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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This expose is for people who have seen the movie and can't quite put
their finger on why they have come away feeling so dirty. Well people,
following are a few reasons why The Core poops all over science along
with having the worst plot, characters and premise of all time.
Firstly, that little speech the physicist gave to the class about sound traveling through rocks? He says something about the wavelength increasing (ding right), and then says the frequency will decrease (bzzz wrong). Frequency stays the same regardless of the medium it is traveling through. It is the wavelength that will in fact decrease.
Secondly, what's with the explanation of how the Earth is going to end? Burning a peach with a deodorant can? Come on, I know military people are considered no-brainers, but he was demonstrating this to the people that lead a high tech organization. This patronises any military personnel, as well as the audience.
Thirdly, The premise of the film is based around the effects that occur because the core of the Earth stops rotating. Let me just first note that there are geological records to say that the magnetic field has changed direction many times in the past, with evidence to support that each time it has been reduced close to 0. To the best of my knowledge, and that of every history book out there, this happens without any of us combusting like the peach.
Fourthly, the scene with the golden gate bridge heating up because of a hole in the magnetic field? I think someone got magnetic field and ozone layer mixed up. The idea of punching a hole in a field is absurd. The field may be weakened, but the atmosphere would still protect our little bridges from cosmic radiation.
Fifthly, there is a force field (magnetic) around the Earth, not much of one, but there is one, not an "electromagnetic energy field". An energy field would do sweet f*ck all to deflect radiation. The same radiation that is supposed to wipe out humans like the peach...
Sixthly, 5 200-megaton nukes? Come on, those would weigh about 250 tons together. Let's try transport that on the dildo shaped 'virgil'. And the computer simulations of how they would be set off? All in 1 spot? That wouldn't create the required rotational force, since there would be no rotational force due to symmetry. He finally gets it right in the end to place them apart from each other. How they initially overlooked this one, I have no idea.
Seventhly, the material used to withstand all the pressure and temperature on 'virgil' was called 'unobtainium'. nuff said.
Eighthly, assuming we just spent the entirety of the world's budget on developing paradoxically copious amounts of unobtanium, it would take another 10 budgets over to have the resources to "control" the internet.
Ninthly, when 'virgil' was tunneling downwards, why could the people walk around inside as if it was horizontal? They mentioned the rotating bridge, but didn't mention anything about rotating hallways, or the rip in the space-time continuum needed to walk straight between the bridge and the subsequent hallways. The compartments would need to rotate individually, which would put them out of alignment with each of the other compartments. Logically, they would be aligned parallel for everyone to be walking horizontal, and not fall to the front of the ship, as the front is pointing towards the centre of the Earth. If only they could pretend virgil was round, and the entire inside could rotate as one. A pity every shot shows a long cylindrical ship incapable of this.
Tenthly, the giant geode that they crash into? All that pressure, all that temperature? But if that wasn't enough, they get out, and walk around. I know those space suits they had on looked cool, but they couldn't withstand the ~1000 degrees of temperature, and a few thousand kPa of pressure that is needed to keep the geode from collapsing under the weight of the world.
Eleventhly, when the ship springs a leak? It would have been like a nuke going off in the ship, but instead, it took a few minutes for the compartment to crush.
Twelfthly, the unlucky guy that has to walk through 9000 degrees temperature in a suit only designed to withstand 5000 degrees. He makes it to the duct and switches the lever? 9000 degrees is about 2-3 times the temperature of a nuclear bomb going off. I think the walls and floor of the corridor would have been glowing white with heat. Our man would have been vaporised, but lucky for him, only his converse pumps melted to get to the lever.
Thirteenthly, the guy that pulls out the plutonium rods undergoing fission? He didn't even have a helmet on. $10 says his kids will have 5 noses, 3 mouths, and a foot coming out of their heads. I guess it's a good thing though that the DNA of such a twit is wiped from our society in these industrial accidents.
Fourteenthly, when the power cut out from the lack of reactor rods, they hook up the power cables to the inner hull. Where do they put the ground? There needs to be a potential drop for power to be gained, and if there was a ground, then anyone that touched the hull would have been electrocuted.
Fifteenthly, the arming code for the nukes was the first four prime numbers... 1 2 3 5... Pretty sure 1 is not a prime number.
Well, thats about all, and thats not even going into the fact about how the core could stop spinning in the first place. Thanks for your time.
Hollywood's gone to the outer reaches of our galaxy (not to mention
it's plumbed the depths of the ocean, mapped dank swamps and arid deserts,
but one place it hasn't gone to with any sort of regularity is the inner
The Core is certainly one of those movies for which one must suspend disbelief. It's a science-fiction movie that emphasizes fiction over all; that is, the physics of the film don't hold up to snuff. If you're an engineer or physicist, you should be smart enough not to watch it - you'll just spend most of your time second-guessing the inane psuedoscience.
