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Disaster Movies - Recommendations & Discussion


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Not even sure why I am starting this thread but thought it would be interesting to have threads for film sub genres or niches where we can discuss different films and make recommendations etc. Even talk about sub categories within the sub genres? We could have a series of threads about any sub genre that generates interest and gives people a good place to mine a sub genre for gems.

 

There are certain niches of sub genre I love and try to watch all of , zombie films, dracula, end of world, disaster films are a few! and I know I haven't seen everything in any of my fave sub genres yet!

 

I picked disaster films as I just watched Greenland, the new movie on Prime. A distinctly small story, lowish budget that focuses on the people on the ground level who have no idea what is going on. Very good film , not earth shattering (:D) but good. @Mr Do 71 then posted about The Wave which I never heard of before and so I'll give that a try. I might just be creating this thread to get suggestions :D


So anyway this is rambling so here is a basic list to kick off discussion.

 

So I like "small story" disaster films where it is a worldwide disaster but we focus in on people on a small scale. Greenland obviously falls into this category but also

 

Miracle Mile - Great Tangerine Dream soundtrack and a very quirky 80s romantic/thriller/disaster movie. Love this film even saw it at the cinema on release!

Contagion - Ok it isn't a small story I know but lots of it felt small in the way it was handled

Gravity

 

Classic older Disaster films - they didn't have the budget to destroy the world and often were star studded ego trips but...

 

Poseiden Adventure - A classic and a superb example that still holds up today

Airport - I've watched them all and they are all good fun

Towering Inferno - McQueen and Newman in full flow

The Day the Earth Caught Fire - Leo Mckern is superb in this - a film that really stuck with me. it sold it's premise to me  reaqlly well despite the age of the film

 

 

Disaster Porn - not my thing so a bit of a list this one

 

Day After Tomorrow

2012

Armageddon

Deep Impact

 

 

Ok this post has gone on long enough :)

 

 

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9 hours ago, JohnC said:

For big story, but focused on people on a small scale, maybe Cloverfield? “Found footage” of a bunch of clueless people during a monster attack. 

I did think of that for "small story" disaster films - watched it once years ago and can't recall much beyond the fact it was "ok" and not as annoying visually as many JJ Abrams films.

 

I like the small story stuff especially if the people in that story are like ants who have no real influence or chance to fix/change anything. So it is like a fruitless frantic chase to do "something" but in the end it is all for naught in terms of the disaster itself. That doesn't mean they don't achieve anything and it might be they achieve something small before the inevitable. Miracle Mile definitely leans into that heavily and has a perfect ending as well.

 

The big disaster porn I generally find quite boring but diverting enough. Titanic gets a special mention here as it tried to be both disaster porn and a small story. The latter was hilariously shit but if they removed all of the love story stuff then the big ship sinks stuff was great!

 

The classic stuff is superb where the disaster is more manageable givent he budgets and tech of the time. I love The Airport movies when I watched them back to back when I got a boxset of them cheap years ago. Mostly utter rubbish but hilarious moments especially in Airport 77 Concorde.

 

Thanks for the recommendations too will give those all a go!

 

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I use ReelGood to see what is streaming where as I have a few services now!

 

Quiet Earth is rentable on Amazon. And thanks for the warning Reelgood doesn't give you spoilers so fairly safe to search there!

 

Threads, The Day After and These Final hours are not available on streaming so will need to track down dvds.

 

And yes I know as fan of disaster films I should have watched Threads at some point! But i grew up in the 80s and always felt it might be a bit too close for comfort watching it :D

 

Also in Disastor Porn category (making an assumption here) I haven't tried San Andreas.

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9 minutes ago, FishyFish said:

The Quiet Earth is great, and fits into the small-scale category nicely.

 

Be careful if searching online for info on it as its very easy to be spoiled due to the images.

I remember the DVD cover being the big spoiler image :doh:

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11 hours ago, Clipper said:

The Day the Earth Caught Fire - Leo Mckern is superb in this - a film that really stuck with me. it sold it's premise to me  reaqlly well despite the age of the film

 

I watched this for the first time last year and was blown away by how good it was. I really liked the focus on the newsroom.

