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Review

Armageddon - 2nd Review

Well as I said I would, I have. I just saw ARMAGEDDON here in Austin, away from all the glitz and glamour of a Hollywood (in Florida) premiere, and unlike the Godzilla reversal, I loved it a second time. But as usual let me do the set up.

I woke up this morning after 17 hours of sleep, coming off of a 52 hour straight run of no sleep. My father woke me with, "Come on get up, Armageddon starts in an hour!" Oh, just in case you didn't know, my father loved the film even more than I did. So I sit up and begin downloading email. Lots of email with ARMAGEDDON as the subject line. So I could only presume it has to do with my premiere coverage.

"Your best review yet!!!" "You fucking sellout" "Glad you liked it as much as me" "How much did Bruce Willis pay you at Planet Hollywood!" Exactly what I expected. I know going to the premiere's will do nothing but breed contempt for me and the site from a segment of my readership. I know this going into it, why then do I go? Because it's fun. Because it's an experience I would not otherwise have. Do I know that all of the glitz and all of the glamour will affect me? Yes, that's why I include it in the review, that's why I always include my day in the reviews, because the film itself is never ever in a vacuum chamber. A film seen alone in a room is still affected by the viewers' own private experiences. Therefore those private experiences must be brought up when explaining the affect the film had on the viewer.

One reader forwarded me reviews from Roger Ebert, The New York Times, USA Today. They are of course extremely negative. As was the Variety review before it. And so far the only positive reviews I have read were the reviews from Hollywood Reporter and the Austin American Statesman's Chris Garcia. Garcia compares it with the best from John Woo. What do I think about that? Well, I rate HARD BOILED and THE KILLER above ARMAGEDDON, but I put FACE/OFF on an even keel with it. Sure yell and scream at me all ya want. Call me names, throw a gigabyte of hateful letters at me, but it won't change the way I feel. The very same that going to a premiere and having a publicity dweeb tell me and reenforce my opinion with, "I've never quite seen anything like it" and "Wasn't that an aaaaaaamazing film." does nothing to me as well.

By the way to address the naysayers. "First off a week ago Planet Hollywood Online fired me, and everyone else because Planet Hollywood wasn't going to continue supporting it. So by the normal person's reaction level I should have bombed the living fuck out of the film, because isn't that the way you are supposed to feel after your boss fires your ass? I mean from a financial point of view I'm pretty much fucked. Dad and I aren't selling collectibles anymore, if the advertising doesn't start paying soon or if my book doesn't sell... well then I'm pretty much fucked, and will have to go back to selling collectibles, which we stopped doing because Planet Hollywood had hired me. So that's alot of pent up hostility that I could have hurled at the personification of that 'boss' that fired me, but instead I love his movie. Not because he's paying me (which he ain't anymore) but because I honestly love the film. Just as the reviewers from Hollywood Reporter and the Austin American Statesman did."

So after reading the mail, which I knew was coming. Just for the record I had 16 'you're a sellout' letters and 38 'saw you on E!, you kick ass' or 'loved the review' letters. So it wasn't even a majority. I understand the negativity aimed at me for going. Just like everytime Siskel and Ebert love a Disney film and you read the newsgroup discussions about what a pair of sell outs they are because their television show is financed by Disney. Whoa! Wait a second, you telling me the guy (Ebert) who gets a big huge gigantic paycheck from Disney television is a sell out when he gives ARMAGEDDON, Disney's gigantic huge summer film One Star! No, he ain't a sell out, same as me, I ain't a sell out either. But see this is the problem. Writing is a living. To make a living someone has to pay you. Ebert chose to get paid via Disney when he and Siskel went that route. They knew it would look bad, but they knew deep down that they were honest people, so they took it. Same as alot of you folks would, I ain't saying all, cause god knows some sort of 'Eliot Ness' type will raise his/her arm and say, "not me". Well fine.

Also to address the whole payola bit. Disney paid my way out there, but I incurred $150 bucks in cab fair and misc. expenses which came out of my pocket to go see a friggin movie. How many of you would pay $150 dollars to go see a movie? That's my NEGATIVE cost. That's right, I didn't get an honorarium, no gift check redeemable at THE DISNEY STORE, no 'I'll pay the rent this month' thing. Nope, I wrote the check to pay the rent this morning just like you, and like you there ain't a whole lot left in the bank after that check clears. So enough of this payola crap.

So Dad and I head off for the theater, mainly talking about 'Damned if you do" and "Damned if you don't" scenarios, etc. When we arrive at the theater the parking lot is basically empty, except for a school bus of kids going to see DR DOOLITTLE. We buy our tickets, and head in. We are here 30 minutes early and there was only one other person in the theater. Just like the audience for GODZILLA the second time. Well, I comment to Dad, "Uh oh, one person, same theater, I'm gonna hate the movie" Dad and I begin laughing to our seats. Then as the thirty minutes go by the theater begins filling up. About two thirds full. Notably unlike GODZILLA. This was for a 12:30 screening on a Wednesday at the Highland 10, the same theater and day of the week as the second screening of Godzilla.

