In 1998, "Armageddon" was the second highest grossing movie that year (to date: $201 million), just behind "Saving Private Ryan" (to date: $216 million). It has since grossed $554 million worldwide.
The original Touchstone DVD release was non-anamorphic. The Criterion release was slightly improved, but still the video was non-anamorphic. This long awaited blu ray release is worth the wait, and represents the definitive version of this movie.
Video: This 1080p AVC MPEG-4 transfer (aspect ratio 2.35:1) looked fantastic, considering the age of this movie. The blacks are inky black with lots of details. The picture was full of vibrant colour. The special effects, although dated, still looked awesome. (4.5/5)
Audio: The DTS MA 5.1 mix is much improved from the previous lossy Dolby Digital mix. The result was simply awesome. One could close one's eyes, and just hear discrete sound from individual speakers. The bass also rocked the entire house. To hear Aerosmith singing their #1 hit "I Don't Want To Miss A Thing" was very satisfying. (4.5/5)
"Armageddon" is a fun fun adrenaline-filled pop-corn film experience with stunning imagery. This blu ray video is totally superior to all previous "Armageddon" home video releases, which featured non-anamorphic video. They looked so bad today that I do not even feel like a double dip. If you like explosions, space shuttles, with a love story, this is the movie for you.
One minor point: When the Russian astronaut banged on the computer in the Space Shuttle to restart the engine, he noticed that the parts were "Made in Taiwan". And when I looked at the 3D glasses that I sneaked out from IMAX a few weeks ago, guess what, they were also "made in Taiwan". Some things simply don't change.
This blu ray disc is highly recommended.
"So kiss me and smile for me
Tell me that you'll wait for me
Hold me like you'll never let me go"
Leaving On A Jet Plane Lyrics - John Denver
Once again the world is threatened by Armageddon. A dangerous asteroid, it is heading straight for Earth. Our only hope will be to send a team of roughneck drillers to dig a hole big enough to place a bomb and shatter the meteor.
This movie is lots of fun on many levels. It is a parody of disaster movies; however the characters don't know that they are parody and play it straight. This allows us to have fun without having to listen to a bunch of campy over-the-top one-liners that don't match the movie. It's a father daughter story; and of all things the father would have to be Bruce Willis who brings his killer formula to the story and fits his part perfectly. The daughter played by Liv Tyler (before her The Lord of the Rings fame) adds a great catalyst to the story. The rest of the team is rounded off by contemporary actors of which you will recognize immediately.
The graphics and action both explosive and human will hold you to the end.
This movie is worth watching over again so you can see the nuances that were missed the first time through.
on June 5, 2004
While Deep Impact gave me more of an experience, and it more the type of movie I'd watch at home, Armageddon is more the type of movie the mainstream movie-going public wanted back in the 98. Armageddon serves as effective action movie, a very effect romance movie, and all-around great pop-corn flick.
Armageddon is based on the Idea of an asteroid on a collision course with earth and a team odf deep sea oil drillers (lead by bruce willis) that is sent along with a team of traditional astronauts to land on the asteroid and plant nukes to destroy it. if this sounds familiar it's because it was done very similarly though with a different attitude in "Deep Impact" which was released around the same time. While "Deep Impact" was a Disaster movie in every way, focusing on the effects of this natural disaster on society, individuals lives and the world in general... Armageddon is told from a more... "hollywood" viewfinder.
Instead of taking on the persona of a disaster flick, Armageddon does a nice job of transitioning a sci-fi/disaster movie plot as a medium via which to deliver an action romance movie. The romance in Armageddon is done well, with Bruce Willis's daughter and one of his crew being involved in a passionate love affair that is going on underneath daddy's nose. The 'disaproving father' dynamic isn't the most original but makes an interesting emotional angle, especially at the end. The effects in armageddon are good, but the movie is more centered around the action-based and love-inspired events of our characters rather than the ramifications this disasterous event would have on our planet. You'll see some nice CGI impacts, but most of the effects are space based here.
The real way in which armageddon becomes a good movie is the way the action, romance and intermittent humor is in a very nice balance throughout. You'll laugh... you'll cry (or want to cry)... and you'll be on the edge of your seat more than once. This is what the mainstream asks of a movie, and in the end is the main reason Armageddon is remembered as being better than deep impact by most people I know. Indeed Armageddon does feel like a better, more consisten cinematic endevour than it's rival, though it lacks many dimensions to it that "Deep Impact" picked up perfectly.
