Project #1:  Hollywood and Earth Science


During the course, the student will watch a Hollywood Film which deals with Earth Science Issues. The student will write a two to five page, double spaced, word processed paper explaining the Earth Science principles applied in the film. Notation should be made where the vocabulary words from the chapter(s) are used. The plot and the story does not matter, but should be summarized as below.  It is the earth science applied in the film that should be your focus and also the science fiction:

2012 (2009)

John Cusack , Chiwetel Ejiofor , Roland Emmerich    PG-13   DVD

·                     Run Time: 158 minutes

Product Description

From Roland Emmerich, director of THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW and INDEPENDENCE DAY, comes the ultimate action-adventure film, exploding with groundbreaking special effects. As the world faces a catastrophe of apocalyptic proportions, cities collapse and continents crumble. 2012 brings an end to the world and tells of the heroic struggle of the survivors. Starring John Cusack, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Amanda Peet, Woody Harrelson and Danny Glover.




Editorial Reviews
Now this is how you destroy the world. Roland Emmerich's
2012 pounces on a Nostradamus-style loophole in the Mayan calendar and rams the apocalypse through it, gleefully conjuring up an enormous amount of Saturday-matinee fun in the process. A scientist (Chiwetel Ejiofor) detects shifting continental plates and sun flares and realizes that this foretells the imminent destruction of the planet. Just as the molten lava is about to hit the fan, a novelist (John Cusack) takes his kids on a trip to Yellowstone; later he'll hook up with his ex (Amanda Peet) and her new boyfriend (Tom McCarthy) in a global journey toward safety. If there is any safety. The suitably hair-raising plot lines are punctuated--frequently, people, frequently--by visions of mayhem around the globe: the Vatican falls over, the White House is clobbered (Emmerich's Independence Day was not enough on that score), and the California coastline dives into the Pacific Ocean. Unlike other action directors we could name, Emmerich actually understands how to let you see and drink in these vast special-effects vistas--and they are incredible. He also honors the old Irwin Allen disaster-movie tradition by actually shelling out for good actors. Cusack and Ejiofor are convincing even in the cheesiest material; toss in Danny Glover (the U.S. president), Woody Harrelson (a nut-bar conspiracy-theorizing radio host), Thandie Newton, and Oliver Platt, and you've got a very watchable batch of people. Emmerich hasn't developed an ear for dialogue, even at this stage in his career, and the final act goes on a bit too long. This is a very silly movie, but if you've got a weakness for B-movie energy and hairbreadth escapes, 2012 delivers quite a bit of both. --Robert Horton

Deep Impact

Deep Impact  (1998)

Robert Duvall , Téa Leoni , Mimi Leder    PG-13   DVD

·                     Run Time: 120 minutes

In DEEP IMPACT, Leo Beiderman (Elijah Wood), joins a field study for his high school's Astronomy Club and discovers a new comet that unfortunately is headed for Earth. While scientists build a cave to prevent the extinction of the human race, they estimate that only 800,000 people can be selected to survive the "Deep Impact." The threat of a comet ending the world quickly sends Americans into a panic until the president announces a plan to send astronauts on a mission to destroy the comet before it reaches earth.


Chapter 21

Apollo 13 (1995)

Starring: Tom Hanks, Bill Paxton Director: Ron Howard Rating

·                     Plot Outline True story of the moon-bound mission that developed severe trouble and the men that rescued it with skill and dedication.

·                     Plot Synopsis: Based on the true story of the ill-fated 13th Apollo mission bound for the moon. Astronauts Lovell, Haise and Swigert were scheduled to fly Apollo 14, but are moved up to 13. It's 1970, and America have already achieved their lunar landing goal, so there's little interest in this "routine" flight.. until that is, things go very wrong, and prospects of a safe return fade.

Chapter 20


The Day After Tomorrow (Widescreen Edition) (2004)

Starring: Dennis Quaid, Jake Gyllenhaal Director: Roland Emmerich Rating

·                     Plot Outline A climatologist tries to figure out a way to save the world from abrupt global warming. He must get to his young son in New York, which is being taken over by a new ice age.

·                     Plot Synopsis: This movie takes a big-budget, special-effects-filled look at what the world would look like if the greenhouse effect and global warming continued at such levels that they resulted in worldwide catastrophe and disaster, including multiple hurricanes, tornadoes, tidal waves, floods and the beginning of the next Ice Age. At the center of the story is a paleoclimatologist (a scientist who studies the ways weather patterns changed in the past), Professor Jack Hall (Quaid), who tries to save the world from the effects of global warming while also trying to get to his son, Sam (Gyllenhaal), who was in New York City as part of a scholastic competition, when the city was overwhelmed by the chilling beginnings of the new Ice Age. In addition to all of the other challenges Dr. Hall faces, he's also going against the flow as humanity races south to warmer climates, and he's nearly the only one going north...