Yes, I still love the film. This time the first moisture didn't appear in my eyes till the scene where Bruce has all his men around the table and he's telling them what's happening. WHAT ON EARTH!!! Well, it's like this... sure that ain't an emotional scene for a lot of ya, but I can't help but imagine telling Hallenbeck, Glen, Robogeek, Johnny Wad, Paul, Copernicus about the end of the world and how we are the only things to stop it. I mean can you? Can you imagine getting together your closest group of friends around a table and telling them that y'all are all gonna have to go do something that'll probably kill all of ya, but the world will survive because of it. To me... for whatever insane reason, that is a powerful scene. Now I can say I didn't get as emotional as often the second time. But it did strike me as a fantastic movie.

Not the best movie ever, not as the best movie this year. Hell not even the best movie I have seen in the last week, that would be BLADE RUNNER which I saw last Friday as part of the Warner Brothers Film Festival. On my ratings of favorite films of the year it goes like this.... 1.Six String Samurai, 2.Vampires 3. Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas, 4. Out Of Sight 5.Armageddon. In my list of the best movies of the year it doesn't make my top ten. But I enjoy the hell out of it. Now the Austin American Statesman reviewer calls it "The Best American Film This Year" Ummmm that's a bit strong, but then he hated Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

Why does the film hit me the way it does and why do the people that hate it, hate it so. Well I'm gonna try to answer that.

In the movie there is a throw away side plot line about Will Patton's character. From the looks of it he was married, or in love with this lady once and had a kid with her, and now she has a court order to keep him away from her and her kid. There is zero development on this situation, no effort to make us understand why this has happened. And it's purpose is sheer emotional manipulation. It hits me and my dad so hard. I mean massive amounts of tears and smiles. Why? Why does that get me and my father? Because my mother took me and my sister away from him. He was everything to me, she was a bitter alcoholic. And I remember what it was like to see my father after months of not seeing him. I remember counting the days, the seconds till I could run up and hug him, to spend 48 hours with him. To listen to his voice on the phone. I know what it's like to not have all that you love, and then to be reunited for a short time, knowing it's not forever. And all of that, all of those feelings, those experiences.. I carry all of that with me when I see that scene.

That's why I say film is a personal experience, why rating a film with stars or empty popcorn buckets is useless, because film ultimately is about who you are. What experiences you have and how they form the mind that analyzes all that you see and hear. With me a still from Casablanca brings the French National Anthem and Paul Hereid and Ingrid Bergman and the immortal Rick singing in defiance of the Nazis. That's from a still. When someone says the word "Huh" it reminds me of my mother drunk and angry as hell screaming "HUUUUUH?" Why? Because that's the way my mind works, because I react and remember experiences and they are all cross referenced in this card catalogue I call my mind. I don't know if everyone else is like that, sometimes I don't, but I know we all have memories, some choose to shut them down, I open them up, I take the brake pedal off and let them flow.

That's why even the worst films sometimes work for me, that's why I liked THE POSTMAN, it struck something in me, deep down, and I wish I had a chance to edit 10 minutes out of it to make it perfect for me. This film has several moments, several pieces that work like that. But overall I love the characters. From Bruce to Billy Bob to Ben to Bear to the Bottle Rocket guy, all of em. Hell I even like the guy who wouldn't put on Roddy Piper's sunglasses.

So why do some people absolutely hate the film?

Well I've given this a lot of thought, and I don't think I can answer it completely because I'm not one of those people that pretends to know all sides to everything. But I have read several bad reviews from regular fans and from Ebert, USA Today, Variety and the New York Times. And I think to some people it's in the suspension of disbelief. For example it bothers Ebert that they walk around like they are in normal gravity on the asteroid. Well, to me the little backpack thing that Jennifer Steen explains about with the little thrust thingees is the 'universal translator' that let's them walk around. I accept that, sure it's probably impossible, same as Trek's 'Universal Translator' but hell maybe it is possible, so I let it go. Like I said, this is the Bruckheimer Universe and to me that takes care of a lot of scientific implausibilities.

Some people are angry that NASA gave this movie all the cooperation they did. One guy at the Premiere Party was angry about this (he hated the movie) because he felt NASA should never endorse something that is bad science. Well, that is a point, but the way I see it is this, it shows NASA solving a problem that could save the earth. It shows the space program overcoming adversity and being that 'dream' that those of us that have built NASA rocket models have always felt it was capable of. I think NASA saw this as a TOP GUN that showcased them, I agree. You may not. That's your right. I do know that at the Aerosmith concert after the Premiere, I was surrounded by NASA Astronauts, a Colonel and some scientists, and while we waited for the concert they talked about the film. About how they loved it, and how they thought that kids would want to be astronauts because of it. That might very well be why NASA did it, because they wanted a great big recruitment sign called ARMAGEDDON that might get kids wanting to go to space.

