' Cinema Romantico: Out, Damned Astrophysicist!

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Out, Damned Astrophysicist!

Jack: “Ever been to Wisconsin?”
Rose: “No.”
Jack: Well they have some of the coldest winters around. I grew up there, near Chippewa Falls. My dad used to take me ice-fishing out on Lake Wissota.”

Record scratch! Lake Wissota, if you did not know, was a manmade lake, created by the construction of a hydroelectric dam………in 1917. That would mean Lake Wissota did not exist in 1912 which is when young Jack Dawson would have relayed his aforementioned ice-fishing story to young Rose Dewitt Bukater aboard the RMS Titanic. I first learned this when my Dad pointed it out to me upon seeing "Titanic."

And, of course, once I discovered this inconsistency, I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain.


This is sort of like how when I first realized that the real “Shoeless” Joe Jackson batted left-handed and threw with his right hand and that the “Field of Dreams” “Shoeless” Joe Jackson (Ray Liotta) batted right-handed and threw with his left hand, “Field of Dreams” all at once and with a mighty roar stopped being my favorite baseball movie because……..wait, no it didn’t. It’s still my favorite baseball movie. I loved it simply because of the way it TOLD.ITS.STORY.

This is sort of like how on account of my status as excessively amateur Revolutionary War buff people tend to think I loathed Roland Emmerich’s “The Patriot” because of its historical inaccuracies. This could not be further from the truth. I hated “The Patriot” because of its laughably inadequate ability to follow through the themes it establishes at the outset. I hated “The Patriot” because the villain is a cartoon who at one vomity point “surprises” us with the ancient Dead Guy Who Isn’t Really Dead routine. I hated “The Patriot” because the lovestory subplot between Heath Ledger and Lisa Brenner was on par with an episode of “Saved by the Bell: The New Class.” I could go on and on. In short, I hated “The Patriot” simply because of the way it TOLD.ITS.STORY.

Enter: astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. Mr. Tyson was apparently unpleased with the accuracy of the scene in James Cameron’s “Titanic” in which Rose is laying on the driftwood post-sinking and looking up at the stars. According to Slashfilm: “Tyson first sent Cameron an email years ago in which he noted that the star field she was looking at was incorrect for the night of April 15, 1912 at 4:20 AM, and brought the issue up repeatedly as the two ran into each other over the years.” Cameron acquiesced to Tyson and included the correct star field for the “Titanic 3D” release but………seriously. Just………seriously. You know what a Neil deGrasse Tyson movie would be? It would be a movie with splendidly accurate science and a dreadfully boring story that goes NOWHERE.


Neil deGrasse Tyson attended Harvard. He has a Doctor of Philosophy in astrophysics. He has been awarded a NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal and the Isaac Asimov Award. He is, at the very, very least, 470 zillion times smarter than I will ever be.

He’s also a dumbass.

3 comments:

Vancetastic said...

So, lining up for tickets to the 3D release yet?

I think I'm going to go, but there's a thing that gives me pause:

195 minutes.

I just don't watch films that long anymore. I will have to set aside the entire day for it.

Vancetastic said...

Also, thank you for hating on The Patriot. It sucks.

Nick Prigge said...

I plan on going. "Titanic" is important to me. I have another "Titanic" related post coming. I didn't want to write about it twice in 1 week but after learning about this I had no choice.

Personally, I could do without the 3D. I just wanted a re-release.