Project #1:  Hollywood and Earth Science

 

During the course, the student will watch a Hollywood Film which deals with Earth Science Issues. The student will write a three to five page, double spaced, word processed paper explaining the Earth Science principles applied in the film. Notation should be made where the vocabulary words from the chapter(s) are used. The plot and the story does not matter, but should be summarized as below.  It is the earth science applied in the film that should be your focus and also the science fiction:

 

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2012 (2009)

John Cusack , Chiwetel Ejiofor , Roland Emmerich    PG-13   DVD

·                     Run Time: 158 minutes

Product Description

From Roland Emmerich, director of THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW and INDEPENDENCE DAY, comes the ultimate action-adventure film, exploding with groundbreaking special effects. As the world faces a catastrophe of apocalyptic proportions, cities collapse and continents crumble. 2012 brings an end to the world and tells of the heroic struggle of the survivors. Starring John Cusack, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Amanda Peet, Woody Harrelson and Danny Glover.

 

Editorial Reviews
Now this is how you destroy the world. Roland Emmerich's
2012 pounces on a Nostradamus-style loophole in the Mayan calendar and rams the apocalypse through it, gleefully conjuring up an enormous amount of Saturday-matinee fun in the process. A scientist (Chiwetel Ejiofor) detects shifting continental plates and sun flares and realizes that this foretells the imminent destruction of the planet. Just as the molten lava is about to hit the fan, a novelist (John Cusack) takes his kids on a trip to Yellowstone; later he'll hook up with his ex (Amanda Peet) and her new boyfriend (Tom McCarthy) in a global journey toward safety. If there is any safety. The suitably hair-raising plot lines are punctuated--frequently, people, frequently--by visions of mayhem around the globe: the Vatican falls over, the White House is clobbered (Emmerich's Independence Day was not enough on that score), and the California coastline dives into the Pacific Ocean. Unlike other action directors we could name, Emmerich actually understands how to let you see and drink in these vast special-effects vistas--and they are incredible. He also honors the old Irwin Allen disaster-movie tradition by actually shelling out for good actors. Cusack and Ejiofor are convincing even in the cheesiest material; toss in Danny Glover (the U.S. president), Woody Harrelson (a nut-bar conspiracy-theorizing radio host), Thandie Newton, and Oliver Platt, and you've got a very watchable batch of people. Emmerich hasn't developed an ear for dialogue, even at this stage in his career, and the final act goes on a bit too long. This is a very silly movie, but if you've got a weakness for B-movie energy and hairbreadth escapes, 2012 delivers quite a bit of both. --Robert Horton

Deep Impact

Deep Impact  (1998)

Robert Duvall , Téa Leoni , Mimi Leder    PG-13   DVD

·                     Run Time: 120 minutes

In DEEP IMPACT, Leo Beiderman (Elijah Wood), joins a field study for his high school's Astronomy Club and discovers a new comet that unfortunately is headed for Earth. While scientists build a cave to prevent the extinction of the human race, they estimate that only 800,000 people can be selected to survive the "Deep Impact." The threat of a comet ending the world quickly sends Americans into a panic until the president announces a plan to send astronauts on a mission to destroy the comet before it reaches earth.

 

Chapter 21

Apollo 13 (1995)

Starring: Tom Hanks, Bill Paxton Director: Ron Howard Rating

·                     Plot Outline True story of the moon-bound mission that developed severe trouble and the men that rescued it with skill and dedication.

·                     Plot Synopsis: Based on the true story of the ill-fated 13th Apollo mission bound for the moon. Astronauts Lovell, Haise and Swigert were scheduled to fly Apollo 14, but are moved up to 13. It's 1970, and America have already achieved their lunar landing goal, so there's little interest in this "routine" flight.. until that is, things go very wrong, and prospects of a safe return fade.

Chapter 20

 

The Day After Tomorrow (Widescreen Edition) (2004)

Starring: Dennis Quaid, Jake Gyllenhaal Director: Roland Emmerich Rating

·                     Plot Outline A climatologist tries to figure out a way to save the world from abrupt global warming. He must get to his young son in New York, which is being taken over by a new ice age.

·                     Plot Synopsis: This movie takes a big-budget, special-effects-filled look at what the world would look like if the greenhouse effect and global warming continued at such levels that they resulted in worldwide catastrophe and disaster, including multiple hurricanes, tornadoes, tidal waves, floods and the beginning of the next Ice Age. At the center of the story is a paleoclimatologist (a scientist who studies the ways weather patterns changed in the past), Professor Jack Hall (Quaid), who tries to save the world from the effects of global warming while also trying to get to his son, Sam (Gyllenhaal), who was in New York City as part of a scholastic competition, when the city was overwhelmed by the chilling beginnings of the new Ice Age. In addition to all of the other challenges Dr. Hall faces, he's also going against the flow as humanity races south to warmer climates, and he's nearly the only one going north...

 

Chapter 19

Application

Twister (1996)

Starring: Helen Hunt, Bill Paxton Director: Jan de Bont Rating

 

·                     Plot Outline A couple on the point of divorce keep meeting each other because both are researchers who chase tornadoes.

·                     Plot Synopsis: TV weatherman Bill Harding is trying to get his tornado-hunter wife, Jo, to sign divorce papers so he can marry his girlfriend Melissa. But Mother Nature, in the form of a series of intense storms sweeping across Oklahoma, has other plans. Soon the three have joined the team of storm chasers as they attempt to insert a revolutionary measuring device into the very heart of several extremely violent tornados.

 

Chapter 24

Application

Contact (1997)

Starring: Jena Malone, David Morse Director: Robert Zemeckis Rating

First Line: Young Ellie: CQ, this is W9GFO. CQ, this is W9GFO here. Come back?

·                     Plot Outline Dr. Ellie Arroway, after years of searching, finds conclusive radio proof of intelligent aliens, who send plans for a mysterious machine.

