Sunshine

16.04.2007 0:48

On Saturday I went to see Sunshine. I've read the review in the NewScientist last week and didn't expect much from it. Now, I'm surprised NewScientist even bothered to review a movie like this.

The science part of this science-fiction story is just unbelievably bad. I don't have a problem with the fact that the basic plot was impossible (there isn't nearly enough mass on the whole earth to make a device that could produce any kind of power output comparable to the sun, stars don't stop just like that, etc, etc), that is also true for many good sci-fi stories. It's the little details that really annoy me:

  • They equate vacuum and weightlessness. As soon as air pressure is restored in the airlock, things fall down (I would think that anyone who passed elementary school physics should get this right).
  • Mariner 10 flew by Mercury in 1973 (without any futuristic heat shielding) and didn't vaporize in an instant.
  • Low temperature is the least of your problems when you are going to explosively decompress an airlock without a wearing a space suit.
  • Come on, you have immersive three-dimensional displays for therapy, but the astronauts must peek through a narrow slit in their helmet?

Interestingly the basic theme of the movie (people getting obsessed with exposing themselves to the light and stuff like that) strongly reminded me of a short sci-fi story Flying toward the light by Herbert W. Franke (I only have Slovenian translation here, so the title may be a bit off). It talks about a fleet of ships from Pluto that are going toward the inner solar system in search of planets that are warmer (and trying to figure out what happened to the previous expedition). It turns out that they get so addicted to the light and warmth that they can't get enough of it and they get closer and closer to the sun until everyone looses perception and is too late to avoid crashing into the sun.

I found this two pages long story much more enjoyable and thought provoking than the whole Sunshine movie - and in the end it also doesn't turn into a cheap horror movie with rotating scalpels (??) and other sickening stuff.

Posted by Tomaž | Categories: Life

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