Bill and Jo Harding, advanced storm chasers on the brink of divorce, must join together to create an advanced weather alert system by putting themselves in the cross-hairs of extremely violent tornadoes.
A giant, reptilian monster surfaces, leaving destruction in its wake. To stop the monster (and its babies), an earthworm scientist, his reporter ex-girlfriend, and other unlikely heroes team up to save their city.
Volcanologist Harry Dalton and mayor Rachel Wando of Dante's Peak try to convince the city council and the other volcanologists that the volcano right above Dante's peak is indeed dangerous. People's safety is being set against economical interests. Written by
Rune Dahl Fitjar <email@example.com>
Harry mentions to Rachel that one of the countries he's been to where there's a volcano with an attitude is New Zealand. Roger Donaldson is from New Zealand. See more »
When Harry and Terry are measuring the concentration of sulfur dioxide in the caldera, the instrument probe is protruding out the open cabin door into the helicopter down wash. Sulfur dioxide is more than twice as dense as air; it may seem highly unlikely that this technique would provide any meaningful results, but the instrument that Harry and Terry are using is a Barrington Correlation Spectrometer (COSPEC), which measures SO2 concentration by comparing the difference in UV spectrum seen by the instrument to a known value. Therefore, the depicted use of the instrument is correct, and is in fact the same way volcanologists measured SO2 levels prior to the Mt. Pinatubo eruption in 1991. See more »
There is a formula for disaster movies and books. An insightful scientist sees The Bad Thing is going to happen, various foils keep him from warning people (often with sillier motivation than in this film), we get to know a bunch of average Joe characters who survive or do not survive the disaster. Earthquake movies, movies about made-up natural disasters that cannot happen, asteroid movies, even some nuclear holocaust films (like The Day After, unique in how many survive). It's a hackneyed formula, but it also works, and nothing else really does work as well for disaster plots. It was followed here.
The special effects were terrific in the day, and they still hold up very very well in 2012.
For a Hollywood film, the science was pretty good. I actually cringed back at the shots of Hawaii type basalt floes (just...no), and the ashfall cleared up nicely whenever they wanted a wide shot, which anyone in Yakima could tell you it really doesn't do, and the boat and drive-over-lava scenes were silly, and if you paddle a boat (through acid or not) with one hand, it's not going to go straight, and our heroes didn't need to cover their mouths in ashfall (meaning, IRL, the ash would turn to concrete in their lungs and they'd suffocate). However, all that having been complained about, much else was very accurate: what gets tested for by volcanologists, what monitoring stations of the day looked like, what some of the warning signs of a coming eruption might be. Most Hollywood film reviews by me on science-based movies are nothing but a list of what they did wrong, with no "however" of accurate bits to follow that list, so kudos for doing it more than half right.
A pleasant diversion, very pretty to look at.
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