Deep Impact Mimi Leder Journal Essay

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04 Mar Essay citation maker

I am still thinking about this. i could write essays on how incredible arya and nasuada are, how eragon's heartbreak dismantles the friend zone myth, how roran would rather help his wife with laundry than be a war hero.

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Veganism throughout history essay

Early in “Deep Impact” we learn that a comet “the size of Mt.Everest” is on a collision course for Earth. There would seem to be twopossible outcomes: (1) The comet hits Earth, destroying it, or (2) the cometdoes not hit Earth, in which case humanity is spared but the audience is deniedthe sight of lots of special effects. In the first scenario you don't get theobligatory happy ending, and in the second everyone leaves feeling cheated.

Most doomsday movies avoid this choice by prudently choosingless than apocalyptic events. A volcano, a twister or a tidal wave can supplylots of terrifying special effects and still leave a lot of people standing.But “Deep Impact” seems to back itself into a corner, and maybe that's why theproducers hired not one but two of the brightest writers in Hollywood to workon the project: Bruce Joel Rubin (“Ghost”) and Michael Tolkin (“The Player”).Together, they've figured out how to have their cake and eat it, too.

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How do they do this? I would not dream of revealing theirinspiration, although you may be able to figure it out yourself. Meanwhile, youcan enjoy the way they create little flashes of wit in the dialogue, whichenlivens what is, after all, a formula disaster movie. What's the formula?Assorted archetypal characters are introduced, they're assigned personalproblems, and the story cuts between them as the moment of disaster growscloser. I always think it's more interesting if they know from the start thatthere's a big problem; I get tired of scenes in which they live blissfullyunaware of the catastrophe unfolding beneath their feet, or above their heads,or wherever.

“Deep Impact” begins with the obligatory openingpre-catastrophe, in this case a runaway semi that mows down a Jeep and killsthe astronomer who is bringing news of the approaching comet. (The other movieI saw on the same day, “The Horse Whisperer,” also opened with a runaway semi,and indeed I cannot recall a single movie in which a semi on a two-lane roaddid not careen out of control.) Then there's a little ritual media-bashing; TeaLeoni plays a reporter for MSNBC who suspects there's more to the story of acabinet official's resignation. She accuses him of having an affair with awoman named “Ellie,” and he gets to say, “I know you're just a reporter, butyou used to be a person.” (The approved media response to this is, “Look who'stalking! A Cabinet member!”) Soon she discovers her error; he is resigning notbecause of Ellie but because of an E.L.E., which is jargon for “ExtinctionLevel Event.” He wants to spend more time with his family, and has stocked ayacht with dozens of cases of vitamin-rich Ensure. He must not have beeninvited to the briefing where it was explained that all surface life would bedestroyed by the comet, or the other briefing about the 1,000-foot-tall tidalwave. My guess is, the president wanted him out of the Cabinet.

The president, played convincingly by Morgan Freeman, goes on TVto break the bad news to the world, and talks of the Messiah Project, whichwill send a manned U.S.-Russian space craft to plant nuclear bombs in the cometand blow it up. We meet the Messiah crew members, including old Spurgeon Tanner(Robert Duvall), called out of retirement because he once landed on the moonand might be able to land on the comet.

The younger crew members resent him, we are told, althoughdissension onboard is never followed up on. The veteran has a nice line aboutthe youngsters: “They're not scared of dying. They're just scared of lookingbad on TV.” There's another good line at the high school assembly where the kid(Elijah Wood) who also discovered the comet is honored. A friend tells him, “You'regonna have a lot more sex starting now. Famous people always get more sex.” AndI liked a line from late in the movie, when one hero tells another, “Look onthe bright side. We'll all have high schools named for us.” But the movie as awhole is pretty routine. There's a laborious subplot in which Tea Leoni resentsher father (Maximilian Schell) for divorcing her mother (Vanessa Redgrave) andmarrying a bimbo, and while Redgrave brings a nice sad quality to her scenes,the rest of the subplot plays out suspiciously like a scheme to place twohumans in front of a big special effect. There also are some fairlyunconvincing scenes in which millions of people try to flee from a city, andall of them are trapped in gridlock except, of course, for the two who arerequired by the plot to get somewhere fast.

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Whether Earth is saved or doomed, or neither, I will leave youto discover for yourself. I personally found it easier to believe that Earthcould survive this doomsday scenario than that the Messiah spacecraft could flyat thousands of miles an hour through the comet's tail, which contains rocksthe size of two-car garages, without serious consequences. On the disaster epicscale, on which “Titanic” gets four stars and “Volcano” gets 1.5, “Deep Impact”gets 2.5--the same as “Dante's Peak,” even though it lacks a dog that gets leftbehind.

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