One anti-ARMAGEDDON person hated the film because it was the most patriotic load of shit ever. Well, read my POSTMAN review to find out what I think of patriotism. Suffice to say, I am a patriot. I celebrate July 4th. I'm an Eagle Scout and always will be, same as my Dad, his Dad and his Dad. I don't think the United States is stupid, or that an American Flag is cheesy. I believe in ideals, that's why Mr. Smith Goes To Washington works on me. My patriotism goes further though. I get all wispy eyed when I hear other country's anthems, I love national anthems, they tend to be embroiled with emotional pride. That gets me. So does that make me a creme puff? No, I just licked my hand and it wasn't at all like licking a creme puff, those are good, trust me, I've had a few. At the same time I understand those that don't salute a flag, or hold the presidency with honor. They have had different experiences and different feelings, that is what is so great about people. We feel differently, we think differently, and I love differences. I don't look at skinny people and think, They should be fat like me. I don't look at bald people and say They should have hair. To me, I'm glad I'm different, and in this case, If I like Armageddon and you don't. That's fine too, it'll give us something to talk about in line May 25th, 1999 when we're all the same.

Readers Talkback
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  • Aug. 3, 1998, 6:45 a.m. CST

    Armageddon

    by Sinead McAllister

    How can Armageddon be rated 6 out of 10??? Come on guys seriuosly - it has to be one of the worst "Corporate" movies ever produced. Poor ole Brucy - the longer his hair is the worse the movie.

  • Aug. 3, 1998, 10:55 a.m. CST

    Planet Hollywood

    by Dicky

    You've been sacked by Planet Hollywood!!! What is this crazy shit?? Fill me in man - what happened. Life's a real bitch sometimes.

  • Aug. 3, 1998, 8:18 p.m. CST

    Armageddon sucks!

    by Brian Claeys

    [ contrary to your second Armageddon review ] How can I begin my expression of hatred for this terribly dumb movie? Should I start with the EXTREME scientific impossibilities (hearing deafening noises in a vacuum), the degrading plot (hero save world & simple love interest), or Brue Willis's annoying half-southern accent? Hmmm. All enough to induce vomiting! I REALLY wish I'd have brought ear plugs! Cheers, Brian Claeys

  • Aug. 4, 1998, 1:10 p.m. CST

    what the hell are you talking about????

    by Daniel Kaplan

    first off some people have trouble realizing that this is entertainment... hmm what a concept .... in entertainment things have to be changed... so what that you can hear a noise in space... you want to have luke doing the trench run on the deathstar in complete silence..... another thing is that this is science fiction which in many times is a predecessor to actual science..... dont believe me read aldous huxley... issac asminoz... and many other science fiction writers.. guess what the stuff they wrote about back then that was scientific impossibilities... like cloning in brave new world .... oh shit guess what cloning humans is not really a scientific imposiblity anymore.... there making laws against it because its possible...... but as for me i love the sound of tie fighters and x-wings fighting in space and would rather accept the fact that thats not possible and live with it then watch the movie in silence.... what a dumb ass you should get a life

  • Aug. 5, 1998, 1:34 p.m. CST

    Armageddon

    by pepe

    Ok, ok, so I'm a little late in discussing Armageddon, but that does not disqualify me from airing my total abhorrence to that two and half hour plus piece of crap. Not only was the movie long, stupid, and totally preposterous, but I had to endure the damn thing with a girl who was as quick as a slug after crawling inside a glass of beer. Onto the movie. First of all I had a problem with the timing sequence. First we see Bruce 'No more Demi' Willis shooting a gun on an oil rig in the South China Sea. Some genius this guy is. God forbid he should he hit a pipe filled with some kind of dangerous gas and blow everyone up. Then again maybe the movie would be over. Anyway, he gets lifted off the damn rig and flown to Houston. Ten minutes later he tells Billy Bob 'Hearts Afire' Thorton that he wants his own crew for the job. So he assembles the same crew we saw ten minutes before jumping around and acting all cool on a oil rig. How the hell did these dumbasses get off the rig and then spread out so quickly. One was in South Dakota, one was in West Texas, one was in Vegas, one even started his own company in the period of what I thought was like 18 hours. They must have all hopped in their supersonic jets. It would have been just as believable. Ok, then we have an hour of stupid base humor that tries to make us feel that these roughnecks are really cool and the right men for the job. Then the mission. First off why wouldn't have Ben 'I'm with Damon 'Affleck started singing 'Rocket Man' or 'Major Tom'. 'Leaving on a Jet Plane' is a really downer of a song, yet Liv 'Man Alive' Tyler thinks it sweet. But then again she also thinks Affleck's poor British accent combined with animal crackers is sweet too. Small things for small minds. Why do the 'Armadillos' have guns on them? Do they think they were going to run into moon monsters on the asteroid? I also think the Armadillo Association of Texas should boycott the film for using the name Armadillo anywhere in such a bad film. Ok, so now we see these crazy, nutty guys flying around making wise ass jokes. Of course, one must add the funny foreigner. I swear, when foreign actors come over to the United States, after an illustrious carreer in their homeland, they are always inevitably put into some schlockfest piece of garbage so the director can claim he's got an international cast. You know, nobody claims that when Dan Aykroyd gets cast in a film. Then one of the ship crashes. Boom! Bang! Everybody dead! Thank god. No! Wait a minute, three people survived a crash after smashing into a rock at 10,000 miles per hour. And no airbags! Put that in your pipe and smoke it Mr. Nader! Then of course the best pilot in the world overshoots the landing area by twenty miles. He must work for ValuJet. Then they start digging and the other crew jumps canyons, somehow eroded by water. Now, I'm no astronomer, but Asteriods with evidence of major rivers? Hmmm. Anyway more people die. Thank god. Then they dig an 800 foot hole in like five minutes. I work in the oilfield services industry. I fell out of my seat at that point. Also one nuclear weapon will blow up a rock the size of Texas? At least the rock in Deep Impact was the size of NYC. But let's kill Willis anyway. I won't even get into the jingoistic aspects of the film, that would have made a person just a little right of Jesse 'Smoke'em if you got 'em' Helms even throw up. I did enjoy the part where Paris got blown up. I missed the wedding at the credits. Did Ben Affleck look good?

