Dir. Michael Bay. 1998, 151 mins. 35mm. With Bruce Willis, Billy Bob Thornton, Ben Affleck, Liv Tyler, Will Patton, Steve Buscemi, William Fichtner, Owen Wilson, Michael Clarke Duncan. The highest grossing film of 1998, and the most unlikely film to have been canonized by the Criterion Collection, Michael “Big Bang” Bay’s vision of an asteroid near-apocalypse is a bombastic, floridly ambitious big budget bacchanalia. When NASA’s executive director realizes the Earth has 18 days before it will be obliterated by a meteor the size of Texas, he has only one option: to land a ragtag team of roughneck oil drillers, led by Willis’s Harry Stamper, on the asteroid and drop a nuclear warhead into its core. (Released July 1, 1998.)
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