomb, and the ‘mainframe’ which is the size whole room whilst still being unable to do simple flight adjustments. And so on. Basically, you probably shouldn’t rely on this film as a substitute for taking proper notes in Astro. :-)

    23 Apr 2007, 20:14


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