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Posts Tagged ‘movie’

Watchmen Again

A +3 macro filter does nothing but taunt me towards a dedicated macro lens.

A +3 macro filter does nothing but taunt me towards a dedicated macro lens.

I just finished watching Watchmen for the second time (hence a later post). In between viewings of the movie I read the graphic novel just to see how the movie varied from the graphic novel. And also so I could weigh in on any debates about which was better.

The movie leaves out several of the subplots and running themes of the novel however I feel that this omission does not detract from the movie. Also the altered ending is more fitting for 2009 as the original is probably more fitting for 1985 (though I cannot say, I was not there). There is just one line from the novel that I feel should have been in the movie and that is the last line Veidt says to Dr. Manhattan.

I must admit that on the second viewing the movie did seem a little long in the middle and since I watched it with my parents who had no idea what it was about I was able to get their opinions. Mostly they did not feel that the movie was going anywhere or that it was coherent.

In the end it is a good movie, though I do not know if it is one that a person could watch and re-watch several times.

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The LHC beam line leading to the ATLAS detector.

The LHC beam line leading to the ATLAS detector.

I watched Angels and Demons last night and could not get over the bad science. It came it two distinct varieties, the first is straight up bad or media-hyped style science the other is in the character of Vittoria, a CERN physicist. (There may be spoilers)

In the film there is concern  the LHC, when switched on, will create antimatter for the first time in the start up event (but not afterwards). This part hurt. Anti-matter, first proposed by Dirac in 1928 is created quite often in particle accelerators and hospitals.

The LHC had some typical science-movie computer interfaces though I was concerned with the part where people were walking in the tunnels as the collider was running. Personally I would not want to be in those tunnels during operation, the massive x-ray radiation generated would not be conducive to ones health, in any situation.

There are also some issues with the device used to hold the ant-matter but I will let that go as it is movie and necessary to the plot.

Then there is Vittoria the bio-entanglement physicist. I wish I knew what bio-entanglement research is or in particular how it links to energy companies, it must be a nascent field. Two comments she made in the film diverged to how a physicists (at least those I know) would really think.

First she said that she never thought that collecting a significant amount of antimatter could ever be used as a weapon. This is just wrong. Physicists realize that their work often leads to improvements in military technology, likely due to the military being a source of funding.

Finally there was the reference to the Higgs Boson. But she never said the word Higgs or boson, instead kept using God Particle. Something that is only done by the media or scientists talking to the media in an attempt to stop that particular nomenclature. I suppose that since this movie had a lot of religious themes in it the god particle seemed like a better choice. Still it hurts to hear it.

Eventually a big budget summer blockbuster film will consult with a few scientists while writing the script to get the science right.

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Star Trek

The first US satellite, Explorer 1

The first US satellite, Explorer 1

Last night my friends and I watched the new Star Trek movie. Further enhancing the experience of the movie a physics professor from our department coincidentally sat next to us. We were by far the coolest row in the theater.

I like Star Trek as a whole, but I am not a Trekkie. I have seen a few of the movies, episodes from most of the series and enjoy watching them. However I do not have any of the movies or episodes memorized, I can’t spot small plot holes or facets that are out of line with previous Star Trek franchises. I can say that I did enjoy the movie.

The movie was fun, the casting worked for all of the characters and some of the cheesy or predictable scenes worked well in the movie as a whole. I appreciated some small touches in the film such as space being silent and there being no fixed ‘up’ in space.

After watching the movie I want to go and watch the original series, something I would not have done without seeing the film. I also want to see this cast and interpretation be expanded into the future as either a TV show or movies.

My favorite like of the entire film: “Jim, I’m a doctor not a physicist!”.

After the film I felt the inspiration to pursue and continue our exploration into space. Lucky for me this is already what I have been planning on going into for a while now.

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Watch the Watchmen

Edinburgh University School of Divinity.

Edinburgh University School of Divinity.

Until I heard the hype regarding the movie with articles discussing accuracy in regards to the book and even the science behind it I had not heard of Watchmen. Last night I went to see it in theaters without reading any of the reviews or even seeing a single trailer. All I knew about the film was from the introductory paragraphs from the Wikipedia article on the graphic novel as well as the plethora of article titles that are out there.

For those who have not heard of it is about an alternative history earth with comic book heroes. While following a murder plot amid threat of total global war between the USSR and USA an underlying theme is the exploration of the superhero.

I do not know how the original graphic novel version ended but I liked the ending and found it original in comparison to other recent superhero films. What I loved about the story was that the plot concluded; no open ended threads for a potentially endless slough of sequels.

My favorite part has to be the opening sequence that gives the backstory of the alternative USA from the 40’s to the 80’s.

The soundtrack to the movie is probably one of the strangest soundtracks given the content of the film, not to say it does not fit or even distract; it is just strange.

I would recommend going to watch Watchmen.

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One fish, two fish, three fish, blue fish.

One fish, two fish, three fish, blue fish.

I thought Pride and Prejudice and Zombies was going  to be good. I told my friends about it and most asked if it was going to be a movie.

They have been answered.

Now the classic will be treated to a touch of cinema art by having aliens thrown into the mix. What could make it better? The aliens and Austen are brought to us by Sir Elton John.

As a form of art I am more hopeful about the zombies, there the story will be integrated with the original, the alien one will rewrite it completely. I wonder if Gort will make it in?

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A continuously burning flame in the UCSB science quad.

A continuously burning flame in the UCSB science quad.

Last night I went to free advance screening of the movie Repo: The Genetic Opera. I had no idea what to expect, if face it was not until I looked it up on wikipedia that I knew it was a musical. I just assumed that Genetic Opera was a neat title. Turns out that the movie calls itself a rock opera. I found that a lot of the songs sounded a lot like those from Rent except with heavier leanings toward rock and opera.

I liked everything about the movie except for one thing and my roommate put it best: “It would have been better without singing”. The actual singing felt like a leftover remnant for the movies life as a stage show. The world created in the movie could be the basis for a very deep graphic novel or further productions. But without the singing. Since all of the lines were sung in the movie some lines felt completely isolated and came out funny. They audience did laugh the lines.

I should mention the plot: there was a world-wide organ failure (for unexplained reasons) and a company, GeneCo, came in and sold new organs to people with heavy financing. Then the repossession of organs was legalized and from this was born Repo men. Hitmen surgeons who track down those who defaulted on the organs, kills them and returns them to GeneCo.

A very well done part of the movie is the way they handled expository backstory. They panned over pseudo-animated frames of a comic book to narrate the world. They did this both at the beginning and when a characters motive needed revealing.

I liked the movie and so I am talking about it on my blog just as the creators (who were there) wanted us the audience to do to promote the movie. It seems they have zero budget for advertisement.

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