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Thursday, May 15, 2014

Top 5 Most Personal Rooting Interests In Disaster Movies

Tomorrow Gareth Edwards' version of “Godzilla” opens and as I noted in my Un-Summery Summer Movie Preview, it's always nice to have a rooting interest in disaster movies. You know, we are introduced to a disparate group of characters forced together and attempting to survive/overcome the obligatory “disaster” and/or creature responsible for said “disaster” and, if the movie gods are on your side, one of the characters calls out to you and you latch onto them for cheering purposes.

Rarely, however, do you latch onto him or her because of the actual character. No, it’s typically something more superficial and shallow but, nevertheless, crucial, because without that rooting interest, hey, you're probably going to fall asleep.

 Top 5 Personal Rooting Interests In Disaster Movies 

Hanover (Wes Studi), Deep Rising (1998).

I rooted for him cuz he was, like, you know, Magua, man.

Preacher (LL Cool J), Deep Blue Sea (1999)

As a manager at the Wynnsong 16, I constructed "Deep Blue Sea" reel-by-reel and threw it onto the projector so my friend and fellow manager Dan and I could partake in a midnight screening of it, just the two of us. He brought along a 12 pack of the King of Beers. And as we knocked back cans of Bud, characters kept getting knocked off, and as each character got knocked off, the more exuberantly (drunkenly) we rooted for James T. Smith to emerge unscathed.

Monique Aubertine (Izabella Scorupco), The Vertical Limit (2000)

I've written about it before but it bears repeating - "The Vertical Limit" is one of the most wonderfully awful moviegoing experiences of my life. A Friday afternoon in Phoenix, where I had just moved, and all I wanted was a matinee of a movie I could watch mindlessly but emotionally. And from the moment Izabella punched one of the rascally Bench Brothers (and eventually flipped one of them off), I was on her side and rooting for her to make it to the top of K2 with a can of nitroglycerin strapped to her shapely back (don't ask) and then back down again alive. Bless her soul and striking red cap, she made it. Monique Aubertine, my Mountaineering Disaster Movie Crush 4Ever.

Philippe Roaché (Jean Reno), Godzilla (1998)

I get that the American-Coffee-Is-Really-Bad jokes are kinda hackey, but I'll let it slide simply for Mr. Reno's reaction shots whenever he does sip that bad American coffee. Unwittingly, he mimicked America's collective reaction to the film itself. For that, he deserved to live 'til the end.

April Wexler (Tara Reid), Sharknado (2013)

Everyone's already ballyhooing the "Sharknado" sequel simply because of its onslaught of recognizable B-celebrity names and as much as one can become riled up by a purposely atrocious Sci-Fi Channel movie that hasn't even aired yet, well, this blogger's riled up. It's not egregious stunt casting in the form of Billy Ray Cyrus and Andy Dick nor nabbing two "ID4" holdovers that can transform a direct-to-TV piece-of-crap into appointment camp viewing but someone like Tara Reid agreeing to a role to put vodka on the liquor shelf and then eclipsing all the ersatz special effects by......look, what Tara Reid is doing in "Sharknado" simply defies acting in terms of Stella Adler and Lee Strasberg and Constantin Stanislavski. It defies acting in terms of the Eldora, Iowa Playhouse production of "Don Quixote." This is not because Tara Reid isn't acting in "Sharknado" because we can't be certain that Tara Reid wasn't acting in "Sharknado." Each hypothesis is scientifically unprovable. Peter Geyl said history is an argument without an end, but Cinema Romantico says that Tara Reid's acting intent in "Sharknado" is an argument without end. It's a corn maze of logic. You can never be sure what choices she's making, possibly because she isn't making acting choices but possibly because she is making acting choices on a level only someone who starred in her own reality show called "Taradise" could possibly comprehend. I desperately wanted to see her survive until the end just in the hopes that I could figure it all out. I couldn't. She lived and, in doing so, broke my brain.

1 comment:

Alex Withrow said...

This list rocks. Love what you said about Deep Blue Sea. Man, I remember spending many a midnight screening the exact same way when I worked at a movie theater. We'd get so hopped up sometimes, we'd have to sleep it off at the damn theater until morning, when we worked the AM shift. Those were the days.