The Beast from the East has arrived and as we batten down the hatches, why not take some inspiration from the weather outside and settle in with a good old fashioned disaster movie to help stave off the cabin fever.
The Day After Tomorrow, 2004
Storm Emma has nothing on the superstorm from the Jake Gyllenhaal and Denis Quaid-starring The Day After Tomorrow - and thank goodness for that.
In the film, as global warming threatens to cause another Ice Age, climatologist Jack Hall (Quaid) is on a mission to save as many people as he can before it’s too late. Meanwhile, his son (Gyllenhaal) is trapped in New York where snow and ice are taking over.
It’s an absolute classic of the disaster genre.
People tend to be Team Armageddon or Team Deep Impact - both movies were released in the same year and feature the world almost coming to an end due to a massive comet/asteroid on course for earth. I am Team Armageddon.
Yes, it has many flaws; the biggest being that it’s somehow easier to train a team of oil drillers to become astronauts, than to teach astronauts how to use a particular type of drill, but it’s impossible not to get sucked in and connect with the characters.
The action is great, the cast, which features Bruce Willis, Ben Affleck, Billy Bob Thornton and Liv Tyler, is very good, and it makes me cry every single time I watch it.
Another disaster movie that has a cinematic twin, Volcano was released around the same time as the Pierce Brosnan-starring Dante’s Peak. Where Armageddon was a clear winner for me against Deep Impact (I just wasn’t that much of a fan), both of these volcanic disaster films are worth the watch.
Where Dante’s Peak focusses more on the romance side of things, set against the backdrop of an impending volcanic eruption, Volcano is more about watching Tommy Lee Jones do his best to minimise the damage, while having a little romance on the side, as a volcano threatens to destroy LA. Apples and oranges.
Independence Day, 1996
So far we’ve covered volcanoes, potential new Ice Ages, and asteroids headed for earth, but in the alien-invasion side of disaster cinema, Independence Day goes full throttle.
The combination of a fighter pilot Will Smith tackling the aliens head on, and the neurotically brilliant Jeff Goldblum on the sciencey end, is a winning formula.
Name a greater emotional disaster on screen than Jack not fitting on the door with Rose. No really, I’ll wait.
Titanic is one of those films that is almost universally loved, but due to its 3 hour 15 minute run time, is sometimes hard to fit into your day if you fancy a sneaky rewatch. Enter: Snow Day. You may as well cosy up on the couch and settle in for the epic journey while there is little else to be doing.