Author Topic: The YACF Bumper book of Plot Holes  (Read 9559 times)

The YACF Bumper book of Plot Holes
« on: April 13, 2015, 11:17:47 am »
There seems to be a sufficient number of us whiners to warrant a whiny thread of our own - a thread where we can point at a screen and mutter "Oh for Fuck's sake" without attracting ridicule and sniggers from those who simply don't understand!

As it happens, I seem to have a higher threshold than, say, fboab for plot holes. She spots things that I simply don't. We were discussing this yesterday, and decided it was probably because I find it easier  to suspend my disbelief.

The one in Gravity that really gets me (aside from the wrong orbits of the various satellites - you see, I can just blah over that) is where George Clooney "has" to cut himself free of Sandra Bullock. Why? Why does he have to? Why is he accelerating away from her?

It just doesn't make sense...

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Re: The YACF Bumper book of Plot Holes
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2015, 12:03:51 pm »
Interstellar. All of it.
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Basil

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Re: The YACF Bumper book of Plot Holes
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2015, 12:24:54 pm »
Ahh, Plot Holes.
I thought this was reading a little odd.  :-[
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Kim

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Re: The YACF Bumper book of Plot Holes
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2015, 12:29:54 pm »
Interstellar. All of it.

I'll see your Interstellar and raise you The Core.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

ian

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Re: The YACF Bumper book of Plot Holes
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2015, 12:44:32 pm »
Well, the Interstellar gripe is because I'm a secret operative of the Guild of Botanists (we have decoder rings and when the triffids come we won't need glyphosate; oh btw, if you read this, you now have to die, sorry, but it is a secret society). It must truly be hell being a physicist, and not just because of the obligatory tank tops (though I'm sure they don't help). I can generally suspend belief high enough that it refuses absolutely to look down. Anyway, the movie had enough bombastic spectacle to make it entertaining, though I wished they'd not bigged up the 'real science' angle since it wouldn't pass a GCSE. That, and I suspect, some creative dodging to avoid whispering global warming (a bit of Googling reveals that the nutty squad have identified 'hidden' global warming references, proof that you can't even hide the truth from the perspicacity of the truly ignorant).

Anyway, Interstellar was a mere pretender to – oh you started this – Prometheus. Weirdly, I have to watch that movie, it's compulsive, like watching people crash expensive sports cars into hard, non-negotiable objects. There's no one plot hole, they merge. The entire movie is a plot hole. A great, dark swirling mass of nonsense from which no sense can escape. It starts with a backward DNA helix and corkscrews itself into fractal incoherence. I dare anyone to describe any one scene in that movie that even vaguely acknowledges common sense in passing. The plot crosses the road to avoid sense, like it's a charity mugger blocking the pavement. As for individual holes, the entire plot might as well have been carpet bombed by an over-enthusiastic squadron of B52s. I think the popular theory is that it's supposed to be confusing so a sequel can come along and knit it all back and we'll go 'ahh, that's clever'. Hah, that'll be like digging a hole upwards.

There's too many favourites in that movie. There's a fantastic Dan Brown pale-eyed silhouette moment when David, our superintelligent android tries to see a hologram better by shining a torch at it. On that basis, I don't think we'll be welcoming our robot overlords any time soon.
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Re: The YACF Bumper book of Plot Holes
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2015, 01:17:37 pm »
I'll get my camera out and start photographing my favourite Pot Holes. Will there be a poll to pick the fav pictures or will all submissions be included?

Will they be grouped by location, size or type?
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LEE

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Re: The YACF Bumper book of Plot Holes
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2015, 01:54:08 pm »
My Wife has a superb knack of only pointing out the most tiny of plot holes whilst dealing well with the huge ones.

A (made up, but not exaggerated) example would be along the lines of "A woman would never wear shoes like that on a Spaceship" whilst ignoring the fact she is trying to "restart the Sun with a nuclear Bomb" (See. Danny Boyle's "Sunshine").

While we're on the subject, restarting the Sun?  Really?  If you have the power to do that then you can probably get along fine without it in the first place.
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Kim

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Re: The YACF Bumper book of Plot Holes
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2015, 02:00:51 pm »
My Wife has a superb knack of only pointing out the most tiny of plot holes whilst dealing well with the huge ones.

A (made up, but not exaggerated) example would be along the lines of "A woman would never wear shoes like that on a Spaceship" whilst ignoring the fact they are trying to "restart the Sun with a nuclear Bomb" (See. Danny Boyle's "Sunshine").

Wasn't that an xkcd strip?




Anyway, that falls under the science fiction rule of one suspension of disbelief per story:  You're allowed to have a story where the sun requires jump-starting with a macguffin, but if you do, you have to be *damn* sure to get the shoes and the spaceships right.  Otherwise you end up with The Core.

