Didn't this just happen a couple of months ago?
August 19, 2018 12:20 PM   Subscribe

Twenty years ago, the earth faced down it's own destruction, twice. Deep Impact was a movie about a comet heading straight for earth. Released only two months later, Armageddon was a movie about an asteroid heading straight for earth, this time with a theme song. posted by LizBoBiz (96 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
 
The best time this happened was when we had two Steve Jobs biopics, "Jobs" and "Steve Jobs", and then Funny or Die beat them both by releasing "iSteve" first.
posted by cazoo at 12:49 PM on August 19, 2018 [2 favorites]


I've never seen either one, but there are two really surprising things here; it's been 20 years, and Deep Impact was apparently not a terrible movie?
posted by bongo_x at 12:50 PM on August 19, 2018 [4 favorites]


I watched it a few years ago and will confirm that Deep Impact really does hold up pretty well. My favorite subplot is the reporter.
posted by Sokka shot first at 12:56 PM on August 19, 2018 [7 favorites]


This is like when three new hair salons open up on the same street within a month because they all did market research but didn't talk to each other.
posted by heatherlogan at 1:04 PM on August 19, 2018 [8 favorites]


My sister, who has a geology degree, still remembers "Dante's Peak" in 1997 as being "an okay volcano movie" that was at least sort-of scientifically plausible, while the blockbuster "Volcano", released the same year, was to her completely, utterly unacceptable and just generally stupid.
posted by gimonca at 1:17 PM on August 19, 2018 [14 favorites]


....Huh; some of the "similar movies" on the "25 movies with similar plots" actually don't sound very "similar" at all. Especially Saving Private Ryan and The Thin Red Line - they're set in different fronts of the war (Europe vs. South Pacific), they feature dramatically different plots (rescuing a soldier vs. trying to win a battle), the styles are wildly different (straightforward drama vs. Terrence Malick stream-of-consciousness). About the only thing they have in common is that they're both set in World War II.

And why doesn't that list mention the two biopics of Steve Prefontaine that came out within a few months of each other?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:22 PM on August 19, 2018 [7 favorites]


“Deep Impact” wasn’t bad, but it also wasn’t good enough to make up for its stupid title
posted by thivaia at 1:23 PM on August 19, 2018 [4 favorites]


Armageddon was very popular on North Sea oil rigs in the nineties, mainly because the opening, set on a rig, is hugely entertaining to watch if you are actually sitting on a rig a at the time.
The line "well i be damned if my daughter grew up to marry a roughneck, shes better than that, shes better than all of us " always got a huge laugh from the roughnecks.
I discouraged people from calling me rockhound.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 1:25 PM on August 19, 2018 [17 favorites]


I feel like this revisionist "Deep Impact isn't as bad as we remembered" isn't all its cracked up to be. The movie wasn't any fun back in the day, and still isn't any fun today. Is that a bad metric to measure its success? Probably.

Deep Impact is responsible governance porn. It doesn't need to make any sense as long as serious public servants are struggling with their conscience to make hard decisions for the good of [insert constituency here]. Does Armageddon's "Let's send some Republicans into space with several Nuclear Bombs and one wacko Democrat" setup make any more sense... no. Less sense....? I don't know.

Should you actually watch it again? Probably not.
posted by ethansr at 1:26 PM on August 19, 2018 [10 favorites]


Oof, I just commented on a contrast between Saving Private Ryan versus The Thin Red Line in the thread about movies you turn your brain off to, but I find that comparing them is disingenuous. They are both war movies (in the same war), but they’re drastically different thematically. I don’t even think any of the famous Vietnam War movies would be good examples to portray this, since Apocalypse Now, Platoon, and Full Metal Jacket all sort of deal with the absurdity of war, but each is different in their own way. Platoon is personally my favorite of those three, and that’s definitely discounting other great Vietnam movies (Hamburger Hill, for one), but those three are sort of like, the trifecta of that particular genre.

Saving Private Ryan took a small historical story and turned it into a vehicle of a Nazi-killing blockbuster. It was pure distillation of American pop culture, hoorah patriotism, and Nazi killing (back when Nazis were the bad guys). It’s a movie about American soldiers sacrificing themselves for the proto-typical/fascistic concept of “the family”, in which they need to save lil ole Private James Francis Ryan, a sweet boy probably from some farm town (I believe the story he recounts to Tom Hanks involves a farm, right?), because his brothers died in the war and we can’t have his whole family wiped out now can we? It takes the courage of this hardened, battle-tested squad of hardass American soldiers to save this young fella. The biggest question asked in this movie is “why should this squad sacrifice themselves for one guy?” and the answer is simple: because they were ordered to. That’s it. Fall in line and do your duty.

