October Extras 2: Armageddon (1998)

OCTOBER 31, 2008


Last year on Halloween I did a sort of running commentary “review” of, well, Halloween, to close out my October Extras series. So to close off the 2nd (and final) round of OE, in which I’ve been sticking to NON-horror movies, I felt that the only way to go would be to give the same treatment to my beloved Armageddon. Of all the things I love, I get the most shit for this one, and hopefully by the end of the review, you will understand why I hold it so dear, if not actually agree with my sentiment. Since it’s not as beloved as Halloween (and thus readers won’t know it well enough to know what I am referring to), I will give a timecode so you can sort of understand what scenes I am talking about.

Please note – this is based on the director’s cut, available from Criterion. The timecode won’t really match up after the “last night on Earth” scene, which is where the bulk of the additions lie, if you are using the theatrical version.


00:00:12 Ah, the Bruckheimer logo. Still in its infancy, as it was only the 2nd film he released without Don Simpson (the other was Con Air – so this was the moment he became a hero. Sadly it’s been pretty much downhill since).

00:00:53 Heston has spoken! Already, people were bitching about the movie’s accuracy, because the Asteroid hit that Heston describes happened millions of years ago and yet the Earth model shows the current configuration. Hey guess what? FUCK THE FUCK YOU! IT’S A FUCKING BRUCE WILLIS MOVIE ABOUT BLOWING UP AN ASTEROID! Jesus assraping Christ, I can’t stand people who watch movies with idiotic plots and bitch about inaccuracy. Like the movie was this pinnacle of intelligence and logic, and it was all blown because the CGI planet had the wrong design. Shut the fuck up and eat your popcorn.

00:03:54 OK I’ll give em this one though – the shuttle blows up, Truman asks to play the tape back... and it’s edited together. Not even Bay could edit that fast!

00:04:26 The only minimal thing about this entire movie is the font on the credits. Seems like they should be exploding or in a “cool” font or something, but it’s like a standard 18 point Times New Roman deal.

00:05:32 Keith David! Five minutes in and our badass count is at two (other being Billy Bob). Actually three if you count Heston.

00:06:09 “Adaptation by” is one writing credit I have never understood. This isn’t based on a book. What did they adapt?

00:06:45 Hey allright, making fun of Godzilla. It came out the same summer and featured some of the same shit being destroyed, and it was boring. Why does Armageddon still get shit but not that goddamn movie? At least Armageddon wasn’t bastardizing a beloved character. Unless you count America as a character.

00:08:17 Suddam Hussein is dead, my friend. Way to date the movie.

00:08:31 Heh, the “I Love NY” guy getting killed tickles me. Bay has a bit of a mean streak that he’s sort of abandoned (other than Bad Boys II and his horror productions) since this movie.

00:10:10 Dottie! I love this line. In the original(ish) script, instead of Carl the ex navy guy, it was a couple of computer hacker guys. They would more or less resurface in Transformers. Bay never wastes an idea!

00:10:49 It’s the same president from The Rock! As the two films only share secondary actors (various military/NASA personnel) I like to think they are in the same universe.

00:11:31 The trailer actually sells this concept better than the movie. In the trailer, he says the basketballs and Volkswagens line BEFORE the “It’s the size of Texas” one. Way more powerful. Bad editing choice!

00:11:51 At long last, WILLIS!!! You can’t help but love a movie that introduces its hero as a guy who endangers the lives of Greenpeace hippies by hitting golf balls at them.

00:12:20 Will Patton too! Badass count is what, 5 now?

00:12:51 Well, Affleck sort of negates one of them. He’s OK in this movie, but he was still in his prettyboy phase. He’s much more interesting now.

00:14:15 My lady Liv Tyler. Part of why Willis is my hero? He totally boinked her during filming. And she plays his daughter. Man, that is hot.

00:14:47 A Bay tradition! Swirling the camera around during a scene with some dialogue to make it seem exciting. Totally works.

