Insultingly Stupid Movie Physics: Hollywood's Best Mistakes, Goofs and Flat-Out Destructions of the Basic Laws of the Universe

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Sourcebooks, Inc., 2007 - Humor - 336 pages
2 Reviews
-Would the bus in Speed really have made that jump? -Could a Star Wars ship actually explode in space? -What really would have happened if you said "Honey, I shrunk the kids"? The companion book to the hit website (, which boasts more than 1 million visitors per year, Insultingly Stupid Movie Physics is a hilarious guide to the biggest mistakes, most outrageous assumptions, and the outright lunacy at work in Hollywood films that play with the rules of science. In this fascinating and funny guide, author Tom Rogers examines 20 different topics and shows how, when it comes to filmmaking, the rules of physics are flexible. Einsteins and film buffs alike will be educated and entertained by this wise and witty guide to science in Hollywood.

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User Review  - woodge - LibraryThing

Apparently this guy Tom Rogers has got a very popular website where he deconstructs Hollywood physics illogic. But I found this book on a browsing expedition and snapped it up. It was a quick read and ... Read full review

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Tom Roger’s Insultingly Stupid Movie Physics teaches basic science principles in one of the most entertaining ways possible
: by illustrating the ways in which elements of popular Hollywood films are hopelessly out of line with the physical laws that exist in our universe. Topics covered include the laws of motion, gravitation, vehicles, the behaviour of weapons, relativity, extreme weather, space travel, and more.
While the book may seem whimsical, Rogers makes the important point that movies are a form of vicarious experience for people. For most of us, they have provided most of our ‘knowledge’ about firearms, knives, the extreme operation and destruction of vehicles, the destruction of buildings, etc. By consistently misrepresenting these things, films leave people ill-equipped to understand the phenomena in the real world.
In addition to this, Rogers’ book includes a detailed debunking of two conspiracy theories partially fuelled by a poor understanding of physics. In the first, he discusses the physics of the JFK assassination, in the context of the popular film. He argues that the official account is convincing for a number of reasons, and that the film has helped to entrench a serious misunderstanding in the minds of many Americans. The second conspiracy theory – that the World Trade Centre was destroyed using explosives planted inside – is similarly based in a bad understanding of physics, and similarly damaging in terms of the way in which it colours people’s thinking.
The kind of people who take delight in outsmarting the people who make movies will probably find this book very entertaining. Those trying to teach physics concepts may also find it useful as a mechanism for engaging people and having them explore ideas in an imaginative but realistic way.


The Noble Cause Striking a Blow for Decency in Movie Physics
Moviemaker Mathematics How Hollywood Shoots from the Hip
Conservation of Mass and Energy Is Anything Sacred?
Scaling Problems Big Bugs and Little People
Inertia and Newtons First Law Why Blowing Up Spacecraft is a Bad Idea
Newtons Third Law That Special Hollywood Touch
Creative Kinematics Explosive Entertainment
Hollywood Bombs How Filmmaker Physics Misses the Boat
Scenes with Real Gravity Celebrating Disasters with Happy Hollywood Endings
Scenes with Artificial Gravity The Good Bad and Ugly Space Stations
the Movie MerryGoRound How Filmmakers Create Ridiculous Spin
Hollywood Disasters Global Warming Tsunamis Tornadoes and Other Big Winds
The Moviemakers Cookbook Cigarettes as Lighters Exploding Cars Burning Bugs and Other Recipes for Foolishness
Wars versus Trek Forgiving versus Forgetting
AllTime Stupid Movie Physics Classics They Said the Physics Were Impossible

Leaping Logic Why Moviemakers Say How High When the Director Says Jump
Acceleration and Newtons Second Law How to Get Started Use the Brakes or Change Direction Hollywood Style
HighEnergy Films Nuclear Firecrackers Falling People and Cars as Weapons
Movie Momentum The Attractive Force of Glass RailGun Recoil and Cosmic Toyotas
JFK and Momentum Hollywoods Conspiracy to Assasinate History
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