This week, the theme for Wanderer's Thursday Movie Picks Meme is Storms and adverse weather. Disaster is something that has always fascinated Hollywood, largely because of the spectacle involved in depicting them. That's probably why there are so many films about the sinking of the Titanic (at least 10 theatrically-released films, plus those two Italian animated versions). There was also the series of (terrible) big-budget disaster films made in the 70's. Natural disasters are also a popular choice, for the same reasons. Just last year we got San Andreas, a movie which I can only assume involves Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson somehow beating up an Earthquake (I never actually saw it).
Anyway, the theme this week is storms, and there are a lot of films one could bring up for this category. I've tried to find some less obvious choices, which in this case means that I've only got one real disaster film on the list. Here is what I've come up with.
The Perfect Storm
Wolfgang Petersen's disaster film tries to capture one of the worst storms ever recorded. The "perfect storm" was basically the result of three hurricanes colliding to devastating effect, especially for those unfortunate to be at sea when it happened. The actual plot alternates between several groups of characters caught in the tempest, but focuses primarily on the famous story of the Andrea Gail, a fishing boat that was caught in the storm and sank with all hands. That last part required some guesswork on the filmmakers' part, but there are some really good effects used to depict the actual storm.
Take Shelter (2009)
This is a stranger one, but no less interesting. It's a somewhat subjective film about a man who has visions of an oncoming storm and can't quite tell if they're genuine or if he is suffering from schizophrenia. The rest of the movie centers around his efforts to make sense of what is happening while also struggling to hold his family together. Jessica Chastain also plays a very strong role as his wife, who tries to support her husband through a difficult time while simultaneously trying to cope with his deteriorating mental state and still allow the best for their daughter. It's a bit more ambiguous than some choices, but storms remain a central motif throughout.
The Martian (2015)
Time to add some strange variety by including a storm on another planet. Okay, technically this one is very brief, but it is extremely crucial. After all, while this storm might only make up about the first ten minutes of the film (if even that), it is the catalyst that sets the entire narrative in motion. It is this adverse storm that leads to Matt Damon being separated and presumed dead, as well as forcing the others to evacuate without him. Adverse weather also emerges from time to time as an obstacle faced by the titular character after he is stranded.