The Thin Red Line is entirely different. It’s a totally different beast. It’s as much of a World War 2 movie as much as it’s a Vietnam War movie. You regularly hear the thoughts of characters ruminating about their lives and war. Even the shots of actual combat are entirely different, symbolizing the violence of combat in places that seem foreign and alien to us Americans. The camera lingers on a butterfly landing on a flower while machine gun fire rips through the jungle from the Japanese pillbox at the top of Hill 210. This movie doesn’t fuck around. It’s smart, smarter than most Americans, and a lot smarter than Saving Private Ryan. Why do these boys have to go kill these other boys in this beautiful island paradise? How does a man contend with sending those boys to their deaths, to face the insurmountable firepower of the Japanese machine gun, knowing it’s his job and a promotion for him if he does so? The Thin Red Line isn’t so much about “the unit”, like Saving Private Ryan (and it’s spritiual successor, Band of Brothers) is, it’s about the individual soldier himself, the one that has to pull the trigger, and that soldier’s philosophical outlook as they each have to go through with the inhumanity and compassionlessness of combat, forced upon them by reality and society itself.

“In this world, a man, himself, is nothing. And there ain’t no world but this one.”

“I seen another world. Sometimes I think it was just my imagination.”


Even the tag line of The Thin Red Line is “every man fights his own war”.

I love both movies, and if I wanna watch Nazis get blown away by All-Americans like Tom Hanks, Vin Diesel, Tom Sizemore, and Adam Goldberg (who is All-American to me because of his role in Dazed and Confused, one of my fav movies) then I’m gonna watch Saving Private Ryan, which is a no-questions-asked World War 2 movie, and is ultimately about defending the status quo of American society.

If I want to question the absurdity of life through the lens of terrible conflict then I’m going to watch The Thin Red Line.

Also, Armageddon, is absolutely fucking ridiculous. I mean, a meteorite slams right into a guy in NYC and he and his dog live!!!! All while shit is being blown up everywhere else!!!! Armageddon also has the typical Michael Bay go-to of “this woman, who is my offspring, although I myself raised her in questionable circumstances, is my property and nobody else is allowed to talk to her”, which I think is important because so many Americans identify with that bullshit. The fact that Armageddon got onto the Criterion Collection is a gigantic joke. The movie itself is a huge joke! But it is such an entertaining movie. Like, damn, Owen Wilson? Owen Wilson is in that fucking movie. That’s ridiculous! I like to contrast Armageddon with Independence Day, which is itself an extremely America movie. Independence Day has a Jewish guy (Jeff Goldblum) and a black guy (Will Smith) saving the world. Will Smith’s girlfriend in the movie (Vivica A. Fox) plays an important role and portrays a sex worker in a positive light, showing that she is proud of her hard work and ability to take care of her son, who she loves, and this is after the First Lady says “sorry” to her after she finds out what her occupation is. This isn’t the most ideal portrayal that most of us here would probably want, but for gung-ho hoorah America movies, there’s a major difference between the two in who their characters are and how they are shown on screen. Independence Day is the Democratic Party of disaster movies, and Armageddon is the Republican. I mean, Armageddon has Bruce Willis shooting golf balls at Greenpeace protestors from atop an oil rig for fucks sake.
posted by gucci mane at 1:29 PM on August 19, 2018 [41 favorites]


I've read that one of the reasons why non-movie/TV media will get optioned so often when they're not actually adapted is that the optioning studio is already developing something roughly similar, and doesn't want copycats done from any material that might be good enough to be competitive at the box office.

I love the lead-off to Ebert's review of Armageddon: "Here it is at last, the first 150-minute trailer." I caught a bit of it once, and it really did seem that ridiculous. I've occasionally wanted to find it just to see Peter Stormare's part in it, but I usually just end up watching his VW commercials instead. I would like to see a remake in which an asteroid that is not only the size but the exact shape of Texas hits Texas and punches a Texas-shaped core out of the planet, and the core goes spinning off into space and eventually evolves its own race of super-Texans. In the meantime, on Earth, Oklahoma changes its state motto to "Oklahoma: We're Texas now!"

in conclusion, Texas

yee-haw

posted by Halloween Jack at 1:31 PM on August 19, 2018 [35 favorites]


I would like to see a remake in which an asteroid that is not only the size but the exact shape of Texas hits Texas and punches a Texas-shaped core out of the planet, and the core goes spinning off into space and eventually evolves its own race of super-Texans.

