Thursday, December 17, 2009

Fire From Below

Have you ever read an entire page of a book, only to realize that you don’t remember a single word? That’s what watching Fire From Below was like for me. Even as I was watching it, I recognized that I didn’t actually understand what was happening. Normally, disaster movies have gaps in logic or reasoning, but Fire From Below goes beyond the gaps in logic – it just doesn’t have any. The tag on the poster reads, "The Laws of nature have just been broken." I now realize that the marketing team was trying to warn me.

Basically, after a group of miners strike … something, a sparky fire tentacle begins terrorizing a small town in Texas. It is apparently caused by the stuff they’re drilling for: a huge supply of a lithium isotope, the L-6 isotope. What is the L-6 isotope? I’m glad you asked. According to the “sexy” business lady over at Drake Industries, the L-6 isotope has huge potential to be used in long-running batteries and in alloys for plane bodies. There’s only one flaw: it is highly combustible with water. Yes, to you and me, this seems like a bad substance to tack onto an airplane, but Mr. Drake dreams big.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Black Hole

Black Hole is the first movie that lets the blog live up to its name. It stars Judd Nelson and Kristy Swanson as two scientists racing against time to stop both a black hole and an energy monster from devouring St. Louis.

Now, I know what you’re all thinking: “Yes, but does Judd Nelson do the fist thing at the end?” No, unfortunately, he does not. I understand if you don’t want to keep reading, but I suggest you continue, as this movie isn’t so different from The Breakfast Club.

The movie starts with the following information: “In 1999, a panel of nuclear physicists discussed the possibility that a heavy ion collider experiment could result in the formation of a black hole. After an extended debate, the panel decided that such a scenario was not just highly unlikely, but impossible.”

“Well,” you think, having read all that. “That was a surprisingly anticlimactic movie.”

But then! –

They were wrong.

And with those three words, you know that this movie is no joke. It’s rare that a movie flat-out warns you that nuclear physicists were wrong. But this movie goes there, and you have to respect them for that.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Mega Shark versus Giant Octopus

My dear friend Christine has been harassing me regularly to cover this movie, which is absurd, since obviously I was going to. I mean, it’s called Mega Shark versus Giant Octopus. I think that translates in Gaelic to “C-List Actors Save Us All.”

But, looking at this poster having now seen the movie, all I can feel is disappointed. The poster is like the box for sea monkeys. You think you're getting a totally sweet sea monkey kingdom, but in truth, they're just brine shrimp.

Maybe my expectations were set too high, or maybe they weren’t low enough. Regardless, it was just bad. Really, really bad. And boring. And nonsensical. But not even in the good way. In the lazy way, bad, boring way.

The movie stars serious actress Deborah Gibson. No, not singer Debbie Gibson. You must have confused the two, since their names are so very similar. But, if you’ll notice, there’s no way they can be the same person, since serious actresses spell their names with “-orah,” not “-bie.”

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


The first thing you need to know about 2012 is that it is 160 minutes long – 2 hours, 40 minutes. So, brace yourself, because apparently, the end of the world happens in real time. Then again, if they had edited it down at all, Roland Emmerich would have had to cut out at least one “running in front of a natural disaster” sequences, and we all know how much he loves those.

The second thing you need to know is that humanity sucks. No, really. We suck. If there is one lesson that you can take away from this movie, it’s that mankind sucks, hard.

Warning – spoilers ahead. No, seriously. I’m spoiling this movie like Veruca Salt’s daddy.

Friday, November 13, 2009

2012 Photoblog

So, last night I went to see the seminal "Mayan Apocalypse" movie of our time (and no, Mel Gibson, I'm not forgetting Apocalypto).

I was so excited to see it, Scott and I dressed up in costume as our favorite natural disasters. I was a volcano, he was a hurricane.

His costume was just a sign that said hurricane with a cloud drawn around it. I told him that hurricanes aren't just a bunch of clouds, but he said, "Whatever, I look like a jackass, you owe me."

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Surface, Episode 2

Where last we left off … eh. It was the pilot. We met people. There are sea monsters. They don’t eat people … yet.

The show opens at a lighthouse near the Cape of Good Hope. Inside, an old guy watches rugby on the TV. Little does he know that he’s about to die. Or, if he were on any other show, about now is when he would die. Lucky for him, he’s on Surface, where nothing actually happens. The old guy sees his water glass rattling on the table, and even he thinks he’s in a better story, because he looks like he knows he’s about to bite it. No good comes of water glasses rattling. He goes to the window, peers into the fog, and hears a roar that blows out all the glass in the lighthouse. And then … that’s it. We see the sea monster dive below the waves, satisfied with his destruction.

Really, people? We’re in the second episode and no one’s been eaten by a sea monster yet? These sea monsters kind of suck. Apparently, they’re more into property damage than actually being threatening. What are they going to do next, egg a house?

The episode picks up where it left off last week, with everyone except Aleksander Cirko being remarkably uninteresting, despite having alternately wacky hijinks and perilous government run-ins. We’ll get to them later. Let’s check in with Dr. Cirko.

Dr. Aleksander Cirko, dramatic Serbian evolutionary biologist, is en route to see a fully-grown mystery creature when he’s stopped by a handsome Asian man in a suit. You know he’s evil because he’s really friendly and amicable while throwing around his power. Government agents are never that friendly unless they have some serious power over you.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Surface, Episode 1

Back in the fall of 2005, the three big networks (ABC, NBC, and CBS) all premiered shows about mysterious water-related creatures: Threshold, Surface, and that other one. If you don’t remember any of these three, don’t worry – neither does anyone else. Apparently, most of America just wasn’t ready for mysterious water-related creatures.

Fortunately for all of you, I was one of the few who not only watched Surface religiously, but bought it on DVD the day it came out.

