Cylindrical projectiles are as American as they come. Even while fireworks are loud and volatile, they also have a pungent aroma and taste. Even if the explosions themselves are impressive, the ultimate marvel is in the act of launching something as far as we can into the sky.. We like to think of ourselves as tridimensional beings.
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So, in the spirit of American propulsion lust, here are some of the best tubes that have been used in films.
10. The Freedom and The Independence in Armageddon
It’s not that the film is horrible; it’s just poorly put together. The acting is good, the story is forgettable, but it’s the small details – like the execution – that make the movie a dud. So, when the meteor finally explodes at the end, we see people all over the world running for their lives and praying and then finally celebrating, and it’s daytime wherever they are, right after and right before that. Daytime is the same all around the world. Unfortunately, this is the sort of thing that we’ve come to expect from Michael Bay.
However, the video also features a group of oil drillers launching into space and driving around in space buggies armed with mini-guns. That is an absolute necessity while traveling through space. Despite this, the two rockets that launch side by side to save the day are still spectacular. Dual rocket launches are extremely dangerous, but they are absolutely breathtaking to watch.
9. Totenkopf’s Ark in Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow
There should have been a lot more interest in Sky Captain. If they had continued making films in this way, it would have been a blast. There are far worse movies that have a following. This was not only the first picture to be shot entirely on green screen, but it also served as a beautiful defense of the technique. Not because they wanted to see whether they could; rather, they wanted to create a moving work of art. It worked really well for this story. A bonus was the fact that Jude Law and Gwyneth Paltrow already looked like computer animated characters.
Sweet rockets, too. A rocket ship would have been an appropriate addition to the film’s classic sci-fi aesthetic, and happily, one appears in the film’s last sequence, in which the protagonists fight to prevent a doomsday spacecraft from launching into space after obliterating the planet. The whole thing is gorgeous and ends with a group of animals parachuting from the sky, which is how every film should end.
8. The Luna in Destination Moon
As a result of this film, all other hipster space films aspire to be like this one, which features retro rocket ships before they were considered cool, as well as an epic space race between the United States and the Soviet Union that culminated in a man landing on the moon seven years before Sputnik and 19 years before we were able to get there. That’s how old-school this movie really is.
Rather than focusing on the ship’s passage into space (perhaps due to a lack of finance and technology), the film remains on views of the astronauts’ faces as they bend and draw back from the enormous amount of G forces that would occur during such a moment. Keeping the focus on the characters’ anxiety and discomfort makes the encounter much more vivid than any model ship could during that scene. It’s a cool decision.
7. Dr. Evil’s moon ship in The Spy Who Shagged Me
You’re probably cringing just thinking about it, just like in every Austin Powers movie. We’re still trying to recover from the embarrassing period of viral quoting that these films produced — they’re the Macarena of comedy. There’s a good reason for this, of course — no one can deny that the gags in these flicks were humorous when they were first told. Until you can’t stop hearing the Macarena everywhere you go, there’s nothing wrong with them. What’s more, even the films themselves kept repeating their own jokes, and no matter how great the joke is—it will die with repetition.
But, hey, his spacecraft still looks like a gigantic penis. The reason we’ve been drawing dicks on stuff since the cavemen era is because they’re just so damn funny to look at. Embrace the fact that they’re a joke from God.
6. Homer’s rockets in October Sky
This film is as American as pooping your trousers at the fair — and while the movie’s rockets don’t precisely have a red flare, most of them are clearly bursting in the air. This film is as American as pooping your pants at the fair. They may not be the most powerful rockets, but that doesn’t matter; this is a classic American tale that anybody can relate to: blowing stuff up in a major way as a kid. When I was a kid, I treated my G.I. Joes the same way my father treated his toy troops. It’s like a cycle in life.
There are people in Coalwood who seem to embody the hardships that most hard-working Americans face in a rapidly changing country. If only everyone in town hadn’t been so distracted by some kids shooting a rocket, this would have been much more convincing. It’s hard to imagine how bored this town is when a kid makes it into a scientific fair.