·                     Plot Synopsis: Contact, based on the novel of the same name by Carl Sagan, is the story of a free thinking radio astronomer (Jodie Foster) who discovers an intelligent signal broadcast from deep space. She and her fellow scientists are able to decipher the Message and discover detailed instructions for building a mysterious Machine. Will the Machine spell the end of our world, or the end of our superstitions? Will we take our place among the races of the Galaxy, or are we just an upstart species with a long way to go?

 

Chapter 9

Application

Volcano (1997)

Starring: Tommy Lee Jones, Anne Heche Director: Mick Jackson Rating

·                     Plot Outline A volcano erupts in downtown L.A., threatening to destroy the city.

·                     Plot Synopsis: After a seemingly minor earthquake one night in Los Angeles, a giant burst of lava is released from the La Brea Tar Pits, resulting in the birth of a new volcano under the city. City officials are reluctant to believe scientists who notice the early warning signs (the temperature of a lake rises 6 degrees in 12 hours) but they learn their lesson when lava begins to spill out into the streets and to destroy buildings and cars. Dedicated Emergency Management director Mike Roark rushes to the rescue, with help from a plucky seismologist.

 

Chapter 9

Application

Dante's Peak (1997)

Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Linda Hamilton Director: Roger Donaldson Rating

·                     Plot Outline Dr. Harry Dalton discovers that Dante's Peak, which has recently been named the second most desirable place to live in America, is being threatened by a volcano that hasn't been live for years.

·                     Plot Synopsis: Volcanologist Harry Dalton and mayor Rachel Wando of Dante's Peak try to convince the city council and the other volcanologists that the volcano right above Dante's peak is indeed dangerous. People's safety is being set against economical interests.

sphere

Chapter 13

Application

Sphere (1998)

Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Sharon Stone Director: Barry Levinson Rating

·                     Plot Outline A spaceship is discovered under three hundred years' worth of coral growth at the bottom of the ocean.

·                     Plot Synopsis: 1000 feet below the ocean, navy divers discover an object half-a-mile long. A crack team of scientists are deployed to the site in Deep Sea Habitats. What they find boggles the mind as they discover a perfect metal sphere. What is the secret behind the sphere? Will they survive the mysterious 'manifestations'? Who or what is creating these? They may never live to find out.

 

Chapter 13

The Abyss (Special Edition) (1989)

Starring: Ed Harris, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio Director: James Cameron Rating

First Line: USS Montana Captain: 60 knots? No way. The Reds don't have anything that fast.

·                     Plot Outline A civilian diving team are enlisted to search for a lost nuclear submarine and face danger while encountering an alien aquatic species.

·                     Plot Synopsis: An American nuclear submarine is attacked (during the cold war) and crashes underwater. The navy asks the workers of a nearby underwater oil rig who are joined by a number of navy SEALS to locate and investigate the cause of the crash. As the crew embark on their mission, they encounter a number of difficulties and discover that they may not be alone. There is something else down there.

 

Chapter 19

Category 6 - Day of Destruction (2004)

Starring: Thomas Gibson, Nancy McKeon Director: Dick Lowry Rating

After a freak tornado destroys Las Vegas, scientists determine that unusually destructive weather could be building over the United States. When a "category five" hurricane forms over the Great Lakes and a band of "force five" tornadoes moves up the Midwest toward Chicago, the resulting collision of deadly weather fronts not only decimates great cities, it ultimately causes the entire North American power grid to implode, effectively leaving the United States without power for at least six months.

\

Chapter 19

Category 7: The End of the World (2005)

Starring: Gina Gershon, Cameron Daddo Director: Dick Lowry Rating

Plot Synopsis: In this hair-raising sequel to Category Six: Day of Destruction, mankind's survival against the elements is pushed to the limits... All across the globe, an unprecedented Category 6 storm descends with greater force than could have ever been imagined. The Eiffel Tower is shredded by violent winds-the Great Pyramids reduced to piles of rubble as twisting, black funnels snake across the desert. For years scientists have been expounding theories-and warnings-of global warming trends. Now these warnings are coming true with a frightening ferocity. But though it may have created regions of volatile and extreme weather, global warming isn't what triggered the terrible tempest. The cause is unknown. As various regions of the Earth succumb to the increasingly powerful super storm, beautiful but discredited scientist Faith Clavell (Shannen Doherty, TV's Charmed) teams up with storm chaser Tommy Tornado (Randy Quaid, Elvis) and head of FEMA Judith Carr (Gina Gershon, Face/Off) to determine the trigger and eliminate it-and that means infiltrating the storm itself. Compounding the chaos, a terrorist organization is threatening to make the situation worse. Now, it's not only man against nature, but man against man as the newly-intensified Category 7 approaches-and possibly, the end of the world.

 

Chapter 9

Magma: Volcanic Disaster (2006)

Starring: Xander Berkeley, Amy Jo Johnson Director: Ian Gilmore Rating

·                     Plot Synopsis: Volcanologist professor John Shepherd comes to realize that recent unexplainable volcanic activity the world over is the start of a coming global catastrophe which could lead to mankind's extinction. Assisted by several of his students and a wheelchair-bound colleague, the professor sets out to gather the evidence needed to convince government officials that a worst case scenario is unfolding. Can he convince the Powers That Be that the end is near, devise a plan to potentially prevent Armageddon, and save his own troubled marriage before time runs out?

 

Product Details

Polar Storm (2009)

Jack Coleman , Holly Dignard , Paul Ziller    PG-13   DVD

·                     Run Time: 93 minutes

Product Description

When a piece of the massive comet ''Copernicus'' collides with the Earth, it knocks the planet off of its axis and unleashes a disaster never before witnessed in recent history. Dr. James Mayfield (Jack Coleman) and his highly trained research team are the only ones who can re-align the axis. With the life of his teenage son and his beloved wife on the line, the only way James can save his family from the unthinkable is to save the world.

