I like lists. I like movies too, and science. So, for my last post, I thought I’d make a little list of the movies we’ve watched this semester, counting them down in order of my personal experience with them based on watching and discussing.
7) “The Happening” (2008)
– I saw “The Happening” in the movies when it came out in 2008 and, having seen only a few, pretty good movies by M. Night Shyamalan, including his acclaimed “The Sixth Sense” (1999) and “Signs” (2002), this was the movie that plunged Shyamalan way down on my list of bad moviemakers. Don’t get me wrong. Obviously the guy can make movies, and I did like the initial idea of this one. Seeing the trailer, I was really excited about seeing it in the movies. The execution, however, was just not good, at all. I don’t know if it was the way his character was supposed to be, or if it was just really poor acting, but Mark Wahlberg’s character was just really not good, and the dialogue was at times absolutely terrible, in my opinion. After both times I’ve watched it, I’ve left with a frustrating feeling of annoyance and dissatisfaction.
6) “Idiocracy” (2006)
– Interesting idea. It’s a disturbing concept, really, of the sort of reversed “survival of the fittest”. The movie itself was funny at times, just stupid at others.
5) “Children of Men” (2006)
– Depressing, but very interesting. A good depiction of a dystopian world in which mostly everything has gone bad.
4) “Outbreak” (1995)
– Again, an interesting concept. A good story, some good acting, gripping subplots, and a complicated dilemma made it very worthwhile to watch and analyze.
3) “Absolute Zero” (2006)
– Sorry guys, but it was just so bad that it was funny. I was almost as entertained by this movie as I was the first time I saw David Hasselhoff’s cover of B.J. Thomas’s “Hooked on a Feeling” – which, by the way, was made famous in the U.S. by Swedish pop legend Björn Skifs and his cover from 1974. I encourage anyone to follow the links below and listen to Skifs’s magnificent piece of art and especially Hasselhoff’s highly entertaining version.
Hasselhoff – “Hooked on a Feeling” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJQVlVHsFF8
Skifs – “Hooked on a Feeling” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kEwNOWUA4yo
Anyway, “Absolute Zero” was a movie to laugh at. Even though a lot was pretty ridiculous, there were definitely things to analyze and discuss.
2) “Day After Tomorrow” (2004)
A good movie with very high entertainment value. I remember the first time I saw it, and I really thought it was a good movie. However, that was when it first came out, and people have since told me how ridiculously implausible the entire movie was. It was interesting watching it in class and discussing it, and I was surprised to learn that it wasn’t as ridiculous as I had been told. I enjoyed watching it again, and even though a lot of the science, of course, is pretty inaccurate, I was impressed by how well-made it actually was.
1) “Sunshine” (2007)
I think “Sunshine” was the best of the ones we watched. I certainly enjoyed this one the most. It might be because I wrote my paper on it, and so I’ve looked into many of the aspects of it. It was an entertaining movie based on an interesting, albeit scientifically inaccurate, idea. The amount of thought and resources put into the science in “Sunshine”, as well as the well-depicted psychological aspects, was what lifted it to the top of my list.
So, there it is. Just my personal view, based on overall quality and analyzing value, not just the purely scientific aspects. On a final note, I’d like to thank Dr. Pillar, this was an awesome class, and I’m glad I chose to take it. Thanks everyone in the class too, especially one person in particular. You know who you are.
And remember, science is never wrong. A Hollywood climatologist said so. Jeff Fahey said so.