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Episode 186 - Geostorm: LIVE!

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GEOSTORM! Colton Dunn (Superstore, Blockers) joins Paul, Jason, and guest co-host Jessica St. Clair to discuss the 2017 disaster film Geostorm starring Gerard Butler. Recorded live from Los Angeles at Largo at the Coronet, they talk about Gerard’s accent, Andy Garcia’s pen acting, the real life car Geo Storm, and Mr. Bean in space.

Check out new HDTGM merch over at https://www.teepublic.com/user/howdidthisgetmade

Where to Find Jason, June & Paul:

You can see Jason, June, and Paul in The Disaster Artist.

Paul’s new comedy Drive Share is available on Go90. Paul can be seen on A Futile and Stupid Gesture, Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later, Opening Night, and Veep. You can see June and Paul on NTSF:SD:SUV:: on HULU. June stars in Blockers, Grace and Frankie on Netflix, as well as Lady Dynamite alongside with Jason.

Jason can be seen in The Good Place, The House, The Lego Batman Movie, How to Be Single, Sleeping with Other People, and is still indeed in The Dictator.

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This episode was great.

 

I completely agree with June's analysis. I think the movie is trying to talk about the dangers of ignoring global warming and generally not caring about the environment. But the whole movie is about "well, we can fix it completely in three years of shit gets real." So, it's really anti caring about the environment.

 

The frying an egg on the street made me look into how hot that needs to be. Bill Nye found out you could fry an egg at temperatures as low as 130 degrees Fahrenheit but it takes 20 minutes at that temperature. To get a firm fried egg, it needs to be 158 degrees inside.

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Y'all are teasing me with all this talk about The Day After Tomorrow. For the love of GOD please cover that movie at some point in the future. I'm actually begging y'all now! I don't care if Geostorm is like the worse version lol.

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OMISSION!

 

The original tagline for this movie was "Brave the storm" but was pulled because of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria all hitting during the marketing time for this film and it was seen as extremely insensitive.

 

OCNQZ6k.jpg

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Omission: With regard to Geostorm, there were, in fact, multiple taglines used to market the film. One in particular, "Brave the Storm," was pulled when Warner Bros. decided it wasn't worth rubbing people's faces in the no longer unimaginable extreme weather events exacerbated by climate change. Instead, it seems they just dusted off an unused tagline from a different Gerard Butler acting masterclass, Chasing Mavericks, "Surf's Up... WAY Up."

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I get that they wanted this movie set in the very near future to get across the imminent threat of climate change, but the level of technological advancement and engineering achievement in that short of a time span is truly insane. Never mind the thousands of weather controlling satellites. Just building the massive net that holds them all would be a project spanning multiple generations.

 

They also unlocked the secret of gravity in that time frame to have artificial gravity on the space station. I'd argue that is even more impressive than controlling the weather, but since it was done just so they didn't have to film so many people floating it didn't get much of a mention.

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Omission: With regard to Geostorm, there were, in fact, multiple taglines used to market the film. One in particular, "Brave the Storm," was pulled when Warner Bros. decided it wasn't worth rubbing people's faces in the no longer unimaginable extreme weather events exacerbated by climate change. Instead, it seems they just dusted off an unused tagline from a different Gerard Butler acting masterclass, Chasing Mavericks, "Surf's Up... WAY Up."

bsi.gif

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I'm so glad they talked about the brother's hair. I hated his hair. It made me want him to die. I really enjoyed watching this movie. I mean, it was terrible, but fun terrible. I really just wanted more of the principals to die. I said in the minisode thread, I really wanted the daughter to die. I feel like it was a cheat that only brown people/foreigners died. People in Florida MUST have died and I wanted it to be the daughter.

 

I am only halfway through the episode but I must post this important CORRECTION: Jason says no one has ever been in good hands with Ed Harris. Big disagree. I also think Tom Hanks, Bill Paxton and whoever the other astronaut in "Apollo 13" was would also disagree. Ed Harris is the BEST hands. He lands a fucking space ship .

 

Here are some of my nerd notes.

 

- This rental was too much. Know your place, GEOSTORM.

- What is Skydance? Access? Who are these studios?

