Ask Me Another
10:32 am
Thu August 1, 2013

Hollywood Formulas

Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 4:06 pm

If there's actually a secret Hollywood movie formula, we want to see the proof. In a game that will take you right back to your beloved high school algebra and geometry classes, host Ophira Eisenberg asks contestants to combine the titles of well-known movies with mathematical terms. For example, "Rectangled" combines the polygon "rectangle" with the title of the film Tangled.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Let's say hello to our next two contestants - Seth Guinals-Kupperman and Chris Kairalla.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Seth, you participate in something called Maker Fair.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERS)

EISENBERG: What is Maker Fair?

SETH GUINALS-KUPPERMAN: It's a great way to - if you have a lot of passion for kind of building things in your back yard or in your garage to kind of show them to the outside world and be able to show people the kind of stuff that you habitually entertain people with, I suppose.

EISENBERG: OK. You're inventing building things.

GUINALS-KUPPERMAN: I honestly just found something online that I was really enthusiastic about showing my students, which is an electric hot dog cooker. Which is extraordinarily dangerous to make yourself. So I just decided to show them the thing so that they wouldn't have to be tempted to make their own.

EISENBERG: OK. Chris, you teach a class at NYU that deals with telephone artistry. Again, I will have to ask what is that?

(LAUGHTER)

CHRIS KAIRALLA: If painters use a canvas to paint on or, you know, photographers use photography to express themselves, my students use the telephone system to build artistic and creative projects.

EISENBERG: OK. Like what?

(LAUGHTER)

KAIRALLA: One of my students last semester build vibrating underwear that could be controlled with a phone call. So...

EISENBERG: Oh, now I get it. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

(LAUGHTER)

JONATHAN COULTON: I actually have a hot dog cooker that's controlled with a phone.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: This is going to be fun. This game is called Hollywood Formulas. It seems that every movie coming out of Hollywood is by the numbers and that's because they are. But in this game, the answer to each question combines a movie title and a term you may have heard in math or geometry class. John Chaneski, let's have an example.

JOHN CHANESKI: In this 2010 animated Disney film, Rapunzel is trapped in this shape with four sides and four right angles. The answer would be Rectangled with is a rectangle mashed with the film "Tangled."

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: So sometimes the mathematical term will be in the front of the film, sometimes it will follow, sometimes it will be a horrible pun. And by sometimes I mean almost always. So feel free to talk your answer out. Good luck. Lindsay Lohen stars as a pair of identical twins in this 1998 remake of a classic comedy where a quadrilateral realizes it has only two parallel sides.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Chris.

KAIRALLA: The Parent Trapezoid.

EISENBERG: Exactly.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: In this 2012 James Bond movie, 007 meets Agent 3.141592. James Bond movie.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

KAIRALLA: Pifall?

EISENBERG: Chris. Pifall. Yes.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: George Clooney and Ryan Gosling star in this 2011 political drama where they do the opposite of multiplication.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Chris.

KAIRALLA: The Divides of March?

EISENBERG: Yes.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Lever Burton stars in this powerful 1977 miniseries made for television where he tries to calculate what number multiplied by itself makes up a larger number.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Seth?

GUINALS-KUPPERMAN: That's Square Roots.

EISENBERG: Square Roots.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Ben Affleck directed this 2007 movie starring his brother Casey who plays a Boston detective searching for a closed shape with five sides. Movie with Casey Affleck.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Chris.

KAIRALLA: Pentagon Baby Gone.

EISENBERG: Yes, exactly. Pentagon Baby Gone.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: This is your last question. In this 1994 sci-fi flick Jean-Claude Van Damme stars as a police officer from the future who makes sure all numbers can only be divided by one and themselves.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Chris.

KAIRALLA: Prime Cop.

EISENBERG: Yes.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: John Chaneski.

CHANESKI: The winner of that game was Chris. Congratulations, Chris. Nice job.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Well done, Chris. Nice work, both of you. Chris, you'll be moving on to our final round at the end of the show. Thank you so much.

(APPLAUSE)

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Related program: