#3. Determining How Many Days Bill Murray Was Stuck in Groundhog Day
In Groundhog Day, Bill Murray plays a weatherman named Phil Connors who gets stuck in a time loop and is forced to repeat the same day over and over. While it's impossible to calculate how many times this movie has played on cable, one blogger answered another just as important question: Exactly how much time did Phil spend stuck in the loop?
By our calculations ... one day.
We've pointed out before that, according to the original script, Phil spent 10,000 years repeating the same day, but a lot changed between that version and the finished movie. And the film skips over most of it in a montage, during which Murray's character masters a number of complex skills, taking advantage of all of the extra time.
So in order to determine how many days Phil actually repeats, blogger Wolf Gnards (we hope to dear Jesus that's his real name) started by counting the ones that are shown in the film -- the answer is 36, which frankly doesn't sound that bad. Oh, but we're just getting started. The blogger then took into account lines in the movie that suggest the passage of time. For example, at one point Phil tells Rita that he has been "stabbed, shot, poisoned, frozen, hung, electrocuted, and burned" -- of those, only the electrocution was shown on screen, so, assuming all the others didn't happen at the same time, that brings the minimum total to 42 days.
Not to mention all the time spent seducing the various women about town.
Gnards then took into account the skills Phil learns throughout the movie: throwing cards was six months (according to the dialogue), robbing a bank was probably a month, playing the piano takes at least three years, ice sculpting is about the same, and learning French probably took about two. Did Phil take on all of these one at a time? Probably, since ice sculpting is pretty difficult to master, and it's not like he's in any rush.
This brings the total amount of time Phil Connors was trapped in the time loop to an astonishing 3,176 days. Gnards summed up his findings in this chart:
The white space around the graph represents the days it took to figure this out.
The movie's director, Harold Ramis, actually commented on this theory, saying the estimate seemed too short and declaring that people like Gnards have "way too much time on their hands." Yeah, probably.
#2. Charting Every Reference and Connection Between Stephen King Stories
Warner Bros/Columbia Pictures/Tri-Star Pictures
Stephen King loves slipping references to his own work within his novels, because let's face it, if we had written as many books as he has, we probably wouldn't read anyone else's crap either. While other fans just smiled at the little in-jokes and kept reading, one blogger named Gillian decided to go through all of the tens of thousands of pages in King's books and detail how they connect to each other. The result is this monster:
However, even if you've never read a Stephen King book, these connections have some interesting implications for movie fans, since King is probably the most adapted author ever after Shakespeare. For instance, his book Misery revolves around psychotic nurse Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates in the movie), who at one point mentions the Overlook Hotel ... the same place where Jack Nicholson lost his shit in Kubrick's adaptation of The Shining.
Columbia Pictures/Warner Bros
"That's where I found this!"
Another character in The Shining is psychic chef Dick Hallorann, who also makes a cameo at the end of King's novel/TV miniseries It ... meaning that these characters exist in the same universe as Pennywise the clown. Of course, Pennywise is actually an alien being who simply takes the shape of a clown -- we see another shape in Dreamcatcher (that shitty movie with Morgan Freeman), where the same being possesses one of the characters.
Was this before or after he led Easy Company to victory?
Want more? Apt Pupil (adapted by Bryan Singer) stars a former Nazi named Kurt Dussander (Ian McKellen) whose past is discovered by a young neighbor. In the short story that The Shawshank Redemption is based on, Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins' character in the movie), the genius banker who was wrongfully imprisoned, worked for Dussander. Another character in Shawshank mentions the city of Castle Rock, where several Stephen King stories take place ... including the one that was adapted into the movie Stand by Me (starring every '80s child actor).
Tri-Star Pictures/Columbia Pictures
"Hey, Kurt, I found another Nazi apprentice for you."
And so on. Thanks to Gillian's chart, we could probably do this all day. And because she's braver than any of us, she's now working on an updated version that includes King's Dark Tower books, too.
Where does Maximum Overdrive fit in here?
#1. A Complex Analysis of the Physics in My Little Pony
So, apparently, some bros like watching ponies -- more specifically, the ones in the cartoon My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. One of those "prothers," as we like to call them, is high school student Stephen Thomas (aka Beatledude64), who decided to express his fanaticism in one of the few forms we never would have seen coming: a completely logical and even compelling physics presentation.
Stephen named his academic study "Physical Impossibilities in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic," and the strangest part is that it actually makes sense. For starters, none of the "physical impossibilities" involve human/horse romance, which is what we're always afraid we're going to see when pony fandom is involved. It's more about the way the characters' powers work, or don't.
"Proof: I need a hobby."
In his 10-minute presentation, Stephen analyzes minute details like the angle of the mach cone generated by Rainbow Dash in executing her "sonic rainboom," concluding that she quickly accelerates to speeds of 1,635 meters per second (mach 4.8) and experiences 11.1 Gs, which should have caused blackouts and bodily organ failure. He also hypothesizes that to launch a fellow pony off a see-saw as far as she does, Applejack should have been composed of dark matter. His thoughtful analysis not only got him a perfect score on the project, but also got over a million views on YouTube and media coverage by respectable publications like the Los Angeles Times. Stephen was then invited to give a new presentation about the physics of My Little Pony at Equestria LA, a My Little Pony convention, where we can only assume it will be the subject of fierce and unsettling debate.
Meanwhile, video game website ScrewAttack! used Stephen's calculations in an animated death battle, pitting Rainbow Dash against Starscream of the Transformers and concluding that with the speed, maneuverability, and endurance attributed to her, this little girls' cartoon character would triumph over the embodiment of phallic warmongering.
In our version of the same fight, the pony ended up in the toilet and our sister told our mom.
Josh wants your Facebook love and for you to read his column This Ain't Amateur Hour at Man Cave Daily. Robert is a columnist for Freakin' Awesome Network and would like for you to follow him on Twitter. You can experience Drew's wit and gastrointestinal fortitude at The Impulsive Buy.
For more overzealous fans, check out The 5 Most Baffling Sex Scenes in the History of Fanfiction and 6 Insane Fan Theories That Actually Make Great Movies Better.
If you're pressed for time and just looking for a quick fix, then check out The Innocent Ricin Suspect With the Supervillain Backstory.
And stop by LinkSTORM to discover which of our super mans figured out what happened to Ross.
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