The Manhattan Project--2016 A to Z Theme

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Thursday, April 4, 2013

Disaster Films

The Poseidon Adventure (1972 film)
The Poseidon Adventure (1972 film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


 The films that I'll be listing in my April postings will not necessarily be films that I'd call my favorite films, but they will be favorites in the genres I'll be naming.   The A to Z genres are very specific micro genres as opposed to the broader genres like action, romance, or comedy.

Disaster Films

       I'm a real sucker for disaster films.  The more action, the better the disaster experience is for me, but sometimes it's the story that impacts me the most and in those cases I may not need to have the special effects.  I hope I never have to experience any disasters in real life, but I'll gladly take a movie version for entertainment sake.

      My first disaster film was Godzilla in 1955.  I was five at the time and fascinated by the destruction of Tokyo.  Disaster films have always seemed to be a mainstay of the movie industry so I guess I'm not the only one who likes this sort of thing.  In the past few decades the effects have become so much more realistic that it's sometimes almost as though we are seeing the real thing.  For me it becomes easy to let go and suspend disbelief for the disaster movie experience.

Here are a few disaster films that I've enjoyed (no earthquake films--those come tomorrow):

Dante's Peak (1997) -- I thought the opening scenes were very effective, but it became especially exciting to see a devastating volcano occurring right here in the United States.   Decent effects with an exciting story.

Deep Impact (1998) or Armageddon (1998) -- Similar type movies released in the same year, take your pick or if you're like me take 'em both.  Who doesn't want to see a big rock from outer space collide with Earth to create utter havoc?

The Day the Earth Caught Fire (1961) -- This older film is not particularly big on effects, but is more thoughtful as it focuses on story and acting.  This is one of my favorite films.  It's probably one of the earliest films that addresses the concept of global warming.   I love the ending of this film--so fiftyish.

The Day After Tomorrow (2004) -- A more recent global warming movie and possibly one of Al Gore's favorites.  Heavy on CGI (computer effects) there is a lot of visual fun in this one.   Big floods.  I like to see big floods.

The Poseidon Adventure (1972) --I read the book and saw the movie.  This is the original and not the more recent remake, which I missed but heard was not all that great.   A ship turned upside down and a group of people has to escape by climbing up to the hull.  Lots of cool fun and excitement with a dynamite cast.

Titanic (1997) -- This oft told story hit true mega blockbuster status when it came out and remains a favorite of many.   Very fine special effects.

2012 (2009) -- This is a big favorite of mine.  Totally stupid, outrageous, unrealistic (in concept), and nonsensical.   Disaster movies don't get much better than this in nonstop action and very fine CGI effects.  This is like one of those virtual reality rides at an amusement park.  In fact I wouldn't mind at all taking this ride although a couple of hours of this kind of intensity could be pretty wearying.  Great fun nevertheless.


        Got any favorites in this bunch?   Do you like disaster movies?   What are some you would have included?



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87 comments:

  1. Never thought of Titanic as a disaster film, but it is the best movie you listed.
    Dante's Peak was a really good film. Very underrated.
    2012 was the ultimate disaster film. Only way to top it is to destroy the galaxy.
    Since you listed it as a disaster film, I'd have to say Godzilla was also my first one!

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  2. I love all-action too. Though it's not quite on the disaster level of 2012' I really enjoy the Transporter movies!

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  3. 2012, Titanic and The Day after Tomorrow. Disaster movies are awesome when done right.

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  4. I do love a good disaster film. Deep Impact was a great one, so many different storylines and so much angst.

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  5. I love disaster movies, Deep Impact and The Day After Tomorrow are two of my favourites :)

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  6. Yes, yes, yes, we love disaster films! End of days, and all that jazz.
    Dani & Jax @ Cover Girls

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  7. How about Towering Inferno. Loved that one.

    Came by from Tales of the Reborn Crafter

    http://talesofthereborncrafter.blogspot.com/

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  8. I like disaster films too. You've named a bunch of good ones, I really enjoyed Armageddon. This may sound a little weird, I also like the old Godzilla and Mothra movies.

