Ask A ScienceBlogger: Science Movies

This weeks Ask a ScienceBlogger question is:
What movie do you think does something admirable (though not necessarily accurate) regarding science? Bonus points for answering whether the chosen movie is any good generally….

Like PZ I was tempted to say Underworld: Evolution since I actually liked it and since it starred the great actress Kate Beckinsale:
But instead I choose Medicine Man starring Sean Connery and Lorraine Bracco. Connery plays a botanist (or maybe an ethnobotanist) who has discovered the cure for cancer in the Amazon jungle. He is haunted by an episode earlier in his career where contact with natives caused an epidemic that wiped out the entire tribe. Bracco plays a research assistant sent to help him. Together they must try and stop a construction company from putting a road through the only place where the plant containing the cure for cancer has been found. I absolutely loved the portrayal of the natives (far better the the natives in POTC II). Favorite quote from the movie:
Connery: Ever mouth off to the Dean, then need a grant?
Pop Quiz: How many of you stopped reading after the picture of Kate Bekinsale and have no clue what I said after that?

11 Responses

  1. I was going to bring up Planet of the Apes, but something distracted me…
    Where was I?

  2. Yup, got extremely distracted—she’s definitely “nuclear fire” at the hottest!

  3. I live near memphis and got to see a glimpse of Kate on location making her new movie. I have never seen a more beautiful woman in all my life. There are no words to describe Kate’s beauty. MAN-ALIVE!!!!! Kate I am your biggest fan!

  4. oh my god grow up. How can you. Call yourselvesscientists when you can’t be objective and can’t get beyond a sexy woman? What hope for women scientists?

  5. Yeah. Because scientists are all asexual humans who have no interest in anyone who is attractive. And women scientists never, ever find other men (or women) attractive. Ever.
    Who out there hasn’t ever been distracted by the presence or image of an attractive member of the desired sex? Anyone?

  6. It’s okay to get distracted for a second. We’re all human, after all. But then get on with your life and what you were doing! It’s only a picture.

  7. It rather pisses me off that the picture of Kate Beckinsale gets three times more hits that my science posts do. Zuska is right, I don’t need nor want that kind of attention.
    You’re in anthropology. Use it!
    /Your page is the first hit on a GIS inspired by Fark thread
    //You picked a very good picture, and thusly biased your experiment

  8. hola. en verdad eres una gran actora aqui en la republica domicana y para mi tambn.ok m encanta el teatro pero mis recursos economicos no me dan para estudiarlo.espero k te siga llendo bn en tu carera.

  9. it weighs 60 pounds because it is obviously a chimp not a man,even the skull looks like a chimp…..the world is 1000s old not millions….alice and wonderland imagination.

  10. What are you talking about? And what if anything does that have to do with this thread, which is about movies.

  11. The best movie I’ve seen which used science (paleoanthropology) in the making, was “Quest for Fire,” which came out back in ancient times, the 1980s. The starring actress was, I believe, Rae Dawn Chong, also a great beauty, and she was seen in the altogether, playing a modern woman who was kidnapped and threatened by some more primitive humans (Neanderthals?) who were cannibals. She eventually escaped and took up with another band of more primitive humans, our heroes, who were on a quest — you guessed it — for fire. Two languages are heard in the film, one based on Indo-European, spoken by the primitive heroes, one of which contained elements of an Eskimo language, which was spoken by the advanced humans. Fire is actually made by a Homo sapiens (an ethnic Maasai I think he was), one of the highlights of the film. If you haven’t seen it, rent the CD. There is no English but you don’t need it.

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