THE END OF THE WORLD IS NIGH!!!
Apocalypse movies are a big hit with the film makers and they generally tend to be incredible visual spectacles with plenty of action and heartfelt drama. The general principle being that mankind works together to try and save itself against an oncoming event that has the potential to wipe out the planet! Here are a few of my personal favourites that you may also have a soft spot for…
This movie is a classic. Whether you love or hate him as a director, Michael Bay (of Transformers, The Rock, TMNT and Bad Boys to name but a few) was the perfect choice when it came to sending a manned team of astronauts to fly onto an oncoming asteroid and blow it out of the sky. A crack team of drilling experts led by harry Stamper (Bruce Willis) will experience a montage of gruelling simulations to get them ready for the ultimate outer space challenge of drilling. Yup, the logic is a bit backwards as to why they didn’t just train the already astronauts to drill instead of teach a bunch of idiots how to survive in outer space, but hey – that was answered in the special features disc when Ben Affleck (A.J. in the movie) asked Mr.Bay that very question. His response was a rather abrupt and rude “no”… or words to that extent. The visual effects are even now still considered as impressive,*SPOILER ALERT* especially when an enormous chunk of the asteroid breaks off and slams into Paris, totally annihilating it in its entirety. The comedy is helped along by a brilliant and (as always) crazy Steve Buscemi, especially when firing a Gatling cannon in outer space.
Also worth considering and released around the same time is Deep Impact. An almost identical version of this movie with more Elijah Wood and Danny Glover action than actual end of the world suspense.
For those young enough not to remember all the hype that was going around, back in around 2008-2009 people were getting worried that because the Mayan race who lived thousands of years ago had a calendar that ended in 2012, that was when the world was going to end. With that in mind Ronald Emmerich jumped on the apocalyptic movie bandwagon and made a movie directed at propelling some fear into the hearts of many about what might actually happen should that prophecy come true. The visual effects once again are pretty impressive. The part where you witness the San Andreas Fault completely open up and the part where the Super Volcano goes off in Yellow Stone national park are extraordinary. We follow a supposedly failed book writer Jackson Curtis (John Cusack) try his absolute best to somehow manage to keep his family alive during the oncoming doom of our planet. Now when I say doom, it’s more like a huge wakeup call if all the theories about global warming come to light. There are more puns in this than you can shake a stick at and the crazy old man played by Woody Harrelson is nothing short of superb. It’s a bit of a hit and miss film but if you want to scare yourself and perhaps start recycling, then it’s a good pick.
This movie was made on such a slim budget that many would struggle to see how it was so popular in the cinemas and certainly as a DVD/BluRay release. After watching this at the cinema I genuinely felt afraid of zombies. No longer were you going to have a man come ambling up to you slowly, moaning and giving his position away…oh NO. In this version of a world ending virus the crazy ex-people come charging at you at full speed, generally being more than just a bit bitey. Starring some excellent acting talent, including Christopher Ecclestone, Cillian Murphy and Brendan Gleeson it is a true testimony of how a limited budget and clever concept can create one of the best movies in its genre. The scene where they shot inner London with no people was done at around 4 a.m. in the morning when they knew they would be able to get some uninterrupted shots, as well as being able to give the look of being totally empty. It’s clever movie making at its best as well as being able to scare the pants off you if you watch it in the dark!
Not your typical end of the world movie here, but one that brings out a different perspective of how the world could indeed come to an end. With all the use of electronic devices and weird chemicals in our diets etc, the world has suddenly become infertile. Whether it is a genetic issue with men or with women people don’t seem to know. Our rather different protagonist in this movie Theo (Clive Owen) is a gambler and a drinker who is watching as the youngest people in the world are being killed off due to being famous and no one is able to bear a child.*SPOILER ALERT* He bumps into a band of “save the world” types and ends up finding a pregnant woman. Theo must then try and get this girl to a safe place and away from the remaining crazy folk who seem only set on stopping the world from being “reborn” so to speak. Michael Caine also stars as a loveable old Granddad in the woods who shelters Theo and the pregnant girl at a great cost. It’s a very moving film and is certainly worth sitting through some rather long talking scenes to get to the real crux of the movie.
A bit of a lighter movie and one that I hold in great esteem as it had a lot to live up to from it’s cult status as a TV series. Some of Sci-Fi’s great characters are dusted off the shelf and brought to life in this (sort of) light hearted movie about a man called Arthur Dent. Arthur (Martin Freeman) has a best friend by the name of Ford Prefect who *SPOILER ALERT* actually turns out to be an alien who writes for the best selling Hitchhikers Guide in the Universe. I put this movie in this list primarily because the planet earth does actually get blown up. In fact it is bulldozed by a Vogon battle fleet making way for a new hyperspace highway.
Again it’s a cast heavily embodied with British talent (and quite rightly so) including Richard Griffiths as the voice of Zelch the Vogon commander, Bill Nighy as Slartibartfast, Alan Rickman as Marvin the paranoid android, Helen Mirren as Deepthought the supercomputer and it’s all nicely rounded off with Stephen Fry providing a wonderful voiceover/narration to the proceedings. Round this off with a witty script and some of the most iconic answers to “What is the question to life, the universe and everything” And yes my friends you have a wonderful movie that’s fairly safe to watch with the kids, (if not worth a watch first just in case) not to mention flirty thanks to Zooey Deschanel as the love interest and an enjoyable spectacle for all.
The “didn’t quite make the list” list: As with all these lists I can only go by some of my own personal experiences but there are many more out there if you really fancy going after the true end of the earth fright fest. Some may get a little bit of stick from review sites but if you like the genre then hey, be my guest and check out a few of these belters:
Knowing – 2009. If you can look past the Cage factor and get to the root of this movie it’s actually kind of cool.
Fifth Element – 1997. It’s an incredible film. This classic with Milla Jovovic and Bruce Willis still stand the test of time. As iconic as it is entertaining.
The Matrix – 1999. The machines have taken over and we live inside their computer program. Or do we? Or is that only if I take the blue pill? What’s really going on? Who knows?!
Dogma – 1999. A very clever comedy designed around two angels finding a loophole in Catholic mythology to get themselves back into heaven. Comedy ensues…
No matter what you decide to watch, there’s no denying it – the end of the world never looked so good! If you want to try out your favourite movie on one of our fantastic big screen TVs, give us a ring to arrange a demonstration in one of our home-styled demo rooms today.
Author – Andrew, Weybridge store