Patch

Inspired by a Tweet:

"@rabryst: Tell me an example of an uncommon reason for crying, in a particular film. That warm bristly feeling just before the tears counts. And go."

Well, I though about it. Here goes:

My all-time favourite movie is Armageddon. Its a roller-coaster ride of epic proportions, a film during which I can suspend my sense of disbelief, ignore my engineer's-innate sense that the physics isn't exactly Newtonian, and simply relax into the story.

Not-quite a ritual but I've watched it at least once a year since the film came out on DVD. I'll never tire of it.

I cry. I cry every time I watch it. I cry safe in the knowledge that my emotions are being manipulated by industry-proven methods not limited to…

No Baz, let's not spoil this.

I laugh too, I cringe, I empathise, I literally sit on the edge of my seat. Literally, not figuratively; I LIVE the movie. Sure the characters aren't as fully-fleshed-out as I'd like, but I really don't care.

Here's a typical quote:

Colonel William Sharp:
"Get off… the nuclear… warhead."

Awesome. In the very best sense.

There are indeed a couple of low points: the short cuts between the world's celebrations of the unlikely teams of drillers and bona-fide astronauts seem calculated to tug at the heartstrings. My disbelief returns. And there's something else not-quite-believable, but I'm not here to fact-check or find bloopers, no.

The very best bit in the whole film, it's tiny, it's understated amongst the joy and the sheer gung-ho spectacle around it. 'Poignant' is a good word to use at this point.

Dan Truman leads a team of NASA scientists tasked with the destruction of the terrifyingly-big lump of rock swinging round from the depths of space towards the destruction of Planet Earth; something at which I'm sure it would excel without breaking a figurative sweat. Now, a childhood disability robbed the man of the chance to become an astronaut; nonetheless he followed his dream and made a massive contribution to our salvation. He believed in the team he was putting together.

Amidst the cheesiness of the concluding scenes after the heroes return to earth he approaches the recently-deceased Harry Stamper's daughter Grace, just reunited with A.J., her love - their marriage finally approved by her dad "I wish I could have been there to walk you down the aisle…"…

A.J. breaks his embrace with Grace, turns to Dan and hands him a piece of cloth, a tattered and charred Misson patch, testament to the trials the team endured: "Harry wanted you to have this". Dan takes it: "He did huh."

Understated, powerful as anything else out there. Perfect. I can feel it now.

And the music starts to swell, a military plane formation arrives, one peeling away as they reach the landing site; it's called The Missing Man Formation.

And then Aerosmith, 'I don't want to miss a thing'.

And then I cry.


No hidden messages here, sorry dear reader.