  • Aug. 5, 1998, 1:35 p.m. CST

    Reviews

    by William Scott Foree

    Hi, Just read your second Armageddon review. I personally loved the film as well. But the reason I am writing is to tell you that I really appreciate the way you review movies. I like your style and agree with your feelings on why you think people like and don't like movies. What really got me interested in writing back to you is the comments you made on patriotism and NASA's involvement in the film. Being in the U.S. Air Force myself stationed in RAF Lakenheth in the U.K. I feel that I have a good bit of patriotism and it is nice to hear from others who really appreciate what we have. I to get a little teary eyed at national anthems. I really liked your point on the NASA connection and I think you absolutely right. I think that we need to focus a little more on those areas. Well I guess that that is all I really have to say. I acctually have just recently started reading your reviews. Found The premiere review when looking for something on Armaggeddon. As you probably know most movies come out later here than in the states. So that gives me a chance to read about and decide which I might like before hand. Needless to say that your site is now bookmarked and I will return often to see what you think of other ovies comeing out. Keep up the good work. I really enjoy reading it. Have a good day and see you next time. SSgt William Scott Foree

  • Aug. 7, 1998, 1:35 a.m. CST

    Dan the van is a tosser

    by Andy

    Pepe was talking sense and incapsulating how I felt about the Willis Suckfest far better and more concisely than Knowles' review. Have you noticed that both Armageddon and Godzilla had cast members from Herman's Head in them? or that Armageddon had 3 people from Pulp Fiction and 2 from Con Air. Inci-Dentally wasn't the dentally-challenged Steve Buscemi playing the same character he played in Con Air?

  • Aug. 8, 1998, 3:08 a.m. CST

    Armageddon

    by chris

    I loved this movie, and can't wait to see it again. In your rating i gave it a 9, only let down by some poor effects on the astoriod surface, even though the comody made up for it. I was wondering how did you get to see the premiere as that would be a dream of mine and also what would your rating be of the film. Long time reader Chris

  • Aug. 13, 1998, 1:56 a.m. CST

    Armageddon it

    by Bruce Wayne

    OK, so Armageddon opened here on Friday, and I went to see it Tuesday. Im sure you will all agree that this year has been a huge stinker for the big-money blockbusters, and although we all say we enjoy the little films like "Chasing Amy", and "Denise Calls Up", sometimes theres nothing better than holing up in your nearest cinema and watching 2 hours of non-stop entertainment. And I've got to say, that's just what ARMAGEDDON was, pure entertainment. Sure it was the cheesiest peice of American back-slapping movie making since, well since the last American big budget movie that opened over here, (Lost in Space by the way), but who cares it was soooo much fun. People, actually cried in the cinema at Bruce's goodbye speech to Liv Tyler. Throwaway characters, little depth, non-sensical storylines...it had all these, but it was still the best blockbuster pic I've seen this year. I love the cinema, I really do, but these days I think that too many people try to make out that films are something that they are not. Armageddon was never going to be a deep and insightful movie, IT WAS NEVER MEANT TO BE THAT WAY, what it was was 2 hours plus of good solid entertainment, nothing more, nothing less. As far as the American Back-Slapping is concerened, well they did just pour millions of dollars into this movie, so lets let 'em do so. Imagine if this was made in the Uk with no budget and actors like Paul McGann...it would have been dire. Personally, I cant wait for the sequel Armageddon II Where a giant piece of American Cheese is headed for movie theaters around the globe. Mark

  • Aug. 13, 1998, 5:10 a.m. CST

    Arm a deddin' fed up

    by Andy

    The annoying thing is this film *WAS* trying to be serious. When Bruce Willis saw people laughing at the film in Cannes he got really pissed! If the film was just meant for entertainment he wouldn't have minded but he got huffy and said they weren't taking the end of the world seriously enough! As if they had been laughing at the REAL end of the world. Goddammit! Men in Black is a big blockbuster but is still a quality film with imaginative direction and good acting. So none of this "Well what do you expect, its supposed to be crap" Starship Trooper was corny too but at least it wasn't about big name stars' egos and spent the money on decent affects so the audience didn't fall asleep. No one's mentioned the horrendous soft rock soundtrack either. Bon Jovi? Please. And all the scenes with Liv Tyler had to have Aerosmith music. Is that Michael Bay's idea of Post-Modern Irony?

