Things learned in Category 6: Day of Destruction

I learned a few things from this movie:

  1. Chicago has many neighborhoods that have tropical climates! In my over twenty years living there I never saw a single palm tree, yet in footage of the hurricane blowing through the city, there were scenes of a neighborhood that looked suspiciously like one near Fort Myers. That scene must have been shot in a different part of the city.

  2. Hurricanes actually gain strength when travelling over land. I missed part one, so maybe they explained this.

  3. Massive storms are selective about which buildings they destroy. In one scene, many buildings were destroyed, but Lake Point Tower was untouched.

  4. Randy Quaid is almost always immune to heavy wind. He’s on a bridge where cars are blowing around like leaves, and he’s no more than a block away from where a tornado with 300 mph winds is taking apart the Gateway Arch, and his shirt isn’t even ruffled, while he calmly gets out of his truck and sets up a perfect shot!

  5. When a tornado and a hurricane collide, cars can be lifted up several stories off the ground, unless the car has the main characters in it, in which case it will be unharmed.

Check out the DIY car washes along Ashland. They even light up at night!

I was at my sister’s house tonight and she had this thing on. After about an hour I was virtually drowning in blood from biting my tongue. Finally, she even started talking about how crappy it was. Once it was out in the open, we happily spent the next hour alternately laughing and rolling our eyes at the terrible acting and the ridiculous happenings.

But back to the OP, the things I learned while watching this turkey (in the background, that is…I spent most of my time online using my sister’s computer) are (spoilers follow in case anybody ever wants to rent this turkey):

[spoiler]1) Everyone in a disaster movie has to yell or talk really loud all the time.

  1. A lightening bolt can last three or four seconds, and if you get hit by lightening, the bolt will pierce you like a (crooked) arrow. You will glow blue-white in a one foot area surrounding the exit point during the 3 to 4 seconds or so that the lightening bolt is shooting through you. And you will pretty much just stand there slack-jawed but vibrating somewhat while all this is happening.

  2. If a disaster is occurring, anything that can go wrong, will. As an example, if you try to climb down a ladder to reach the widow and obligatory late-term pregnant woman, a rung of the ladder will break, causing you to fall and land back first on top of the elevator car.

  3. If you fall from a broken ladder and land on your back on top of an elevator car, it will break your leg.

  4. If you’re a good-looking bad guy who looks like Johnny Depp and you have a change of heart and try to help out instead, you will get killed.

At this point, thankfully, I had to leave. I heard later from my sister that all the good guys (mostly women and a teenage girl) lived.[/spoiler]

I watched the first part on Sunday, missed the first hour of the second part (Lost was on), and tuned in for the last hour.

Observations: If you’re driving like a freakin’ maniac in a hurricane while your already panicked family is tell you to hurry up, you can bet something’s going to go wrong. When it does, try not to act too surprised. When you’re driving like a maniac, your tires will constantly make “hot off the pole position” squeeling sounds, on any surface.

It is important to bounce up and down in your seats during those moments when your plane is most likely to experience turbulence. I’m not really sure why. If your family is in a rut (know-it-all teenage daughter has bad attitude, dad’s banging the office ho, mom’s psychic, that sort of thing) get thee to a terrifying natural disaster and all will be well.

Even though you just stood around outside to change a tire while it was pouring buckets, you’ll be totally dry (and mostly wrinkle-free) before even an hour passes. If you ever get so close to dead that your face is white, your lips are blue, and you’re cold, fear not. The minute you get to a hospital, all the color will return to your face and you’ll be “fine”; you will also forget that your dad was doing the office ho and your parents were on the brink of meltdown only days before. Oh, and if you get shot in the shoulder, it will render your legs almost completely useless.

I do have one question though. Where’d all the paper come from? Okay, two questions. If this storm was strong enough to turn a news van over (and it was, we all saw it), why is it that Jo, Greg, and The Bestest Cameraman EVER only had to shield themselves from all that paper? I didn’t notice any other debris, except during the elevator scenes.

P.S. Starving Artist, I was thinking “skinny Kevin Smith”. I think it was the black coat, the longish hair, and the cap (Silent Bob).

I was wrong when I said this movie might surpass 10.5 as Best Worst Made for TV Disaster Movie I’ve Seen Lately. The first half was okay, but it didn’t build up enough suspense, otherwise I would have skipped Lost to watch the entire second part. Unless it was all packed into the hour I missed, the natural disaster to High Strung Personal Drama ratio was too low and, while I expected it to be bad anyway, some of the dialogue was just too awful.

“It’s okay, Jo,” the station manager sobbed apologetically. “It took the destruction of This Great City for me to fully realize, but I now understand your desire to report The Truth; if we can survive these awful CGs – I mean, a storm of this magnitude – I’m sure the delicate people of Chicago will be able to handle The Truth. Report it, Jo, you soon-to-be Award Winning Journalist, you. You go, girl! :thumbsup:

Did they ever tell us who The Hacker was? Was it the other guy Dad’s Ho was sleeping with?

Plus points: The Gumby Truck in part one, the sound effects when Tommy was showing the tourists the various levels of damage a tornado can cause, also in part one, and Twistin’ Tornado Tommy in part two. I especially loved how a silent tornado was able to sneak up on a freakin’ STORM CHASER. Great fun. Loved the Wizard of Oz effects (Ah, '39. That’s technology!), was kind of disappointed that the truck just looked like really cheap CG, rather than claymation.

Minus points: Everything else. In short, less Moral Values, more Mayhem, Death, and Destruction. I didn’t even see the bridge scene they showed in previews! Also, and this is for all made for tv movies: It kind of kills whatever suspense might exist when you show us little snips from future scenes on return from commercial break. I knew before they even rescued Really Pregnant Chick from the elevator that they’d get to the plane safely, thanks to this foolishness. Stop that.

Hurricanes move south from Canada.

Huge tornadic storm systems are very careful about how much damage they do. (Lessee, I’ll take out St Louis and then just bounce to Chicago. Nothing of importance to hit in-between.)

As a hurricane progresses, first it’s breezy, then all sunday newspapers (complete with color ads), then hay (HAY!) that envelope a major metropolitan area.

As mentioned, it’s dry in the eye of a hurricane. Really dry. California back lot dry.

A substation is the same as a power plant. Computer geek/virus builder/whistleblowers will know everything there is to know about running said power plant. Even more than the people who work there everyday. Also, a power plant will explode if given the right incentives.

When a big ass storm crashes into a Canadian hurricane, they do not combine into an apocalyptic storm front that will take out the eastern seaboard.

One other dissapointing thing was that the movie obviously wasn’t fimed in Chicago. The scenes of destruction were just of a generic cityscape with the Sears Tower and a couple other significant buildings thrown in. The Sears Tower must have been put on wheels, because it was in different parts of the city at different times. In one scene it looked like it was on the lake.

We expect bad acting and silly plot from these movies. We tune in for the destruction, but all this film had were some brief scenes of cheap looking sets spliced in with stock footage from the Weather Channel.