Tag: movies

Disney is bringing back hand-drawn animation

This makes me happy.

Old sci-fi movies got it right!

It used to be a staple of B-movie science fiction involving travel in outer space or landing on another planet: the meteor shower, rocks flying through space and threatening our heroes with explosive decompression (see yesterday’s post!) or worse. Turns out, they may have been on to something. A recent episode of The Backyardigans (our …

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Movie monster biology

Not long ago I wrote an article emphasizing that science fiction is, first and foremost, fiction, and that a little fudging of the science for the sake of the story is expected and accepted. Having said that, however, I must also admit that nothing warms the cockles of my heart (what exactly is a cockle, …

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The Biology of B-Movie Monsters

I can’t believe I hadn’t come across this until now (but then, the World Wide Web is a rather large place [if it’s a place at all (and how many paranthetical [like this] statements can one put in a single sentence, anyway?)]): Michael C. LaBarbera, a University of Chicago biologist, has taken a scientific look …

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Bad movie science

It will probably come as no surprise to you that when Hollywood tackles scientific topics, it almost always gets them wrong. But as Sid Perkins describes in a recent article in Science News Online, some scientists and teachers are using movie science to teach science and promote an interest in science. There are innumerable examples of bad movie …

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Synthespians: artificial actors

In the movie The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, one of the best performances is turned in by an actor who isn’t entirely real. Gollum, the hobbit-like creature who once possessed the One Ring and would do anything to possess it again is the latest and most-impressive-to-date example of a “synthespian”–a computer-generated actor. …

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Stupid movie physics

  The season of the movie blockbuster is upon us, and that means it’s time once again to ask the question: what planet do the people in movies live on? Judging by the physics displayed, it’s not this one. In our world, for example, you cannot outrun the fireball of an exploding bomb down the …

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Mad science

We’ve all seen mad scientists in the movies, hair standing on end, shouting, “They laughed! They said I was crazy! But we’ll see who has the last laugh now! Hahahahahahahaha!” Havoc ensues until torch-carrying villagers burn the laboratory. The real-life counterparts to these fictional mad scientists are the scientists pursuing theories that mainstream science considers, …

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The Saskatchewan Film Pool: bringing filmmakers together

It’s not easy being an independent filmmaker. Of all the art forms, film is one of the most expensive, requiring specialized equipment and facilities. But filmmaking is like any other complicated endeavor: it gets easier when you pool resources with other individuals involved in the same pursuit. That’s the philosophy behind the Saskatchewan Filmpool Cooperative. …

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It’s 2001! Where’s our space odyssey?

Ever since 2001: A Space Odyssey appeared in 1968, 2001 has been one of those years, like 1984, that somehow represented “the future.” Well, guess what? 1984 came and went, and now 2001 has arrived–and with it, a spate of news stories comparing the “predictions” in the film with the reality. I think that’s a …

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Half a century after Boris Karloff first played the man in the bandages, The Mummy is once again drawing people in droves to movie theatres. It’s almost like The Mummy has eternal life–which, of course, is the whole idea. A mummy is any dead animal or human body in which soft tissues have been preserved …

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Special effects

  Motion pictures have always been largely illusion: artificial realities convincingly created by assorted designers, craftspeople, cinematographers and actors. But these days, what you see on screen is less “real” than ever. Today special effects rule the movies, thanks primarily to computers. That’s not to say there were no special effects before computers came along. …

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