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Hey, did anyone else notice that the patch on the general's sleeve was
for the First Cavalry? What!?! Cavalry? Couldn't they at least have
invented some bogus "Joint Astrospace Defence Command" patch?
I must admit, I didn't watch the movie intently: my wife was watching, and I would sit with her until the bogusness got too bad, then I'd go clean my closet or something. But I must also admit that I'm biased by my own history. I worked for NASA for 37 years, then taught high school for six, so the stunning level of bad science really grated on my sensibility. As someone noted, couldn't the writers have at least talked an amateur astronomer into critiquing the script. Maybe he could have explained the law of the conservation of momentum, and if the writers were quick studies, they might have progressed to complex topics like basic orbital mechanics.
There were redeeming features, of course. The little girl proved herself a fine young actress with her expressive face in that video conversation with her dad, and the grandpa was splendid, just as he was in "Babe". (I'd like to look for more of his movies to rent: I enjoy his work.) And, of course, all us old-timers know that all female space scientists are blonde, slender, very attractive, 30 to 35 years old, and possessed of big boobs. So they did get that part right.
Seriously, there should be no excuse for such bad science fiction on TV. Too much of the US population is nearly illiterate in science. And I am not talking about the kids in school now. This movie was shown in prime time, so was presumably intended for adult audiences. But this is the population who agree, in the majority, with the statement "early humans often had to defend their caves against marauding dinosaurs." And let's not forget there are politicians that claim to not believe the theory that is actually the fundamental guiding principle of contemporary biology. With a little more effort, some of the major flaws in the story could have been corrected and the audience might have gone away with a little better understanding of the underlying science. Yes, it's science FICTION, but fiction still needs internal self-consistency and a clear understanding of its own premises and their consequences. (Think "Jurassic Park" as a good example.)
Some of us have worked hard to educate this country in science, and seeing this movie is so discouraging, as if taunting us by saying we are never going to win.
That's the best thing you can do. It's a made for TV movie, and believe
me it doesn't transcend that stature, nor does it really try to. Once
you get it through your head that it won't have the production values
of a Michael Bay movie or the big name stars, it's actually alright for
what it is. It's a globe spanning disaster movie with a pretty cool
premise - the moon hitting the planet.
Because it's on TV, the only thing it asks of you is your time. Honestly, if you don't like it (and you'll know immediately whether or not) you can just as easily click away. I won't blame you if you do, but if you're up for a disaster flick that's halfway decent and free to watch, you can do much, much worse. Yes, the acting can be, well, bad at times, but for the most part it's serviceable. After all, you just need the characters to act shocked and sad at the news and events so yes, they do that well enough.
If I had to pay to see something like this, yeah I'd be upset. But it's free and with the summer TV season in pretty bad shape it's a nice way to blow off four hours. It's completely inoffensive and that's leagues better than most made for TV movies.
Scientific inaccuracies abound as the moon gets shell-shocked by
(ready?) a brown dwarf, making it heavier than the Earth, and causing
freakish electro magnetitism, weird gravity, etc.
A guilty pleasure, for sure: I love these "the end of the world threatens" flicks where a bunch of scientists try to save us all from annihilation. It's definitely put your brain on hold stuff, but it's far superior to that "reality" rubbish and most of the other stuff on network TV. This flick "borrowed" elements from Armageddon and other movies, but at least it was free.
Considering the outlandish script, the acting was actually pretty good, including the child actors. The special effects were decent. Characters were clearly developed, and could be identified with. I actually felt sorry for the one that suffered from a debilitating phobia. The director did the most possible with the plot-hole-ridden story, and some of the weird stuff that happens is even fun to watch.
Cinematic fast food that's amusing, and doesn't cost a lot.
Yeah, I kind of got a kick out of it, but not for the reasons the
film-makers intended. This is one of the few disaster movies that makes
"Armaggeddon" look like it was written by geniuses and "The Core" like
it was made as an instructional film for use in college geology
courses. The wide liberties taken with actual fact (and common sense)
make for a rollicking time, but it scares me that we're failing in
educating the youth of today.
I mean, this is only 3 hours long, but in that time you learn that the screenwriters (1) think that the moon has a magnetic field emanating from a core, (2) believe that the "laws of gravity" are that "little objects are attracted to big objects," (3) don't know that cruise missiles are air-breathers and won't operate or even steer in the absence of an atmosphere, (4) don't understand the difference between electromagnetics and gravity, (5) think that it takes longer to walk back to town from a car breakdown than to program, launch, and deliver 87 rockets with nuclear device payloads all the way to the moon, (6) have some bizarre ideas about what a brown dwarf star is, and so forth.
But it IS entertaining. Just make sure to have a chat with your kids afterwards to make sure that (a) your son didn't spend the entire movie following Natsha Henstridge's boobs, and (b) that your daughter understands that the science end of it was all BS so she won't be afraid to get her graduate degree in physics. After all, any exposure to the "scientists" in this film is an almost guaranteed turn-off for budding researchers.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is watchable, the acting is mostly decent, the special effects
reasonably well done for a TV series and they even took the effort to
shoot in Germany and Canada. The cinematography and the directing are
actually quite good. CGI is so-so, but there may just not have been
enough money to make a train fly through the air in a believable
The scientific part of the story on the other hand is so impossible it hurts. Michael Vickerman, the screenwriter, has no idea of the basics of physics, doesn't know magnetism from gravity and continually mixes them up. Consequently all the effects from the moon coming closer to earth and the final successful solution of the problem are completely wrong.
This production cost more than 10 million to make. Shouldn't the screenwriter at least have asked a hobby astronomer whether the stuff in the story is even remotely possible? Good grief! Still, mostly entertaining and wholesome.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
REALLY BIG SPOILER WARNING!