00:15:20 And now Willis runs around with a shotgun. I think this is the moment most douchebags in the audience gave up on the movie entirely. I think the scene is funny. Shows that they’re all immature (Willis purposely misses! He’s not really trying to kill him, Christ.), introduces a bunch of the guys... it’s nonsensical, sure, but beats him and Affleck talking it out like normal people. Again – the movie is dragon-less fantasy.

00:17:04 OK this scene bugs me. The last time we saw Billy Bob, he was telling everyone to give them any ideas they had, even if it was a doodle on a pizza box. Now they are presenting some ideas that seem OK by me and he’s shooting them all down instantly, and then he yells at them for presenting him with stupid ideas! Billy Bob, you can’t have your cake and eat it too man! Though he DID cheat on Angelina so much that she made him go to sex therapy, and then he fucked his sex therapist, so I dunno, maybe he can.

00:17:53 OK freeze it here – there’s a sign in the background that says “If you’re swearing, you’re swimming”. It was thrown up to provide a reason why none of these guys swear (PG-13), but you can barely see the damn thing. Also, back when Bruce had his own messageboard, I got reprimanded for swearing, and I brought the sign up. No one knew what the fuck I was talking about.

00:19:33 Billy Bob has one of the best lines here. “Pretty much the smartest man in the world, you might wanna listen to him.” Heh.

00:20:33 Here we go! “WE DRILL” FUCK YES. I have to pause here so I can write, because I’ll miss other shit. Look, 20 minutes into the movie they tell you everything you need to know. They are going to send oil drillers (possibly the same nuts we just met!) into space to blow up an asteroid. That is the most gung-ho, silly/awesome plot in the history of movies. All this other shit about the wrong Earth models or sound in space or any of that doesn’t fucking matter, because the movie is about OIL DRILLERS GOING INTO SPACE TO BLOW UP AN ASTEROID. Why bother making everything else accurate when the basic plot of the movie is ridiculous? It’s a summer popcorn movie. You know they won’t all die at the end and that the Earth will be saved. You know shit will blow up. Why the fuck do people give this movie such a hard time? I just don’t understand it at all. Its as if it was the only action movie to have questionable logic. Christ.

Also, and I’ve said this before – I judge a movie on how well the idea is presented. The idea itself is not of concern, so long as the cast and filmmakers stay true to that idea. This movie’s concept (oil drillers in space) is one of excess and silliness, and at no point, manipulative heart-tugging aside, do they abandon that idea. In short – if you can make a BETTER version of a movie in which oil drillers fly into space to blow up an asteroid, then let’s fucking see it, right now!

Also, spoiler alert, the closest thing we have to someone that lives up to the legend of John Wayne, one Mr. Walter Bruce Willis, blows himself up to save the entire fucking world at the end of this movie. That is like, cinematic perfection.

That’s it for ranting. You can stop reading now if you’re still on the “this movie makes no sense and therefore it sucks” team. Resume play!

00:21:00 Lot of drilling terms being tossed around; I bet I could work on an oil drill at this point, being that this is probably the 40th time I’ve watched this movie in the past 10 years.

Hey I just thought of something – I almost saw this for a FIFTH time in theaters on Halloween in 1998! I was in Salem MA and we wanted to kill some time, and it was playing at the dollar theater. We opted for more people watching though.

00:22:28 I wonder who Crazy Willy is. We need a prequel to this movie.

00:22:41 Hey allright, a completely unnecessary statutory rape joke.

00:23:19 Why are the NASA vans from California?

00:23:49 A rogue comet! Maybe the rogue oceanographer from Brucky’s unmade tidal wave movie can take it out.

00:24:26 Billy Bob’s commenting on the script here I think.

00:24:46 “Not a soul on earth can hide from it.” The irony of this movie is that if an asteroid DID hit, Willis would probably be the only one left standing, far as I’m concerned. Maybe Dolph too.

00:25:26 “Six billion people in the world, why you call me?” Well, Twelve Monkeys, Fifth Element... you’re pretty good at this “world saving” stuff, B.

