Donate


Well, we covered the books last week, so movies are next. Don't worry, I won't do a science music list next week because that would be just They Might Be Giants and that one Thomas Dolby song that I can't stand anymore. So, you finished the books from last week and you're sunburned to a crisp, so you want to hang out in your living room with the AC on. I get it. You COULD binge watch some Netflix licensed Finnish police procedural , OR, or, or … you could instead pick one or all from the awesome list below that I humbly title:

Five Fanfuckingtastic Movies that Got the Science Right! (Or mostly anyway because we're not life-ruiners like a common Neil deGrasse Tyson. We kid, we kid! We love! OR DO WE.)


1 – 2001

The grand olde dame of sci fi. Love it or hate it, it is incredibly influential. All about inspiration, achievement, exploration, creation, who we are … man alive this movie is crazy deep. Visually stunning even today, but for the sake of this article, truly prescient about the science to come and pretty damn accurate as well. Here's a quick list:

  • No sound in space! Unless you count the Blue Danube playing during the flight to the space station, but unlike almost every other space movie, there are no sounds of explosions, thrusters, etc. Nice job, Mr. Kubrick.
  • Videochats! Multiple "phone calls" via video which we now take for granted. Why just the other day I interviewed a potential scientist for us who lives in Switzerland while I was in my office in SAN DIEGO!!! Black magic? Science fiction? ScienceFuckingFact! Too bad he wore a sweat suit and not an actual suit for the interview, but I digress.
  • Accurate portrayal of zero gravity! Remember the floating pen scene and the "grip" shoes the space Pan Am flight attendants wore? Yeah, buddy, that's the science stuff. Bonus fun fact: The floating pen effect is done by a pen sticky taped to a glass sheet that two dudes rotate while off camera. The Pan Am space babe walks up and plucks it off the glass. No CGI back then!
  • Artificial Intelligence! HAL, that pendejo. You do know, that if you move up each letter by one you get IBM, right?

2 – And the Band Played On

This movie (technically a mini-series) covers all the science but also all the politics of disease and the search for a treatment. It works as a historical piece on the emergence of HIV & AIDS but also chronicles the infighting between scientists (Robert Gallo is a prick) for credit, the governmental territoriality and bureaucracy!

It's one of the best portrayals on the screen of how epidemiology works and how we (yeah, "we" because I was still in the lab back then and worked on HIV blood tests) figure out the causative agent of disease. It's also great at showing the drudgery of science along with the "eureka" moments.

The cast is like a cameo salad bar from Steve Martin to Phil Collins to Anjelica Huston.

3 – Apollo 13

Minimal Movie Posterby Justin Jackson

I'm always amazed when a movie where I know the outcome can still keep me in suspense. This is one of those little gems. Obviously, there is lots of accuracy in terms of how they calculate orbits, re-entry, all the physics stuff. Ron Howard got NASA to advise all the way through. My favorite science bit though is when the carbon dioxide levels start getting scary, and Ed Harris tells his folks on the ground to literally figure out how to make a square filter fit a round hole to save some astronaut ass. Pretty sure it only worked because if Ed Harris was yelling at me, I'd engineer whatever the hell was needed so he'd stop yelling at me.

4 - Gravity

I thought about not throwing up a third space movie here. Then I said, fuck it. Mexico is out of the World Cup and I'm sad so I'm going to honor a Mexican movie director who really went all out to be realistic in another tense space disaster flick.

  • No sound in space!
  • Tiny debris going really fast WOULD cause that damage!
  • Fire extinguisher as thruster? You betcha, carbon!

5 – Fantastic Voyage

You did NOT expect this to be on my list, did you? Don't lie. Scientists are shrunken down along with a submarine and inserted into ANOTHER scientist with only an hour to get to an inoperable clot inside him and save his life! I admit, the miniaturization stuff is pure bullshit. That's not what I'm talking about. Like a hot little ticket in a swimsuit (you pick the gender you want to visualize), it's all about anatomy. Well, also physiology, like when they take a detour through the heart, the life-size peeps monitoring the patient have to stop his heart to avoid turbulence for the passing sub. There's pretty decent immunology with antibodies working with T-cells to try and kill our heroes when they venture out in scuba gear. Even the miniature sub and crew could be thought of as predicting where we're headed with nanobots and the like. Pretty good for 1966.

Those are my five. What would you add? Here's some that didn't make the cut.

  • Interstellar: Some good stuff that ultimately goes too metaphysical and speculative.
  • Contact: See "Interstellar."
  • The Martian: Probably some of the best representation of science on film, but I mentioned it last week in the books article so didn't want to double up. Apollo 13 took its place.
  • Pretty much any movie with a virus outbreak where they have to find the "anti-serum" (I'm looking at you "Outbreak"!) because if it was that fucking easy we would have cured HIV by now!!

Because I can, I will also say that John Carpenter's the Thing is my all-time favorite movie. The science is pretty shitty, but the movie can't be beat for tension, one-liners, memorable characters and pre-CGI special effects that still hold up today. See you kids next week when I return to something topical and not so upbeat.

