9 Sci-Fi Movies Tried To Implement Magic (And Forgot About It)

1) Every Godzilla movie, Pacific Rim, both Gostbusters, Transformers implement magical city streets

MV5BMTk5MTUwNTY2Nl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMDk0MTk4OQ. V1 SY317 CR00214317 Both Transformers and Pacific Rim featured robots the size of buildings walking around downtown on streets in large cities including New York. Godzilla (they're making another Godzilla movie in 2014, btw), the Stay Puffed Marshmellow man from Ghostbusters and the Statue of Liberty from Ghostbusters II both walked on the streets of New York. This doesn’t seem like a huge deal. When we see things walking around, they’re walking on THE GROUND, of course it’s going to support them. That’s why we put building on it, it’s the GROUND. But, there are a few problems with this. Frist, the buidings have massive foundations that support the weight of them, sometimes several stories underground. The problem with streets is that there are sewers, tunnels for power and other communication lines and subways underneath streets. An estimation of the weight of a Jaeger (robot from Pacific Rim) is 6-7 THOUSAND tons. Ok, so, how much weight can the streets of New York officially handle? According to an official governement website, it’s only 80,000 pounds.  The very heavy robots and other enormous bipedal monsters would bust right through the streets and destroy the city, possibly toppling buildings nearby.



2) Pacific Rim uses Magic Chinook's to move the Jaegers

If you build a large war machine, you will likely need to bring it to the fight.
In Pacific Rim, they solve this problem by using about a 8 helicopters. But the Chinook helicopter, featured in the movie, can only carry 15,000 kg. Experts say in a Wired article, you would really need at least 64

screenshot 6 17 13 9 32 pm1

"If you consider the tension in the cable from the far helicopters, they won’t pull vertically. Assume that each helicopter could pull with a tension of (15,000 kg)(9.8 N/kg). Then as the cable angle gets closer to horizontal, only a component of this tension will go towards lifting the jaeger."


3) Armageddon Space Station uses magic to give them gravity

58seconds - 2:01

In the movie Armageddon (which, of course, is otherwise entirely scientifically accurate because...Bruce WIllis, what’s why) they spin the russian space station to simulate gravity. We know that similar things have been tried in other movies, namely 2001: A Space Odyssey, so why not here? The space station featured in Armageddon isn't circular. Therefor, if they spun it, everyone would just fling to the ends of the tubes. This is possibly the worst example of magic science because people have seen 2001: A Space Odyssey, and they know that spinning SOME space stations would work to simulate gravity. But don’t take my word for it, here’s a professor explaning it...with a blackboard and some chalk.

2001 Space Odyssey: 18-39

The space station on 2001 A Space Odyssey when spun, flings the occupant to the outer wall/floor simulating gravity. This would actually work as envisioned by the original author Arthur C. Clark.

Here's a teacher explaining how it would really work.


4) The magical Omega 13 from Galaxy Quest

galexyquestIf you don’t recal, the plot of Galaxy Quest is that a group of hasbeen actors from a long cancelled sci-fi, space exploration telivision show show up to a a reunion event. (Very similar to Star Trek). The twist here is that REAL aliens, saw their show and thought it was a documentary. The aliens invite these actors up onto space where they have created an exact, working replica of the spaceship in the show. Every detail is exactly how it was in the show, except instead of silver paint and little nobs, but instead of the fake equivilent, the aliens assumed everything was real, so they made everything real, and actually work. All the switches actually do things, and all the levers and crap make the ship work. And the ship itself has a working engine. This is of course a bit of a stretch, but isn’t necissarily totally outside the bounds of the realms of possibilities. People make replicas all the time. People make batmobile and nightrider replicas and even make some of their things work. If you had enough money and time and were desperate enough, I suppose you could make an exact replica of a spaceship. Fine.

But what about that magical thing in the middle they "found" in the show? That thing they called the “Omega 13”. Remember? That thing that might be a weapon...or something that MIGHT stop time? How did they "re-create" that? That was simply a plot device in the television show, in a fictional spaceship, found on a planet...in the show. So, what, did the writers of the show think they made something up...but really they stumbled upon something in their imagination that really did exist? And the aliens who built the real ship went out and found the Omega 13 on that same planet... somewhere? I would call this a plot hole, but...ok, yeah, it's a enormous plot hole that was filled with magic.

5) Magic blood from Star Trek: Into the Darkness

Spoiler! (if you look at IMDB.com, it TELLS you that Benedict Cumberbatch is Khan, btw)
It is discovered that Khan has magical blood that can revive dead animals/people.

startrekdarknessAt the end, it is explained that Spock can't just up and kill Khan because they need his blood in order to bring Kirk back. Fine, sure... But, what about all the other sleeping super soldiers right THERE in the ship? Couldn't their magic blood work just as well to revive dead people? If you were making a bunch of super soldiers, and one of them had blood that could revive dead people...wouldn't YOU make all of the other one's be able to do that as well? The answer is yes, of course. However, how does that magic blood work, anyway? Are they really bringing people back from the dead? Star Trek has always been about leaning more towards the scientific, even when it seems far fetched, we, as fans and viewers, can go there with them. And when Spock died and was brought back, it wasn’t really the original Spock. The "reborn" Spock had very little memory of the other, dead Spock. Bringing back the dead has always lead to problems in other films (Pet Cemetery, Frankenstein, any Vampire movie, etc...), why does Star Trek think they can get away with bringing someone back from the dead without incurring the inherent issues in other films. But, perhaps the next movie will show that. Kirk = Star Fleet Hero...and undead Vampire.

