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Now there have been some good disaster movies such as The Poseidon Adventure but there have also been some bad ones. While not the worst movie ever, Meteor I thought was a bad movie. Now I loved the concept and I liked the score, plus Sean Connery gives a charismatic enough performance in possibly the nadir of his acting career. However, what didn't work so well is that the special effects and production values are very dated. Also the script is utter nonsense, the story is poorly structured with a tacked on romantic subplot and a ending that runs out of steam, there is some pedestrian pacing and the direction is meandering. In terms of acting the only actor who impressed was Connery; Natalie Wood was a lovely actress but wasn't given much to do while Martin Landau(the same Martin Landau who was so good in Ed Wood) is embarrassing as the General. Overall, disappointing, had so much potential but didn't work. 3/10 Bethany Cox
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
METEOR was supposed to be American-International's BIG film. How big?
How about a two page ad in the NEW YORK TIMES announcing the film a
year before it's release? Tie-in's to the film like a official movie
magazine and a pinball machine (pratically unheard of in those days)?
The title METEOR copyrighted by American-International? But then METEOR
The storyline (Comet passing through asteroid belt collides with gigantic rock causing the huge chunk to head towards Earth, disaster impending) is just basically a chance to see B-grade and former A-grade actors go through the motions, which is fine and passable. What is wrong with this film is the long pauses between anything really happening at all, which is poison to a disaster film. METEOR really didn't need a nearly five minute segment of two rocket platforms turning, or occasionally during the climax of the film, a character asking "How long till impact?", another character would say how long it was. And then we would see a combination of shots like the meteor, then the rockets, then a shot of the meteor headed towards the rockets, then a shot of the rockets headed towards the meteor (any combination of any and/or all shots above). Any momentum the film had would be killed right then and there.
METEOR isn't a bad film, it's a decent film with unnecessary filler sequences.
And what was actually destroyed by METEOR? American-International Pictures. The high (compared with other A.I.P. films) production costs combined with low box office returns doomed A.I.P. and was bought out by FILMWAYS and within two years of METEOR's release, A.I.P. was nothing more than a memory except to those lovers of drive-in flicks.
This is cheesier than a cheese-o-phile's toenails, and if it wasn't so darned boring in most scenes, would actually be almost entertaining. Unfortunately, ten minute plus scenes of overpaid actors watching 70s style monitors in silence does not make for riveting drama. And the uh 'special' effects? These resemble nothing more than a cohort of marital aids taped together and heading woozily space-ward. They uh, don't look very real - as the 'artist' hadn't twigged the concept of 'weathering' at that stage - making models look realistically aged and grimy. Still we do have the spectacle of Karl Malden having a severe hair malfunction during the 'money' shot when the Hudson river, or what looks like either (a) chocolate soup, or (b) sewage, engulfs the assembled anti-Meteorites. Helpfully, Sean Connery is on hand to help Karl sweep back that 'repartino' and dignity is restored. Great for those of us older folk who have trouble sleeping, I struggled to stay awake to watch this over the course of three evenings and felt greatly refreshed for weeks afterwards. Q - another hair featurette - isn't Martin Landau's hair a wee bit on the uh, longish side for a serving U.S. officer??
Where to begin ? Probably best not to. An all star cast can't save this turkey with its B movie plot and dreadful special effects. Brian Keith and Natalie Wood as Soviet scientists ? Martin Landau as a red faced military clown ? Ed Wood gave us "Plan Nine From Outer Space" apparently Meteor is Plan Ten ! If you like SciFi you should watch it once, just to see how bad "bad" can be.
The name Samuel Z Arkoff appears first on the credits. This could be
interesting or it could be terrible. Keep watching. The cast includes Sean
Connery, Natalie Wood, Brian Keith, Karl Malden, Martin Landau, Trevor
Howard and Henry Fonda. Now there is a decent bunch of actors, all usually
good value. Keep watching. Directed by Ronald Neame, a distinguished British
director by any standards. And then follows a disaster of a disaster
There is a strange dichotomy between the high quality of the cast and the low quality of the other elements in the film. The painfully meagre special effects, the shrill music, the leaden plot. It seems a strange brew and even a reviewer like myself who will always try to pick out some good points in a film am at a loss. The thing that distracted me the most was that the meteor itself, a wide lump of pitted and gruyered rock seemed to have a sound effect, like an engine! Perhaps it was my imagination.