5. Gandalf’s dragon firework in The Lord Of The Rings
A wizard is the only person who knows how to put on an impressive display of fireworks. Plus, even if something goes horribly wrong, it will be amusing to see due to the abundance of hair on their heads. While it’s remarkable that Gandalf would even consider using a pipe, it’s certainly worth the risk given the potent wizardry he’s likely to possess.
A firework that is prematurely freed from its chain in Fellowship had to be the best ever made. Preparation, excitement, terror and finally celebration are all covered in one one video. The magnificent moment when the sparks begin to fall and everyone realizes, for a split second, how irresponsible the entire event is is called terror. It’s a big display of childishness. A new set of fireworks goes off, and before you can process what just happened, another one comes crashing down.
4. The Phoenix in Star Trek: First Contact
Nothing better demonstrates the American spirit of creativity than a half-drunk yahoo attempting to smash a speed record in the clouds. Two Starfleet officers who’ve journeyed back in time and some rock ‘n’ roll are the ingredients for a wonderful Star Trek scene. Even though it wasn’t the best episode, Zefram Cochrane’s first warp drive test, which drew attention to Earth and resulted in our first contact with extraterrestrials, was a welcome addition to the Trek narrative. As a bonus, Worf and Troy become drunk, which is always a good thing in a sci-fi novel.
Even though the role was originally intended for James Cromwell, another actor, Tom Hanks, was almost considered instead because he was a huge Star Trek enthusiast. While many people (including director/Riker Jonathan Frakes) thought it was a good thing that Hanks couldn’t participate, it would have been nice to see him in the Trek universe.
3. The Space Ark in When Worlds Collide
Isn’t it obvious that they had to stand out from the crowd? People were going bananas when the makers of When Worlds Collide launched rockets vertically into space. So they reverse-bobsleded the whole thing. Nevertheless, the joke is on them because they won an Academy Award as a result.
So many of the standard elements of a space disaster picture are present in this film, which makes it a classic. Even when a single scientist pleads with global leaders and is mocked, the rush against time to build escape ships, which are filled with lottery winners, and the heartbreak of young couples being torn apart by that same lottery is all there is to the story. Extinction porn has never looked better than it does now, thanks to the use of cutting-edge visual effects like the rocket sled track. Also, the characters wore these incredible space robes, which are something that should be a thing at this point.
2. Johnny Knoxville’s Big Red Rocket in Jackass Number Two
Johnny Knoxville clearly embodies the ideals of freedom that our founding fathers had in mind when they fought for the United States. Other than this guy attached to a giant silly rocket, no one else seems to be having as much fun doing something so foolish.
In my opinion, the funniest thing about Jackass is the outrage that people have for it—not the superficial outrage, which is fine; there’s nothing wrong with finding their stunts upsetting or gross to watch—I’m talking about the people who see Jackass as some kind of sign that our country has gone downhill. Because of its violent and transitory humorous physicality, Jackass has been compared to a Buster Keaton picture or a vaudeville or side show act that has never been seen before. Our country has a long legacy of thrill-seekers and freaks, and Jackass is no exception.
1. The Saturn V in Apollo 13
Two reasons stand out: first, it’s a jaw-dropping moment in movie visual effects, and second, while it’s thrilling to see a fictional character launch into space, the experience is elevated to a whole new level of awesomeness when it’s a genuine event. Is it really possible to imagine it in your mind? Look, up there! They actually traveled to the moon and back! What happens to them after that? Hell, just getting off the launch pad is Fonzie cool. After that, there’s no way you’re going to fail. However, the worst-case situation in space is death, and dying in space is 10 times more badass than doing anything on the ground. It’swin-win.
This is why we need NASA: to show ourselves, God, and any snot-nosed aliens out there that we don’t need air to have a nice time, not to do anything worthwhile with the effort. A 50 million dollar budget and five-star actors, directors, and producers are required to duplicate this job. We need to boost the ante because Ron Howard isn’t interested in re-creating anyone else’s mundane work week. LET’S GO TO MARS NOW! GoAmerica!