00:26:27 Here we go, giant leap of faith time, even by this movie’s standards. Why can’t NASA guys build a drill? I can almost buy the “you need to trust the guys you’re with to be a good driller” nonsense, but I can’t quite figure out why they wouldn’t know forward from reverse.

00:27:14 If you DO have the Criterion, definitely listen to Affleck’s commentary over this scene. It’s fucking amazing.

00:27:30 No backup plan! Keep that in mind, I guess there will be one more rant in a bit.

00:28:10 OK, one other one besides that one. Folks bitched about the “it’s easy to train drillers to be an astronaut” shit, but like, they’re not actually flying the shuttle or anything. They sit there and do nothing for the entire trip until they land and begin to drill. I don’t see how that’s an issue.

00:29:30 The always beautiful Shawnee Smith... she was in The Island too, as another one of Buscemi’s conquests.

00:30:04 Hahaha, I love how they skip over Noonan in this “rounding up the guys” sequence. Noonan is such a great non-character.

00:30:33 Moment I don’t quite buy #2. It’s been like, a day, but AJ already has his own drill company?

Bruce is fiddling with a circular thing on a chain during this scene. I actually know what that thing is and what it means, even though everything about it has been removed from the movie (I don’t know if it was ever even filmed). It’s a piece of the first pipe he ever laid, and there was this going to be this thing where he split it in half and gave half to Affleck, and they’d like, put it back together when the job was done or something. Kind of corny, but I like that they bothered to give Bruce the prop for it.

00:32:38 Noonan! “Guess I can’t let you go up there alone.” Well, who the fuck are you? I’m probably the only person who even knows this guy’s name.

00:33:36 I wonder which one is the one that works for the mob? I bet it’s Noonan. Guy’s gotta have SOMETHING going on in his life.

00:34:40 Heh, Keith David actually nods a bit when Willis asks if they can tell them who killed Kennedy.

00:35:12 How would the whole “not paying for taxes” thing work? When they buy shit at the store, would they flash a card or something? “Oh no, see, I blew up the asteroid, so that will be 19.99, not 21.64. Thanks.”

00:35:45 Noonan’s 2nd line (of 4)! He’s also MIA from the scenes with the shrink for some reason. Maybe he doesn’t like Udo Kier.

00:38:00 Does Bruce not have to take any of the tests? Later on he doesn’t need to practice with the simulator either. Is he just that awesome or does Bruce (the actor) just not want to bother?

00:38:40 Colonel Willie Sharp! Aka William Fichtner. Aka the first actor I met when I moved to LA. I called him Willie Sharp and his wife laughed at me. I was sad.

00:39:35 This Jessica Steen chick is beautiful. Why didn’t she have a bigger career? Or, any? I don’t think I ever saw her in anything else.

00:40:13 Heh, I love this part, they throw out all the useless shit inside the Armadillo. The eight million writers on this movie (one of which is the over-beloved JJ Abrams) did a good job of selling their blue collar, good ol’ boy attitude.

00:41:30 OK, Willis has to take the breathing and eye exams I guess.

00:42:02 Buscemi’s nod here is hilarious. I actually try to emulate it when required to nod in real life.

00:42:40 All this stuff about putting them in zero G and weightlessness and they don’t even show it!

00:43:18 I like how Oscar is taking notes here. I hope he makes copies for Noonan, since I don’t think they bothered putting him in the scene.

00:44:18 I want that model of the asteroid.

00:44:27 OK pause again, cuz here’s what I think will be my final rant/explanation for why no one should ever give this movie any shit about its silliness. This NASA guy breaks into the scene to explain that they are taking two shuttles because “At NASA we don’t take chances, we double up on everything!” Just 17 minutes ago (thanks, timecode!) we were told that oil drillers blowing up the asteroid is THEIR ONLY PLAN. Now, none of them might be rocket scientists (though they did have some on the movie for advisors, and there’s a commentary track with a few of them explaining how all of their advice was ignored), but I would think that if they were making any sort of intelligent movie, they wouldn’t let this line stay in the movie when it basically contradicts the plot of the damn thing. So for the last time people – THIS MOVIE IS SUPPOSED TO BE GOOFY FUN AND NOT TAKEN SERIOUSLY. EVER. NOT EVEN FOR A SECOND. NO, NOT EVEN THAT PART. Its unabashed silliness is the very thing that makes me love it so. Its 150 minutes of entertainment. And screw anyone who says Bay edits so fast that they can’t follow it. If you ask me, that makes YOU the dumb one, not Bay/the writers/Bruckheimer/me

00:44:32 Only 800 feet? They shoulda done 1000.