Now I so much want this to be an actual thing that is made.
posted by gusottertrout at 1:41 PM on August 19, 2018 [15 favorites]


They don't get there by being punched out of the Earth by an asteroid, but a couple of Elizabeth Moon's milsf books feature competing nations of literal Space Texans, only one of which are institutionally misogynist slavers.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 2:06 PM on August 19, 2018 [3 favorites]


I'm intrigued by your plan of blowing Texas into space, but leave El Paso in New Mexico.
posted by bongo_x at 2:27 PM on August 19, 2018 [4 favorites]


This is not the only time we've experienced dueling films
Here's a few you may remember.


They left off Happy Feet / Surf's Up, both animated movies about penguins. I thought Surf's Up was the better movie by a large margin but it got buried by the other one's marketing.
posted by Greg_Ace at 2:30 PM on August 19, 2018 [6 favorites]


Like how every suburban town has a Home Depot and a Lowes, often within a half mile of each other. This is America.
posted by Fupped Duck at 2:38 PM on August 19, 2018 [3 favorites]


Armageddon: Michael Bay's greatest masterpiece.
posted by sfenders at 3:24 PM on August 19, 2018


There was almost a third:

In the much the same way that originally, three Robin Hood movies were due to ride into Sherwood Forest in the summer 1991 only for one to be crowded out of the running, so we never got to see a third comet flick, Bright Angel Falling.

As it turned out, this one was in development for a good numbers of years beforehand. And it was a project initiated by James Cameron.

posted by Artw at 3:27 PM on August 19, 2018 [2 favorites]


If nothing else, Ebert's review of Armageddon is one of his greatest masterpieces:
Here it is at last, the first 150-minute trailer. "Armageddon" is cut together like its own highlights. Take almost any 30 seconds at random, and you'd have a TV ad. The movie is an assault on the eyes, the ears, the brain, common sense and the human desire to be entertained. No matter what they're charging to get in, it's worth more to get out.
posted by octothorpe at 3:30 PM on August 19, 2018 [23 favorites]


I can never remember the difference between Red Planet and Mission to Mars. In my mind, they're just a jumble of red vistas and bad acting. I know one had a killer dog robot and the other had dust tornadoes. The one with Gary Sinise ended with a CGI alien that looked so goofy that people in the theater were literally laughing.
posted by dephlogisticated at 3:32 PM on August 19, 2018 [3 favorites]


Red Planet was the one with the killer robot dog. I loved that the robot dog had an easily tripped killer-mode which of course they managed to accidentally activate. Why would you bring that with you to Mars? When would that be useful on dead planet? The sad thing is that the killer robot dog subplot isn't even close to being the dumbest thing in the film.
posted by octothorpe at 3:41 PM on August 19, 2018 [5 favorites]


I sat through Armageddon twice in one Christmas holiday, on two separate transatlantic flights. The most tediout fucking dreck I can imagine.

If only I hadn't seen it on a plane I'd make an "Armageddon outta here" joke at this point, but what can ya do?
posted by howfar at 3:46 PM on August 19, 2018 [5 favorites]


You know exactly what kind of movie Red Planet is when it starts with Carrie-Anne Moss in the shower. Is there gonna be a monster or something? Of course there is! It starts with a woman in the shower!. Are people gonna be inexplicable fuckheads? Of course they are! It starts with a woman in the shower!
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 3:49 PM on August 19, 2018 [12 favorites]


Mission to Mars is the first and last film I've ever decided to see purely on having glanced at the poster in the theater lobby.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 4:12 PM on August 19, 2018 [1 favorite]


My sister's main memory of Deep Impact is of the couple sitting in front of her and her boyfriend, who broke up (more accurately, the guy dumped the girl) before the ads/trailers but stayed for the movie anyway, and every time something sad happened in the movie, especially if it involved a romantic couple, the girl started sobbing.
posted by The Card Cheat at 4:19 PM on August 19, 2018 [7 favorites]


I always forget that Deepstar Six and Leviathan are different movies. That’s a case where the Cameron movie DID happen and everyone forgot the two rivals.
posted by Artw at 4:22 PM on August 19, 2018 [2 favorites]


Good god that Armageddon review by Ebert is amazing. Glad to see he and I agree. To this day Armageddon remains the only movie I've ever walked out of in the middle.
posted by killdevil at 4:22 PM on August 19, 2018 [1 favorite]



I would like to see a remake in which an asteroid that is not only the size but the exact shape of Texas hits Texas and punches a Texas-shaped core out of the planet, and the core goes spinning off into space and eventually evolves its own race of super-Texans.


