Monthly Archives: December 2012
I hope everyone had a nice Christmas. I also hope you aren’t over it quite yet. After all, I did promise another holiday flick….I just didn’t say what kind. mwah ha ha. The title really says it all, and there’s little else to explain as an intro here: Snowmageddon.
In a nutshell, Snowmageddon is a disaster-laden holiday flick about the wee, tiny town of Normal, Alaska that is the unfortunate victim of a snow globe. And not just any snow globe, kiddies. Nope. This one, though beautifully crafted and not made in China, is very much made of EVIL.
I just feel really bad for the peoples of Normal, AK. It’s Christmas, and all fifteen of the town’s residents are really going all out for the holiday. The town square (that might actually just be all of the town) is decorated and pretty. Seasonal lights are everywhere.
The Miller family are doing their part. John Miller is going about the town collecting gifts for needy families. His wife, Beth, is a helicopter pilot. She will drop off the gifts the next day. Even their kids are involved. It’s nice when the kids do charity work too. Start them early, I say.
With all this jollity and good spirit, no one is surprised when a mystery box appears on the Miller family doorstep. Since they don’t know which family is supposed to get the box, they decide to open it and if the ominous doomed and dark Christmas score didn’t forewarn you enough, then the dog going berserk should have clued you in.
Let me describe the Snow Globe of Doom for you. It’s a snow globe. It’s base is made of wood. Inside the globe part is a teeny replica of the town and the mountains behind it. The base has all these visible gears and buttons on it. I don’t get the point of these because the thing is totally self-aware. Most unfortunate of all is that it does not play any little tune. There’s no creepy “Silent Night” jingling out of the device. The biggest thing about the SGoD is that whatever occurs inside the globe, occurs in the town. .
For example, our first foray into decorative disasters has a series of rumblings and bubbles that come up from the ground inside the globe. At that same time, the ground shakes in the town square and flaming gas erupts from the ground. Flaming gas isn’t the best choice of words here, but you get my meaning.
Later, dark clouds form around the mountains in the globe and a big, nasty storm attacks the area. Another important detail is that the clock in the globe has synched up with the clock on the town hall. This would be kind of cool if it wasn’t for the fact that the town hall clock hasn’t worked in years and Fred the local shop-owner gutted the clock a while back.
Snowmageddon is a lot of fun to watch for the endless series of disasters. There’s a little something for everyone. There are ice missiles shot from the clouds, giant tree-like spikes that shoot upwards from the ground, explosions, convenient people-trapping ravines, avalanches, etc. My favorite is when a man is killed by the town Christmas tree. And of course, after almost each of these disasters, a fire starts somewhere.
But while the movie doesn’t let up on crazy challenges, it pays that price by giving us rather boring characters who have to deal with all the hoopla. On top of that, no one ever seems to be wearing a hat even when they are on top of a snowy mountain! What is that about? It’s Alaska! Bundle up, people!
John and Beth Miller are kind of boring characters. They stay calm in all situations, they never seem too upset by their town being under attack from all forms of nature, and they might be superhuman. Beth easily survives a helicopter crash. All she’s got is a cut on her nose. John can drive a snowcat just about anywhere and then leap across giant iceberg divides.
The Miller children fall into familiar stereotypes. Daughter, Jennifer, comes across as the boy-crazy teenager. She begs Beth to take her on the delivery flight because Beth will be dropping off a famous snowboarder so he and his friend can hit the groovy slopes. All Jennifer does during pretty much the entire movie is whine and cry. Poor girl. She will so need therapy when this is done. Her younger brother, Rudy, is the typical innocent youth that figures out what’s causing the problem. He’s wiser than his years and feels the need to right the wrong caused by the SGoD.
Another thing—and this is a biggie—is that the purpose behind the SGoD or the person who ominously delivered it to the Miller house is never really explored. Having a character explain why it’s in their town as “maybe it was meant to come here” is not a good enough answer.
I guess Normal, AK happens to be the unlucky town for this SGoD to enact it’s wrath. Maybe Normal is such a fan of the holidays that the SGoD can’t stand it. Maybe it hates Christmas. No idea! And we never find out! Instead the filmmakers bring on a Lord of the Rings scenario with John Miller making the arduous trek up the local mountain (*cough* Mt. Doom) to drop the ring SGoD into the fiery pits of the suddenly active volcano. I guess if it worked for Frodo…
Now for that snow globe. One would think that since it’s made of evil, it might put up some kind of fight to avoid destruction. Perhaps it will suddenly get hot to the touch or speed up disasters. No!! Not a thing. It’s just an evil snow globe. It doesn’t even speak or anything. John, however, has his own choice words. “Merry Christmas you son of a bitch,” quoth he, as the globe is pitched into the fires of Mt. Molehill. Lovely writing, isn’t it?
