on January 30, 2004
Although, I do remember someone lending me this DVD ages ago, and it had a gag-reel on it. Mine doesn't :( Poor me. Anyway, watching this film on DVD was terrific, having only previously watched it on video (which no one wants to buy!!!) This movie has some of the cutest guys in it - Bruce Willis, Ben Affleck, Michael Clarke Duncan and Billy Bob Thornton?! My eyes must deceive me, as he always looks virtually unrecognisable in films, to what he looks like normally - unkempt, sleazy looking, and a craggy looking old man. (Is it just me?) And yes, I do have a thing for older men! This movie shot Liv Tyler and Ben Affleck to A-list stardom, and gave them Lord Of The Rings and Jennifer Lopez respectively.
I was quite surprised to see a couple of scenes that I hadn't seen before on the video. During the segment where the "astronauts" get the night off, you see Oscar praying, and Harry visiting his Dad. I literally did a double take when I saw these, especially since I've watched the movie many times. There was also another scene, but I forget what it was, or where it was now.
I own the 2-disc edition (which I can't find for the life of me on Amazon), so there's a lot more extras than listed here. Most of them are pretty tedious though, and I'm still fizzing about the gag-reel. It's so funny! I'll maybe watch the commentaries sometime, as there's two on this - the one with the NASA experts will be terrific on a night when I can't sleep. But the other one has Ben Affleck and Bruce Willis, which should be interesting. The extras are tedious, as they go through the special effects used for various scenes in the movie, and you've got some glorified assistant, who really had nothing to do with the movie, going into lengthy detail about the smallest thing. And use lots of fancy jargon, which definitely stupid people (like moi) can't understand. And never will understand. The DVD should have a warning sticker on it - "Do Not Watch Extras If Stupid".
You also get the music video to "I Don't Want To Miss A Thing" (one of the best love songs), and I'd seen this video many times, so I wasn't expecting there to be an introduction to the video by the members of Aerosmith! Cool.
Name one girl who hasn't cried at this movie. I am definitely not in that category. I originally saw this movie in the cinema, and had to go cry away to myself in the toilets afterwards (highly embarrassing). And then when I got it on video, I couldn't stop crying!!! People may say it's only a film, but it's so sad!!! Thankfully, I didn't cry at the first watching of this DVD. I did get a little teary, but not full-on crying. Oh guys crying get me going!! Anyone crying gets me going, who am I kidding!
A terrific film, definitely a good one to watch for the guys or the special effects. Or Liv Tyler if you're that way inclined, but any girl will feel the green eyed monster rear its ugly head.
Now, about that gag-reel ...
on January 27, 2004
This 1998 film shows the threat to the earth from an asteroid. It opens with small meteors hitting Manhattan and causing damage. (Who can watch this after 9/11 without shuddering?) NASA tracks this back to a Texas-sized asteroid that will hit Earth in 18 days, and Extinction Level Event. A side plot introduces us to an oil-drilling platform in South Asia, with their personality conflicts. The owner is the most experienced oil driller; he is summoned to solve the problem: drill a hole in the asteroid to blast it into relatively harmless pieces. There is no excuse for failure.
The middle part is padded with the training for these volunteers. This explains the plans to the viewer. There is one interpersonal relationship problem. The crew is given time off to visit their kin, and develop their characters. Another asteroid hits Shanghai; now (?) the world knows of the peril. The special NASA crew leaves on their mission. They dock at the Russian space station to fuel up (unleaded?). A fuel leak causes a fire; they escape just in time. One spaceship runs into an asteroid and goes off the grid. The other overshoots the landing spot, and lands where it is hard to drill. They fall behind schedule. NASA now considers whether to remotely detonate the bomb. The film questions the judgment of Official Authority. The special effects of this film is better than 'Star Wars'. There is a blow-out on the drill; the attempt has failed! But the other drilling rig shows up just in time, and completes the job. The remote detonator has a problem; someone must stay and set it off. Harry Stamper volunteers to save the world. The space ship takes off, the bomb explodes the asteroid. This is an entertaining film in spite of the many, many cliches.
This story recalls "Ragnarok" by Ignatius Donnelly, which analyzed the common legends of mankind and explained them as the remembrance of a comet hitting the earth and causing great climatic changes.
on January 27, 2004
In the mid-to-late nineties, the millennium and the theory of Y2K had a tremendous impact on popular culture, and seemed to bring a continuing fascination with the destruction of the world in cinema. Twister, Volcano, and Dante's Peak all proved that disaster can be turned into box office success, but as the decade continued, Hollywood decided to tackle the biggest subject of all: the end of the world.
