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on June 5, 2004
Many people tend to compare this movie to armageddon, as they are both about the idea of a celestial body (in this case a comet, in the case of armageddon an asteroid) on a collision course with the earth, and seeing as how they were released in very close proximatey to one another. I think this has a lot to do with some people's lack of love for Deep impact, but the reality is these were two very different movies.
While "Armageddon" was a great movie in it's own rate, it was more of an action-romance movie that was meant to apeal to a braoder audience and satisfy movie-goers' typical demands of a major release. But with Deep Impact a much different aproach was taken, following in the way of the traditional Disaster Movie Genre.
From the beginning we are introduced to one of the main Characters, an upstart reporter investigating your run of the mill political love affair scandal, but stumbles instead upon the biggest story of history, that there is a monstrous comet on a collision course with earth. And so unfold's the American government's plan to send an team of asteronauts to intercept the comet and plant enough nukes on it to deflect it off course. The movie handles the plot from a much more epic, and at the same time much more personal level than armageddon.
The romance angle of the story is provided by the young boy who unwittingly discovered the comet and his girl neighbor. As counter measures fail, and plan B, C and D are called into action the terrible reality that only so many can be saved, and that it has to be decided who lives and dies sets in. A national lottery determines who will get passage to a special fallout shelter-like cave complex that was built in secret to house 1 million people. The rest are left to fend for themselves.
I really found deep impact to be more emotional, though not as romantic as armageddon. Characters will die, babies will be deperated from parents, young people will be asked to carry burdens that they shouldnt have to deal with and cities are destroyed as part of the asteroid hits the atlantic and causes a massive tsunami. Watching all this really had a more realistic and more message-orientated feel to it than Armageddon. I liked that the movie seemed to follow closer to the science and horrow of what a comet impact could cause, and how that affected the characters and our society. This made the movie much more interesting to me in many ways, and much realer as well.
The special effects are well done enough for the time period, and actually the tidal-wave scene where you watch a city massive wall of water inundate the city, hills and forests was quite ae inspiring. This is well done and will make your jaw drop when you see it.
The only problems are some inconsistant acting, and the fact that this movie is a bit slow and might not appeal to some viewers as much as armageddon because it's not an action movie.
All in all this was a great disaster movie and I thought it did a better job than armageddon in many ways of dealing with the actual plot scenario, though I like that movie as well just for different reasons. But if you're looking for a good sci-fi based disaster movie that will touches on many deeper levels than similar movies than this is your best bet. You're better off renting Deep Impact than you are going to the theater to see "The Day After Tomorrow".
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on October 12, 2001
ARMAGEDDON may have gotten most of the glory at the box office, but for me DEEP IMPACT was the better "space-rock" disaster film of 1998. It had more humanity, a sense of awe and fear, a far more realistic plot, and better acting.
The space rock in this case is a seven mile-wide comet on a collision course with our planet. A joint US/Russian team, led by Robert Duvall, is given the unenviable task of drilling nuclear bombs into the comet to either destroy it or send it off course. Their attempt is only partly successful, and creates a new problem--two different pieces on the same course, one a mile and a half, the other five miles. Either one would strike with enough power to create an Extinction Level Event.
Director Mimi Leder, who made her feature film debut with THE PEACEMAKER in 1997 and directed numerous episodes for the TV series "E.R.", keeps the focus on human issues, which makes the final destruction scenes truly awesome. Morgan Freeman makes for one of the better film presidents of recent times, and James Horner's score is extremely well done. Duvall, of course, is as fine in his role as any he has ever done; he is one of those actors that can often be relied upon in virtually anything.
One of the best pure science fiction movies of the last ten years, DEEP IMPACT is more than a standard-issue disaster flick, and it is leaps and bounds ahead of ARMAGEDDON as a movie in general.
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on May 6, 2004
Okay if you have to do a comparison between these two movies which one had the more unbelievable story? A bunch of drunken oil refiners going into space to drill an asteroid to save the world or, actual astranauts going into space to blow one up? Come on people. Overall this movie has most of what is needed to make a great movie. Fanstatic actors (Morgan Freeman is great as the president), great effects of the east coast being destroyed again (what movie doesnt destroy the east coast of the US in one way or another), Great feelings of humanity which is so badly lacking in most disaster flicks. I mean who cares if the world blows up if there are no characters to sympathise with? (Aka Independance day, Armageddon, The Night of the Comet... so many to list here). Dont be so harsh on this movie until you see the rest of the trash that is out there. By comparison, this movie shines and I do highly recommend it.