- Oh noes the polar bears. Millions died and it's those effing polar bears.

- Dutch Boy makes me think of paint not SILVER SKATES. I think this is product placement.

- He's a famous international science guy and he lives in a trailer?

- The Earth moves. Those satellites appear stationary? Like a web around the planet, but what happens when the planet moves and rotates? How can one be over Afghanistan FOREVER?

- It's against the rules for Abby Cornish to get married? Why? Secret Service agents can get married. Is it because the dumb hair guy works in the White House? Wouldn't it just be a conflict of interest and they'd put her on the treasury beat or something? This is dumb.

- Both the brothers are dicks.

- Why isn't this hard drive not frozen or something if it was exposed to space?

- Is this how Sean Connery stole the weather? Where do the bear suits come in?

- Can stuff explode in space? Since there is no oxygen? I don't think so.

- They are fishing into sand? Like that is not deep enough. I fished once and I know that.

 

Edited: Uhoh. I said "Bill Pullman" when I meant "Bill Paxton." Jason and Paul F. are going to be so mad at me!

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I paused this movie to Google "can you wear bikinis in Dubai" because that seemed like a no-go, but turns out you can.

 

The ISS is a real thing that exists, and the movie starts two years in the future, so...how did "they" (Gerry B., obvs. ) turn the ISS into the fucking USS Enterprise in two years? I'm not sure why the fact that they added on to the space station to such a massive degree bothers me more than the construction of the entire Dutch Boy net, but it does.

 

Also: thank GOD that Indian boy's dog lived. I feel certain that was added in the reshoots because none of the anonymous human peril in the movie was treated with that level of emotion.

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I'm so glad they talked about the brother's hair. I hated his hair. It made me want him to die.

 

 

As per usual, I probably won't be able to listen to the episode until Monday and I didn't bother renting it again for the episode, but I do want to say, his hair got a special shoutout on my Letterboxd review back in February:

 

The harrowing story of Greg Geostorm (Gerard Butler) and Billy Oasis Haircut (Jim Sturgess) as they face off against a tempest of predictable storytelling and totally surmountable odds.

 

Look, I was promised a movie as glorious as The Day After Tomorrow. That’s what I wanted and that’s what I expected. I was lied to. There was not a single digital wolf in this movie. Not a one. It’s just a bunch of garbage people speaking nonsense for two hours while decidedly non-Geostorm storms occasionally break out.

 

To illustrate just how dumb this movie is, at one point, three characters stand in a living room having a clandestine conversation while two rows of candles burn in a fireplace. Why not just light a fire you ask? Who the fuck knows. There are dim lights in the background so it’s not like they don’t have power. It’s like they stood around and were like, “Hey, before we start talking about committing treason, we’ve got to light some fucking candles in this fireplace and set the mood.”

 

I think my feelings about the movie can best be summed up in the (actual) final lines* of the movie:

 

Ginny Geostorm: “This really sucks.”

Greg Geostorm: “Yeah, seriously, this is so boring.”

Billy Oasis Haircut: “You know what? I can’t do this for another second.”

 

And with that exchange, finally, Geostorm and I were in agreement.

 

 

 

 

*Barring the obligatory wrap up voice over, of course.

 

I'm still very confused by those candles...

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I have a correction and an omission.

 

The film wasn't necessarily set in 2022. It said the catastrophic natural disasters started in 2019, but it presumably would have been a few years to actually make Dutch Boy. So it could have been set in 2024 or 2028.

 

I'm surprised nobody brought up the Geostorm ad that said JFK predicted it in 1961, then shows footage of his saying "We shall propose a global system of satellites for weather control." This is actually edited footage from a speech he gave at the UN in 61, in which he proposes nations work together for weather prediction and control, then later says a global system of satellites for communications.

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I am only halfway through the episode but I must post this important CORRECTION: Jason says no one has ever been in good hands with Ed Harris. Big disagree. I also think Tom Hanks, Bill Pullman and whoever the other astronaut in "Apollo 13" was would also disagree. Ed Harris is the BEST hands. He lands a fucking space ship .

 

Bill Paxton and Kevin Bacon.

