There’s an inherent assumption within the sci-fi genre that it should be smart, slick and cutting-edge, but as the Michael Bay movies of this world have taught us, that’s not so much the case; often movies will cost upwards of $200 million and not have a single lick of scientific accuracy.
Why is this? Because general audiences either don’t know the science, or are simply willing to suspend their disbelief in the pursuit of a fun time at the movies.
However, to celebrate the release of Oblivion on Blu-ray this past week, we’ve decided that there’s no better time to delve into the mighty world of sci-fi and dig out those movies that best make a real effort to authentically replicate the conditions of science fact.
They may not be perfect, but they do a damn fine job of making us believe the world and its conditions. Here are 10 sci-fi movies with frightening attention-to-detail…
One of the all-time key mistakes that so many sci-fi movies make is allowing there to be sound in space, when of course, space is a vacuum, which doesn’t allow sound to travel through it. Often sci-fi films, such as Star Wars, for instance, will deliberately disregard this scientific principle in the quest for an exhilarating set-piece – because a silent gun-fight likely wouldn’t have worked back in the 70s – yet Joss Whedon’s TV show Firefly, and the subsequent movie, Serenity, deliberately aimed to avoid this where possible. If something exploded in space, generally it did so silently.
In fact, Serenity is a movie that pretty much has an answer for everything; the final battle actually features sound despite being set in space, and this is because the fight occurs in a planet’s upper atmosphere, meaning that there would be sufficient air for the sound to travel through. A-ha! I bet you cynics hadn’t thought of that one!
This article was first posted on August 21, 2013