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Monday, October 8, 2012

Earthstorm (2006)

A massive asteroid strikes the moon causing it to start to crack open. With the moon breaking up and debris pelting the Earth time is running out, if the fissures can't be closed the Moon will break in two and thus ending life on our planet. Only a daring band of heroes can save the day:

Dr. Lana Gale (Amy Price-Francis) is the scientist who figures out the danger, but her opinion hinges on the theory that the moon's core is iron, this is the same theory her dad had and which caused him to be discredited in the scientific community. (Science Note: If the moon was actually composed largely of heavy metals like iron, as determined by our plucky heroine, scientists would have already determined this by measurements of the moon's density, which is easily measurable from Earth.)

Victor Stevens (Dirk Benedict) Science adviser to The President and the man chiefly responsible for discrediting Dr. Lana Gale's father. His main purpose in the movie is to be a dick and be constantly wrong.

John Redding (Stephen Baldwin) Blue collar worker and all run good Joe, but also work obsessed widower. He demolishes buildings for a living. The space agency immediately snap him up as "He's the top man in his field" and just the kind of guy you need to blow up celestial object.

With storms raging over the planet due to the Moon's orbital shift they have a matter of hours to launch Baldwin into space and heal the Moon. The plan is simple, explode nukes and collapse the fissure. Dr. Gale thinks the nukes won't work because if the Moon's core is iron it would just fracture and make things worse, so they need to use a MEG (no, not a giant shark but an electromagnetic explosion). Dirk Benedict disagrees and they load the shuttle with nukes and launch it at the Moon (to get to the Moon fast enough they use untried Nuclear Pulse Engines). He of course is proven wrong when Baldwin's plucky assistant shows up with a meteorite sample proving Gale's theory on the Moon's composition. Now we move away from ripping of Armageddon to ripping off Apollo 13 as the scientist at the space agency have to figure out what on board the shuttle can be used to build an electromagnetic bomb. Turns out all you need is a stove timer, a nuke and those spiffy nuclear pulse engines. The shuttle pilot flies down into the fissure (she's warned to be careful as it's dark down at the Moon's core). She maneuvers around the debris and hovers in position. Yes, without any thrusters used this shuttle can actually hover in place. Baldwin jettison's their makeshift bomb and they take off for home (of course without those Nuclear Pulse Engines they'll run out of oxygen, food and water long before making it back to Earth). So the day is saved as the pulse goes off and the fissure seals itself up and the moon corrects it's orbit.

Favorite Moments:

A meteorite heading for Earth is pursued by fighter jets and shot down by sidewinder missiles. That you'd be looking at an impact crater before you even had time to scramble the jets is overshadowed by the silliness of jets that can fly as fast as a plummeting meteorite.

This movie's space agency NSI (NASA obviously threatened to sue if they were even mentioned in this film) loses power because of the storms. They have to complete the mission before their generator runs out power. Of course space flight command rooms do not rely on municipal sources for power. And they would have multiple redundant generators if something happened to the main power. That the generator in this movie can run out of power and not be refueled is a tad odd. Not in the budget perhaps?

Dr. Lana Gale is seen reading a scientific document where Astronomy is incorrectly spelled "ASTRONOMEY.

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