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  9. A good selection of films Lee but I prefer films of a happier nature,

    Yvonne.

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  10. Disaster films gets your head spinning with all the 'what ifs'

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  11. Independence Day! Nothing better than Will Smith punching a creepy alien. Armageddon, also, is very good with Randy Quaid getting his revenge!

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  12. I love the move Outbreak, because it feels so plausible.

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  13. nope got disaster films out of my system as a teen

    but it would be disastrous to not mention this genre

    Happy "D" Day

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  14. would you consider, the day the earth stood still? i love those movies... earthquake, the towering inferno... to localized... or the day the world collided, invasion of the body snatchers... day of the triffids.

    Jeremy [Retro]
    AtoZ Challenge Co-Host
    Oh No, Let's Go... Crazy

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  15. I like a good disaster film - Dante's Peak was a good one, as well as Titanic and Armageddon, both of which make me cry.

    There was another one I liked but I can't remember the name of it - the world about froze over, Dennis Quaid has to rescue his son...

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  16. That's a great list. I like all of those movies.

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  17. Looks like everyone like disaster films. Including me.
    Dani @ Entertaining Interests
    #warriorminion

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  18. I really enjoyed Titanic, but for the most part I am not a big disaster films watcher. At first when you said disaster films--I thought you were going to talk about films that were a disaster or flop (funny me).
    Kids Math Teacher

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  19. I enjoy all of those you've listed, Arlee. I think 'Daylight' is very underrated.

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  20. I've seen a few of your list. I really like Dante's Peak, aside from Pierce Brosnan, it was a good movie.

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  21. I immediately thought of Titanic and was hoping you'd list it so I could make my comment on it. You did, yay! I feel cruel saying this because it was based on a true story (although the storyline within wasn't), but I just kept waiting for the ship to hit the iceberg. Wasn't that like 1.5hrs into the movie? I didn't expect the love story.

    I hope that doesn't make me sound like a mean person. Although, if we're all stating that we like disaster movies...

    It's the entertainment value! Great theme! Thanks for coming up with such an awesome challenge!

    Come check out my A to Z! Jen Hemming and Hawing Again

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  22. I've never thought of Godzilla as a disaster film, but it does fit. That big lizard was a total disaster on Tokyo.

    I agree...2012 was ludicrous, but interesting at the same time.

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  23. It's weird to say, I enjoy disaster, but I do, as long as it's on a big screen, not real life. I loved Dante's Peak and have seen all but one of the films on your list. I'll have to rectify that.
    Jenn @Scribbles From Jenn

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  24. I love disaster movies, they scare me and fascinate me at the same time. The first disaster movie I saw ever was the Scyscraper fire movie, can't remember the name of it. Most of the aren't so good, but some are really well done. I loved Day after tomorrow.

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  25. My brother is a huge disaster fan which transferred to me. I think The Poseidon Adventure is one of the first 'adult' movies we ever saw. I remember being awed by that wall of water coming toward the ship.

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  26. I like Armageddon very much and the Day after Tomorrow. Titanic, yes, I enjoyed very much on its time but I can't see again.

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  27. Disaster Films - interesting. I think I like Titanic and Deep Impact the best out of all of these. 2012 drove my "realistic" husband crazy so I sat listening to his comments throughout the movie - "No, that's just wrong by all the laws of physics." - and that sort of thing. It was a beautiful film for CGI, as long as we all remember it's a fantasy movie.
    I think it's humorous that you listed Dante's Peak and Alex agreed with you . . . I just used that examples as a worst story example for my writing class - no offense meant, I haven't seen it in a long time and all I remember was how slow it seemed.
    I live in Washington, and when the ash from Mt. St. Helen's fell, it felt otherworldly, but for some reason the build up didn't seem as slow as it did in Dante's Peak.

    Again, no offense meant - not all of us see the same thing in movies, and maybe I'm misremembering it.

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  28. When I first read D is for Disaster films I thought" ohhh...films that were terrible." Some qualify for two categories!
    Happy A to Z April!

