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Hollywood Science: Movies, Science, and the End of the World

3.41  ·  Rating Details ·  34 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
Whether depicting humans battling aliens or a brave geologist saving lives as a volcano erupts, science-fiction films are an exciting visual and sensuous introduction to the workings of science and technology. These films explore a range of complex topics in vivid and accessible ways, from space travel and laser technology to genetic engineering, global warming, and the co ...more
Hardcover, 255 pages
Published January 1st 2008 by Columbia University Press (first published January 1st 2007)
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May 17, 2015 Quinn rated it liked it
Very entertaining. Nice conversational style.
Apr 15, 2009 Kelly rated it liked it
It's a good idea to see most of the movies discussed in this book before reading it. Like a good scientist, the author succinctly lays out the entire plot of each movie he references: while somewhat tedious, this proves to be a refreshing (and necessary) departure from typical pop-culture/cinematic writing. It's also nice to read about movies from the perspective of someone who isn't professionally inclined to wax poetic in incomprehensible riffs of purple, jargon-filled prose.

On the downside,
Jun 28, 2015 Dana rated it liked it
This book is largely a list of science fiction works that measures them up against real-life science. I was reading it as research for an article about the portrayal of scientists in science fiction literature and there is virtually no analysis in here at all so it was essentially useless to me for those purposes. That said, the examples listed and the scientific topics explored were interesting. Each chapter is basically a presentation of quotes and plots from movies followed by how realistic t ...more
Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides
Feb 02, 2012 Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides rated it liked it
Recommends it for: scientists and movie geeks
Recommended to Snail in Danger (Sid) by: spotted it in a HPB
Not bad actually, pretty good. It was more a "what specific movies get wrong and right" than a "things movies generally get wrong." I was slightly disappointed that the section where the author mentioned women scientists didn't mention the one from Them! Especially since the movie was mentioned earlier surely a female scientist in a movie made in 1954 is comment-worthy? But that's a minor nitpick, and the section about what scientists are like was good and insightful enough to make up for it. ...more
Sep 25, 2008 Rod rated it liked it
Shelves: science
Pretty good treatment of the relationship between Hollywood's description of science and the real thing. Amusing discussion on the "mad scientist" meme.

Warning: book contains spoilers, but most of these movies are well know anyway.

Dec 30, 2014 whit rated it liked it
A few interesting tidbits of movie history and science. Not as fun a read as I'd hoped, but worth re-reading someday.
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Sidney Perkowitz is Candler Professor of Physics at Emory University. Author of many research papers and books, hes also written the popular science books Empire of Light, Universal Foam, Digital People and Hollywood Science which have been translated into six languages and Braille; articles for the LA Times, Washington Post, and other outlets; the stage works Albert & Isadora, Friedmann's Bal ...more
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