Such epics as Independence Day, Deep Impact and of course Armageddon represented this movement. The latter was the biggest and best of the three and both obliterates and greatly, greatly strengthens all the stereotypes of the genre. Unlike Deep Impact, which was basically two hours of self-pity in the face of certain death, and unlike Independence Day, which was littered with horrible acting, Armageddon at least gets the cast right, and luckily, despite what sappy or cheesy plot lines it may have, the acting is passable for an action flick. Bruce Willis is typically puffed-up but believable, and so are Ben Affleck, Liv Tyler, Billy Bob Thornton, Steve Buscemi and Owen Wilson.
Armageddon cost over a hundred million dollars to make, earned even more, and was seen by countless numbers of people, so obviously it is not an everyday movie. It's a BIG movie.
First, the good stuff. It's an excellently-produced science fiction/action/adventure movie. The special effects are top-notch and truly breathtaking. At a 140 million dollar budget, an all-star cast, and an almost three-hour length, this is truly a BIG movie. This is the same kind of overwhelming, big budget action that gave birth to the Matrix series.
Like the Matrix, it's action-packed, loud, breathtaking, and out of this world. But unlike the Matrix, which lived up and surpassed the expectations of viewers, the design of Armageddon often tries to stand up too high and falls flat on its face. This can make the whole idea of this movie seem overblown and pretentious. But with a movie as BIG as this, can plot matter much? Maybe. It depends on the viewer.
The best thing about Armageddon is that it expresses the true nature of humanity and the natural instinct of self-preservation and survival of the species by all means necessary. But of course, the absolute worst thing about Armageddon should be obvious to anyone who watched it: the plot. It is like the classic action movie situation that even though your brain might be screaming with the far-out premise of the plot, your heart is racing and adrenaline is pumping so you're not listening, but with a twist. Because Armageddon is not just a shoot-em-up, kill em all; show no mercy revenge type of story. It's a story about the end of the world.
This film is filled with more over-the-top action, suspense and impending disaster than perhaps any other film in history, and Michael Bay and Jerry Bruckheimer both deserve credit for being able to pull the budget and resources together for such a project. But with so much effort put into special effects and action, couldn't they have invested more in research of other countries, minorities, and women? Like the Amazon review says, it seems that if it is not white, American and male, they simplify and stereotype it.
The story is basically:
A huge asteroid the size of Texas is hurtling towards the Earth and if it impacts will wipe out every living thing on the planet, not even bacteria will survive. NASA decides to send a shuttle onto the asteroid itself and plant a nuclear device inside. Since a highly trained team of astronauts apparently don't know how to drill a hole in a rock, NASA instead is convinced to let a oil rig crew learn a crash course in being astronauts. Bruce Willis leads the crew along with Ben Affleck, who is dating Bruce's daughter played by Liv Tyler. The crew land on the asteroid, where they encounter disasters galore.
Sadly, predictability abounds in the story, and there are plenty of scenes to make viewers groan. The blatant flag-waving patriotism and oversexed machismo of the characters is laughable, Aerosmith's music gets so much play on the soundtrack at times it feels like a music video, and the scenes depicting other countries are stereotypical to the extreme. The theme of Armageddon is sadly similar to Independence Day in that Americans, American values and American technology save the world. That is enough to make any leftist instantly loathe a movie like Armageddon.
The hyperkinetic edits during the action sequences are a statement on how low Hollywood is willing to stoop to entertain the nanosecond-long attention spans of the younger generations. Seriously, can't you stop on one thing for more than three seconds? The movie does have its humorous moments, most of them brought on by Steve Buscemi and Owen Wilson, but the "tragic" ending sequences might make you want to weep crocodile tears...or groan in disgust.
Ultimately, this movie depends on the person, but as for myself, I'm glad that I didn't pay my seven bucks to first have my eyes dazzled with special effect and Liv Tyler's beauty and then have my brain numbed by the action and then finally have my heart ripped out of my chest by the unnecessarily long and sappy "emotional" ending.
on December 26, 2003
This has got to be one of the corniest and sappiest movies I've ever seen. Even if you don't mind the extreme camp value of it, the scenes of young children running around dressed as astronauts and playing with space shuttles was too much. the film is filled with factual errors and flaws that look as if the producers just didn't even care. Isn't everyone aware of the line "in space no one can hear you scream." So how come we hear it in this movie?
The ONLY way you will be able to enjoy this film is if you suspend your belief in science (and reality for that matter), and just enjoy it for the action-filled special effects-laden popcorn movie it is. This is not a movie that will win any awards or critical acclaim, but it is somewhat entertaining.
I have to say that while definately not the worst movie ever made, it certainly is one of the most ridiculous.