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56 minutes ago, Clipper said:

But i grew up in the 80s and always felt it might be a bit too close for comfort watching it :D


It was! 
 

And it remains a uniquely terrifying, bleak, film.

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Is ‘Threads’ the one where they nuke Sheffield?  Seem to remember watching that as a kid, and since I only live 20 miles or so from Sheffield it scared the shit out of me.

 

But then again so did ‘When The Wind Blows’.:omg:

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On topic you could do far worse than ‘The Impossible’ for a small scale disaster movie.  It focuses on a single families ordeal during the Boxing Day Indian Ocean Tsunami of the early 2000’s.

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When the Wind Blows is an excellent choice - incredibly bleak and affecting film. Not sure I can watch it again though as I found it so upsetting at the time.

 

Added Taking Shelter to my watchlist. The single liner synopsis I saw looks intriguing. Ordered Threads on Bluray.

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Thanks for that - I will have a think about cancelling the order but I know it is a classic so will likely have a place on my shelf.

 

At this rate of purchases my physical media collection will reach the heights (or depths) it did in about 2005!

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6 minutes ago, Monkeyboy said:

Mind you, the blu-ray is remastered? I wonder how good the picture quality is? Tempted to buy it, although Threads gets a lot of its power from its grainy TV documentary style.

A good remaster should clean up any dirt or damage to the print and will leave the natural film grain mostly alone*. Want I want to see is a decent tranfer with no artefacting (grain can cause compression artefacts with DVD transfers due to low bitrate). I will go check some reviews :D

 

 

 

* Yes I know it is not quite as simple as this as director/cinematographer intent is important... but obvious agressive DNR is usually a bad thing!

 

 

EDIT - Reviews indicate it isn't much of a remaster but is better than the DVD. It is a 2k transfer of a damaged print and the print damage is not tidied, the colour is faded (which i think matches the intent) and grain is intact and varies scene to scene (which makes sense given how it was shot). So the higher bitrate of Bluray will likely give us the best version of Threads but I doubt it will look much better than lower SD sources.

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It uses the threat of a disaster to explore deeper themes, rather than being an adventure story, but Melancholia is a superb film. I think what you get out of it depends very much on your mental state and your views on life and death - I know a lot of people see it as life-affirming, but I find it almost horrifyingly nihilistic in parts.

 

It looks really beautiful at times as well.

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"Threads" is the most horrific thing I've ever seen. Deeply affected me as a teenager growing up. Not sure what today's generation would make of it. 

 

I can't really watch disaster films that have a planetary sized event after seeing "Threads" without thinking what is point of surviving this?

 

I do love a post apocalyptic film though, that's a massive contradiction eh. "Threads" is both

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1 hour ago, englishbob said:

"Threads" is the most horrific thing I've ever seen. Deeply affected me as a teenager growing up. Not sure what today's generation would make of it. 

 

I can't really watch disaster films that have a planetary sized event after seeing "Threads" without thinking what is point of surviving this?

 

I do love a post apocalyptic film though, that's a massive contradiction eh. "Threads" is both

I will be seeing threads in next few days but I often thought the same things in these Disaster Porn style films or even small story disaster films. In most of them the world is utterly fucked, what could possibly be done to keep our species going and should we even try and bother? Dinosaurs died out and its not as if the Earth was moribund for evermore! If we are wiped out then something else will be along, hopefully.

 

I guess I am a pretty negative person that might be why I "prefer" or identify with the moveis that end on a downer.

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10 hours ago, Clipper said:

I did think of that for "small story" disaster films - watched it once years ago and can't recall much beyond the fact it was "ok" and not as annoying visually as many JJ Abrams films.

 

 

Nah, Abrams was just producer and slapped his name all over the marketing. It was directed by (at that time, unknown) Matt Reeves.

 

He went on to direct the new Planet of the Apes sequels, and has the Robert Pattinson-starring The Batman out in the future. 

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