Science of Space Movies is Out of This World

by Jennifer Ouellette at Discovery News
Last week I snagged a seat for a fun event called “Out of This World: The Science of Space Movies,” held at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Los Angeles (i.e., the people who hand out the Oscars every year).

It was hosted by Adam Weiner, a high school physics teacher in La Jolla, San Diego and author of Don’t Try This at Home: The Physics of Hollywood Movies, which grew out of his use of science fiction films in class to illustrate physics concepts. So he was a great choice to spearhead an evening of science-themed film clips, punctuated with his explanations and several special guests (in person and via Skype) from both science and Hollywood.

Really, it was a lot like a stroll through memory lane for sci-fi’s greatest movie hits, many of which have been nominated for Academy Awards. Weiner kicked off with a scene from an early silent film, Dans La Voyage de La Lune, based on a Jules Verne novel, in which a group of scientists — looking like Gandalf from Lord of the Rings with their long white beards and academic robes — pile into a capsule and are shot out of a cannon to get to the moon.

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New featurette for ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’ online

by Danny Cox at Examiner

Some of the cast and crew sit down to give their thoughts on the story/plot as a whole. Emma Watson then discusses the emotional aspects of the story and how they affect the overall outcome.

Don’t worry fans, there really are no spoilers at all included in the featurette so nothing is going to be told to you that you don’t want to know.

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Has Aunt May Been Cast For The Spider-Man Reboot?

via Comic Book Movie
Inside Scifi Mania’s article regarding the rumor of Christoph Waltz being considered for the villain in the Spider-Man reboot (The Lizard?), they also mention something just as interesting.

It seems that they claim Production Weekly, along with mentioning Waltz being considered for the villain role, also states that an undisclosed choice for Aunt May has been made.

If this is true, I wonder how long it will be until word starts going around the internet about who this actress is.

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Release Dates For ‘John Carter of Mars,’ & ‘Frankenweenie’

by Sandy Schaefer at Screenrant
Two very different projects from the Mouse House – their adaptation of author Edgar Rice Burrough’s John Carter of Mars series and the feature-length treatment of Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie – will arrive in theaters during the first half of 2012.

Frankenweenie will be unleashed (heh) first on March 9th of that year. Hmmm… a Walt Disney Pictures 3D, family-friendly production that was directed by Tim Burton is being released just two weeks before the official start of spring. Is the company perhaps hoping to replicate the success of this year’s Alice in Wonderland?

John Carter of Mars is definitely a cinematic adaptation to keep an eye out for. It is based off some classic sci-fi literature and is being helmed by Pixar maestro Andrew Stanton (Wall-E) – a fellow who certainly knows how to create an engaging adventure on the big screen.

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John Landis’ Son Attempts ‘Blair Witch’-esque Superhero Movie

by Perri Nemiroff at Cinematical
Writing about two POV-style films in one week is fine, but let’s cap it here. A few days ago we told you about that Twister-like shaky cam film and now we’ve got a superhero movie giving the technique a go. As reported by THR, John Landis’ son, Max, is in negotiations to hand over his spec script, Chronicle, to Twentieth Century Fox. The project will have a duo of second generation filmmakers on board because the director, Josh Trank, it the son of Oscar-winning producing Richard Trank.

The piece is about three teens from Portland who head out into the woods and come in contact with a strange substance after which they develop superhuman abilities. They mess around and get used to their new powers together for a while, but then end up turning on each other when personal and family issues get in the way.

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Barry Levinson Directing Indie Sci-Fi Thriller Isopod

By Ben Landy at
[W]hile I’m intrigued by Production Weekly’s ‘tweet’ late last night that legendary director  Barry Levinson (Rain Man, Good Morning Vietnam) “plans to direct the indie sci-fi thriller “Isopod,” [and] production is scheduled to begin next month in the Carolinas,” I sort of wish they had given us more than 160 characters to work with.  Luckily, I can bullshit with the best of them.

“Isopod.”  Wikipedia tells me that isopods are an order of “peracarid crustaceans,” which apparently includes bugs like woodlice and pill bugs.  Most isopods are parasitic, and some (like Cymothoa exigua) can even do really crazy-gross things like eat the tongues out of snapper fish and then replace their tongues with their own bodies.  Is this what Levinson’s Isopod is going to be about?  Probably not, but there’s no harm in us speculating!

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I would have loved to have been at the Science of Space Movies event. I absolutely drives me nuts when movie maker completely ignore all scientific laws just to make “cool” movies. And as the article states later. you can have great movies that are (for the most part) scientifically accurate. I refuse to see any movie that absolutely refuses to follow the laws of physics without calling itself fantasy (I’m looking at you 2012).

What did you think of the Harry Potter featurette? Who do you think should play Aunt May in the new Spiderman? What do you think of the other upcoming movies?