Author Topic: The granddaddy of all killer asteroid movies?  (Read 16882 times)

Offline Blackstar

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The granddaddy of all killer asteroid movies?
« on: 11/22/2010 02:25 PM »
http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1728/1

Italian doomsday: killer asteroids in 1958
by Dwayne A. Day
Monday, November 22, 2010

But it turns out that the killer asteroid movie concept goes back farther than the 1970s—much farther. In 1958, Guido Giambartolomei produced The Day the Sky Exploded. You can be forgiven for not recognizing Giambartolomei’s name. He was an Italian producer, and this is an Italian movie, and possibly the great granddaddy of all killer asteroid flicks. It is also a rather lousy film, at times barely watchable, but fortunately only 80 minutes long. It was dubbed into English, sometimes effectively—they used Australian and Indian actors to reflect their native accents—and sometimes not, such as referring to retro-rockets as “retard rockets.”
« Last Edit: 11/22/2010 03:20 PM by Blackstar »

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: The grandaddy of all killer asteroid movies?
« Reply #1 on: 11/22/2010 03:04 PM »
Sounds like a great B-Film, where can I get subtitled copy?
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Offline Blackstar

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Re: The grandaddy of all killer asteroid movies?
« Reply #2 on: 11/22/2010 03:16 PM »
Sounds like a great B-Film, where can I get subtitled copy?

It's an okay film, of historical interest only.  It is dubbed into English and I don't know if there is an Italian version with subtitles.  You can easily find it used via Amazon.

Offline Launchpad911

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Re: The granddaddy of all killer asteroid movies?
« Reply #3 on: 11/23/2010 09:30 AM »
If you subscribe to Netflix, they have The Day The Sky Exploded


"(1958) NR
While on a mission to the moon, pilot John McLaren (Paul Hubschmid) abandons his atomic rocket ship, which later explodes into the sun. Now, powerful natural disasters are affecting the planet, and scientists realize a huge mass of meteors is headed for earth. With only a few days left before impact, the world's top scientists scramble to find an effective solution to save the human race from extinction.

Genre:Classic Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Deadly Disasters, Italy"

From Netflix

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: The granddaddy of all killer asteroid movies?
« Reply #4 on: 11/23/2010 12:50 PM »
If you subscribe to Netflix, they have The Day The Sky Exploded

Added to the QUE
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Offline Blackstar

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Re: The granddaddy of all killer asteroid movies?
« Reply #5 on: 11/23/2010 06:16 PM »
If you're going to watch this, then you should also watch When Worlds Collide, which is much better and in color.

The Day the Sky Exploded is not an awful film.  I've seen stuff that is a lot worse.  I was at least able to watch this one all the way through its 80 minutes.  And Bava was a really good cinematographer (trained as a painter), so some of the shots are artistic.  And Bava was able to take a piece of lava, some sparklers, and a spotlight, and do some special effects.  But it's low budget, and it really is only interesting from an artistic standpoint.

Of course, everybody has a different opinion and after you've watched it, come back here and post what you think of it.
« Last Edit: 11/23/2010 07:49 PM by Blackstar »

Offline MarsInMyLifetime

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Re: The granddaddy of all killer asteroid movies?
« Reply #6 on: 11/23/2010 07:47 PM »
If you're going to watch this, then you should also watch When Worlds Collide, which is much better and in color.

Ditto to this recommendation. This movie had large casts performing well in credible scenarios, good--if typical 50s--dialog, excellent sets and tremendous modelling on the Sanger-inspired getaway rocket, right down to the gravity-assisted takeoff. If the only flaw was the flat-drawn final sets, I'd chalk it up to dwindling budget and enjoy it for everything else. I replay this one quite a bit.
Don

Offline Blackstar

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Re: The granddaddy of all killer asteroid movies?
« Reply #7 on: 11/23/2010 07:52 PM »
When I was writing the article, I was surprised to discover that the original story for When Worlds Collide dates from the early 1930s.

There is apparently a remake in the works for 2012.  Now I'm not a fan of remaking classics, but When Worlds Collide is not quite a classic in my view.  It's not a perfect piece of work, and I can see a remake actually improving on it.  You could actually try and make it a little more plausible (although in reality, it's simply impossible to jump from Earth to a passing planet like that, and certainly not possible to do it with large numbers of people).

They shouldn't be trying to remake Forbidden Planet, however...

Offline Thorny

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Re: The granddaddy of all killer asteroid movies?
« Reply #8 on: 11/23/2010 08:12 PM »
There is apparently a remake in the works for 2012.  Now I'm not a fan of remaking classics, but When Worlds Collide is not quite a classic in my view.  It's not a perfect piece of work, and I can see a remake actually improving on it.  You could actually try and make it a little more plausible (although in reality, it's simply impossible to jump from Earth to a passing planet like that, and certainly not possible to do it with large numbers of people).

They shouldn't be trying to remake Forbidden Planet, however...

They thoroughly ruined "Day the Earth Stood Still", so I have little hope for "When Worlds Collide". I read "Fantastic Voyage" is also getting the remake treatment soon.

But most disturbing is Robert Zemeckis' plan to remake "The Wizard of Oz", using the 1939 script. He should have his DGA membership revoked for that.

Offline Blackstar

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Re: The granddaddy of all killer asteroid movies?
« Reply #9 on: 11/23/2010 08:48 PM »
They thoroughly ruined "Day the Earth Stood Still", so I have little hope for "When Worlds Collide".

Oh, it was terrible, wasn't it?

What got me was that the actors essentially sleep walked through that film--they seemed totally unenthusiastic.  Of course, the script provided no reason for them to show any effort.

But most disturbing is Robert Zemeckis' plan to remake "The Wizard of Oz", using the 1939 script. He should have his DGA membership revoked for that.

But this is a film that has been remade and parodied numerous times already, so the precedent has been set.

Offline simonbp

Re: The granddaddy of all killer asteroid movies?
« Reply #10 on: 11/23/2010 08:54 PM »
What got me was that the actors essentially sleep walked through that film--they seemed totally unenthusiastic. 

