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-   -   Movies engineers like (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=826698)

Crafter_Man 05-20-2017 12:32 PM

Movies engineers like
 
The best example I can think of is Apollo 13.

Others?

Little Nemo 05-20-2017 01:17 PM

I'm going to guess The Martian is popular among engineers. They would identify with the "let's break this problem down and solve it one step at a time" attitude.

RealityChuck 05-20-2017 01:21 PM

The Great Train Robbery
Silver Streak
The General

bobo blesinger 05-20-2017 01:26 PM

I'm an engineer and I like Anchorman.

Robot Arm 05-20-2017 01:55 PM

Someone here once described a genre of movies as "getting shit to work" films; those where the central conflict to be overcome is technical or mechanical rather than personal. That sounds like the sort of thing the OP might be looking for.

Dendarii Dame 05-20-2017 02:59 PM

Flight of the Phoenix, where they build an ultralight aircraft from a much larger plane which has crashed.

The Tooth 05-20-2017 03:04 PM

Well I'm an engineer and my favourite movie is Blade Runner. I also hold Star Trek II, Blue Velvet, and Pee-Wee's Big Adventure in high regard.

Also Auto Focus, Hard Boiled, Dune, and Excalibur. Not to mention O Brother Where Art Thou, The Cheap Detective, Ed Wood, and True Stories.

It's just a job.

CalMeacham 05-20-2017 03:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dendarii Dame (Post 20221429)
Flight of the Phoenix, where they build an ultralight aircraft from a much larger plane which has crashed.

This. My mother told me that the Hardy Kruger character reminded her of me.

I think that was intended as a compliment.

1865 version, of course. Not the 2004 remake.

Other possibilities:

The Man in the White Suit

The Thing
(either version -- both have engineers trying to find practical solutions to the problem

Destination Moon

2001: A Space Odyssey

2010

IT! The Terror from Beyond Space
(Engineering solutions abound -- much more than in the horror ripoff Alien


Robinson Crusoe on Mars

The Martians

ftg 05-20-2017 03:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CalMeacham (Post 20221446)
This. My mother told me that the Hardy Kruger character reminded her of me.

I think that was intended as a compliment.

1865 version, of course. Not the 2004 remake.

Now that's some engineering!

Grrr! 05-20-2017 03:49 PM

The Right Stuff

Hidden Figures

mixdenny 05-20-2017 03:59 PM

My favorite movies are things like the Terminator, Predator, Fargo, Pulp Fiction and No Country For Old Men.

But movies that I like that contain engineering scenes are Mosquito Coast, The World's Fastest Indian and Chain Reaction.

Dennis

Sefton 05-20-2017 04:08 PM

I'm surprised that I'm the first to mention Iron Man. In essence, Tony Stark's superpower is that he's the world's greatest engineer.

Darren Garrison 05-20-2017 04:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sefton (Post 20221537)
I'm surprised that I'm the first to mention Iron Man. In essence, Tony Stark's superpower is that he's the world's greatest engineer.

He's an inventor--I'm not sure if that should be interchangeable with engineer.

Sefton 05-20-2017 04:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Darren Garrison (Post 20221550)
He's an inventor--I'm not sure if that should be interchangeable with engineer.

The two terms aren't interchangeable, but they're not mutually exclusive either. I'd say that Tony Stark is both.

TreacherousCretin 05-20-2017 04:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RealityChuck (Post 20221228)
The Great Train Robbery
Silver Streak
The General

Emperor Of The North

Arrogance Ex Machina 05-20-2017 04:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sefton (Post 20221537)
I'm surprised that I'm the first to mention Iron Man. In essence, Tony Stark's superpower is that he's the world's greatest engineer.

I like the Iron Man movies just fine but Stark doesn't behave like an engineer, he is more like some sort of laws of physics -breaking technowizard. Or a spark from the Girl Genius IP.

Dewey Finn 05-20-2017 05:28 PM

One I like is October Sky. I like some of the more fantastical films, but especially like the few that avoid or minimize the amount of technobabble or making up shit.

Just Asking Questions 05-20-2017 05:35 PM

One of our stress dept engineers was quite fond of No Highway In The Sky, perhaps the only movie to feature a stress engineer as the hero.

I joked once that, if they remade it, they'd go full Hollywood and cast Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts. Then I thought about it, and basically, that's how they did cast it!

burpo the wonder mutt 05-20-2017 05:55 PM

My engineer Dad and everyone he worked with all loved, "Kelly's Heroes," including the women. Especially the women. Is this an engineer thing?

terentii 05-20-2017 06:54 PM

My first thought was the Alien movies, with all their bizarre spacecraft interiors: dangling chains, dripping water, rising steam, insanely complicated self-destruct mechanisms....

wolfman 05-20-2017 07:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Darren Garrison (Post 20221550)
He's an inventor--I'm not sure if that should be interchangeable with engineer.

