Thursday, September 14, 2017

Disaster Movies

Tonight after a disrupted nights sleep due to on call work, I sat down to relax and rewatch a movie I must have seen at least 5 times in the past - The Day After Tomorrow.    I have a soft spot for the old disaster movies, and I was trying to think why they appealed so much.  I guess that as a child growing up in the 1970s, our Saturday nights were filled with The Posiedan Adventure and the Towering Inferno, all impossibly long and boring with only 10 minutes of action at the end.   Modern movies with computer generated effects can get into it pretty early on, and we can get scene after scene off big cities, sinking, burning and cracking apart.

The formula for most of these movies is common for most of these movies:

  • Some large landmark will be destroyed with sad music playing
  • The main characters generally will survive the disaster, after several close calls of planes crashing, hanging off cliffs, sinking etc
  • There will be a love interest, all quiet looks at the beginning and a lusty embrace at the end
  • The baddie will get their  comeuppance at the end, and usually die in some gruesome way
Now being a middle aged lady, I seldom venture to the cinema to see such movies and are content to stream them for a cheaper price or wait until they are on free tv.  After watching the news lately with the two large hurricanes in the US and flooding in Asia, it seems that real life is far more extreme than the fiction we normally watch.  With hundreds of thousands of people affected and left hungry and homeless, I can't help but think I am lucky that we have not had such disasters here.  So I am thinking that the universal appeal of such movies, is that for all of us, we are just trying to survive and get through, and we all think about what we would do in the same circumstances.


sallyhicks said...

I don't think I would enjoy this. I have gone back to my early years where life was truly fun and no worries. Of course all the middle years have been tremendous however I am indulging my senior years with beautiful films that make me happy or biographies which entrance me but make me glad I live where and where I do now.

John Bellen said...

I used to watch a number of disaster movies and think it would not be a bad thing for the world to start over. Now, I couldn't stand seeing all the work of man undone. But you are right: whenever a diaster strikes the cinema, it's always a major city that gets clobbered. I didn't care for "The Day After Tomorrow", though.