1. birgerjohansson says

    Good science fiction films are something very different. But they require rejecting stereotypes. And treat the viewers as grown-ups, capable of understanding complexities.

  2. wzrd1 says

    Exactly like what goes on in my lab every day.

    Only on good days. On bad days, you need to repaint the lab walls.
    Damned exploding spiders!

  3. birgerjohansson says

    Erratum. I thought ut was science fiction. Sorry. But my comment works even for science films.

  4. birgerjohansson says

    A comic strip once had a researcher finding the formula for a synthetic boysenberry jam, while acting out the stereotypes of a mad scientist bent on world domination.

    PZ: “I have found out how to breed spiders slightly more successfully. BWAHAHAHAHA!”

  5. robro says

    Generally, all types of movies are fantasies built on cliches and stereotypes with little relationship to reality, even the storylines with “boy meets girl” being the most common theme. The rest is just window dressing. They are largely about training the camera on some beautiful bodies…male and female…to lure people into paying money to watch. For example, my partner has watched the 1995 BBC TV production of Pride and Prejudice numerous times over the years just to watch Colin Firth, particularly the scene where Mr. Darcy dives into the lake. She’s even had me watch the scene…like if I had her watch the scene in Dr. No where Raquel Welch emerges from the ocean.

    As for science-y movies…

    …[the experiment] unleashes an unspeakable horror that will destroy our way of life.

    So the experiment involved last nights tacos?

  6. Silentbob says

    Actual footage of Science; filmed on location where some scientists were doing Science:

  7. Larry says

    Needs a precocious pre-teen to help stuck scientist overcome the final problem

  8. lanir says

    They didn’t add “unlabelled to their colorful tubes of liquid. And at some point someone must zoom in on a picture until it’s an indeterminate pixelated mess, then ” enhance” it by replacing it with a new picture which has a lot more data.

    @robro: I think if last night’s tacos make an urgent play for attention today, that’s going to be more about impromptu demonic exorcisms than science. I could be wrong though.

  9. rblackadar says

    Somebody make me a video about how that 3-stranded DNA is supposed to work. I’m really curious.

  10. Rich Woods says

    @robro #7:

    It was Ursula Undress who starred in Dr. No, not Raquel Welch.

  11. moarscienceplz says

    “It was Ursula Undress who starred in Dr. No, not Raquel Welch.”
    Actually, it was Ursula Andress, but that’s a great Freudian Slip!

  12. whywhywhy says

    Most science is tedious and often repetitive involving lots of reading and writing.

    Watching it is often worse than watching paint dry.

  13. robro says

    13 moarschienceplz — Oh yeah. You’re right. Well, I’m old and they all look the same.

  14. says

    Off Current Topic, but important as a symptom of a terrible disease. Minn is HQ, I know how PZ likes Minn. Progress and this is not meant as a jab at him or Minn.:
    This Nonprofit Health System Cuts Off Patients With Medical Debt
    Sarah Kliff and Jessica Silver-Greenberg / The New York Times
    01 june 2023
    Doctors at the Allina Health System, a wealthy nonprofit in the Midwest, aren’t allowed to see poor patients or children with too many unpaid medical bills.
    Many hospitals in the United States use aggressive tactics to collect medical debt. They flood local courts with collections lawsuits. They garnish patients’ wages. They seize their tax refunds.
    But a wealthy nonprofit health system in the Midwest is among those taking things a step further: withholding care from patients who have unpaid medical bills.
    Allina Health System, which runs more than 100 hospitals and clinics in Minnesota and Wisconsin and brings in $4 billion a year in revenue, sometimes rejects patients who are deep in debt, according to internal documents and interviews with doctors, nurses and patients.

  15. submoron says

    What they are, yet I know not, but they shall be The terrors of the earth

  16. Rich Woods says

    @moarscienceplz #13:

    Not a Freudian slip or a typo, unfortunately. It was my dad’s favourite joke.

  17. Bad Bart says

    @12 and @13: But Raquel Welch was in the very sciency Fantastic Voyage.

  18. Dr. Pablito says

    Oh, oh, and the blaring klaxon horns when the experiment goes wrong!

  19. silvrhalide says


  20. birgerjohansson says

    Lanir @ 10
    That was supposed to be a hologram, but your criticism stands…

  21. birgerjohansson says

    A science movie is always improved if you kill a couple of nazis at the end.

  22. Ridana says

    Somebody make me a video about how that 3-stranded DNA is supposed to work.

    @rblackadar: Not a video, but maybe this will help (caution, Wikipedia)? Doesn’t look much like the computer image you’re referencing though.

  23. bcw bcw says

    PZ’s 2-meter-spider project is being held up by delays in increasing the atmosphere oxygen percent to 33% again.

  24. wzrd1 says

    Dr. Pablito @ 22, I thought the klaxon going off meant success!
    Uh oh, excuse me for a moment…

  25. rblackadar says

    @27 Ridana
    Thanks for the info, that’s sort of why I phrased my comment as a genuine question, albeit an overly skeptical one. (And btw, Wikipedia is plenty good enough, should have looked it up myself.) TFOs and PNAs, oh my! Big world I didn’t know about.

  26. chrislawson says

    Bad Bart@20–

    Isaac Asimov tells the story of writing the novelisation of Fantastic Voyage. Please forgive my rusty recall of details, but apparently his young daughter liked to read what was coming out of his typewriter and asked him, ‘Daddy, if all the people come back to their normal size at the end, won’t the ship they left inside the person also come back to normal size and kill him?’ And he said, ‘Yes, dear, but you see, you are a six-year old child and that makes you smarter than the average Hollywood producer.’

  27. wzrd1 says

    rblackadar @ 31, don’t discard Wikipedia so readily!
    I’m an editor there and my edits can be quickly found by looking for citation needed flags.
    Yeah, in that, I’m deadly serious.
    I’ll quietly fix articles I’m an SME on, the remainder, I’ll slam with citation needed flags on a claim.
    Including things that I agree with, I want citations.

    As I told my children, use Wikipedia too, despite prohibitions to do so, look for the citations and use those.
    Implied familially is, reading the things first.
    I’m an asshole, but an honest asshole.

  28. says

    Okay, I still want to know how Brent Spiner survived in the first Independence Day because it was heavily implied that his character was killed by the alien.

  29. DanDare says

    I recommend the movie Threshold with Donald Sutherland and Jeff Goldblume. 2 men work to create a uable, artificial heart. Some good science procedure and politics.

  30. Louis says

    1) Ineffectual/lacking PPE [RAGE]

    2) “I’ll just sequence this DNA” “Oh my GHOD! It’s Alien!” [RAAAAGE]

    3) “I’ll just create this vaccine/protein/drug” “Oh my GHOD! It worked!” [RAAAAAAAAAGE]

    4) No admin. [MEGA RAAAAAGE]