Cinema: A Sober Start To Summer Fun

Hey, guys, how's this for a twist? Let's take the end of the world seriously. Geez, how square can you get? No postmodernist, pre-apocalyptic ironies; a not-entirely-improbable cataclysmic threat--a giant comet hurtling earthward with no funny aliens anywhere in sight; special effects that serve the story plausibly; and a certain largely understated courage, as representative examples of humankind attempt to resist or try to accept the awful fate awaiting them. There's something curiously refreshing in the soberly inspirational way Deep Impact embraces the conventions of the old-fashioned disaster movie. You find yourself hoping that when Armageddon arrives, somebody as sensible, humane...

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