Theater Thursday: Disaster Movies
The Day After
Tomorrow has opened to rave great passable some reviews, and disaster movies are once again in vogue. This week's Theatre Thursday questions are about those motion pictures that make us want to avoid the water, planes, tall buildings, large cruise ships, angry atomic reptiles and everything in general that makes life enjoyable...
Is it wrong that I have no desire to run out and see The Day After Tomorrow?!?
1) What's your favorite disaster movie of all time?
Joe's Apartment--oh wait..that was a movie that was a disaster. (But still doggone funny, BTW. Roaches doing synchronized swimming in a toliet...now, that's inspired humor!) I'm gonna have to go with Airplane, which I know isn't technically a disaster film so much as making fun of them, but it's hilarious and it's one of those movies you can see flipping by on cable and get sucked into watching it until the end. Also, Airplane 2 was kind of fun, if only for featuring Shatner!
2) Do you prefer a disaster movie with tons of special effects, carnage and general mayhem (i.e. Armageddon) or would you rather see one where the focus is on the people and the event's effects on their lives (i.e. Deep Impact)?
I think a good balance is best--ala Titanic. You had the super special effects, but you also had characters who you had some type of investment in. So, that worked best--a good balance.
3) Of all the disaster movies you've seen, which depicts the most realistic portrayal of what might happen in an actual disaster? Which was the most far-fetched?
Well, having not yet seen Day After Tomorrow, I can't say if it's the most far-fetched or not, though the previews certain make it look that way. I'd have to say that Armageddon was the most far-fatched--and not just for the story about the disaster itself, but also about the whole Ben Affleck gets fired by Bruce Willis and three days letter has set up his own oil drilling company. It's the little details you have to get right and let's face it--Armageddon missed all of them, large and small. As for a realistically portrayed, I can't really say. I'm not sure I've seen enough disaster movies to really comment. Now, during the summer that Deep Impact and Armageddon were put out in the theaters, I did read this asteroid crashing into the Earth disaster book called Lucifer's Hammer, which was a disaster in itself. Some of the absurdity in the book was just mind-boggling--not that the disaster itself but the two-dimensional characters and how they reacted to things.
Bonus) Which character would you be if you were in a disaster movie - the tough hero, the corrupt businessman who profits from it all, the old lady who runs around and screams "We're doomed!!!", the kid who saves the day, the young guy who buys it in the first five minutes of the disaster, or another stock character?
I want to be the suave, totally cool guy, who hooks up with the designated beautiful girl in the movie. And I would never want to be the corrupt businessman as he always seems to bite it in the last reel.
And remember, in the immortal words of Maureen McGovern:
There's got to be a morning after
If we can hold on through the night
We have a chance to find the sunshine
Let's keep on lookin' for the light.
posted by Michael Hickerson at 6/03/2004 11:16:00 AM