I’m currently teaching a research seminar on robots and artificial intelligence, and I recently posed a question to my students. Say you have an 85-year-old grandmother who lives in a nursing home. She lives a couple hours away, so neither you nor your family can visit her as much as you’d like. One day, someone from the home calls you and says they’ve just received a couple of robots—androids like the ones in the video below. Would you like one of them to visit your grandmother a couple times a week? The responses ranged from “Sure, why not?” to “absolutely not.” After our discussion, I said something about how it might seem like a silly scenario, but that it’s entirely possible that their grandmas will interact with robots. What I didn’t think about during that conversation is that it’s even more likely they’ll spend time with their grandmas via a robot.
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Though some film franchises manage to work around it, one of the big limitations and disappointments about reboots—as opposed to sequels—is that there is very little chance that a favorite actor will come back for a beloved role. To that effect, Jurassic World has done itself a fine service in making it a “so many years later” sequel, rather than just retconning everything that fans cherish about this series. And everyone knows it means we might actually see a few familiar human faces among the scaly CGI ones. But Jeff Goldblum won’t be one of them, at least not yet.
It’s not because Goldblum is holding out for more money or anything silly like that. He says that it’s just that neither director Colin Trevorrow, nor anyone from Amblin, Legendary, or Universal has called him. If anyone needs me to pick up that phone and make that call, I’ll take one for the team and do it with schoolgirl glee, though I don’t understand why it wouldn’t have happened yet.
There are days when low self-esteem takes some time off and I feel that my worth in the world is measurable. But then there are the days when I feel like my sole purpose on the planet is to tell you guys about every ridiculously contrived zombie movie that’s coming out. Today’s installment is the thriller Zombie Safari, which will apparently serve as a full-length spin on the first Jurassic Park, only with zombies taking the place of the dinosaurs. Although the film doesn’t have a director just yet, I completely suspect they’ll go after Sterven Splerglblerg.
The poster above is absolutely legit, so far as Bloody Disgusting puts it, and it’s actually kind of great that they’re pushing this parody aspect. I really, really, want there to be a “Jeff Goldblum character” to look to for comic relief, so I really, really hope they reach out to Jeff Goldblum to do this. Maybe they got Sam Neill to play Ian Malcolm, that would be something.
Admittedly, this is like the third piece we’ve written about the latest Godzilla trailer, but in our defense, it is epic as all hell, and we can’t stop watching it on repeat. In addition to simply being awesome and getting us all amped up to watch a giant lizard stomp through urban settings, there’s also a lot here to talk about. In the wake of all of these viewings, a few questions occurred to me, and here they are.
Remember the movie (or book) Awakenings, in which Robin Williams plays a doctor who injects catatonic patients (including Robert De Niro) with a drug that suddenly brings them to life? It was based on a real-life story about a British neurologist who had some short-lived success with patients in a hospital in the Bronx. Researchers in Belgium and the UK recently performed a study that reminded me a bit of the one in Awakenings, but instead of injecting patients with a medication, scientists performed something called electric brain stimulation, which succeeded in temporarily allowing minimally conscious and vegetative patients to communicate.
Since 2008, Marvel Studios has been on the top of Hollywood. It’s strange to think, but back then, studio executives and film pundits were unsure if the original Iron Man movie was going to be successful. Iron Man and Tony Stark weren’t household names the way Batman or Spider-Man were, and the idea that five standalone superhero movies would build toward one big epic movie with The Avengers was just absurd. Now that we’re firmly in Phase Two of Marvel’s movie empire, and a new TV special will give viewers an inside look at what’s in store for fans in the upcoming years, including new footage from Guardians of the Galaxy.
Marvel Studios: Assembling a Universe is a one-hour TV special that will take viewers behind the curtain at Marvel Studios. The special will air on ABC this March and will feature “a front row seat to the inception of Marvel Studios, the record-breaking films, the cultural phenomenon, and further expansion of the universe.” During the TV special audiences will be treated to a sneak peek at three upcoming Marvel movies, including Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Avengers: Age of Ultron, and Guardians of the Galaxy.