Category Archives: Disaster

This is a surprisingly old-fashioned disaster movie. In point of fact its old-fashioned-ness is really the only surprising thing about this eye-popping 3D spectacle, directed by Paul W.S. Anderson, an adept handler of eye-popping 3D spectacle, as anyone familiar with the “Resident Evil” franchise will tell you, and in some areas of film fandom, tell you over and over again. The ......
Seven friends and one newcomer gather for a Sunday “couples brunch.” Because most of them have known one another for years, and because they are fairly petty and duplicitous, they embed covert barbs and hidden agendas in almost everything they say and do. Conversations appear familiar and convivial on the surface but carry a disconcerting undertone of cattiness that’s almost a private langu......
A black screen. The sound of a harsh cough. We are already alert when, soon after, we see a bartender pick up a customer’s coin and then punch numbers into a cash register. Germs, we’re thinking. “Contagion” is a realistic, unsensational film about a global epidemic. It’s being marketed as a thriller, a frightening speculation about how a new airborne virus cou......
It’s not so much that the Earth is destroyed, but that it’s done so thoroughly. “2012,” the mother of all disaster movies (and the father, and the extended family) spends half an hour on ominous set-up scenes (scientists warn, strange events occur, prophets rant and of course a family is introduced) and then unleashes two hours of cataclysmic special events hammering......
“The Day the Earth Stood Still” need not have taken its title so seriously that the plot stands still along with it. There isn’t much here you won’t remember from the 1951 classic, even if you haven’t seen it. What everyone knows is that a spaceship lands on Earth, a passenger named Klaatu steps out and is shot, and then a big metal man named Gort walks out and......
“It is one of the greatest pro-American, pro-family, pro-faith, pro-male, flag-waving, God Bless America films you will ever see.” — right-wing syndicated columnist Cal Thomas (July 20, 2006) “World Trade Center” is about two men who, against all odds, survived the collapse of the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001. It combines fragments of two movies — th......
An odd and unexpected word kept nudging its way into my mind as I sat watching “Poseidon.” That word was perfunctory. I hoped that other words would replace it. I knew I was not enjoying the movie, but I hoped it would improve or, lacking that, discover an interesting way to fail. But no. It was perfunctory, by which I mean, according to the dictionary that came with my computer......
“Flight of the Phoenix” is a fairly faithful remake of the 1965 adventure classic, with no big surprises, But it uses special effects to create scenes unavailable to the earlier film, including sensational sandstorms, a detailed crash sequence and a convincing takeoff. If effects had been available in 1965, a life would have been saved; the older movie used a real plane, flown b......
It is such a relief to hear the music swell up at the end of a Roland Emmerich movie, its restorative power giving us new hope. Billions of people may have died, but at least the major characters have survived. Los Angeles was wiped out by flying saucers in Emmerich’s “Independence Day,” New York was assaulted in his “Godzilla,” and now, in “The Day After......
At a time when screens and theaters grow smaller and movie palaces are a thing of the past, the new practice of re-releasing films in the IMAX format is a thrilling step in the opposite direction. Ron Howard’s “Apollo 13,” which opens today at the IMAX theater at Navy Pier, looks bold and crisp on the big screen, and the sound has never sounded better–perhaps couldn&......