Showing posts with label movies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label movies. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Explained

Spoiler alert! Do not read any further if you haven't seen The Last Jedi and don't want to have any surprises revealed. If you don't really give a crap about Star Wars then there's no point in continuing this article either.

After watching The Last Jedi, were you confused by some of the plot turns? Was General Leia's ability to fly through space without any protective gear too much Guardians of the Galaxy for you? How did Luke send an avatar across lightyears of space to battle Kylo Ren? Was it really necessary to see Kylo without a shirt, the first time there was semi nudity in a Star Wars film? (Princess Leia's metal bikini in Return of the Jedi doesn't count.) I was certainly confounded by some of the scenes that I had just witnessed this past weekend at the movie theater. Well now the movie director explains some of his thinking in putting together this latest episode of the space saga.

The LA Times has a conversation with Rian Johnson, the director of the movie. In it, he reveals that there is a keeper of the Force lore at Lucas Films by the name of Pablo Hidalgo. Anytime the director needed one of the characters to stretch the capabilities of the Force, Hidalgo would be consulted. If he agreed that, yes Snoke can make a mental connection between two other people across space-time, then it could be added to the movie. Johnson also explains why Snoke, thought to be the new Emperor of the Dark Side, can be so easily and quickly killed off with barely a fight. And yes he talks about why it was necessary to see Kylo beefcake in the movie.

Check it out. Lots of questions are answered in the article.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Do Robots Make The Perfect Health Care Provider?

Did Disney animators create the perfect health care provider? In the movie "Big Hero 6", a big huggable robot named Baymax was created by his inventor to help diagnose and treat whatever human ailments he finds.

He has all the qualities that many people say doctors and nurses should have but are usually lacking. He comes running as soon as he hears sounds of distress, like "ouch". He always has his patient's best interests at heart, refusing to leave until the sufferer has acknowledged his improved status. He possesses an infinitely vast wealth of medical knowledge. He is nonjudgemental. He doesn't ask for money. And the best part, with a quick change in programming, Baymax can become a kick ass, karate chopping, villain foiling, flying superhero. Wouldn't it be cool if doctors could do all that?

Some people would say that medical personnel in this country are almost like robots already but not in a good way. We increasingly rely on algorithms to manage our patients instead of using our judgement, or the art of medicine. Who reads textbooks anymore when we simply download the latest medical information on our smartphones from sites like Google and Up-To-Date? And many patients complain that doctors are so harried by their overbooked schedules that they show the same empathy as humanoids.

So perhaps this movie is just a sign of the frustrations that people have with their current providers. This fantasy is what many people wished their doctors should be but aren't. Maybe there is a take home lesson in this film if we are willing to accept our own shortcomings.

By the way, the movie is awesome. Disney did not pay me to shill for them, but I wouldn't mind it if they did. Hello Robert Iger?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

What Watching "Amour" Can Teach A Jaded Doctor

We've all had the same experience. You see the decrepit old patient in the hospital who you know doesn't have a chance of having a meaningful life yet the family wants everything done. You just want to shake the family members by the shoulders and ask them "Why are you putting her through this ordeal?" Why is she being scheduled for a feeding tube? Why are they ordering another CT? Why, why why? The cynical answer is that the family is not paying for it therefore they want all means of treatment possible to prolong life regardless of the suffering of the patient.

I just watched a powerful French movie called "Amour". It has been nominated for multiple Oscars this year and I can see why. It is the story of an old Parisian couple named George and Anne. During the course of the movie Anne suffers multiple strokes which renders her increasingly helpless and dependent, the antithesis of the vibrant woman we see at the beginning who likes dancing and going out to concerts.

The film delves into the anguish the family confronts as they try to find out the best way to take care of her. The children want to stick her in a nursing home. George had promised to Anne early while she was still able to make her own decisions that he would never take her back to the hospital no matter how bad her disease progressed. He keeps this promise despite the expense of paying hundreds of euros to hire nurses and doctors to come to the house to take care of her. There are depictions of Anne's disappointments as she tries to hang on to her dignity even as her body and mind fails her. "Amour" even shows the abuse of the elderly as those around them are exhausted from taking care of them.

This movie is a typical art house type of film. It will never win for best score because, well, there are none. Unlike a Hollywood production, there is no soaring music to guide our emotions about what we're seeing on screen. The raw images alone are more than enough to make you feel for this unfortunate family. After watching this, you'll have a different view of that patient in the ICU that the family wants to have every treatment medicine can offer. It may even bring back a little of the idealism and humanity you had when you entered medical school but lost after years of physical and mental abuse in residency and practice. Highly recommended.