Well, Keanu Reeves is always like that...

Offline Danderman

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Re: The granddaddy of all killer asteroid movies?
« Reply #11 on: 11/24/2010 05:36 AM »
(although in reality, it's simply impossible to jump from Earth to a passing planet like that, and certainly not possible to do it with large numbers of people).

"Impossible"? "Not possible"? Not even with warp drive?

I'm not familiar at all with the physics of a two planet conjunction, but even if they were passing at high rates of speed, if the target planet had a reasonable gravity field and a thick enough atmosphere, it wouldn't be impossible to launch something from one planet that would be caught in the gravity well of a passing planet, with the result of an atmospheric entry and landing of that planet.

Could this be done with large numbers of people? Not with our level of technology, but certainly with the technology of 1951's Hollywood.


Offline Archibald

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Re: The granddaddy of all killer asteroid movies?
« Reply #12 on: 11/24/2010 06:37 AM »
What got me was that the actors essentially sleep walked through that film--they seemed totally unenthusiastic. 

Well, Keanu Reeves is always like that...

Running joke among french movie critics
Keanu Reeves is as expressive as *insert an object here*

Results in things like

"Keanu Reeves is as expressive as a door handle"
"Keanu Reeves is as exressive as a frying pan"
"Keanu Reeves is as expressive as a barn door"
"Keanu Reeves is as expressive as a pot of strawberry jam"
and on, and on.
« Last Edit: 11/24/2010 06:41 AM by Archibald »

Offline Launchpad911

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Re: The granddaddy of all killer asteroid movies?
« Reply #13 on: 11/24/2010 06:44 AM »
I laughed because the remake of The Day The Earth Stood Still was so bad. In the original, Klaatu was supposed to be the Earth's savior. In the remake, he and Gort become it's killers.
Another awful remake was "War Of The Worlds" with Tom Cruise. Leave the classics alone. There is a reason these films are classics. They are good to begin with.
I agree about Forbidden Planet. This is my favorite film from the 50's. I can't imagine how they would ruin Robby The Robot. He probably become a Transformer.   
I find it amazing what can be done these days with computer graphics but a lot of times they go overboard and make what is portrayed very  unrealistic, like the Hulk throwing a 65 ton M-1 Abrams around like it was a VW.

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: The granddaddy of all killer asteroid movies?
« Reply #14 on: 11/24/2010 01:39 PM »
You're also forgetting the tendency to use remakes to inflate a star's ego at the expense of the actual plot. They become the key and focus of the movie. Mission Impossible became a movie of One, not the Team.
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Offline Launchpad911

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Re: The granddaddy of all killer asteroid movies?
« Reply #15 on: 11/25/2010 07:14 AM »
Sometimes, sequels can be just as bad as a remake of a classic. The worst example is "2010". It's mood was nothing like "2001". Badly written, and with special effects that were not as good as "2001's". Instead of the slimmer styled spacesuits from "2001", the astronauts nine years later wore spacesuits that looked like Apollo leftovers. The soundtrack was horrible.
The only thing about "2010" that rung true was the need for the Americans to hitch a ride on a Russian spacecraft.

Online ugordan

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Re: The granddaddy of all killer asteroid movies?
« Reply #16 on: 11/25/2010 08:51 AM »
Sometimes, sequels can be just as bad as a remake of a classic. The worst example is "2010". It's mood was nothing like "2001".

I disagree strongly. Do you think the director actually tried to recreate the same mood in the first place? Is the different mood something wrong all by itself? Do you not think he realized it's virtually impossible to surpass or even equal 2001? He clearly set out to create a different movie with a different feeling and message to it.

The problem too many people obviously have is they inevitably compare it to 2001 and of course any movie will tend to fail miserably in that comparison. When looked at without the burden of its predecessor, 2010 is a fine SF movie IMHO. In particular, the theme of a superior intelligence set out to help intelligent life get a foothold across the universe as opposed to 90% of SF movies where it's set out to destroy life as we know it.
There are far, far worse examples of a bad sequel than comparing 2010 to 2001.
« Last Edit: 11/25/2010 08:57 AM by ugordan »

Offline Graham2001

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Re: The granddaddy of all killer asteroid movies?
« Reply #17 on: 11/25/2010 09:50 AM »
The article linked to in the OP inspired me to look through my own collection of novels and found three, that deal with the asteroid impact theme from 1978-1979. The first may have been inspired by the Icarus Report (which inspired the film 'Meteor!'.) The other two seem to have been written to take advantage of the hype surrounding the film.

I've posted the summaries below to Blackstar, but thought I'd share them here as I would be curious to know just what other 'asteroid impact' fiction exists from the same late 70's time frame.

Title: The Hermes Fall
Author: John Baxter
Publisher: Granada/Panther (1978)
ISBN: 0-586-04610-0

Plot Summary.

In 1980 the asteroid 69230 Hermes is photographed by the crew of the first shuttle flight (Orbiter 'Enterprise') and determined to be on an impact trajectory with Earth. NASA launches a mission using left over Apollo hardware in an attempt to destroy/deflect the asteroid. The mission fails due to the actions of a Born-Again Christian who believes the asteroid is a 'message' from God. The asteroid impacts the North Atlantic with devastating consequences worldwide.

Notes.

While the author does not explicitly mention the 'Icarus Report' I am pretty sure that it was one inspiration for the novel, another may have been a book he wrote on the Tunguska event 'The Fire Came By' (1976, Co-Author: Tom Atkins). The authors notes indicate he was working off various popular works. Books by Martin Caidin and Isaac Asimov are mentioned in the 'Authors Note' but no titles are given. There are no precursor impacts prior to the main event and the book seems more concerned with the post-impact events.


Title: Shiva Descending
Author(s): Gregory Benford & William Rotsler
Publisher: Sphere (1980), Authors copyright date (1979)
ISBN: 0-7221-1577-3

Plot Summary.

