Archive for the ‘Disaster’ Category

Kursk – *(*)

Posted: November 13, 2018 in 2018, Belgium, Disaster, Drama, Luxemburg, X1/2

Kursk is an ambitious movie about a Russian submarine disaster that happened not that long ago. It focuses on the crew that survived the initial blast and got stuck at the bottom of the sea waiting to be rescued. It also shows the despair and frustration of the family members waiting for news about their loved ones. And it’s a big critique to the malfunctioning Russian marine. So far so good.

However, this is a Belgian movie (!) with an international (European) cast who all speak English with an accent. They don’t even try a Russian accent. No, they speak English with a French, Swiss, German, Danish, Swedish, Flemish, Dutch accent. Oh, there are some British actors too, but they play  British navy staff so that’s ok. It’s initially very difficult to accept. Especially during the (overlong) character introduction. Here you have a bunch of Russian marines and their wives at a wedding in a remote Russian village and they all sound like exchange students speaking English as a common language.

But then the story moves forward as the submarine experiences a first explosion, which happens faster than expected once the ship sails out. Several crew members manage to survive the blast and are locked up in a small compartment trying to figure out how to get enough oxygen. Outside, the Russian navy is trying to figure out how they are going to rescue the survivors with their malfunctioning equipment. Further outside is the British navy offering help, to no avail.

The appreciation of the storytelling depends on your knowledge of the outcome of the events. The appreciation of the actual movie experience depends on what your expectations are of a disaster movie made with a budget of 20 million euro.

It’s not such a bad movie really. It’s not going to get a wide release though.

Bølgen (The Wave) – *(*)

Posted: February 20, 2017 in 2015, Disaster, Drama, Norway, X1/2

The Wave is a Norwegian disaster movie about an earthquake that creates an avalanche in the fjords, which causes a devastating tsunami. Hence the title. A huge wave of water runs through the fjords and destroys all that it’s passing by.

It’s a brief moment though, somewhere in the middle.

Before the wave actually hits anything, you are forced to like the main character, a maladroit geologist who’s been studying the activity of the fjords for several years, but has now accepted a job in the oil industry. Of course on the day that the removal truck emptied his house, there is some alarming data coming in at the research station. Yes, the fjords are awake ! Then the wave happens. And then the geologist, who got separated from his wife and kids,  starts looking for them single handedly.

If this was a production from the Scifi Channel, nobody would care. But the fact that it’s not made in Hollywood kind of makes it exotic, interesting and by definition more credible. Well, NO. This disaster movie may start of exotic (it looks like the Norwegian Board of Tourism financed it to attract more tourists), interesting (this tsunami scenario is real) and credible (the science is explained in a educational way), the actual tsunami scene is pretty unspectacular and the aftermath (the last hour or so) just makes you want to watch Lo Impossible again. A family gets separated and needs to find each other again. Boring!

But hey. It was a 99 cent rental.


San Andreas – **

Posted: June 8, 2015 in 2015, Disaster, Drama, USA, X1/2

Ten reasons why I finished this simplistic action movie:
– It’s primarily set in San Francisco
– It stars The Rock, who one day may actually be a convincing actor, but now just impresses by just being The Rock
– Iconic buildings collapse both in LA and SFO
– The digitally depicted destruction is entertaining and amazing
– The suspense is predictable, but suspenseful nevertheless
– Kylie Minogue has a cameo… Surprise !
– It’s quite a feat to lack humor and still conjure laughs at times
– the bad guy is a real estate mongul
– the sound effects are in full digital surround
– it’s 90 minutes of mindless, forgetful entertaining fun

Ten years already!

Christmas 2004 is a date a lot of people will remember.

This is a great documentary made for the UK tv based on interviews of survivors and using a lot of video material from the survivors themselves and others who filmed the horrific events with their cellphone or video cameras.

It’s not easy to make a coherent documentary with amateur footage, but the makers pull it off. You can discuss why some of the images weren’t edited out (the dead bodies, the references to God, … ), but in the end it’s a real captivating document, which a documentary should be all about.

It’s all on youtube:


Noah – 1/2

Posted: August 7, 2014 in 1/2, 2014, Adventure, Disaster, Fantasy, Historical, USA

If it weren’t for my upset stomach, I would have fallen asleep after half an hour. What a load of crap.

Noah gets a vision from the Creator (let’s not call him God) that he should build an ark and save the animal species (and some plants too) from extinction. There’s a flood coming and all human kind will die. Yeah!

Enter Darren Aronofsky and Ari Handel who wrote a movie script based on this well-known biblical tale (which even atheists must have heard about at least once in their life). They add some giant rock creatures to help Noah build his ark and protect him from the evil descendants of Cain who came to rule the earth and they  depict the flood-defier as some lunatic man on a mission ready to kill his granddaughters because they could pro-create, hence repopulating this planet with humans again once the flood was over.

But hey, we’re still here. So he didn’t kill his grand daughters!

There is absolutely NO tension in this movie at all. The action is boring. The special effects are ridiculous. The acting is more like rehearsing for a school play. The way the gorgeous and talented Emma Watson expresses her joy of being pregnant would be slammed by any acting teacher. DRAMA!

This movie makes me appreciate season 2 of Game Of Thrones much more. At least that fantasy show looks good. This just doesn’t.

The building of the ark is one of those cool stories from the bible which appeals to many of its readers. Even the critical ones. It’s apocalyptic and it has all these animals! It makes you wonder why the animals didn’t kill each other during the flood or why there weren’t any native americans, blacks or asians on board of the vessel. Sure it’s all a fairy tale retold over and over again from the Greeks to the Jews to the Christians to the Muslims. But it’s an important one. Read the book of genesis (for children) and fill in the gaps with your own fantasy. Skip this interpretation.



The Impossible – **1/2

Posted: December 28, 2012 in 2012, Disaster, Drama, Spain, XX1/2

Eight years ago a tsunami hit Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, India, the Maldives and other South Eastern countries. It’s one of those shocking moments in life that make you realize how fragile we still are. I don’t really remember where I was when I heard the news, but I remember how devastated I was seeing the images in the aftermath.

And now there’s a movie, produced and made in Spain but staring an English-speaking cast, that will draw all those people to the cinema, who want to know what really happened there. It’s based on a true story about a family of five getting separated by the tsunami and hoping for the impossible to reconnect. It’s very dramatic, but the fact that it’s a true story makes it acceptable. The tsunami scenes are impressive and it’s very emotional when certain family members reunite. This is a perfect example of a good drama with all the ingredients that  you get taught at the movie directing school. It’s just missing that extra originality that makes a good movie great. And there are a few scenes that are unintentionally funny when they should scare or touch you emotionally. Like when Ewan McGregor makes a phone call home for instance. Not your best acting, mate!

The stand out performance in this movie is not coming from Naomi Watts, but from the young Tom Holland who absolutely steals every single scene he’s in. Not since Jamie Bell in Billy Elliot did a young kid perform this good.