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Oh! I have another question, why does Ed Harris say the Geostorm took out all the US' enemies? Granted, the political climate may have changed in the near future. But his targets were: 1. Random village in Afghanistan, 2. Hong Kong, 3 Orlando, 4. Tokyo, 5. Rio, 6. Mumbai, 7. Moscow, 8. Dubai.

 

No North Korea, no Syria/ISIS, No Iran or anyone in the "axis of evil." He didn't even attack the government center in China. He attacked the part that used to be British and is protesting China's authoritarianism. I'm not a statesman but aren't those the people the US would WANT to be running China?

 

I don't think he was a very good Secretary of State if he thinks Rio is some kind of threat to America? At what? Soccer?

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Oh! I have another question, why does Ed Harris say the Geostorm took out all the US' enemies? Granted, the political climate may have changed in the near future. But his targets were: 1. Random village in Afghanistan, 2. Hong Kong, 3 Orlando

 

If you've been to Orlando, you'll understand why it's on the United States' enemies list.

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If St. Clair is going to commit a hate crime, she should at least get the ethnicity right...

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- It's against the rules for Abby Cornish to get married? Why? Secret Service agents can get married. Is it because the dumb hair guy works in the White House? Wouldn't it just be a conflict of interest and they'd put her on the treasury beat or something? This is dumb.

 

For me, if it is in fact against the rules for Abby Cornish to date at work or talk to people while on duty, he's a total dick for bothering her when he knows he could get her in trouble. We can't all just give the finger to the rules at work -- some of us can't afford to get fired for flirting on the clock, and that's true even if you work a drive thru somewhere, let alone are charged with protecting the president.

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I know most of what I've written below was broached by other posters on this forum, but I basically wrote the following (which was transcribed my copious notes) last Saturday night (whoo-hoo!) when I watched this movie:

 

 

I have to admit that I was actually (and ashamedly) excited to hear that Goestorm was this week’s movie: I was curious about this film and finally had an excuse to watch it and see what all the fuss was about. After paying $6 to see it on Amazon Prime (!), however, I quickly realized why this movie is so derided. Geostorm isn’t a “so bad it’s good” movie: It’s just bad.

 

Geostorm is a CGI-heavy disaster-fetish movie that would have felt right at home in the 90’s (the decade that, of course, gave cinema goers the floodgate-opening blockbuster Independence Day), but by today’s post-911, post-Katrina trauma and mistrust standards feels depressingly out of place and naïve. Everything from the forgettable and familiar, one-dimensional character tropes (and these character’s odd, superficial familiar-ness with one another), to the half-baked “conspiracy at the highest levels of government” plotline, to the main character’s flippant and douche-y attitude in the face of extreme life and death circumstances feel painfully dated and labored. Maybe the director and producers were gunning for a quainter era of grandiose screen death and destruction: I don’t know. Geostorm failed as a movie, and failed in a spectacularly underwhelming and under-entertaining fashion.

 

Of the many, many perplexing story devices in Geostrom, none irked me more than the Scooby Doo-esque reveal by Ed Harris’ Secretary of State character in utilizing the weather satellites (which, side note, Gerard Butler’s character takes credit for designing, but I have a feeling he just ripped off the idea from either Superman III or that episode of G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero where Destro built a “weather dominator”) to destroy America’s enemy’s. Okay, but…

 

As we learn in the opening voiceover from Butler’s character’s world-weary 14 going on 40 year-old daughter, the nations of Earth have put aside their differences to come together and confront extreme weather events head-on. Nowhere in this movie are we told—or are they even alluded to—who America’s enemies are. We are left to presume that America’s closest threats are the ones we have now: state actors and terrorist cells. But, these threats are never expounded on. Also, are Brazil, Japan and China (three countries we see horrifically devastated in this grand scheme) our enemies in the movies universe?

