movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link] This, or Deep Impact? Let’s find out.

PEOPLE: Keith David (aka Goliath from Gargoyles), Liv Tyler (aka a hot chick with Steve Tyler’s mouth), Ben Affleck (so young), Bruce Willis (not so young), Steve Buscemi (he’s everywhere!), Ken Hudson Campbell (who I correctly identified as “Herman’s Lust” from Herman’s Head!), Owen Wilson (occasionally funny, but was he that well known back then?), Billy Bob Thorton. Damn that’s a lot of big names. And of course it’s a Michael Bey movie. You know what that means…. Lots of explosions and shit :)

BAD STUFF: The whole movie requires some suspension of disbelief, but some of the moments in the beginning were especially bullshitty. Showing a guy get hit by a meteor fragment–but the dog on his leash is fine?!?!?! That’s just pathetically unrealistic. And when the Empire State Building smashed down — we know from watching September 11th that it creates much more smoke than that. And how many asteroids really have thin, razor-sharp rocks cut in menacing designs? And who the hell would send people who work on an oil rig into space? Just because they drill well?!?! (More bad stuff below, under “MORALS”.)

A lot of people have described it as a hokey feel-good movie. That’s definitely true. If you know this in advance, it shouldn’t bother you.

QUIRKS: It’s hard to film a movie like this and NOT pull the strings of your heart that connect you to every other human being on the planet. If you don’t have a heart of steel, you’ll be excited for the entire planet’s fate — even though it’s a movie. Call me sentimental, but I love stories (like Contact) that unite the entire human race together.

And don’t get me started on things going wrong. Everything that can possibly go wrong, does. The entire movie is a huge upwards battle. Intra-agency politics even enter into things. That much is painful. As hard as it would be to blow up an asteroid coming at us at 22,000MPH — I almost think this movie makes it look harder than it really would. :)

Also: The actors in this movie, like their characters, were the first civilians to ever wear a real $3M NASA space suit.

Also: Spoofed in Futurama: A Big Ball Of Garbage.

VISUALS: There were a lot of special effects, but they weren’t as gratuitous as I would have expected.

MORALS: There are a couple dumb romance subplots that technically had a moral, but it’s really not important to watching a bunch of astronauts save the world to be aware of or to even understand the morals here. This is an adventure. They could have done without the Ben Affleck/Liv Tyler thing. Or the soundtrack. I noticed a really horrible song come on. Since I hate most music, I don’t emphasize bad soundtracks as much as some. But it still hurt. File this under “BAD STUFF” as well.

POLITICS: Affirmation that the military-industrial complex is a menace to humanity, as well as affirmation that NASA needs more funding. Now that Obama’s plan is to tie NASA to the Pentagon — let’s hope that we get the best of both worlds instead of the worst of both worlds.

CONCLUSION: Why NOT see this? I was really surprised by how much I enjoyed this. I love a good adventure. We rated this 4 stars on Netflix, and I would give it 7.5/10 on IMDB. Solid entertainment, above the “generic pass” movies we watch. Hollywood can almost always provide entertainment when it throws big money into a sci-fi movie. I was still surprised. The bullshitty moments at the beginning had me thinking, “This is so lame”, but I was totally into it by time they left the space station. It being a good 2+ hrs long helps too.

RECOMMENDATION: Sci-fi fans? Empathizers of humanity? Gargoyles fans that want to see Keith David talk in a slightly higher voice.

MOVIE QUOTE: President: “We didn’t see this thing coming?”
Dan: “Well, our object collison budget’s a million dollars. That allows us to track about 3% of the sky, and beg’n your pardon sir, but it’s a big-ass sky.”
Yea, you tell ’em! Fund NASA!

FRIENDS’ RATINGS: Jordan, Tatiana, Stacy M, Christian D all really liked it. Ian & Melanie B liked it. Becky didn’t like it.

Next up, and I will review Deep Impact, the *other* asteroid movie that came out at the same time.

Mood: wanting bacon
Music: Chemlab / Mindfield – Megahurtz (Mindfield Aurora Mix)