00:45:03 When I first saw this in theaters, this is when I got up to go to the bathroom. I only remember that because two days later when I went to see it again (I saw it 3x on opening weekend), I realized that I had missed one of my favorite lines at 45:42. “Did you say Grace? OK I thought you said Bear!”

00:46:50 Another “Everyone’s here except Noonan” scene. Where the hell is he?

00:47:20 Bruce says Oscar is the same age as Grace, but earlier he claimed the only reason she liked Affleck is because he was the only one in her age bracket. Seems she had a pretty decent group to choose from. AJ, Oscar, Noonan...

00:48:25 Heh, Willis is explaining how they will save the world. Noonan is MIA and Liv is there. Why does she need to know? SOMEONE GET NOONAN ON THE SET!

00:51:20 Here’s some of the new stuff. The loan shark says "Fuck" and then Oscar goes to church.

00:52:00 Ugh. The most maligned moment in the film, and rightfully so. The only reason all this shit is in the movie (it’s not in the draft I have) is because Titanic made 600 million fucking dollars. Suddenly, having a strong love story in the middle of a disaster movie seemed like a good idea. But this movie’s fun and goofy, so the love scene has to follow suit. And somehow, the best they came up with was having Affleck get cookie crumbs all over Liv’s impossibly amazing torso.

Bay fans will probably recognize this goddamn tree. It’s in Transformers.

00:54:00 Tears moment #1! Chick is my favorite non-Willis character in the movie, and the look on his face when his ex tells their kid that he’s a salesman fucking killed me the first couple times. I’ve since grown up and only get slightly teary eyed. I think it’s because I noticed that it’s sunny on his wife and dark on him.

00:55:25 The biggest addition to the director’s cut. Willis (his name is Harry, but come on, it’s Willis) goes to see his dad. I guess Lawrence Tierney wasn’t aware his scene was cut until he saw the movie at the premiere. Kind of a bummer, and he died a bit later. I’m glad Bay put it back, even though it sticks out like a sore thumb, especially since Willis is back at NASA two scenes later. Did his dad just happen to live nearby? Actually, come to think of it, I guess Chick’s wife is in the area too.

00:57:00 Noonan’s third line! One more to go!

00:58:15 Is it just me or does this random Asian town look a lot like the town at the beginning of Final Fantasy VII where you have to have Cloud dress up like a woman for some reason?

00:59:00 This movie introduced me to text messaging!

00:59:20 Willis’ last night on Earth.... and he’s in a dark room with another man. Huh.

01:01:12 Tear moment #2! Actually this one only got me the 2nd time, because Willis is all “I promise I will come back” and now I know he doesn’t. Man, if I made this movie, Affleck would die. Willis would still rip the air tube out, but he’d leave him behind as well.

01:02:55 Everyone’s getting ready... except Noonan of course. Maybe he woke up early and is already on the shuttle.

01:03:38 More “make it romantic!” shit. Of course, since teenage girls are pretty much the only other people on my side for this movie, I guess I shouldn’t complain. Plus, Michael Clarke Duncan’s rendition of "Leavin' on a Jet Plane" is pretty spectacular.

01:05:51 There’s a guy on the far left of the frame here that kills me. He looks like he’s having an epileptic fit as he cheers.

01:06:05 It’s always daylight on Bay Earth! Nighttime is for assholes!

01:06:59 Tears #3! Happy tears tho. “That’s your DADDY!” Fuck yeah. Good thing that a 3 or 4 year old kid has a photographic memory for random strangers. Also that he’d rather watch shuttle coverage than a cartoon.