All things considered most people will be pleased with Armageddon, whether you're looking for a fun, action movie to pass the time, or a heart throbbing romance. The end of the movie will leave you feeling satisfied, and entertained, where as the end of Deep Immpact will leave you feeling sad and disconcerted as you ponder the sobering realities of the basis of the plot. I saw this movie in the theater and everyone enjoyed it.
on May 28, 2004
After watching Armageddon I am sort of reminded of the release of The Arrival and Independence Day where both movies dealt with a similar plot and one tried to be somewhat realistic while the other went the campy B route. The same can be said of Deep Impact and Armageddon. Like Independence Day, Armageddon is a big budget B movie. Also like Independence Day, it is a lot of fun.
In this movie an unseen comet slams into the Asteroid Belt and sends a bunch of rocks toward Earth. A brief, but very destructive, meteor shower precedes the main event that will be played by an asteroid the size of Texas. In the eighteen days that Earth has left a team of the world's fines oil drillers is assembled and sent into space to plant a nuke to blow up the asteroid. A simple plot.
During the course of the movie we realize that the writers no nothing about Oil drilling, oil companies, astronomy, NASA, gravity, or most any other topic raised in the movie. There are a number of things I found particularly amusing. The first was the rough-neck driller (Bruce Willis) who is also the owner of the Drilling Company and drilling rig and is also a multi-millionaire. The rest of the drillers also seem to earn far more that their real-life counterparts. I was also amused at the fact that with all life on Earth being threatened, including bacteria, that the President of the United States has the authority to scrap the mission to save the world (there are at least five countries directly involved in the operation).
Among some of the other amusing points are the space shuttles (with a metal skin and not ceramic tiles) have the maneuverability of an F-14 Tomcat. They do some wonderful daredevil flying that is a credit to Top Gun (and without atmosphere yet). The asteroid, which resembles a giant black snowflake, has some gravity. There is enough that people don't move any differently than on Earth but little enough that a jump can carry you for miles or break out of the gravity well. Then there is the aging space station that blows up. Although the fuel is in a pod at the end of a long extension, there seems to be highly explosive material in every inch of the station. The first meteor that hits lands next to a guy arguing with another guy. The other guy is struck dead (no pun intended) and resulting in a hole that goes through to the subway system but leaves the first guy just a little dusty.
While Armageddon is a B movie it does have elements of other classic films including The Right Stuff. I also liked the pro NASA and pro Space Program plugs that keep popping up (Thornton is excellent). This is a fun movie but the plot and continuity have more holes than the average storm-door screen. If you want a fun movie, this is the one to watch, if you want something a bit more serious, check out Deep Impact instead.
on May 24, 2004
Director: Michael Bay
Cast: Bruce Willis, Ben Affleck, Billy Bob Thornton, Liv Tyler, Will Patton, Steve Buscemi, Michael Clarke Duncan.
Running Time: 151 minutes.
Rated PG-13 for violence and some language.
"Armageddon" opens with a NASA spacecraft being torn apart by numerous small asteroids, destroying the ship and killing all of the inhabitants. Large cities across the country are then bombarded with meteors, causing NASA to investigate the strange phenomenom. They conclude that a massive, mother asteroid the size of Texas is on course to directly hit the planet Earth, killing all civilization and life as they know it.
NASA excecutive director Dan Truman (Thornton) decides that the best way to defend the world against this devastating threat is to hire a group of oil diggers (?) and actually send them onto the meteor (?) in order to plant an explosive inside the middle of it (?) so it can be destroyed before it makes contact. Bruce Willis stars in an adequate performance as the leader of the ragtag team of riggers, taking his team (which includes daughter Tyler and her lover Affleck) to the core of the planet's brink of elimination. While the story is so farfetched and ridiculous to be that realistic, fine performances throughout coupled with some hilarious, quirky dialogue saves this film from being a run-of-the-mill special effects guru blockbuster.
Superb special effects, riveting and off-the-wall cinematography created by the one-and-only director Michael Bay ("The Rock"), a fantastic musical score featuring the Aerosmith great, "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing", and a touching, powerful ending. Fun, enjoyable; this rock-em, sock-em roller-coaster of a film is what summer movie-going is all about--even if its on DVD.
on April 17, 2004
What would you do if you knew that tomorrow the world was going to come to an end? Who would you talk to? What would you accomplish or attempt to accomplish before the end was to come? Where would you place yourself as you waited for that fateful moment to arrive? These are the questions that are constantly ignored within disasters films throughout the history of cinema and most recently in the latest surge of disaster flicks that have ranged from erupting volcanoes to catastrophic natural disasters to world-ending cosmic forces such as asteroids and comets colliding with Earth, thus ending all life on this planet. 1998 was a classic year in which two disaster films faced off against each other within a two month time span dealing with the same basic plot line (space-rock colliding with Earth while a space team tries to prevent such a disaster from occurring) but selling each one in a decidedly different style and audience base. The first was Deep Impact (Dreamworks) which rushed out of the gate with $40 million in its opening weekend but failed to show legs by ending its run with $140 million. Less then two months later, Jerry Bruckheimer set to conquer space with his action-drama, Armageddon, and show how these disasters flicks are to be done correctly.