  • Aug. 13, 1998, 8:34 a.m. CST

    Armageddon

    by pepe

    It seems quite linear thinking that a person who liked the movie Armageddon would criticize someone who didn't by referring to them in scatalogical terms. I guess the old adage of 'shit equals more shit' stands true. As for the fact that Mr. Bay was not trying to make a serious movie, why else would someone put in so many jingoistic bludgeonings, if he didn't have a message. The message was 'While little brown people pray, we Americans go out and blow up space rocks, because obviously you people are idiots.' What a nice message to send to people in a country that is pretty xenophobic anyway. At least in Deep Impact the Russians were trying to help out and in ID4 the whole world sent their air forces. It'll be interesting if Steve Buscemi now gets type cast (what a stretch.) Now as for you British people liking Armageddon, I'm not surprised you are the country that produced Marmite and Tele Tubbies.

  • Aug. 14, 1998, 1:14 a.m. CST

    Pepe's Angry

    by Bruce Wayne

    Pepe, O.K., so your highbrow views and supercillious babblings cannot get past the fact that everyone doesn't need thought provoking, head-numbing cinema all the time. We all need escapism, we all need to forget bills, mortgage, work etc for a couple of hours a week. GET INTO THE PICTURE BUDDY. I'm sure that our Asian counterparts in Bollywood, the Chinese film industry, the Spanish, the French etc.. would, if they had enough money, make action films where their own race saves the world, and why not, just because the US has the funds to do this doesn't make them in anyway xenophobic, just patriotic. As far as your personal comments go, you are somewhat at odds in you argument, my friend. You decry the Americans as xenophobes, and then you go on to make a profoundly xenophobic comment towards us brits. Get your head out of your ass, lighten up, get a life and structure your thoughts before putting them to paper/screen. If you spent less time trying to impress everyone with your decidedly gargantuan vocabulary, and thought about what you were trying to say, maybe, MAYBE, your points would be salient, pertinent and relevant. MARK

  • Aug. 14, 1998, 7:39 a.m. CST

    vocabulary

    by Andy

    Using linear and scatalogical in a sentence does not mean you are showing off. Unless you are American in which case spelling a sentence correctly usually means you go to Harvard. Sorry Pepe, I was defending you and your opinions of Armageddon but now you have criticised marmite, Teletubbies and the UK in one sentence I cannot stick up for you any longer.

  • Aug. 14, 1998, 7:41 p.m. CST

    what you said in #2 Armageddon review

    by Michelle Pulich

    I like what you said about the card catalog of the mind, and about how the movie experience also incorporates what we (ourselves- just PEOPLE) bring to it. I agree. Also the personal aspect of the movies and that individual effect they're gonna have on us-- that idea and how your reviews are replete with it makes me happy to read your stuff. I like it.

  • Aug. 16, 1998, 6:33 p.m. CST

    Armageddon (of course)

    by Idaho

    Personally, I didn't enjoy this movie. Although I admired the casting director (brought together alot of my favorite actors into one movie). So I did enjoy that. However, this movie had yet another cookie-cutter plot, and that disappointed me. I'm one of those sick people who can't enjoy a movie just because of special effects. It was the same way when I saw Independance Day. Sure, we've all seen stuff blow up, now just write a good story around it, it really helps. Plus, this movie was too long. Sure, it's regular length, but when I saw it, I had to sit through an animated "short", called The Sweater, which clocks in alone at 15-20 minutes. Followed by a ton of previews. I was in there for 3 hours+. My ass was sore, to say the least. Oh, and one thing that bothered me (and believe me, I can suspend disbelief very easily): Why did they bring machine guns? To fight aliens?

  • Aug. 22, 1998, 3:04 p.m. CST

    Pepe is a bitch

    by Biggie

    Need I say more?

  • Aug. 25, 1998, 9:32 p.m. CST

    What about Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas?

    by Matt

    With all the complaining about Harry praising Armageddon, you people have failed to mention Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. This is easily the worst movie I saw all year (I don't plan to see The Avengers), and Harry says this is the 3rd best movie in the first half of 1998? Ranking it above Out of Sight? Hello? I happened to like Armageddon. I wasn't expecting much (I saw Out of Sight earlier that week and was not expecting Armageddon to be better. I was right.) I didn't notice a lot of hype for the movie, and know Jerry Bruckheimer can't make a really great movie (except Crimson Tide, I'm still waiting for him to make something equal to that movie...), so my hopes weren't that high. I wasn't blown away or anything, nor was I expecting to. But I liked the film just the same. P.S. If you think I committed some crime by going to watch Armageddon, then you are a fucking idiot. Anybody who believes that going to see a certain film is wrong doesn't deserve to watch movies at all.

  • Aug. 25, 1998, 9:36 p.m. CST

    Also...

    by Matt

    I would rank Armageddon above There's Something About Mary and Blade any day of the week. There's Something About Mary just wasn't that funny, and I am not a very big fan of the comic book genre, so I can't say that Blade was great. (but if you are a fan, go see Blade...)