01:09:44 And so begins my favorite music cue in the movie, just called "Launch" on the score CD (which I own in both single disc official and 2-disc bootleg form!). I even have it as a ringtone now, which sucks for people calling me because I just listen to it rather than pick up. Like any asshole calling me has something I’d rather hear than Trevor Rabin’s amazing music?

01:11:00 Heh, the original teaser was just these shots of the shuttles taking off. “Man, that looks dull” I said. Stupid BC.

01:12:43 Owen Wilson is obviously out of character here, just laughing at something in the background.

01:13:08 Peter Stormare! I’ve lost the count for badasses. Let’s call it an even ten and move along. But really, this movie has a pretty fucking awesome cast. Other than Willis, at the time they were all pretty much indie guys, and now they’re all in the most Hollywood movie ever made. I like that. Never quite understood why they would need to refuel an hour after takeoff, but his addition to the film is welcome.

01:14:33 Wilson is STILL laughing about something!

01:15:18 Even Stormare agrees. “I am not gas station!” And why did HE have so much extra fuel that the Americans couldn’t scrape together? Let’s call this #3 for moments I don’t buy. Also, he’s completely batshit here, but in 20 minutes he’s fine.

01:17:00 I think this is new too, Wilson telling Stormare that they’re all brothers or whatever. It’s been so long since I have watched the theatrical I don’t remember.

01:18:20 This is a pretty fucking impressive tracking shot through the shuttle. It’s like a 6x6 corridor!

01:18:55 Killing Affleck off here would have been pretty ballsy too. Again, if not for Titanic, and given Brucky’s legendary rewriting process, I wonder how different this movie could have turned out if they were taking inspiration from a different movie. Deep Impact killed off almost everyone!

01:20:42 Willis is fucking awesome here. “WE’RE NOT LEAVING WITHOUT AJ!” You fuckin tell em, B! I bet he’d be OK if it was Noonan. Probably wouldn’t even notice.

01:21:42 Hey, Lev has a family! Who knew?

01:22:05 Billy Bob seems pretty OK with the idea of losing two men.

01:22:15 Key moment in the “they’re not stupid, they are just out to make a fun movie” gallery – a giant piece of the space station FALLS IN SPACE toward their shuttle, and they get away by... well, peeling out. In a shuttle. In space.

I love this movie.

01:22:50 Noonan’s fourth and final line. Take care, pal.

01:23:20 This bums me out. They have a 2.5 day trip to the asteroid, and we see none of it. I’d be interested in what they did the whole time. The French would probably make that the entire movie.

01:24:40 Not the best time to take off your engagement ring, Liv.

01:26:00 I dunno if the CG is just off or what, but that thing doesn’t look like the size of Texas compared to the shuttle.

01:27:40 Billy Bob’s such a bureaucrat... 10 min ago he was OK with possibly losing 2 men, but now that his shuttle is damaged he panics. And wastes a perfectly nice coffee mug.

01:28:00 This music is really sad too.

01:28:55 And, somewhere in this sequence, Noonan is killed. Wilson gets a death scene, Noonan, true to form, just disappears.

01:29:30 Bay really likes to show bodies being flung around to their death.

01:31:06 Heh, one time my blue (or green, or red, I forget) wire on my component TV connection was loose, and I didn’t notice until this scene, because I knew it was supposed to be all blue and it was all green instead. From then on, whenever I had to test the color on my TV, I’d put the DVD in and cue it up to this scene. Incoherent lighting does have its purposes after all!

01:33:02 I love the random NASA guy (Gruber) just wandering into the shot here. “By all means!” Yeah, we know you’re there. This movie only has one Noonan; you’re safe.

01:34:00 In theaters, my friend was pissed that Affleck and the others survived.

Also, Affleck finds Wilson’s body and weeps. The NASA guys are seen being sucked out of the shuttle, and Bear/Lev are alive as well. Gee, who’s not accounted for?

01:35:38 Some people don’t understand the “Dr Seuss’ worst nightmare” line. Made sense to me; there’s a bunch of random jaggles and joogles everywhere, except they’re not whimsical, they are scary. Christ, people.

