Callie K. (ballofglitter) from GRAND ISLAND, NE Reviewed on 4/3/2014...
Love this movie. My husband recommended it since I like Twister, 2012, and Day after tomorrow and it definitely is a great action packed movie!!
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Getting to the middle of things
D. Roberts | Battle Creek, Michigan United States | 03/27/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I've noticed that a lot of people have blasted this DVD for lacking in scientific veracity. Well, gosh, although I slept through Geology 101 in college, I'll bet there are little more than kernels of truth in what the story contends about the Earth's electromagnetic field. However, I must ask the obvious $60,000 question to the vociferous critics of this movie: WHAT did you expect, exactly?If you want a natural disaster movie that isn't happy-go-lucky where everyone goes on a suicide mission and miracuously all come back, then this one is worth a look. If you want a film with some eye-candy special effects, then look no further! There have been a few movies / cartoons in the past where an inventer would create a machine with a giant drill at the front end. This contraption would take he and his crew to the center of the Earth, or at least far down.In the present story the method of drilling is updated: the ship uses lasers to blow its way through the Earth's mantle. Is it believable? Certainly not. However, it is far more "watchable" than the giant drill-nose machine.For myself, I did enjoy the allusion to Dante's DIVINE COMEDY. The inventor of the ship names it the VIRGIL, after the Roman poet Publius Vergilius Maro. In the INFERNO it is the dead Virgil who leads Dante the Pilgrim through the lower depths of hell and up to the top of Mount Purgatory. Nice touch.The acting is decent, although I think they could have done better than the fellow they recruited to play the computer hacker nerd. The highlight of the film is Hilary Swank. She's certainly not hard on the eyes and also lends a nice feminine dynamic as the only non-male member of the crew.All in all, this one is worth purchasing. No, it's not scientifically accurate, but then again neither is Jules Verne's JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH (yet I don't hear people shooting that one down because of its lack of credible science). Just remember: at the end of the day it's a MOVIE! If you can keep that in mind, you'll be all set to begin your journey to the core."
Entertaining as long as you check your science at the door
Daniel Jolley | Shelby, North Carolina USA | 11/26/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If you want to bring hard science to this party, you might as well stay home; The Core is just about the most unrealistic and unscientific Armageddon movie I've ever seen. It is also riddled with all the clichés you would expect to find in a movie of this sort. Despite these faults, however, it can be an exciting ride if you decide to just go along with the storyline. There is just something about this film that drew me in, although I am hard pressed to explain it. Maybe it's the Jules Verne lover in my soul that enjoyed revisiting the center of the earth, although I hate to think what Verne would have thought of The Core. Journey to the Center of the Earth is actually more believable than this special effects-laden thriller.The opening scenes of this film are just fantastic, as the unusual camera perspectives we first see, when about three dozen people suddenly fall over dead in one localized area, instantly dip your toes into surreality; this scene doesn't even compare to the next one, though, as The Core goes Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds one better. And then, in a scene that is robbed of a little of its power and spectacle by the very real loss of the Space Shuttle Columbia, we witness the most spectacular emergency landing of all time. These opening scenes really grab you by the collar and shake you a little bit. Of course, it's all downhill from here, but in terms of entertainment value I still consider this to be a better than average end of the world story. One great thing about The Core is the fact that the brilliant science guy who has to save the world is someone other than Jeff Goldblum for once. Aaron Eckhart fills the role of Dr. Josh Keyes, humble science professor turned savior of the planet. He figures out that the electromagnetic field around the planet has more than blown a fuse, and his discovery leads him to seek the counsel of Dr. Conrad Zimsky (Stanley Tucci); Zimsky is your stereotypical great man of science who looks down on everyone around him, but he quickly comes to realize that Keyes is right: the earth's core has stopped spinning. He also knows why, but that's classified information. All life on earth will be gone within a year. What can be done? Luckily, the eccentric yet very likable Dr. Ed Brazelton has invented a machine that can tunnel through rock like it was melted butter. In three months, the earth-digging ship (dubbed "Virgil") is built, a crew is put together (including space shuttle navigator Rebecca Childs, played by Hilary Swank), the world's biggest hacker nerd is called upon to keep the truth of the crisis away from the public (which is quite a job given some of the disastrous events that soon take place on earth), and we're off to the earth's core in order to kick-start the darned thing with the help of a few handy nuclear bombs.Everything you expect to happen does in fact happen. Some crew members do not make it home, those wacky scientists crack a number of stupid jokes or else criticize each other's work during crisis situations, everyone learns something about himself/herself, etc. The dialogue serves to weaken the movie in a few places, but at least some of the clichéd moments are pulled off with at least a tinge of originality. The special effects aren't that great once we get to the underground scenes where the ship is tunneling through rock, encountering empty space or mountains of crystal or diamonds, and luxuriating in the ultimate steam bath of liquid magma. The underground effects pretty much had to rely on CGI, but I think some of the CGI effects could have been less obvious. By and large, I really enjoyed watching The Core, but I am sure many people will not like it for all of the faults I was willing to accept in the interest of personal entertainment. This movie runs well over two hours, so it can be a long haul for those who will react negatively to it. It doesn't wait and pull the rug out from under you at the last minute, fortunately, as the implausibility of the whole thing comes through loud and clear early on; that's a good thing. If those in doubt can lay their eyes on the trailer, I think that would do much to show prospective viewers whether they will be inclined to enjoy or merely scoff at the film."