 

The other portion of this movie that annoyed the shit out of me was the relationship between Butler’s characters brother (I’ll call him “Mini Mullet”) and Abby Cornish. These two work in the White House and can’t let it be known that they are dating, for some reason (I honestly tuned-out for parts of this movie, so there may have been an explanation, I dunno… ) That being said, what is the point of this? Their secret love affair places zero strain on their relationship and they seem to be relatively carefree and a happy, domestically. Also, for a secret relationship, they do a shit job of hiding it, as they both live together. I’m sure the HR rep at the White House who refuses to give these clandestine lovers the workplace romance rights and responsibilities statutes review would have no problem putting two and two together to see they both live at the exact same address.

 

Lastly, who is this movie made for? In watching this endless stream of death, destruction, wooden acting, and desperate stabs at humor, I was left to wonder, “Who enjoys watching this shit?” Aren’t movies supposedly a form of escapist entertainment? What audience actually enjoys watching amplified, ham-handed computer-rendered versions of the shit that causes us real-life grief, misery and anxiety? At one point, I think it was during either the flash freezing of Rio de Janeiro beach-goers or the satellite disintegration scene, I unconsciously blurted out, “Oh, fuck you, movie!” at my television. This movie took me to a place I did not like. A bad touch kind of place.

 

Paul, having now endured this slog of a movie, can we please get Tank Girl (the perfect bookend to Johnny Mnemonic, in my humble opinion) or The Day After Tomorrow for the next (or an upcoming) episode of HDTGM? These movies are endlessly entertaining and bananas in all the ways Geostorm most assuredly was not.

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If you've been to Orlando, you'll understand why it's on the United States' enemies list.

 

I would love to see some kind of side movie where there is an uprising at the Magic Kingdom.

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Correction:

 

In the senate hearing, Butler wasn't coming in hot at the guy in charge just to be a dick, the Senator was hostile from the start, by giving half-truths to the various things Butler had done like hitting an inspector, when Butler had in fact saved the guy from electrocuting himself by putting his hand on a open wiring system. The senator was also upset Butler started Dutchboy ahead of schedule without consulting the government committee, even though the world was being ravaged by natural disasters at the moment. So Butler was just meeting dickishness with dickishness, It's just a long-running trope for Devlin films where there is some bureaucrat just making life difficult for the lead every-man character.

 

Also, Butler was running everything when he got back on the space station as he was assigned by his brother and Ed Harris to troubleshoot what was going wrong with the station and if it was being hacked, since he basically knew everything about the station as he led building it.

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Omission:

 

I'm legitimately surprised no one picked this up, but while the focus of Ed Harris' masterplan was to destroy America's enemies, the secondary part of his plan was to assume the office of President of the United States. Unfortunately, as the Secretary of State, he is 4th in the line of succession behind 1) the Vice President, 2) Speaker of the House of Representatives, 3) President pro tempore of the Senate. The writers of the movie must've worried about someone calling out the chain of succession so they added a single line during the Democratic Convention in Orlando where the VP says "and I'm joined here with the Speaker of the House and the President pro tempore of the Senate to support the President to reelection" in order to show that if Orlando were destroyed, only Ed Harris would be left to take over.

 

A few problems with this.

  • First of all, the role of President pro tempore of the Senate is way less powerful than a Majority Leader in the Senate, but is assigned by the Majority Leader. Its the reason you would see Mike Pence, Mitch McConnell, and Paul Ryan together on TV or in the news. You wouldn't just randomly start talking about Orrin Hatch instead of Mitch McConnell. Wouldn't a more meaningful statement to make at a political convention to say "I am joined here by the Speaker of the House and the Majority Leader of the Senate."
  • Secondly, wouldn't it be easier to make Ed Harris the VP so that he is more clearly bad guy with the most to benefit? Its not as if Ed Harris was doing Secretary of State type things throughout the movie anyway and the only time we see the VP is during the speech.
  • Lastly, the even easier solve to this would've been to make Washington DC a target of the geostorm while Ed Harris is off anywhere else to enjoy his newfound Presidency!

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Omission:

 

I'm legitimately surprised no one picked this up, but while the focus of Ed Harris' masterplan was to destroy America's enemies, the secondary part of his plan was to assume the office of President of the United States. Unfortunately, as the Secretary of State, he is 4th in the line of succession behind 1) the Vice President, 2) Speaker of the House of Representatives, 3) President pro tempore of the Senate. The writers of the movie must've worried about someone calling out the chain of succession so they added a single line during the Democratic Convention in Orlando where the VP says "and I'm joined here with the Speaker of the House and the President pro tempore of the Senate to support the President to reelection" in order to show that if Orlando were destroyed, only Ed Harris would be left to take over.