That being said, this makes for a very poor DVD. I don't know if they were planning on releasing a "Special-Edition" DVD in the future, but this one is just devoid of all special features. A music video and a trailer. That's IT. And for a Michael Bay film with a 100+ million dollar budget, that is unaceptable. At the very least, throw in a small special effects featurette.
on November 24, 2003
Normally, the "Criterion Collection" is reserved for only the very best and most brilliant films but their additions of the Michael Bay blockbusters, "The Rock" and this, a big loud apocalyptic joy ride would indicate that even they need to make ends meet. I label Michael Bay films as a "guilty pleasure". They are often big, dumb, and loud movies with predictable crowd-pleasing endings and plot holes big enough to hold "an asteriod the size of Texas". Anyways if you too are a fan of these movies then you will no doubt want to add this to your collection.
"Armageddon" is everyone's favorite disaster flick gone wild with a romantic subplot tacked on to please everyone. It seems that after a violent meteor shower destroys major sections of New York that high-level NASA officials have discovered that the worst is yet to come. We've got a giant asteroid (described as a "global killer") on its way here and it's up to the world's greatest deep-core driller (played by who else but Bruce Willis) to stop it. NASA seems to have pinpointed down to the last second how much exact time we have before it hits us but only Willis the hillbilly driller knows how to truly stop it.
After an hour of training mission montages, Willis and his group of slack-jawed sidekicks are off to do battle with the asteroid. Along the way, they lose about half of the crew and pick up a very annoying Russian astronaut. They end up landing a few miles outside of their planned destination and trouble ensues. The boys back home don't seem to have too much confidence in our heroes and want to remote detonate and call it a day. Bruce isn't having it though as he takes control of the mission and declares to anyone listening that he "promised his girl he was coming home". It seems that the satellite hook-up only works when Bruce has a cheesy overwritten line to perform.
If you're a fan of movies that boast action and special effects over any type of sensical plot then this is your movie. This particular DVD features "The Director's Cut" of the movie with alternate scenes. There are some scenes that have been omitted to make way for the new stuff but hey, you can't win them all. Lawrence Tierney shows up as Bruce's dad in this new version and gives him a cheesy speech about the joys of parenthood for him to use in the "alternate version" of his goodbye speech to Liv Tyler. The movie also comes with a hilarious "gag reel" and equally-entertaining audio commentaries. Well, the actor one is good but there is one with a bunch of real-life NASA folks that just goes on and on.
If you enjoyed "Armageddon" as much as I did then you'll probably want to own this double-disc collector's edition. If not, it's only a matter of time before the good people at Criterion decide to give "Con-Air" it's just due.
on September 6, 2003
One of the biggest box office smash hits of 1998, "Armageddon" was a well-deserved box office hit and sometimes one of the most unfairly criticized movies of recent years. I'm surprised at the negative reviews that I've been reading on here and the low rating of 3.3 (as of writing this review) stars. This movie deserves at least a 4.3 on the rating!
Starring Bruce Willis as the disgruntled, often excessively strict drilling expert Harry Stamper, "Armageddon" is a chilling but at the same time, fun film about a giant asteroid around the size of the state of Texas hurtling straight towards earth, threatening to destroy all life and possibly the planet itself in approximately 18 days and mankind, under threat of extinction, looks up to the expert drilling knowledge of Harry Stamper and his crew of grouchy disgruntled drillers to drill a large hole in the asteroid, send a powerful nuke down the hole and blast the asteroid apart by detonating the nuke. It all begins on an oil rig in the middle of the Pacific Ocean or somewhere around there with the outrageous Harry Stamper playing golf against a Greenpeace ship, and the Greenpeace guys ducking for cover to avoid getting hit by the flying golf balls. It's actually quite funny to watch even though I would lean more towards the Greenpeace people and also Harry laughing at and ridiculing them. However the laughs are instantly ended when a team of government officials arrive on Stamper's oil rig and bring him to NASA headquarters to tell him about the crisis of the approaching asteroid.
While Bruce Willis' character Harry Stamper is the main character in the movie, my favorite character is the odd goofball Russian astronaut Lev Andropov (Played by Swedish actor Peter Stormare). His funny personality adds quite a bit to this movie. My other favorite is Rock Hound, with his bumbling and highly eccentric personality and watching him mess up or goof off provides some good laughs. Most of the rest range from good to excellent to downright annoying.