  • Aug. 26, 1998, 7:27 a.m. CST

    Armageddon

    by Heather Bradbury

    Thanks for the reviews - it pushed me over the edge to see it. (That and the intrigue that it made my 16 year old cousin who is not known for her "warm & fuzzy" emotional side cry numerous times.)

  • Aug. 28, 1998, 12:36 p.m. CST

    Re: Pepe's review

    by JayM

    Just a couple points about the realism of the movie mentioned in the early part of Pepe's review re: the oil rig and crew. First, you could shoot a lot of things on a drilling rig with no problems at all. The majority of those pipes are filled with drilling mud and water. Slightly caustic, yes. Explosive, no. At worst you'd hit a fuel tank, full of diesel, which wouldn't even start on fire, never mind explode. Second, within 18 hours of a rig shutdown, you will find the crew at opposite ends of the country / world. Roughnecks come from around the world for projects like that, and it doesn't take that long to fly anywhere nowadays. Third, oil companies are started, make millions, and die in less time than it takes most of us to put in 3 days of work. If you have a contract and some backing, you're working tomorrow. There is no long procedure of set-up, buying offices, etc, etc. By the time you did that, someone else would have the contract. As for the drilling 800 feet in five minutes, I'll give you that one. But, to the general public, I could see it being believable. Spin something fast enough, they'll think you can dig that fast. Yes, nitpicking points, but if the shoe fits... I'm curious about what part of the oil services industry you work for?

  • Sept. 4, 1998, 2:04 p.m. CST

    Nit-pick-a-rama

    by Ken

    Yes, all this has probably been said before - but I just can't help nit-picking when it comes to science! Yes, Armageddon was great entertainment - if you switched your improbable plot filter to "max". But how much are we supposed to take? Remember those guys throwing scaffolding poles about on that asteroid, and running around - feet firmly on the ground? Do you know what the escape velocity of an asteroid of that size is? Well - jump for joy. If you did, you wouldn't come back down again. You'd be so light, you'd almost be floating. Yes, I know we are supposed to suspend belief, but this is schoolboy stuff. Audiences are stupid, but just a passing reference to gravity (or rather the lack of it)would have been appreciated. It's that cigar chomping studio head again: "ahhh gravity, shmavity! The audiences are so dumb..they'll never work it out!" Yep, maybe he's right.

  • Sept. 6, 1998, 4:02 a.m. CST

    Sheer pap...

    by ANT

    I saw Armageddon with my usual two film viewing friends a few weeks back and the Subject line basically tells you my view of it! Two things struck me as I watched it - the use of CGI in films generally and the 'America saves the world' syndrome. The effects were good to an extent but it's amazing how dull and lifeless they seem after being bombarded with them for 1 hour non-stop. CGI is best used for subtle effects or for massive, short utterly amazing sequences - take 'Breakout' for example. Yes, it did have CGI in it. Didn't notice? Well, that's kind of the point really. 'Lost in Space' pushed it a bit, but it was mostly for short, tense action scenes and was fantastic. Here it burns into your retina endlessly and soon becomes tiresome and you're actually WANTING a quiet indoor scene or something! Now, nothing against Americans, but there is FAR too much macho, patriotic posturing. 'Independance Day' had it too, but at least it had a sense of humour, 'Armageddon' took itself way too seriously. You mentioned you had tears in the scene where Bruce Willis was telling the guys some may die and rounded off by saying 'Let's go save the world.' or similar - at the cinema I was in there was an audible cringe across the whole theatre. I preferred 'Lost in Space' to this extra-long dullard - at least I laughed!

  • Sept. 6, 1998, 4:09 a.m. CST

    er..

    by ANT

    That was 'Outbreak' actually, but you get the idea..

  • Sept. 7, 1998, 1:53 p.m. CST

    JJ has a point

    by Ken

    Well - of course JJ has a point, Harry. The scipt did have "suck" written all over it, but that didn't stop us parting with our dollars (or pounds) to go and see all those special effects we'd read about in the pre-release hype. That brings me back to my nit-pick. (see above) If the script has more howlers than a pack of rabid bloodhounds, the least they can do is not to also insult our brains by forgetting every law of physics. Yes, I know we have to allow some poetic licence. We allowed plenty in Terminator II - but somehow it all seemed so much more plausible...

  • Sept. 9, 1998, 3:28 a.m. CST

    Armageddon in Europe

    by Avenger

    Hey guys i thought i'd give you a European's view(a greek's actually)on Armageddon. Generally,i liked the film.I didn't care much for the romance between the two leads(Afleck's romace in "Chasing Amy" was miles ahead in comparison).Frankly,i think Tyler's acting is VERY wooden.As for the story...well it was kinda hard to swallow.In my opinion there was no way they would send Oil driilers with absolutely no space experience.At least we didn't have them piloting the shuttles!Overall i think the movie was way better than id4 and con air for that matter. Greetings,Avenger

  • Sept. 9, 1998, 12:17 p.m. CST

    Armageddon

    by Squire Gargamel

    I liked the movie. If it would've been 100% accurate, it would have been boring as H-E-double toothpicks. The only questions I have are: what was the composition of the asteroid? That matters. The major observation I had was when they were discussing the impact potential of the strike. All they talked about was how many people would die. Please! An asteroid the size of Texas. We would be lucky if it didn't crack the planet open down to the core!

