Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Thursday Movie Picks: Natural Disaster Movies

Wandering Through the Shelves hosts Thursday Movie Picks. It's a weekly series where bloggers post and share various movie picks every Thursday. 

The rules are simple: based on the theme of the week pick three to five movies and tell us why you picked them. For further details and the schedule visit the series main page here.

This week's theme is Natural Disaster movies. 

Volcano (1997)

When a massive earthquake rocks the city of Los Angeles, Emergency Management department head Mike Roark (Tommy Lee Jones) returns from his vacation to help with the city's response. After geologist Dr. Amy Barnes (Anne Heche) warns that a volcano may be forming in sewer tunnels, Roark and Barnes must figure out how to divert it.

Flying cows are child's play compared to what Volcano comes up with. I'm not entirely sure that this wasn't inspired by Twister - two unlikely co-stars? Check. Natural disaster? Check? Huge set pieces, practical stunts, and ~massive amounts of scenes dropping the science~? Check, check, check. But it definitely feels like it is. And I was as surprised by the crazy amount of idiotic ideas the characters came up with as I was for all the character actors that cashed a decent paycheck - Don Cheadle, Gaby Hoffman, Keith David, Jacqueline Kim, John Corbett, John Carroll Lynch. This is a lot of fun to watch - especially for the sheer insanity of the plot.

Poseidon (2006)

After a huge tidal wave capsizes a luxury liner in the North Atlantic, individual survivors (Josh Lucas, Kurt Russell, Jacinda Barrett) band together and traverse a hazardous upside-down maze that they hope will take them to safety. As the wrecked vessel fills with water, the survivors must call on hidden strengths and skills to face the fight of their lives.

I probably should've picked the original The Poseidon Adventure so I kind hold onto some credibility here...but that one kind of bores me to tears. There is really nothing too memorable about this film except for the cast and some of the stunts - which supposedly they did themselves. Otherwise, again, it's just bargain bin fun.

Twister (1996)

University professor Dr. Jo Harding (Helen Hunt) and an underfunded team of students prepare the prototype for Dorothy, a ground-breaking tornado data-gathering device conceived by her estranged husband, Bill (Bill Paxton). When Harding tells Bill that Dorothy is ready for testing -- and that their privately funded rival Dr. Jonas Miller (Cary Elwes) has stolen the idea and built his own -- Bill rejoins the team for one last mission.

Okay, so this is THE genuine favorite of mine on this list. I mean, I celebrated the 20th Anniversary of the film's release in May by making a whole feast inspired by Aunt Meg's brunch, tweeting all day, and generally missing out on the actual festival going on in Wakita, OK.  I think people would've thought I had a mental breakdown if this wasn't here.

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