This film is not good enough or bad enough to be a cult film. It is just tepid and flat and makes 'the Towering Inferno' look like the 'Citizen Kane' of disaster movies.
Good grief this is bad....
Standard Cold War paranoia (Martin Landau suitable wasted here in a 'if I have to talk to the Russians then its not worth saving the planet kind of role) mixes with LOUSY special effects even for 1979.
Throw in some ropey acting, an impressive all star cast that would rather be somewhere else but needed the cash to pay off an urgent gas bill or something and some truly dreadful set design and you have the final nail in the coffin of the 1970's disaster movie genre.
The avalanche was poorly done, too much stock footage was used and the New York collision sequence was unfortunate, particularly with the meteorite fragment going right through the upper part of the World Trade Centre (and its subsequent collapse in flames) being an uncomfortable parallel of tragic future events - this was shown on the BBC two days after the second anniversary of that tragedy by the way....
If they had refined the script and maybe sorted out some better money on the special effects then this could have been good, as it stands however it makes the woeful but similar Deep Impact of some twenty years later look like Shakespeare....
I don't know why,but I have a feeling I must apologize for my review in advance. Perhaps it's my senior age (I'm 73). But I enjoyed this movie very much. Great actors & actresses.Sorry folks,something similar to this could happen,I sure hope not.But it is possible.Don't push your luck.Who would have ever thought anyone could wipe out a city with one bomb.Ask a Japanese friend and I'm quite sure they will tell you,it is possible.Critique and critical are two different words.It is possible to to give a positive critique.But "Gee Whiz" I have a slight feeling that I may be critical of the reviews.Probably a no, no.I must try to be more liberal in any future reviews I may offer. However my daddy use to tell me "son" is you can't say something nice to somebody. Say something nasty.
Disaster features were quite popular within this period, but the
low-end 'Meteor' didn't live up to those of its ilk. Instead it was a
lacklustre, overly talky and robotic performed presentation with the
Cold War angle being the centre piece to the real larger problem (the
meteor) taking a passenger seat.
A fast moving, five mile wide meteor is hurtling to earth, and the only way to stop it is for America and USSR to work together and admitting to the use of nuclear weapons in space. After a tussle to come to terms, a truce is met and the plan is set.
The heavy-handed material (penned by Ronald Neame and Stanley Mann) is drab with lots of dragged out exchanges about what to do and having America and USSR trying not cave in to one another (involving some politically moralistic squabbling) about their nuclear weapons in space there's even room for some pointless one-dimensional melodramas. Then where left with the waiting game, is the plan going to work? All is good, but nothing interesting is really made of it. The actor's faces seem to tell the story too. Sean Connery looks distant, despite his tough presence and the lovely Natalie Wood never truly convinces. Karl Malden, Brian Keith, Trevor Howard, Martin Landua and Henry Fonda also make-up a solid looking cast, that fail to make a mark.
Robert Neame's direction is ponderously slack and bland, as he never sets up much in the way of suspense or even thrills (with some few minor pockets involving meteor-splinters making an impact). I would rather blame it to what he had to work with as the script is inconsistently haggard and filled with cheesy devices. Watch his other film 'The Poseidon Adventure (1972)' instead for something of similar lines done better. As for the special effects poor, real poor. The outer space scenes looked okay, but those involving the meteor splinters (quite a light-show) and their disastrous effects (stock-footage) looked abysmally shoddy. Laurence Rosenthal's score is completely overwrought.
A terribly limp production that feels like it's in slow-motion for everyone.
I have to admit, I love 70's disaster movies. They wallow in so much camp,cheese and sheer tackiness that they're fun. . But Meteor isn't really campy or entertaining. It's really pretty boring. The special effects are laughable. No literally, I laughed up strawberry yogurt all over my boyfriend's couch at the sight of the meteor. Or make that old bread or rock or what ever that was. The great cast give apathetic performances. "Why am I here" seem to be going through their heads. Not that I blame these great actors one moment. Martin Landau's over acting is pain full to watch. The climax is not exciting. There just seems to be no suspense built up in the movie. Over all, not a bad movie. But just a very boring one.
Sean Connery is famous for everything from James Bond to Highlander and the Rock. This film he'd want wiped from his record. Talk about cheese on a stick! Utter nonsense from the 70s disaster movie genre, this is bandwaggon jumping if ever I saw it. Particularly annoying was the 'drama' music every time the meteor appeared on screen. By the end of the film I wanted to chuck something at the telly it got on my nerves so much.
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