 

The Core (Full Screen Edition)

The Core  (2003)

Aaron Eckhart , Hilary Swank , Jon Amiel    PG-13   DVD

·                     Run Time: 135 minutes

FEAR IS IN THE AIR AS RESEARCH REVEALS THE EARTH'S CORE ISSTALLED AND UNLESS IT GETS A JUMPSTART, THE WORLD WILL BURN.THE WORLD'S LAST POSSIBLE CHANCE RESTS ON THE SHOULDERS OF ATEAM OF "TERRANAUTS," WHO TRAVEL TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH TOTRY AND SAVE THE PLANET.

 

Editorial Reviews

Smarter than Armageddon and equally extreme, The Core is high-tech Hollywood hokum at its finest. It's scientifically ridiculous, but this variant of Fantastic Voyage at least tries to be credible as it plunges deep into the earth's inner core, where a formulaic team of experts pilot an earth-boring ship to jump-start the planet's spinning molten interior, now stalled by a military secret that could seal the fate of all humankind. It's a geophysicist's wet dream that only a fine ensemble cast could rescue from absurdity, and director Jon Amiel (Entrapment, Copycat) draws excellent work (and plenty of humorous interplay) from Aaron Eckhart, Hilary Swank, Stanley Tucci, Delroy Lindo, and a host of memorable supporting players, especially The New Guy's D.J. Qualls as the world's greatest cyber-nerd. With enough digital F/X disasters to satisfy anyone's apocalyptic fantasies, this is a popcorn thriller with all the bells and whistles that its genre demands. Sit back, pump up the volume, and enjoy the dazzling ride. --Jeff Shannon

 

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Armageddon (1998)

Bruce Willis , Billy Bob Thornton , Michael Bay    Unrated   DVD

·                     Run Time: 150 minutes

Product Description

From the blockbuster-making team who produced and directed PEARL HARBOR and THE ROCK (Jerry Bruckheimer and Michael Bay) comes the biggest movie of 1998 -- ARMAGEDDON!

Starring the explosive talents of Bruce Willis (DIE HARD), Academy Award(R)-winners Ben Affleck (GOOD WILL HUNTING) and Billy Bob Thornton (SLING BLADE), Liv Tyler (INVENTING THE ABBOTTS), Steve Buscemi (CON AIR), and Will Patton (INVENTING THE ABBOTTS), ARMAGEDDON is a meteor storm of action-adventure moviemaking that has you on the edge of your seat forgetting to breathe! When NASA's executive director, Dan Truman (Thornton), realizes the Earth has 18 days before it's obliterated by a meteor the size of Texas, he has only one option -- land a ragtag team of roughneck oil drillers on the asteroid and drop a nuclear warhead into its core. Spectacular special effects, laugh-out-loud humor, great characters, riveting storytelling, and heartfelt emotion make ARMAGEDDON an exhilarating thrill ride you'll want to experience like there's no tomorrow.

 Super Nova (2006) (172 Minutes)

Supernova (2005)

Luke Perry , Tia Carrere , John Harrison | Unrated | DVD

      Run Time: 172 minutes

Plot: AN ASTROPHYSICIST HAS MADE A CATACLYSMIC DISCOVERY: THE SUN ISSET TO EXPLODE, BRINGING ABOUT THE END OF CIVILIZATION. AS ATEAM OF FELLOW SCIENTISTS RACE AGAINST TIME TO STOP HIS PREDICTIONS FROM COMING TRUE, THE WORLD IS ALREADY BECOMING A WHIRLING INFERNO OUT OF CONTROL.

Review:

Supernova

HERE COMES THE SUN, January 15, 2006 By Michael Butts (Berkeley Springs, WV USA) -
This review is from: Supernova (DVD)

SUPERNOVA is a tv miniseries that runs at almost three hours, and it's a case of less would have been more. The script by Steve Berman is so overloaded with extemporaneous subplots that the focus from the imminent disaster gets sidetracked a little too often. The whole thing with Luke Perry's wife witnessing a serial killer and then her testimony sending him to the death penalty is wholly unnecessary. Anyway, the main plot deals with an impending supernova discovered by brilliant scientist Peter Fonda, based on Perry's calculations. When all the predictions start occurring (migratory patterns change, telecommunications and blackouts, etc.), seems like the earth's goose is cooked. Disaster flick fans should be pleased with the decimation of such cities as St. Louis, Paris, Sydney and the Taj Mahal, and the computer generated effects of the sun's eruptions is visually beautiful if unrealistic. Of course, the nasty government gets involved with Tia Carrere as a Security Agent who whisks Perry and other scientists off in an attempt to prove or disprove Fonda's findings. Lance Hendrickson struts his villainous stuff as a man who will be responsible for deciding who will live in underground facilities to repopulate the earth after the disaster, and Emma Samms is the maverick crusading reporter who is determined to let the public know the truth. The resolution of the supernova is kind of ridiculous, and the movie's climax focuses on the serial killer. All in all, it's not horrible, but it fails to give us what disaster movies should: impending doom for people we care or don't care about and this is where SUPERNOVA fizzles.

2.0 out of 5 stars Supernova: Lukewarm Apocalypse, February 12, 2006 By

Revelation Magazine (fourthhorsemanpress.com) - See all my reviews

This review is from: Supernova (DVD)

Supernova doesn't seem to quite know what it's trying to be and as a result never quite succeeds on any level. As a disaster epic, it can never quite match the visuals of big screen offerings that have dealt out similar levels of global destruction. The sequences of the sun's increasing activity are pretty enough to look at but never convince and feel disconnected from the rest of the action. And scenes of the Eiffel Tower, Taj Mahal and Sydney Opera House being destroyed by giant fireballs descending from the sky are largely unnecessary, only further detracting from the believability of the whole endeavor with some average at best effects work. It's at its best when it presents the aftermath of the effects of the sun's activity on a smaller scale, emphasizing the human drama amongst the chaos that ensues.