An asteroid impact in North Africa alerts orbital astronomers to the existance of a cloud of debris that contains a two kilometer diameter asteroid that is dubbed by it's discoverer 'Shiva' heading for an Earth impact. A multi-spacecraft mission to destroy/deflect Shiva is prepared, hampered by the appearance of various pseudo-religious cults, most notebly the Gabriellites who believe that the asteroid is a divine cleansing intended to return Earth to a pastoral pre-tech age in which Man will live in submission to God. The mission fails to destroy the asteroid but does manage to deflect Shiva into orbit around Earth.

Notes.

The book may have been written to tie-in with the success of the film 'Meteor!'. It is clearly set in the late 20th/early 21st century as it mentions extensive manned infrastructure in orbit around Earth. The novel is primarily concerned with the efforts to deflect the asteroid and the social chaos caused by the knowledge of the apocalyptic damage that would be caused if the asteroid hits the Earth.


Title: Impact!
Author(s): R.V. Fodor & G.J. Taylor
Publisher: Leisure Books (1979)
ISBN: 0-8439-0648-0195

Plot Summary.

A series of meteorites which includes the destruction of Ardmore (Kansas) and the impact of a 365.76m diameter body in the ocean 300km north of Hawaii, alerts the United States to the existence of a larger asteroid stream that will culminate in an impact on the Sino-Soviet border of an asteroid over 11km in diameter. An international mission is sent to destroy this asteroid. Spacecraft equipment failures result in the asteroid not being destroyed. The Earth is devastated by the impact and the nuclear exchange it triggers. The novel finishes with two of the major characters living a Survivalist existence, happy in the knowledge that now there are no more governments there will be no more wars.

Notes.

Clearly a 'quickie' intended to exploit 'Meteor!' there are some similarities in plot, complete with international distrust hampering the effort to deal with the approaching menace. Unlike the previous two novels no mention is made of religious crazies trying to stop the deflection mission.

Offline MP99

Re: The granddaddy of all killer asteroid movies?
« Reply #18 on: 11/28/2010 06:13 PM »
I laughed because the remake of The Day The Earth Stood Still was so bad. In the original, Klaatu was supposed to be the Earth's savior. In the remake, he and Gort become it's killers.

Warning: plot spoiler.

OK, it's a while since I've seen either version, but that's not how I remember it. The view from 20,000 ft:-

In the original, Klaatu is there to persuade the Earth to change it's behaviour to avoid destruction by robots such as Gort. You'll remember that "Klaatu barada nicto" is the phrase which stops Gort from destroying the Earth.

In the remake, Klaatu needs to be persuaded before stopping Gort in the destruction of Humanity, although in this case he'd already started.

But, yeah, the original is a classic.

cheers, Martin

Offline Blackstar

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Re: The granddaddy of all killer asteroid movies?
« Reply #19 on: 11/29/2010 01:02 AM »
In the original, Klaatu is there to persuade the Earth to change it's behaviour to avoid destruction by robots such as Gort. You'll remember that "Klaatu barada nicto" is the phrase which stops Gort from destroying the Earth.

More precisely, Klaatu is there to deliver a warning that humans need to stop being so violent, or the aliens will step in and wipe them out.

I believe that the phrase was not to prevent Gort from destroying the entire Earth, but to prevent him from retaliating for the attack on Klaatu, but I don't remember the exact dialogue from the movie.

The movie is notable because it presents a liberal point of view at the time.  Many other science fiction films at that time seemed to echo a conservative point of view about the dangers of communism--aliens essentially stood in for the Soviets.

The movie that has perplexed me is Invasion of the Body Snatchers.  It can be read as a conservative movie warning of the dangers of communism.  But it could also be read as a liberal warning about the dangers of McCarthyism, of becoming part of the group identity and losing your individualism.

As for the Keanu version of The Day the Earth Stood Still, what annoyed me so much about it was that nobody seemed to really respect the original.  They were all phoning it in, from the actors to the director to the CGI artists.  It just lacked any heart.

Offline Suzy

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Re: The granddaddy of all killer asteroid movies?
« Reply #20 on: 11/29/2010 05:46 AM »
I must be the only one who liked The Day the Earth Stood Still remake (I've not seen the original) - but then I think Keanu Reeves is cute.  ;D

There was a 2-part docudrama screened on TV in 2007 called "The Super Comet" where a comet hits the Earth (coincidently in the same place where the dinosaur asteroid hit) and wipes out most of civilization.

Offline Blackstar

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Re: The granddaddy of all killer asteroid movies?
« Reply #21 on: 11/29/2010 11:41 AM »
I must be the only one who liked The Day the Earth Stood Still remake (I've not seen the original) - but then I think Keanu Reeves is cute.  ;D

There's one other guy.  In Cleveland.

There was a 2-part docudrama screened on TV in 2007 called "The Super Comet" where a comet hits the Earth (coincidently in the same place where the dinosaur asteroid hit) and wipes out most of civilization.

Ah, yes, thanks for that one.  I think it showed on Discovery Channel but using only the second part of the name, After the Impact.  I seem to remember that it was particularly depressing.  Very European in attitude--there's no hope, the survivors will all die slowly.

Offline aquanaut99

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Re: The granddaddy of all killer asteroid movies?
« Reply #22 on: 11/29/2010 12:02 PM »
Ah, yes, thanks for that one.  I think it showed on Discovery Channel but using only the second part of the name, After the Impact.  I seem to remember that it was particularly depressing.  Very European in attitude--there's no hope, the survivors will all die slowly.

Why is that a European attitude? It's just a pessimistic-realistic view. Sure, there will be survivors, but will the world that comes after be worth living in? Or will the survivors envy the dead (and maybe chose death freely rather than fighting to survive)?

Interestingly enough, Barbara Ehrenreich has recently published a book claiming that a reason for America's failing is its unrelented optimism...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2010/jan/09/barbara-ehrenreich-smile-lucy-ellmann

This is certainly wothy of discussion (since the US space program is also based on optimism and has obviously failed to live up to expectations). Maybe a new thread?

