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Opinion Battles Round Three – Best Disaster Films

By Newguy

Opinion Battles Round 3 Disaster Movies

To celebrate the release of the Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson latest film San Andreas we are going to see what the most popular disaster film really is. We have seen the world destroyed with nearly every possible disaster known to man and a few made up ones ‘Sharknado’.

I would like to thank everyone who has taken part and as always if you would like to take part feel free to email [email protected] and our next subject will be Heist movies and will be needed by 14th June 2015.

Darren – Movie Reviews 101

Armageddon (1998)


I don’t care how many people pick this film but I just had to pick this one. In this film we have the Earth being destroyed by an asteroid and it is up to an unlikely team of oil drillers to save the day. This fits the over the top action idea and is filled light hearted moments even though it is going through a serious situation. We have big cities destroyed in some of the greatest destruction scenes of the time, you add in a romantic angle with an over protective parent we end up have a film that just won’t let you miss a thing.


Armageddon (1998)


To be perfectly honest I wasn’t entirely sure what constitutes for a ‘disaster movie’ so I just decided to hit the bulls eye and go for something I KNEW was a disaster…movie. Never did I think I’d be championing a Michael Bay film but Armageddon holds a lot of nostalgia for me. I was only thirteen when it came out and I loved it. I particularly loved Bruce Willis as Harry Stamper (I didn’t even have to look that name up!) but the entire cast was brilliant and I think that’s what makes Armageddon that bit more special – the rough and ready oil rig crew. I mean, who doesn’t enjoy that first hour when NASA are rounding them up and training them? I do think it’s rather too long but that’s my only complaint.

Rob – Movie Rob

Deep Impact (1998)


This movie came out during the same summer as Armageddon(1998) and although many would suggest that these movies are quite similar, I disagree.

While Armageddon (1998) is a pure action flick, this movie takes on all the dramatic aspects of a disaster movie.  There are heroic scenes here, but ultimately what’s important here is the characters and how they each react (in their own way) to the impending disaster.

This movie paces the events well and instead of it being just days or weeks until the disaster, we know that there is close to 2 years to prepare with a number of ideas on how to stop or stall the disaster. (Yes, the plot line of an astronomer racing to tell the world seems silly in that context, I agree.)  This gives us time to get acquainted with the characters and see how this impending disaster affects their lives and the lives of everyone around them.  It also allows us to connect with them better on an emotional level so we feel that we have much invested in them and want them to find a way to survive.

Allie & Jenna – Flick Chicks

Sharknado (2013)


Allie: I don’t think we’ve ever come to a joint decision as quickly as this. There can only be one answer, Sharknado! It’s a disaster movie in more ways than one, and so that makes it a double winner. It’s stupid, it makes no sense, the continuity errors are horrific but a real laugh to point out, and well, I’ve never had so much fun watching a movie before.

Jenna:  Disaster oh this is, the shooting, the dialogue, the concept, the acting, the mistakes all make on big giant disaster, but a giant disaster that puts a huge smile on my face!!  As Allie said this is a double winner, a movie about a disaster and a movie that is a disaster – so much so it’s become a cult classic.  I’m not sure how much of it is meant to be funny, but a lot of it made me laugh as well as shout at the screen, shout at Allie and generally have an awesome time watching the whole thing play out.

Drew – Drew’s Movie Reviews

Airplane! (1980)


Not every disaster movie has to be glum and sullen.  Take Airplane! for example.  This disaster movie spoof is hands down one of the funniest movies ever.  I can’t help myself from busting out laughing every time I watch it.  It may have been released 35 years ago, but it hasn’t lost any of it’s charm.  Leslie Nielson delivers every line perfectly and the amount of running gags and slapstick moments throughout the entire film is insanely impressive.  Ridiculously quotable and universally loved, Airplane! is the disaster movie we need, though maybe not the one we deserve…. Just kidding, we totally deserve this! Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue.