Chapter 19


Twister (1996)

Starring: Helen Hunt, Bill Paxton Director: Jan de Bont Rating


·                     Plot Outline A couple on the point of divorce keep meeting each other because both are researchers who chase tornadoes.

·                     Plot Synopsis: TV weatherman Bill Harding is trying to get his tornado-hunter wife, Jo, to sign divorce papers so he can marry his girlfriend Melissa. But Mother Nature, in the form of a series of intense storms sweeping across Oklahoma, has other plans. Soon the three have joined the team of storm chasers as they attempt to insert a revolutionary measuring device into the very heart of several extremely violent tornados.


Chapter 24


Contact (1997)

Starring: Jena Malone, David Morse Director: Robert Zemeckis Rating

First Line: Young Ellie: CQ, this is W9GFO. CQ, this is W9GFO here. Come back?

·                     Plot Outline Dr. Ellie Arroway, after years of searching, finds conclusive radio proof of intelligent aliens, who send plans for a mysterious machine.

·                     Plot Synopsis: Contact, based on the novel of the same name by Carl Sagan, is the story of a free thinking radio astronomer (Jodie Foster) who discovers an intelligent signal broadcast from deep space. She and her fellow scientists are able to decipher the Message and discover detailed instructions for building a mysterious Machine. Will the Machine spell the end of our world, or the end of our superstitions? Will we take our place among the races of the Galaxy, or are we just an upstart species with a long way to go?


Chapter 9


Volcano (1997)

Starring: Tommy Lee Jones, Anne Heche Director: Mick Jackson Rating

·                     Plot Outline A volcano erupts in downtown L.A., threatening to destroy the city.

·                     Plot Synopsis: After a seemingly minor earthquake one night in Los Angeles, a giant burst of lava is released from the La Brea Tar Pits, resulting in the birth of a new volcano under the city. City officials are reluctant to believe scientists who notice the early warning signs (the temperature of a lake rises 6 degrees in 12 hours) but they learn their lesson when lava begins to spill out into the streets and to destroy buildings and cars. Dedicated Emergency Management director Mike Roark rushes to the rescue, with help from a plucky seismologist.


Chapter 9


Dante's Peak (1997)

Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Linda Hamilton Director: Roger Donaldson Rating

·                     Plot Outline Dr. Harry Dalton discovers that Dante's Peak, which has recently been named the second most desirable place to live in America, is being threatened by a volcano that hasn't been live for years.

·                     Plot Synopsis: Volcanologist Harry Dalton and mayor Rachel Wando of Dante's Peak try to convince the city council and the other volcanologists that the volcano right above Dante's peak is indeed dangerous. People's safety is being set against economical interests.


Chapter 13


Sphere (1998)

Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Sharon Stone Director: Barry Levinson Rating

·                     Plot Outline A spaceship is discovered under three hundred years' worth of coral growth at the bottom of the ocean.

·                     Plot Synopsis: 1000 feet below the ocean, navy divers discover an object half-a-mile long. A crack team of scientists are deployed to the site in Deep Sea Habitats. What they find boggles the mind as they discover a perfect metal sphere. What is the secret behind the sphere? Will they survive the mysterious 'manifestations'? Who or what is creating these? They may never live to find out.


Chapter 13

The Abyss (Special Edition) (1989)

Starring: Ed Harris, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio Director: James Cameron Rating

First Line: USS Montana Captain: 60 knots? No way. The Reds don't have anything that fast.

·                     Plot Outline A civilian diving team are enlisted to search for a lost nuclear submarine and face danger while encountering an alien aquatic species.

·                     Plot Synopsis: An American nuclear submarine is attacked (during the cold war) and crashes underwater. The navy asks the workers of a nearby underwater oil rig who are joined by a number of navy SEALS to locate and investigate the cause of the crash. As the crew embark on their mission, they encounter a number of difficulties and discover that they may not be alone. There is something else down there.


Chapter 19

Category 6 - Day of Destruction (2004)

Starring: Thomas Gibson, Nancy McKeon Director: Dick Lowry Rating

After a freak tornado destroys Las Vegas, scientists determine that unusually destructive weather could be building over the United States. When a "category five" hurricane forms over the Great Lakes and a band of "force five" tornadoes moves up the Midwest toward Chicago, the resulting collision of deadly weather fronts not only decimates great cities, it ultimately causes the entire North American power grid to implode, effectively leaving the United States without power for at least six months.