Offline Blackstar

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Re: The granddaddy of all killer asteroid movies?
« Reply #23 on: 11/29/2010 09:13 PM »
Ah, yes, thanks for that one.  I think it showed on Discovery Channel but using only the second part of the name, After the Impact.  I seem to remember that it was particularly depressing.  Very European in attitude--there's no hope, the survivors will all die slowly.

Why is that a European attitude? It's just a pessimistic-realistic view.

In the American version, they blow up the asteroid.  After a piece destroys France.

Offline spacester

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Re: The granddaddy of all killer asteroid movies?
« Reply #24 on: 11/29/2010 09:45 PM »
Ah, yes, thanks for that one.  I think it showed on Discovery Channel but using only the second part of the name, After the Impact.  I seem to remember that it was particularly depressing.  Very European in attitude--there's no hope, the survivors will all die slowly.

Why is that a European attitude? It's just a pessimistic-realistic view.

In the American version, they blow up the asteroid.  After a piece destroys France.

From my perspective, this difference, if found in written SF as opposed to Film and TV Sci-Fi, would be the difference between "classic" and "modern".

In Hugo Gernsback-style classic SF, no matter how dire the situation, the ending is always some form of "Humans Rule!". You would be hard pressed to find anything in the early work of the masters (Asimov, Clarke, Pohl, Anderson, Sturgeon, Heinlein, Niven, Simak, Zelazny, Farmer et al.) that ends up with Earth/Humans in defeat or destroyed.

Then came Harlan Ellison and the formula was thrown out and all the rules changed.

Offline rsp1202

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Re: The granddaddy of all killer asteroid movies?
« Reply #25 on: 11/29/2010 10:27 PM »
In the original, Klaatu is there to persuade the Earth to change it's behaviour to avoid destruction by robots such as Gort. You'll remember that "Klaatu barada nicto" is the phrase which stops Gort from destroying the Earth.

. . . I believe that the phrase was not to prevent Gort from destroying the entire Earth, but to prevent him from retaliating for the attack on Klaatu . . .

That's a more likely explanation, though if you follow the actions of Gort directly following Patricia Neal's character's deliverance of the famous line, it seems that the phrase instructs Gort to go back to Klaatu's spaceship and phone home for directions.

Offline Blackstar

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Re: The granddaddy of all killer asteroid movies?
« Reply #26 on: 11/30/2010 12:43 AM »
In the original, Klaatu is there to persuade the Earth to change it's behaviour to avoid destruction by robots such as Gort. You'll remember that "Klaatu barada nicto" is the phrase which stops Gort from destroying the Earth.

. . . I believe that the phrase was not to prevent Gort from destroying the entire Earth, but to prevent him from retaliating for the attack on Klaatu . . .

That's a more likely explanation, though if you follow the actions of Gort directly following Patricia Neal's character's deliverance of the famous line, it seems that the phrase instructs Gort to go back to Klaatu's spaceship and phone home for directions.

Thinking about this a little more, I think that Klaatu tells Helen something like "If you don't stop him, you don't know how much destruction he can cause."  So it wasn't quite "Gort will destroy the whole planet," but it would be bad.

Offline Blackstar

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Re: The granddaddy of all killer asteroid movies?
« Reply #27 on: 11/30/2010 01:01 AM »
Ah, yes, thanks for that one.  I think it showed on Discovery Channel but using only the second part of the name, After the Impact.  I seem to remember that it was particularly depressing.  Very European in attitude--there's no hope, the survivors will all die slowly.

Why is that a European attitude? It's just a pessimistic-realistic view.

Okay, I'll stop being snarky and try to address the question.

I over-generalized.  That's less of a European perspective.  After all, Europe is a big place.  But this film was co-produced by a German team.  Germans tend to have a less-optimistic, and more pessimistic culture than Americans.  I think this is also true for the British, although with their own variation on it. 

You can watch a lot of European movies in general, and German and British movies more specifically, and notice that they often end ambiguously, or with a depressing ending--everybody dies.  I've seen a lot of British movies about WWII and it is common for them to end with the key character dying, or losing his legs, or coming home to discover that the Germans bombed his house.  And this isn't so surprising when you consider that even after winning the war, the British faced years of rationing and rebuilding (compared to the Americans who had a brief spot of unemployment and then a huge postwar economic boom).  There's an attitude of "life sucks and then you die."  Hamlet, after all, was written by a British guy. 

German movies tend to share this attitude.  And if you want a good example, look at portrayals of Christ's crucifixion in northern European (especially German) and southern European medieval art: the Italians tend to make Jesus colorful, whereas the Germans go much more for the gruesome, with gaping wounds, and a painful expression.  It's a much darker artistic vision.

Now Americans tend to be more optimistic in their culture.  A lot of American movies end with good defeating evil (after a lot of explosions and mayhem) and the hero getting the girl.  Europeans often criticize American culture for being violent, unsophisticated, and naively cheerful.  I think they have a valid point.  (I also think that they're snobs, but that's besides the point.)

So in the American movies, the good guys (symbolized by can-do American astronauts) get their act together and blow up the fracking asteroid and save the planet.  You're welcome, Planet Earth. (You too, France.) Deep Impact even ends with Washington being rebuilt!  A European film--especially one with Germans controlling the production--is more likely to have the asteroid hit the planet, and then the few survivors die slowly.

Vast generalizations over.

Offline Suzy

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Re: The granddaddy of all killer asteroid movies?
« Reply #28 on: 11/30/2010 05:19 AM »
The Killing Star (a book by American authors) features an relativistic missile bombardment of Earth by aliens and (almost) everyone dies, making a single asteroid impact look mundane. Can't get much more pessimistic than that! I couldn't imagine it being made into a movie.

(A saying I came across: "A pessimist is an informed optimist"  :) )

Offline aquanaut99

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Re: The granddaddy of all killer asteroid movies?
« Reply #29 on: 11/30/2010 06:32 AM »
The Killing Star (a book by American authors) features an relativistic missile bombardment of Earth by aliens and (almost) everyone dies, making a single asteroid impact look mundane. Can't get much more pessimistic than that! I couldn't imagine it being made into a movie.

