Archive for Disaster Films

A fantastic ‘new’ volcano movie.

Posted in Movies, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 17, 2019 by urbannight

I am a huge fan of disaster movies. I like flashy Hollywood films. I LOVE these well written, well acted, and well researched gems like this one. I even like some really bad ones if they can hold my attention and entertain me. I liked how several different stories are woven together here. I especially like how well the evacuation plan seemed to work. It is like someone really thought about how one could do it effectively. Not like most Hollywood movies in which either people refuse to leave or leave in an absolute panic. I grew up a few hundred miles from Mt. St. Helens and I remember when it erupted. There were people just like that old woman who refused to leave their home because it was where they wanted to be. I found this to be, in most ways, one of the most realistic volcano movies out there.

The volcano appears to be like Paricutin.  The type of volcano that developed in a cornfield in Mexico if anyone remembers it from their high school days.  Or if you are old enough to actually remember it in the news.  Or the one from the Hollywood blockbuster Volcano, in which one develops in L.A.  Only in this film it forms out in the harbor near the city of Auckland.  This is why I call it a ‘new’ volcano film.  It is about one that develops in a few days time in an unexpected location.

Clive is a volcanologist, obsessed with his work.  Molly his daughter trying to fix everything for everyone else.  And Mere, his second wife, an alcoholic obsessed with her own job while resenting Clive’s work and Molly’s presence in their lives.

A woman who must go in for a surgery and only supposed to be at hospital for one day.  So she doesn’t tell her children so they don’t worry.  Only they are behind at the hospital so she doesn’t go for surgery until the next day and is in recovery when the evacuation happens.  But no one listens to her as she keeps trying to tell them that her sons are on their own.  Typical kids, instead of leaving the area, they go towards to volcano to see it.

A young Chinese woman and her jerk of a boyfriend and his elderly landlady.  Both of them also Chinese.  The elderly woman won’t leave, the boyfriend deserts her, but she is found by police who are helping with the evacuation and eventually ends up back home in Shanghai.  Telling her family that her husband died in the eruption.

Okay, that was a bit of a spoiler.  But this movie really is worth the watch and it free if you have Amazon Prime.

Thoughts on Random Movies Randomly Selected by a Movie Poster Randomizer. Randomly.

Posted in Entertainment, Movies and Theatre with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 12, 2012 by urbannight

I have a couple of movie reviewers I follow. I like reviewers that, for the most part, like the same types of movies I like and yet have some differences of opinion or tend to focus on different aspects of those movies.  Not a perfect match, but maybe a 85% match in tastes.  Because that leaves room to be challenged with different ideas and opinions and to rethink where I stand on a movie.

Today I want to mention Fog because his review has a string of movie posters at the top of the page. I really want to mention those movies. By the way, the movie’s at the top change out every time you go to the page so if you go look you will see different posters. I have no idea how this randomized selection of images is generated, but I like it.  I saw this selection all at one time one day and had a visceral reaction to it.  So I figured I would share this list of films and a few thoughts on them.

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kidd w/ Paul Newman and Robert Redford. I haven’t seen it in ages. It has been over a decade for sure and possibly two. I remember watching it a lot whenever it was on T.V. For something I watched a number of times, I barely remember it. I remember that I really liked it a lot. This probably means it is more than time to re-watch it. I remember it as a comedy. It sort of bridged both comedy and western action genres.

Walt Disney’s the Jungle Book. I never could get into this movie. Everything about it seems ‘off’ to me. It seems like they didn’t have a good idea of what India was like so substituted it with the ‘deep south’. It never clicked for me. Although I remember reading the non-Disney version of the story and liking that. This was always a Disney ‘Fail’ in my book.

Animal House. This is one of those dim memory movies. Despite the fact I think I watched it not so very long ago. But then, the more I think about it, it could have been about 2 years ago. I always liked Peter Riegert. I think it was his thick, wavy hair and piercing expression. It always amused me that Donald Sutherland thought the movie was so bad and was certain that it would fail that, when offered a pay deal with 15% of the gross, he opted out and said he wanted a flat, one time payment. He was wrong. Despite being the highest paid cast member with little screen time, he lost out on millions. Not a great movie. Good concept. I liked the plot. And some really good acting here and there. It launched a few careers. But it decided that ‘gross’ was in and I hate that. Gross is what ruined it for me. I only re-watched it to refresh my memory after watching a documentary on the movie. As a big part of American pop culture, I figured I needed a refresher on it.

Airplane. A fun and funny movie totally making fun of comedies and disaster films all in one go. It is actually a remake of a 1950’s movie. The flight crew gets sick, with food poisoning. A former pilot who, is afraid to fly after the war, is on the plane chasing after an ex-girlfriend who wants to move on. His former military commander has to talk him down as he tries to land the unfamiliar plan. It was an all-star cast for the day. It was a huge success. If you haven’t seen it, why not and how old are you?

Pan’s Labyrinth. I love Guillermo del Toro’s films. This is one of the most haunting and beautiful and tragic (maybe) movies I have ever seen. This is the type of movie one never forgets, can list as a favorite, but may never watch again. The question always remains, was it a fantasy and she was really experiencing these things and did go to live in this magical world forever or was it just her very rich fantasy life making an unbearable situation tolerable and it ended with a horrible tragedy? That is what makes it so hard to watch more than once.

Goldfinger. This is the movie that makes the name Pussy Galore a pop-culture, iconical reference. If I can make up a word? Can I do that? (Can May, May Can, May can do the can can. 3 hrs of sleep, an exhausted mind, and I’m a little silly now.) I think I will. I think it is a word and this system just doesn’t recognize it. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. This movie introduces us to Oddjob, who may have shown up in another movie or is just so famous that we keep thinking he had a repeat performance. Of course, if it wasn’t for his hat that can cut through stonework, we might not have remembered him. This movie taught us all that if you cover yourself in gold paint, you have to leave a patch open so your skin can breathe or you suffered epidermal suffocation. I’m not even sure if this is true or not be we all believed it back then.

Going back to the name Pussy Galore and the use of double entendres for bond girls, I noticed an interesting trend in some research I was doing on Hammer Films. As European censors were growing more concerned with violence in movies and films watched the amount of violence but sex was okay, the reverse was happening in the U.S. and American censors were limiting sexual references and visuals but violence was a-okay. Just an interesting thing to see in the evolution of the film industry in Europe vs America. I never did get around to writing an article about that one phenomenon and now can’t remember all I wanted to discuss on the topic so I thought I would mention it here as a side note.

Young Frankenstein. I think is my favorite Mel Brooks movie. A true tribute to 1930’s Frankenstein movies, the black and while filming, the use of period transitions, and the use of period style music make this movie superior in every way to other tribute movies. I can’t imagine anyone not having seen this. Unless they are 10, in which case, their parents ought to be showing it to them.