Here's my Kung-Fu!
Cutre | Mexico City, Mexico City Mexico | 03/29/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"So most people didn't like this movie, huh? Too bad. I liked it. A lot. Of course it's not a great movie, but it's entertaining. Who would go to see this movie expecting a great lesson in filmmaking? Anyone who does that is wrong from the start. If you see the trailer, you know this is a movie to watch while eating popcorn and just putting your brain on pause. It's far-fetched, it can get unbelievable at times, but who cares?If you've seen the trailer, you know what's this about. After a constant use and abuse of a sysmic underground weapon, the core of the earth gets damaged and it just stops spinning. This causes the atmosphere to become thinner and it's easier for the UV rays to hit the earth. Birds lose their sense of navigation and the constant EM pulses stop clocks and pacemakers. In one great sequence, a NASA shuttle re-entering the atmosphere deviates unintenionally and crashes in Los Angeles. And the worst is about to happen.That's when Dr. Josh Keyes (Aaron Eckhart) and his friend, the sweet, ever loyal Serge Leveque (Tchéky Karyo) are called in by the military. In a mission that requires travelling into the center of the earth, formal Col. Bob Iverson (Bruce Greenwood) and tough-but-beautiful Major Rebecca Childs (Hilary Swank) are recruited to drive the vehicle of choice. Self-serving Conrad Zimsky (Stanley Tucci), the shy geek Ed Brazzleton (Delroy Lindo) and the freaky nerd computer-kid Rat (DJ Qualls) also join the team which is assigned with the mission of detonating several nukes in the core of the earth in order to create a flow of energy in the right direction that will put the core into a spinning mode once again. That's it, you get your mission, there are your characters, now just sit back and enjoy the ride. Mind you, it is an enjoyable one.While the special effects are mostly good there are a few sequences which seem to be unfinished. Especially the scene where a lightning destroys a street in Rome or when the crew gets to a cave of cristals near the center of the earth. I am not into judging a movie by its special effects, since these are only mere tools designed to help the audience to believe that, what they're seeing, is real. Bad FX only remind you that this, indeed, is a movie. And I think that's the downside here. I don't know how many sequences use CGI, but there were sometimes when I felt I was looking at a videogame and when they're combined with actors or motion backgrounds, it just feels like a big B-movie. Being a fan of this type of movies allowed me to ignore all of this and just continue enjoying the film.In the end, I felt it worked anyway. The movie did give me a feeling that I actually went to the center of the earth and came back. Before the end credits, I took a deep breath remembering all the odds the characters had to face and it was a nice feeling. It was really nice to see, for a change, that even though there was some flirting between two of the characters, it never leads to anything. There's not even a romance kiss before the big finale... although there is one but it's just out of pure happiness. There's not a marrying couple at the end, there's only a heavy sadness about unspoken heroes. After seeing movies like Pearl Harbor, in which a major history event is just used as a backrgound for a cheap love story, this sure was a breath of fresh air.Acting is pretty good, especially Stanley Tucci, but the rest of the cast is great, so even when things seem a little far-fetched, the actors manage to give you a sense of reality, because their feelings seem to be pretty real. Scenes like Delroy Lindo breaking into tears out of frustration or Stanley Tucci suffering from a nervous breakdown were pretty much disturbing, in the way that you can relate to them and you can't blame because you know you'd possible act the same way if you were in that unreal situation. It's not that the destruction of the Golden Gate or Rome aren't impressive, but you can see that in every other movie. A fine cast such as this can make a smile or a tear way much heavier, emotionally, than a CGI destruction of a city. And that, I believe, is where the strenght of the film lies.Critics love to tear this film apart but don't let them fool you. If you're into this type of movies, give it a try. It sure won't win any oscars and it sure won't make it to Cannes but hey, for about two and a half hours, you can have a nice time."
