The World in Jeopardy - film at 8. (Category 7: The End of the World, part 2)
I think I'm the only person I know who didn't go and see the Harry Potter movie this weekend. No, we stayed home, and watched movies on TV instead.
Like last weekend, except that was the second half of a "miniseries event". Thankfully, this Sunday's movie was a one-nighter, so I didn't have to wait another week to see whether anyone died or not.
Okay, we know someone will die, but the suspense of who, how, and why is part of the fun.
Actually, pretty much all the fun; made-for-network-TV movies just don't pull in the talented script writers, you know?
Well, I know, anyway. Why do I watch these things? So I can tell you all about how awful they are - the auditory (or, in this case, visual) equivalent of "this tastes terrible! Do you want some?".
Share the love, that's my motto.
Today, we'll talk about the special effects extravaganza that was the second half of "Category 7: The end of the world". Since I am a sucker for any movie that shows destruction on a mass scale (which is why I am one of the few people that actually wants to get the DVD of "The Day After Tomorrow" for Christmas), I couldn't resist an entire Sunday night of people (mostly Gina Gershorn) looking pouty and saying things like "This is our only hope. If we can't get this information out to everyone, we're fucked".
...To paraphrase a teeny bit.
The first half of the "event", as I said in part one, was rather dull - mostly shots of people looking serious and evil politician types thwarting the free exchange of information for political gain. While this continued in the second half, it was merely a plot device to make you hate the guy (who also played the stupid vice president in "The Day After Tomorrow", so he's typecast for life now) who thinks the city power shouldn't be shut down so much that you're quite happy to see him (and only him) get sucked up into the tornado that destroys the White House.
Bad people die in creative ways in made-for-TV-movies. We'll be revisiting that point again and again.
The second half of "Category 7: Deathmatch" was more fun than the first not only because there was much more weather porn, but because I had insomnia, and was completely hopped up on painkillers. Really, the only way to watch these things is to be under the influence of at least one mind-altering substance; that way, you can yell at the TV when you're watching alone, and not feel self-conscious in the slightest. I highly recommend it.
(Actually, watching these things sober could actually be life-threatening; two hours of that dialogue, and your brain crawls out of your ear and strangles you.)
Of course, taking notes while under the influence (pills, booze, socialism - take your pick) means that when you read the notes you took the next morning, you'll wonder what the hell you thought was so funny that you wrote "Gina G. mumble, mummble, boobs, snort. I slay me".
Subplots always turn up in these movies, too - it's never enough that there's a destructive force hell-bent on destroying the world - no, that's not exciting enough. There has to be some sort of "people in danger that have to be saved when one's time would be infinitely better spent elsewhere" subplot so that the producers can extend the thing and call it a "Miniseries Event!".
In this case, we had the stupid "fundamentalist-psycho-who-thinks-it's-Revelation" subplot that resulted in way too much screen time for annoying teenagers and was, well, stupid. For one thing, if it's revelation, and for some reason you feel that a good way to welcome Jesus back into the rapidly getting a bit more crumbly world would be killing all the first born children, then wouldn't you know your Bible enough to pick up on the bit where the Bible says first-born sons? Why are there girls in the group? Doesn't he know that Fundamentalist Jesus[tm] doesn't care about girls?
Never mind. He dies, and all the kids are saved, so it's not like it really mattered, or anything.
You know, let's just forget I said anything about the subplot. Back to the storm that is threatening to kill us all, even while we've been a bit distracted.
Really, if I had the bad luck that everyone in these movies has, I'd just kill myself - seriously, I'd just lay down in the path of the storm and die. I mean, their bad luck is phenomenal - if it can go wrong, it will. Now, I'm used to a certain amount of things going wrong to heighten dramatic tension, but for heaven's sake, how unlucky can they be? I bet they get paper cuts trying to lick envelopes.
(Wait a minute - I get paper cuts trying to lick envelopes. Well, all of you had better hope that you never have to depend on my good luck to get you out of the storm that's threatening to destroy the world.)
(In fact, I think we all know that I'm more likely to be the evil mastermind that set all the destructive forces of the planet in motion. The only reason the world hasn't ended yet is because I have really abysmal luck, and a tendency to get paper cuts on my tongue, so my evil henchmen never understand my instructions.)
In the end, though, it doesn't matter that they all have horrific luck - it turned out that all they had to do was reduce the temperature of the air over the city, and the storm just... disappeared.
Yes, I started really yelling at the TV at that point. I expect a certain amount of pseudo science, but when "We can reduce the power of the storm just enough to survive it" becomes "hey, where'd the storm go?", you know that the writers just gave up and fed the last fifteen minutes of the script to the dog and made up some lame excuse to the producers.
In made-for-TV-movieland, the last dramatic bits have to happen really quickly anyway, so that they can fit in two more commercial breaks, five minutes of "we must never let this happen again!", and the credits (played really fast under the teaser for the late-night news, so you can't read who played what), and it doesn't matter that they just sort of willed the storm into abatement.
I'm guessing the producers decided that having the storm die down slowly wouldn't have left enough time to give us all the happy ending we were so hoping the useless bastards wouldn't enjoy.
******For those readers short on time, here's the capsule review.
"Category 7: The End of The World (and Boobs)":
Boobs, boobs, boobs, boobs, Gina Gershorn's lips, boobs, death, destruction, boob, bad guys, boobs, and boobs.
Boobs. Windy boobs. Wet boobs. Possibly underage boobs, but only for a second or two. Bad guys, bad guys, bad guys, stupid subplot that made no sense, but padded out the movie, padded boobs.