6) Evolution uses magical selenium

evolutionIn the movie Evolution, In order to beat the evolving aliens in the movie Evolution, they conclude the best idea would be to give them a shit ton of selenium. This in and of itself seems a bit of a magic solution, but that's not the worst part. Selenium is ALSO poisonous to humans. If you get too much of it in your system, it's called selenosis and the symptoms include: "garlic odor on the breath, gastrointestinal disorders, hair loss, sloughing of nails, fatigue, irritability, and neurological damage, and in extreme cases: cirrhosis of the liver, pulmonary edema, and death."
So, good job, you killed the aliens...and us. Unless, of course it was MAGIC Selenium that doesn't affect humans, than I guess we're good.

7) Goldbloom, in The Fly, walk on walls with (film)

theflyIn the 1986 movie The Fly with Jeff Goldbloom, Goldbloom turns in to a fly and begins to walk on walls. Makes sense, he's turning into a fly, and flies do that all the damn time. However, the reason flies and other insects and frogs, etc... are able to do this is because A: they have tiny bristles or hairs on their feet and B: what WE consider to be "smooth" surfaces at our size actually have tiny, microscopic fissures for those hairs to grab on to compared to the sizes of flies.

This means that, in order for Jeff Goldbloom to hang on to a wall, he would have to have huge bristles or spikes that would grab onto the wall. And since a wall, to a human sized...thing, is, comparatively, smooth, it would have to actually puncture the wall order to hold the weight of a human sized dude/fly. Solution? Magic. Or, ya know, spin the room in the sound stage to make it appear that Jeff Goldbloom is walking on walls...'cus that's how they did it.

Of course, if he tried to walk on something actually quite smooth, like glass, he would have to secrete gross amounts of sticky goo from his hands and feet, like grasshoppers do. But he was already doing that while eating, so he would most likely not have a problem with it.

Here's a quote from a Scientific Amercan article:

"This trick is accomplished not by suction cups or adhesives but rather by a large number of tiny bristles or hairs on the bottom surface of the animals' feet. Scientists have produced scanning electron microscope images of these bristles. Surfaces that appear perfectly smooth to us actually have many microscopic bump and fissures, which serve as footholds for the tiny hairs."

"Some insects, such as grasshoppers, have pads on each of their tarsal segments, and some insects may have special adhesive pads on other segments of the leg. The pads typically contain numerous hairs that secrete an oily substance that causes the tips of the hairs to adhere to the surface. This substance provides the traction and stickiness that allows insects to hold on to smooth surfaces, such as glass.

Of course, this how the film makes REALLY did it. All you need to do is spin the room with a camera fixed so that “down” is always down for the camera, but everything else spins. Fred Astaire did it way back in 1951. Take a look.


8) Leviathan happy ending...isn’t so happy

leviathanIf you've seen The Abyss, you know about "the bends" or decompression sickness (DCS). You also know that in order to prevent it, you either need to ascend from the depths of the ocean slowly, or have friendly aliens figure it out for you.

In the movie, Leviathan, the aliens are not friendly or helpful. (They mostly eat people, or crawl out of their skin...or both). And at the end (spoiler...but it's also the poster and cover of the ) in order to get away from them, the two survivors from the sea floor mining station rocket to the surface like a bat outta hell. With no mention of a magical force preventing decompression sickness, one must conclude that, after RoboCop punches that one chick at the end...they get SUPER sick and probably die. Oh, unless Magic saved them.

9) Kiefer Sutherland turns out to be a really screwed up Santa Claus in Dark City

darkcityIn the movie Dark City, it is explained that the aliens replace peoples memories with a different past in order to figure out what makes us human. The whole city is basically a machine that not only moves and recreates the buildings, but families, friendships, jobs or even criminal backgrounds. It's basically the enormous experiment every sociologist wants to do to test the "nature vs nurture" question...but can't because of moral, legal, and...logistical issues.

Problem is:
ONE guy (played by Kiefer Sutherland) is in charge of replacing people's memories every night. If you recall, there was a police officer who went crazy and says he doesn't know who his own wife is. It is explained that his memory replacement didn't quite take. He didn't get the new memory of his wife being his, but he doesn't remember his old life either. However, his old cop partner knows they have been married for years. This means that HIS memories would have be replaced as well, and EVERYONE else who ever knew them (other relatives, co-workers, friends, etc...).

According to Dark City's own rules, in order to change someone's life, you have to replace everyone else's memories that knew you. According to a New York Times article, and a research study, “the average American knows about 600 people.”  Now, that’s not necissarily saying that they ALL know your personal lives. But let’s cut that in half, just to be fair. Say, 300 people know you’re married. Poor Sutherland still has to stick needles in 300 people to make sure they know that you’re not married anymore, or married to someone else, all in one night, like some kind of sscrewed up Santa Claus. However, the movie never shows Sutherland's character moving faster than shambling through the city. He just freekin’ walks around, sticking needles into people's brains. How does he take care of everyone's memories? Magic.

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