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  29. So good to see so many disaster movie fans out there. Better to see on the screen than to experience in person. I was surprised to see so many Dante's Peak fans--I'll have to watch that one again.

    Thanks for the comments and the additions to my list.

    Lee

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  30. Any disaster film is better if I watch it with my wife. She provides the ambiance that draws me into the action and terror. In fact, everyone else around us shares in the experience. When Alien (not a disaster film but...) was first released, we watched it at the Academy theater in Beverly Hills and she almost ended up in the lap of the man sitting behind us. I'm certain that at least one of the film's producers was there and knew he had a hit on his hands when he saw her reaction.

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  31. I have to admit Al that disaster films aren't my favourite types of genre because they possibly hit too close to home with the fears I have or something similar. I have to watch 2012 now, just to see what they predict in the film was going to happen.

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  32. Hey Lee! I'm actually not into disaster films at all. If a movie has a huge disaster, or a bunch of people are killed, (by the disaster or by another human) then I'll probably never watch it...that being said, I loved Titanic!! It's the only one on the list I've seen.I thought the effects were awesome. It played in our little local theatre here for FIVE months back in '97!
    I love your theme Lee. I'm still themeless and at this point will probably remain that way.

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  33. I remember seeing The Poseidon Adventure on TV when I was a kid.

    There was this one, too, that I don't remember the name of. It was like a logging disaster film. A tree fell on some guy and it slowly rolled him under the water.

    The scene in that coupled with the one from Poseidon where they have to swim down through some walkway and one of them doesn't make it have always creeped me out.

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  34. I love your choices and we just watched Dante's Peak (which for some reason cracks me up) two nights ago on TV! One movie my husband and I love is Independence Day. In fact, we watch it every night and go to sleep to it. When it ends, my husband wakes up and puts it back on. We used to do this with The Day after Tomorrow, which is directed by the same guy who did 2012, I believe.
    best wishes,
    Jean Yates

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  35. There's a few movies on your list I haven't seen but I love Dante's Peak and Deep Impact. There is something about a good disaster film, my mom loves them so I have seen a few. :)

    Melissa At My Creatively Random Life

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  36. I loved Poseidon and Armageddon! Haven't seen some of the others. Oh, I did see Titanic. Gave me the chills. I hear they're building a new Titanic. Would you get on board that ship?

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  37. I am not one for disaster films !I love the Titanic though !
    Just wanted to say a word of thanks for hosting the A to Z challenge. I am having a lot of fun doing it :)

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  38. I've only seen Armaggedon and 2012 on your list. I've studiously avoided Titanic and plan never to see it, after how all the teenyboppers went ape over it when I was in high school. I'm also bothered by the massive list of historical inaccuracies and anachronisms I've seen.

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  39. People do seem to love a good disaster movie. I know I do. What does that say about we humans? Huh. I think we like to see SOMEONE beat incredible odds and win in the end. If everyone died it would be a horror show. No one would like it. I only watched Titanic once. Knowing that it was based on a True Story was just devastating for me. It made it More Real. I had nightmares about it for a week after I watched it. All of those frozen bodies in the water...

    In my nightmares, I kept trying to come up with ways to save them... up to and including manifesting pool toys for them to get on so that they could get out of the water. I am way too empathetic to watch that movie EVER again. When it came out in 3D? I took a pass. It was a great film, though.

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  40. Deep Impact, Poseidon Adventure, and especially Day after Tomorrow are all film I liked.

    I saw Day After Tomorrow on a plane trying to outrun Hurricane Ivan. (for real- I posted about it)

    Great list, Lee.

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  41. Only one I didn't see was Godzilla. I always think of the Taco Bell chihuahua trying to capture it by calling "Here lizard, lizard". It was hilarious.

    No I don't want to see an asteroid land on earth, thanks very much. That one in Russia the other week was bad enough.

    JO ON FOOD, MY TRAVELS AND A SCENT OF CHOCOLATE

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  42. Lee-

    It always cracks me up how the disaster films come in waves (every studio put out a volcano movie one summer, then the next summer it was a meteor movie).

