I had a hard time keeping myself on the seat when Goldblum infected the mother ship in Independence Day. Here is interesting reading on that.
Then there is the Mission Impossible phrase referring to the new ultra-fast Intel 200 megahertz Pentium 6 chip! it was so anti-climax for the scene. They could have just skipped referring Intel in any way. More entertaining notes here in a 1998 article Computer Movies Suck.
But, moving ahead to another Tom Cruise movie, Minority Report. Lots of interesting interfaces. The most popular being the glove controlled 3D Gesture interface. And, we have moved towards the Sixth Sense since then.
That was after this and related blooper notes, though.
In Minority Report, the characters operate a complex information space by gesturing wildly in the space in front of their screens. As Tog found when filming Starfire, it's very tiring to keep your arms in the air while using a computer. Gestures do have their place, but not as the primary user interface for office systems.
Many user interfaces designed for the movies feature gestural input and 3D data visualizations. Immersive environments and fly-through navigation look good, and allow for more dramatic interaction than clicking on a linear list of 10 items. But, despite being a staple of computer conference demos for decades, 3D almost never makes it into shipping products. The reason? 2D works better than 3D for the vast majority of practical things that users want to do.
3D is for demos. 2D is for work.
Ok, I am not inviting a discussion on that last point here! Bear with me for another para.
It would be fun calling these movie bluffs and looking back (say some 40 years from now?) to see which ones we thought were possible and which actually happened. Remember StarTrek communicator devices? (yeah, we can still do only international calls with our mobile phones). Wonder when the first Star Ship One mobile call will be made.
Ok, this can get quite catchy! these things just keep popping up in my mind. Wee bit distracting I'd say...
I really liked the movie DejaVu. That's how these things should be handled. Take them far into specialized physics. At least I will probably not be around when things are proved one way or the other, and probably not have too many strong doubts (pushing towards hilarity) on the concepts driven around. Look at the alternate reality of the new StarTrek. I am all for it!
But, its still enlightening when someone pulls a blooper in there. I always felt (note I did not say 'knew') that laser pointer into the system display was a bit over the edge. I absorbed it looking at all the hard-science sprinkled in that movie. But, guess what. Not everyone will take these things as lightly -- and, I quote,
Doug Carlin, played by Denzel Washington sits watching this electronic expression of the past, and shines a hand held laser into the apogee of the stable wormhole, and the person in the past sees it, but the very act shuts down the hardware. A laser is no different from the ambient light and albedos of the room as they all sit there watching the wormhole. It is just a bit stronger and focused. Either the subject in the past can see and hear and smell them or it (she) cant. A laser pointer would not pierce the veil there, and besides…it was a video screen replete with character generated text from the computer interface it ran through whenever the camera angle on the past (or more accurately, the stable wormhole event horizon) was moved or expressed at another location. It was all computer controlled and therefore, impossible to pass light or information to the past, even if it was possible under different circumstances in that story and idea of a wormhole.
I enjoyed seeing the movie and then, I enjoyed reading this article.
There is a certain amount of entertainment in identifying some of these bloopers,
while there are others that choke you to near death with their hilarity.