Meteor

1979

Action / Drama / Sci-Fi / Thriller

39
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 7%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 12%
IMDb Rating 4.9 10 5606

Synopsis


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September 17, 2014 at 05:49 AM

Director

Cast

Sean Connery as Paul Bradley
Natalie Wood as Tatiana Donskaya
Henry Fonda as The President
Martin Landau as General Adlon
720p
809.48 MB
1280*720
English
PG
23.976 fps
1hr 48 min
P/S 2 / 7

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Brandt Sponseller 8 / 10

Cold War-era superpowers join forces to blow stuff up!

When NASA realizes that a 5-mile wide chunk of asteroid loosed by a passing comet is on a collision course with the Earth, they send for a retired specialist to help them develop a strategy to avoid disaster. Unfortunately, it's the Cold War-era, and success will depend on cooperation with the Russians.

Meteor arrived at the tail end of the disaster film craze of the 1970s. It's certainly not as slick as some, and in historical perspective, the production values and atmosphere are no match for Star Wars (1977) or Alien (1979), despite both of those films having smaller budgets, but it is a competent sci-fi "thriller" that tends to surmount its limitations, at least if you stick it out past the slightly clunky beginning.

At first, it seems like the film might turn out to be a derivative cheese-fest. It has a documentary-styled opening with the tone of a 1960s science educational film. It has Star Wars-styled receding titles. It has text announcing settings in an overdone font like the poster art of the film. Some of the early spaceship shots are lit so that it's clear they were small models filmed in a studio. And a somewhat awkward expository flashback device is used.

But director Ronald Neame also shows signs of transcending his missteps early on. It surely helps that Sean Connery has the starring role, with Karl Malden in a prominent supporting role at the beginning of the film. The script is more humorous than we might expect, although the humor isn't unusual when delivered from Connery. "Why don't you stick a broom up my ass; I could sweep the carpet on my way out", is an early standout line, said by Connery when he's feeling pressure due to what's being asked of him.

The further we go into the film, the more suspenseful it becomes. The drama between NASA, the president and the Russians is beautifully written. The mini-disasters before the threatened big one are exciting and tragic. And the climax is simply fantastic--Neame builds an incredible amount of suspense with a simple countdown, then he follows it up with an equally intense scenario. All of this more gripping material is well acted and well directed, with a more epic scope than we might expect and relatively admirable special effects for the era.

Most interesting, watching Meteor at this point in time, are the countless cultural oddities we get from context. Like many films of the era, Cold War politics looms large. The hinge of the plot is reminiscent of Reagan's "Star Wars" program (maybe he got the idea from the film?--a frightening thought). There are a great many jokes about Russians--at one point, Russian higher-ups fret over whether the national budget can cover a long-distance telephone call. At another point, an American character ironically remarks, "Good news, the Russians are coming".

Even funnier are two oddities very relevant to our present culture. When news of the rogue asteroid is first announced on television, it's a brief update, then they're quickly back to a football game. There's no 24-hour coverage with trumped-up, dramatic graphics and music. And this is a scenario that actually warrants that treatment. The other instance is when American officials are excessively worried that revealing a particular bit of news might result in them being called "liars" and "warmongers". There was no G.W. Bush in the White House in this film.

But as fun as those cultural differences are to note, Meteor is primarily worth watching because of the performances and the fine way in which tension is built throughout its length. It is effective enough to have been influential. Most notably it has strong similarities to Armageddon (1999), which was obviously inspired by this film.

Reviewed by bkoganbing 5 / 10

Perestroika Saves The World

Meteor and When Time Ran Out marked the end of the decade of the disaster epic. I guess that Hollywood was just running out of ideas and that the formula of getting a bunch of big name players and put them in harm's way was wearing thin.

You can see that just about everybody here is bored, they all say the lines without any real conviction. Except for Martin Landau. As an Air Force General and Cold Warrior of the first order, he's extremely upset that the USA and the USSR have buried their differences to work on a real immediate problem. He resents Russians Brian Keith and Natalie Wood in the war room and Landau overacts outrageously.

A comet hurtling through the asteroid belt hit one of the big asteroids and sent one big chunk of rock and a whole bunch smaller ones as space calling cards speeding to Earth. That big guy if it hits spells the end of life on the planet.

Some criticism has been made that the special effects were a bit cheesy. By today's standards of course they were. So are some of those of the great Cecil B. DeMille. That's progress for you.

I'm not sure but this may have been the first time that Natalie Wood played someone of her own ancestry on film. Too bad she and Sean Connery as the NASA scientist didn't get to do something better before she passed away.

All the stars got a good pay day out of this though Sean Connery said there were some real scary moments with the cast trying to escape through the subway system with all the mud. A few times some people came close to really being buried in it for art's sake.

And this isn't a film to give your life for.

Reviewed by Ben Burgraff (cariart) 7 / 10

Sean Connery's All-Star Version of 'Armageddon'!

With the hoopla surrounding the 1998 releases of 'Armageddon' and 'Deep Impact', many have forgotten that Hollywood had done a previous big screen version of the 'Asteroid on Collision Course with Earth' premise, the 1979 Samuel Z. Arkoff production of 'Meteor'. Panned when first released, the film is dated (Cold War tensions with the Soviet Union are a major plot device), and has some unintentionally campy moments, but is still GREAT fun, with a fabulous cast!

Sean Connery stars, as an American scientist who had left NASA when his designs for a 'asteroid-killer' space missile platform were turned into a weapon aimed at the Soviet Union. After a comet passing through the Asteroid Belt collides with a a city-sized chunk, releasing a five-mile large rock, and launching it towards Earth, he is drafted into leading the American team assigned to turn the platform around, and fire our missiles at the deadly visitor.

Unfortunately, the combined nuclear capacity of the U.S. space arsenal isn't great enough to deflect it from it's path, so an uneasy alliance with the Russians, who ALSO have illegal strategic missiles in space, is achieved. It then becomes a race against time, as pieces of the asteroid obliterate various parts of earth, to coordinate the two missile systems, and launch a strike at the huge rock.

The cast is first-rate; Natalie Wood (in one of her final roles) plays a Russian scientist/interpreter, who is romantically drawn towards Connery; Brian Keith nearly steals the picture as the gregarious Russian team leader; Karl Malden is warm and winning as Connery's best friend, and NASA liason; Martin Landau does a campy bit as a paranoid military liason; and Henry Fonda, looking haggard, appears in a small role as the President. Watch for Sybil Danning (before B-movie stardom), in a cameo, as a doomed Swiss skier!

The FX range from excellent (some of the space scenes), to hokey (the tidal wave in Hong Kong); among the film's pluses is a stirring, beautiful (if at times, overpowering) score by Laurence Rosenthal ('Fantasy Island').

Is 'Meteor' a classic? Certainly not! But it is no worse than the later asteroid films, and Sean Connery is ALWAYS a joy to watch! Take a chance on 'Meteor'...I like it, and I think you will, too!

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