Liveblogging Event: Armageddon
Let's begin this mega-blockbuster directed by Jerry Bruckheimer with a prologue.
"Once upon a time, dinosaurs ruled the earth," Deep-Voiced Narrator says. "Then a rock a mere six miles long hit the earth with the force of 10-thousand-somethings of force, throwing up rock and nonsense into the atmosphere. It happened then...
...It will happen again. It's just a matter of...when."
Now I'm all freaked out.
But first, before we can really begin the movie, we need to show off a crazy meteor shower rip through astronauts and destroy a space shuttle.
OK, so important men in suits are all running around and riding limos, freaking out about something. Billy Bob Thorton is important and looks old -- like -- he's always looked old, hasn't he? He looked old in 1998. He looks old now. He'll look old in ten years.
On his tombstone, it'll just say: Man, he looked old.
Just like any good blockbuster, we need to throw the audience in disarray with about 15 different scenes within the first five minutes. We need to get the pulse of the film. First, there's the military aspect. Then, we've got some random dude looking out of his rusty-old telescope, yelling at his wife to get his phone book so he can call NASA, and now we've got a little dog, in NYC, attacking Godzilla toys.
Because, the remake of "Godzilla" with Matthew Broderick came out the same summer and this was Bruckheimers stab at that movie. A dog attacking the toys.
Like, why you gotta stab another movie like that? You do your thang, Jerry, and the guys that did "Independence Day" will do their thang.
But whatever, none of these characters are important right now. What's important is a meteor shoots through the NYC skyline, hits a building, and creates a crater on the sidewalk. Then, even more shoot from the sky, destroying all the tall buildings. The top of the Empire State building topples down.
It's a scene right out of "Independence Day."
Then to make matters worse, the asteroid that's coming is the size of Texas. While Billy Bob debriefs, the President is all mad that we haven't found it sooner.
"We're 'Murica, gosh dang it, and you didn't know about this thing sooner?"
Billy Bob sasses back about the minimal budget they've got. "How can we find something like this on pennies a day?"
"How bad is it?" Mr. President asks.
"Like," Billy Bob Thorton says, "not even bacteria will survive."
And we've got 18 days.
Let's get this party started.
This movie comes out during a time of Jerry Bruckheimer's career that I like to call his "Orange Period." Before he was producing TV shows and working with Disney, there was an array of three little movies called "Con Air," "The Rock," and "Armageddon."
All three of these movies were sponsored by the color orange and the letters and numbers PG-13. Throughout certain parts of the movies, you'll notice an orange hue. And, if you look at the posters for the movies, you will notice that they are all very orange.
Like, all the actors look like Oompa-Loompas.
It's too bad Bruckheimer didn't do a "Willy Wonka" movie.
Oompa-Loompa's with machine guns.
Let's begin the movie, for real, shall we?
Cut to: a bunch of brains sitting around the table trying to figure out how to destroy the asteroid:
"Do we throw Thor's hammer at it?"
"Do we celebrate the Fourth of July on it?"
"Do we find Homer Simpson, stick him inside and tell him to fart?"
"Do we do the Time Warp again?"
So many ideas, but none of them are good enough! Finally, we find out that we'll need to blow up the asteroid from the inside-out.
"If you place a firecracker on someone's hand and ignite it, it'll just burn that sad person, right?" one of the scientists states, "but, if you make the person hold the firecracker in a fist, something sadistic like that, well, he won't be opening up anymore ketchup bottles, will he?"
"And how do you know this?" Billy Bob asks.
"Check out me hook!" cries the scientist, clacking his shiny pirate hook against the glass table.
So it's decided that we need to drill a hole into the asteroid, place a few nuclear missiles in there, and blow the thing to smithereens.
But in order to do that, and make this movie even more unrealistic in the meantime, we need a crew of crazies to fly into space.
So, let's fly to an oil rig in the midst of Bruce Willis shooting at Ben Affleck for falling in love with Aerosmith's Daughter.
"You don't want to miss a thaaang," Willis shouts at Affleck, shrapnel exploding in every which direction. Affleck hops around the oil rig, training to be Batman, hanging from rafters left and right, avoiding the bullets.
"But I love your daughter!" Affleck shouts.
"Wrong answer!" Willis shouts.
We strike oil, we've got foreign investors walking around the rig, we've got Willis shooting at Affleck, we've got Aerosmith's Daughter trying to reason with her immature father, and we've also just struck even more oil. All within two-minutes.
Then, to add even more chaos to the scenes, we've flown in people from NASA to kidnap Willis and Aerosmith's Daughther and take them to NASA so they can listen to Billy Bob Thorton's request to have him train a bunch of would-be astronauts.
But Willis don't want no astronauts. He wants his oil drilling buddies.
And so we cut to the nonsense that showcases the theme of the movie:
In order to save the world, you need crazy.
They're all walking around in hospital gowns, getting enemas with a metal rod, getting injected with, what looks like, Vaseline, and then they have to sit in a small, noise-proof room with a counselor to see if they are mentally stable to fly into space.
None of them are mentally stable. They're not really that physically able -- like, one of the guys is on horse tranquilizers, but whatever.
The take a stamp and state they're all "NASA Approved."
Now, the real training begins
As the oil drillers approach the hanger to get ready to be trained, one of the pilots says one of the best lines of the movie:
"Now, that's the wrong stuff."
This movie moves like a music video. It's all scrambled scenes, music, random dialogue, and technology thrown at my face to confuse me, or excite me, or brainwash me. We've got the oil drillers completely reformatting a giant piece of machinery to make it lighter and more efficient. They're running on treadmills with hoses stuck their mouths, they're in space suits underwater, they're in a giant vacuum that sucks out the oxygen to mimic space, they play Parcheesi with Sigourney Weaver and the Alien.
It's all so very surreal.
Then, to give it a patriotic push, we meet the spaceships they'll be flying: Freedom and Independence. Just remember, at some point in the movie, there will be slow-motion flag flying, people looking up to the sky, and the voice over of a dramatic speech that will make grown men cry.
But who cares about all this asteroid nonsense, Bruce Willis is angry that his daughter, Aerosmith's Daughter, is falling in love with Ben Affleck.
That's what really matters.
This movie's a hard one to live-blog
There aren't enough cheesy elements to this movie. I remember sitting in the movie theater having my heartstrings pulled during the emotional parts and my palms get sweaty during the slightly stressful parts.
There's the scene when they sing "Leaving on a Jet Plain," which then dissolves into shots of international locations of everyone listening to the President talk about the "fourteen brave souls" who are about to save the world.
I remember sitting in the movie theater, looking up at the screen, not realizing that Bruckheimer was just about to put us through an hour of hell.
"I'm going to get the story up and running with the first hour and a half with some laughter, some love, some decent soundtrack music, and some orange hues," Bruckheimer must've been thinking, "but they'll be in the palm of my hands during that last hour needing diapers."
It's not a real summer blockbuster unless some diapers are needed.