We discussed the physics of the movie Pacific Rim a few weeks ago. There, one of our commenters did some cool stuff with math and the various materials that would have to be used to create robots of the size shown in the film.
Scientific American also examined the physics of Del Toro's movie. Their column "Overthinking It" has come up with answers to some basic questions that you/me may have had about Pacific Rim:
1. It would take about 600 helicopters to lift one of the mechs in Pacific Rim. Talk about impractical.
2. The force of one of the thrust assisted rocket punches from the Jaegers would be equal to being hit in the face with a 747 going 60 miles an hour.
3. The kaiju which carried the mech Gypsy Danger into Earth's stratosphere is implausible: the Kaiju itself would not have been able to breath and the air is too thin for the beast to sustain the thrust necessary to carry the robot so high.
Kyle Hill, the author of Scientific American's pieces on Pacific Rim also shows his math! I love it when folks talk the talk and walk the walk.
As I said in my original comments about the movie, applied science is a wonderful means of encouraging students, especially younger ones, to see how all of that "science stuff" has real world applications. I do hope that their teachers are taking notes on how to use movies to spark the imaginations of their students and are not limited by the rules of standardized testing and curricula to that end.
What is your favorite science/physics fail in a movie? Mine would be Independence Day, as the size of the alien ships would be enough to alter the tides and cause massive flooding that would destroy the Earth. No need for an invasion folks--just park huge ships in orbit, rinse, wash, and repeat as needed.