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on December 16, 2013
Given the obvious similarity to the box-office hit "Armageddon", which was released during the same season, people cannot help but compare the two.

I loved BOTH of them, for different reasons. This one doesn't star Bruce Willis (one of my favorite actors) and it lacks the humor and fast paced thrills of "Armageddon". But given a choice between the two films, "Deep Impact" is the hands-down winner for a spot on my shelf...It is much more believable, and the story has so much more to offer than sending a bunch of misfits into space, to blow up a rock.

"Deep Impact"'s actors (with the exception of Tea Leoni's often unbelievably weak portrayal of a television news reporter) are very good and the special effects are well done and believable. Stories interweave as we follow several people's reactions to impending doom. We witness hope, survival and sacrifice in a portrayal of humanity, love and instincts which are at the very core of our existence. Veteran Morgan Freeman, as the President delivers an outstanding performance, as does Robert Duvall. Maximillian Schnell, and Vanessa Redgrave are excellent as expected. Elijah Wood shines as the central protagonist, while Leelee Sobieski proves worthy of the big screen. My favorite performance though, goes to Denise Crosby, for her unforgettable and deeply moving performance as an ordinary everyday Mother...I am seldom moved to tears by a film...this one still does...repeatedly.

I have worn out my VHS version of this film, as it remains on my favorite movies list, almost fifteen years after seeing it in the theater and buying it when it became available.
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on March 24, 2004
It is inevitable that these two movies be compared, and certainly the acting of Duvall, Freeman etc is superior in Deep Impact compared to Willis, et al, in Armageddon, but I feel Criterion has chosen the correct film to give it's special treatment to. The subplots are trivial in both, but they are just more entertaining in Armageddon. The "puppy love" story in Deep Impact could scarcely keep the interest of of anyone over age 20. The take on the "modern" astronauts having contempt for the space pioneer character of Duvall rings as false as anything in film. Current space explorers would react towards Shepherd/Armstrong/Glenn and company the way a young opera company would if Placido Domingo were suddenly assigned to their "team". Both films have essentially the same plot: go out to space and "nuke" a meteor before it annihilates humanity.... plan goes awry and self-less sacrifice at the last second saves the day. I just had more fun watching Armageddon, and movies should either entertain you or make you think. Since neither movie stimulated thought, I'll take Armageddon over DI.
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on March 16, 2004
Interesting that so many would call this a shallow movie. Based on a concept of Near Earth Objects, Deep Impact has a potential deep impact on the viewer.
There are a few interesting vignettes when it comes to relationships being effected by this rather large comet headed toward impact with earth. From the start with Beiderman, played by one of our heroes, Elijah Wood, responsible for discovering the Comet and Martin Smith (American Grafitti and the Untouchables) playing Wolf. The Comet is named Wolf-Beiderman after these two, Wolf dies and you wonder how long it would be before the comet is really discovered.
However, Tea Leoni, playing newscaster want-to-be/reporter, discovers a cover-up that leads to an interesting intrigue with President Tom Beck, played by Morgan Freeman.
The movie develops quickly after that and the plot is very interesting. You need to look at the relationships of Robert Duvall and his crew, Leoni, her family and friends, Wood and his loved ones. This is a key to the success of the movie.
The concept of the Comet is really the come-on to get people to really get into the characters. There are some interesting scenes with Earth being impacted and the final scene is very convincing. However, the most important part of the movie was the relationships, as life seemed to come to an ebb for most of the population of earth, what will people be like? Would there be sacrifice or selfishness.
Duvall plays a very interesting part. As an older pilot/astronaut, he leads a group of young brash space crew who grow up quickly on their mission.
The movie is exciting and engaging. The DVD extras add to the movie experience as well.
This DVD is worth having in your DVD library and worth a watch every now and then.
