Wednesday, May 14, 2014

10 Things I Learned From Watching Armageddon

As some of you know, I'm on the road writing this. Instead of enjoying a day of hiking in The Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, the bone chilling temperatures inspired me to enjoy the hotel's hot tub and exercise room. While taking a time out in my room, I turned on the TV for a weather update and found Armageddon playing on HBO. The adventure movie inspired my blog today.

The movie hits all the marks I try for in my fantasy and science fiction novels. Even though I've seen this movie numerous times, once I tune it in, I want to watch it until the end. It spins its story the way I want mine to go, heroic tales that people have always and hopefully will always love. I picked out ten bullets from the movie and held them up against my WIP. I have some fix ups to do. Here is my list.

1) A great evil (an asteroid) threatens the entire world and provides the external conflict.
2) The powers that be turn to a group of 'every man' types who step up to take on the dangerous mission.
3) Within that group of heroes, a boy loves a girl. The girl's father, leader of the group disapproves of the young man. Feels the young man who is exactly like him isn't good enough for his perfect little girl, creating this relationship conflict.
4) This sets up two parent/child conflicts. The first between the young woman and her father. The second between the father and the young man who loves his daughter. The young man always thought of the older man as his father. Perfect.
5) Despite the differences between the military, scientists and our heroes, they all come together to try and save the world.
6) Of course, everything goes wrong.
7)The secondary characters are well rounded, important and colorful, adding to the story and not distracting from the main characters.
8) The setting is beautiful, frightening and imaginative. If only I could write as well as a movie can show.
9) There is heroic sacrifice, emotional deaths, and tears mixed in with desperate actions. It breaks your heart as the story courageous kills people the viewer doesn't want to die.
10) The world is saved. Boy and girl live happily ever after.

Did I miss any steps in the classic adventure story? Of course there will be character growth by the end of the story and Armageddon does a lot of that though not as much as a novel must.  Are you familiar with this movie? What would you add to my list? Home later today. Yippee!


  1. That's a great comparison and list. I've watched Armageddon numerous times. It's one of those movies that entertains from beginning to end. Of course the science is a bit ropy and some scenes are corny, but ultimately it doesn't matter. What I would say is that with a book you have to get EVERYTHING right. Readers are much more unforgiving.

  2. And add that it's a cheesy fun movie!
    Sorry you're freezing in Colorado.

  3. Now I want to watch it again. :)

    I've seen people dissect the movie "Die Hard" in a similar way.

    Safe trip!

    Madeline @ The Shellshank Redemption

  4. Haven't seen the movie. Hope you're keeping warm. Sunny here today and yesterday, we even had the air on.

    Cheers and boogie boogie.

  5. I think you put together a good list.

    Even though you enjoyed the movie and it gave you this most excellent blog post, I am sorry that you are spending your vacation stuck in a hotel room watching TV. Boo for the weather.

  6. Sucks about the crap weather indeed and yeah nailed it at your feed. A fun cheesy movie.

  7. An enjoyable flick, which for a Michael Bay movie is saying a lot.

    Moody Writing

  8. Great observations. I have a friend who is skilled at pulling insights from movies-- love watching them with him. I always just get too caught up in the plot to observe anything!

  9. It's been a long time since I've seen it. The Asian armageddon movies are always lots of fun.

    Susan, you should come to Canada, particularly northern BC. It's nice and warm and breezy! And the fish are jumping.

  10. Wait, there's a real place called the Garden of the Gods? I need to go there!

    As for Armageddon, you are totally making me want to watch it again; I don't remember it clearly enough! I will say, though, that I always love when a movie can pull off #2, especially when that group is full of classic, wonderful archetype characters.

  11. I've seen this movie but I'll have to watch it again with a writer's eye. Hope some better weather wanders your way.

  12. I loved this movie, and I saw excellent character growth in the father when he made that choice in the end. If that isn't a character arc, I don't know what is. It was hard-hitting and stays with the viewer for a long time.
    This is a great post and I can't think of anything you missed. you covered all the bases as far as I can see. Thanks for sharing.

  13. This film is one of my guilty pleasures. I have the DVD.

    Please send us some cold out here in Los Angeles. It was 108 today. But it was a dry heat...

    An A to Z Co-Host
    Tossing It Out