Surely the creators of Iron Sky can be persuaded
posted by gusandrews at 4:32 PM on August 19, 2018 [4 favorites]


back when Nazis were the bad guys

Wait, whut?
posted by chavenet at 4:34 PM on August 19, 2018


To me Armageddon and Deep Impact were primarily important for shifting the Overton Window of disaster movie idiocy far enough to allow The Core to happen five years later.

That and “space dementia” being briefly a thing.
posted by q*ben at 4:53 PM on August 19, 2018 [11 favorites]


Like how every suburban town has a Home Depot and a Lowes, often within a half mile of each other.

I can beat that - my home town had one Burger King, which was across the street from the one McDonald's.

Hey, what about Antz and It's A Bug's Life?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:00 PM on August 19, 2018 [6 favorites]


I can beat that - my home town had one Burger King, which was across the street from the one McDonald's.

This is a pretty standard equilibrium from spatial economics! Hotelling!
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 5:01 PM on August 19, 2018 [7 favorites]


Peoria (relatively) recently had a Popeye's Chicken open right next door to a KFC. I wonder if that counts as a form of cockfighting...
posted by Halloween Jack at 5:27 PM on August 19, 2018 [6 favorites]


The sad thing is that the killer robot dog subplot isn't even close to being the dumbest thing in the film.

If I am remembering my turn-of-the-millennium Mars movies right, this is the same movie that has the landing capsule make its landing in the then-newfangled fashion of bouncing down in a giant ball of impact-absorbent airbags. Then we get the wide shot and see OH NOES IT IS ABOUT TO ROLL OFF A CLIFF!!1! This tactic leaves the more thoughtful audience members thinking, “well, the thing just fell from orbit, so I don’t think another 400 metres is going to be an issue...”
posted by ricochet biscuit at 5:56 PM on August 19, 2018 [9 favorites]


My two favorites were always “Working Girl” and “The Secret of My Success.”
posted by Melismata at 6:10 PM on August 19, 2018


I sat through Armageddon twice in one Christmas holiday, on two separate transatlantic flights. The most tediout fucking dreck I can imagine.

If only I hadn't seen it on a plane I'd make an "Armageddon outta here" joke at this point, but what can ya do?


I survived a couple of transpacific flights with it. The scene: January 2001 and I am flying return to Bali out of Chicago on Air Japan. Inflight entertainment was in the brief gap between “here’s a movie at the front of the cabin and everybody watch or sleep” and “all passengers have their own seat back screens with fifty channels.” Air Japan had maybe twenty channels available* of TV and movies, but each movie played on a loop. There were four movies in English: Armageddon, Autumn in New York, Coyote Ugly, and The Replacements. These were all the English-language options for a pair of twelve-hour flights.

I had seen the first and last off this list in the theatre. The Replacements was a football comedy with a far better cast than it had a right to (Gene Hackman, Keanu Reeves, Orlando Jones, Jon Favreau, Jack Warden), a decent script, and was entirely agreeable.

I started to watch Armageddon once just to see if I could count the cuts and work out how many shots per minute but I gave up after about nine minutes and eleventeen hundred cuts.

TL; dr – I have seen The Replacements about nine times.


*As well as the little GPS channel showing where you are, there were also two channels showing a view out the nose of the plane and also straight down the Z axis. As we were descending toward Narita airport outside Tokyo, I was watching fishing boats flash by at 120 knots, three thousand feet beneath my seat. below us. How come North American airlines never cottoned on to this idea?
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:22 PM on August 19, 2018 [8 favorites]


Peoria (relatively) recently had a Popeye's Chicken open right next door to a KFC. I wonder if that counts as a form of cockfighting...
posted by Halloween Jack at 5:27 PM on August 19

Cockfighting? Do they play that in Peoria?
posted by Pistache at 6:24 PM on August 19, 2018 [1 favorite]


Another dueling film pair was Enemy and The Double. Both paranoid thrillers with a tinge of sci-fi, about ordinary people who meet their exact doppelganger, both screened at TIFF, and wide released two weeks apart in March / April 2014. I watched them as a double header when they were released VOD. The Double didn't do much for me other than the set design, but Enemy has become one of my favorites of the past 10 yrs.
posted by mannequito at 6:29 PM on August 19, 2018


I started to watch Armageddon once just to see if I could count the cuts and work out how many shots per minute but I gave up after about nine minutes and eleventeen hundred cuts.