(A saying I came across: "A pessimist is an informed optimist"  :) )

The Forge of God by Greg Bear (another American author) is also good counter-example. Earth and almost all of humanity are destroyed by an alien attack. A few survivors are saved by another alien race. In the sequel The Anvil of Stars, they get revenge on the killers, but by doing so they are becoming even worse than the killers (causing a more massive genocide with trillions of innocent victims). Not exactly very optimistic either.
« Last Edit: 11/30/2010 06:36 AM by aquanaut99 »

Offline seshagirib

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Re: The granddaddy of all killer asteroid movies?
« Reply #30 on: 11/30/2010 11:59 AM »
It all began with a H.G.Wells short story ( The Star ), in which a rogue Star!! ploughs through the solar system. Not to worry, at least some of the Earth folk survive. Don't think it was ever made into a movie though.
« Last Edit: 11/30/2010 12:10 PM by seshagirib »

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: The granddaddy of all killer asteroid movies?
« Reply #31 on: 11/30/2010 01:14 PM »
It all began with a H.G.Wells short story ( The Star ), in which a rogue Star!! ploughs through the solar system. Not to worry, at least some of the Earth folk survive. Don't think it was ever made into a movie though.

Cartoon ;)

Thundarr the Barbarian ( )

A bit of a stretch to far...

I am surprised no one mentioned Larry Niven's Lucifer's Hammer. A new comet on it's first pass through the solar system breaks apart with the predicted close flyby turning into a surprise shotgunning of the earth. Way to may subplots to ever make into a movie. (Even has a second Apollo Soyuz mission to study it)

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Offline Thorny

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Re: The granddaddy of all killer asteroid movies?
« Reply #32 on: 11/30/2010 02:01 PM »
But most disturbing is Robert Zemeckis' plan to remake "The Wizard of Oz", using the 1939 script. He should have his DGA membership revoked for that.

Not true

Not sure if you're saying Zemeckis is not remaking Wizard of Oz or if you're disagreeing with me that I think he should be banished to working at McDonald's for even considering it, but, yes, he is planning to...

http://blastr.com/2010/11/zemeckis-to-direct-wizard.php

Offline rsp1202

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Re: The granddaddy of all killer asteroid movies?
« Reply #33 on: 12/01/2010 05:53 PM »
In the original, Klaatu is there to persuade the Earth to change it's behaviour to avoid destruction by robots such as Gort. You'll remember that "Klaatu barada nicto" is the phrase which stops Gort from destroying the Earth.

. . . I believe that the phrase was not to prevent Gort from destroying the entire Earth, but to prevent him from retaliating for the attack on Klaatu . . .

That's a more likely explanation, though if you follow the actions of Gort directly following Patricia Neal's character's deliverance of the famous line, it seems that the phrase instructs Gort to go back to Klaatu's spaceship and phone home for directions.

Thinking about this a little more, I think that Klaatu tells Helen something like "If you don't stop him, you don't know how much destruction he can cause."  So it wasn't quite "Gort will destroy the whole planet," but it would be bad.

[Slightly paraphrased] Helen asks, "What could Gort do?" and Klaatu replies, "There's no limit to what Gort could do. He could turn Earth into a burned-out cinder." Klaatu then passes the famous line to Helen. Not to overanalyze some made-up movie dialogue mumbo-jumbo (not much!), but four words, two of which are the characters' names -- he's instructing Gort to call Galactic Command before initiating his pre-programmed destructive response. The scene ends with Gort standing in front of the transmitter on-board the saucer. That's where he's getting new marching orders to all that follows. (Sneak over to the police station, steal Klaatu's dead body, sneak back to the ship -- don't let anyone see you! -- bring Klaatu back to life. That's some programming.)
« Last Edit: 12/01/2010 05:54 PM by rsp1202 »

Offline simonbp

Re: The granddaddy of all killer asteroid movies?
« Reply #34 on: 12/01/2010 07:31 PM »
In the American version, they blow up the asteroid.  After a piece destroys France.

Totally not intentionally in that order. Honestly.  ;D

Offline Blackstar

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Re: The granddaddy of all killer asteroid movies?
« Reply #35 on: 12/01/2010 08:00 PM »
but four words, two of which are the characters' names -- he's instructing Gort to call Galactic Command before initiating his pre-programmed destructive response.

Klaatu barada nikto.

Offline rsp1202

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Re: The granddaddy of all killer asteroid movies?
« Reply #36 on: 12/01/2010 10:14 PM »
You're technically correct, as always. But her actual delivery was preceded by "Gort, . . . " As if she needed to get his attention. :)

Offline truth is life

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Re: The granddaddy of all killer asteroid movies?
« Reply #37 on: 12/02/2010 01:11 AM »
I am surprised no one mentioned Larry Niven's Lucifer's Hammer. A new comet on it's first pass through the solar system breaks apart with the predicted close flyby turning into a surprise shotgunning of the earth. Way to may subplots to ever make into a movie. (Even has a second Apollo Soyuz mission to study it)

Just remember Hot Fudge Sunday falls on a Tuesday this year.

Tbh, I think you could delete a lot of the subplots from that with no trouble, since they don't really contribute anything to the story but just function to promote the author's viewpoints. Just my opinion, though.

Offline Archibald

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Re: The granddaddy of all killer asteroid movies?
« Reply #38 on: 12/02/2010 09:38 AM »
I am surprised no one mentioned Larry Niven's Lucifer's Hammer. A new comet on it's first pass through the solar system breaks apart with the predicted close flyby turning into a surprise shotgunning of the earth. Way to may subplots to ever make into a movie. (Even has a second Apollo Soyuz mission to study it)

Just remember Hot Fudge Sunday falls on a Tuesday this year.

Tbh, I think you could delete a lot of the subplots from that with no trouble, since they don't really contribute anything to the story but just function to promote the author's viewpoints. Just my opinion, though.

