Saturday, August 7, 2010

#1. Armageddon (1998)

DVD Synopsis: When NASA's executive director, Dan Truman (Billy Bob 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.

So, why, of all films, did I choose Michael Bay’s Armageddon as the movie to kick off this little mega-fest of mine? 

Honestly, I’m not sure. 

It’s hard to argue with those critics who, upon its release in 1998, called Armageddondumb”, “loud”, “jingoistic”, and “an all-out assault on the senses” (and those were the ones who liked it. No joke…I’m dead serious). I guess it’s because I’ve always had a soft spot for disaster films, no matter how outlandish their premise might be, and besides, even the most jaded individual is sure to crack at least a dozen smiles watching insane characters undertake hopeless missions in the loudest possible environments. I know my smiles numbered at least 3X that many.



Matthew Dowling said...

Agreed. There is something special about Armageddon, even if it is undefinable. Perhaps it's the cast, or the characters, or the simplistic story of oil rough necks doing their part to save the planet. Maybe, it's just a film that came at a moment right before America hit the crossroads of economic strife, and is a throwback to a much more innocent and simpler time?
I don't know, but this is the 2nd Bluray I bought after Independence Day and before Back to the Future, and it's good fun, truest test of our ability to "suspend our disbelief".

Personally, I could do without the Animal Cracker scene between Afleck and Tyler...

Dave Becker said...

It's just one of those movies that you kinda roll your eyes at when you think about it, but when you watch it, you're hooked right in. Stories like this (heroism in the face of insurmountable odds) usually do work for me, regardless of their overall quality (confession time: I also really enjoyed VOLCANO).

I don't have the Blu-Ray for this or ID4. Man, I should REALLY do something about that!

Some great thoughts on the movie there. Thanks so much for posting them.

Anonymous said...

Doctor Shock ---------------

* Incredible and welcoming news about Horror Jungle I am tickled that you revered away from the Southern Boy

* I took some time and looked through many of your movie posts and wondered what was the first movie ever posted and it was this. Horror is my first love but Science Fiction is a close second and I had to commment here. I would like to know who called this movie in your words "“dumb”, “loud”, “jingoistic”" because that is ludacris. I can tell you movies like this are "escapist" in quality and I really love them. There has only been two movies I have ever cried in and this is one of them. The chemistry between Willis/Tyler was impeccable. The ending was a complete surprise with the whole movie being exciting and exhilarating. This movie is a 10 and I would dispute anyone that says this movie is "“dumb”, “loud”, “jingoistic”"

* Thank you very much for putting a podcast together so quickly for us horror crazed minds. It is greatly appreciated.

Christian from Oklahoma

Dave Becker said...

@Christian: Thanks for stopping by, and for the comment. I appreciate it.

The remarks were lifted from critical reviews I found on Rotten Tomatoes (, and what I said was true: “dumb”, “loud”, and “jingoistic” appeared in the reviews of critics who liked the film! Others weren't nearly as "kind"!

I think it's mindless fun, and a real good time, and while a lot of people think the ending scene between Willis And Tyler is way too over-the-top, I admit I get a lump in my throat as well whenever I see it.

As for the podcast, the real thanks goes to fans like yourself, who supported us these past 7 months. It's for you that we're putting this new show together.

Thanks for listening, and take care.

Jill Durocher said...

This is one of the best "End of the World Summer Disaster" movies ever made. Bruce WIllis and Billy Bob Thornton saving the world. What else could you ask for?

Dave B. said...

Jill: Thanks for stopping by!

And I agree...Bruce Willis drilling on an asteroid in space? With Steve Buscemi and Ben Affleck? Who could ask for more!

Juan Esparza said...

Ha! I loved that you started your journey with Armageddon. It's probably the best popcorn summer blockbuster ever. It doesn't matter that it's "dumb" or "loud", it is what it is and it succeeds at it with flying colors. This is one that I re-watch constantly.