The very first time I saw the Armageddon-esque "Deep Impact" was when I was 17 and in Germany.
And the film was in German.
I kind of knew what was going on, and if I didn't, I paid more attention to the sugar-coated popcorn that was my new love.
The "normal" popcorn served at a German movie theater isn't covered in Leprechaun fat that soaks through the bottom of the container. Instead, their popcorn is coated in sugar. And it's life-affirming.
Even if there weren't any subtitles at the bottom of the screen to help me out, I knew Elijah Wood was in danger, that Morgan Freeman made a fine president and that Tea Leoni chose to die with her estranged father. Were they estranged? I can't remember -- that's why I have chosen this semi-blockbuster to be my latest adventure in...
LIVEBLOGGING FROM SPACE!
Just picture me in space floating around like Sandra Bullock from "Gravity."
In order to liveblog successfully, the movie must take itself seriously. Since "Armageddon" wasn't available, nor do I own it, I decided to settle with the next best rock-about-to-hit-the-Earth movie I could find. I also lose the ability to watch it on Netflix come Friday, January 1 -- so like George McFly said in "Back to the Future," this is my density, I mean destiney.
Hour One: The Earth Had Two Years to Prepare But Didn't
It's amateur hour with Elijah Wood as a bunch of kiddos look through their telescopes. He's confusing the names of the stars and planets with the names of mountains from "Lord of the Rings." Is that Leelee Sobieski with ugly bangs? It is! I haven't seen her, in like, uhh...she's in a ton of movies, I just can't name any of them at the top of my head. She's one of those actresses.
I would research, but a scientists is geeking out to opera while looking at printouts of...wait for it...eat that pizza...there are two big dots on the computer screen...eat more pizza...and realize that you're about to discover death...waiting...waiting...he's chewing the pizza..and muttering...and realizing it's something that's super bad, and he's in a panic and...uh-oh...it's heading toward Earth.
Enter explicative here.
He dramatically pops a floppy disk into the computer, pulls it out because the SERVER IS DOWN! He writes Wolf-Biederman on the floppy and speeds off in his Jeep, and can't stay on his side of the road. This doesn't look good -- I guess the hero with the floppy disk is going to get hit by the Jolt-drinking semi-driver.
JOLT! FLOPPY DISKS! CAR PHONES!
This, my friends, is how you lived during the 90's. Except for Floppy Disk the Jeep driver, he ran into the truck, flew off the side of the road and exploded.
We've jumped one-year forward. Really? Of course Floppy Disk had to completely freak his freak while driving and using the phone (something Americans weren't used to yet). If he just did a few breathing exercises on his way to Point B, then none of this would've had to happen. We could've planned better!
But alas, we must jump forward in time, the ill-conceived plot device used in "Desperate Housewives" and "Pretty Little Liars."
Now, we find ourselves in the newsroom with one of the main characters Tea Leoni -- otherwise known today as Madame Secretary. She's talking to that red-head from "ER." The really mean doctor that used a crutch. Whatever happened to her? Oh, that's right, she died in "Deep Impact."
(Just kidding, Tea Leoni gives up her spot on the helicopter to save Mean Redhead and her even meaner baby).
Tea is a lowly reporter, hoping to make it big. She's caught the scent of a story, something about some politician and a woman named Elle, somehow a diversion from the president.
Now, Tea is meeting, with what seems, her mother, who's a British actress. Her American accent sounds like she just got off the Mayflower. Ah, they're discussing Tea's father's new wife, which is technically Tea's new stepmom, who is only two years older than Tea. I see that we're going to use the end of the world as a canvas to paint a picture of Tea and her father's crumbling relationship.
We're supposed to care about the story Tea is working on because there's serious music playing in the background. She's interviewing some politician who is packing up a boat with a TON of Ensure. Tea asks him about Elle. "What about Elle?" He doesn't want to talk. He doesn't want the story to be run. He just wants to fill his boat with Ensure. Then, he says: "I know you used to be a person, before you were a reporter."
And I want to say, "You used to be a person, before you were a politician!"
But forget about all that, we've got real issues. She's taking notes on a voice recorder, and some Men in Black run into her while driving, and then put her in their car. They say they're FBI agents, but we'll see...won't we? We're walking through an old kitchen, why is it always an old kitchen?
And some old, but big guy eating.
We don't see the ring on his pinky, so he can't be a part of the mob. And then in walks President Morgan Freeman, trying to boss Tea around with whatever news story they're talking about.
But I'll tell you one thing -- the camera keeps showing the viewer cans and cans of Ensure!