IMDB says that each cut lasts an average of 1.5 seconds and as the movie is 151 minutes long, that would be 9060 seconds / 1.5 or 6040 individual cuts in the movie.
posted by octothorpe at 6:42 PM on August 19, 2018 [1 favorite]


I was well into the high three digits when I threw up my hands and went back to watching Jon Favreau as a psycho offensive lineman.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:44 PM on August 19, 2018 [1 favorite]


Near Dark / Lost Boys 1987. Near Dark fucking rules; Lost Boys drools OK
posted by mwhybark at 7:01 PM on August 19, 2018 [2 favorites]


They’re not really films in the same category to me and can be appreciated on their own yeah right, you’re pretty correct there.
posted by Artw at 7:06 PM on August 19, 2018 [1 favorite]


I pretty much loathe Armageddon. Aside from the rampant jingoism (seriously, try counting the number of times the American flag pops up, and turn off your brain when thinking about how the all American crew is pretty much at odds with the largely international makeup of most shuttle missions even back then), the nonstop "here's a new crisis, for no reason" attempt to make a movie without a plot, or development of character in any way. Every time the movie has just a moment where things might slow down, there's a new end of the world crisis to deal with, from the blowout on the rig to the fire on the Russian space station, to, goddamn it, space dementia. The only part of the movie that makes any sense at all is Steve Buschemi asking "why would you bring a gun to space?"

All that, and that goddamn song. Gah. And Deep Impact is basically the same film, just replace all the machismo, flag waving, and action scenes with maudlin storylines about family that wouldn't be out of place in a generational family reunion dramedy from the early 90s, starring a dramatic turn from (insert 80s comedian trying to reinvent themselves). It just happens to take place with a big meteor heading for earth.
posted by Ghidorah at 7:07 PM on August 19, 2018 [1 favorite]


Rollerball and Death Race 2000, both futuristic violent sports movies, came out within a few months of each other. Corman rushed Death Race into production and got it out before Rollerball just so that he could ride on some of the bigger movie's publicity. I've seen both fairly recently and the big-budget prestige picture Rollerball is pretty dull and lifeless outside of the game footage while Death Race is still a hoot.
posted by octothorpe at 7:19 PM on August 19, 2018 [2 favorites]


With all those pairs of dueling movies, if wonder if there have been any attempts at foiling corporate espionage with fake leaks.
posted by BiggerJ at 7:31 PM on August 19, 2018 [1 favorite]


I never saw Armageddon, but my chief memory of that time was a story about how the trailer was screened for an audience of reporters and film critics and they laughed at it and the Bruce Willis got up in front of them and did the angry white dude thing with his cargo shorts and red face and presumably his Oakleys
posted by um at 7:37 PM on August 19, 2018 [1 favorite]


Sweet November / Autumn in New York (they both suck)
posted by fluttering hellfire at 7:46 PM on August 19, 2018 [2 favorites]


Waking Life and Vanilla Sky both came out in 2001 and had similar "what's real and what's dream" themes.

Waking Life is the far superior film.
posted by workerant at 8:02 PM on August 19, 2018 [2 favorites]


Canonically the best example of this is the two competing lambada films.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:16 PM on August 19, 2018 [7 favorites]


Lost Boys drools OK

I still believe.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:16 PM on August 19, 2018 [2 favorites]




Red Planet demonstrated Val Kilmer's ability as an actor as he was able to yell at Mars while letting you know via his ability to communicate subtext he was yelling at the movie itself.
posted by mobunited at 8:45 PM on August 19, 2018


Oh wait, I meant Mission to Mars. Not fixing that because it sure proves a point.
posted by mobunited at 8:46 PM on August 19, 2018 [6 favorites]


Deep Impact's real sin, its unforgivable sin, was to describe the spaceship on-screen as having an "Orion Drive" and then not having the on-screen spaceship have an Orion Drive.

A big-budget CGI Orion would have been a special effects sequence for the ages.
posted by Hatashran at 9:07 PM on August 19, 2018 [4 favorites]


Armageddon pairs even more strongly in my mind with Titanic, which came out a half year earlier. Two blockbuster disaster movies that were encapsulated and eclipsed by their theme songs. Those songs were utterly ubiquitous for months on end in the city I lived in. Clever marketing trick that I don’t remember working so well before or since.
posted by mantecol at 10:09 PM on August 19, 2018 [3 favorites]


Sweet November / Autumn in New York (they both suck)

Whoa there! Those aren't part of this phenomenon at all. They're part of an entirely different trope: movies that mention autumn/fall/fall months in the title must always feature a manic pixie dream girl who is secretly hiding a wasting illness that has no outward manifestation or physical symptoms whatsoever. A subset of this is any Korean drama series featuring young lovers. Somewhere around episode three or four (of between eight to ten episodes), the beautiful young woman will cough, slightly, around the end of the episode. Within two episodes, she'll be in the hospital, before the end of the series, she'll tell the young guy that he needs to go on and live his life, then she'll die, and there will be a scene of the guy screaming at heaven in the pouring rain. In the last episode, he'll be at a coffee shop, mired in depression, and have a chance encounter with a beautiful young woman that sees him as some sort of project to reclaim, and the series will end.

