Wednesday, May 28, 2008

There Goes the Planet: Best Apocalypse Films

We need more films that destroy the earth in creative ways. I mean how unoriginal is Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth? It doesn't take much imagination to think that human beings' greed and obsession with carbon based energy will destroy the earth. Seriously, while Al Gore may have won a Nobel Prize, imagine how entertaining the documentary would have been if Carbon based emissions resulted in giant lizards coming back to life to destroy major metropolitan areas. I smell a summer blockbuster. Here's a list of films that thought of way more creative ways that the earth and its inhabitants nearly met their demise.

5. Mars Attacks

While an Alien attack on earth from Martian based spacecrafts is as old as America's radio days, this film satirized the sci-fi genre to the max. Tim Burton's cast is a virtual who's who of Hollywood, including Jack Nicholson, Annette Bening, Glen Close, Jack Black, Pierce Brosnan, and a young Natalie Portman to name just a few. This film didn't break any new ground in the department of blowing up the earth. It did, however, do so in such an outlandish manner that you couldn't help but laugh as the Martians ran riot around the globe only to succumb to annoying country music. While some film critics and fans may disagree with my choice here, I think it's refreshing that a film about the end of the earth can make you laugh at the same time. Why so serious, it's only humanity's fate we're talking about here.

4. Terminator

When I was a child the Terminator scared the crap out of me. I personally cannot wait to see the next installment of the Terminator series whereby the world has been overrun with Machines. This could possibly be one of the only Apocalypse series that didn't suck as it progressed through each installment in the series. Terminator 2 was even better than the original an d the third film, while lacking in some departments tied together all three films and set the stage for the war with the machines. In addition to being action packed, the Terminator films provided us with AHHHNOLD and some of the best one liners of the late 80's and 90's.
3. The Omega Man (I am Legend)

While I am Legend provided some polish to its predecessor The Omega Man, you have to give the nod to the film that came first. While most of today's moviegoers would laugh at the special effects of Omega Man, remember that it was created in an awkward time for cinema. Many of the icons presented in I am Legend pay homage to this film, including Will Smith's whip in the opening sequence. There are so many zombie movies out there, but this one was so interesting because you had the last man on earth trying to scavenging a desolate metropolis (Los Angeles) for supplies during the day to bunker down night after night. While there are many zombie movies out there, I would argue there is only one Omega Man. Honorable mention goes out to Dawn of the Dead, 28 Days Later, and the zombie parody Shaun of the Dead.

2. The Matrix

While I included the many films in the Terminator series as remarkable Apocalypse films, let me be clear that there is only one film in the Matrix trilogy that deserves praise, the original. The second Matrix film was overly complex and preachy, and there was barely even a "Matrix" in the final installment. I remember knowing nothing about the Matrix before somebody suggested it to me in college. I watched the first hour of the film thinking I was watching an entirely different movie and then BAM we took the Red pill. From that point on the movie was visually stunning and the concept put a radical spin on artificial intelligence gone wild. Much like there is no third Godfather installment, in my opinion the other two Matrix films were never created.

1. Planet of the Apes
Nothing says ap ocalypse like "Damn dirty Apes". When you see the Statue of Liberty all crunked you're like Damn, the world got blowed up! You have been watching an apocalypse movie and you didn't even know it. While Tim Burton's remake had some redeeming qualities to it, nothing can compare with the original. Plus this gives me opportunity to mention my favorite Simpson's parody of all time: Planet of the Apes, the musical.


Chris said...

stop the planet of the apes, i wanna get off!

great list

Michael said...

killer list. begs the question...disaster movies? i smell sequel!!!

and where's Waterworld? hahaha...

Marc V said...

How about cheesy disaster movies? Better yet.

voodooviking said...

independence day?hello, JEFF GOLDBLUM PEOPLE!!!!!!!! and will smith. and no movies about rocketing asteroids?

Marc V said...

I feel you voodooviking, but technically the only apocalypse that occurred in Armageddon was the death of Bruce Willis. I would love to put it on the list, but I don't think it qualified. Deep Impact was a crappy movie, I wish Elijah Wood was hit by that asteroid. It would have made that movie way more enjoyable.