Tea is now doing research online using 20-year-old Yahoo search. The story she was working on doesn't involve a woman named Elle, we find out. It involves something called E.L.E, which means Extinction Level Event.
It doesn't matter right now, she's late to meet her father and wicked stepmother for dinner. But, how can we eat during a time like this? I wouldn't be able to. I'd be all-kinds of nervous. The only nutrition I'd be able to ingest is...Ensure.
No wonder it's everywhere in this movie. Everyone is so dern nervous that they can't eat solid foods.
The wicked stepmother just told Tea that she needs to get over their new marriage, that "life goes on" and Tea just starts to lose it. She doesn't understand...Ensure. SHE NEEDS ENSURE!
Tea is on her way to the press conference that she and President Morgan Freeman spoke about...all while surrounded by ENSURE!
Tea's boss didn't know she was coming to the press conference, Tea didn't tell her boss that President Freeman kidnapped her to tell her she gets the first question. We all know what she's going to ask.
"Excuse me, President, but what about this Extinction Level Event?" Oh, nevermind. He's going to spill the beans.
OMG, Elijah Wood and Leelee Sobieski were the two "astronomers" that discovered the comet! At least, that's what I'm assuming. The comet is as big NYC and as large as Mt. Everest. Just kidding about Leelee, she didn't help discover the comet. She was just there. With her ugly bangs. Acting in all the movies we can't remember. And now thanks to Jennifer Lawrence, we'll never remember the movies Leelee was in because they kind of look the same, am I right?
Now that the cats out of the bag, people are totally losing their Ensure.
That and President Freeman walks around the stage talking about a space project called "The Messiah." Rovert DuVall is a part of it. Funny, in three years, he'll be in a movie called, "The Apostle."
Elijah Wood is one of the ones that discovered the comet. And his high school cronies are all going nuts. Now, let's talk about the astronauts that will be working with Robert Duvall. One of them is Jon Favreau and another one is Blair Underwood. Apparently, Duvall landed on the moon. I had no clue. He's an actor and he's landed on the moon.
I can't wait for his memoir.
We are now looking at stock footage of a shuttle going into space. This just isn't a hot mess enough for me to sit down and really go crazy. This movie is just...OK. It really does deserve the three stars given to it on Netflix. No wonder it's being taken away.
Where's a puppet peeing in a pool when you need it?
Continuing on with this seriousness: The Messiah spacecraft is floating toward the comet, and the scene looks a little too "Innerspace" to me. Speaking of which, I think I just realized my next movie to liveblog. If you haven't seen "Innerspace" yet, then you're in for a real treat. Martin Short should've earned an Oscar for that movie. Too bad it went to Michael Douglas for "Wall Street."
While the Messiah spacecraft heads toward the comet, let's go back to Earth in the newsroom where Tea is getting her day in the sun by anchoring the news. Since the movie's only been on for an hour, we all realize that the Messiah mission is going to fail miserably, otherwise the mission would've been the main focus of this movie during the last half-hour.
I will say that "Deep Impact" is a bit more grounded compared to "Armageddon," which is also why the Messiah project fails in this movie, and the crazy plot of "Armageddon" was successful. It's probably because they used a bunch of misfit oil drillers led by Bruce Willis to attack an asteroid, whereas "Deep Impact" just has Robert Duvall.
We have drilling, just like the oil crew from "Armageddon." We will implant a nuclear weapon, just like "Armageddon."
With their space suits on, I'm waiting for Alien to come crawling out of the hole they're digging in the comet. This movie needs movie needs more cowbell.
Chant with me now: Sig-our-ney! Sig-our-ney! Sig-our-ney! Sig--
Oh, this music is telling me I should be sweating up a storm. There's only 1 minute left to rescue the astronaut crew that's ON the comet. It would be so much more suspenseful if they had just one minute to leave the comet and Alien was holding onto the ship as it was trying to fly away.
That's the difference between 1994 and 2015. Now, Alien would totally be holding onto the ship --
Wait, I see where the inspiration for "Gravity" came from! Two of the astronauts were about to fly away, off the comet!
Op, we lost one!
Bye, Sandra! I hope you find you're dad!
All the important families watching the TV, sweating bullets, waiting to hear if the Messiah Project will actually succeed. I don't think the hole was drilled far enough, so I'm guessing...it will only be half-successful.
It won't be an Extinction Level Event anymore, but it also won't be pretty.
The Second Hour: It Won't Be Pretty
President Freeman is now addressing the US: "It's not going to be pretty."
