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Space Shuttle Lives Forever on Film

As NASA readies last flight, we find 5 movies where the shuttle stars

Armageddon, Steve Buscemi, Will Patton, Bruce Willis, Ben Affleck, Michael Duncan, 1998

From left: Steve Buscemi, Will Patton, Bruce Willis, Ben Affleck and Michael Duncan star in the 1998 hit Armageddon. — Photo by Walt Disney/Courtesy Everett Collection

Armageddon (1998)

It requires not one, but two space shuttles to save the Earth from a killer asteroid — and that doesn't include the one that gets torn to shreds by meteors in the opening moments. In Armageddon, NASA even launches both rescue shuttles at the same time, quite a feat for an agency that seems to have trouble getting just one off the ground on schedule. Bruce Willis is on board as an oil drilling expert whose job it is to plant a nuclear bomb deep within the asteroid. Upon exploding, according to the plan, the bomb will rip the thing in two, sending both halves floating harmlessly into space. Of course, almost nothing goes right, and last-minute heroics are in order from Willis, who does everything but yell "yippie-yi-yo-ki-yay!" as he singlehandedly saves humankind from oblivion.

Political Sidenote: In the general election for 1998 president in the movies, Armageddon's Stanley Anderson, a fine actor, nevertheless loses in a landslide to Morgan Freeman, who held the world's hand as president in the similarly plotted sci-fi thriller, Deep Impact.

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100 Must-See Movies for Grownups

100 Must-See Movies for Grownups

By Bill Newcott
E-book
January 2015


A treasure trove of delightfully offbeat recommendations for discerning moviegoers, from the beginnings of film right up the present.

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