Hoc Est Qui Sumus (discoflamingo) wrote,
Hoc Est Qui Sumus

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2000 Hours of Flight Experience? On the Playstation 2, baby!

Little Miss Sunshine is a darn good movie. You don't have to see it in theaters, but it is one of my favorite types of dark comedies. You should definitely see it - I don't care who you are ;-)

But the main event was definitely Snakes on a Plane. Now, my coworkers have warned me that  time will come when I'm watching a movie about a commercial airliner, and no matter what else happens in the rest of the movie, I will be concentrating on their misrepresentation (or accurate representation) of the plane. Snakes on a Plane was that movie, for the first time (Note: this is merely my own opinion based on hearsay and happenstance, and should not be construed as the opinion of an actual aerospace engineer):

  • The plane in question is a Boeing 747 (likely a 747-400 based on the time, but I find it difficult to tell). At no point is a more specific aircraft sub-family mentioned; also, this plane is so much bigger than a 747, and with a completely different cockpit layout (i.e. the instrument panel is large enough for snakes to come through - compare to the real thing) that I think the details of the aircraft family are not necessary.
  • At one point, a snake trips a relay somewhere in the bowels of the plane. The pilot looks at a flashing light, and says "We've just lost the avionics". Since "avionics" usually means "all the electronic devices buiilt on the plane", the fact that redundant power systems and DC backup batteries make it difficult to take down the entire avionics suite is dwarfed by how incredibly nonchalant the flight crew's reaction is to the fact that they have lost auto-flight, navigation parameters, primary and secondary lighting, air data reference, flight management, earth reference, and air conditioning/recycling (which is somehow the same system on this plane, and the only one anybody cares about). For some reason, they still have horizon, attitude, and altitude parameters, and the pilot still has a position.
  • Boeing believes in hydraulic-assist flight controls. This means that when the "avionics" is gone, the pilot can still fly the plane by means of the "power steering" which hydraulics give you. Contrast this with some of the business jet or Airbus "electric-assist" steering which will do exactly jack for you in a power loss condition (which is harder to get into in one of those planes, but I digress).
  • Samuel Jackson has to un-trip the relay to enable the "avionics" again, and his descent in to the cargo hold just leaves me dumbfounded. There are exposed circuit cards and wiring all over the place, which is totally unacceptable.

Other than that, I could find no factual fault with a movie where snakes from all continents on earth are made crazy by pheromone-enhanced leis to attack only the sensitive areas of humans. This movie is destined to endure the test of time in a manner vaguely more competent than its spiritual ancestor, Anaconda.
Tags: movie reviews, movies

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