The science behind the storyline seems rather shaky at best, as evidenced by a key scene involving a piece of elementary and unconvincing mathematics. This could, however, be overlooked if the treatment of the scenario of a sun about to consume our solar system was in itself engaging. Here again, though, Supernova is only a partial success. The notion of an underground hive intended to ensure mankind's survival if life above ground were to become unsustainable is one of the more interesting themes on offer, and so it's a shame it's never fully explored. Instead, there are a number of subplots and situations of varying levels of interest. Of these, Shepard's ruminations on his island retreat are amongst the most poignant as he contemplates his life and work and awaits an end he deems inevitable; his final scene is poorly executed, however, and only detracts from what has gone before. And the plot surrounding a horribly clichéd escaped killer stalking Richardson's family is utterly pointless, providing a "climax" more befitting of a conventional thriller. Perhaps this sought to play safe and provide a recognisable climactic conflict for one of its protagonists, but at this point the movie seems to forget its own premise altogether.

In a variable cast, it is really only the ever-excellent Lance Henriksen who shines, lending sympathy and believable motivation in limited screen time to a character that might very easily have seemed one-dimensional. Luke Perry seems oddly miscast as Dr Richardson and never convinces the viewer of his academic credentials, and neither is his bond to the rest of his family ever properly established. This rendered their subplot all the more uninteresting. Overall, this is an entirely watchable Apocalyptic TV movie so long as you don't think too deeply about it or watch too closely. For the most part, though, it feels like a missed opportunity that could have taken much bolder decisions and been far more affecting as result. Lukewarm at best.

--Adam Chamberlain
Revelation Magazine

10.5 Apocalypse (2007) (169 Minutes)
Kim Delaney , Dean Cain , John Lafia | Unrated | DVD

Run Time: 169 minutes

 

Plot:

10.5 Apocalypse explodes in a shockwave of thrills, blazing action and exciting special effects. Sequel to "10.5" - the highest rated miniseries of the 2003/2004 television series.

 

Reviews

DOOMSDAY DISASTER, September 20, 2006 By Michael Butts

This review is from: 10.5: Apocalypse (DVD)

This sequel to 10.5 is a disaster freak's dream come true. We get destruction of Hoover Dam; Las Vegas sinks into the sand; Mount Rushmore crumbles, and Houston is dessimated.

While probably not geologically accurate, I found the movie pretty much enjoyable except for the too lengthy rescue sequence in Las Vegas, but the first half and the final third are pretty involving. There are no super star performances, but you get adequate ones from Kim Delaney, Frank Langella, Dean Cain, Oliver Hudson, Beau Bridges and Carlos Bernard. The CGI effects are pretty decent and although some of it is reminiscent of THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE, there have been a lot more disastrous disaster films, so if you're a genre fan, you shouldn't be too disappointed.

 

Is it too late to sign up for no fault insurance?, July 25, 2011 By Einsatz (USA)

This review is from: 10.5: Apocalypse (DVD)

Difficult to watch, I mean that literally, difficult to watch. Someone was misusing the zoom feature on their camera. If I knew who to blame for this annoyance believe me, I'd post their name here. Half of the time they were invading personal space, the other half they were backing way off. I suppose they were attempting to inject some frenetic action in an otherwise static story. It didn't work; instead, it just came off as drunken and disorderly.
As for the story, I could imagine someone with a clipboard checking off all the plot devices they wanted to utilize in this epic of mass distortion. A spate of messy history/rocky relationships, check. Mystified experts, check. Dead volcanoes erupting, double check. Inspirational flag waving sentiments, check. Anomalies of the scary variety, check. A crazy theory that comes complete with an indispensible crazy old coot, check. Reciting numbers with an excitable voice as though numbers alone were drama enough, check, check, check.
I really don't know what they were trying to achieve with this blunder, but a great movie wasn't part of their agenda. Or. They were just incredibly inept. At any rate, with this doomsday scenario everyone is going to have to relearn geography. Since I have no plans to do that and since I've seen Mount Rushmore destroyed about a b-zillion times in various disaster movies, and really don't care what happened in Vegas....although I do wonder how they thought they could lift a scene from The Poseidon Adventure and not have anyone notice!?
Yeah, not a keeper.

 

I Pity You NBC!, September 15, 2010 By Amersoc

This review is from: 10.5: Apocalypse (DVD)

Bad script. Worse science. Throw in some good actors and computer animation to make it seem realistic ... but oh! It doesn't work. Not anymore, NBC. Asteroid was bad. This is worse. You can start with the title, which plagiarizes the title of yet another completely-ignorant-of-science disaster movie, The Day After Tomorrow. (Unlike this, however, TDAT was actually a pretty good movie.)

That in a nutshell describes NBC's 10.5 Apocalypse.

It starts where the original 10.5 left off. Now, I didn't like that movie either, but at least they got right the fact that there is a lot of seismic activity on the West Coast. But then California fell into the ocean. You get the idea that the show's producer got jilted by some Hollywood starlet, and that's why they insisted on destroying Los Angeles and the Hollywood sign. Or, more likely, they just copied every disaster flick since 1990. The scientific problem with that movie is that a.) they turned two fault zones with completely different motions into what is essentially a rift valley, b.) they missed a very good opportunity to show how seismologists actually measure the magnitude of an earthquake - which, by the way, does not increase as the earthquake gets longer, c.) they forgot that nuclear weapons are better at creating or triggering earthquakes than stopping them, and d.) they forgot to realize that magnitude 10.5 earthquakes only happen as the result of asteroid impacts. They could have combined 10.5 and Asteroid and been right about a few things.

