3x3: Things that don't work

3. Shooter: The gun don’t shoot.
2. Dr Strangelove: The bomb doors.

  1. Hurt Locker: The bomb disposal wagon at the beginning, explosive protection suits in general

3. The Deepwater Horizon: The Deepwater Horizon
2. The Shallows: The flare gun.

  1. Blood Simple: Ray’s car.

3. Living in Oblivion: The fog machine
2. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol: Ethan’s climbing gloves

  1. The Fly: The telepod.

3: Primer - Sure it’s a great time machine, but it was supposed to be a mass reduction machine.
2: 2001 - HAL
1: The Big Lebowski - If I could bend the rules a bit, all of my entries would be from this film, which is all about things not working as intended (and is also the Coens going back to Noir). But I’ll just go with the improvised door jam.

Oh this is a good one.

  1. Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back - The Millenium Falcon’s hyperdrive
  2. 12 Monkeys - The time travel machine
  3. Transformers - The first car that breaks down, introducing us to Megan Fox for the first time
  1. Back to the Future - The Delorean

  2. All is Lost: almost everything, but especially the patching kit

  3. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan - the warp drive at the end

Does this count?


Fargo - Ice Scraper

The Joker’s detonator is a great one, but we steered clear of it because it doesn’t not work for very long. Then again, that’s also the case with John Getz’ car in Blood Simple, which was my number one pick.

All is Lost is a GREAT pick, Guap.

Also, it came up during the podcast, but doesn’t HAL actually work? He does exactly what his programming tells him.


Yep, HAL works alright. Just not for the astronauts. He works for the mission. That’s an admin decision.

Yeah. His number one priority was the mission. Because of the decision to have him lie to the astronauts, he decides that human life is a lower priority, especially after he lipreads their decision to essentially shut down his higher functions. Like cutting out all of a human brain except for the medulla oblongatta.

Does Apollo 13 count? “You broke the ship. You broke the bloody ship!”

Okay, but seriously.

  1. Interstellar - The equations don’t work.
  2. Spider-Man 2 - His powers don’t work.
  3. Toy Story - Buzz Lightyear’s wings don’t really fly.

Also, Discourse seems to automatically renumber lists in the 1, 2, 3 order, even when I’m typing it as 3, 2, 1… But only if I use periods, not parentheses as I’ve used instead.

HAL is supposed to hide the real mission from the crew until they arrive, not kill them, or even complete the mission without them (that’s Ash’s directive). He malfunctions as a result of being made to lie.

I can’t remember who sent it in, but the listener suggestion of Apollo 13 on the podcast was brilliant. Not the spacecraft, but the overhead projector.

Bartleby the Scrivener.

Well, he COULD work, he just, you know. Chooses not to.

Sleeper: The cops’ gun

Fortunately the topic is things that don’t work, not can’t work.

Well, if you’re going to be pedantic, you don’t have a leg to stand on when you’ve chosen a person for a topic that specifies “objects, things, or devices”. Off to prison with you, Zylon!


Hey now, a person can be a plot device! Bartleby is, and unfortunately for him, there’s nothing he can do to prevent himself from working as such. Oops.

Sure, which is why plot devices were specifically ruled out when the topic was introduced on the podcast. :)


Spaceballs: Out of order? Fuck!
Alien: We’re blind on B and C decks – that’s a lot of horseshit, we don’t need that to take off
2001: I recommend we replace the unit and let it fail, Dave