01:37:25 More “oil driller” talk. They name their drill heads? No way NASA would know what to do here.

01:38:30 There was a deleted scene that explained why the Armadillo had a goddamn turret gun on it (to blast away debris and other such stuff that would keep the thing from driving forward, which I had figured out for myself anyway) but since it was cut and people need to bitch, this became one of the most maligned moments in the film.

01:39:52 Will Patton blew a tranny? Well that’s great, but he might want to focus on the job at hand.

01:41:00 The asteroid is pretty scenic here.

01:41:14 The only time Noonan’s death is acknowledged. AJ says he lost “two of his friends”. Hey Noonan – at least you’re considered a friend. AJ doesn’t give a rat’s ass about the three NASA folks who just bought it.

01:42:30 Green, blue, green, blue... no wonder all the “around the world” scenes are set at sundown. Bay was probably feeling that no one would recognize the film as his own unless he got to use his orange filters SOMEWHERE.

01:44:20 Hahahaha this extra kills me. He wants to get in the movie, so he needlessly wheels his chair out into the walkway, and then wheels it back.

01:45:46 Liv’s line is different in the trailer. She says “family” in the trailer but “father” in the movie. I like family better, it pays off Bear's “We all feel like a bunch of daddies” line from before. Man, everyone that complains that this movie is the longest trailer ever should at least point out that the trailer itself has better character development!

Also, Billy’s F bomb was in the theatrical cut. I was initially bummed that this movie was PG-13, but it was worth it for the power of that one line!

01:47:34 Aw yeah, an override the override action typing sequence!

01:48:12 “What are you doing with a gun in space?” BEING AWESOME, THAT’S WHAT! Actually I have no excuse/defense for this one. Interior debris?

01:48:50 I bet it’s hard to fight in those bulky spacesuits.

01:49:20 I love the look on Buscemi’s face here. “What did we miss?” Hahahah, I love him.

01:49:51 They have like 1.5 minutes to unload a nuke and fly away. If Willis didn’t pull off his “I never fail” speech then they’d all be dead and the asteroid wouldn’t even be damaged.

01:50:56 I WILL MAKE 800 FEET! should replace “Let’s win one for the Gipper”, if you ask me.

01:51:21 15 seconds left.

01:51:30 8 seconds left

01:51:34 6 seconds left

01:51:39 3 seconds left

01:51:44 The bomb is stopped, with only 2 (but really negative 8) seconds left to spare!

01:52:13 Good way to work in the obligatory “Houston we have a problem” reference.

01:52:38 Dude, the idea of just sitting on an asteroid watching it/yourself hurtle toward Earth is fucking freaky.

01:53:38 Stormare is fine, but now Buscemi is crazy. It’s what they call “Coen Brothers Regular Transference”

01:55:52 This is even scarier, the idea that you might just float around in space until you die. Because they have oxygen and maybe even some candy bars in there, so they’d probably live for a while, floating endlessly in an Armadillo tomb.

01:59:03 Dude! That’s so awesome. The change in gravity means that when you tackle a dude, you both fly like 30 feet. That or Bay/Brucky thought it would look cool.

02:00:08 MAXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX! :( I liked him.

02:01:12 Into the storm cellar, morons!

02:02:03 Sacre bleu!

02:02:26 There’s another French movie. The asteroid has 4 hrs to hit after zero barrier. They could make an art film about a bunch of pretentious snobs arguing about the meaning of it all, and then end it before it actually hits.

02:03:30 AJ!

02:04:30 I like Willis summing up for all of us. “We got 250 feet, last transmission, last drill head!’ And no more continues.

02:05:17 Uh oh. Shit’s going wrong! Again! My friend (same one who was pissed Affleck didn’t die when the shuttle crashed) was angry that seemingly nothing worked in this movie. And to an extent, he’s right – this movie has the most amount of problems in a movie ever. In the next 15 minutes, the shuttle will fail to start, the remote detonator will break, a pipe will snap, Bruce will drop the detonator...

