Monday, January 28, 2013

The Best Movie Scientists Ever - with Bonus Goldblum!

Science in film is usually something of a joke. Hollywood likes to pick and choose from actual things that happen and actual things that people want to watch happen. More important than any one thing, though, is an amazing scientist to lead the adventure.

And I take these scientists very seriously. Here are some of the best:

1) Rick Moranis as Wayne Szalinksi in Honey, I Shrunk the Kids!
rick moranis
He's a bumbling dope, but he's also a genius. He shrinks a bunch of children. Irresponsible? Yes. Impressive? Yes. But it's a total accident, so he shouldn't get too much credit. Then he almost gets them killed by tossing them in the trash, subjecting them to the horrors of their own backyard.
Way to go.

2) Christopher Lloyd as Doc Brown in the Back to the Future trilogy
I may prefer the sequel to the original, but without the original, we certainly never would've gotten to the sequel! We would've never met Doc Brown, one of the best movie scientists ever.

He's a scatter-brained human wizard who invents time travel. With one tool - the flux capacitor - that looks sort of like a model of fallopian tubes made out of those glow necklaces you get at a Bar Mitzvah, Doc Brown changes the world. Sure, he basically only uses this tool to help his high school intern make sure his family is cool and safe, but what better use of time travel is there?

Doc Brown's not here to change the world. He's just here to make sure Marty McFly's kids don't go to jail and also to go to the old West for no good reason other than why not!

3) Jodie Foster as Dr. Ellie Arroway in Contact

No one wants to listen to poor Ellie! Except aliensJodie's character was inspired by actual, real, awesome scientist Jill Tarter. Just check out this combo of crazy jacket/killer thumbs up. A champion. A science champion.
jill tarter
Dr. Arroway not only talks to aliens but also follows their alien IKEA instructions to build a pod to go on a road trip to visit them. A human that aliens don't want to kill or enslave? Sounds A-OK in my book. In my book of things I rank on a scale from "Thanks, But No Thanks!" to "Sounds A-OK."

4) Gene Wilder as Dr. Frankenstein in Young Frankenstein

Is there any finer scientist than a mad scientist? He reanimates the dead and he does it with style and comedy! And passion. Loads and loads of passion. Dr. Frankenstein is especially notable for his ability to tap dance with a man made up of formerly dead pieces.

5) Laura Dern as Dr. Ellie Sattler in Jurassic Park
Queen of all the scientists. She gets elbow-deep in dino poops. 'Nuff said.' Well, not quite. What's with lady scientists being named Ellie? Is that some sort of prerequisite?
P.S. There are seriously not enough stills/clips of this scene captured on the internet. What the hey is that about? Document this more! Now!

BONUS Scientists!
Jeff Goldblum in everything he's a scientist in and, boy howdy, never has a scientist been more topless!
Jurassic Park
He's so right.

The Fly
jeff the fly

Nothing says scientist quite more than crouching naked in your science machine.

The Life Aquatic  
Rich, dangerous science!

Independence Day
independence day
He thwarts aliens with a USB drive, so he must be a genius. And he sure is lucky aliens have the same inputs for their computers that we do. Just look at all the science on that whiteboard! He means business. He knows the aliens are attacking Earth. It's labeled. He's a smart guy.

The Double Helix
double helix
He eats so many snacks in this movie, so it counts more than ever!

Honorable Mention:

Denise Richards as Christmas Jones
Because it's HI-LARIOUS!

Friday, January 25, 2013

5 Things I Learned From 'Sphere'

I used to be too terrified of any movie that indicated it was remotely scary or creepy in any way to watch it. Now I'm an adult and I have the courage to watch scary movies and sci fi movies. Yes, I might have cried through most of Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me out of fear while simultaneously stuffing my gob with cookies to try and calm myself, but I did it.