Ryan – Ten Stars or Less

Dante’s Peak (1997)


When I was invited into Opinion Battles, my first topic was best disaster film. My collection is filled with a bunch of titles like The Towering Inferno, Titanic, The Day After Tomorrow, 2012, and Twister. I have loved these movies for years, some for decades,but the one film that I absolutely love to watch and do not own is Dante’s Peak. In the middle of his James Bond career, Pierce Brosnan took time out of his busy spy life to play a vulcanologist who actually knows a thing or two about volcanoes. Of course no one wants to believe a 7,000 year old “dormant” volcano will erupt, so Brosnan’s character is challenged both personally and professionally at every turn. His only supporter turns out to be the town’s mayor, played by Linda Hamilton, who just happens to be falling in love with the handsome visitor from out of town. Together they will try to keep everyone calm as strange things begin to happen which all point to the mountain blowing up, and destroying the newly crowned second best place to live in the United States. Although this movie is almost twenty years old now, I love the action, eruptions, fire, lava, stubborn characters, special effects, and realism of such an epic event. Most of you will remember Volcano came out around the same time with Tommy Lee Jones and Anne Hache, but that movie does even come close to matching the awesomeness that is Dante’s Peak.

Kim – Tranquil Dreams

Sharknado (2013)


Sharknado is a ridiculous far-fetched idea of a natural disaster.  But at the same time, in all its absurdity, it actually plays out to be a fun ride.  I’m not sure any natural disaster is completely convincing because watching disaster is just accepting that alternate reality.  Sharknado is a guilty pleasure and one that you have a really fun time laughing at how bad Tara Reid’s acting is, the invasion of flying sharks and the total impossibility of any of this happening. Most of all, what makes it good is that you don’t have to believe it (it comes with the Asylum reputation) so it takes away even doubting the premise of this natural disaster.

S.G. Liput – Rhyme and Reason

The Poseidon Adventure (1972)

pposeidon adventure

Many disaster films can so often devolve into mere eye candy for those who love to watch big things destroyed. That doesn’t necessarily make them bad, but the best ones have a greater focus on the characters and what they do in the face of disaster. My favorite for this reason is 1972’s The Poseidon Adventure, a tale of the capsizing of the cruise ship SS Poseidonin the Mediterranean Sea and the subsequent struggle of the survivors. All of the survivors deserve to live—the cute kids, the affectionate grandparents, the traumatized singer, even Roddy McDowall—, and the film bucks convention with its “no-one-is-safe” mentality. (After all, usually the lone unlikable guy dies.) From this tension, it draws danger, heartbreak, and a phenomenal performance from Gene Hackman as the pastor and leader of the group. It’s a race against time that is innovative with its unique setting (traveling up to the bottom of a floating deathtrap) and powerful in its fight for survival. The best of the ‘70s disaster glut, IMHO.

James – Back to the Viewer

Batman & Robin (1997)

batan nd robin

I’m not a huge Disaster Movie lover, the recent release of San Andreas did nothing for me and as such I tend to avoid them. Having said that I have seen a couple but none of them jumped out at me for my choice of this week’s Opinion Battle. Instead I’ve opted for a slightly tongue-in-cheek option that most likely will not win but I hope it raises a few laughs at least.

Joel Schumacher must have thought he could do no wrong after the surprising Falling Down. Unfortunately he decided to take on DCs flagship superhero, Batman, and turn him into a joke, not cool Joel. After the highly flawed Batman Forever Schumacher got the rare opportunity to redeem himself and deliver a Batman film superhero fans could be proud of. No such luck. George Clooney, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Uma Thurman somehow got caught up in Schumacher’s delusional disaster and yet still managed to come away with good looking career prospects. Not a ‘Disaster’ movie that fits the recognised billing but a disaster nonetheless. Batman & Robin has gone on to attain cult status for it’s terrible puns, awful costume design and beleaguered legacy. Check out those nips.

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