The show opens with three teenagers taking a boat out for a joyride at night, towing a fourth teenager behind on water skis. He wipes out and his friends ditch him. Because this show is already bucking convention, the water ski boy – or, as we’ll come to know him, Miles – does not get eaten. He sees something slide off a nearby buoy and proceeds to freak out, but he’s fished out of the water by the Coast Guard before he can be devoured.

Kids, I want you to listen to me very carefully when I say this: never, ever go into the water at night. In the event that you do decide to go into the water at night, make sure your friends aren’t assholes. If your friends are assholes, you will get eaten by something big and mysterious. Miles is an exception to the rule, because he’s a main character on a television show. But, I can promise you, you’re not a main character, no matter what you write in your LiveJournal. So don’t go in the water after dark unless you want to feel something brush up against your legs, then pull you under. You can thank me for that bit of advice later.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Core

The Earth’s core has mysteriously stopped spinning which is weakening the magnetic field and wreaking havoc across the globe. First, a bunch of people with pacemakers all drop dead at the same time. Then, the pigeons in Trafalgar Square start flying into things. You wouldn’t think either of these things would lead to mass death and destruction, but they do. Apparently, when pigeons lose their ability to navigate by the magnetic field, they freak the fuck out and fly at high speeds into cars, store windows, and people. Who knew?

Ruggedly handsome scientist Josh Keyes, that’s who. He quickly figures out what the nation’s best and brightest couldn’t – that the Earth’s magnetic field is weakening, probably because the core has stopped rotating. And, as Josh dramatically says at the Pentagon, “Everybody on the Earth is dead in a year.” Sure, it doesn’t look all that dramatic on paper, but when it’s coming from the chiseled jaw of Aaron Eckhart, even I was concerned. Then, he lit a peach on fire using hairspray, and it’s kind of hard to take a man seriously when he’s igniting fruit.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Loch Ness Terror

Let's get this out of the way first: the main conceit of the movie is that there is a tunnel from Loch Ness to Lake Superior, a distance of over 3,300 miles. Not only is there a tunnel 3,300+ miles in length, but Nessie swims that regularly, as she likes to summer in Lake Superior.

Oh, and she can walk on land.

Yeah. You heard me. She can walk on land. And she does. Often.

So, just to be clear: Nessie can swim 3,300+ miles through an underwater tunnel and she can move quickly on land.

I, for one, welcome our new Plesiosaur overlords.

Wait, what’s that? Apparently, Plesiosaur attacks are rare? They’re not overrunning the world? But, Nessie had at least seven young running around near her nest, and several more eggs. How have they not taken over and harvested us for food?

I don’t know for sure, but I’d like to think it’s at least in part thanks to James Murphy, Cryptozoologist.

Friday, October 2, 2009

2012 Sneak Peek

Last night, Sony premiered a two minute clip of 2012 on over 450 media outlets, reaching an estimated 90% of the viewing public.

And, I am devastated to say, I was not one of them. I had to watch it on the internet today like some TV pariah, because my cable box and my television are not on speaking terms at the moment.

Watching it today, however, was nearly everything I could have hoped for. 2012 is going to be amazing. Why?

Because this teaser clip features an Emmerich hallmark: the guy improbably outrunning a force of nature that is of questionable scientific validity.

Think back, if you will, to the year 2004, back when we thought the world was going to end because of global warming (how naive we were, failing to recognize it's actually because of the Mayan calendar). Jake Gyllenhaal and Emmy Rossum have just sought shelter from a giant wave in the New York Public Library. They're safe from the water that has flooded Manhattan, but not from the super cold wind that's going to freeze them like the mammoths!

That's right. The next obstacle after giant fucking wave is a bit of a draft.

So they're fleeing in terror from this cold air that can instantly freeze a mastodon, and it is literally nipping at Jake's heels as the cold air sucks the water vapor out of the air. And yet, he's able to not only outrun it, but apparently thwart it with a wooden door and a fireplace.

So, you may ask, how is it that he's not frozen alive by a blast of air so cold that it is, again I repeat, freezing the water vapor out of the air instantly?

He's in front of it.


And so, we see this theme again in 2012. Now, I'm not a geologist, but I love the science. And I'm pretty sure I've never once read about how you can drive a limo faster than an earthquake wave. If there is a limo that does go fast enough, I want one.

On the whole, the trailer did not disappoint. You've got the paranoid husband, the skeptical wife who has custody of the adorably precocious children, totally absurd levels of destruction, and of course, California sinking into the ocean.

I don't think I've been this excited to see California destroyed by an earthquake since the NBC miniseries 10.5: Apocalypse (the thrilling sequel to 10.5).

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Cautionary Tales

Apparently, NASA was never given the funding to build the telescopes necessary to find asteroids that threaten our planet with destruction.

Report: NASA Can't Keep Up With Killer Asteroids*

This is why disaster movies are so important - they are not only significant creatively, but they are the cautionary tales for our society. They warn us of the things that should scare us. They alert us to the dangers we refuse to see.

And they do it all within 90 minutes (or, if it's a miniseries, 4 hours, but that's spaced out over two weeks with commercials, so it's more like two sets of 90 minute movies, but the point stands).

This is a blog devoted to the awesomeness of disaster movies. I'm including some "freakishly large bloodthirsty animal rampage" movies in this category. These movies will be ranked on a completely arbitrary scale depending on how I feel that particular day. There will be no rhyme or reason, much like the plots. There will just be hours of destruction, culminating in the rugged hero saving the planet from destruction. And it will be awesome.

*Side note: I am loving the AP's shift away from objective journalism to this weird hybrid of actual news with a blogger's flippancy. When else would you see the term "Killer Asteroids" in a news piece?