    But I'm a sucker for them, too.

    LC

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  43. Dante's Peak is one of my favorite disaster films...thanks for sharing

    Shannon @ I Survived & Now I Run

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  44. I love The Day After Tomorrow. I saw it at the Drive-in. I always tear up at the end of Armageddon. Fantastic pics.

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  45. I've seen most of those flicks multiple times. Why do we love them so much?

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  46. Loved your post Lee! I'm still scarred from the giant tsunami scene from "Deep Impact" - scared the crap outta me - for some reason, that would be the most terrifying way to go - to see a wall of water coming at you that swallows your world in one giant gulp! I'm a new follower and would like to thank you personally for paving the way for the rest of us - words cannot describe how thoughtful your actions are:)
    Cheers!
    Sam
    http://writerlysam.wordpress.com

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  47. Deep Impact was a better, more realistic film, but Armageddon was just so much fun.

    How about The Towering Inferno?

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  48. Hello Lee, still here despite the disastrous year ("computerwise.")
    Poseidon adventure, good movie.
    Bless you friend, Geoff.

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  49. Woody Harrelson should be required to be in every disaster movie, what with 2012 and Zombieland and all.

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  50. I've always wondered, should a movie like Transformers 2 be considered a disaster movie, or an alien invasion movie? Because truth be told, it was a movie-making disaster. And they did manage to wreck an entire city.

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  51. HAHA! Most of these are a little too dumb for my taste, but they are great when I'm in the mood for mindless fun. I am a little upset that what used to be my beloved Sci-Fi channel is now overrun with disaster movies, creature movies, and wrestling now. At least there's BBC America. :)

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  52. Deep Impact is my go-to disaster movie when I'm feeling like crap! As odd as it sounds, it makes me feel better because it helps me to put things into perspective. By the end of the movie I'm thinking, "Well, at least my life isn't as horrible as all that."

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  53. Loved Dante's Peak. I enjoy disaster movies in general.

    Do you count movies like Airport and Towering Inferno as true disaster films?

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  54. I'd count any films that involve a great amount of destruction to fit in a disaster movie category, but they can also it other categories as well. I do prefer historical accuracy when a film is based on real events, but great special effects definitely win me over. Thanks for these comments and film suggestions.

    Glad everyone is enjoying A to Z so far. I know I am!

    Lee

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  55. I love disaster movies and I've seen all of those. Armageddon is another favorite of mine.

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  56. I like really bad movies. Why? They are so outrageously stupid, they're funny.

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  57. Hi Lee. Visiting from the blog challenge. I remember watching several of these films, but remember very little of the details. Disaster films have never been my favorite genre, but I did love Maureen McGovern singing "There's Got to be a Morning After" in Poseidon Adventure. I think I was probably in junior high when that came out.

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  58. When I hear Disaster Movie I immediately think Poseiden Adventure. Original only please : )

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  59. Of those you've mentioned I'd say Titanic is the best. And I never saw the original Poseidon (didn't even know that the recent was a remake) but I agree that the 21st century Poseidon was not great except for good lookin' Josh Lucas. I like disaster movies and believe that the upcoming films Oblivion and AfterEarth will be among my favs.

    Chontali Kirk
    chontalikirk.blogspot.com

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  60. I would love to see again The Towering Inferno (1974).

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  61. Enjoyed them all, personal favorite would be Armageddon, loved the quirky characters and sobbed my heart out when Bruce Willis stayed on the rock. Bruce is a secret weakness, well not so secret anymore, really liking your A to Z, thanks a lot:)

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  62. The disaster films of years past had good story lines, but I cannot watch those types of films today. Anything with too much violence, and I am just not watching.

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  63. Disaster is a great category and it reminded me of "A Night to Remember" which was an original Titanic movie. I loved it!

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  64. I love disaster movies. The original Poisedon Adventure was a really great movie I've seen many times. I fell asleep during 2012, so I'll have to catch that one again. Your other picks are great, too, but I've never seen a Godzilla movie. Maybe for family movie night. i keep saying that don't I?