I'm not sure he is primarily an inventor. The real invention was the arc reactor, but his daddy did that. Most of what he does is ultra-engineering and uber-optimization.

Bryan Ekers 05-20-2017 07:26 PM

Infrastructure..

kaylasdad99 05-20-2017 08:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RealityChuck (Post 20221228)
The Great Train Robbery
Silver Streak
The General

The Polar Express

terentii 05-20-2017 09:19 PM

Breakheart Pass.

beowulff 05-20-2017 09:28 PM

In addition to many of those mentioned, I add: Primer, Cube, Forbidden Planet, The Day the Earth Stood Still, 2001, Silent Running, and Total Recall.

El_Kabong 05-20-2017 09:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RealityChuck (Post 20221228)
The Great Train Robbery
Silver Streak
The General

The Train
Unstoppable

Seriously, though, most of the engineers I know seem to have an affection for hard SF, or whatever comes closest to that on film.

Also, Deepwater Horizon seems generally well thought of by the oil industry types I know.

Some Call Me... Tim 05-20-2017 11:07 PM

The Dish

Tinker Grey 05-20-2017 11:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Some Call Me... Tim (Post 20222082)
The Dish

I remember that. It was good.

Gatopescado 05-20-2017 11:36 PM

My dad thought National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation was a riot.

Rocketeer 05-21-2017 12:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sefton (Post 20221537)
I'm surprised that I'm the first to mention Iron Man. In essence, Tony Stark's superpower is that he's the world's greatest engineer.

The thing the first Iron Man movie got right was the sheer joy of building cool stuff. The sequence where he's figuring out the suit's flying mechanism is just gloriously fun.

Shalmanese 05-21-2017 02:25 AM

The aforementioned Primer is high on my list and I'm surprised it's taken so long to mention Gravity.

Alessan 05-21-2017 02:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sefton (Post 20221552)
The two terms aren't interchangeable, but they're not mutually exclusive either. I'd say that Tony Stark is both.

Can you be a successful inventor without being an engineer, at least in practical terms?

Banksiaman 05-21-2017 03:59 AM

Bridge on The River Kwai - there is a speech by the young demolitions man as a disgruntled draughty about drawing and redrawing and redrawing that girder, which is why he wants to blow the bridge up [sorry - couldn't find a clip].

Maybe it doesn't resonate in a post-CAD world.

Tim R. Mortiss 05-21-2017 01:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Just Asking Questions (Post 20221649)
One of our stress dept engineers was quite fond of No Highway In The Sky, perhaps the only movie to feature a stress engineer as the hero.

I joked once that, if they remade it, they'd go full Hollywood and cast Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts. Then I thought about it, and basically, that's how they did cast it!

I teach Reliability Engineering, and I always cite this movie. Amusingly, the aircraft in the movie is called a "Reindeer." A few years later, life imitated art when several British "Comet" aircrafts crashed for the same reason. Comet of course being one of the most famous reindeer!

Other movies that trip my engineering trigger: The original Cheaper By The Dozen (not the execrable remake with Steve Martin) and all the Iron Man films, plus Army of Darkness where Ash is "inventing" stuff from the future. I also like how MacGyver and Burn Notice do similar stuff, but those aren't movies.

Of course most of my favorite movies are not favorites based on me being an engineer.

JohnGalt 05-21-2017 10:21 PM

Three not mentioned so far (yes, I have an engineering degree):

Brazil - the steampunk Ministry of Information scene cracks me up - he got the technology kind of right (I know it's a spoof), but how people use said technology is spot on

Twister - one of my favorite movies, seeing the engineering design choices between TOTO and Dorothy, both of which are kind of stupid

Office Space - not the software engineering, but the most accurate depiction of the workspace ever filmed

Crane 05-22-2017 08:39 AM

The Illusionist, The Sting, The Train, Worlds Fastest Indian, Fat Man and Little Boy

Love African Queen - great steam engine, but if they had oxy acetylene tanks for torpedoes, why did the repair the propeller on an open forge?

Crane

Snarky_Kong 05-22-2017 08:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alessan (Post 20222214)
Can you be a successful inventor without being an engineer, at least in practical terms?

Depends what you're inventing, and more importantly, who you're collaborating with. Is someone with great ideas that gets other people to make them work an inventor? I certainly think so.

carnivorousplant 05-22-2017 08:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dendarii Dame (Post 20221429)
Flight of the Phoenix, where they build an ultralight aircraft from a much larger plane which has crashed.