It seems the inner core of the Earth has stopped spinning, for some reason, and this has caused the electromagnetic field that surrounds and protects the planet to begin to decompose. This is evidenced by, among other things, pigeons in Tralfagar Square in London suddenly veering at plate-glass windows and sundry people who wish they were extras in a less-violent movie, like Daddy Daycare or maybe Finding Nemo. At any rate, the world's leading scientists, commissioned by the military (it wouldn't be a Save the Planet from Imminent Destruction without our pals in the movie military), figure out that the core's stopped rotating, and that Something Must Be Done to get it going again.
Ah, but what? We've only drilled down about 8 miles, and according to my calculations the distance from the surface to the core is .... a bit further. We must drill down, sayeth the sage scientists, and lo and behold, through the magic of movies, there's this guy in the desert who's been working on a laser rocket thingy that'll help them blast all the way down. This handy little thing is just the cure, so a crew is hastily assembled: Commander Iverson (Bruce Greenwood), Major Beck Childs (Hilary Swank), Dr. Josh Keyes (Aaron Eckhart), Dr. Serge Leveque (Tcheky Karyo), Dr. Conrad Zimsky (Stanley Tucci), and Dr. Ed Brazzelton.
Like such doomsday movies as Armageddon, what The Core has going for it are likeable characters and a lot of nifty FX. It also has the unknown working for it; we don't know what lies beneath the thin crust of the Earth, because we haven't drilled beyond it. That allows filmmakers a lot of free reign to depict whatever the heck they want in terms of What's Down There.
What The Core has going against it, however, is a predictable plot and some howlingly awful dialog. Now, it's not giving anything away to mention that at least one person doesn't make it back from this mission. It's also not giving anything away to note that there's at least one knockdown, drag-out hissy fit of a scene in which Keyes admonishes Childs for something she didn't do. It's hysterical to watch, although I suspect the emotion the director was attempting to convey was more like empathy, not euphoria. Or ennui, which is unfortunately how some of the movie felt.
The Core is cheesy. No, not the actual inner core - although, come to think of it, maybe it is, since we don't know for sure what it's made of. And wouldn't that be fitting? A cheesy core for a cheesy film made by cheesy people in a cheesy society? Who's up for some Muenster?
** out of ****
The Core is the "low-budget" answer to Armageddon, meaning it was made on less than half the cost but desires to be its equal in delivering thrills and big buckets of popcorn fun. Now, whether or not you liked Armageddon is a good determinant of whether or not you should even bother watching The Core in the first place. I myself haven't seen that Michael Bay/Jerry Bruckheimer production in a while, and memory serves that it was an unbelievably preposterous, but enjoyable thrill ride that had a great sense of humor. How does The Core compare?
Well, if I hadn't seen Armageddon, I might have liked this film more, which is not to say that it's a weaker movie, just that the disaster formula plays out in much the same way so there's a sense of deja vu hanging over the proceedings. There are a lot of people out there who hated Armageddon, perhaps for its absurd science or for its quick-cut action sequences, so for those who didn't like the latter, The Core would be more up their alley, though the science here is even sillier.
The premise is the anti-Deep Impact/Armageddon. A group of expert individuals have to go to the center of the Earth to jumpstart the core, which has stopped spinning for some unknown reason. Heading this mission is professor Josh Keys (Aaron Eckhart), who's leading a six-man team, with a woman playing a key role, of course, as the pilot, played by Hilary Swank. Recognizable faces Delroy Lindo, Tcheky Karyo, Stanely Tucci, and Bruce Greenwood round out the rest of this very expendable team.
Already, we realize the plot is fundamentally impossible. The only people who wouldn't recognize this are those still in grade school, so they'll probably get a kick out of the movie while thinking they're getting some kind of education out of this because of all the scientific mumbo-jumbo and technobabble. More discriminatory viewers will scoff at all the sudden new inventions that aid our intrepid group of heroes, particularly the hull Delroy Lindo devises that's actually strengthened by heat. For me, scientific flaws are acceptable so long as it's not so blatantly obvious, but this movie's stretching my suspension of disbelief.
