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Dark Matter
Dark Matter
Actors: Meryl Streep, Aidan Quinn, Ye Liu, Erick Avari
Director: Shi-Zheng Chen
Genres: Drama
R     2009     1hr 30min

Studio: Uni Dist Corp. (mca) Release Date: 04/14/2009 Run time: 90 minutes Rating: R

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Movie Details

Actors: Meryl Streep, Aidan Quinn, Ye Liu, Erick Avari
Director: Shi-Zheng Chen
Genres: Drama
Sub-Genres: Drama
Studio: Screen Media
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 04/14/2009
Original Release Date: 01/01/2007
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2007
Release Year: 2009
Run Time: 1hr 30min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 1
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, Spanish

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Member Movie Reviews

Jessica S. (jess83) from CHARLESTON, WV
Reviewed on 2/22/2012...
A wonderful performance by the entire cast. It hits your emotions by making you chuckle, angry, & cry. Based on a true event. Wonderful soundtrack & wonderful characters.
3 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Peter Q. (Petequig)
Reviewed on 7/31/2011...
Not much has changed in the Academic world of 'Political Correctness' and save your own position Profdom.....just like politics in Washington.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

Clashes: Cultural, Linguistic, Scientific, Emotional
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 04/18/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"DARK MATTER is a film that will polarize audiences: for those who seek understanding of the clashes between science and 'religion' and the matrix from which tragedy grows the film will appeal, and for the audiences who demand tidy stories with happy resolutions the film will not please. Apparently 'based on true events', this story has many layers that invite discussion and reveals some facts about the American Academia that many would rather not know.

Liu Xing (Ye Liu) comes from a poor family in Beijing, but rises to hopeful heights due to his exceptional scientific intelligence and is invited to a prestigious university to study with Cosmology professor Jacob Reiser (Aidan Quinn), the author of the Reiser String Theory - the entire universe is tied into a compact single ball of cosmic wax. Liu Xing encounters initial success not only academically but also as a fresh young student, barely able to speak English, who is taken under the wing of the kind matron of Chinese culture, Johanna Silver (Meryl Streep). Liu Xing develops his own theory that the universe is united by massive amounts of unseen Dark Matter. When the student's theory conflicts with Reiser's theory, the negative results begin to affect each of the characters: Liu Xing sees his dream of earning a PhD in Cosmology and winning the Nobel Prize for his theory destroyed by the powers of academia and as he watches his fellow Chinese students succeed, he is plagued with low self esteem as he attempts to support his family in Beijing with money earned selling cosmetics door to door. The downfall of a simple genius destroyed by the inner workings of academia leads to unimaginable tragedy.

Billy Shebar's screenplay tinkers with the story's credibility with a heavy dose of sentimentality at times, but director Shi-Zheng Chen keeps the story moving by allowing the audience to witness frequent glimpses of Liu Xing's humble Beijing home life. The star of the film is the very talented Ye Liu, but Streep and Quinn carry their rather minor roles with great dignity and understatement. This is a moving story, too frequently repeated in our campuses to overlook. There is much more to this film than first viewings reveal. Grady Harp, April 09"
Excellant movie on non-western cosmology breakthrough
Michael A. Scheurich | California | 04/16/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Excellent presentation by Meryl Streep, Aidan Quinn and Liu Ye about a young Chinese student in America whose advanced theories on the universe exceeds that of his professors causing a rift between him, the American establishment and traditional western religion as well. This film demonstrates how jealousy and ambition within American Academia and American religious institutes has sent cosmology discoveries back into the dark ages. It's a sad but true tale of how the scientific world has been influenced by the infiltration of Western religious dogma."
David R. Eastwood | Long Island, NY | 09/20/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"DARK MATTER is a harrowing movie about a young genius's attempt to earn a Ph.D., share his ground-breaking ideas about the universe, and improve the lives of his parents and himself. Well scripted and well acted, it rings true.

SPOILER ALERT: at the end, after being repeatedly thwarted by his major advisor/professor and his committee, he "goes postal." All of us who follow the news can recall similar horrific conclusions to real-life stories of academic pressure and frustration.

Looking back on my own career, as a retired college professor who taught for 37 years and who spent 6 years earning my own advanced degrees, I can vouch for the general nastiness of the academic world since the late 1950s. Most academics, despite pretensions to living in an Ivory Tower, swim in a Shark Tank--and sadly many of those who succeed in that environment become the sort of shark-like person who perpetuates it. Power corrupts, whether in government, businesses, or our universities.

Viewers/reviewers who were expecting any sort of upbeat ending to this film were probably not paying attention--or perhaps were imagining they were seeing an academic film that was kindred to A BEAUTIFUL MIND (2002) or GOOD WILL HUNTING (1998).

Liu Xing (Ye Liu), Johanna Silver (Meryl Streep), and Jacob Reiser (Aidan Quinn) are the three main characters (stars) of this film--respectively the genius graduate student, the helpful and sympathetic culture maven, and the powerful, egotistical, self-promoting professor.

Watch this at your own peril. By the way, I do not plan to recommend this to many of my academic friends: most of them are good souls with tender hearts, who would find it stirring up far too many bad memories about their own careers."