A Father’s Love and a Scientist’s Dedication in a Race against Time
Imagine this scenario: you are a young married professional, a rising star in a well-respected pharmaceutical company. You have three children, two of which suffer from a rare, inherited genetic disease for which there is no cure. They will die in about a year or two. What do you do? Inspired by the book The Cure: How a Father Raised $100 Million – and Bucked the Medical Establishment – In a Quest to Save His Children by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Geeta Anand, Extraordinary Measures is a drama about the real-life story of John Crowley (Brendan Fraser) and Dr. Robert Stonehill (Harrison Ford) as they work feverishly to find a cure for the disease afflicting Crowley’s children. The dramatic caveat is that said cure is based solely on a scientific theory. CBS Films’ motion picture debut touches on a myriad of salient modern-day issues, including personal morality, risk taking, scientific funding, pharmaceutical business practices, the dedication to science, professional relationships, and a man’s love for his family. For the full ScriptPhD.com review, please click “continue reading”.
No one has been more excited about the premiere of Battlestar Galactica prequel Caprica than ScriptPhd.com. We eagerly joined the cast and crew of both shows last May during their joint panel at the Los Angeles Paley television festival. We were also one of the first sites to review the Caprica 2 hour pilot. And now, at long last, one of the most anticipated sci-fi prequels ever will premiere on the SyFy Channel this Friday. ScriptPhD.com’s Bryy Miller reviews the first three episodes and talks about the show’s early conceptualization and long-term promise. We are also extraordinarily fortunate and proud to bring you an Editor’s interview with series executive producer and show runner Jane Espenson, in which she talks about what we can expect from Caprica. Please click “continue reading” for full content.
Picture this: a mysterious Man with No Name comes into a tiny desert town that’s dominated by a manipulative and powerful bossman. He has something the bossman wants and won’t give it up – and No Name is an almost supernaturally powerful fighter; you really don’t want to mess with him. Before the battle between Good and Evil is over, the Man with No Name has decimated the bossman’s thug-army and brought the evil leader low, the dusty little settlement is either burned to the ground or better off than before he arrived, and off he goes, continuing his mysterious journey – always in motion, never at peace. Except for a tie-‘em-up ending that’s tacked on to the back of The Book of Eli, that’s pretty much what you’ve got here: a post-apocalyptic tale of the mysterious hero vs. the bully prince, just like an old Sergio Leone/Clint Eastwood spaghetti western. Just replace Eastwood with Denzel Washington, replace the Old West with the near future after a global catastrophe, cast a painfully over-the-top Gary Oldman as the Bad Boss, give newcomer Mila Kunis the inevitable pretty girl/spunky sidekick role, and you’re golden. Or at least should have been. Unfortunately for the viewing audience, there’s more Sergio Leone than Cormac McCarthy in this ponderous and unconvincing post-apocalyptic allegory. For a full review, please click “continue reading”.
The Human Spark is a new three-part documentary special on PBS in which Alan Alda soldiers after the genetic and cognitive elements that make him smarter than your average chimpanzee. In the first episode, he travels to numerous archaeological sites and many of the world’s finest research centers to look at how humans diverged from neanderthals and why we’re the ones writing the history books. Episode two tracks a series of experiments on chimpanzees and human children to illustrate the psychological differences. The final installment shows off some of the latest brain imaging studies and and linguistics research to postulate a theory on the nature of the ‘human spark’. With an interesting scientific premise as a basis, a hot field in which a lot of exciting, new information has been discovered within the last decade, and financial sponsorship by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, one of the most generous and prestigious in all of science, this should have been a knockout for PBS. Sadly, the finished product is merely another example of a strong concept with poor execution, punctuated by bloopers that the documentary’s creators were too pressed for content to take out.
There are certain films that outlive their theatrical releases to become evolutionary stepping stones of filmmaking. Long after the popcorn has been munched and the Oscars handed out, these movies stand the test of time and usher in the cinematic equivalents of geologic Eras. D.W. Griffiths The Birth of a Nation redefined the beauty of silent imagery. Alan Croslands The Jazz Singer integrated sound and heralded the rise of the talkie.” Orson Welless Citizen Kane became a hallmark of big-budget studio genius. And every sci-fi film of the last forty years owes debt to the standard set by Stanley Kubricks 2001: A Space Odyssey. And then there is Avatar. That this film, with fifteen years of creative development, four years of full-time work, and endless hype, was bound to be good seems like manifest destiny. But it doesnt just live up to its hypeit exceeds it. James Cameron has reinvented visual possibilities, perfected multi-layered storytelling and provided a service to audiences and filmmakers. He has transitioned us into the next big cinematic Era: 3D. Avatar is a ScriptPhD.com Editors Selection. For a full review, please click continue reading.
One of our most exciting continuing projects here at ScriptPhD.com is our “It’s Not Easy Being Green” series of articles, highlighting the environmental and green issues and technology solutions facing our time (see our recent Blog Action Day post). Dedicated to bringing you more in-depth and frequent green content, we are thrilled to add a new ScriptPhD contributor, CaptainPlanet, who will write exclusive movie reviews and issues for “It’s Not Easy Being Green.” He joins us with a review of The Cove, a recent documentary garnering Oscar buzz, about the secret dolphin-hunting industry in Japan and its environmental and emotional impact. If you hadn’t previously known about how majestic and advanced dolphins really are, and how deleterious the depletion of fish is across the oceanic biosphere, watch this film. ScriptPhD.com review, discussion, and ways to get involved, under the “continue reading” jump.
Remember back in high school, when youd skirt having to read the book by watching the movie instead, and your teacher would admonish you for not getting the most out of the experience? I never fully grasped what that meant until watching The Road, a new feature film adaptation of Cormac McCarthys Pulitzer Prize-winning survival epic. Though dedicated to realizing McCarthys scope of a ruined, uninhabitable planet and is a pleasant enough watch, the film ultimately cant translate the books introspective vision and humanistic totality. Sometimes, its better sticking with
the 1,000 words. Complete ScriptPhD.com review under the continue reading jump.
The Roland Emmerich Sci-Fi Terrestrial Destruction Tour continues. Not satisfied with immolating the White House by alien visitors in Independence Day or icing over Earth in post-global warming catastrophe in The Day After Tomorrow, the audacious director goes for cataclysmic broke with 2012, a bona fide disaster epic. Light on solid science, heavy on jaw-dropping special effects, the eradication of humanity and its habitation never felt so visually scintillating. ScriptPhD.com review and science discussion, under the “continue reading” jump. Continue reading REVIEW: 2012 (It's The End of the World As We Know It)→
Music. We all know what it sounds like when we hear it. It has the ability to create powerful emotions, or bring back memories from the distant past in our lives. We may use it when we exercise, study for exams, read, or for traveling form point A to point B. But what is music? Is it unique to human beings? How do we interpret music when we hear it? Are the emotions created by music universal, irrespective of the listener’s culture and country of origin? Can music teach us anything about how the human brain functions? These interesting questions and more are explored in the fascinating documentary The Music Instinct: Science and Song, a PBS production that was recently honored with the top prize at the prestigious annual Pariscience International Science Film Festival. ScriptPhD.com’s newest regular contributor NeuroScribe provides his review and discussion under the “continue reading” jump. Continue reading This is Your Brain on Music→
So the ghosts and goblins of Halloween have passed, you already watched Paranormal Activity, and yet, youre still in the mood for some scary, sci-fi goodness. Rest assured, because this weekend, two new movies, The Fourth Kind and The Box, will frighten the pants off of you. (Unfortunately, only one is meant to do so intentionally.) The Fourth Kind explores alien abductions through the story of an actual Alaska case study, while The Box is a psychological thriller that centers around the morality of a life-changing decision. ScriptPhD.com reviews of both films, under the continue reading jump. Leftover ScriptPhD Halloween candy goes to those that guess the cultural work invoked by the spoof in the picture on the right.