Sweet November is, by all objective analysis, a terrible film, yet the final sequence, where they do the callback to the quirky blindfold game, and the camerawork makes it seem like the audience is Charlize Theron's pov, with Keanu lurching towards us, more and more certain, only, at the end, for the cutaway shot to reveal that there's no one there, and that she's actually, seriously, gone, and the guy doesnt get the girl, is fantastic. The added little bit of Keanu taking a deep breath of the scarf she left him, before wrapping it around himself and walking off, accepting the whole thing, is a dramatic twist and disruption of expectations that is pretty damn great, and frankly deserved a better movie for it to be the ending of.
posted by Ghidorah at 10:14 PM on August 19, 2018 [2 favorites]


Black Panther and Thor:Ragnarok?

Okay, sure, same studio so they aren't dueling movies, but they did have pretty much identical plots. Heir to the throne of a fantastic kingdom is challenged by a hitherto unknown relative who had been neglected by the heir's father, the former king, leading to a fight to the death.

I'm sure someone out there has made the case that there was a purpose to this, but it still seemed pretty odd.
posted by gusottertrout at 10:42 PM on August 19, 2018 [5 favorites]


I was always a big fan of Deep Impact and I think that was seriously strengthened because everyone else seemed to love Armageddon so much. Even to this day, if you tell me you liked Armageddon better than Deep Impact, I won’t accept your opinion on anything ever again.

(Also, I was 12 when the movies came out and Elijah Wood marries his little friend to save her! That was crack for my 12 year old self)
posted by LizBoBiz at 11:28 PM on August 19, 2018 [7 favorites]


The Illusionist and The Prestige... with The Prestige being my favorite by far.
posted by WaterAndPixels at 1:03 AM on August 20, 2018 [5 favorites]


The prestige has batman vs wolverine battling to see who will be the supreme stage magician of 19th century London! With Alfred Pennyworth, the Black Widow, Gollum, and David Bowie as David Bowie. What's not to love?

Seriously though, it's just about the perfect movie.
posted by Ghidorah at 1:18 AM on August 20, 2018 [8 favorites]


If you like The Prestige I highly recommend the book.
posted by bongo_x at 1:50 AM on August 20, 2018 [2 favorites]


feature a manic pixie dream girl who is secretly hiding a wasting illness that has no outward manifestation or physical symptoms whatsoever

Otherwise known as "Ali MacGraw's Disease" where "the only symptom is that the patient grows more beautiful until finally dying".
posted by octothorpe at 3:10 AM on August 20, 2018 [3 favorites]


Well, you know what they say, big box office means never having to say you're sorry (for copying past success).
posted by gusottertrout at 3:32 AM on August 20, 2018


Armageddon's been on cable a lot here recently. (UK TV is weird--it seems like they get the rights for a bunch of showings of a film all at once, then play it to death for about a week.)

I've tried watching it again once or twice, and I'm always reminded of that scene from The Good Place with the Bad Place deodorant that smells like the Transformers films. "Ugh! How do you smell loud and confusing?"
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 3:55 AM on August 20, 2018 [1 favorite]


Earlier this year also saw the release of Tik Tik Tik, an Indian Tamil film obviously inspired by Deep Impact.
posted by cwhitfcd at 4:25 AM on August 20, 2018


I have a generic phrase that I yell at the screen when a movie is being stupid: "There's no sound in space!", implying that the Director/movie is not paying attention to the laws of Physics or common sense. When we watched Armageddon for the 1st time my long suffering wife asked me to refrain from yelling at the TV since we understood that this was NOT a realistic interpretation of an end of the world scenario but rather an attempt to separate people from their money. "lets just suspend disbelief and enjoy the movie" is the way she put it. 10 minutes into the movie she turned to me and gave me permission to yell. Good thing, too, as I was already close to exploding. I spent 35 years as a NASA employee at Kennedy Space Center supporting the Shuttle Program and launch activities. When they showed two shuttles launching within minutes of each other, I did explode.