First off, I didn't think much of "Armageddon" in the first place. At best, it was a 5/10 star movie if only because of the CG effects (of it's day) This show gets 1 star because:
A: Duh... It's a two bit knockoff
It rips off the entire premise of Armageddon. Planet killing space object, planetary disasters, nuclear weapons, last ditch expedition, heroic sacrifice...blah blah blah. It's basically cut and pasted from the original script.
B: Super sized storyline clichés...
Hmmm...OK. So, the guy from JAG is a recently widowed astronomer with two oh so adorable kids. And, the chick from Species is a single, frumped up but still strikingly attractive astronomer whom the JAG guy went to school with... I wonder what's going to happen with these two? (yawn)
And, let's not forget the obsessive, slightly creepy yet brilliant scientist guy who finds out that his neglected wife is (gasp) pregnant! Oh no! I hope that he doesn't die, later! And, who can forget the tried and true "let's launch a nuclear arsenal at the problem" approach. Because, this has always worked so well in previous movies.
C: The obligatory presidential address.
Yeah...sure...unite the world in the face of the impending doom...we are one people...love thy neighbour...blah blah blah. I'm so sure that the entire world wouldn't already be too busy running amok in a violent, drug fueled, sexually ambiguous frenzy to notice.
D: Science? What's that?
Don't even get me started about the scientific fallacies in this movie. I would have thought that the writers would have at least done a wikipedia search before filling a script with such nonsense.
I wouldn't feel bad about downloading this movie on a P2P/bit torrent network. It's already pirated and repackaged. Who cares?
Let's face it folks this is a low budget made for TV flick. I'm looking
for entertainment and the premise of the moon hitting the earth is a
It's also Sci-Fi so it's fine to stretch the facts. I'm a professional writer and will admit I'm a bit surprised there wasn't more research on the "real physics." A few hours with a Cal-Tech Professor would have cleared that up, especially regarding Kepler's Law and the difference between magnetism & gravity. But really who cares! If you want to know astrophysics, take a course at your local community college!
Anyway the movie is well paced and edited. Every scene advances the story line nicely. I didn't have time to pick apart details. CGI can be weak, but it gets the story told. Can you say the words, "LOW BUDGET." Despite "Impact's" fours hours the film never lost my attention. That's my definition of a "good, OK, film." I include the "sleepy factor" in rating pictures and I was wide awake for all 240 minutes.
Remember the Walt Disney quote, "The Plausible Impossible?" Sure fits here.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This film from the point of view of family relationships is quite good,
but it completely fails once it enters the realm of science, and is not
even good 'Science Fiction.'
The fragment that hits the moon is reputed to be from a brown dwarf, brown dwarfs are astrophysical objects that are intermediate entities between planets and stars. Stars like the sun are not immensely dense, in fact the density of our sun is comparable to that of water and 'brown dwarfs' are of the order of .1 of a solar mass so the film as usual for Hollywood and TV is based on a failed premise. I think they meant to use a fragment of a 'Neutron Star,' as this would have fit with the effects described and even the goofs section is inaccurate about the suggested effects of an impact with the moon of a brown dwarf fragment. The author probably read about brown dwarfs being the size of Jupiter with a mass of between 20-50 times that of Jupiter and assumed that they were superdense objects. Brown dwarfs are failed stars/suns and if they were broken up they would diminish due to molecular reactions because gravity would no longer keep the fragments together and they would most probably combine with other molecules and elements to form conglomerate meteor/asteroids that would not be very dense at all. It is because they do not have sufficient mass to become stars that they become brown dwarfs in the first place. There are times when I wish that Hollywood or the TV commissioning editors would at least check that the science is at least plausible before allowing projects to go forward.
I know that science has been dumbed down, but this is going too far! So although this films scores on how relationships cope with extraordinary situations, it fails as a premise in my opinion and anyone with a better than high school education will realise that, but in the US and in the UK most people don't have a clue about science, and neither do film makers apparently.
It's as if the writers got together over Domino's pizza, cheap beer and bad weed and said: "Let's take every disaster-movie cliché, one-dimensional character-stereotype and hoary, time-worn situation fiction has ever come up with, lump them in together with crappy special effects, laughable "science" and all the inane pop-psyche observations about the 'human condition' we can think of, then pitch it to the network execs. It's bound to be a hit!" And they were right; the front-office guys bought it (NOTE: I'm assuming that at least one of the aforementioned scribblers was related to one of the execs). And we who watched it lost. This is one of the worst pieces of garbage I have ever seen. Absolutely nothing innovative or original. Absolutely. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Negatron. I think the fact that "Impact" even got past CBS's front door suggests that indeed Hollywood is nearly as dead as GM. If you value your artistic soul, do NOT watch this thing.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I mean that, too. Part of the dumbing-down of the civilized world (not
just America) is that something that used to be taught in high school,
the Law of Universal Gravitation, is blithely tossed out the window in
this Leaden Turkey of a movie. Things happen which anyone with a pencil
and paper and knowledge of equation F=G(M(1)xM(2))/r squared at his
disposal could show would never happen in a few minutes of paperwork.
It's not even calculus - just simple algebra. Isaac Newton was able to
figure it out in the seventeenth century.
There is absolutely no excuse for this film. It is an amalgam of willful, sorry ignorance of scientific facts wrapped up in a glittering cinema production. The writers of this script should hang their heads in shame, for they have demonstrated a great deal of highly-counterintuitive idiocy in their screenplay.
There are American films I am proud are shown overseas. This one makes me want to hang my head in shame at the thought that the screenwriters' VERY sketchy grasp of science is being shown outside the country, helping to give our people a mostly undeserved reputation for crass stupidity.
If I could burn every reel, tape and DVD of a movie, it would be this one.
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