I've found Lucifer's Hammer for free - online reading - recently. Won't tell the adress, however.
Btw, Paris was smashed by a piece of the Armaggedon asteroid, too (worst-movie-ever)
« Last Edit: 12/02/2010 09:42 AM by Archibald »

Offline Blackstar

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Re: The granddaddy of all killer asteroid movies?
« Reply #39 on: 12/02/2010 03:20 PM »
You're technically correct, as always.

Not always.  But I possess a remarkable amount of trivial geeky knowledge.

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Re: The granddaddy of all killer asteroid movies?
« Reply #40 on: 12/02/2010 04:31 PM »
Btw, Paris was smashed by a piece of the Armaggedon asteroid, too (worst-movie-ever)

Word.

Offline Archibald

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Re: The granddaddy of all killer asteroid movies?
« Reply #41 on: 12/02/2010 04:59 PM »
What ?

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Offline kevin-rf

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Re: The granddaddy of all killer asteroid movies?
« Reply #43 on: 12/02/2010 05:45 PM »
Tbh, I think you could delete a lot of the subplots from that with no trouble, since they don't really contribute anything to the story but just function to promote the author's viewpoints. Just my opinion, though.

It is the only way the earth could ever really get shotgun'd from space (short of a deliberate Dr. Evil and Mini Me plan). He did a great job of finding a mechanism to wipe out most of the planet to create all his subplots. The rest of the book, it was his story to tell... It is a plausible science fiction invention that does not violate the laws of physic's and reason. Unlike so many other science fictions books, which make up science to move the story along.

Though, in this day and age I suspect a comet near miss turning into a surprise hit with zero warning on the scale of the book's devestation would not happen. I am not saying such an impact could not happen, just we would have some notice, days, weeks, months... not minutes.

Funny the book predates the Jupiter Shoemaker Levy incident.
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Offline Blackstar

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Re: The granddaddy of all killer asteroid movies?
« Reply #44 on: 12/02/2010 06:25 PM »
Btw, Paris was smashed by a piece of the Armaggedon asteroid, too (worst-movie-ever)

Word.

Word up.

Offline truth is life

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Re: The granddaddy of all killer asteroid movies?
« Reply #45 on: 12/02/2010 11:09 PM »
It is the only way the earth could ever really get shotgun'd from space (short of a deliberate Dr. Evil and Mini Me plan). He did a great job of finding a mechanism to wipe out most of the planet to create all his subplots. The rest of the book, it was his story to tell... It is a plausible science fiction invention that does not violate the laws of physic's and reason. Unlike so many other science fictions books, which make up science to move the story along.

Eh? I was just critiquing the presence of so many subplots, not the A-plot (the comet impact) itself. Some of them...I mean, cannibalistic black Army troops? Yeah, don't think that's going to make it into the movie version, sorry (or not so sorry, that's kind of a silly plot mechanism anyways. There should have been enough drama in the survivors...surviving)

Though, in this day and age I suspect a comet near miss turning into a surprise hit with zero warning on the scale of the book's devestation would not happen. I am not saying such an impact could not happen, just we would have some notice, days, weeks, months... not minutes.

Yeah, probably. Still, a long-period comet coming very close to the Earth with little warning...would be tricky if some burps happened (and we know they do). Despite Teller, might not be enough time to *do* anything.

Funny the book predates the Jupiter Shoemaker Levy incident.

True--and an interesting incident of synchrony, my dad was talking about how that got people accepting the impact hypothesis (for how the dinosaurs got wiped out) today. Still, if there's anything all these movies show, it's that there were people thinking about meteorite impacts for quite a long time before scientists were, much.

Offline Blackstar

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Re: The granddaddy of all killer asteroid movies?
« Reply #46 on: 12/02/2010 11:52 PM »
True--and an interesting incident of synchrony, my dad was talking about how that got people accepting the impact hypothesis (for how the dinosaurs got wiped out) today. Still, if there's anything all these movies show, it's that there were people thinking about meteorite impacts for quite a long time before scientists were, much.

I'd put it a different way, but that's the reason that I wrote the article referenced at the beginning of this thread.

Having recently served as study director for a major study of NEO survey and mitigation strategies, I really started to think about the evolution of the subject--not just how it is _now_, but how it got to where it is.  Our study advanced the policy issue a little bit (in other words, how government is addressing this subject).  But the scientific study of impacts has advanced relatively slowly over time.  People knew about rocks falling to Earth for a long time because they saw them and picked them up.  But it took a long time for scientists to accept that they could cause significant damage, even after Tunguska, and longer to accept that they could even be responsible for extinction events.  It's been a slow progression.

Why so slow?

I think that part of it is that this is not a scientifically rich area.  You cannot make major strides over short periods because the subject is noncooperative.  The data took a long time to gather.  And scientists are not fond of research that requires spending a long time simply counting stuff, like asteroids.  But there are probably other explanations as well.

Offline truth is life

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Re: The granddaddy of all killer asteroid movies?
« Reply #47 on: 12/03/2010 12:36 AM »
I think that part of it is that this is not a scientifically rich area.  You cannot make major strides over short periods because the subject is noncooperative.  The data took a long time to gather.  And scientists are not fond of research that requires spending a long time simply counting stuff, like asteroids.  But there are probably other explanations as well.

One important reason, IMHO, is that the scientists responsible for addressing Earth's history (that is, geologists, and to a lesser extent paleontologists) were and are very highly wedded to a "uniformitarian" view of geological history--things happened gradually, over long periods of time, and catastrophic changes (like impacts) rarely if ever make an impact (ah, so to speak) in Earth's history. I feel this is partly because the opposing viewpoint (catastrophism, surprisingly enough) is very tightly wedded to a very literal view of the Bible, and partly because, well, it is mostly right. Most of the time, things do change gradually and uniformly, with few catastrophes.

But this view tends to lead one to dismiss catastrophic things like volcanic eruptions or impacts as significant causes in history--something we can still see today, impacts are viewed as temporary intrusions that are followed by the Earth going back to "normal" rather than a perfectly normal if not terribly common event in Earth's history, like, say, a hurricane. So people tended to go "oh, well impacts can't be *that* important" until faced with significant evidence that yes, they *can* be "that" important.