Also, they filmed several scenes here at KSC. That manly, large ATV-like vehicle they used? Styrofoam. I liked it much better when they filmed Contact here. (or even Transformers)
posted by jeporter99 at 4:27 AM on August 20, 2018 [5 favorites]


Two blockbuster disaster movies that were encapsulated and eclipsed by their theme songs. Those songs were utterly ubiquitous for months on end in the city I lived in. Clever marketing trick that I don’t remember working so well before or since.

Christmas blockbuster season, 1972. Gene Hackman, Ernest Borgnine, Red Buttons, Leslie Nielsen, and God bless her, Shelley Winters. And a maudlin disaster movie theme song that was inescapable for weeks, much like the predicament of the people on the doomed ship.
posted by gimonca at 4:47 AM on August 20, 2018 [1 favorite]


I feel like this revisionist "Deep Impact isn't as bad as we remembered"

The revisionist part is remembering it being bad, though. It was pretty well regarded at the time. Yeah, in 1998 the debates were pretty wide ranging about which was the better and more memorable, and yeah we can now say 20 years later that it's pretty clear that Armageddon won out the latter category, but I don't remember any of those discussions at the time starting from the premise that Deep Impact was anything other than at least a good movie.
posted by solotoro at 4:52 AM on August 20, 2018 [3 favorites]


(on the other hand, a lot of them did start from the premise that Armageddon was pretty terrible.)
posted by solotoro at 4:54 AM on August 20, 2018 [1 favorite]


1999’s The Matrix and ExistenZ both tackled virtual reality and solipsism, though with rather different aesthetics.
posted by EarBucket at 6:14 AM on August 20, 2018 [3 favorites]


1999’s The Matrix and ExistenZ both tackled virtual reality and solipsism, though with rather different aesthetics.

But Dark City and 13th Floor also came out at about that time and had the same topic and aesthetic as The Matrix. (I remember that they all came out at the same time because a friend actually saw The Matrix in a self-arranged double feature with Dark City and called me about 20 minutes later and asked me to talk to him for a while to convince him that the world was real.)

How about The Truman Show and Ed TV?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:59 AM on August 20, 2018 [5 favorites]


There was also Dark City in 199&, which a lot of people say influenced The Matrix, and in 1999 there was The 13th Floor, which also drew comparisons. The end of the 20th century had a predilection for uncertainty of reality and our systems.
posted by gucci mane at 6:59 AM on August 20, 2018


(Argh, beat me to it!)
posted by gucci mane at 7:00 AM on August 20, 2018


A friend and I had a fantastic time seeing Armageddon in the theatre that summer, but we were very much indeed not sober. I'll never watch it again, though.
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:17 AM on August 20, 2018


gucci mane: "There was also Dark City in 199&, which a lot of people say influenced The Matrix, and in 1999 there was The 13th Floor, which also drew comparisons. The end of the 20th century had a predilection for uncertainty of reality and our systems."

The Matrix actually re-used some of the sets from Dark City.
posted by octothorpe at 7:28 AM on August 20, 2018 [1 favorite]


Since it looks like nobody's mentioned it yet, the Criterion edition of Armageddon provides a commentary track by a couple of NASA-affiliated people who consulted on the film that was totally worth the purchase price. Two hours of people occasionally talking about aerospace while trying very hard to find polite ways of saying, "and here's another thing they didn't listen to me about".
posted by suetanvil at 7:29 AM on August 20, 2018 [7 favorites]


deep impact wasn't bad; but, good lord, it wasn't good
posted by entropicamericana at 8:16 AM on August 20, 2018 [2 favorites]


I saw Deep Impact in the theatre when it came out; I've never seen Armageddon. The scene with Tea Leoni's character and her father waiting together on the beach as a tsunami gets ready to wash over them still sticks with me after all these years. Some of the movie is maudlin; perhaps this scene is too, but I still think about it from time to time.
posted by cass at 8:43 AM on August 20, 2018 [5 favorites]


Those songs were utterly ubiquitous for months on end in the city I lived in. Clever marketing trick that I don’t remember working so well before or since.

~^? Ummmm...Ghostbusters.
posted by sexyrobot at 8:54 AM on August 20, 2018 [1 favorite]


1983 pitted James Bond against James Bond in Octopussy vs. Never Say Never Again.

I saw both Deep Impact and Armageddon in the theater. I haven't watched either since. The former I remember as an entertaining apocalypse-meets-paranoid-thriller which is maybe a little too in love with its own importance and the latter as, honestly, the worst fucking movie of all time.
posted by octobersurprise at 9:21 AM on August 20, 2018 [3 favorites]


The prestige has batman vs wolverine battling to see who will be the supreme stage magician of 19th century London! With Alfred Pennyworth, the Black Widow, Gollum, and David Bowie as David Bowie.

