The Brunching Shuttlecocks Features

I just saw a beautiful, majestic film. The story of two young lovers, torn asunder due to family differences, who fight against odds to be together in the face of an unstoppable disaster. Climbing higher and higher to avoid the rising waves of death and destruction, hoping against hope for a miracle to stop the inevitable.

And it didn't star Leonardo DiCaprio.

This week's film du jour is Deep Impact, a movie with the balls to show the truth behind the phrase, "The sky is falling!"

Plot? Comet speeds towards earth. It's going to hit earth, earth is going to be destroyed. Thank you, come again.

Oceans rise, cities fall, hope survives, one kid gets laid.

Put aside all the effects, all the drama , all the emotion, this is a film about one teenager's attempt to have sex with another. Young Elijah Wood discovers a bright dot racing towards the Earth. Not that he cares a lick about the dot, as he's hitting on a girl on the next telescope. If only he could have her for his acne-laced own, all would be well. But he's a nobody, a loser.

Cue comet.

Suddenly he's got the end of all mankind named after him. He's a stud monkey, with fame to spare. Maybe now that little prissy blonde will let him ravage her in ways he's only seen on after-school specials. But what's this? She's not even going to school? Why bother, since the world is going to end?

"Forget the world, when is my virginity going to end?"

The imagery continues throughout, with a large object on an unstoppable course to plunge deep into the Earth. Freud would have had a field day with this comet.

"Tell me Comet, Vhy do you feel the need to penetrate ze Earth's layers? Iz it your mother?"

There are some other sexual storylines as well in this twisted orgy of cinema:

Téa Leoni (who's basically just a big sex kitten) paws her way through Washington, narrates this cataclysmic event on TV as the world watches her on MSNBC. So you know right there that this is fiction. I mean, who watches MSNBC?

Morgan Freeman is the president. He's a good, kind, decent man - without a hint of sexual scandal. So there's another hint that this is fiction.

Robert Duvall plays an aging over-sexed astronaut who, with a rag-tag team of over-sexed heroes, flies out to stop the over-sexed comet. Kinda like an old Superman comic I once read.

There are a bunch of other ex-stars in it. Vanessa Redgrave. Maximilian Schell. Blair Underwood. Tasha Yar from Star Trek. They all rock. Nothing like a good disaster flick to bring out the stars of yesteryear.

The effects are earth-shattering. (Go ahead and slap me now.) The emotion is gripping, if schmaltzy. Director Mimi Leder (The Peacemaker, ER) stirs our souls with a rousing tale of what would happen if the world were about to end and everyone was invited over to Howard Stern's for a barbecue.

What would you do? I mean you've got a year. That's it. Do you bother studying for the big Chemistry test? Do you finally ask the Prom Queen out? Do you try LSD, just for the hell of it?

Me, I whip those plans for world-domination into high gear. If I'm gonna go, I wanna go out on top.

Deep Impact, for all it's pleasant goodness, gets 3 4/5 Babylons. Quite a fun ride, if you'll accept the fact that it's a bit overly dramatic. But buy into the whole thing, and you may find a tear running down your cheek. My editor did.

Editor's Note:

Did not!

In fact, the very idea that Mr. Critic would be seen in a crowded theater with me is ludicrous. I'll bet he was the one crying like a girl! Him! Not me!

I did not cry!

Deep Impact
Rated: PG-13
Directed By: Mimi Leder
Starring: Téa Leoni, Robert Duvall, Elijah Wood, Morgan Freeman, Vanessa Redgrave, Maximilian Schell, James Cromwell, Jon Favreau, and the Biff the Comet.

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