One movie I missed due to my terror was Sphere. But no more! I watched it. I lived it. And I learned it. 'It' being a lot of stuff about underwater alien problems. Learn from my learning:

1) Stop letting Samuel Jackson take naps!
Every time they let this fool fall asleep crazy crap starts happening. Get a clue, losers! This dope has BEEN IN THE SPHERE. And if you don't believe it - just check out his chrome dome. Yeah, I said it: CHROME DOME. What's more sphere-like than that? Nothin'! Except his CRAZY EVIL DREAMS that become a REALITY. 

Give him some damn coffee. Or make him watch a scary movie or something. JEEZ.

It's like these people never learn. I thought you were better than this, Dustin. You changed the face of soap opera television as Dorothy Michaels, but I guess that's all you could ever do. You certainly didn't learn to not let Sam Jackson sphere in his dreams. He sphered almost all of you to death.


2) If you're a genius doctor and make up government reports about what to do in unlikely situations, when that situation occurs the government will have no choice but to let all your fantasies come true!
Dustin admits he made the whole darn thing up. But he's a scientist so the government has to listen to him! It's like if you're a doctor on a plane and they ask if there's a doctor on the plane and you say you are, everyone basically has to believe you. And then someone else basically has to get sicker or die harder. 

Unless eating 10 bags of peanuts, two cans of tomato juice, a coke and a tiny vodka IS a cure-all for whatever ails you. I think it works especially well for DEEP-VEIN THROMBOSIS! Deep-Vein Thrombosis is like deep-vein trombonis, except for there's less trombone.

Anyway. Don't listen to a scientist who's never met an alien about what to do if you meet an alien.


3) Don't marvel at jelly fish!
Queen, didn't you hear what I just said?? Obviously not, because your face gets jellied off. Your face gets jellied to death. If ever you're at the bottom of the ocean - which, first of all, don't be - and more than one jelly fish starts heading your way, get back to the damn underwater boat. Get back to the submarine.



4) Don't iChat with strange computers!

iChat away with strangers! Do it til your wing-wang falls off and you're blue in the face! But don't talk to a dang machine with nobody typing on the other end! Do not engage!

Unless you know the computer. And it is a nice and friendly computer with no access to your life support system, do not type. Do not speak. Do not think! Just don't do it. It's easy.

I don't do things all the time. I'm not doing almost everything right now. If you do things, you get in trouble. If you iChat a strange computer you're going to maybe die.


5) Don't think scary thoughts. But also, don't think unsexy thoughts.

Don't think anything that you wouldn't want to come true. But don't think of things that are too unsexy.

This is self-explanatory. So I guess that means I'm done.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Miserable musicals and Christopher Walken strip-dancing!

I love movie musicals more than any other movie genre. You get all the wonder and magic of a regular cinematic experience, PLUS singing and dancing and sparkly outfits! What more could anyone ask for? Not much.

Which is why I can't really deal with sad, miserable musicals.

Because sometimes there's not so much sparkle. Sometimes there's only sparkle that fell on the floor and got covered in car poop. Yes, car poop. Not cat poop. Car. Poop.

Don't get me wrong - I will still love the musical, but I probably will start bawling and/or won't be able to deal with viewing said musical ever again. This is why I am looking forward to/dreading seeing Les Miserables.

Not to mention it has my twin Anne Hathaway in it. Being all sad and bald and then dead.

Some of the most depressing musicals I had the pleasure/horror of watching include:

Moulin Rouge. Now, this reworked songs and whatnot, but a musical is a musical is a musical where people fall in love and cough up blood and DIE. But there's fireworks and dancing and whatever. And MISERY!

West Side Story, which as we all know is White/Puerto Rican gang-dance Romeo & Juliet but you still hope nobody's gonna die. GOOD LUCK!! Hopes will be dashed!! Hearts will be broken!! Through music and dance.

But I still love it! But can't really watch it. I can re-watch all the numbers individually but it's just so sad to watch and know it's going to end horribly. But that's what we humans like to do. Make beautiful things that end horribly. Way to go, team! Just kidding, we're great and sometimes things end well.

But not for Steve Martin in Pennies from Heaven! This was a miserable tale for miserable characters, but there sure was some fun singing and dancing and costumes a-glittering. I seriously will never watch this musical again it was so depressing for each and every miserable character.

