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Armageddon (DVD)
starring: Bruce Willis, Ben Affleck and Liv Tyler

by Chris
Spring, 1999

I just finished watching Armageddon, and all I can say is: "Huh."

It was okay, I guess, but I just couldn't get that fired up about it. There were definitely things I liked about it: Will Patton (Chick) was great, as always, and I thought the bit with the dog attacking the Godzilla dolls was pretty funny, especially in light of the box office takes for last year of Armageddon vs. Godzilla. But there were too many things that bugged me:

1. Was Bruce Willis (Harry) trying to use a southern accent for about the first three minutes he was onscreen, or was it just me? Because if he was, man, he lost it in a hurry.
2. Why did everyone run from the FBI when theywere going to be picked up for astronaut duty? I mean, is that just the cool thing to do? "Oh shit, it's the Feds! Run! Run!"
3. How did Ben Affleck (A.J.) get ownership of an oil company two days after he was fired from Harry's oil company? What gives?
4. When the oil drillin' folk take a look at the Armadillo drill truck for the first time, they hop right on, in, and under, and start ripping things apart and modifying things. Now, I believe that these guys are good at drilling for oil, but what the hell do they know about NASA equipment?
5. There were some interesting sounds when the Armadillo drill truck was lowered onto the asteroid. I couldn't place it at first, but then I realized it sounded like the tornado growl from Twister crossed with the demon/devil sounds from the Exorcist and the Exorcist 3. I mean, I know the asteroid was going to kill everyone on Earth, but I don't think it was actually possessed.
6. When A.J.'s shuttle crashes on the asteroid surface, he hops in the Armadillo and decides he's gonna drive himself, the Russian, and the huge man known as Bear to the other shuttle. The problem is, the hull of the shuttle is in the way. So A.J. says, "Let me show you how we dothings where I come from," and proceeds to blow the hull away with a gatling-type gun mounted on the Armadillo. Where the hell is A.J. from? The mountains of Idaho? Or maybe Montana?
7. I know that there was mention of hydrogen pockets in the asteroid, but why was there an explosion every time a piece of the asteroid hit another piece of the asteroid, no matter what the size? I'm surprised they didn't have "crazy" Steve Buscemi light a campfire and make s'mores on the asteroid surface.
8. Finally, the idea of fixing a malfunction in the engines of a multi-million (or billion) dollar spacecraft by hitting the engine with a huge wrench just doesn't cut it for me. Even my crappy car requires some kind of actual repair, even if it's just cleaning a spark plug.

So, that's my take on Armageddon. By the way, have you noticed that Peter Stormane (the cosmonaut) has been in every movie Steve Buscemi has been in since Fargo (excluding The Wedding Singer)? He was Buscemi's partner in Fargo, he was a Nihilist in the Big Lebowski, and now here he is again. It's the next Lemmon and Mathau.

The sound, by the way, totally kicked ass on [my] Bose [surround sound] system. It was awesome hearing each shuttle fly past me, one on either side. Having six discrete channels of sound rules!

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