Author Topic: The granddaddy of all killer asteroid movies?  (Read 16927 times)

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)

Just remember Hot Fudge Sunday falls on a Tuesday this year.
If you're happy and you know it,
It's your med's!

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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