02:07:25 Why is he cutting a giant pipe with an electric turkey knife?

02:09:00 “What’s going on up there?” The Armageddon law of shit going wrong every 2 minutes, dude! Plus the law of killing someone off every 10 (adieu, Gruber). Get with it!

Gruber I think gets it worse than anyone in the movie. A fucking mini asteroid hits him right in the goddamn balls.

02:09:55 Again, when a NASA guy dies no one seems too concerned.

02:10:46 OK, “It takes two people to fly this thing”, Sharp says, effectively taking him and the hot girl out of it. But Lev seems pretty qualified, so I think Sharp was just being kind of a dick here.

02:11:03 Willis is so laid back about his offer. “I’ll stay and take care of it,” he says, as if he was offering to watch someone’s cats.

02:11:26 Why don’t they let Buscemi do it, exactly? What, he’s crazy, so he won’t hit the button and save his friends/get out of paying back the loan shark?

02:11:35 People also mocked that Sharp had “straws” already. Ever hear of a jump cut, assholes? It’s a few minutes later.

02:12:37 It bums me out that Willis doesn’t say bye to Chick’s face.

02:13:04 Here we go!!!

02:13:23 BAD. FUCKING. ASS.

02:13:48 “You gotta take care of my little girl now. That’s your job.” Oh man. Until my dad died I don’t think I ever bawled so hard (and, it should go without saying, that event doesn’t exactly make this part any easier to take). And fuck you. It’s SAD.

I think it’s mainly cuz Willis essentially just plays Willis in the movie. Like, he’s died in other movies and I never really cared, but here it’s like the actual Willis dying (to save ME, an Earth resident!). Which would make me sad. You know how they say giving a kid a goldfish or a hamster (something that dies pretty quickly) prepares them for when they lose an actual loved one (i.e. a person) later in life? I have Armageddon to prepare me for when Willis dies for real. Assuming he does (I’m pretty sure he won’t).

But true to form, it’s actually kind of hilarious too, because he’s like “I think of you as my son. Go marry my daughter.”

02:14:08 I think Affleck really does love Bruce. He was at his Hollywood star unveiling, and even spoke before Bruce took the stage (actually, so did Billy Bob – I think it’s safe to say that Armageddon is important to Bruce too).

02:15:51 I don’t cry at this part at least. Well, not anymore.

02:16:34 OK the shot of Chick crying kinda gets me. It’s his best pal! Could have at least given him a wink or a nod to let him know he was about to sacrifice himself for the good of Affleck’s cock.

02:17:20 For your consideration...

02:17:35 We haven’t had any actual problems for a few minutes, so they need to double up!

02:18:21 ALL MADE IN TAIWAN! This movie’s pretty good at combining laughs, sadness, and nonsense.

02:19:09 Well, maybe if you didn’t fix all of the problems in the Russian space station like that, it wouldn’t have blown up.

02:19:35 I’m no shuttlologist, but can a shuttle just sort of take off like that?

02:19:50 “Thank you, Harry”. Yeah, fuck you, Sharp, you non-volunteer.

02:20:34 “Come on Harry, push the button!” Yeah, blow yourself up man! What are you waiting for?

02:21:00 Harry may not know how to fail, but movies don’t know how to ever stop a bomb with plenty of time left.

02:21:10 I like to think that Bruce survived and is on one half of the asteroid. A sequel would find the other guys going to rescue him. Because really, if there’s anything more hilariously awesome than a bunch of guys going into space to blow up an asteroid, it’s a bunch of guys going into space to rescue their buddy.

02:22:30 Good to see Billy Bob and Keith David have put aside their differences in time to hug it out.

02:22:56 At long last, some Bay style orange!

02:23:28 They land rather smoothly. What the hell’s up with that? They could have had failed landing gear or maybe missed the runway or something. It seems anticlimactic.

02:24:25 OK this shot is kind of sad, because there’s a lot less folks getting off than got on. BUT, they are in different places. They should have lined up the same way to really sell the tragic loss.

