A Class I Wouldn't Have Skipped:
If you're anything like me, you rarely let movies get away with obvious violations of the physical laws of the universe - "There's no way he could have jumped from here to there!", "Wouldn't they have been killed on impact from that?", etc. Unbelievably, there's now a course devoted to those questions.
Indeed, a genius (in the that's-so-cool sense and also the literal sense) professor named Andy Cohen teaches Cinema Physica,"an introductory physics course for nonscience majors. Every week, Cohen’s students watch movies such as Unbreakable, The Sixth Sense, and Armageddon, and use class discussions and labs to examine the basic physics driving the high-octane scenes."
"The subtitle of this course should be Bruce Willis Saves the World," Cohen tells students with a laugh. The purpose of analyzing all the explosions and heroics, he explains, is to give humanities majors a truer sense of what science is — a quest for discovery rather than for memorized formulas and precise answers...When one student suggests using an equation, Cohen pounces. “Don’t say equation,” he says. “I never want to hear the word equation in this class. I hate equations.”
Tell me something better than that. Too bad I was science major and had to take a full year of physics - the kind with lots of equations that I didn't understand.
Harrison Ford IS Indiana Jones:
BU somehow gets linked up with Indy 4.
"Meanwhile, the real Indiana Jones — actor Harrison Ford, that is — was elected to the board of directors of the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA), which is based at Boston University. AIA president Brian Rose says Ford “has played a significant role in stimulating the public’s interest in archaeological exploration.” It’s a role Ford evidently takes seriously. “Knowledge is power,” he said in a press release announcing the news, “and understanding the past can only help us in dealing with the present and the future."
These Are 6 Who "Made It?":
BU has a pretty solid acting program from my memory, though I think it's stronger in theater than it is in film or television. In "From BU to Hollywood," we meet six alumni who "have made it in one of the toughest businesses there is." They are:
- Alfre Woodard, Actress, Class of 1974 ("Desperate Housewives," Oscar nomination for Cross Creek)
- Michael Chiklis, Actor, Class of 1986 ("The Shield," "The Commish")
- Ronna Kress, Casting Director, Class of 1984 (National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets)
- Gary Fleder, Director, Class of 1985 (Kiss the Girls, the upcoming The Express)
- Emily Deschanel, Actress, Class of 1998 (Glory Road, "Bones")
- Krista Vernoff, Screenwriter, Class of 1993 ("Grey's Anatomy") - doesn't she look exactly like Katherine Heigl?
- Jason Alexander - Big one. I still beam with pride when I watch "Seinfeld".
- Geena Davis - Quick, name her last movie!...umm...
- David Dinerstein - Executive at Lakeshore Entertainment, which this year alone has given us Untraceable and Pathology. Thanks, David.
- Olympia Dukakis - Not so much to brag about lately.
- Faye Dunaway - Even less to brag about lately.
- Dan Fogler - An up-and-comer, he won a Tony Award in 2005. Since then his film credits include (wow): School for Scoundrels, Good Luck Chuck, and Balls of Fury.
- Tony Gilroy - Ugh.
- Richard Gladstein - Produced Best Picture nominees Pulp Fiction, The Cider House Rules, and Finding Neverland. Most recently - Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium. Nice.
- Russell Hornsby - Hmm, a recognizable face despite the fact that I've missed most of his work, including the recent Stuck. Probably should have been a candidate for the MLK, Jr. biopic.
- David E. Kelley - Writer for every TV show I've ignored for the last 10 years - and...Lake Placid.
- Julianne Moore - What?!?! Noooooooooooooo! Click me.
- Rosie O'Donnell - I got nothing.
- Estelle Parsons - Wow, 81 year-old Oscar winner for Bonnie & Clyde, also on TV's "Roseanne."
- Kim Raver - A bunch of other TV shows I've never seen - "Third Watch", "24", "The Nines", "Lipstick Jungle." Movies? How about Night at the Museum...
- Scott Rosenberg - Interesting resumé. Although he wrote High Fidelity, his responsibility in writing Con Air, Gone in Sixty Seconds, and Kangaroo Jack cannot be overlooked. Or over-ridiculed. Also, according to the IMDB trivia, in April 2001 he "was arrested for a bar brawl while out with Vince Vaughn and Steve Buscemi, the latter of which was stabbed three times during the scuffle." Way to make us proud, Scott.
- Joe Roth - This is where I die. Director of (I just can't believe this): Freedomland.
- Marisa Tomei - Aside from her recent appearance in Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, she's been AWOL since winning a still-controversial Oscar for My Cousin Vinny.
Fortunately, there is one last chance for BU to regain some measure of credibility: my good friend Mitch Yapko, Class of 2003. IMDB lists his production work on the "Grey's Anatomy" spin-off "Private Practice," as well as on a few upcoming films such as Good Dick, which played at Sundance 2008.
His unofficial acting resumé, however, includes (from my memory) Spider-Man 2, Herbie Fully Loaded, "Boston Public," the game show "Lingo," the reality show "Girls Behaving Badly," the legitimate show "Deadwood," and I know I've missed some others.
Thousands of alumni are counting on you, Mitch...