Deep Impact

Year: 1998
Studio: Dreamworks
Director: Mimi Leder
Cast: Tea Leoni, Morgan Freeman, Robert Duvall, Elijah Wood, Leelee Sobeiski, Maximilian Schell, Vanessa Redgrave, James Cromwell, Ron Eldard, Jon Favreau, Richard Schiff, Dougray Scott
The luckily-out-first drama out in 1998 about an interstellar body hitting Earth, beating Armageddon by just a few months and a whole lot of credibility.

Where Michael Bay's effort was a gung-ho, flag waving boy's own adventure, Mimi Leder (directing one of the first ever features made by Dreamworks) featured a lot of lost and scared kids and realistic women trying to deal with the consequences of disaster.

Comet Wolf Bederman is discovered on a collision course with Earth. First a manned mission to plant nuclear weapons on the surface is attempted, next a battery of nuclear missiles, the hope slowly fades, captured hauntingly and beautifully in the shot of the last peaceful sunset falling over the Earth as seen from low orbit.

Leder keeps the inevitable lack of action alive with the relationships as they fall apart and come together, and it's hard to say which she was best at or preferred - the human drama or the awesome destruction sequence, the first scenes of global devastation we'd seen since Independence Day.

A disaster movie drama - they all attempt it, they all say that's what they want to be, but they all end up relying on effects and incredible heroics. This is the closest we've come to a real life Hollywood disaster movie.

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