Or you don't do a science fiction story at all, and the spaceships, nuclear bombs and perhaps even the shoes are incidental.  But it's guaranteed to attract an audience of disappointed people who enjoy threads like this.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Mr Larrington

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Re: The YACF Bumper book of Plot Holes
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2015, 02:10:06 pm »
The whole restarting the sun nonse provides a rich seam of comedy gold for Robin Ince on The Infinite Monkey Cage.
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ian

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Re: The YACF Bumper book of Plot Holes
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2015, 02:55:33 pm »
Intentional plot devices are fine. Everyone wants spaceships to go faster than light, cross solar systems in a few hours, clone dinosaurs from DNA, have antigravity, if it's adds the necessary vroom-vroom to the plot. It's when they (a) add stupidity intentionally (as Kim says, was there any reason at all for the implausible agro-geddon plot of Interstellar when they could have blamed Global Warming, el Niño, or just not bothered as a wormhole to another planet is pretty cool regardless) and (b) unintentional stupidity, which merely sets up a stand to exhibit the scientific illiteracy of the world (everything in Prometheus).
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red marley

Re: The YACF Bumper book of Plot Holes
« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2015, 03:04:00 pm »
The Imitation Game

Turing and Hut 6 spend years trying to break the Enigma code. Only once they've done it, does Turing and his colleagues consider, apparently for the first time, the implication that they cannot act on their information without giving away their success in breaking the code.

Re: The YACF Bumper book of Plot Holes
« Reply #11 on: April 13, 2015, 04:15:32 pm »
Ah. That well-established principle, known to all military commanders at the time & even earlier (& written about extensively in published works). Note that Turing et al didn't have any control of (or even necessarily know) what was done with their data anyway: they handed over the decrypts & it was up to others to decide what to do with them. There were & are, in any case, workarounds.

It's amazing how many reconnaissance aircraft found things which had already been located by Bletchley, such as supply convoys for Rommel, & were seen to do so by the other side. Astonishing coincidence. Some of them even survived the experience!

This, of course, explained why the RAF and/or RN knew where to go to sink the supply ships.
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citoyen

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Re: The YACF Bumper book of Plot Holes
« Reply #12 on: April 13, 2015, 05:02:23 pm »
The Imitation Game

Turing and Hut 6 spend years trying to break the Enigma code. Only once they've done it, does Turing and his colleagues consider, apparently for the first time, the implication that they cannot act on their information without giving away their success in breaking the code.

I'm not picking on anyone in particular here, but I found it interesting to note in the movies thread that certain people had a go at Interstellar while turning a blind eye to the many faults of The Imitation Game - it is riddled with plot holes and inaccuracies, but people seem more prepared to forgive it... because it's not claiming to be science?

I don't know, I don't care, I enjoyed The Imitation Game despite its flaws. Haven't seen Interstellar yet.

Anyway, to get back to the point...

"Who's driving the boat?"

Kim

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Re: The YACF Bumper book of Plot Holes
« Reply #13 on: April 13, 2015, 05:20:35 pm »
I specifically didn't see The Imitation Game at the cinema because I expect it would make me angry.

Sci-fi silliness is one thing.  Re-writing history (badly, for reasons that can only assumed to be lazy writing) is another.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

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Re: The YACF Bumper book of Plot Holes
« Reply #14 on: April 13, 2015, 05:25:32 pm »
And as for re-writing history to put USAnia in a better light...
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ian

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Re: The YACF Bumper book of Plot Holes
« Reply #15 on: April 13, 2015, 05:33:17 pm »
Well, I assume the bit in the Imitation Game was for dramatic purpose, so Turing and the other fellow could exhibit some tension, as Turing said: I say old chap, we can't let on to the Kraut that have their decoder ring or they'll jolly well be onto us bally-o. Other chap: oh that dashed crushing, Alan, I hate, hate, hate you all, because my brother must die. I'm going to my rooms to have a jolly good sulk. Cue suitable music.

Liam can, of course, drive a boat and fight off bad guys. At the same time. Probably while doing the crossword. We are not worthy.
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Re: The YACF Bumper book of Plot Holes
« Reply #16 on: April 13, 2015, 07:59:59 pm »
I specifically didn't see The Imitation Game at the cinema because I expect it would make me angry.

Sci-fi silliness is one thing.  Re-writing history (badly, for reasons that can only assumed to be lazy writing) is another.
Ditto
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Re: The YACF Bumper book of Plot Holes
« Reply #17 on: April 13, 2015, 10:21:25 pm »
And as for re-writing history to put USAnia in a better light...
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Getting there...

Re: The YACF Bumper book of Plot Holes
« Reply #18 on: April 14, 2015, 07:45:44 am »
Spinning off from the 'Imitation Game', 'U571'  gives it more than a run for its money for pure fact-distortion.

I can do no better than to quote (yes, unfortunately it is) the Guardian:

Quote
At the time of its release, Tony Blair condemned U-571 in parliament as an insult to the Royal Navy. A far more entertaining response would have been for Britain to fund a big-budget revenge epic, in which a small platoon of foppish yet plucky Brits swans over to Vietnam in 1968, defeats the Viet Cong, and wins the war. Moreover, it would be nearly as accurate as this...   ...Verdict
The only honest thing about U-571 is its tagline: "Nine men are about to change history."
Sic transit and all that..

Re: The YACF Bumper book of Plot Holes
« Reply #19 on: April 14, 2015, 10:58:52 am »
Pearl Harbor!