Well, apparently the earthquake the seismologists started to stop the West Coast from sinking into the Pacific caused a tsunami. Goodbye Hawaii. Then next, the volcanoes in the Cascades start going off one by one. I suppose they forgot to research that too. Although a movement along the Cascadia subduction zone would feed a little extra crust into the area, resulting in a few extra eruptions perhaps, that process would take at least a hundred (thousand?) years or more. I don't know, I'm not a geologist, but I'm thinking they hurried things up for the sake of time. Well, I suppose that's forgiveable.

This is where we are introduced to a pair of brothers who insist on working out their struggles during the heat of a rescue mission, completely ignoring protocol. Their little argument about who leads the pair will wear you out through the rest of the movie. So ... Sam Hill's father, the great earthquake genius who conveniently predicted everything that happens in the two movies, is stuck in a Las Vegas that is slowly sinking beneath the ground. (Gee, you would have thought he would have gone somewhere he knew was safe.) Meanwhile her boyfriend is reading the temperature of Lake Mead, and instead of calling out a rate of temperature increase, he decides to yell out the temperature every four seconds, making him so stupid that he tells his pilot to fly him below the level of the dam, *after* saying that the dam will break from an earthquake or something. Well, he dies and Sam Hill seems briefly upset. Then she's back onto the mission like nothing happened. Sucks to be him.

Meanwhile, there's a fault line that insists on targeting Mount Rushmore snaking across the Midwest where there is no fault line. Pause.

Wouldn't it make more sense to have the fault start in the New Madrid Seismic Zone, which is where the North American plate attempted to rift itself apart some hundreds of millions of years ago? They could have made their fault follow the course of the Mississippi River! But they didn't. Unpause.

Our famous band of brothers is called in to save other members of the cast in Las Vegas. Conveniently Sam Hill's father is able to make his way up and through the various levels of the building without much help. Our genius/hero is rescued along with a few strippers he brought with him, and the big brother dies a theatrical death, since it was apparently easier to kill one of them than to have them resolve their conflict.

So the Midwestern fault is snaking toward a nuclear reactor. This time, the bright idea is to use explosives that are a million times less powerful than the atomic bombs they used to "save" the West Coast to divert a fault that is about ten times the size of the San Andreas. Yeah, makes a lot of sense. But it works ... briefly and inexplicably so. Nature ultimately wins and splits the nation in two with a 50 mile wide channel of water.

Now, think on this. The fault has probably already killed a few million people, having gone through Dallas and Houston, and it's already destroyed George Washington's stone face on Mt. Rushmore. But the President and his scientist hacks are upset only *after* the fault reaches the Gulf of Mexico? Give me a break. After all those people dying, having a canal through the Midwest, opening up tons of new places for sea trade, imports and exports, plus delivering a whole lot of water (albeit salt water) to the often dry Plains states, seems like a pretty good thing, even if it does split the country in two. So why is everybody so upset about it now? Indonesia is made of at least 10,000 islands. I'm guessing they would all be on Prozac if they saw this movie ... or half a bottle of Ambien. And, of course, we get the comforting speech at the end. It seems to be more of a discourse on the political tensions in the US after the 2004 Presidential election between Kerry and Bush than a fitting end for the movie.

So there you have it. Spoilers and all. I'm very happy to spoil it for you. Now you can go watch a much cooler movie with much better acting and plot, like Twilight.


This Movie is Great!
, March 26, 2011 By YEnde789

This review is from: 10.5: Apocalypse (DVD)

I've had this movie for four years now, and I still love it. Everything about it was great, I love watching it everytime I put it on. Some things needed improvement, but it was something that you don't really notice. Great movie to buy

 

10.5

10.5 (2004) 165 Minutes

Peter Benson , Kendall Cross | Unrated | DVD

     Run Time: 165 minutes

Product Description

Disaster Strikes the United States when an earthquake of epic proportions hits the Pacific Northwest causing the West Coast to separate form the rest of the continent and there is only one man who can save it and 50 Million people for annihilation.System Requirements: Running Time 165 MinFormat: DVD MOVIE Genre: ACTION/ADVENTURE

Editorial Review:

Dismissed by seismologists and roasted by critics, 10.5 offers everything you'd expect from a cheesy camp-classic disaster flick. Originally broadcast on May 2 and 3, 2004, this $20 million NBC sweeps-week miniseries achieved its ratings goal (20 million viewers) by promising a respectable cast and spectacular digital effects to simulate "the Big One"--a series of fault-ripping earthquakes that re-shape the entire West Coast of the United States. The first quake hits Seattle, toppling the Space Needle in a ridiculous opening sequence, and within minutes deep-fault expert Kim Delaney (no doubt regretting her departure from NYPD Blue) is busy convincing the President (Beau Bridges) and his geological advisor (Fred Ward) that only a series of nuclear blasts will "heal the rift" in the shifting tectonic plates. With John Schneider and The West Wing's Dulé Hill in thankless supporting roles, 10.5 deliberately strives for supreme badness, leaving no cliché unturned and cursing its cast with the worst dialogue in miniseries history. It's gloriously awful and uproariously entertaining. 10.5 may not rock your world, but natural disasters were never this much fun. --Jeff Shannon

 

Enjoyable Disaster FIlm, February 20, 2005 By Jim Jr (Buffalo, NY United States) -
This review is from: 10.5 (DVD)

Is this a great film - no, is it enjoyable - yes. The only thing this film asks is that the viewer has an enjoyable time. The producers are not trying to teach lessons about actual earthquakes - so what if a 10.5 is impossible on the Richter scale. What it indicates is that this was a horrible earthquake. So what if the survival camp was set up on a fault line. How many people actually know where fault lines are. There is supposed to be one in my general area in New York State, but none of the general public knows where it is.