Snowmageddon was very predictable yet highly entertaining. I’d say it’s way better than IceQuake. Waaay better. I like how there’s fifteen people in town and they all know each other. I like how the town is about the size of a parking lot. The acting was fairly decent, and there were some familiar faces in the movie. Battlestar Galactica alum, Michael Hogan, played Fred. Laura Harris of Dead Like Me fame was Beth Miller, helicopter pilot extraordinaire.
While most of the effects were computer-generated, they were done in conjunction with actual real effects, and the combo worked well for a movie whose budget (I will assume) does not compare to that of Avatar.
My biggest beef with the film is that it’s about a freaking snow globe that causes disasters and destruction for a little town. Who came up with that idea? Does someone hate or fear snow globes? I have no idea. I hate that the movie never explains that fully. It’s frustrating.
Oh well, if I’ve learned anything from the crazy goings-on in Snowmageddon, it’s this: invest in snowcats. The one in this movie was pretty sturdy and despite it’s 10 mph super speeds, it held its own through most of the disasters it encountered.
And that’s it, my little snow bunnies. No more holiday flicks until 2013. Now let’s focus on next year. I think we will need more dragons.
I’m back, and in celebration of the possible end o’ the world, I thought I would do another one of my annoying lists to mark the occasion. But first, let’s look at December 21 (or 22nd depending on where you get your info). It’s also the Winter Solstice. Kim Harrison’s groovy Hollows books have characters that celebrate it. Lots of real folks do too. I plan to decorate my tiny gingerbread village if the planet is still intact ,and we still have a breathable atmosphere. Plans are good.
So anyways, apparently per the ancient Mayan calendar, tomorrow is the last. day. ever. It had to end sometime, I suppose. Or maybe it won’t. I always wondered if maybe it’s just the last day ever for Mayans. Who knows? Certainly not I.
Enough rambling musings. On with the list of best end o’ the world movies and/or scenes!!!! [Insert crazy Kermit dance here]
1. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy I may have celebrated a love fest for this movie before. I can’t remember. Anyways, the Vogon Destructor Fleet moves in and in a span of seconds, BOOM goes the planet. And that’s just the beginning. Has anyone checked to see if the dolphins are still around?
2. Sunshine Only about 45 seconds of this movie take place on Earth. The rest is up on space where a crew of scientists and astronauts are on a mission to recharge a dying sun. The world-ender in this one is that the sun is almost extinguished (I guess you would call it that) and the earth has become a rather chilly place to live. It’s a pretty intense movie, but I like them that way. Danny Boyle directed this one, and it’s pretty cool.
3. Twelve Monkeys This Terry Gilliam-directed flick is one folks either love or hate. Basically, Bruce Willis is sent into the past from his post-apocalyptic future to collect information and possible evidence regarding a virus that all but ended human life on the planet. The movie is a little trippy but it wouldn’t be a Gilliam film otherwise.
4. The original ending of Army of Darkness. Stuck in mediaeval times, Ash drinks the potion and is supposed to wake up in his own time. Instead, he oversleeps and wakes to find a destroyed world. It would be a depressing ending if it wasn’t so funny.
5. Children of Men In the not too distant future… People have not been able to successfully procreate for some time now, and the human race is aging and dying out. Another intense movie. It was really good.
And last, but not least…
7. It’s a tie between two episodes of Doctor Who. Yes, I know it’s not a movie, but it’s relevant. The first episode is appropriately titled “The End of the World.” The Ninth Doctor takes companion Rose Tyler five billion years into the future. From the safety of an orbiting space station, they play to watch the sun’s expansion wipe out an abandoned Earth. I However, this being Doctor Who, nothing goes as planned. The other episode is called “Doomsday.” In this one, the Daleks and Cybermen are on the attack. it’s up to Rose and the Tenth Doctor to prevent world extermination. It’s probably my favorite DW episode, and it’s also one that makes me cry–oh how I cried the first time I saw it.
There are so many other movies or TV episodes I could list. I’ve left off 28 Days Later, for example. There’s also The Pink Panther Strikes Again in which a crazy Chief Inspector Dreyfuss invents a death ray and threatens to destroy England unless someone kills Clousseau. I could also have mentioned Independence Day but I really didn’t want to, so that’s all you are getting.
Anyways, tomorrow will be here in a few short hours. I assume we’ll be here a number of hours, days, weeks, months, years, eons afterwards too. But you never can tell…