The story centers around the rag-tag team of "astronauts" that are sent into space to divert a space rock from colliding with Earth, which, in result, would end most life on the planet, if not all. It seems like any other day in New York City ... That is before large explosions occur throughout the city destroying office buildings and towering structures and resulting in the deaths of hundreds, if not thousands, of individuals. The United States Government, believing this to be an attack of terrorism, asks NASA to discover the source of the problem but when they do, they get a decisively different answer then they had ever anticipated. What caused the explosions in New York weren't missiles ... they were small meteorites (about the size of basketballs) that trailed off the enormous asteroid (about the size of Texas) that is on a direct collision course with Earth. With only about two weeks until the asteroid is estimated to hit, NASA brings aboard Harry Stamper, the best deep core driller on the planet, to train astronauts to drill into the asteroid, drop a nuclear device, blow apart the asteroid, and divert the two pieces from colliding with Earth. Claiming he is only the best because he works with the best, Harry forces NASA to recruit his rag-tag team of drillers to fly into space and save the world. But that is easier said then done as they not only face difficulties in the training program but unforeseen tricks that the asteroid throws at the "astronauts" in their attempt to accomplish the task at hand. The story for Armageddon, as outlandish and over-the-top as it may be, works exceedingly well in presenting a combination of fast-paced action sequences, sarcastic and, at times, irreverent humor, and dialed in emotions, even if they may be over played in several moments within the course of the film.
One of the great things that Jerry Bruckheimer films are known for, outside of the well-choreographed explosive action sequences, are his talented group of actors that are brilliantly cast in their roles. And Armageddon once again proves the truth of that statement, despite a few performances here and there that apply to the contrary. Bruce Willis, in the same genre that basically defined him as a key actor in Hollywood, takes center stage in almost every action sequence he's featured in and fills the screen with his sarcastic-toned humor and gritty, rock-solid attitude that works extraordinarily well with his character. Despite this being one of his few major release performances, Billy Bob Thornton still manages to give an excellent performance as the director of NASA who coordinates the mission to save the planet. Though his character isn't featured as much as the others, Thornton still realizes he is a centralized character and the emotions he expresses in his scenes will be needed to reflect the actions that are occurring or will occur later in the feature. Ben Affleck and Liv Tyler are perfect together as the film's romantic couple, though at times Affleck's performance was a tad on the wooden side, of which his acting ability has often been described by critics, but this time that being so only when he was asked to cry and near the end of the film when everyone, not just Affleck, seemed to wind down as the feature wrapped up. And another note ... Never let Affleck sing in a film ever again. Singing is definitely not his strongest talent and he proves that so in this film. And the most notable and worthy highlight of the cast has to be the marvelous, facetious and humorous performance given by Steve Buscemi, who has yet to portray a role that doesn't work for him in the least.
Overall, whatever quips you have with Jerry Bruckheimer, Michael Bay or the disaster genre in general, Armageddon is decisively one of the best action flicks in years and raises the bar for all others like to follow in its footsteps. Though his films are famous for their outlandish action sequences, the combative scenes in this film go beyond the normal expectation ten-times in that their choreography and set up transcend the amazing special effects that are used to execute the sequence. Though there are many things to compliment the filmmakers on in this film, the feature is far from perfect but not so much so that it is an utterly unbearable disaster (no pun intended). At times the situations involved are too unbelievable and far-fetched, though it to be suggested that they may not have been intended to taken seriously in the first place, that it takes away some of the film's credibility. It would have been better if the situations were more down-to-earth (once again, no pun intended) for the audience to take the plot of the film more seriously. And, yes, several moments in the feature are over-drawn and clichéd but with the overall tone of the film being quite entertaining, one can forgive the filmmakers for such mistakes. Clearly if you don't enjoy action films or can bother leaving your head at the door (not entirely but for portions of the film) then Armageddon isn't for you but Bruckheimer flicks have the weird effect of making the most unlikely people fans of his work, so give it a shot before passing judgment.
on April 14, 2004
This review is for the Criterion Collection DVD edition of the film.
This is the largest packed special features release by criterion to date at the time of release. Being the case, both the film and the special features will be reviewed.
