US astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson loves trying to pick holes in sci-fi movie plots. Loves it.
But he bungled one plot point this week, regarding Denis Villenueve's critically-acclaimed Arrival.
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In it, Amy Adams plays a linguist who is recruited to decipher messages appearing from an extra-terrestrial intelligence which arrives on Earth.
These come in the form of symbols - circular patterns - which appear to be drawn by the aliens.
So in weighed the star-gazing clever clogs.
In the film "Arrival" (2016) nobody wondered whether the circular patterns drawn by the creature were backwards. The septopoid Alien drew them from the other side of a transparent glass wall. pic.twitter.com/QfTfJlpHAQ— Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) February 25, 2020
However, what deGrasse Tyson hadn't counted on was the collective knowledge of movie twitter, and soon enough, he was hauled up over not paying attention.
In the movie, it's expressly discussed that the language being used by the alien intelligence has 'no forward or backward direction', by Jeremy Renner's character Ian Donnelly.
It was pointed out, and rather pointedly too.
this is explained in the film. like they took the time to give Jeremy Renner a little voiceover... explaining why this would not matter.— Lindsay Ellis (@thelindsayellis) February 25, 2020
I know, real badass on twitter dot com dunking on Neil deGrasse Tyson but but this one really bugs me for some reason https://t.co/DKx5r9m7bH
Mind you, this hasn't deterred him. Since then, he's taken a pop at Brad Pitt's Ad Astra, notably the realism of the not-vastly-realistic chase scene with the moon pirates, and the shadows cast on the moon.
The film "Ad Astra" showed an excellent lunar landscape. Desolate. Without color. Bright in sunlight. Dark in shadows. Daytime starry skies. Except the length of shadows should have been much longer, extending in front of them, just before crossing to the Moon's darkened far side pic.twitter.com/xgn5PpLWkY— Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) February 27, 2020
The film "Ad Astra" has Moon Pirates. Moon Pirates? What are they thinking? Buried treasures on the Moon? If the Pirates knew how expensive it is to be a Pirate in space, they might have just stayed on Earth and become investment bankers. pic.twitter.com/uFRULeSocy— Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) February 27, 2020
It all comes after he horrified Disney fans this week with his 'horse eyeballs' comment about Elsa from Frozen.
He must be a joy to go to the pictures with.