Forget all the technical stuff and just sit back and enjoy the film. Laugh at the less than perfect effects and say to yourself that you could do better with your own camcorder in the back yard.

It is almost impossible to be serious about all the disaster films so simply have fun with this one.

 

Product Details

Impact Starring David James Elliott, Natasha Henstridge, et al. (2009) Run Time: 180 minutes
rogue asteroid smashes into the moon in a tremendous explosion of rock and debris. Within days, disastrous abnormalities start happening on Earth. What started as the most beautiful and the largest meteor shower in 10,000 years unexpectedly becomes the catalyst for a potential collison between the moon and planet Earth. The world's leading scientists, Alex Kittner (David James Elliott, TV's JAG) and Maddie Rhodes (Natasha Henstridge, Species) have 39 days to stop the moon's course or the Earth - - and all of mankind - - will perish. Also starring James Cromwell. The countdown is on.

Better Than Average Disaster Movie, October 20, 2009 By C. F. Hill "CFH" (South-Central, PA USA)
This review is from: Impact (Amazon Instant Video)

"Impact" was originally a made for TV mini-series so it is lacking the big Hollywood studio "feel". This is actually a good thing if you want the drama and character development that is possible in a movie that is 3 hours and 10 minutes long.

No plot spoilers from me; the movie centers on the events that occur immediately after what is believed to be an asteroid hits the moon (which happens very shortly after the movie starts), the effects it has on the earth, and the efforts of the governments and scientists of the world to set things right... before the world is destroyed.

I am a Sci-Fi and disaster movie junkie, so I likely rated this higher than many movie purists would since there are a lot of scientific faults, implausible events, and has almost every cliché from just about every other disaster movie. The special effects ranged from laughable to outstanding, but the cinematography was actually very good. The acting was right on par for a TV movie and the characters well played and given time to develop.

While all movies of this type require some suspension of disbelief, there were several things that bothered me more than the obvious technical and scientific flaws, and the biggest was the portrayal of the government and military leaders as obstructionist and paranoid to the point where they would risk the lives of every person on the planet. That is a cliché that needs to be let go of.

Overall, this was a watchable and even enjoyable movie if you are a disaster movie fan.


A good SciFy Desaster Movie
, November 29, 2009 By Bobby G. Bristoe (Ellettsville Indiana)
This review is from: Impact (DVD)

I really enjoyed this movie. The science behind the science fiction, was flawed, however, saying that, the acting and the story line where both superb.

Don't watch this movie for the science, watch it for entertainment, like you would watch Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter. It has happiness, sadness, and love, all the things that make up a good movie. The movie is as long as Gone with the Wind, and will keep you interested from start to finish.

Product Details

Knowing (2009) Run Time: 121 minutes

Nicolas Cage , Rose Byrne | PG-13 | DVD
A college professor (Nicolas Cage) opens a time capsule that has been dug up at his son s elementary school. In it are some chilling accurate predictions of disasters... when, where, and how many will die. Most of these events must uncover the details of the next disasters in hopes of preventing them. If he fails, who knows how many will die?

Editorial Reviews

Nicolas Cage stars in this largely unsatisfying science-fiction tale that begins as a taut and spooky story concerning psychic legacies and ends up falling back on Steven Spielberg's old, cosmic playbook for default explanations about weird phenomena. Cage stars as astrophysicist and widower John Koestler, whose young son attends a school where a 50-year-old time capsule is dug up and opened. Koestler's son, Caleb (Chandler Canterbury), is given an envelope from the capsule containing a sheet of paper inscribed with seemingly-random numbers. Koestler interprets groupings of the numbers as prophesies (made in 1959) of disasters leading up to a globally catastrophic event late in 2009. Moreover, some of the later tragedies involve him or members of his family, suggesting the paper was meant to fall into his and Caleb's hands. That’s not the only freaky thing drawing father and son in a direction they really don't want to go. Among other things, a quartet of mute strangers keeps showing up with a powerful interest in Caleb's whereabouts, and the daughter and granddaughter of the little girl who originally scribbled those numbers in 1959 are under the shadow of a separate prediction of doom. Everything goes swimmingly until it's time for director Alex Proyas (The Crow) to begin tying up all the strings, and cliches start falling like rain. On the plus side, Knowing includes a couple of breathtaking scenes of calamity, the most horrifying (and realistic) of which is a jet crash the likes of which has never been committed to film. --Tom Keogh

 

Warning!!! READ THIS REVIEW BEFORE YOU READ ANY OTHERS!!!, July 11, 2009 By Arlee Bird This review is from: Knowing (DVD)

Why read this first? Because hopefully there are no spoilers here. In so many of the reviews for this movie, as well as others on Amazon, people seemed compelled to give a total synopsis of the movie all the way up to the end -- especially if they didn't like the movie. It's like if they didn't care for it, then nobody else needs to see it. Well, I'm glad that I didn't read any of the reviews here before watching KNOWING because I enjoyed not knowing and being able to decide for myself. And my opinion is that KNOWING is a very fine movie.

The previews tell you what you need to know: A time capsule which contains school children's drawings about what they think things will be like in 50 years is opened in the present day. An astrophysicist (Nicholas Cage)gets hold of one submission which is a lengthy series of numbers. He discovers that the numbers predict future disasters, most which have happened, but a few that are still to come. His mission becomes to avert the disasters. There-- that's all you need to know about the story, now sit back and enjoy the movie.

Here's what I am knowing:
1) If you hate Nicholas Cage you will hate the movie.
2) If you are a total science fiction geek you may not like this film as for me it was more spiritual than scifi.
3) If you don't like spiritual things, don't like God or the Bible, or don't want to be thinking about anything like this then you should stay away from the movie.
4) If major disasters are something you don't want to watch a movie about then this one is not for you.
5) If you prefer mindless comedy or romance, Knowing probably won't be at the top of your list.
6) This was my kind of movie-- I was thrilled, entertained, and uplifted in the end. I rented it, but I will probably want to add this to my collection.