An entertaining science fiction thriller
William Merrill | San Antonio, TX United States | 03/29/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I enjoyed The Core. In reality, traveling to the Earth's core is something that is almost certainly impossible, so criticizing this movie on scientific grounds is pointless. It is an escapist fable, and on that level it succeeds well. Or to put it another way, this is science fiction, not a documentary. For me the pseudo-science was fun -- the laser that could vaporize stone, the super-strong metal the earth-craft "Virgil" was made of, the subterranean geology, and so on. I thought the effects were interesting -- very colorful scenery as Virgil is passing through different layers, and the craft itself was pretty cool, like a hardened worm-drill. The characters were all well cast, especially the two leads. Hillary Swank was good as the pilot. The lesser characters were somewhat stereotypical but also well played. Stanley Tucci's self-centered star scientist Dr. Zimsky was sort of like this movie's Dr. Smith from Lost In Space. Actually, Donald Pleasance in Fantastic Voyage is an even better comparison. (The whole movie reminded me a little of Fantastic Voyage.)This is a movie where suspension of disbelief is a must, especially for real scientists or science teachers. But if you allow yourself to go along with the fantasy you should have fun."
Better than expected, but disappointing in some areas
Jonathan Appleseed | 03/21/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"There's no question that the science behind The Core is unconvincing and absurd. Of course, the outer core *could* conceivably stop spinning because of a device invented by a madly genius and egotistical geophysicist, and this *could* cause a disruption in the electromagnetic field that protects us from the sun, but the manner in which it happened in the film is bizarre and unlikely. Also, the likelihood that the "savior" who built the machine and developed the hull of the ship that protected it under the tremendous and heat as they bored through the earth is, well, silly.
However, the science behind Star Wars is similarly unbelievable. Why is Star Wars exciting then? (And I'm not referring to the first two films, which aren't terribly good - the word is still out on Revenge of the Sith.) Because it presents a scenario that is exciting and edgy, replete with suspense.
In my humble opinion, I believe that The Core has received undue negativity because of the improbability of the science behind it. However, it's not the science that is the driving force of the film. As viewers, we need to do the same thing we did with films like Star Wars and The Lord of the Rings: we need to suspend disbelief with regard to this quixotic undertaking . Once we successfully do that, we have a taut, engaging film with good performances, even if some of the dialogue is trite, and the interpersonal relationships rife with clichés, as well as the actual characters themselves. What causes the film to rise above the scientific anomalies, the dialogue, and the relationships is the solid acting and the exciting race to the center of the earth.
Hilary Swank was criticized as being miscast for her role in this film, and upon watching it, I was puzzled as to why. Certainly, choosing her character to be second in command was perplexing, even if she did manage a seemingly unnavigable landing in the beginning of the film. Nevertheless, her acting was solid. She has been miscast in other roles, but not here. Her humane resiliency seemed ideal for her character.
One thing that I particularly enjoyed about The Core was that nobody was safe. At any given moment, anyone could die. This is a risky undertaking. Too many films have all of their heroes happy and fine at the end, but here there were no guarantees. High props for that.
I wasn't expecting much from the film, and was pleasantly surprised to have enjoyed it. While I am writing what certainly comes off as a highly favorable review, I can't ignore the problems I mentioned above when coming up with a final rating. The overabundance of unimaginative characterizations brings this from a potential four-star film to a three star film. "