Chapter 19

Category 7: The End of the World (2005)

Starring: Gina Gershon, Cameron Daddo Director: Dick Lowry Rating

Plot Synopsis: In this hair-raising sequel to Category Six: Day of Destruction, mankind's survival against the elements is pushed to the limits... All across the globe, an unprecedented Category 6 storm descends with greater force than could have ever been imagined. The Eiffel Tower is shredded by violent winds-the Great Pyramids reduced to piles of rubble as twisting, black funnels snake across the desert. For years scientists have been expounding theories-and warnings-of global warming trends. Now these warnings are coming true with a frightening ferocity. But though it may have created regions of volatile and extreme weather, global warming isn't what triggered the terrible tempest. The cause is unknown. As various regions of the Earth succumb to the increasingly powerful super storm, beautiful but discredited scientist Faith Clavell (Shannen Doherty, TV's Charmed) teams up with storm chaser Tommy Tornado (Randy Quaid, Elvis) and head of FEMA Judith Carr (Gina Gershon, Face/Off) to determine the trigger and eliminate it-and that means infiltrating the storm itself. Compounding the chaos, a terrorist organization is threatening to make the situation worse. Now, it's not only man against nature, but man against man as the newly-intensified Category 7 approaches-and possibly, the end of the world.


Chapter 9

Magma: Volcanic Disaster (2006)

Starring: Xander Berkeley, Amy Jo Johnson Director: Ian Gilmore Rating

·                     Plot Synopsis: Volcanology professor John Shepherd comes to realize that recent unexplainable volcanic activity the world over is the start of a coming global catastrophe which could lead to mankind's extinction. Assisted by several of his students and a wheelchair-bound colleague, the professor sets out to gather the evidence needed to convince government officials that a worst case scenario is unfolding. Can he convince the Powers That Be that the end is near, devise a plan to potentially prevent Armageddon, and save his own troubled marriage before time runs out?


Product Details

Polar Storm (2009)

Jack Coleman , Holly Dignard , Paul Ziller    PG-13   DVD

·                     Run Time: 93 minutes

Product Description

When a piece of the massive comet ''Copernicus'' collides with the Earth, it knocks the planet off of its axis and unleashes a disaster never before witnessed in recent history. Dr. James Mayfield (Jack Coleman) and his highly trained research team are the only ones who can re-align the axis. With the life of his teenage son and his beloved wife on the line, the only way James can save his family from the unthinkable is to save the world.


The Core (Full Screen Edition)

The Core  (2003)

Aaron Eckhart , Hilary Swank , Jon Amiel    PG-13   DVD

·                     Run Time: 135 minutes



Editorial Reviews

Smarter than Armageddon and equally extreme, The Core is high-tech Hollywood hokum at its finest. It's scientifically ridiculous, but this variant of Fantastic Voyage at least tries to be credible as it plunges deep into the earth's inner core, where a formulaic team of experts pilot an earth-boring ship to jump-start the planet's spinning molten interior, now stalled by a military secret that could seal the fate of all humankind. It's a geophysicist's wet dream that only a fine ensemble cast could rescue from absurdity, and director Jon Amiel (Entrapment, Copycat) draws excellent work (and plenty of humorous interplay) from Aaron Eckhart, Hilary Swank, Stanley Tucci, Delroy Lindo, and a host of memorable supporting players, especially The New Guy's D.J. Qualls as the world's greatest cyber-nerd. With enough digital F/X disasters to satisfy anyone's apocalyptic fantasies, this is a popcorn thriller with all the bells and whistles that its genre demands. Sit back, pump up the volume, and enjoy the dazzling ride. --Jeff Shannon

Armageddon (1998)

Bruce Willis , Billy Bob Thornton , Michael Bay    Unrated   DVD

·                     Run Time: 150 minutes

Product Description

From the blockbuster-making team who produced and directed PEARL HARBOR and THE ROCK (Jerry Bruckheimer and Michael Bay) comes the biggest movie of 1998 -- ARMAGEDDON!

Starring the explosive talents of Bruce Willis (DIE HARD), Academy Award(R)-winners Ben Affleck (GOOD WILL HUNTING) and Billy Bob Thornton (SLING BLADE), Liv Tyler (INVENTING THE ABBOTTS), Steve Buscemi (CON AIR), and Will Patton (INVENTING THE ABBOTTS), ARMAGEDDON is a meteor storm of action-adventure moviemaking that has you on the edge of your seat forgetting to breathe! When NASA's executive director, Dan Truman (Thornton), realizes the Earth has 18 days before it's obliterated by a meteor the size of Texas, he has only one option -- land a ragtag team of roughneck oil drillers on the asteroid and drop a nuclear warhead into its core. Spectacular special effects, laugh-out-loud humor, great characters, riveting storytelling, and heartfelt emotion make ARMAGEDDON an exhilarating thrill ride you'll want to experience like there's no tomorrow.

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