 

Product Details

Moon Starring Sam Rockwell, Kevin Spacey, Dominique McElligott, et al. (2010)
Run Time: 97 minutes
Sam Bell (Sam Rockwell) is nearing the completion of his 3-year-long contract with Lunar Industries, mining Earth's primary source of energy on the dark side of the moon. Alone with only the base's vigilant computer Gerty (voiced by Oscar-Winner Kevin Spacey, 1999 Best Actor, American Beauty) as his sole companion, Bell's

extended isolation has taken its toll. His only link to the outside world comes from satellite messages from his wife and young daughter. He longs to return home, but a terrible accident on the lunar surface leads to a disturbing discovery that contributes to his growing sense of paranoia and dislocation so many miles away from home. Moon is an engrossing, intelligent sci-fi thriller that ranks with genre classics like 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Editorial Reviews

Science fiction can encompass many genres--suspense, horror, action-adventure, romance, even comedy--but director Duncan Jones's Moon doesn't fit neatly into any of them. This smart, provocative film has no aliens or cool spaceships, and the effects (mostly consisting of model vehicles lumbering across the lunar surface) aren't all that special; instead, the material is character- and story-driven, centering on an excellent, multilayered performance by Sam Rockwell. The scene is some undetermined point in the future. Rockwell plays Sam Bell, an employee of Lunar Industries, the company responsible for mining a fusion energy source called Helium-3, which is vital to Earth's efforts to reverse a serious energy crisis and can only be found on the far side of the Moon. Sam is all by himself, and as he nears the end of his three-year contract, the solitude is starting to get to him ("Three years is a long haul," he says. "Way, way, way too long. I'm talking to myself on a regular basis"); his only contact with his wife and daughter back home comes through the occasional video messages he exchanges with them, while his sole interaction on the Moon is with GERTY 3000, a computer voiced by Kevin Spacey (and an obvious parallel to 2001: A Space Odyssey's HAL 9000). Things start to go seriously sideways when Sam crashes his vehicle while out inspecting one of the giant Helium-3 harvesters. He comes to in the base infirmary, seemingly none the worse for the wear; but an unnerving surprise awaits him when he goes back to check out the accident site, and the resulting complications occupy the rest of the movie. Fans of 2001, Solaris, and other cerebral sci-fi will enjoy figuring out what's going on; others will find it slow-moving and tedious. Either way, Moon, which was made quickly and on a relatively low budget, is well worth a look. --Sam Graham

 

Product Details

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) Runtime: 2 hours 29 minutes


 The sci-fi masterpiece from acclaimed producer/director Stanley Kubrick about a space voyage to Jupiter that turns chaotic when a computer enhanced with artificial intelligence takes over

Sci-Fi filmmaking was never the same after "2001", August 29, 2000 By C. ANZIULEWICZ "Chuck Anziulewicz" (Spring Hill, WV USA) This review is from: 2001: Space Odyssey (DVD)

In the summer of 1969, when I was all of ten years old, Mom & Dad bundled all us kids into the white Oldsmobile station wagon and drove to the Rockville (Maryland) Drive-In to see "2001: A Space Odyssey." I didn't know much about the film, but as a budding sci-fi fan I was already champing at the bit to see it. Needless to say, "2001" rearranged my universe. I can't say I understood the movie completely at the time, but I do recall talking my parents' ears off about the film during the drive home.

"2001" is personally my favorite movie of all time. I've seen it more times than I can count, purchased the soundtrack several times (vinyl and tape wear out, you know), read Arthur C. Clarke's novelization several times, and read every other piece of literature about the film I've been able to get my hands on.

And recently my partner Greg purchased this "Stanley Kubrick Collection" DVD from Amazon, and it was just last night that we sat down to watch it on our new 32-inch TV and in 5.1 digital sound. What a treat! First of all the print is about as pristine as anything I've ever seen; this movie probably looks better today on DVD than it did in many suburban movie theatres back in 1969. I was immediately struck my how sharp the image was, especially the clean lines of the monolith that appears mysteriously amongst our australopithicine ancestors 4.5 million years ago. While watching this film last night, Greg lamented the fact that kids today who grow up on nothing but CGI effects in science fiction movies may never have a true appreciation for the fine art of model-building; the Orion shuttle, the Discovery ship and its attendant space pods, are stunning examples of elegance in design. The Aries 1-B moon shuttle looks like it ought to have been built and flying by now. The docking sequence with the rotating space station, to the oddly appropriate strains of "The Blue Danube Waltz," look just as clean and modern as anything being filmed today.

The pop cultural impact of "2001" cannot me overstated. Is it any wonder that over 30 years after the film's initial release, Richard Strauss' tone poem "Also Sprauch Zarathustra" is still associated with space travel?

"2001: A Space Odyssey" was released at a time when there was still a huge sense of wonder and optimism about space travel and exploration. Alas, in the intervening years shifting economic, political and military priorities have eroded much of that wonder and optimism. I wonder if any of us will ever again be able to look up at the stars with as much hope and exhilaration as we had when "2001" first hit the screens.

2010: The Year We Make Contact (1984) 

Starring: Roy Scheider, John Lithgow

Runtime: 1 hour 56 minutes

An American astronaut is sent on a joint U.S.-Soviet space mission to Jupiter to find out what happened to the missing crew of the original Jupiter mission

 

"...I Want To Play A Game With You Dr. Floyd...It's Called The Truth...", August 21, 2009 By Mark Barry, Reckless Records, London (UK) This review is from: 2010: The Year We Make Contact [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
When MGM began making "2010: The Year We Make Contact" in February 1984, the CD was in its infancy, nothing was digital and portable and the Internet and the global sharing of ideas and images was non-existent. Showing its film age badly - in one particular scene Roy Schreider even talks of information being given to his astronauts on 'cassettes' - on board a Jupiter spaceship mission for God's sake! Even the television monitors were black screens with monosyllabic block lettering on them and nothing else... Why mention all of this, because it has of course - in some places - dated the film very badly...