But you should take a peep if only to see Christopher Walken dancing and stripping:

The only musical more miserable than Pennies I can think of that I've seen is Dancer in the Dark. That is a movie musical that makes me cry like my dog when he accidentally gets locked out of the house or sees you eating a cookie and you just won't share it with him. I might have even cried harder than that. The only thing that kept me watching was Bjork's magical music skills. And so I could confirm to myself that this was no horrible nightmare, but a musical made by Lars von Trier.

I can't even watch the entirety of that second clip because I am becoming SAD! EMOTIONS! FLOWING LIKE BEER FLOWING LIKE WINE!!

Why must I feel so much? I'm like a toy teddy bear called Feelings and all he does is FEEL things. And poop little fake poops that are actually chocolate treats. I'm not saying I poop chocolate, I'm just spit-ballin' for this awesome toy. JEEZ.

And I'm not gonna lie: Sometimes I practice singing sad songs from musicals and crying, because you never know when that'll come in handy. It hasn't yet, but I'm pretty sure I'm not wasting my time with that one.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

neil patrick harris has no toes!

Happy New Year!! I think I'd stick to new year's resolutions way more if they were called POO year resolutions. Just kidding. I'm an adult. Feces isn't funny.

As I write this I'm sitting at work and my hands are freezing because there's no heat. I forget this every time I dress for work and I'm obviously just a dumb bum cake crumb because everyone knows you should have to wear gloves to work when you have an indoor job.

Do they make typing gloves? I'd buy them if they did. You could just wear regular gloves and call them typing gloves, but I'm really in the mood to waste my money on typing-activity-specific gloves called typing gloves.

They make driving gloves. Those are kind of close to what I want. Like these Ryan Gosling wears in Drive.
Those are classy and might work as typing gloves.

Or maybe I should invest in something more flamboyant, like opera gloves. In hot pink.
You know, to match my big splashy personality. And I could never lose them if they were super long and hot pink.

Or maybe the problem is designers not building gloves into our clothes already. I think maybe something like this might be just what I need:
Sure, the nails might be a tad impractical for typing, but we'll never know til we try it out! They're probably also super impractical when it comes to using the toilet. And nothing's more important to me than the ease of my toilet-ing. So perhaps not ideal.

Seriously though, my hands are going numb. It makes me think of this terrible TV movie I saw that scarred me for life where Neil Patrick Harris, his wife, and their baby get trapped in their car in the snow and decide to go for help but they're in the middle of nowhere.

All I remember is they all almost freeze to death and get horrible horrible frostbite and have to keep their baby warm by dragging it behind them in a garment bag they happen to have with them.

After researching for all of three seconds I have discovered the film was based on a true story and was called Snowbound: The Jim and Jennifer Stolpa Story. And I totally thought I imagined the end where both the parents end up needing to get bits of their frostbitten feet cut off, but I didn't! It happened. All their toes! Gone! Chopped off to prevent body rot! But they still got to walk on the beach at the end of the movie, which was apparently what the whole thing was about according to my muddy memory. Or maybe they rolled along the beach cause it must be super hard to walk without toes, not to mention how much harder it must be on sand.

Dumb sand. Anyway, chopped off toes. What. the. what.

Where were my parents to stop my 9-year old self from watching this? 

And after a tiny bit more research on the real people who survived this - this is my favorite part of their story, before the TV movie was made:

The roles are not cast, but the Stolpas like to dream about who will play their parts.
He would choose somebody strong, such as Jean-Claude Van Damme. She would select Demi Moore, "because she's so cute and tiny and she really cries pretty," she said. "There's a lot of crying in this movie."

Well. NPH is basically like Jean-Claude if you think about it.
Anyway, the real point of this is that evidently I will never be driving through the snow and if I did I certainly wouldn't drive off into the wilderness because the highway was closed. And also I'd bring lots of warm socks, snacks, blankets, a couple weapons, a phone, a radio thingy, no babies, a stronger travel companion, mittens, and gloves to go over my mittens.