Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Some Of My Favorite Disaster Movies

Originally posted on DeviantArt, but because DeviantArt sucks, I think I'll also repost it here!

DISCLAIMER: All (or at least, most of) the movies referenced here were actually big hits when they came out, and are well known to the viewers of my age or older. However, the point of this is to introduce the younger audience to some awesomeness they're missing out.

Alright, so... Those who know me might think that a post like this will be devoted to action, sci-fi or horror genres, and while some of the list entries do have some sci-fi and action elements, I'm gonna talk about my another all-time favorite kind of movies: The Disaster Films! Okay, let's get this pun out of the way: I think none of them were box office bombs and/or critical victims, it's just that they deal with some kind of natural or technological disasters and characters trying their best to deal with those, resulting in all kinds of action-packed, suspenseful and dramatic moments.

Outbreak (1995)

Easily one of my Top 10 all-time favorite movies, this is one suspenseful ride from the very first frame to the end. It's from the director of NeverEnding Story, it has its first plot twist occurring during the opening credits, and is just an all around memorable thriller with top notch performances from Dustin Hoffman (one of the rare occurrences of him playing almost an action hero), Cuba Gooding Jr, Renee Russo, Morgan Freeman, Donald Sutherland and Kevin Spacey. If this cast doesn't make you go rent/buy it, then I don't know!

Also, I reviewed it here already.

The Abyss (1989)

This interesting hybrid of old-school sci-fi and hyper-realistic adventure flick is one of James Cameron's lesser known gems, and I scratch my head why. To me, it's the definitive underwater movie, with everything needed for a great oceanic adventure. Yeah, the message may be too blunt and hammered in by today's standards, but the emotional impact is still there, as is the care about characters. Ed Harris, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio and Michael Biehn are the stars, but everyone else is excellent, too, in this grand sci-fi epic. Of course I recommend the Director's Cut, but be warned that it lasts for 3 hours. Although I'm sure you'll be kept at the edge of your seat for that whole time!

Speed (1995)

One of Keanu Reeves's best roles and one of the action genre's proudest moments, this movie was a colossal hit when it was released, and for the right reasons. Director Jan De Bont and screenwriter Graham Yost weren't pioneers in non-stop, almost realtime storytelling, but combined with the excellent action scenes and building suspense throughout the whole course, this movie is perfectly watchable today as it was back in the 90s. Aside from being a gigantic blockbuster, it launched the careers of Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock and added one more memorable bad guy role to Dennis Fucking Hopper's resume. Get ready for rush hour!

Daylight (1997)

This was the second film by now-famous Rob Cohen, who I'm a fan of. I know it's not physically accurate by any means, but if you throw the disbelief uot of your window and sit back to experience this wild ride with Sly Stallone to the Hudson River tunnel crumbling after a horrible explosion, it will be one hell of a thrill. I especially love how the situation gets even worse over the course of the film, and the solution our hero(es) devise are probably idiotic, but plausible enough to never let the tension go; so it's best to do as the tagline says - hold your breath.

Already reviewed it here, too.

Ladder 49 (2004)

Saw this one in theater, and it was a killer experience. Every Soviet boy was dreaming to become either a spaceman (see below) or a firefighter once he grows up, and it's a dream to be praised. Unlike the rest of this list, Ladder 49 doesn't really focus on one particular big disaster, but rather shows the firefighters as normal everyday funny guys willing to put their lives at stake to save the innocent. So basically it's a work drama with some action scenes here and there, showcasing how terrible a firefighter's job can be at times. Of course, I also have to mention great acting from John Travolta and Joacquin Phoenix.

Deep Impact (1998)

Another theatrical experience I won't soon forget. Yeah yeah, it came the same year as Armageddon, and I saw both (in the same theater, which is funny); and as much as I am a Michael Bay fan (suck it down haters), Deep Impact impressed me more. It's more serious and dark in tone, despite having the same exact plot, but everything that Armageddon is accused of to this day is, I think, absent here. No stereotyped Russian spacemen, no awkward romance, and I personally think Tea Leoni is prettier than Liv Tyler (although she's a beauty, too!). And if you've seen this movie already, you may exactly imagine how heartbreaking it was for a 10 yr old boy (me) to see an ending like this one... not to spoil anything, but I think I got teary-eyed. I don't care if Deep Impact is scientifically accurate, it's a must see for science fiction fans.