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on March 4, 2004
I have both Deep Impact and Armageddon. Deep Impact is far better of the two. Both are about doomsday-rocks heading for the planet Earth. Deep Impact gives us the human-side of the equation in very believeable subplots of families, friends, colleagues, even the US President. It has a top-notch cast of highly famous actors, as well as little- to well-known players. I found it very touching, exciting, scarey, everything. I saw a documentary about "Doomsday Rocks" (true title uncertain). It made many-a-mention of Deep Impact. How it finally gave the politicans a heads-up to finance various programmes to try to prevent rogue asteroids and/or comets from hitting Earth. Armageddon was tokenly acknowledged. This is how powerful such a movie as Deep Impact can make an impression (pun may be included). I found myself laughing, crying, bitting my nails - as it were. Deep Impact hits the heart, mind, and soul. I highly recommend it. The cast consists of Robert Duvall, Morgan Freedman, Tea Leone, Maximillian Schell, Vanessa Redgrave, Elijah Wood, LeeLee Sobieski, Denise Crosby, etc.
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on February 1, 2004
I think that the blame should go on the advertising campaign that preceded the release of this film. Paramount tried to play it off as another "Armageddon", and so people looking for mindless, testosterone-laden entertainment were completely put off by the profound, philosophical nature of Deep Impact's story line. The title of the film itself seems to indicate that the film is a deep emotional analysis of how people react when they know they are about to die, as opposed to a film about blowing up a chunk of ice hurtling towards the Earth. Granted, there are liberties taken in the scientific accuracy department, but that doesn't detract from the story unless you are really uptight about such things. If you go to every movie hoping they will be completely scientifically accurate, then you will be disappointed all the time.
So, when you watch this film, don't look at it as being a high-adrenaline action film - look at it as a film about sacrifice, making peace before one dies, and the triumph of the human spirit.
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on January 27, 2004
The film opens with an astronomer receiving a message about a new star. The astronomer discovers this is a comet heading for earth! A reporter picks up a rumor about a Cabinet Official has resigned because of his involvement with "Ellie". She interviews this official, who is getting ready to depart on a long journey with his family. On her way back she is arrested by the black-suited Secret Police. The President asks he to hold off on her news. After this she discovers that E.L.E. stands for Extinction Level Event. Later the President holds a news conference to announce this threat, and the building of the "Messiah" that will save earth from this oncoming menace.
When the comet hits the water, it will create a tidal wave over one thousand feet high moving faster than the speed of sound. The special effects shows this hitting Manhattan, and elsewhere. The heroic crew of the Messiah survived to make a final attack on the comet. Was their sacrifice altruistic? If they didn't do it, there would be no home to return to. If they did it, they would not return home. Their sacrifice was the lesser evil. The film asks the lifeboat question: who will be saved, and how to decide? The clogged roads suggest the futility of Civil Defense evacuations. Can this be practical in today's world? At least they didn't suggest digging back yard graves as "fallout shelters".
The 1883 book "Ragnarok" by Ignatius Donnelly first suggested that a cataclysm from a passing comet was the source of the common legends of mankind. He explained the meanings behind the words. The heat from a comet vaporized the oceans, the clouds hid the sun, the coldness created glaciers from the condensing vapors. Fallout created The Drift of sand, clay, and gravel. This book will provide a new viewpoint to the old legends. Could a near miss have also affected the orbit of the earth, and caused the end of the Eocene era?
Any comet hitting the world would spread a layer of debris into the air (Krakatoa, "nuclear winter") that would exterminate most of the world's population. Mankind lived hand-to-mouth just until the 19th century; most food had to be grown and consumed locally. Will we ever see such a time again?
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on September 24, 2003
This has to be one of the most boring doomsday movies I have ever seen. The director tries so hard to touch upon the dynamics of the human condition that she misses her mark entirely. The movie also has some very serious scientific flaws which would make the movie rather comical if it weren't so boring.
In their attempt to appear stoic, the characters appear apathetic. Contrary to the director's and script-writer's intent, there's no touching upon human emotion because it isn't acted out. Morgan Freeman's performance as the President invokes neither perseverance or desperation: it simply falls flat. His monotonous speeches presented more of a "We're screwed, what can I tell you?" flair to them: hardly the speech one would want to hear from a national leader in a time of crisis.
Although this film tries hard at being realistic in every way, the pseudo-science in this film is laughable. It's hard to believe that a catastrophic event of such proportions wouldn't descend society into complete anarchy. Finally, People running away and escaping from a tsunami that is over 500' when they're only a few blocks away is simply ludicrous if not insulting.
Apart from that, the movie is simply boring! The dialogue is slow, monotonous and uninspiring. A very shallow film.
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