It isn't an ultralight. They are kites with engines. :)

DesertDog 05-22-2017 08:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dendarii Dame (Post 20221429)
Flight of the Phoenix, where they build an ultralight aircraft from a much larger plane which has crashed.

I don't think an aircraft consisting of about 1/3 of a C-82 would qualify as an ultralight.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Little Nemo (Post 20221224)
I'm going to guess The Martian is popular among engineers. They would identify with the "let's break this problem down and solve it one step at a time" attitude.

XKCD (of course) comments on this very thing.

Nija'd by carniverousplant.

Crane 05-22-2017 09:02 AM

Oh yeah - Horatio's Drive

Crane

sciurophobic 05-22-2017 10:57 AM

I'd definitely include The Dam Busters. Pretty much 2 hours of mechanical problem solving.

txjim 05-22-2017 12:07 PM

Tron

Bring in the logic probe!

Dewey Finn 05-22-2017 12:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dewey Finn (Post 20221637)
One I like is October Sky. I like some of the more fantastical films, but especially like the few that avoid or minimize the amount of technobabble or making up shit.

Another one, sort of similar to October Sky, is a recent film called Spare Parts. It's about a team from a mostly Latino high school in Phoenix who compete in a robotics competition against several well-funded college teams. Note that I have not seen the movie, but I did read the Wired magazine article on which it's based.

wolfman 05-22-2017 02:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by txjim (Post 20224674)

I have always thought Tron was pretty accurate in it's computer science and engineering, within it's kind of poetic abstraction, and accepting the total inaccuracies where they were critical and necessary to making the story happen.

Horatio Hellpop 05-23-2017 10:10 AM

My dad was an engineer. He liked crappy westerns and big musicals (My Fair Lady was a particular favorite).

Tranquilis 05-25-2017 05:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Little Nemo (Post 20221224)
I'm going to guess The Martian is popular among engineers. They would identify with the "let's break this problem down and solve it one step at a time" attitude.

The Martian pissed this engineer off. Also pissed this military veteran off.

Yeah, OK, they had a fun time playing with biology - I can't speak to that. But the wind? WAGing the trajectories? Suit pressure as a thruster via an uncontrolled tear?! Commanding officer going from Strong, Capable, and Professional to unprofessional grand-standing idiot (finale scene)..?! There's a lot more, but my blood pressure's starting to rise to thruster-levels...

Tranquilis 05-25-2017 05:58 PM

On the other hand, Castaway gets high marks. Tom Hanks basically boot-strapping his brain, and using found objects, thinks his way out of his predicament. The fact that there was a dangerous and fraught learning curve, that there wer screw ups and failures - that it took years to get off the island, all lend it credibility.

Jim's Son 05-25-2017 11:08 PM

My father was a computer engineer but I don't remember him liking anything specifically related to that field. He like war movies dealing with airplanes (his eyesight prevented him from joining the Army Air Corps) such as "12 O'Clock High", "Command Decision" and "Dawn Patrol" plus "Bridge on the River Kwai" (he would always quote Jack Hawkins trying to recruit William Holden into joining his commando outfit). Plus various films by Fritz Lang, Howard Hawks and Ingmar Bergman. He laughed when I told him about the SCTV skit where Count Floyd gets a copy of "Hour of the Wolf", thinking it's a horror film and during the commercials finally saying it was terrible.

Shagnasty 05-25-2017 11:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tranquilis (Post 20232590)
The Martian pissed this engineer off. Also pissed this military veteran off.

Yeah, OK, they had a fun time playing with biology - I can't speak to that. But the wind? WAGing the trajectories? Suit pressure as a thruster via an uncontrolled tear?! Commanding officer going from Strong, Capable, and Professional to unprofessional grand-standing idiot (finale scene)..?! There's a lot more, but my blood pressure's starting to rise to thruster-levels...

I love The Martian in both the book and movie form but the premise pisses me off as well. There are storms on Mars but the air pressure is hardly anything in Earth terms. You can't have the equivalent of a hurricane that kills someone like it is Hurricane Katrina roaring through To be fair, even the author admits that but I doubt he expected anyone to pay that much attention to it when he wrote it. The improvised space suit thruster is dumb too.

However, I forgive it because most of the rest of the book (and movie) is fairly diligent about details. It just needs a little touch-up work. I hate most soft science fiction so much that I am willing to give the benefit of the doubt to something that at least tries to create something more realistic. There is a lot of room for improvement but at least it is a first step. Hopefully, the success of The Martian will convince Hollywood to create more realistic movies in general and knowledgeable people to write the scripts for them.

Philliam 05-26-2017 10:18 AM

Das Boot and The Sand Pebbles anyone?


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