Sunday, June 14, 2009

Bad Geology Movie

I ended up wasting my evening alone (both the 5-yr old and the SO are away for the week, on different sides of the continent) watching the continent get ripped in half during the ludicrously bad "Apocalypse 10.5" or whatever in the heck it was called.

I really had a hard time willingly suspending my disbelief for this one. From Sun Valley erupting to Las Vegas sinking at least 200 feet into the vegas (did they really try to say it was sulphuric acid-eroded limestone in the alluvial valley?), it was a really horrid portrayal of natural events gone badder in much less than geologic time. If I had Emeril's smell-o-vision, rotten eggs would have been wafting from the set.

I really loved (not) the rift fault propagating through the midsection of Canada and the U.S. in less than two days without any failed rift arms (would they have propagated and died in less than a day?).

When my ex worked as a prof at an unnamed SoCal bastion of higher learning, he regularly got calls from "the industry" looking for quick answers to geologic questions (it helped that his last name is closer to the beginning in the alphabet - the industry geeks tend to go down the list). Some were interesting, but some were rather infantile. I remember him talking about some whining sod trying to find a good movie location and practically begging for a warm, but Iceland-like locale to shoot in a few weeks (it was the middle of winter-southern Idaho was right out). It has occurred to me, more than once, that I could probably have found some work as a geology "consultant" to the industry. I couldn't bring myself to even check into it, though, as I presume the writers and directors for movies like the one I saw tonight repeatedly shine on their consultants' pleadings for a dramatic geological activity that could actually happen in real time.

At the end of the movie, everyone, from the president to the former head of the USGS and his now head of the USGS daughter, was crying crocodile tears. Myself, I can't imagine any geologist worth her/his salt not at least thinking: "Whoa, dude. That was so incredibly awesome!" as they watched a rift split the continent in half and fill up with ocean. In two whole days.