 

A few problems with this.

  • First of all, the role of President pro tempore of the Senate is way less powerful than a Majority Leader in the Senate, but is assigned by the Majority Leader. Its the reason you would see Mike Pence, Mitch McConnell, and Paul Ryan together on TV or in the news. You wouldn't just randomly start talking about Orrin Hatch instead of Mitch McConnell. Wouldn't a more meaningful statement to make at a political convention to say "I am joined here by the Speaker of the House and the Majority Leader of the Senate."
  • Secondly, wouldn't it be easier to make Ed Harris the VP so that he is more clearly bad guy with the most to benefit? Its not as if Ed Harris was doing Secretary of State type things throughout the movie anyway and the only time we see the VP is during the speech.
  • Lastly, the even easier solve to this would've been to make Washington DC a target of the geostorm while Ed Harris is off anywhere else to enjoy his newfound Presidency!

 

When I saw Senate pro tempore leader on the big screen, I knew Andy Garcia wasn't bad because there is no reason to ever say those words except when talking about Presidential succession crises or in a middle school pop quiz.

 

 

Did anyone think Andy Garcia had more passion for Abby Cornish in the moment she flips the self driving car around and kills all the guys and he says "Marry her!" than the brother with the weird hair ever did?

 

In the beginning there is that scene where the brother asks her if she would save him or the President and she is like "The President, duh." Maybe they have a secret love for one another and the weird hair brother is just a beard?

 

I may have indirectly committed myself to writing GEOSTORM fanfic...

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An excellent observation from my wife:

 

When Gerard Butler is introduced to his team of scientists, they give him a bunch of sass for 5-10 minutes or so, and then near the end of the scene he says his name and they're all like: "You mean you're THE Jake Lawson?!" And yet . . .

 

wH7Mlge.jpg

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Omission:

 

I'm legitimately surprised no one picked this up, but while the focus of Ed Harris' masterplan was to destroy America's enemies, the secondary part of his plan was to assume the office of President of the United States. Unfortunately, as the Secretary of State, he is 4th in the line of succession behind 1) the Vice President, 2) Speaker of the House of Representatives, 3) President pro tempore of the Senate. The writers of the movie must've worried about someone calling out the chain of succession so they added a single line during the Democratic Convention in Orlando where the VP says "and I'm joined here with the Speaker of the House and the President pro tempore of the Senate to support the President to reelection" in order to show that if Orlando were destroyed, only Ed Harris would be left to take over.

 

A few problems with this.

  • First of all, the role of President pro tempore of the Senate is way less powerful than a Majority Leader in the Senate, but is assigned by the Majority Leader. Its the reason you would see Mike Pence, Mitch McConnell, and Paul Ryan together on TV or in the news. You wouldn't just randomly start talking about Orrin Hatch instead of Mitch McConnell. Wouldn't a more meaningful statement to make at a political convention to say "I am joined here by the Speaker of the House and the Majority Leader of the Senate."
  • Secondly, wouldn't it be easier to make Ed Harris the VP so that he is more clearly bad guy with the most to benefit? Its not as if Ed Harris was doing Secretary of State type things throughout the movie anyway and the only time we see the VP is during the speech.
  • Lastly, the even easier solve to this would've been to make Washington DC a target of the geostorm while Ed Harris is off anywhere else to enjoy his newfound Presidency!

 

 

Yes, I also have to ask, even if Orlando has to be the target, why Ed Harris doesn't just come up with some excuse for why he can't be there? If he wants to survive to be the next President, he should probably be anywhere other than Orlando. Surely this flaw in his evil plan must have occurred to him when he was forced to race out of the city, dodging lightning bolts on the freeway.

 

Then again, he also pulls the Dr. Evil move when he explains every bit of his evil plan to Jim Sturgess before actually making sure to kill him off, so he might not be all that thoughtful of a villain.

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