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Worlds of Tomorrow: Armageddon

By Alasdair Stuart

Read by Alasdair Stuart

Welcome to Worlds of Tomorrow, an occasional feature we’ll be running looking at some of the best in science fiction cinema. From acknowledged classics to forgotten gems we’ll be covering them all. Some of them you’ll have seen, some you won’t, some you’ll agree with me on and some you’ll wonder what I was drinking when I watched them but that’s half the fun. Spoilers abound so if you haven’t seen the movie and want to be surprised, go rent it now, we’ll be here when you get back. Otherwise, prepare for a different take on a story of vast asteroids, vast machismo and vast guitar solos…

Comments (16)

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  1. themindfantastic says:

    Alasdair, this should be under Pseudopod, because the the idea that ‘smart’ + ‘armageddon’ said in sequence scares the living crap out of me.

  2. Jeff says:

    At least I know now that there is at least one other person out there who likes this move. To me, Armageddon is just a fun, action movie. I’m not sure why everyone else hates it so much. The only thing that annoys me is the “American testosterone” overload (this movie has more American flags than a 4th of July picnic).

  3. tim says:

    Alastair makes some compelling arguments as to why he likes “Armageddon.” Unfortunately, he’s done nothing to sway my opinion. Yes, I understand the parallels he draws between the Apollo 13 mission and the events in the movie. In fact, the only part of that film I liked was the scene where the NASA flight controllers work beneath the noses of the Air Force goons to disarm the nuclear device.

    My biggest issue with “Armageddon” is, well, everything else. The physics violations are well-documented, so I’ll let that pass for now. No, the problem is that I knew what was going to happen in the film long before it did. All the characters were cliches. I knew who was going to die, I knew Bruce Willis was going to juke the straw-drawing, I knew he was going to finally accept that Liv loved Ben, and that the communications problem that had plagued the mission from the moment it set down on the asteroid would clear up just long enough for Bruce to bid a predictably tearful goodbye to Liv.

    A bigger issue is that too many people who view this movie have little understanding about the mechanics of spaceflight or physics. I cannot tell you how many serious emails I received after the Columbia reentry destruction that purportedly showed spy satellite footage of the shuttle breaking up – only to see a clip from “Armageddon”. I’m not saying that a film needs to sacrifice story for science, but it’s really not that hard to get the fundamentals correct.

    Which brings us back to Apollo 13. The science in that story is accurate – it has to be – and yet it is a compelling tale precisely because it is about average men and women who work together in the face of insurmountable odds to bring home three men from the cold depths of space.

    I can tell you, if I have to choose which story to view, Apollo 13 wins every time.

  4. Brandon says:

    I actually liked the movie. Alastair did a great job but stop touching the mic.

  5. tim says:

    Alasdair – sorry, I spelled your name wrong in my comments above. I apologize. 🙂

  6. Howie Feltersnatch says:

    First “2010,” now “Armageddon”? I’m sorry, but you have astoundingly bad taste in movies. Hey, why not review some Roger Corman junk next and try to convince me how good it is?

  7. Tom J. Byrne says:

    Ha, such cynics 🙂
    Hi Alasdair
    First off, great voice.
    Second, I saw this movie & never even noticed Liv Tyler. I thought it was great, for the same reasons. I didn’t like the science either but the ‘do it ism’ really was great. It’s a pity that it will appeal more to truck drivers, than the average creative thinker.
    Cheers
    Tom J. Byrne

  8. Tom C. says:

    Thanks for the positive attitude about the movie. Its invigorating! Even a really bad movie has something good about it. I’ve not seen Armageddon so I can’t comment on it, but in general, sometimes a movie can be so bad, that’s what makes it interesting. From my point of view, there is never enough science fiction in the world, and whenever someone comes out with another movie or book or podcast with science fiction in it, then the world is a better place.

  9. Tangaroa says:

    Alasdair is just plain awesome.

  10. LeGimpe says:

    I believe it was this episode that Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang and the Long Kiss Goodnight were recommended. The first was funny and enjoyable but the second was among the worst films it has ever been my displeasure to witness. I’m talking Battlefield Earth and Speed bad. I want the the last 2 hours of my life back. We watched the whole disaster just so we can hate it to the degree it deserves. Everyone in the credits should be locked up. What were you thinking?

  11. Kes says:

    LeGimpe, doesn’t this prove the point Alasdair was making that these movies divide opinion, like Armageddon itself, with some people really loving them and some people thinking they’re the worst movies ever made. Or liking one and hating the other.

  12. LeGimpe says:

    No argument on that, I’m just saying that it sucked outloud. It was a collection of hollywood action cliches. Watching fireworks requires more thought. Be warned.

    At least KKBB was clever and amusing. Since it was told in the style of a memoir of a less than trustworthy character, you could easily forgive it’s excesses as exaggerations of the narrator.

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  16. Riley Booth says:

    I saw the movie and found it good

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