Best movie factual errors of 2015
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Factual error: Twice in the film it is made clear that the Pym particle works by reducing the space between atoms in order to shrink an object, and by increasing it to enlarge them. This means that the object will weigh the same, whether shrunk or enlarged - it cannot be otherwise. A 90kg man the size of an ant would punch a hole through any surface upon which he stood (and couldn't ride ants), Doctor Pym has been walking about with a 60 tonne tank in his pocket, Darren Cross lifts a full grown sheep between finger and thumb, and the supersized Thomas The Tank Engine would be far too light to crush the police car (in fact it would float harmlessly away as it would probably weigh less than the air it displaced).PEDAUNT
Factual error: When Amy is fired from S'Nuff magazine she takes her story on Aaron Connors to Vanity Fair, who run with it. That is not going to happen. Amy wrote the article while a paid employee of S'Nuff magazine and that means the copyright in the article (and, very relevant to this issue, the photographs of Aaron they paid to have taken), resides with them, not with her. It isn't hers to sell. No magazine editor of any standing is going to buy an unsolicited article without checking its provenance backwards and forwards, and that would mean checking with Amy's previous employers - after all, what would happen if they changed their minds and ran the story themselves?
Factual error: After Watney patches the blow out of one of the HAB's airlocks with plastic sheeting, tie down straps, and duct tape, he pressurizes the HAB and the plastic sheeting pushes out like an inflated balloon. Assuming the plastic and duct tape would hold this is correct, however the plastic would be much more taut given the pressure difference inside and outside. The real mistake is later in the scene during a sand storm the plastic flops in and out. The plastic would remain tautly inflated, since the inside pressure is much greater than outside, and since the HAB is airtight the storm would have no equalizing effect to cause the plastic to be sucked inward.
Factual error: In the film, the San Andreas fault produces the largest, most sensational earthquake in earth history that levels both Los Angeles and San Francisco, also creating a massive tsunami that also floods the latter. In reality, and according to many earthquake experts, the biggest quake that this fault could produce is an 8.3 and, being a land and not ocean fault, cannot cause a tsunami. Or as consultant to the film Tom Jordan, director of the Southern California Earthquake Center stated, "I gave (the filmmakers) free advice, some of which they took... But much of which they didn't - magnitude nines are too big for the San Andreas, and it can't produce a big tsunami."
Factual error: At the beginning, the film is set in 1995 only for a brief few minutes. Then, it goes on to say "15 years later." This brings us to 2010. In 2010, the latest iPhone was the 4. However, throughout this film, nearly every iPhone shown (quite a few) appears to be an iPhone 5s. This is obvious by the rectangular body with fingerprint sensor. In addition, in some places the latest iPads are used, the iPad Air 2 and the iPad mini 3 - These were released in 2013 and beyond. Finally, although I am not 100% sure, towards the end of the film as the woman steps in to the car for the final time on the hill next to the boat, it appears she is wearing a gold Apple Watch or other smart-watch which was released later than 2010.
Factual error: The police release Bryan once it is proved he didn't kill his wife. However, they ignore the multiple murders committed by Bryan (for example, he killed bodyguards that were just doing their job), easily injured - if not not killed - many innocent bystanders in a variety of action man moments (freeway pileup, parking garage explosion, etc) and resisting arrest twice.
Factual error: When the exchange is made in Berlin it is bitter winter with snow on the ground. But Donovan returns to New York (the TV newsmen is reporting that Powers has been returned "earlier this morning") so it is within hours, and yet the leaves on the trees in NY are green, the grass is green, people are in shirtsleeves. Berlin and NY share the same seasons.
Factual error: When the family leaves their house to start the long road trip, they show a nice residential area with downtown Chicago in the background. This is not possible. The view and angle at which they are showing downtown is the same image that one would see from the Adler Planetarium. At the angle at which we see downtown Chicago could only be from the Adler Planetarium and there isn't anything even resembling nice residential homes in that area. Also, the area looking at downtown from that angle is mostly water-Lake Michigan and boat docks. In other words, looking at the Willis Tower (Sears Tower) from the Adler Planetarium, it would be 60° off due north, an extreme angle putting the family house either in or very near the water (Lake Michigan). (00:18:25)SZALESKI257
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