02:24:41 “My dad and half of my honorary uncles are dead! Yay!”

02:25:00 BC’s final tears, the kid being reunited with Chick. Oh wait, the wedding got me too, when they show Willis’ photo.

02:25:40 Strippers get level 5 clearance, I guess.

02:26:30 This is a nice church.

02:26:45 The final fuck you to Noonan; if you watch the movie fullscreen (you son of a bitch!) you never see his photo.

Also, who the hell are the people in the front row? That one guy looks like the loan shark!

02:27:00 I like that Lev, Truman and Sharp went to the wedding.

Well, it’s done, 11 word doc pages later. I think I’ve said all I need to say on the subject.

Oh wait, there’s another disc!

It’s actually kind of slim, considering the movie itself. There’s a few deleted scenes (one including what would have been a fifth line for Noonan, and also the only time in the movie he was seen interacting with the characters when not all of them were required to be in the scene) and some funny outtakes. Billy Bob in particular doesn’t seem to be taking any of the movie seriously, plus they joke about putting Costner in the role instead of Willis (which I’d be ALMOST as OK with – and I still dream of a Willis/Costner buddy movie). There are also a few brief looks at key effects sequences, but nothing of major substance. There are also a whole bunch of trailers/TV spots, but the awesome original 3 minute trailer is NOT included, which pisses me off. I have it on my PC somewhere, but it’s a lo-quality QuickTime. I wanted it for two reasons; one that it’s awesome, and two it was the first trailer I ever downloaded, back in 1998. Still, the Super Bowl ad is included, so that’s cool (it was a pretty awesome teaser). A lot of these trailers feature stuff that isn’t in the movie or deleted scenes (Bruce apparently had a lot more dialogue on the asteroid). The Aerosmith video is on there too, but come on. There is also a pair of commentaries that I’ve already mentioned. The scientific advisor one is pretty hilarious due to how many times they point out how they were ignored, and Affleck’s comments alone make the other one worth listening to (Willis, Bay, and Brucky also contribute, though Willis is barely heard).

Also included is an essay by a film studies professor, defending the film’s inclusion in the Criterion lineup. I have no use for it (like I needed a reason?) but some of you folks may be interested to read it; I believe you can read the whole thing on the Criterion site.

All in all, a pretty good, if not spectacular package to celebrate the finest oil drillers in space movie of all time. I hope you enjoyed this running commentary. If you didn’t, I hope you don’t hold it against me.

What say you?


  1. I agree with everything you said. Great movie.

    I also own the criterion edition. Haven't watched it in a while. It's time.

  2. This has always been one of my favorite movies. I can watch it all the time without getting bored. You're not alone!

  3. quite possibly the longest review ever!

    and yet it still works
    gotta see the movie (i've been meaning to for a while but never have)...looks like amazing Bay action fun!

  4. Hahah you've never seen? I just spoiled everything!!

  5. don't care about spoilers...i'm able to watch movies and enjoy them even if i know every detail of what will happen...unless of course the movie sucks completely (which is hard since i have a very high tolerance for crap)

  6. This is the movie that made me hate Owen Wilson, just because of that horrendous delivery of that Grace/bear line. He only recently won me over with wedding crashers.

    I love this movie. I saw it 2x opening weekend, once with the old herd (you included!)and once with my dad, which was a real tearjerker.

    "don't look at me!"

  7. haha you really do love incest, you sick fuck.

  8. I watched this flick again over Thanksgiving after reading your review and found I enjoyed it a lot more. I may have to try the same approach with Independence Day because I really can't stand that film.

  9. "Stormare is fine, but now Buscemi is crazy. It’s what they call 'Coen Brothers Regular Transference'"


  10. I'm just here... because I too... NEED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENED TO NOONAN! Was it all just a shared rooster illusion? Need he get in a fight with Bruce Willis? Why have him there at all???? He's more interesting than the entire movie. It's not even that they cut him out... but almost like they did it spitefully.

  11. I'm just here... because I've been up all night trying to find out who what where why is Noonan in this movie? who did he wrong to deserve that?


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