Each week(ish), CinemATL Podcast hosts Martin Kelley and Michael D Friedman will be naming our Top 3 picks based on the weekend’s big movie release or event. Keep in mind, these lists are totally based on our opinion, and aren’t supposed to be a definitive list of the “best” movies. If you disagree with our selections, please let us know in the comments section below!
Geostorm is now in theaters and features a weather-controlling satellite system running amok. Will the film be a complete disaster, or just a disaster movie? With that in mind, here are our Top 3 Weather Related movies...
Michael D Friedman's Top 3 Weather Related Movies
First of all, I want to note that, despite what Martin claims below, I don’t consider Groundhog Day to be a weather-related movie. Otherwise it would be in my Top 3, as it's one of my favorite movies in general.
1. Low and Behold
You probably never heard of this movie, but Low and Behold was my favorite film to come out of Sundance in 2007. For some reason, it never received distribution, but it was finally made available on digital a few years ago. Set immediately after Hurricane Katrina, the movie tells the story of an insurance claims adjuster that befriends a homeless man. This film was shot in New Orleans in some of the worst areas affected by Katrina and the imagery is haunting. It shows a side of the disaster that many could never imagine. It’s also a powerful story about loss and mental health.
2. The Perfect Storm
The Perfect Storm, in addition to being an enjoyable action-packed thriller, holds a special place in my heart for a couple of reasons. For one, the first film I ever saw on the massive screen at the Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. Secondly, one of my friends basically forced me to read the book (I was never a big fan of non-fiction) and I found it fascinating. So, it was a bit fun for me to see a book I love play out on screen. The movie is not as good as the book (they never are, right?), but a great cast, led by George Clooney and Mark Wahlberg, really lends it some gravitas.
This is such a strange/interesting film. Taking place in a post-apocalyptic world that is covered in snow, the Snowpiercer is a train that travel around the world, keeping up with the Sun in order to keep the human race alive. The train becomes a metaphor for society, with the coach passengers rising up to fight against the first-class. Chris Evans is almost unrecognizable as the hero, while Tilda Swinton is completely unrecognizable as one of the villains. It’s such a unique concept, that even if you don’t like the film, you have to applaud its ingenuity.
Honorable Mentions: Die Hard 2, When the Levees Broke, Frozen
Martin Kelley's Top 3 Weather Related Movies
1. The Perfect Storm
The movie is based on a real event, conveniently called "the perfect storm" by meteorologists for the exceptional conditions surrounding it. It evolved into a monster hurricane heading out to sea. In the film, George Clooney and Mark Wahlberg get caught up in it and nice visual effects (if many were still somewhat incredulous at times) help give a sense of the dangers of weather. It had an impact, as “deadliest” and “dangerous” fishing adventure shows have done well since this movie arrived in theaters, all those years ago.
Twister is a movie about tornadoes, as well as a couple (literally) of divorcing tornado chasers who place themselves into danger for their research. The movie has all the four quadrant elements at play in a package that’s fun, fast and furious. For the time, Twister had amazing visual effects that even had a sense of humor (Chick-Fil-A must have been inspired). Since you can’t really experience a tornado safely, Twister helps you live out that adrenaline at the cineplex.
3. Groundhog Day
Not about weather per se -- well I guess in general -- but about a TV weatherman who begins living the same day over and over again. The film co-stars the most famous groundhog of all, Punxsutawney Phil, and is set on Feb. 2 -- the only day that the rodent (does he qualify?) is relevant. Not so much a weather movie, but definitely a classic movie with weather related elements, and Bill Murray.
Honorable Mentions: The Weather Man, Snow Falling on Cedars