  • Sept. 10, 1998, 1:28 a.m. CST

    If not America...

    by DED

    For those who seem to have a problem with America being the ones to save the world, I have a question. If America didn't do it, who the hell would? Canada? BWA-HA-HA-HAAA!!! Just remember, there is a very real line between arrogance and being right. No, wait - I know who would save us if America didn't. The British. Right. ...BWA-HA-HA-HA-HAAAA!!!

  • Sept. 18, 1998, 11:37 p.m. CST

    Why Armageddon doesn't work for me.

    by Traveller

    Let me start off by saying I did like Godzilla. Just to put things in sort of perspective. I did NOT like Armageddon. A few of the scenes were amusing, a few of the ideas were interesting. I did not come to my conclusion about the film immediately, mind you. I rarely come to my conclusions quickly about a film. I usually need time to digest, and I sometimes need a second showing. My reasons are thusly. Sure, all sci-fi delves into speculation, some firm, some fanciful. Armageddon had some stuff I could buy technically, like the thruster suits. Other stuff was too much. Like heavily armored shuttles docking on spindly little struts on a space station WHILE it is moving, where the gravity is strongest! On any spinning platform, you would want your docking struts to be in the middle, where it moves the least and gravitity is lowest. Plus, the direction of the artificial gravity was totally wrong. It always radiates out from the central axis. Plus, space shuttles maneuvering like jet fighters? After the realistic handling of modern space flight like the series The Cape, and believable modeling of combat maneuvering in space on Babylon 5 by space faring races using reaction thrusters, I just couldn't go with it. But let me say this. Technical accuracy or not, special effects good and bad, those alone will not sink a picture for me. There is one thing I demand in a film, no matter the genre. A good story. In Armageddon, we had a basic adventure story about the end of the world. Comic book stuff. Nothing wrong with that, as I love comics. But this wasn't even a bad comic. It was a rock video. Cardboard characters, and moments of good performance buried in all style, no substance. It takes more than a few good moments to make the film for me. You know why it really didn't cut it for me? Of all the things I detest in people, in the written word, commercials, I hate manipulation attempts. This movie was one big attempt at manipulation. From the soundtrack to the dialogue to the artificial emotional moments, it did not flow naturally as a story. It was all there with big neon pointy fingers, "Look at me!" All for that big box office take. I am all for it if you deserve it. And Harry, believe me, buddy, I am with you there on patriotism. I love this country and what it stands for. But in this film, the patriotism seemed just another "hook", an attempt at manipulation. Independence Day had patriotic overtones, too. But they seemed a part of the story, not just a hook to string you along. Just my two cents, buddy. Courage and keep up the good work.

  • Sept. 19, 1998, 12:04 a.m. CST

    da Brits

    by Traveller

    Ken, US was bribed to get into WWII after it was almost over? What? That was WWI. Check yer history. As for WWII, all of Europe owes the US a big debt of thanks, not to mention afterwards when the free side of the Iron Curtain and the NATO nuclear Deterrent was largely US maintained. So I think a little gratitude and respect is in order. I don't mean to disrespect any other country, but if we did have to quickly assemble a mission into space for some reason, a country with an active manned space program would probably assume the lion's share of the task. And guess who come in at the top of that list? That's right. The Yanks. The Russians are there, the Japanese, and maybe the Euro space agency eventually. Especially as we head into the next century. But now in the '90s? It would be US, that's U.S., or no one. Americans are proud of their country and the many good things it has accomplished. Nothing wrong with that at all.

  • Sept. 21, 1998, 9:37 a.m. CST

    Armegedon is GREAT

    by ACarver

    Armegedon is the best movie I have seen all year.It made me laugh and it made me cry any movie that does that is the best.I will defeniately buy it when it cme to home video.

  • Sept. 21, 1998, 9:38 a.m. CST

    Armegedon is GREAT

    by ACarver

    Armegedon is the best movie I have seen all year.It made me laugh and it made me cry any movie that does that is the best.I will defeniately buy it when it cme to home video.

