By Ethan Alter
Updated July 13, 2001 at 04:00 AM EDT

Q In Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Angelina Jolie (above) seeks a clock with superpowers that are activated by the alignment of the planets, which supposedly happens every 5,000 years. Is such an astrological anomaly in the stars?

A As Lara might say, not bloody likely. ”It’s mathematically impossible,” scoffs Geoff Chester of the U.S. Naval Observatory. ”Because of the way the orbits of the planets are arranged [they would never] be strung out like beads on a line.” And what of the film’s eclipse, brought about by the cosmic line dance? ”A total solar eclipse occurs when the moon hides the sun,” says Chester. ”You don’t need nine planets to make that happen.”

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider

  • Movie
  • PG-13
  • 97 minutes
  • Simon West