Are you the kind of sci-fi/action film fan that goes along with the whole suspension-of-disbelief thrill ride or do the maddening missteps of science/tech/logic elicit a passionate "Come on!" from you? Your friends may roll their eyes but we get it. If you're curious whether some harebrained Hollywood theory could actually work, there are experts who can tell you yes or no.
Thanks to a grant from the Coolidge Corner Theatre Foundation and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, there's a nifty project called "Science on Screen" that pairs feature films with experts in the fields of science, tech, engineering and mathematics. The Eureka Theater is one of hundreds hosting this series and it kicks off by bringing down the science hammer with Avengers: Infinity War (2018) — featuring a nanobiotechnology discussion with Frank Cappuccio — on Thursday, Jan. 17 at 7 p.m. ($5).
Other films in the series include Tank Girl (1995) and apocalyptic technologies with Lonny Grafman on Feb. 21, National Week of Science on Screen, a yet-to-be-named film on March 21, Tremors (1990) and shaky ground discussion with Lori Dengler on April 18, Jurassic Park (1993) and "how to clone a dinosaur" with Sam Del Campo on May 16, and Hackers (1995) and coding with Brian Behlendorf on June 22.
Right in line with that series is Dumb Movies with Smart People over at the Humboldt County Library. Take a seat with other smarties for a showing of The Core (2003), a hot mess about scientists planning to drill to the center of the earth to set off nuclear bombs to get it spinning again. Seismologist/geologist/smart person Lori Dengler hosts this one, too, on Saturday, Jan. 12 at 1 p.m. (free). On Saturday, Feb. 9 at 1 p.m. catch feverish Outbreak (1995) — filmed right here in Humboldt County, with Ferndale as a contagion hotspot — with Ron Largusa.