But those who don't care for any scientific inaccuracies will wonder, is the action any good? The answer's a mixed bag. Almost all the action is entirely CGI-related, so the question of whether or not you find it exciting to see an "earthcraft" (named Virgil) get banged around quite a few times is crucial to your enjoyment. The action aboveground is all given away in the trailers, and none of it's particularly exciting, thanks to the weak special effects. The space shuttle crash, the destruction of the Roman Colosseum and the Golden Gate bridge are not examples of CGI-work at its best, to put it kindly. A 60 million dollar budget isn't quite enough to pull a movie of this sort off, and it sometimes shows.
Surprisingly enough, the scenes set below ground do somewhat make up for the slack. A crisis is introduced every five to ten minutes to keep the characters working, so what we get is a briskly paced and often enjoyable second half. The effects work is still spotty, but I found the characters relatively engaging, the situations fairly compelling, and the Mcgyverish-solutions amusing. Still marring this outing on a consistent basis, however, are the film's predictability, the occasionally really bad dialogue, the lack of solid intentional humor, and the stilted finale. The Core is not an unenjoyable timewaster, but it's not exactly a great night at the movies, either.
The Core is a solid action-adventure/disaster flick with a novel idea and a great cast. True, it is very silly, and some of the effects don't quite come off, but that's true of most films in its genre. I've watched it on DVD a couple of times now, always late at night, always steeped in alcohol, and I have to say it passes a couple of very easy hours. The opening scene in Trafalgar Square with the crazy pigeons is better than anything in The Day After Tomorrow. And who can resist the beautiful, talented, Oscar-winning actress Hilary Swank? So please give The Core a break. Stop taking it so seriously. Down a six pack and accept The Core into your lives.
How can you tell when a director is bad? I mean, assuming the director
is given $50 million or so, competent actors, and a halfway-decent
script, what would the film look like if he/she REALLY didn't know what
he/she was doing? I think that film would look a lot like "The Core."
From the preview stage, this movie was on my "might see it but not pay for it" list, so I just now caught it on cable. Hilary Swank and Aaron Eckhart will definitely have Oscars someday, and most of the other actors who make it on the ship are of similar caliber. The comic relief generally works ("I'm going to need Xena tapes and lots of Hot Pockets"), and the plot is no more ridiculous than, say, "The Day After Tomorrow" (though it is slightly LESS ridiculous-- at least this movie attempts to offer a cause for the problem, however unlikely).
I remember watching "Entrapment," another John Amiel film, and thinking it was, in a word, awful. The editing was off, the plot lumbered ahead only through the will of Sean Connery's accent and Catherine Zeta-Jones spandex-clad anatomy. Watching "The Core," Amiel has decided his mistake was pacing, and turns up the volume to eleven and full speed ahead, hoping the charisma of his actors covers his butt. In the second half of the film, this works fine. In the first half, it just shows his limitations as a director... poor special effects during the space shuttle landing that could easily have been fixed with model work or different camera angles; birds going crazy and smacking into buildings look exactly like someone tossed a dummy against a building, then the editor cut it as close as possible. Truly, this is a man at the helm who doesn't know what a good film is supposed to look like. I wonder what an Ed Wood movie would have looked like, if someone had given THAT guy $50 million?
Characters die with clockwork predictability, and my only problem with the resolution was the actors were TOO good. They play geniuses, the absolute best in their fields, so when the movie ends I wanted to spend more time with them, see what incredible problems, discoveries, adventures they had next. The movie itself is barely a D+, thanks to the actors, occasionally adequate special effects (which we will call simply "effects"), and a really great score to hold it all together. I'd buy the score (not the pop songs over the credits) before I'd watch the movie again, but it's a thumbs up effort for everyone who isn't Amiel. Worth a dollar if you have two hours to kill.
I am watching "The Core" after having read several other comments about
the movie. The sentiments expressed go from being "Fine Movie" to
"Worst Movie ever," the last obviously coming from someone who rated
"Starship Troopers" as the "greatest Sci Fi movie ever made." There are
parts of this movie that are actually very good. The first thing to
give credit for was the cast that they had. It is a very good cast. Let
me repeat, a very good cast. Alfrie Woodard has never given a bad
performance, and although her role was relatively small, she brought
moral gravity to the role that the movie needed. Delroy Lindo showed a
range that I have never seen him do. Obviously better recognized as a
man in control, he was nigh on perfect as the forgotten but brilliant
scientist who still stings over Stanley Tucci's Conrad Zimsky having
stole his discoveries from a generation earlier. Tucci, a fine actor,
did take it over the top a bit too much. DJ Qualls gives an underrated
performance. He is 6'2" but makes us believe he is a 5'7" geek. He gave
a touching performance as he tried to slow down the big bad that caused
the problem in the first place. Aaron Eckhart, normally a baddie, did a
believable performance, with Hillary Swank, a two time Oscar winner
bringing her easily recognized skills to the screen.
