Hollywood got it right!

I haven’t seen those yet, but Mr. Robot does a pretty standup job of showing computer hacking, defense, and forensics, as well. Their computer security consultants make sure they can actually replicate the attacks seen on the show in their own security lab first. I’m particularly fond of how they depict human users as the most vulnerable part of the system, and target humans socially to further computer exploitation.

Similarly, the methodology shown at the beginning of Sneakers is spot-on, even if the movie quicky races off into fantasyland after the initial penetration test.

*They Were Expendable *was filmed during WW2 depicting fictionalized versions of events that happened at the beginning of the war. It starred Robert Montgomery who was a Navy combat vet who actually commanded a PT Boat then later served on a destroyer during D-Day. They used real Navy PT boats. When John Ford was injured Montgomery took over directing the action scenes. A lot of it is well made war time propaganda but the actual operation of the PT boats was accurate.

From IMDB:

Especially the fact the Kubrick listened to him. When Robert Redford made “The Natural”, they hired Cliff Kachline from the Hall of Fame to get the details right on how baseball was played then. They adopted a number of them but balked when Kachline pointed out that the manager and coach had mustaches. Nobody in baseball on. any level had a mustache in the 1930s. The director felt it was wrong to ask two veteran actors to shave their upper lip.

Several about the financial crisis in 2007/8 are unusually accurate, I’d rate them for accuracy as -

  1. Too Big To Fail
  2. Margin Call
  3. The Big Short
  4. Inside Job
  5. Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

Of course all changed details to make them more ‘watchable’, but they’re all using well-researched material and all are entirely plausible. I got goosebumps watching some parts of Too Big To Fail, as some scenes I’d not read about but had imagined.

Short backstory: We have an old safe that had a couple slightly valuable items in it but we had lost the combination.

I checked online and it turns out you can crack a safe using just a stethoscope. I follwed the directions and tried it. It took me several hours but I got the thing open. I always assumed it was pure Hollywood hokum.

One little thing in The Princess Bride: when Monoya and The Man In Black are fighting at the top of the Cliff of Insanity, all the instructors they mention are actual period fencing masters (bar one mispronunciation):

You are using Bonetti’s Defense against me, ah?..Naturally, you must suspect me to attack with Capa Ferro? Naturally, but I find that Thibault cancels out Capa Ferro. …Unless the enemy has studied his Agrippa

Capa Ferro should actually be Capo Ferro, though.

While we’re at it on the hacking, War Games was also mostly plausible. How do you break into the school’s computer to check your grade? You sneak a peek at the scrap of paper taped to the desk where the principal has written down the password.

And if we’re just talking the general feel of a particular profession, Real Genius did a good job with the college physics nerds. Exaggerated, of course, but in the right direction.

Silicon Valley is basically a documentary. I’ve worked with every one of those characters, had all those conversations, wended my way through interminable venture rounds and narcissistic knobhead executives, and produced little to nothing of actual value.

Of course, the show is a lot funnier than real life.

I recognized him too, since he was from Judge’s Milton shorts on SNL.

In the “A-for-effort/at-least-they-tried” category, Highlander had a stirring scene of the Macleods riding out to war against the Frasers, led by their priest, Father Rainey.

Who’s sporting what looks like a bitchin’ mohawk. It’s actually the tonsure worn by priests and monks of the original Irish Columban church that evangelized the Highlands in the 6th and 7th centuries, in contrast to the Roman shaved pate tonsure. Clearly, someone involved in the making of the movie knew a little about the history of Christianity in the Scottish Highlands.

If they’d known a little more, though, they’d have discovered that the Irish church had been brought into line with Roman practice at the Synod of Whitby in 664 C.E., nearly 800 years before Connor Macleod rode out to face the Kurgan.

So, nice try, but wrong.

Maybe it was just a bitchin’ mohawk.

Naah, Celtic tonsure goes in a perpendicular direction to that cut - ear to ear. I think it’s just supposed to be a bitchin’ mohawk.


I used to manage an alarm monitoring Central Station and I can confirm that the methods used to defeat a direct wire alarm system are about as accurate as they could be. The details of employing a burning bar are also spot-on. The ONLY objection I have is that the penetration technology employed was well-known at the time the movie was made. Mann implies that it was developed for this one burglary attempt.

I recall reading somewhere that Marlee Matlin and William Hurt were in a relationship at the time, and their signing to each other was about their relationship.

[quote=“Wendell_Wagner, post:32, topic:770616”]

Yes and no. The math is real. It isn’t the difficult problem that it’s claimed to be:


And Futurama proved a mathematical theorem while producing the episode “The Prisoner of Benda,” involving “Group Theory.”

It’s more like an impressive use of a known idea rather than a new theorem.

I’m just going by the wiki, which says:

Yes, I just read that too, and I think it’s wrong to call it a new theorem.

Very, in terms of expressing the claustrophobic conditions in a typical submarine of that era, along with the boredom interspersed with terror.

However, it was made by Germans, not Hollywood, which might have had something to do with it…

No, it’s absolutely right to call it a new theorem (and “the Futurama Theorem” is as good a name for it as any). It’s a mathematical result that has been proven. It may not be a very interesting or widely-applicable mathematical result, but the definition of “theorem” does not contain any requirement of interest or applicability. And really, “interesting” is subjective anyway, and I happen to think that a theorem being proven for purposes of the script of a silly cartoon TV show is in itself a rather interesting occurrence.