In the same vein, American Hustle puts Batman, Lois Lane, Rocket Raccoon, Mystique, and Hawkeye all together for no reason at all. I don’t know that it is strictly speaking a movie in competition with another, save that for me most of what David O. Russell has made in the last decade melts into one indistinguishable JLawrence/BCooper/RDeNiro maudlin drama.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:52 AM on August 20, 2018 [1 favorite]


Tentacles vs. Orca with the Killer Whales playing hero and villian, respectivley.
posted by Cyrano at 10:50 AM on August 20, 2018 [1 favorite]


There's a book!!!!! Ok now I'm excited!
posted by WaterAndPixels at 11:19 AM on August 20, 2018


The Thin Red Line is entirely different. It’s a totally different beast. It’s as much of a World War 2 movie as much as it’s a Vietnam War movie. You regularly hear the thoughts of characters ruminating about their lives and war.

True, but the trailers featured the action pretty prominently, including a landing craft scene.
posted by kirkaracha at 12:15 PM on August 20, 2018


"I would like to see a remake in which an asteroid that is not only the size but the exact shape of Texas hits Texas and punches a Texas-shaped core out of the planet, and the core goes spinning off into space and eventually evolves its own race of super-Texans. In the meantime, on Earth, Oklahoma changes its state motto to "Oklahoma: We're Texas now!" "

Oh man, for a moment I was having one of those crisis moments where my Texan pride comes into conflict with the horribleness of many people and cultures here. That it is, until you busted out Oklahoma. Motherfuck that noise, if you're going to punch out Texas, it's only fair the surrounding states get sucked into the new Gulf of Texas. If we can find a way to push Arizona into the hole, all the better!
posted by GoblinHoney at 12:26 PM on August 20, 2018 [2 favorites]


The movie begins with a Charlton Heston narration telling us about the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs

And the dinosaurs didn't even die. They didn't even die! This movie, man.
posted by tapesonthefloor at 4:13 PM on August 20, 2018


Deep Impact doesn't have Peter Stormare in it, how is this a debatable contest?
posted by Brocktoon at 6:01 AM on August 21, 2018


But it does have Aleksandr Baluev...
posted by LizBoBiz at 7:06 AM on August 21, 2018


Hey, what about Antz and It's A Bug's Life?

A Bug's Life is good because it's a non-prequel Pixar film, of course. I remember mocking Antz for that stupid title when it first came out, and then actually liking it when I finally saw it (probably a DVD rental). You would think it'd be a terrible movie, now especially knowing Woody Allen is the main voice actor, but that's the extent of his involvement. Antz was definitely more adult-ish and serious, with political overtones. And A Bug's Life derived more humor out of misunderstandings than you would think, so ymmv. But both films are equally entertaining. Both also has stars who are problematic people now.
posted by numaner at 8:43 AM on August 21, 2018


[Antz and A Bug's Life] also has stars who are problematic people now.

Who's problematic in A Bug's Life? Did I miss a revelation about Phyllis Diller?
posted by hanov3r at 12:08 PM on August 21, 2018


Kevin Spacey. Plus it was directed by John Lasseter.
posted by octothorpe at 12:17 PM on August 21, 2018 [2 favorites]


1984 saw the Farms in Trouble Trilogy: Country, Places in the Heart, and The River.

Country: Jessica Lange, Sam Shepard, Wilford Brimley
Places in the Heart: Sally Field, Lindsay Crouse, Ed Harris
The River: Mel Gibson, Sissy Spacek, Scott Glenn
posted by kirkaracha at 2:39 PM on August 21, 2018


1981 had three werewolf movies:
Wolfen
The Howling
An American Werewolf in London
posted by octothorpe at 6:06 PM on August 21, 2018 [1 favorite]


Oh and 1974 was going to have dueling skyscraper-on-fire films with The Tower and The Glass Inferno but the studios merged them into The Towering Inferno which at least spared us from having to watch two bad movies.
posted by octothorpe at 6:12 PM on August 21, 2018 [1 favorite]


ricochet biscuit: " The Replacements was a football comedy with a far better cast than it had a right to (Gene Hackman, Keanu Reeves, Orlando Jones, Jon Favreau, Jack Warden), a decent script, and was entirely agreeable. "

Agreeable, except for being about fucking scabs, I guess.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:38 PM on August 24, 2018 [2 favorites]


yeah I can never reconcile my feelings between how scabs are terrible and how enjoyable that movie is.
posted by numaner at 2:23 PM on August 24, 2018 [1 favorite]


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