Title text: Novel ideas and cool explosions are both good, but what I really want from a movie is novel ideas ABOUT cool explosions.
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Moonfall is an upcoming 2022 movie scheduled for release in February. Its director, Roland Emmerich, is known for blowing up things in his movies (see for instance the Roland Emmerich Supercut), as well as for factual inaccuracies in his work (mainly the scientific implausibility of his many disaster movies like Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow and 2012).
The plot of Moonfall is scientifically preposterous, making it potentially "cringe-worthy" for someone who enjoys "hard" science fiction, like Cueball.
For the moon to fall from the sky, it would have to stop orbiting. Most forces applied it to will simply change the way in which it is orbiting, making it more elliptical, larger or smaller. To stop it from orbiting entirely, a 'braking' force would need to be applied in the opposite direction of its travel, to halt it.
The moon's mass is about 0.07346×10²⁴ kg and its speed about 1.022 km/s, so the energy needed to stop it is ½mv² or about 3.8364×10²⁸ joules. That's about the energy of 1 trillion large nuclear explosions, centered on the leading-most point of the moon's surface. A precisely-oriented stellar body could strike the moon to do this, like a billiard ball colliding with tons of interstellar moon shrapnel instead of dust.
Less counteractive energy could make the Moon change orbit to one with a perigee below the surface of the Earth, close enough to (partially) enter the atmosphere or merely bring it down beneath the applicable Roche limit. These scenarios would be only technically less catastrophic, and whether the Moon fragments from the initially applied force, the stresses of its nearest (non-contact) distance to Earth or actually survives largely intact until there is a more direct physical interaction, the precise degree of the effect might be practically academic.
Cueball explains to Megan that he usually likes it when stories are based on good science. Maybe only bending it a bit to create the story, to expand our ideas of what is possible. But then he goes on to state that he supports giving Roland Emmerich as much money as he wants, to make cool spaceship noises and smash moons into things. In the movie it is only a moon (the Moon, presumably, see the plot below). But in general Roland often uses huge explosions in his movies, something also previously said about other similarly-styled directors like Michael Bay.
Megan sums the situation for Cueball up, stating that he is excited to expand our ideas of how much stuff can explode at once.
In the title text Cueball continues by explaining that while novel ideas and explosions are good, what he really want from a movie is novel ideas about cool explosions. So new ways to explode things, or ideas about exploding more things at once. Or both.
In 1536: The Martian a similar discussion of an upcoming movie is made for The Martian. But in that case it is the scientific accuracy that is the subject, and the lack of huge explosion that makes it hard to believe it could become a big budget movie! It is very rare that Randall makes a movie review like in those two comics.
- In Moonfall, a mysterious force knocks the Moon from its orbit around Earth and sends it hurtling on a collision course with life as we know it. With mere weeks before impact and the world on the brink of annihilation, NASA executive and former astronaut Jo Fowler is convinced she has the key to saving us all - but only one astronaut from her past, Brian Harper[,] and a conspiracy theorist K.C. Houseman believe her. These unlikely heroes will mount an impossible last-ditch mission into space, leaving behind everyone they love, only to find out that our Moon is not what we think it is. —Centropolis Entertainment, quoted at IMDB
- [Cueball and Megan walking to the right]
- Megan: Are you excited for Moonfall?
- Megan: Or cringing?
- Cueball: Well...
- [Closeup on Cueball]
- Cueball: I like when stories are grounded in good science because it's exciting to expand our ideas of what's possible.
- [Zoomed back out to Cueball and Megan walking to the right. Cueball has his palms raised]
- Cueball: But I also support giving Roland Emmerich as much money as he wants to make cool spaceship noises and smash moons into things.
- Megan: Excited to expand our ideas of how much stuff can explode at once.
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