The comet is now two pieces. The Count is having fun with this one. "The comet is now two pieces, TWO! Ah, ah, ah."
Now, Freeman is telling the US about a "Noah's Ark" that has been built in Missouri, under the campus of Mizzou. Only one million people can fit into this "ark" and 800,000 random people will be chosen across the US.
This gives Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" a run for it's money.
Luckily, Tea Leoni was chosen, and so was Elijah Wood's family.
Sadly, no one under the age of 50 will be selected. It's time to come together and write about ageism and how it's alive and well in Hollywood.
Tea Leoni's mom wasn't chosen, but Tea was, so they're walking along the river. Mom seems at peace with not being chosen. I guess you'd have to be, that and we find out later that she commits suicide. But Elijah Wood was able to get Leelee Sobieski and her family in on the "ark." He just had to marry Leelee.
This whole part of the movie would make an excellent TV series. Drag out the month before a comet hits the earth and make it into a 4-season show.
Hey, if "24" could do it...
"Deep Impact: The Series" coming to Hulu, or Amazon or AcornTV -- yes, AcornTV is a thing. It's on my Roku.
Yes, Roku is a thing.
A close-up of the comet shows it looking like a giant monster alien from a space movie. Wait, this is a space movie! It is a giant monster alien. The astronauts just have to find its heart and rip it out!
I can't remember if the astronauts, led by the amazing Robert Duvall, decide to attack the comet on their own to save the Earth, I guess we'll have to wait and see. As of now, one of the astronauts was blinded, and he's talking to Duvall, being all poetic. "I'm seeing things differently."
That's the writing? He was on a comet, got blinded and he's "seeing things differently" now? It's almost as good as "The Holiday" by Nancy Meyers.
Duvall decides to read "Moby Dick" to the newly blinded astronaut, while down on Earth, Leelee's parents aren't on the list to be in the "ark." So, it didn't even matter if those two youngins got married. But my real concern is...there are people on the bus that are way older than 50. What is that about?
Tsk, tsk, Mimi Leder. I'm noticing inconsistencies.
Oh well, Leelee is no longer headed to the ark, and she went running after Elijah while he drove away on the bus all -- oh, like all movies.
It's so sad. Leelee and Elijah were just married, and they're already splitting up. If there's no hope for them...then who!?
According to the caption, we've got five days until impact. Deep impact, that is. If it were Shallow Impact, it would've just been an indie flick starring Zoey Deschanel.
There is hope. Elijah is leaving his family to go back to Leelee. Ok, Elijah, you've got five days. Let's see what you can do. Get on that bike, find E.T. and get going! Nah, he hitches a ride in the back of a truck.
We've got one more plan, it seems. President Freeman is about to address the Nation. Apparently, they fired missiles, but those didn't work either. The first comet will hit the Atlantic, creating a tidal wave that's over 100 feet high, traveling about the speed of sound.
The wave's surge will be so powerful it could reach the Ohio river valley area.
The larger comet will be hitting Canada -- of course, and it's the Extinction Level Event that Tea uncovered about an hour and a half ago, but we've got the crew on the Messiah brainstorming their way into hitting the large comet with all they've got, and not coming back home.
Those astronauts have just decided to be Bruce Willis from "Armageddon."
"If he can do it, so can we!"
Elijah just made it back to Leelee's house with about 10 hours to spare, but, ugh. Leelee's family left their dog at home. I'm officially annoyed. Well, they're stuck in traffic, so that shows them. The ASPCA gods have decided their fate. Elijah uses a motorcycle to weave in and out of traffic. He finds Leelee, packs up her and her baby brother, and they ride together through the traffic and up a mountain.
Meanwhile, Tea decides to go to the beach -- the one facing the Atlantic. You know, the body of water where the small comet will be hitting. She meets her father there. The wicked stepmother isn't there. The two of them rekindle their relationship just as the comet hits the ocean.
Nothing like a giant wave to wreck a moment.
It's times like these where I'm OK with being land-locked. No wonder there's a market for fiction by authors in the midwest. I still have a chance.
At least, I do if I don't write dialogue like Nancy Meyers.
Or direct a movie like Mimi Leder.
Elijah and Leelee, along with a whole bunch of people, start to run up a mountain, away from the water. He carries the ring around his neck!
WAIT, the comet commeth. All hail the comet.
WAIT, the Messiah Project commeth. All hail Robert Duvall and Blair Underwood!
With nary a second to lose, Elijah and Leelee made it to the top of Mount Mordor and threw the ring in!