I originally wanted to blame Director Jon Amiel for the faults of the movie, but when I went back and considered individual roles and scenes, I realized that he did the job he was paid to do. The visual effects were more than adequate, constrained by the need, not for realism, but by the need to show things that would further the story.
So where did it go wrong? First, the problem, I believe, was with the writing. The script was very uneven. Part of it came from what appears to be last minute changes in the story line. Early trailers suggest a very different story -- and rumors from Hollywood at the time indicated this was true.
Too much of the story telling was quick and dirty, trying to just get it done. Had they not been locked in to a predetermined release date, they could have gotten the script right. Second, it seems there was a problem with editing. There were times when the film just went clunk. Was it poor editing in and of itself? Or was it editing that had to serve the problems with the script. Far from a perfect movie, but one with some very good elements. Give credit where credit is due.
I remember the critics really laid into THE CORE on its initial release
. Granted the central premise of Planet Earth stopping on its axis is
ridiculous but the script structure compensates for the bizarre
scientific impossilbilities . Look at the opening scene with people
dropping dead in Boston , it does its job of drawing the audience into
the story . It doesn't stop there because a few moments later we cut to
London and see a remake of THE BIRDS . Not not good enough for you ?
Well wait around because they'll hopefully be a disaster around the
corner that will appeal to you
It's never explained in any convincing detail how the Earth's core stopping spinning can cause these effects but we're talking about a Hollywood movie not some theory put forward by Stephen Hawking . Unlikely events do happen in Hollywood movies as if you hadn't noticed so when people criticise this movie as being " Dumb " they're perhaps taking life a little too seriously
For what it is - A dumb movie with special effects and an action adventure concept - THE CORE certainly succeeds . We're shown a ballsy heroine played by Hilary Swank who can actually act and unlike say the very similar Armageddon we don't have to put up with macho American flag waving at every opportunity .
If you're looking for an entertaining pop corn movie THE CORE should do the trick
How do you jump start the Earth's core? Well, if you want to find out
(and have a few laughs in between) all you need to do is watch 'The
Yes, it's stupid, yes, it makes no sense, yes, the science is flawed, and yes, it's impossible. Nevertheless, I have to say I enjoyed watching this movie. It's one of those 'get a beer and some popcorn, turn your brain off and enjoy the afternoon' type of pictures. If you are not pretentious and take this film for what it is, you are more likely than not to enjoy it as I did.
All in all, this is a classic disaster flick, and for a disaster flick, this is above average.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I just got done watching this...uhhh...movie, if that's what you can
call it. It happens to be one of the worst movies I've seen in a long
time. Not since "Mission to Mars" have I hated a movie so much. This
movies few supporters try to say "relax, and enjoy a mindless disaster
The question is, exactly how mindless are we supposed to be? Should we completely remove our brain first by smashing our head on a rock until it falls out, because if so, I'll do it. It would surely be a hell of a lot less painful than watching this rancid mass of decay again. And I love mindless action flicks. The problem is even for a pure f/x only movie, it sucks. All the "special" (as in, short school bus special) effects look like they were done by some failing college students using their pirated and hacked version of 3D studio. During the space shuttle crash sequence, I was half expecting to see little strings attached as it bounced around like it was in a freaking puppet show.
The "acting" (a very loose term) was below sub par, and everyone seemed like they hated the very movie they were acting in. Hilary Swank's character couldn't be any more plastic, annoying, and clichéd if she tried, and as for the rest of the cast, yuck. Delroy Lindo, was okay as Dr. Ed Brazzleton. I wish I could have skin that could withstand 4500 degree heat for 5 minutes. (It was 9000 degree in the core, but the suit could 'only' handle 4500 degrees, and naturally, someone has to go outside.) Then again, it might have been lucky for him, so he didn't have to suffer the humiliation of being 'saved' by whales.
All in all, this movie was an abomination; a freak of nature that could have only been devised by the most twisted and sadomasochistic of minds. Maybe in about 10 years or so, they'll do a "Mystery Science Theater 3000" for it.
Jon Amiel is a well known and respected director known for his work
with actors, so it may come as a bit of a surprise that he wanted to
tackle a project like this. And he does say in the 'featurettes' that
he wanted this to be a character driven narrative. And if you check the
deleted scenes you'll see there was in fact enough material to make it
But something happened in the cutting room. The scenes that added depth to the characters were cut, leaving only the vestiges of a run of the mill catastrophe science fiction movie.
And it's wonderful the special effects people are proud of the work they've done but as viewers we're not interested so much in that as we want to have something pleasurable to watch.
And that's where this turkey fails.
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