These original Kirt's Cogitations™ may be reproduced
(no more than 5, please) provided proper credit is given to me, Kirt Blattenberger.
here to return to the Table of Contents.
Cog·i·ta·tion [koj-i-tey'-shun] – noun: Concerted
reflection; meditation; contemplation.
Kirt [kert] – proper noun: RF Cafe webmaster.
Entertain Me, But Don't Insult Me
Engineers and other technical types (myself
included) seem to enjoy pointing out inane and totally unrealistic special effects and dialogs in sci-fi movies.
Examples are legion, from uploading a virus to an alien computer in Independence Day (surely aliens have Norton
AV), to Day After Tomorrow when the water freezes in NY, but no expansion effects are visible. That's nothing
compared to the early films, though. In the first science fiction film produced, "A Trip to the Moon," in 1902,
six travelers (not even yet termed astronauts) were fired from a large cannon while inside a protective capsule.
The unsuspecting explorers are quickly captured by lunar inhabitants. In a daring scene, an escape is made where
our heroes manage to make it back to the capsule and nudge it off the edge of the moon so it can fall back safely
to Earth, and splash down in the Atlantic Ocean. Of course, even if a cannon could be built that was capable of
launching a projectile into space, no human could survive the acceleration. Then there is that fact that while
walking on the moon it appeared to have gravity like the Earth's, but when it came time to push the capsule off
the edge, suddenly the gravity was gone. The entire 14-minute epic is one bit of laughable absurdity after
another. As the general public gets more sophisticated, however, the effects must be more believable. Who amongst
us that was around for the original Star Trek episodes thought them outrageous? Now we watch re-runs and think
differently. Sci-fi has thus transformed in a century from being inspiring and thought-provoking, to being fodder
for a good belly laugh.