ENG225: Introduction to Film (GSK1307D)
Instructor: Fawn vonFrohling
March 4, 2013
For the final film critique in this course, I have chosen the American film Armageddon. Armageddon was released to the American populous in 1998. The film was directed by Michael Bay, and written by J.J. Abrams and Jonathan Hensleigh. While there were a number of high-profile actors in this film, the major players for this movie were Bruce Willis, Billy Bob Thorton, Ben Affleck, and Liv Tyler. (Imdb, 2008). Armageddon was an American disaster film that was poorly written from the start and even more poorly executed on screen. While I am a fan of Bruce Willis, I ...view middle of the document...
Along with sub-par writing comes the less than stellar cinematography. Usually when producing a film, the cinematographer will give dramatic shots to help the audience be emotionally involved with the film. This did not happen in Armageddonâ€™s case. â€œTake almost any 30 seconds at random, and youâ€™d have a TV ad.â€ (Ebert, 2008, para.1) The entire movie was cut-to-cut with action sequences that left the audience wondering just what was going on. The only thing that saved the audience from becoming epileptic was the acting. When the camera remained still and focused on the characters themselves, the cast did an amazing job portraying their characters. The night before the crew was blasted into space, they were given a night of freedom to enjoy themselves. It was at this point in the film where the audience was given a brief look into the lives of Earths future heroes. Each character came from somewhere different. Some were criminals, others were fathers, and then the average guys. Each role was brilliantly executed by their respective actor/actress.
The only good thing I can say about Armageddon was its use of special effects. Michael Bay is a director who is known for directing his films with a lot of slow motion effects. His visualization of the story is quite impressive. One moment that is recalled vividly, is the very emotional take-off of the shuttles â€œFreedomâ€ and â€œIndependenceâ€. The initial shot of the take-off is filmed at a distance. Here we see the two shuttles side-by-side propelling off towards space, leaving behind their smoky path into the sky. The special effects used in Armageddon, especially for its time, are superb. These effects undoubtedly surpass previous films using space as its backdrop. One of the other great moments of special effects in the film that blows the audience away is when a meteor slams directly into Paris. The shocked audience views the destruction of one of the most famous cities in the world from the top of Notre Dame cathedral. It is truly disappointing that the overall editing of the film contributed to its downfall...