Passengers (2016)

11 Feb 2017

silly humor
physical comedy

incorrect physics/sciences/engr
thought provoking thinking
empathy and sympathy

fresh perspective
cliché message

excellent camera work
immersive atmosphere
beautiful scenes
fitting soundtrack

expected outcome

intense action
realistic effects
epic effects

untraceable (natural) acting
dramatic acting


Watched it again with my roommate just now, makes me feel ever more justified to write some of my thoughts down.

Right off the bat, I think it is an interesting exercise in marketing/advertising and insurance/risk analysis to note how one might be able to realise such an intersteller enterprise (I’m sure many have dwelled upon this problem, but …) Especially as Aurora noted, that no one has ever returned from a “colony” before her plans. If this is the case, how could this be a profitable business? Sure hundreds years ago, people had went to voyages across the unknown oceans and continenants with way less, but at least it only went “popular” and “profitable” when there’s at least SOME (even if very few) examples of success story and exotic commercial stock that can verify the new world’s existence? I mean what if the entire mission is a hoax anyway and everybody is sent to die in the ship one by one moving in a random direction in space? (BUT it is contradictory that the crew chief did mention hybernation sicknesses as “happens all the time” so maybe the some crew did return, just never passengers?)

Now with hindsight, it seems odd that if the problem with the ship is a loose astroid, why can the system fix some processor related error but not others? I think that’s a big no-no for any single timing chip burn-out to cause some mission critical failure. Also is it really moving that fast to avoid hitting a big-ass astroid?

An engineer (ok just a mechanic really given the hobby level of skills and lack of insights on system-level behaviors) did not realize that sending a message to earth from a space ship that travelled for ~30 years would take a LOOONG ass time? Besides, what system won’t automatically relay error messages to the home planet? Now about the elementary school math excercise: the message need 19 years to get to Earth, so the ship is currently 19 LYs away. The message will take another 36 years to get back on board, so when that happens, ship is 36 LYs away. That means the ship traveled 36-19=17 LYs during 55 years while earlier it travelled 19 LYs in 30 years. That’s some big fluctuation in ship speed so that slingshot around the star must really slowed things down. The total average speed is 36/(30+55)=0.42 still rather different from crew chief’s later number of 50% speed of light… ‘Oh what’ indeed.

I think if I was left to my own accord, I would probably just make sure to bring an ass towel so my butt does not stick to seats all the time. Pants are for pansies!

Why did the airlock just waste the air? wouldn’t this affect the trajectory somewhat since they move at such high velocity? Not to mention causing unnecessary loads to the seal?
And a passenger airlock system really should check for pressure suits.

This chekoff’s gun bullshit is so annoying. Me throws a bottle. “tether attached.” robots going nuts. BORING!

And if I was having trouble dealing with loneliness while I can apparently access everyone’s interview data, I probably would go through everyone’s profile before I try anything drastic. (To be honest, when he sat down next to her in the pod with snacks on the side and pulls out a video, I was sure that’s a set up for masterbation.)

How high of a confidence level in a life-critical technology would a company have before they put up some safety factors like ‘you can go back to hybernation’ a few times in case of emergency? The trials and paperworks must have been ridiculous (double meaning intended). It is not ‘failsafe’ if when if FAILED and it is no longer SAFE (people will die before reaching destination). Or maybe there’s at least a need for some big-ass life insurance pay-out for some great-grand children generation beneficiary?

If we as a global civilization can survive till the day with 120 lightyear intersteller travel AND anything made on earth do not need to be fixed but simply replaced, wow! Must be a win for (sufficient) sustainability and world stability?

Guessing first names is not what “knowing people” means.

Really feels like a Wall-E rip off with the space walks (even to the background music. Another bastard child of temp music? sigh).

sex on first date? Jim are you sure you are in love, not just looking for an easy hookup?

speaking of, it’s not even close to 2 years. way too early to propose. Especially when she’s fucking totally stuck with you on a steel island. no need for the rush man.

It feels too close to the star. Ship seem to shake more severely than it should be…

One thing I really liked about Arthur is that the “leak” is not intentional despite what it looked like. He only perceived to reference “forbidden” knowledge after a confirmation of “you heard the lady,” there are no more secrets! (but again, the chekoff’s gun thing of Arthur blanks a bit when Jim first provided a contradiction and now an extended poker face after hearing no more secrets… too obvious)

Are you ‘soiling’ my stools? get it? get it? it’s soil because I planted a tree?

Why would swimming work so ineffectively without gravity? you are in a pretty massive medium. And not a very viscous one. It’s not Stokes flow so you should be able to accumulate inertial not that differently comparing to freediving.

Now if the ship is equipped with an AI so advanced that can extrapolate a complicated full system risk analysis in a mere second, AND predict that the ship will reach imminent failures on multiple mission critical subsystems, why the hell does this not justify selectively waking some critical crew up in a safe way?


And what the hell kind of mission critical cooling vent does not have a good mechanical lock? The only possible explanation would be the system works entirely on electromagnetic relays, but then it is seriously not “FAILSAFE”!

At least he remembered Newton’s third law in an almost (although relativistic) constant velocity reference frame when Jim throws away the “heatshield.”

Of course you were about an inch away from his suit with the tether. but wait, there’s more! I didn’t like Gravity so this time you can reach his tether!

So the crew chief’s override command is ‘ID 2317.’ Why is it needed to be remembered but not looked up from the bracelet itself if it is really an ID? If it is really a passcode, was the crew chief so close to death to mention it again when handing the bracelet over?

Oh boy, thank you for your service, now take these medals and go give the ship some extra thrust. Byeeeee!

Finally, Jim is getting in the water with her. You know how creepy it feels when someone just watches a single other person swim? Even if you are a couch it’s weird.

As mentioned by others on THE GLORIOUS but SOON TO BE HISTORY D:D:D: IMDb forum, a 5000 passengers + 258 crew space ship has only one (auto)doc? what if 2 person got sick at the same time?

Barring this issue (which I suppose can be ‘mansplained’ away with things like it’s super (energy?) expensive and very quick), I believe there still exists at least two superior ending.

(1) if Jim did not recover after those over 9000 unrecommended simultaneous resuscitation procedures, he would have lives a ‘fair’ life. Committed a murder but saved her life. Not to mention at this stage of blockbuster developments, films can really use some tragedy for core characters. And now Aurora can live her extraordinary life and write a good book. (also see 2c)

(2) even if he lives, there are plenty more interesting ways to live differently. Either (a) share the pod somewhat evenly, then at least they have a much better chance at seeing the homestead planet a bit; or (b) share the pod unevenly, so that Jim can spend more time outside alone to keep his ‘love’ alive longer. I mean as long as they reach the colony, there’s a way to hybernate again otherwise Aurora won’t be able to plan a return in one year, right?

Or (c) to wake some crew up and share the autodoc’s suspend animation functionality. with 3 person, no one will be alone and you save 26 years.

Of course even with the film ending, the earth command center had some disaster/coup/conspiracy so that recieving Jim’s initial (and presumably Aurora’s later ones, I mean she want people to read her book does she not?) message? How people on earth reacted is probably a more dynamic story (Oh wait they had that in the Martian). either way I’m surprised that they did not wake any crew up as a reply.

And yes it’s perfectly safe to have tree roots to grew wherever it sees fit. lots of soil around with mineral water and no danger of breaking any electrical equipment.