New York Post - 13.03.2020

(Ben Green) #1
New York Post, Friday, March 13, 2020

By reed tucker


riter Kevin VanHook calls
it “science faction.”
When he, Don Perlin and
Bob Layton dreamed up
the comic book character
Bloodshot back in the 1990s,
they wanted it to be a little bit different
than other superheroes whose powers
were sometimes rooted in the he-was-
bitten-by-a-radioactive-badger school.
“We always tried to have that grounding
in reality,” VanHook tells The Post.
That grounding came from scientific
publications they were reading at the time,
and the character they spit out was a killer
who’s infused with nanotechnology, mak-
ing him superhuman.
Now “Bloodshot” is hitting the big
screen today, and many of those scientific
concepts from the comic book have been
carried over. Vin Diesel plays a soldier who
gets an infusion of nanites from an ethically
challenged scientist (Guy Pearce), turning
him into a nearly indestructible assassin.
But just how much fact is there to this
science fiction? Could nanotechnology
really deliver any of these powers? Read on.

Bloodshot’s injuries heal within seconds
as the tiny nanites in his system knit his
wounds back together.
It’s in the realm of possibility, but not
quite as portrayed.
“People always think of [nanotechnology]
as these little nano animals,” says Jacob
Trevino, principal scientist at Brooklyn

startup Chemeleon and a Columbia Uni-
versity adjunct professor. “It’s definitely
not that. It’s more what we call smart
materials — particles that we engineer
going into the body.”
Nanomachines do exist, but their func-
tionality, for now, is extremely limited.
Instead, scientists are developing special
gold particles, for example, that attach
themselves to cancer cells and kill them.
Or particles that are designed to drop off
medicine to an affected area.
Trevino says a nanomaterial that acts
almost like scaffolding might soon be
applied to the wounds, attracting healing
cells and closing a cut days faster.
Decades down the road, a nanomaterial
designed to heal itself when cut could be
applied to skin.

Without giving too much away, the
nanites in Bloodshot’s body are able to
access information on the Internet.
Trevino says it is now possible to send
simple signals to nanoparticles but they
“couldn’t do anything with it, because they
have no computation power.”

The movie explains that all of Blood-
shot’s blood has been replaced by nanites.
This is obviously complete (science)
Scientists, however, are developing nano-
particles that might stay in someone’s
bloodstream for the long term that would
attach to cancer cells, for instance, if they
were to grow in the body.

Hot Ticket


Bloodshot’s glowing
chest is explained in the
film as the nanites in his
system working. And
while it’s true that the
harder that objects are
working, the more heat
they generate, “humans
wouldn’t be able to
see it,” Trevino says,
because heat is in the
infrared spectrum.

Star tec

Can a man really be made

indestructible? The fascinating

science behind ‘Bloodshot’


When pieces of Bloodshot’s
body are blown off, the
nanites rebuild him a new
part, like a lizard growing a
tail. Possible? “That’s a big
no,” Trevino says.

Vin Diesel plays the
titular hero in

Gut-wrenching film takes on true NY murder mystery


Documentarian Liz Garbus
(”The Farm: Angola, USA,” “What
Happened, Miss Simone?”) turns
to dramatized true crime with a
grim story many New Yorkers
will know: the string of murders
of young women on the south
shore of Long Island, whose
bodies were uncovered between
2010 and 2011, and whose killer
has yet to be found.
Amy Ryan (”Beautiful Boy”)

brings depth and fire to the role
of Mari Gilbert, a working-class
mom whose daughter Shannan
goes missing after frantically
calling 911 from a gated beach
community. When Mari takes
her case to two detectives
(Gabriel Byrne and Dean
Winters), she’s met with an
infuriating but somewhat
predictable disinterest —
especially when they learn
her daughter was a sex worker.
An accidental discovery of
other female bodies dumped in

the area stirs up media hunger
for the tawdriness of a tale
about murdered prostitutes.
The film is at its best when
giving voice to the female
relatives of these victims, who
pressure the detectives— who’ve
been told to downplay the
possible connection between
the killings — to do more. Its
most pointed moments are in
exchanges between the cops.
“Who spends this much time
looking for a dead hooker?” says
one, when Mari’s left the room.

“Lost Girls” loses momentum
in the domestic scenes with
Mari and her other daughters
(Thomasin McKenzie and Oona
Laurence), which are so brief
they feel cut down for time. But
when Garbus takes the long
view — her camera pulling
back to emphasize the awful
loneliness of the marshy
stretches where these women
died — “Lost Girls” hits hard.
Running time: 95 minutes.
Rated R (language). Now playing.
— Sara Stewart

Oona Laurence (from left), Amy Ryan and
Thomasin McKenzie in “Lost Girls.”
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