And with that, stick around, because it is your OPEN THREAD.

Carlos Sagan

I am a biochemist MexiCAN. I also write screenplays, ever hoping to get one made.

email me at: carlossagan2018@gmail.com

follow me at: @RealCarlosSagan

$
Donate with CC

Once upon a time... about ten years ago, a group of entirely ridiculous men burst onto the scene wearing stupid hats and telling men that wearing stupid hats and telling men that walking up to women in bars and insulting ("negging") them would get them laid. This did not last long, as women also had televisions and computers and were completely aware of these tricks as well, so when some ass came up to us in a bar and said "Hey, nice nails, are they real?" we would laugh and laugh and loudly announce "Oh my god, this guy just tried to neg me! Can you believe that shit? HEY EVERYONE, THIS GUY JUST TRIED TO NEG ME!" and then refer to him as "Mystery" the whole night.

Most of the men who tried that shit only did so a few times before realizing that it wasn't going to work, and thus moved on to other things. Perhaps things that did not involve furry hats and coming off as a huge creep. We may never know, because I would assume that those who tried it are now extremely embarrassed and would never, ever admit to this to us.

Still, there were a few men willing to eat that shit up, as well as some grifters willing to take advantage of that. Said grifters tended to be extremely misogynistic and seemed more like they were teaching men how to be as despised by women as they were than teaching them how to actually be liked by women.

Some of them, like Roosh V, a creepy weirdo who actually does live in his mom's basement, actively encouraged men to rape women who were intoxicated to the point of being obviously unable to consent.

However, even that branch of the PUA tree is wilting away. Many "self-help" style PUA forums like Nextasf and RSDnation are shutting down or have already shut down. In March, Chateau Heartiste, a batshit crazy PUA turned White Nationalist/Alt-Right blog was shut down by Wordpress. This week, rape advocate Roosh V (whom you may recall once called yours truly a "Wonkette typist/clown face, would not bang") announced that he was renouncing his PUA ways and devoting himself to Jesus. He explained to the forum he manages that he would no longer be allowing anyone to discuss premarital "fornication."

Keep reading... Show less
$
Donate with CC

'Baby Geniuses' star Jon Voight took to Twitter early this morning to proclaim his undying love for Donald Trump, probably because there is no one left in his life who will listen to him talk about this, or anything else, in person. In this video rant, Voight encouraged members of the Republican Party, whom he apparently thinks are the only real citizens of the United States, to stand by Donald Trump and "acknowledge the truth" that he is the best President since Abraham Lincoln.


Part ONE:

People of the Republican Party, I know you will agree with me when I say our president has our utmost respect and our love. This job is not easy. For he's battling the left and their absurd words of destruction. I've said this once and I'll say this again. That our nation has been built on the solid ground from our forefathers, and there is a moral code of duty that has been passed on from President Lincoln. I'm here today to acknowledge the truth, and I'm here today to tell you my fellow Americans that our country…

Oh no, not our absurd words of destruction!

Part DEUX:

is stronger, safer, and with more jobs because our President has made his every move correct. Don't be fooled by the political left, because we are the people of this nation that is witnessing triumph. So let us stand with our president. Let us stand up for this truth, that President Trump is the greatest president since President Lincoln.

Does Jon Voight not know there have been... other presidents? Can he name them? Because really, it does not sound like it. Does he also not know that a very big chunk of the Republican Party actually does not care very much for Abraham Lincoln? Namely those defenders of Confederate statues that Trump called "very fine people?" Also, did he intentionally diss their beloved Ronald Reagan?

Who can know? Who can even tell what he is trying to say or why he is trying to say it. He doesn't appear to have tweeted much since 2016, so I'm guessing whoever's job it was to keep him from tanking his career quit. Either that... or after filming the seventh season of Ray Donovan, he found out it's going to be canceled or his character is getting killed off or something and he is now free to be a jackass? I don't know, I haven't watched the show, although my parents are very into it and mad that I haven't watched it. Literally all I know about it is that it has something to do with Boston, because they keep mentioning that to me like it's a selling point.

It seems useless at this point to note that the people who scream their faces off about how bad it is for Hollywood celebs to support liberal causes, and how they should keep their politics to themselves, etc. etc. make a way bigger deal than normal people do whenever a Big Time Hollywood Celebrity like Jon Voight or, uh, Scott Baio, supports their cause. Mostly because they're the only ones who have elected a reality TV star and the star of Bedtime for Bonzo (who by the way, also once practically ruined a perfectly good Bette Davis movie with his bad acting. Which is not to say that Dark Victory is not fantastic and probably the best thing to watch if you want to sob your face off, but he was very bad in it.) to run the country.

But we might as well do that anyway, because it actually never stops being funny.

[Jon Voight Twitter]

$
Donate with CC
Donate

How often would you like to donate?

Select an amount (USD)

Newsletter

©2018 by Commie Girl Industries, Inc