Apart from aircraft being shown which didn't exist until 10 years after the scenes in which they're portrayed, doing things which weren't done with any aircraft at the time, ships which didn't exist until the 1960s, 1950s motor vehicles, radios transmitting clear speech at tens of times their maximum ranges, a nurse who'd apparently become one aged 14, doing something a nurse has never done in the US military, a US pilot saying that a P-40 couldn't outrun a Zero so it'd have to outfight it, which is the exact opposite of the truth (for a P-40 to get into a turning fight with a Zero just about guaranteed a shot-down P-40, but it was significantly faster), at a time when absolutely nobody in the USA had any idea of the performance of the Zero (except that they thought all Japanese aircraft were rubbish), single-engine fighter pilots being trusted to fly multi-engine bombers in action (never happened, & would never even have been considered) & more similar details than one can shake a stick at, many obviously due to simple carelessness but some apparently deliberate, for 'dramatic' purposes, it's  - er - well - crap.
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Re: The YACF Bumper book of Plot Holes
« Reply #20 on: April 14, 2015, 11:10:02 am »
Minority Report - 1) Women who have been kept unconscious in a pool of water for years would not be able to get up and run about as soon as Tom Cruise wakes them up, and 2) if a police officer has gone rogue and gone on the run, surely his employer would revoke his security clearance so he has no need to keep his own eyeball for the scanner?
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ian

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Re: The YACF Bumper book of Plot Holes
« Reply #21 on: April 14, 2015, 11:22:31 am »
Every time travel movie ever. Take Terminator, if they sent the Arniebot-100 back to kill John Connor, then Connor wouldn't exist in the future that Arniebot-100 came from, so there'd be no reason to send him back. In fact, the fact that they're sending him back demonstrates that he's absolutely going to fail. Skynet should know this.
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Re: The YACF Bumper book of Plot Holes
« Reply #22 on: April 14, 2015, 11:40:45 am »
Spinning off from the 'Imitation Game', 'U571'  gives it more than a run for its money for pure fact-distortion.

I can do no better than to quote (yes, unfortunately it is) the Guardian:

Quote
At the time of its release, Tony Blair condemned U-571 in parliament as an insult to the Royal Navy. A far more entertaining response would have been for Britain to fund a big-budget revenge epic, in which a small platoon of foppish yet plucky Brits swans over to Vietnam in 1968, defeats the Viet Cong, and wins the war. Moreover, it would be nearly as accurate as this...   ...Verdict
The only honest thing about U-571 is its tagline: "Nine men are about to change history."
following that link lead me to this, which reads suspiciously like it was written by our Ian: http://www.theguardian.com/film/filmblog/2013/feb/06/lisztomania-most-embarrassing-historical-film
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Kim

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Re: The YACF Bumper book of Plot Holes
« Reply #23 on: April 14, 2015, 12:08:38 pm »
Every time travel movie ever. Take Terminator, if they sent the Arniebot-100 back to kill John Connor, then Connor wouldn't exist in the future that Arniebot-100 came from, so there'd be no reason to send him back. In fact, the fact that they're sending him back demonstrates that he's absolutely going to fail. Skynet should know this.

Time travel doesn't exist, so I don't mind stories making up their own rules for it (though that counts as your one suspension of disbelief, so make it count).  They just have to apply them consistently, and dealing with the grandfather paradox is a big part of that.  I don't have a problem with a time traveller effectively creating a parallel universe when they go back in time, so their original timeline remains unaltered.

Terminator works because as far as we know Skynet doesn't yet know if history can be changed, so it seems reasonable enough to try.  The subsequent movies and the excellent Sarah Connor Chronicles show the timeline being altered by various actions without affecting existing time travellers, so it's consistent with the parallel universe model[1].  But the first movie is mostly about Arnie as an unstoppable robot, and time travel is just the macguffin that puts him there.

Back To The Future is worse - that whole thing with Marty's hand disappearing is completely at odds with the alternate timeline of BTTF2 - but the films work because they don't take themselves too seriously.

For time travel stories that attempt to get it right, I recommend Primer.  You'll either love it or hate it.

The less said about Looper the better.  The whole story seems to be a setup for that one shocking re-working of the Marty's hand scene.  The characters do at least hang a lampshade on the fuzzy time travel rules.


[1] The problem becomes one of motivation: Only the actual time traveller can benefit from the new timeline, so Skynet sending soldiers back becomes nonsensical.
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Mr Larrington

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Re: The YACF Bumper book of Plot Holes
« Reply #24 on: April 14, 2015, 12:09:58 pm »
ISTR the clean-cut All-USAnian hero of Pearl Harbor single-handedly won the Battle of BRITAIN as well.  While it is true that there were three USAnian pilots involved in said conflict I somehow doubt one of them would have gone to all the trouble of getting out of the RAF and crossing the Atlantic to enlist in the US military when there were still plenty of fascists needing wooden overcoats to be found in Europe.  At least one of them was a comsymp and another such a short-arse that he had difficulty seeing out of a fighter unless he was sitting on a parachute.  And I think one of the was KIA, which goes against the Hollywood grain.
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