    Tina @ Life is Good
    Co-host, April 2013 A-Z Challenge Blog
    @TinaLifeisGood, #atozchallenge

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  65. The first disaster movie I saw was The Towering Inferno (I was 12. For the next few years I saw every thing that came to our small town theater but none of the disaster movies I saw after that was as good. Thanks for all your work on A-Z!
    Donna at Donna's New Day

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  66. I thought I was the only one who loved 2012! Everyone is like but the story is meh.. and it's not realistic and ... I don't care! In that movie EVERYTHING is destroyed! It's just awesome!

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  67. I thought that Titanic was romantic.

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  68. I've seen all but two, great films.

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  69. Thank you for more comments. I guess I need to add Towering Inferno to my Netflix queue--not positive that I ever saw it. I don't consider disaster films to portray violence in the same sense of humans killing each other. Would Godzilla be violent on the same par of say a film like Scarface?

    Lee

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  70. If I have to pick one, I pick Armageddeon. We saw it on a family vaction and all still love it. Nothing like a bunch of regular working stiffs saving the world.

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  71. I still need to see 2012. Thanks for reminding me. :)

    PS: The Challenge is pretty much the coolest. Thanks for putting in all together.

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  72. Great list!
    I love disaster films, though I especially like situational films like Open Water, where regular people get stuck in crazy situations.

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  73. I love to rewatch the beginning of 2012--the special effects and characters, but then I lose interest.

    I haven't found my blog number & location and thus the 5 blogs following so I'm posting at random...

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  74. Disaster films are a great adrenalin rush. Fun.

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  75. Glad to hear that some many of you are having fun with A to Z. I know I am. It certainly hasn't been any disaster so far, but it has been an adrenalin rush!

    Lee

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  76. Some great picks in your list. My favourite disaster films are actually the ones released before the era of CGI and amazing special effects - and watching them NOW! I am either amazed by the 'ahead of their era' quality or giggle at the 'oh it's just dreadfully outdated"!!

    One a side note, thanks for creating such a fun initiative for us all! It's my first year and I'm thoroughly enjoying it!

    http://www.mydestinationunknown.com
    A to Z Participant: "A to Z of Travel Bucket List Inspiration"

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  77. I think 2012 should be moved to the comedy section now.

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  78. I must admit that the original Poseidon and Titanic are two of my favorite disaster movies. Maybe it is has something to do with the unknown element of the deep blue sea, but I just love them.

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  79. Are you taking over where Roger Ebert left off? Which one was better Armageddon or Deep Impact? Always thought it strange they made the exact same movie at the same time. Have you seen Knowing? Can't wait for more movie reviews!

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  80. >> . . . Do you like disaster movies?

    F### NO!
    Isn't life (and America) itself
    disaster enough for anybody?!

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

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  81. I LOVE disaster movies! There's nothing better for a bit of escapism. "The Day after Tomorrow" and "The Poseidon Adventure" are excellent. My favourites are "War of the Worlds" and "Children of Men".

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  82. Disaster movies are not a favorite of mine. Although I did really enjoy both Dante's Peak and The Day After Tomorrow.

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  83. Armageddon would be my top choice of those listed but I liked a bunch of them. I always like Dante's Peak even though most people didn't. It was different, a story you didn't see much.

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  84. I have to admit I'm a disaster movie junkie!! I.D 4 and 2012 are my top favorites.
    Connie
    A to Z buddy
    Peanut Butter and Whine

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  85. I love disaster movies. A lot of the ones you listed are my favorites too. The Day After Tomorrow, Deep Impact, Armageddon, Titanic, Dante's Peak and 2012! I have them all on DVD. The only one you're missing of my favorites is Independence Day. Unless you're saving that for Alien Invasion movies.

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  86. @ Jeremy, Open Water is actually a true story. Of course they changed the ending in the movie version. In the real life version the ending is actually a happier one. Go figure! I did enjoy the movie though.

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Lee