I love science fiction flicks as much as the next nerdy person, but there’s one new movie I have no intention of seeing: Gravity. Floating out into space, with no hope of rescue, well… that’s the making of a recurrent nightmare, in my mind.
I, apparently, am alone in this thought. Gravity broke box office records last weekend, bringing in nearly 56 million dollars on its opening weekend. This is no surprise; it’s a relatively novel film idea, by Hollywood standards, and has A-list stars Sandy Bullock and George Clooney playing the leads. It’s been reported that NASA is enjoying the film immensely (anything to remind people they still exist in some capacity, well, when the government is not shut down, that is), and Buzz Aldrin apparently was “very, very impressed” with the movie.
Hey, a former astronaut, who’s been out there, likes it. Okay, if it weren’t the stuff of my nightmares, I would totally go and watch it. Millions of people are.
Included in those millions who watched Gravity on opening weekend was Dr. Neil DeGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist. He’s a household name in my family, as all three guys I live with are very interested in astrophysics, space travel, telescopes, and all things beyond the atmosphere of our little, blue Earth. I follow him on Twitter, because he’s witty and generally seems like a nice guy. Dr. Tyson had a bone to pick with Gravity, and he picked that bone on Twitter, apparently from the movie theater…
Some of the tweets were, educational, let’s say. I had an idea of what angular momentum was, but how many others do? I think most people know about the Hubble telescope, but do they know the inner workings of Hubble and the maintenance it requires? I don’t. And who here knows how high communication satellites fly in our planet’s orbit?
Other tweets of Dr. Tyson, however, were things that would give me difficulty in suspending disbelief in the movie…
In fact, I’m just as surprised that no one else remarked on these items as I am that Dr. Tyson ended his tweeting session with this one:
So, let me ask you this: should movies be scientifically factual? Or should they be expected to just give it the good, ol’ college try? Or should we just accept it’s only a movie and that it’s just not real? Would it stop you from enjoying the movie if you ran across inaccuracies?