How is it that a movie starring Meryl Streep managed to fly totally under my radar? I had literally never heard of it until I saw the DVD on the shelf at Goodwill. It came between The Devil Wore Prada and Rendition, and seems to have had a very limited release.
Now I can see why. I hated this piece of shit. It is loosely based on a school massacre at the University of Iowa where a monster named Gang Lu put bullets through the fine brains of several professors from the Astronomy and Physics departments before ventilating his own deeply stupid gray matter. Here, a Chinese exchange student has come to a university to study under an acclaimed theorist (Aiden Quinn). He is worshipful at first, but begins to believe that he has found flaws in the great man’s work, and to have developed a better theory.
Now, obviously we can’t tell if Liu is really on to something, or just full of shit. It is certainly true that if your name is on a theory, you are invested in defending it. But it could very well be that your theory is right. What I hated here was that it was strongly implied that the kid was right, and the older man rejected his doctoral thesis because of his own ego.
Whatever the case, Liu’s solution to this first real setback in his life was to go on a killing spree, which I had really not been expecting. It just seems to come out of nowhere. I already disliked the little fuckhead; now I loathe him and his silly theory.
BTW, the one thing Liu says about cosmology that we can check, that is not just equations squiggled on a blackboard, is when he says that the universe we see is only 1% of what is there, and the rest is dark matter. Wrong! Our best estimates (and I admit, they could be off, but not by that much) is that dark matter is 85% of the matter in the universe. And even that is dwarfed by the amount of dark energy. We have no idea what dark energy is, but something out there is causing the expansion of the universe to accelerate.