Offline Graham2001

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Re: The granddaddy of all killer asteroid movies?
« Reply #48 on: 12/03/2010 08:48 AM »
It is the only way the earth could ever really get shotgun'd from space (short of a deliberate Dr. Evil and Mini Me plan). He did a great job of finding a mechanism to wipe out most of the planet to create all his subplots. The rest of the book, it was his story to tell... It is a plausible science fiction invention that does not violate the laws of physic's and reason. Unlike so many other science fictions books, which make up science to move the story along.

Eh? I was just critiquing the presence of so many subplots, not the A-plot (the comet impact) itself. Some of them...I mean, cannibalistic black Army troops? Yeah, don't think that's going to make it into the movie version, sorry (or not so sorry, that's kind of a silly plot mechanism anyways. There should have been enough drama in the survivors...surviving)

Lucifers Hammer & Oath of Fealty are the only two books I have ever read that have left me feeling for want of a better term 'filthy'.

But back to the subject of the thread.

I have found one of the few novels that uses a post-impact world as a setting. 'Cold Fusion' by Windsor Chorlton (1999) takes place in a US recovering from the effects of a meteor impact in Greenland. The size of the impactor is not given but the force of the impact is supposedly equivalent to 5000 strategic nuclear weapons (50,000 to 500,000 MT).

The dust thrown up by the impact has triggered an Ice Age, Canada and the northern third of the US have been rendered barely habitable by the increasing cold. The situation in the rest of the world is only hinted at.

Offline Capt. Nemo

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Re: The granddaddy of all killer asteroid movies?
« Reply #49 on: 12/03/2010 09:09 AM »
Btw, Paris was smashed by a piece of the Armaggedon asteroid, too (worst-movie-ever)
Word.

Almost the best part of an incorrect formulaic movie, except for Liv Tyler....  :-* ;D :D



(the word idi otic isn't allowed by the filters ?)
 
« Last Edit: 12/03/2010 09:11 AM by Capt. Nemo »
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Offline seshagirib

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Re: The granddaddy of all killer asteroid movies?
« Reply #50 on: 12/03/2010 09:36 AM »
Arthur C Clarke also had a go at us earthlings :  "The Hammer Of God"

Moral of the story: Don't need brute force, a small force could do it if applied early enough and long enough.

But I suppose this would not make a popular movie as there is little scope for Armageddon type of special effects and heroics.

Offline Blackstar

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Re: The granddaddy of all killer asteroid movies?
« Reply #51 on: 12/03/2010 03:24 PM »
One important reason, IMHO, is that the scientists responsible for addressing Earth's history (that is, geologists, and to a lesser extent paleontologists) were and are very highly wedded to a "uniformitarian" view of geological history--things happened gradually, over long periods of time, and catastrophic changes (like impacts) rarely if ever make an

But how accurate is it to say that impacts are all that important from a geological standpoint?  If they wipe out a lot of life, that's not really a geological issue.  I could see geologists largely dismissing them as local geological events, both in time and in area. 

Offline Archibald

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Re: The granddaddy of all killer asteroid movies?
« Reply #52 on: 12/03/2010 03:42 PM »
Btw, Paris was smashed by a piece of the Armaggedon asteroid, too (worst-movie-ever)
Word.

Understood.

Quote
To avenge destruction of Paris by Michael Bay the french made a wonderful mondegreen with the word Armaggedon.
In french Armaggedon sounds very much like *armoire a guidon* which translate as "wardrobe with handlebars"
« Last Edit: 11/01/2011 02:13 PM by Archibald »

Offline Archibald

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Re: The granddaddy of all killer asteroid movies?
« Reply #53 on: 12/03/2010 03:48 PM »
Btw, Paris was smashed by a piece of the Armaggedon asteroid, too (worst-movie-ever)

Word.

Word up.

Understood.

To avenge destruction of Paris by Michael Bay the french made a wonderful mondegreen with the word Armaggedon.
In french Armaggedon sounds very much like *armoire a guidon* which translate as *wardrobe with handlebars*

Oh, and this the best-armaggedon-critic-ever
http://www.agonybooth.com/recaps/Armageddon_1998.aspx
Thirteen pages of happiness  ;D

Offline truth is life

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Re: The granddaddy of all killer asteroid movies?
« Reply #54 on: 12/03/2010 04:07 PM »
But how accurate is it to say that impacts are all that important from a geological standpoint?  If they wipe out a lot of life, that's not really a geological issue.  I could see geologists largely dismissing them as local geological events, both in time and in area. 

Well, IIRC a lot of the Earth's accessible nickel supply comes from iron-nickel asteroids since nickel is so siderophilic, so that makes them pretty important geologically speaking (at least for geologists scouting for mineral prospects). There are also quite a few impact craters, which certainly have had a significant geological impact on their area (forming lake basins, bays, etc.). So while the biggest events are certainly of more paleontological interest, the smaller events do have significant geological interest. It's not like geologists ignore the effect of volcanic eruptions (to take another kind of catastrophic event) on local landscapes and geological structures, despite those being vulnerable to the same kinds of criticism.

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: The granddaddy of all killer asteroid movies?
« Reply #55 on: 12/03/2010 04:25 PM »

But how accurate is it to say that impacts are all that important from a geological standpoint?  If they wipe out a lot of life, that's not really a geological issue.  I could see geologists largely dismissing them as local geological events, both in time and in area. 

Uuummm... The Yucatan Chicxulub impact comes to mind, that is a very large impact structure that has significant impact on not only the ground water of the area, but the location's of oil deposits. If memory serves, it was something screwy with the oil that led to it's discovery.

Also, saw an article a while ago, that suggested that large impacts can have large impacts on the other side of the global. It was (and memory is foggy) a thesis that the Chicxulub impact shockwaves traveled through the earth to trigger a massive volcano eruption in India at around the same time.

If memory serves there are some other mineral rich area's that people have "theorized" as being seeded by very large impacts punching a hole in the crust leading to an upwelling of precious metals in the mantle. I want to say in Hudson bay and South Africa.