But - and this is a big but - for its time (finally released in 1985), "2010" was an extraordinary vision and a technological marvel. It provided the moviegoer with a superbly detailed and realistic depiction of future space travel, shots of the majestic Jupiter and its moons Io and Europa that were and still are incredibly accurate. Even the story of the Americans and Russians coming together so as not to annihilate each other was both relevant and damn good - and made for a great end message by Bowman (Keir Dullea - who looked like he hadn't aged a day since 1968's original "2001"). Throw in model makers from the Star Wars Trilogy, Raiders Of The Lost Ark, Poltergeist and Ghostbusters - and the goodies were bound to be on display and they are. Which brings us unfortunately to the bad news...

...this is one of those instances where the enhanced BLU RAY image has only worsened an already hazy print...

You see - once you go from the entirely model-led outside shots (say of outer space) which are clean, beautiful and impressive to look at - into the interior shots and live action on dimly-lit stages - the blurriness and shading act as a direct contrast to the clarity you just saw - it drive you nuts. And because a good 70 to 80% of the movie is 'inside' - the effect of the wonderfully realized and designed interiors is almost completely lost. It's like watching Aliens without the clarity - or Star Wars on blurry videotape. It's as if a heavy filter hangs over every frame - and it makes the BLU RAY picture feel and look very dated.

Don't get me wrong - the picture 'is' lovely in some places - but in the main - it's not - which is a huge disappointment.

The only real extra is a 10-minute 1984 'making of' called "2010; The Odyssey Continues" which is fascinating and contains very brief interviews with all the principals - Roy Scheider as Dr. Floyd, Helen Mirren as the Russian pilot Tanya, John Lithgow as Dr. Curnow, Elya Baskin as the loveable Russian Max, Bob Balaban as Chandra the genius who created Hal-9000 - Discovery's malfunctioning computer (voiced by Douglas Rain). There's interesting stuff too with Richard Edlund the model maker - the make-up people - interior designs - even words from author Arthur C Clarke and director Peter Hyams about the screenwriting process in 1983 when they were prepping for the film.

I really had such high hopes for this BLU RAY release, but unfortunately I'd say hire it first before you buy...

The film was - and still is - excellent - an impressive one even. But this BLU RAY reissue of it is anything but.

It's not "full of stars" folks, it's pushing three.

And what a shame that Roy Scheider is no longer with us...

 

Product Details

Space Cowboys (2000) Starring Clint Eastwood, Tommy Lee Jones, Donald Sutherland, James Garner  Runtime: 2 hours 11 minutes

A Russian satellite is having problems with its' guidance system. The technology is dated, and the only one that has a solution to the problem is the person that designed it. That person is Clint Eastwood, and he has a hard time comprehending how they got a hold of classified information, but agrees to do what he can to help as long as they include his other buddies that were never given the chance to be in space. Tommy Lee Jones, James Garner, and Donald Sutherland are his partners in crime, and the situations and antics they get into are hilarious.

What a stellar cast, and the supporting cast is just as impressive with James Cromwell, Marcia Gay Harden, and William Devane. This film is very entertaining, well acted, and has many memorable moments. It is one you will enjoy time after time.

 

Marooned (1970) Actors: Gregory Peck, Richard Crenna, David Janssen, James Franciscus, Gene Hackman
Run Time: 134 minutes

Science-fiction drama about a three-man team of American astronauts who are stranded in orbit 200 miles above the Earth when their ship's engines fail, and the desperate global race to rescue them. Gregory Peck, Gene Hackman, David Janssen, and James Franciscus star

 

Product Details

Silent Running (1972) Bruce Dern , Cliff Potts , Douglas Trumbull | G
Run Time: 89 minutes
An intelligent science-fiction movie with breathtaking special effects and an important message. Bruce Dern is a scientist taking Earth's final vegetation samples to a space station in orbit before they are destroyed. Directed by Douglas Trumbull, the special effects whiz of "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" and "2001: A Space Odyssey.

 

 

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2012: Supernova (2010)

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Stonehenge Apocalypse (2010)

NYC: Tornado Terror (2010)

Below the Earth’s Surface (2010) (90 Minutes)

 

Megafault (2009) (90 Minutes)

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The Deadly Shift (2008)

 

Storm Cell (2007) (92 Minutes)
Killer Wave (2007) (175 Minutes)

Disaster Zone Volcano in New York (2007) (92 Minutes)
Nuclear Hurricane (2007)


Absolute Zero (2006) (89 Minutes)

Earth Storm (2006) (89 Minutes)

 

Solar Attack (2005) (91 Minutes)

The Volcano Disaster (2005)

After Shock Earthquake in New York (1999) (170 Minutes)

 

Night of the Twisters (1996)  (91 Minutes)

Meteor (1979) (107 Minutes)



Journey to the Center of the Earth (1959) (129 Minutes) (James Mason)
Journey to the Center of the Earth (198?) (89 Minutes)(Rickey Schroder)
Journey to the Center of the Earth (2008) (92 Minutes) (Brandon Frasier)



Race to Mars (2007) (180 Minutes)
Mission to Mars (2000) (114 Minutes)
Red Planet (2000) (106 Minutes)

The Andromeda Strain (1971)  [Remake: The Andromeda Strain Miniseries (2008)]

Marooned (1969) Remake: [Capricorn One (2008)]
Forbidden Planet (1956)

When Worlds Collide (1951)
The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) Remake: [The Day the Earth Stood Still (20101)]

War of the Worlds (1949)  Remake: [The War of the Worlds (2009]