Hollywood has many ideas on doomsday

Hollywood has many ideas on doomsday

Frankfort Square : IL : USA | Jul 02, 2012 at 8:46 PM PDT
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Steven Carrell hooks up with Keira Knightly in the newly released doomsday comedy “Seeking a Friend for the End of the World.”

Carrell joins a host of actors and actresses who have had to deal with Hollywood’s take on the impending end of the world.

Bruce Willis leads a raggedy team of astronaut/miners in an attempt to blow up an asteroid the size of Texas threatening global extinction in the action-packed “Armageddon.”

Will Smith tries to find an antidote to a worldwide plague that has wiped out most of the population and turned the rest of humanity into some kind of zombie/vampires in the most recent version of “I am Legend.”

John Cusack stars as a worried dad trying to save his kids and ex-wife when Mayan predictions of the world’s end start to come true in “2012.”

Aaron Eckhart has a plan to jump-start the Earth’s core and save the planet with a series of nuclear explosions in “The Core.”

Gregory Peck captains an American submarine stationed in Australia in the aftermath of World War III as mankind waits for a radioactive cloud to finish off the species in “On the Beach.” Armand Assante has Peck’s role in a made-for-TV remake.

Jane Alexander is a suburban San Francisco housewife doing her best to make her family’s last days as peaceful as possible in the aftermath of a nuclear attack that has cut off their town from the rest of the world in “Testament.” This was originally made-for-TV but was released as a feature film.

Demi Moore is a pregnant woman who rents her garage apartment to a man she thinks is Jesus Christ bent on destroying mankind in “The Seventh Sign.”

James Arness and James Whitmore must stop giant ants from taking over the world in the sci-fi classic “Them!” Arness’ real-life brother Peter Graves has to stop giant locusts from doing the same thing in “The Beginning of the End,” which features the bugs munching their way from central Illinois to Chicago.

Gene Barry is a scientist who must figure out a way to stop invading Martians from wiping us out in less than a week in another sci-fi classic, “War of the Worlds.” Tom Cruise stars in the remake that doesn’t quite compare to the original.

There are dozens more movies that portray life after some kind of calamity has taken place. Some are about rebuilding the Earth, such as “The Book of Eli.” Some are about hope for the future, such as “The Postman.” Others are very dark and doubt man will make it, such as “The Road.”

Zombie movies don't count because they are mostly about the end of the world as we know it rather than the end of the world.

If you take doomsday seriously, check out these six movies available on video, DVD, on-demand and through streaming services. Hurry though, according to the Mayan calendar, our time is up in December.

“The Rapture” (1991) – Mimi Rogers stars as a bored and amoral telephone operator who quits her whoring ways and becomes born again with new husband David Duchovny. A series of events shake her belief right before the End of Days and she must decide what to do. This one makes you think. Also stars Patrick Bauchau and Will Patton.

“Miracle Mile” (1988) – Anthony Edwards answers a wrong number and learns he has about an hour before missiles will turn Los Angeles into a nuclear wasteland. He spends the time trying to track down a girl (Mare Winningham) he just met and get out of town. Also stars John Agar, Mykelti Williamson and Denise Crosby as a mysterious woman who seems to have an idea of what to do to escape the holocaust.

“When Worlds Collide” (1951) – A group of scientists and industrialists defy ridicule as they rush to build a space ship they hope will transport them as a kind of Noah’s ark to a new planet after a rogue star crashes into the Earth into this sci-fi classic. Stars include Richard Derr, Barabara Rush, John Hoyt and the late Frank Cady. I’d like to see this one remade using modern special effects.

“Last Night” (1998) – Canadian filmmaker Don McKellar stars in this film about some unexplained disaster that will end the world at midnight and looks at how different characters prepare for the end. Other stars include Sandra Oh, Sarah Polley, David Cronenberg and Genevieve Bujold.

“Believers” (2007) – Two paramedics answering a call are captured by a scientific cult that has calculated the world will end soon in a shower of fire and are planning a mass, ritualistic suicide in advance of the apocalypse. Stars include Johnny Messner, Daniel Benzali and Jon Huertas as a paramedic who sees the light and joins the cult.

“Twelve Monkeys” (1995) – Bruce Willis is a convict from the future sent back in time to gather research on a man-made virus that has mankind on the verge of extinction. The only problem is he’s six years too soon and the authorities jail him for being crazy. Other stars include Madeline Stowe as the analyst who starts to believe his story, Brad Pitt and David Morse.

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Mimi Rogers has a tough decision to make when she is faced with the end of the world in "The Rapture."
bbong is based in Frankfort, Illinois, United States of America, and is a Stringer on Allvoices.
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