The romance between Grace Stamper (Liv Tyler) and A.J. Frost is pretty contrived and could've been left out but that's just my opinion. Most of the negativities are negated by the pros of this movie. "Armageddon" is an extremely adrenaline-pumping action flick with a highly intense visual assault (in a good way), and a good amount of comic humor occasionally in parts of the movie. Many seem to dismiss this as more Hollywood pap but I beg to differ. "Armageddon" is just plain fun but also it is rather unsettling because the possibility of being hit by a global killer asteroid is always present but also there is the possibility of being able to prevent such a disaster from occurring. It's for these things that to me, makes this movie so awesome yet scary at the same time. No wonder it was a smash hit at the box office. I wouldn't necessarily say that I highly recommend buying this movie but "Armageddon" is definitely worth checking out for those who missed it when it was on the big screen. This is just my opinion but man this movie was a brutal, thrilling ride when seeing it on the big screen and when it came to the small screen, the punch was greatly reduced but still, it's an awesome popcorn movie. Just sit back and enjoy the ride. Doomsday has never sounded like so much fun.
on July 15, 2003
Now 5 years old, and released around the time when Earth destruction seemed to be the winning formula at the box office. This Sfx out the wazoo epic has none of the flare, drama, or intellect that other offerings had around at that time (closest comparison being Deep Impact), and my only real complaint would be, that it thinks it did.
Here's the story - A huge Meteor is heading for Earth, and we're all about to die. Good news is that, after scouring the 5 Billion inhabitants on this planet, we managed to find a bunch of Oil Rig workers, who are the ONLY ones, able to save us.
Bruce Willis is at his best (and worst) as Iron Jawed team leader, who must land on the meteor, dig a hole, and plant some explosives. His fellow workers (all with colorful backgrounds) will be able to go from beer drinking party animal roughnecks, to fully trained and specialised astronauts in about 6 weeks, and then try and pull off this amazing feat before we all get roasted. Sounds great, and actually it is a lot of fun - just make sure you leave the grey matter behind on this one and accept it for what it is...
on July 6, 2003
I know most disaster movies don't focus to much on science, but this movie had some flaws that were quite noticable.
1. The killer asteroid is said to be the size of Texas, but there are no asteroids that big that we know of
2. The asteroid that hit Paris would have been more than enough to wipe out man kind
3. The small meteors that hit New York would have burned up in the atmosphere before they even reached earth, and if some survived they would be to small to cause any damage
4. The asteroid doesn't even look like one. A large asteroid would just be a large rock. It wouldn't have all those spikey rocks and other chunks of rock
5. At the beginning of the movie, it says that the asteroid that killed the dinsoaurs struck with the force of 10,000 hiroshima bombs. That isn't even close. The asteroid that killed the dinsoaurs was close to about 1 billion hiroshima bombs
6. WAn asteroid of that size wouldn't just leave a crater,it would split the earth in two
7. If the scientists discovered an asteroid 700 miles across 18 days before it would hit earth, they must not have very good technology
8. The small meteors were even smaller in space than they were when they hit New York. Did they have a growth spirt in the atmosphere?
This movie wasn't that bad but more science could have been put in to it.
on February 3, 2003
In one of the best action movies of 1998, Bruce Willis leads the way along with a great, and hilarious, cast. Ben Affleck co-stars with the daughter of Aerosmith's Steven Tyler, Liv, as well as Billy Bob Thornton, Steve Buscemi (who is very comical here), Owen Wilson, William Fichtner, and Will Patton.
The movie was very well done, and the action carried throughout. What I didn't like about the movie, and what kept it from reaching 4 maybe 5 stars is the lack of reality it possessed. Just the idea of having two, not one, but two space ships land on a meteor traveling at millions of miles per hour is crazy. I realize it's a work of fiction, but come on. Some sense of authenticity should be present. I liked the movie, don't get me wrong, there was just some parts that lost the intensity for me. Other than that the movie was excellent. I liked the ending; sad, but I liked it. And the way that Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck fight almost makes them seem like brothers.
So, if you are a fan of either Bruce Willis or Ben Affleck, you will--no doubt--enjoy the movie. Also, if you have a thing for movies about the world almost ending, then this one's for you. It's a good film; don't let my take on it's 'actuality' or 'reality' persuade you otherwise.
on January 28, 2003
Take this move for what it is which is an exciting action flick. The criticism I hear for this film is that it is fast paced resembling a 2 hour commerical. My answer to that is YEAH YOUR RIGHT SO F'N WHAT!!! first off the comet that was to crash into earch was discovered 2 weeks before impact therefore, thats a reason in itself as to why the pace of this film is frantic. I 'm sure every person would be frantic with the thought that the world would end in two weeks. May be the bone headed movie critics believe that people would be relaxed enough to take a tea break. Unlike DEEP Impact which resembles a 2 hours self pitty borefest, Armegedon got it right by expressing the true nature of humanity which is self preservation by all means necessary by never excepting defeat. I enjoyed the plot sequences ,the suspense, and action pact drama, and even the comedic twists that comes along the way. Jerry Bruckheimer did a great job of countinously keeping a viewers attention with the events that lead up to the destruction of the asteroid. He was breif and to the point with the scenes. As I said, this movie is what it is which is a high impact action flick and it does a great job for being that.