Netflix Pick of the Week – Double Feature: Dante’s Peak and The Core

This week’s Netflix Pick of the Week is dedicated to all of the awesome teachers out there.

I have fond memories of my grade 7 and 8 science teacher.  Not only was he a great teacher, but he had a really fantastic way of rewarding the class for completing a unit:  Movies! And sometimes, we would get to watch an actual Hollywood movie! So, for example, we watched October Sky after learning about rockets.

Two of the films that I remember the most from my middle school science classes are Dante’s Peak (after a unit on volcanoes) and The Core (after a unit about the Earth’s core). When I first saw these two movies in class, I remember enjoying them quite a bit. So, it wasn’t long before I went to the video store to rent them to watch at home.  Of course, when I saw that both of these titles had appeared on Netflix, I knew I’d be watching them yet again.

img_0076Dante’s Peak Directed by Roger Donaldson – Action, Adventure, Thriller: A volcanologist visits the second best small town to live in America to investigate the dormant volcano in the area.  As is typical for a disaster movie, he soon discovers that the volcano is not actually dormant and that it won’t be long until Dante’s Peak becomes active.

Pro: It’s a disaster movie, specifically a natural disaster, which is tons of fun because it’s sci-fi that hits close to home.  The science aspects are a little less far-fetched and it’s the kind of movie where it’s more plausible (and scarier) to think “what if that happened to me?” (compared to, say, alien invasions).

Cons: The trajectory of the plot and all of the types of characters involved are very predictable.  There is absolutely nothing surprising about this movie. Also, in a few scenes the use of a green screen is painfully noticeable.  Those moments did not age well and detracted from the action.

Final Thoughts: I still had lots of fun watching this movie, and this is maybe the third or fourth time I’ve seen it.  I wouldn’t be surprised if I find myself returning to this film years later. I always forget how much I enjoy disaster movies, and this one just has a special place in my heart.

img_0077The Core  Directed by Jon Amiel – Action, Adventure, Sci-fi: When disasters begin to strike around the world, scientists discover that it is because the core of the Earth has stopped spinning.  A team of experts make the perilous journey to the core to try to get it spinning again before the planet loses the ability to protect itself from solar radiation.

Pros: This movie takes a sci-fi disaster movie premise, and adds even more sci-fi! The centre of the earth could easily be an alien planet. And even though it does not touch on classic forms of human meddling, like pollution, it is made clear that humans are to blame for why the Earth is in danger.

Cons: The characters are nothing more than stereotypes placed in predictable scenarios.  There really isn’t any growth/development for any of the main characters.  They exist only to be sacrificed for the mission. The main action sequences are basically just an answer to the question “how can we kill off the next character?”

Final Thoughts: Although I enjoyed watching the scenes that I had the clearest memories of, the film overall felt a little lackluster. This is probably the third time I’ve watched this, but I just didn’t have as much fun with it this time around. When I really think about the story, not a lot actually happens.

Final, Final Thoughts:

  • If these movies have taught me anything, it’s that you should listen to the experts whenever there is some sort of catastrophe
  • Watching these two films made for a great trip down memory lane 🙂
  • Huge thank you to all of the amazing teachers out there

Related Posts

Don't Miss Out!

Free Stories, updates on my writing, as well as sales and promotions