Geologists ignore the big ones with peril...
« Last Edit: 12/03/2010 04:27 PM by kevin-rf »
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Offline Blackstar

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Re: The granddaddy of all killer asteroid movies?
« Reply #56 on: 12/03/2010 08:11 PM »
Uuummm... The Yucatan Chicxulub impact comes to mind, that is a very large impact structure that has significant impact on not only the ground water of the area, but the location's of oil deposits. If memory serves, it was something screwy with the oil that led to it's discovery.


But geology is generally interested in long-term, large scale issues.  I could see impacts being one subset of study, but easily overlooked by people interested in things like the formation of mountain ranges or tectonic movement.

Offline Blackstar

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Re: The granddaddy of all killer asteroid movies?
« Reply #57 on: 12/05/2010 09:35 PM »
Got some info from Paolo Ulivi, who has written a number of history books and happens to be Italian.  He managed to find a 1956 article in an Italian journal concerning the 1908 Tunguska event.  He said that it was a fairly detailed article.  This seems like a good suspect for where the screenwriters got their idea for the movie The Day the Earth Exploded.  The article might have gotten attention in the Italian press and resulted in somebody in their film industry taking notice.

More info as I come across it.

Offline luke strawwalker

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Re: The granddaddy of all killer asteroid movies?
« Reply #58 on: 12/10/2010 04:49 PM »
It all began with a H.G.Wells short story ( The Star ), in which a rogue Star!! ploughs through the solar system. Not to worry, at least some of the Earth folk survive. Don't think it was ever made into a movie though.

Cartoon ;)

Thundarr the Barbarian ( )

A bit of a stretch to far...

I am surprised no one mentioned Larry Niven's Lucifer's Hammer. A new comet on it's first pass through the solar system breaks apart with the predicted close flyby turning into a surprise shotgunning of the earth. Way to may subplots to ever make into a movie. (Even has a second Apollo Soyuz mission to study it)

Just remember Hot Fudge Sunday falls on a Tuesday this year.

That could be a movie I'd like to see... depending on how well it's done... I enjoyed the book thoroughly, though some of the references are QUITE dated... :) 

The main failing to me in all the "asteroid disaster movies" is that "we win" in the end... from "Meteor!" to "Deep Impact" to the simply awful "Armageddon", the "against all odds the humans manage a stop-gap impromptu mission and manage to destroy the asteroid and save mankind as we know it"...

Lucifer's Hammer was far more interesting... the interesting stuff happens AFTER the "end of the world"...

Later!  OL JR :)
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Offline Blackstar

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Re: The granddaddy of all killer asteroid movies?
« Reply #59 on: 12/10/2010 05:27 PM »
The main failing to me in all the "asteroid disaster movies" is that "we win" in the end... from "Meteor!" to "Deep Impact" to the simply awful "Armageddon", the "against all odds the humans manage a stop-gap impromptu mission and manage to destroy the asteroid and save mankind as we know it"...

The "After Impact" movie mentioned earlier is one exception.  But if you think that this stuff is essentially analogous to nuclear war films of the 80s, then the trend was the reverse.  In virtually all the movies, the balloon went up and then the story was about the survivors living in the nuclear hellhole.

Offline Graham2001

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Re: The granddaddy of all killer asteroid movies?
« Reply #60 on: 12/10/2010 10:42 PM »
The main failing to me in all the "asteroid disaster movies" is that "we win" in the end... from "Meteor!" to "Deep Impact" to the simply awful "Armageddon", the "against all odds the humans manage a stop-gap impromptu mission and manage to destroy the asteroid and save mankind as we know it"...

The "After Impact" movie mentioned earlier is one exception.  But if you think that this stuff is essentially analogous to nuclear war films of the 80s, then the trend was the reverse.  In virtually all the movies, the balloon went up and then the story was about the survivors living in the nuclear hellhole.

...and fighting over water.

Of the four novels I have mentioned earlier, three involve deflection attempts (Hermes Fall, Shiva Descending & Impact!), three have the asteroid impact the Earth (Hermes Fall, Impact! & Cold Fusion).

Of those three only Cold Fusion really attempts to deal with the 'long term' consequences in terms of climactic shifts.

Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: The granddaddy of all killer asteroid movies?
« Reply #61 on: 12/11/2010 03:55 PM »
The problem with "2010" is two fold.  First, here it is at the end of, well, 2010, and nothing like that has taken place.

Second, they never address the subject of panspermia.  This was the opening point of "2001", and the closing point of the book and movie as well. 

As I recall the final lines of the book:  "He didn't know what he was going to do with his new world, but he would think of something".

Klaatu barada nikto.

Yeah?  And ya mudda wears army boots.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline Archibald

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Re: The granddaddy of all killer asteroid movies?
« Reply #62 on: 12/11/2010 05:47 PM »
Quote
Klaatu barada nikto

Qu'as tu dans ton barda, Nico ?
« Last Edit: 12/11/2010 05:47 PM by Archibald »

Offline Graham2001

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Re: The granddaddy of all killer asteroid movies?
« Reply #63 on: 11/14/2011 08:31 AM »
Got some info from Paolo Ulivi, who has written a number of history books and happens to be Italian.  He managed to find a 1956 article in an Italian journal concerning the 1908 Tunguska event.  He said that it was a fairly detailed article.  This seems like a good suspect for where the screenwriters got their idea for the movie The Day the Earth Exploded.  The article might have gotten attention in the Italian press and resulted in somebody in their film industry taking notice.

More info as I come across it.

Did you ever come across more information on this?

I'm 90% certain that the late 1970's meteor impact fiction boom was sparked off by the 1972 Great Daylight Fireball (APOD, March 2nd 2009)

Hermes Fall & Lucifer's Hammer seem to have been the first published since they don't feature precursor impacts to the main event.

Meteor seems to be the originator of that concept.

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: The granddaddy of all killer asteroid movies?
« Reply #64 on: 11/18/2011 06:16 PM »
Natalie Wood Bump!
If you're happy and you know it,
It's your med's!

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