Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Deep Impact (1998)

I have a special place in my heart for natural disaster movies; after all, it's always nice to remember who's really in charge. This movie, however, was just a little too realistic and definitely too disastrous. There was no triumphant moment of glory and success, just a pile of bodies! Seriously, they killed off almost everybody (Robert Duvall and Tea Leoni to start) except for Elijah Wood and Leelee Sobieski (again?) as some weirdo married 16-year-olds and her little baby sister who they now have to raise in, like, the wilderness of Tennessee. So there are tons of creepily realistic things (there were ex-NASA personnel in the movie, the car crash was based on a real astronomer's life, NASA and the director of this film both came up with the term "Deep Impact" simultaneously, a "large object" did in fact strike off the east coast where the one in the movie is shown to impact and kill millions of poor poor Americans, and the scene where Tea meets the President is filmed in the actual kitchen where Senator Kennedy was assassinated) going down. To make the movie even more sinister, imdb says that television showings were edited after 9/11 to take out the scene post-tidal wave where the tops of the Twin Towers are the only things not submerged. Why did they want to take that out? It seems too weird to me! On the other hand, there are also tons of absolutely ridiculous things happening in this melancholy movie. ie. How does no one notice the comet? Why does Morgan Freeman wait for a year to tell the people that a comet is coming but not for another year? Why does no one strike? How could they think anyone would buy a black President (oh wait!)? Why are they putting up with martial law and Robocop-esque, on-the-spot, executions? How does that kid manage to get from inland States to DC and back to Tennessee in like 12 hours on a motorbike? If children can get married, why can't gay people? How do they outrun the tidal wave? How are they going to survive in the aftermath? And why does Freeman seem so calm the whole time? These are just some of the 10 million questions I'm currently experiencing. But it doesn't seem to have bothered anyone else, because this movie, awkwardly released just a few months before the bombastically-spazzy, change-cinema-as-we-know-it, Armageddon came out, grossed a cool $180 million worldwide. And that's not bad at all.

Final Judgement: "Why so gloomy daddy-o?/This one's for seriously serious (and potentially religious) mothers everywhere."

P.S. Can you guess which of these pictures are for the movie and which are from the NASA page?

Oh, and it's way too telling that I found a post about the movie on this creepy site...

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