Thursday, January 03, 2008

Is New York the natural "disaster-movie" site?

I just finished watching "I am Legend", a movie which features the total destruction of New York (and borrows heavily from 28 days later, castaway & Signs) and realized that I've seen a lot of "destroy New York" scenes in the movies and TV.

You might think that in a post-911 world, the annihilation of New York would be off-limits, but not so. The practice of destroying New York was fairly fashionable pre-911 and today it seems even more popular.

I believe that there are a few reasons for this:
  1. Landmarks include times square, the empire state building and the statue of liberty, what other city can match that? (Maybe London and Paris...)
  2. The city is really a symbol of man's power in the world, thus it's destruction represents man's weakness
  3. Emotional resonance: you either live there, or have at least one relative/friend who does
  4. The arch-rival of Los Angeles (i.e. Hollywood)... is New York.
Here's a list of "New York Destruction" flicks I could come up with, am I missing any?

Pre 911

  • Deep Impact [Asteroid]
  • The Siege [Terrorism]
  • Independence Day [Alien Invasion]
  • AI - Artificial Intelligence [Global Warming]
  • Planet of the Apes [Smart Apes]
Post 911
  • The day after tomorrow [Global Warming]
  • An inconvenient Truth [Global Warming]
  • Heroes, Season 1 [Nuclear Explosion]
  • Heroes, Season 2 [Deadly Virus]
  • I am Legend [Deadly Virus]
  • Cloverfield [destruction method unknown] (not yet released)
  • United 93 & World Trade Center [Terrorism]
  • War of the Worlds [Alien Invasion] (Well... it's in New Jersey, but that's just across the river)

Honorable mentions for partial destruction:
  • Godzilla, King Kong, Gangs of New York, Armageddon, Ghostbusters I & II

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