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Deep Impact

Director:Mimi Leder
Writers:Bruce Joel Rubin and Michael Tolkin
Director of Photography:Dietrich Lohmann
Editor:David Rosenbloom
Music:James Horner
Production Designer:Leslie Dilley
Producers:David Brown and Richard D. Zanuck
Paramount; PG-13;120 minutes
Cast:Robert Duvall, Téa Leoni, Elijah Wood, Vanessa Redgrave, Morgan Freeman, Maximilian Schell, James Cromwell, Ron Eldard, Jon Favreau, Laura Innes, Mary McCormack, Richard Schiff, Leelee Sobieski and Blair Underwood

The coming millennium made them as inevitable as the Year 2000 computer glitch: the apocalyptic disaster flicks. But who would have predicted that Paramount/DreamWorks' big budget contribution to the Armageddon genre would hinge on serious drama? Action collides with human interest in Leder's calamitous tale about a comet colliding with Earth. When the President of the United States (Freeman) confirms that the comet's impact is going to cause “an extinction-level event,” world leaders scramble to come up with a plan to save as many people as possible. Plan A: blow the rock out of the sky; Plan B: run for cover. Meanwhile, people prepare for doomsday by making peace with family and friends. Leoni stars as a reporter who seeks to patch up a bad relationship with her parents (Redgrave and Schell). Duvall is the pilot who leads the failed space mission to stop the rock and Wood plays a high-school kid who marries his girlfriend so they can secure a spot in the emergency underground caves. Because Leder takes the time to create genuine characters, the post-impact action is not just a special effects big-bang, but a shocking portrait of human loss.

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