Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Math Movies That Make Me Want To Punch A Hole In The Wall

In yesterday's entry I so boldly stated that I was a math student. In reality that's just a laughable half-truth and I only wish I was one of those super intelligent "Numbers speak to me" kind of person. 

Well Obviously!

 In truth, twice a week I attend a gray, dismal institute where I stare at functions and graphs and pretend that I understand. I'm getting to the point where I'm looking for any sort of excuse to get the hell out of dodge. 

Sir, it appears that I have lost my mind. May I please be excused from class?

And whether I like it or not, this is bound to happen any day now: 

Right. So as I was sitting in class today, drooling over a book of trigonometric functions, I began thinking about movie characters that were especially gifted in math. Then I narrowed the list down to movies with Gifted Protagonists that are worth watching. Than I realized that that list was too small. So on this particularly gloomy day, I'm going to present to you: Movies About Math. 

A Beautiful Mind (2001):
Cool Uncle Rusty can be your math tutor ;)
A Beautiful Mind, directed by Ron Howard, Stars Russell Crowe (AKA: Cool Uncle Russell) as a withdrawn mathematician with, well, a beautiful mind! I I saw this movie once... years ago... so my memory on the whole thing is a bit fuzzy. But I do recall being baffled by Crowe's Character, John Nash, and his brilliant work with numbers and cryptology. The movie is very well done, with some very good twists, and I would recommend it as a worth while film.  
Plus, I've always had a thing for dudes who are good at math (Think: Engineers, physicists, NASA Scientists, etc). So I really don't mind watching this film.

A Serious Man (2009)

A less attractive alternative to a clever mathematician.
A Serious Man, directed by the Cohen Brothers, was in my humble opinion, a brutal and agonizing film that I couldn't even finish watching. It was just so depressing (and there wasn't even that much math!). It is considered a "dark comedy" but I really didn't even get a chuckle out of it. I think there was something about quantum mechanics and life unravelings and dead cats that all had to do with math, but I fled from that TV faster than you can say "EUREKA!". So in reality I never really made the connection. But you can try, if you really have nothing better to do. 

Good Will Hunting (1997): 

I can do math too. Hot Guy + Intelligence = An Even Hotter Guy
Good Will Hunting, directed by Gus Van Sant, stars Matt Damon as Will Hunting, an underprivileged Smarty Pants that has a knack for doing math. The movie follows Will, who, though incredibly intelligent, needs help finding himself/direction in life. So he sees a psychologist, who is played by Robin Williams. This is another movie that I didn't particularly enjoy (and for no decent reason, either), so naturally I wouldn't want to reccomend it. But everyone else who has seen the film really likes it, so maybe I just have some sort of allergic reaction to the Linear Algebra presented onscreen. 

Jurassic Park (1993):  

Surprise surprise. Another pervy math teacher.
Jurassic Park, directed by Steven Spielberg, is one of my all time favesies. I totally nerd-love this movie. I must have seen the movie over 12 times, and read the book about 7. It's totally awesome and Michael Crichton is my Sci-fi hero. Now this movie isn't all about math (I just needed an excuse to sneak it in), it does present a rather interesting mathematical concept: chaos theory. Chaos theory is, in short, the practice of finding a pattern in a non-linear system. I think. Anywho, when I opened my math book in 12th grade, and saw an entire page dedicated to Fractals (LIKE THE ONES PRESENTED IN THE JURASSIC PARK NOVELS) I had a total Nerd-Fest in the classroom. It was good times. That was the first (and likely last) time I've ever been excited to do math. 

And thus concludes The Cinema Club's dreary article on Math in Movies.
I hate math class.
And then to undo the emotional damage math has inflicted upon me, I make sure to do plenty of this:

You'd be surprised by the alcohol content in Rum Raisin flavored ice cream.
And then I reminisce about high school, when my friend and I could get away with all sorts of shenanigans in class. 

El Capitain OUT!


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