  • Oct. 10, 1998, 11:18 a.m. CST

    Harry Knowles was right - In Defense of Armageddon

    by Dale Van Brockli

    Harry knowles said he enjoyed the movie. People got angry. This movie follows in a long line of recent movies like Lost in Space, Independence Day, Twister, etc. Movies, as critics and many fans say, should be enlightening, thought provoking, and make us contemplete man's future. I say yes, they should, BUT, not all of them should. You've worked all week, as a plumber, office worker, or offshore construction worker. You put up with a cruel boss or frustrated customers. When you go see a movie, you just want to be entertained. And a movie is special, it doesn't just get you away from life's problems, but it gets you away for two to three hours. Every movie can't be Schindler's List or Citizen Kane (which are both higly entertaining and get critical success - Citizen Kane was funnier than most comedies I've watched.) Armageddon isn't pretending to be anything more, it doesn't want to be The Battleship Potemkin or The Godfather. It wants to be Armageddon. Jerry Bruckheimer said himself, "I always say I'm in the transportion business. I transport you from one place to another. And if I can sit you down for two hours and make you forget about everything that's going on in your life and just tell you a great tale and you walk out and say 'That's a well told story. I really enjoyed that.' That's what it's all about." I've been working on my own independant film now. I'm getting the equipment and financing and am spending months on the script, which isn't even done yet. I know that has to be great for a great movie -story, story, story. I've been watching indy films lately to see how they are different from big blockbusters. Most indy films go for the child abuser, drug user, demented characters and such. And many, though critical successes, are very boring. They're just not entertaining. If you have a choice between Armegeddon and some heroin addict love triangle or whatever, most people would choose Armegeddon. Independant films do these things, much cursing and violence, strange topics, not so much to break the Hollywood mold as much as to just get noticed. Armageddon had a marketing campaign of several million dollars. My entire film budget is going to be somewhere around $4,000. The cost of one poster for Armageddon is more than my entire movie. People like me have to get noticed by critics, who tell everyone else, and unfortunately, critics like wierd, many like the vulgar. I want to do one with no violence and no cursing. This film will be a tough sell to critics, but this is what I want. Just a good thoughtprovoking story. Armageddon didn't have as many curse words as most movies, the characters didn't stop and give an interpretive dance, and the only violence was "action violence" (when the Chrysler Building crashed down, we don't see the mangled bodies, they're just implied.) If these had been shown, would critics be calling it bold, daring? The reality isn't shown right, and I'll agree. But again, it's just entertainment. Asteroids are pretty rounded and smooth from all the traveling in space they do and erosion from microscopic space particles. They aren't jagged and sharp and made up of many pieces. But this looks more intersting than a big smooth rock. Space shuttles and asteroids don't make whooshing sounds when traveling through space and explosions can't be heard in the vacuum of space, but if the entire second half of the movie (or all the battles in Star Wars, for that matter) were silent, it would be scientifically acurate, but really boring. The movie did have a few noticably flaws that took away some of the entertainment. The cinematography was absolutely stunning, but the edits were so fast you didn't really have time to soak them in. Murphy's Law came into effect way too much at the end - the bomb almost goes off twice, the drill breaks way too much, when the bomb is finally in the hole it doesn't go off, Bruce Willis loses the detonator, etc. But the movie wasn't as slow as Deep Impact, which was more scientifically accurate, but too many unrelated character stories that really had nothing to do with the oncoming disaster. Armageddon spent all the time on the asteroid, so this wasn't a problem. Morgan Freeman's incredible acting helped compensate all those extra stories. (man, he was so good he seemed out of place in that movie - they should have just edited all those other people out and left him as president and the effects in.) So next time a big blockbuster comes out, relax, turn your brain off, and say "Thank God I'm not at work." You'll enjoy yourselves a whole lot more. Comments are welcome.

  • Aug. 1, 1999, 10:26 a.m. CST

    ARMasuckken

    by Verbal kent

    This film is the biggest propaganda stunt since all those crazy posters in the war. It is soooooo pro America, and not even in a nice way. I laughed my ass off for the last half hour because it is so obvious in what it is trying to achieve. It just should of had GOD BLESS AMERICA plastered all over the screen. Don't get me wrong I have nothing against America or any of their peoples but this was so sickingly over the top in giving the Ameican audience a hand job it made me puke.

  • March 22, 2000, 9:14 a.m. CST

    This was a fucking shitty movie

    by Brimacombe

    Bruce Willis is the worst piece of ass in town. I wished that he would have died earlier in the movie. It started off really well...but all it was was noise and retarted space shit. I think I'm just going to go home and watch 2001:A Space Odyssey. Aerosmith sucks even more ass as the years go by.

  • June 20, 2000, 10:19 p.m. CST

    THE ARMAGEDDON DVD WOULD MAKE FOR A NICE COASTER--IT TOTALLY SUC

    by mrwilliam

  • Oct. 1, 2002, 5:02 p.m. CST

    ssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss

    by UFatSelloutBitch

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  • Feb. 2, 2010, 8:47 a.m. CST

    TheSecretOfKells does not exist in this dojo

    by Cobra--Kai

    Sorry, the SECRET was here but then 'they' removed it.<p> Don't ask who 'they' are. Just get the fuck outta here before they come for you too!!!!

  • Feb. 15, 2010, 4:20 a.m. CST

    ohDIfSAO

    by TmvEqK

    wNGpkI <a href="http://mbwuvm.com/ ">ohDIfSAO</a>

  • Feb. 15, 2010, 4:21 a.m. CST

    lwkooaNd

    by TmvEqK

    VqHafvD <a href="http://jkukiu.com/ ">lwkooaNd</a>

  • Sept. 2, 2010, 11:54 p.m. CST

    Just watched it again . . .

    by JMoe

    **tear**

  • Dec. 5, 2010, 3:42 p.m. CST

    What? That crap movie?

    by orcus

    Ugh!