The film is about Earth being threatened by an asteroid that would cause the end of every life on Earth. There are some opening scenes of a metoer shower over New York City.
Chapter 3 on the DVD is one that some may want to skip. There are two scenes that may hit too close to home for some people. In one scene, a meteor is shown hitting the World Trade Center, and in another scene shows the World Trade Center with the top ¼ of one of the towers destroyed and the rest of it on fire.
The film has good acting with an all-star cast. The movie has some excellent special effects. The film has many errors though. there are too many to mention in less than 1,000 words.
The Criterion edition is a director's cut with scenes not shown in theaters.
The special features are really good. There are 2 discs in this set one of which only has special features. Disc 1 has TWO aduio commentaries. One is with director Michael Bay, actors Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck, and producer Jerry Bruckheimer. The other is with cinematographer John Schwartzman and two scientific consultants. one from Nasa and the other an asteroid expert.
On disc two, there are deleted scenes, outtakes and blooper reel, (You may want to note that the blooper reel contains profanity rarely heard even in some R rated films and will offend some people.), Storyboard images, analysis of Visual effects and production design, Trailers and TV spots, and the music video of the song "Don't want to miss a thing" by Diane Warren and performed by Aerosmith.
Overall this is high quality and is one of the more well-known films that have been given the Criterion treatment.
on March 23, 2004
To be foreward, Armageddon is not a bad film but it's one of those films that if the visual effects look cool that's the only reason a moviegoer would have for seeing it, and we don't want THAT to be the only reason.
This is a movie with visually stunning special effects and music but to me the plot is tired and the movie gets ridiculously long at some parts.
However, it seems many only saw this movie for the simple fact of Bruce Willis. Bruce Willis isn't a bad actor and while he doesn't overshadow anyone else you can't help but admit its why most people saw the movie.
The tired plot of an Asteroid approaching Earth so you send up people to blow up this Asteroid could've flowed better. You don't get the sense to care for these characters, you don't grow attatched to them like "Deep Impact". More over, the movie drags on for far too long. Some parts are tediously long and could've been shortened.
The music in the movie is POWERFUL music and definitely gives you this urgency feeling. The music is certainly one of the beter parts of this film and I recommend the soundtrack.
So if visual effects and...Bruce Willis is your thing in movies you'll absolutely LOVE this movie. If you want a movie with the same basic plot but a bit more plot driven then go with Deep Impact.
on February 18, 2004
When this movie came out it was panned by the critics as pretentious cheese playing to the lowest denominator. With the exception of the "lowest denominator" they were right. This film oozes cheese, but man its fine gouda,and a sharp chedder. It is well made cheese,and despite a wonderful nod to the Russian space program, it is purely American cheese.If you hate our space program or blame America for all the worlds woes this is not the movie for you.
Michael Bay turns in great piece of work here which is not always the case, see"BadBoys"(stinky cheese). He develops characters with a minimum of exposition, and a maximum of well thought out imagery, and movement. His pacing while rapid is still smooth, and one can see and often times feel the action.
And yes there are moments of "telecommunication commercials"
but hey, they were some of the best commercials of their time.
The acting is wonderful, turning what ordinarily would be stereotyped,boring characters into memorable ones.And yeah this movie can make those of us prone to, cry.
I love Tarantino, and all the other edgy directors out there, I love dark, cynical, politically incorrect(which this film is),sex and violence epics. But I feel sorry for anyone who cant just relax,pull out the crackers, and enjoy this cheese.
on February 1, 2004
Easiest way to sum up this very, very bad film : it's a two-hour car commercial.
"Cue big, stupid flagwaving, cue big-budget stars, cue overpowering musical score! All right, now explode stuff! Now stick Aerosmith Ballad Format #3 in there!" Voila! Another gold-plated Bruckheimer poo. Maybe one of these days we'll get a decent treatment of "Lucifer's Hammer" on the silver screen, but this is most definitely not it.
Ripped off a scene from "The Right Stuff", to boot. I'm sure it was an "homage" or something, right? Whatever. The science is crap, so we really can't list this stinker as "science" fiction. The cast of supporting characters is our usual colourful melange, all gleefully sterotyped and portrayed by solid character actors. That's the only watchable thing about the film, and then it's only after you've had to kick aside the unease at some of the stereotyping. It's syrupy, every plot point is telescoped a year in advance, Willis is just there to sell the mess, and BAffleck...proves once more that he's of limited use in movies that don't revolve around obsenity-spewing drug addicts (you know--Kevin Smith films).
Yes it made piles and piles of cash. Goes to prove just how abysmally lacking in discretion, imagination, taste, and brains the movie-watching public is, don't it?