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Science of Movies

Nov 20, 2012
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Total Recall: Why We Love Depressing Futures
In the film Total Recall, the future once again looks bleak. Martin Berman looks into why fiction has preferred to show the future as dystopian rather than utopian.
The Amazing Spider-Man: Making 3D Movies
In the reboot of the Spider-Man series we get to see the famous web-slinger in 3D. Martin Berman talks with a 3D technology expert who explains how it works and how it can "define a new visual language."
Prometheus: Asking the Big Questions
In the new sci-fi flick Prometheus, a crew of scientists are off to answer life's biggest question: why are we here? Their journey in space confronts major social issues as well, before they must fight for their lives together. Martin Berman reports.
The Science of Prometheus
With close attention to detail, Ridley Scott makes sure his newest sci fi film Prometheus looks "technical and not magical." Martin Berman talks to the director and cast highlighting the science behind the film.
Men In Black 3: 'Big Mishmash' of Aliens, 3D, Fun
"Men In Black 3," with its funny-looking aliens, big guns, slime and guts, relies heavily on special effects. Martin Berman talks to the team that makes the unbelievable look real.
John Carter: Sci-fi Classic Still Inspires
Now 100 years old, the John Carter stories have inspired characters real and fictional. Martin Berman looks into what makes a Sci-fi classic.
John Carter: Martians are Back!
Martians are back and stealing the limelight in the new film John Carter. Martin Berman looks back to when Martians were a regular feature in media and talks to the filmmakers about how they look this time around.
Real Steel: Are Robots the Future of Boxing?
Could the future of boxing be robots? The new movie "Real Steel" thinks so, showing massive bots duking it out. To find out where the sport may really be headed, we talked to Discovery News blogger and boxing reporter Kieran Mulvaney.
Dolphin Tale: How Real is Winter's Story?
Winter the dolphin stars as herself in the new movie Dolphin Tale, which details her rescue and rehab after losing her tail. Jorge Ribas interviews the cast and crew to find out how much of the movie remains true to life.
Dolphin Tale: Building Winter's Prosthetic Tail
When a young dolphin lost its tail in a fishing accident, an aquarium and prosthetics company teamed up to build her a new one. Jorge Ribas meets Winter the dolphin, who stars in the new movie about her rescue.
Contagion: Is a Killer Virus Out There?
In the movie Contagion, panic ensues as an unknown illness threatens to become a global epidemic. To make this scenario as accurate as possible, producers consulted with real life virus hunter Dr. Ian Lipkin.
Planet of the Apes: Can Drugs Make Us Smarter?
In the new movie Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Caesar the chimp leads a primate revolution thanks to a drug that makes him super smart. So when can we expect a pill for enhanced intelligence? Jorge Ribas finds out.
Planet of the Apes' Serkis Becomes an Ape
Playing a chimp is more than just dragging your knuckles, especially if the primate is leading a revolution. Actor Andy Serkis talks to Jorge Ribas about what it takes to play Caesar in the new movie, Rise of the Planet of the Apes.
Transformers: Wingsuit Flying Explained
The newest Transformers movie features an extreme sport called wingsuit flying. To learn more about this form of human flight, Martin Berman talks to a pro who's been jumping off cliffs for years.
What was the Lincoln Conspiracy?
When John Wilkes Booth assassinated President Abraham Lincoln in Ford's Theatre on April 14, 1865, he was a part of a larger conspiracy that aimed to decapitate the Union government. Jorge Ribas reports.
Battle Los Angeles: Could Aliens Attack?
In the new movie Battle: Los Angeles, mankind fights off an alien invasion. But could a race of intergalactic beings really attack us? Jorge Ribas gets some answers.
Superheroes: Why We Love Them
From Batman to Spider-Man, we love our superheroes. And whether they're busting bad guys in comic books or flying around on movie screens, they're more popular than ever. Jorge Ribas finds out why.
Battle Los Angeles: Alien Life
Angry aliens invade Earth in the new movie Battle: Los Angeles. And once again it's up to us to stop them. But what could life out there really be like? Jorge Ribas talks to SETI astronomer Seth Shostak to find out.
Special Effects Get Science Lesson
Disaster movies and sci-fi epics could get a lot more realistic thanks to the field of fluid dynamics, which is giving filmmakers new ways of creating better visual effects, from tidal waves to explosions. Jorge Ribas reports.
Avatar: 3-D Delivers Depth, Not Gimmicks
Rather than relying on classic 3-D tricks to make the audience jump, Avatar director James Cameron wanted to use the technology to give depth to the world he created. Jorge Ribas finds out how the camera works.
The Science of Caddyshack
Thirty years after Caddyshack was released in theaters, James Williams finds five interesting scientific facts hidden in this classic comedy.
Tron Legacy: Building the Grid
Before light cycles, teleportation, glowing jumpsuits and identity discs could exist on the Grid, the creators of Tron: Legacy met with scientists in our world. Jorge Ribas talks to the film's crew to find out what they learned.
Avatar: Science Behind Pandora
For his new movie Avatar, director James Cameron took real world science into the outer reaches of science fiction. Jorge Ribas finds out how he created the alien wildlife of planet Pandora.
Piranha 3D: Fact vs. Fiction
Piranha 3D unleashes the ravenous, toothy fish on unsuspecting spring breakers and moviegoers. But what are the facts behind the piranha's myth? Director Alex Aja talks to Jorge Ribas about his film's scaly star.
Avatar: Motion Capture Mirrors Emotions
Avatar's new performance capture technology may revolutionize the way directors, actors and animators collaborate to create whole new worlds on screen. Director James Cameron explains the process.
Tron Legacy: Jeff Bridges Gets Digitally De-Aged
Before actor Jeff Bridges could reprise his role in the Tron sequel, he had to get digital botox. But how will facial mapping technology change the way roles are cast in the future? Jorge Ribas talks to the cast and crew of Tron: Legacy to find out.
Avatar: What's the Future of Film?
What will movies look like 15 years from now? Director James Cameron thinks they'll be bigger, sharper and in 3-D. Jorge Ribas sits down with the cast and crew of Avatar to get their take on the future of film.
Tron Legacy: Living in a Digital World
Social media websites, online gaming, and ubiquitous mobile technology: Who's to say we're not already living in a virtual landscape like the one depicted in Tron: Legacy? Jorge Ribas talks to the film's cast and crew to get their take.
Could Zombieland REALLY Happen?
Could a single virus destroy humankind as seen in films like Zombieland or shows like The Colony? Why or why not? And if they could, what would such a virus look like? James Williams gets the answers from a virus expert.
Avatar: James Cameron Full Interview
Avatar director James Cameron talks about his new film, and the technology he needed to get it on the screen.
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