The Core

Release Date: March 28, 2003

He's a real nowhere man.

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Geology geeks unite. The Core is just the project for you. Plus, thanks to the golden rule of Hollywood about taking one idea and running it into the ground with multiple projects, if you like films about the center of the earth, there are several other productions out there with the same theme, including two different Journey to the Center of the Earth re-makes. These are good days for Jules Verne fans.

The story of the movie is this: A dashing young geophysicist named Dr. Josh Keyes performs research which determines that the center of the world has stopped rotating. Without getting into the physics of it too much, this is a very bad thing, and threatens severe repercussions for those of us living on the planet's surface unless some daring heroes are able to reach the Earth's core and perform highly-technical scientific stuff. Since it's a movie, the unprecedented geological event that saves mankind will inexplicably be triggered by a bomb, à la Armageddon. When the device they plant detonates, the world will be safe again for puppy dogs to wag their tails and little kids to play in the sandbox. I know some of you are probably interested in how a powerful explosion in the Earth's core could reinstate a rapidly-deteriorating magnetic field rather than doom us as a civilization but I got news for you Poindexters; it's just a movie. In Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, martial artists could fly. In Harry Potter, a geeky kid could cast powerful spells. In The Core, blowing up the Earth's guts is a good thing. Just quit worrying about the specifics and go with it, people.

The Core has all the makings of being a wonderful little B movie where everyone in the audience knows exactly what is going to happen every step of the way, yet we're all still entertained. Or The Core could follow in the footsteps of Volcano and Dante's Peak and spend so much time talking about the inherent perils our heroes face that they forget to entertain the average movie viewer by blowing up tons of stuff and using sweet CGI graphics to make it all the more impressive as eye candy. This is called the Deep Impact Effect.

One of the best things The Core has going for it is the cast. Rather than go for big-name actors with large price tags, Paramount has wisely chosen talented thespians who will make for a better movie experience. Since movies that are special effects-intensive generally open well independent of the stars, this is a bold yet intelligent move by the studio.

Academy Award-winner Hilary Swank, famous for her work in The Next Karate Kid, Beverly Hills 90210, and some movie where she was androgynous, is the lead actress in The Core. She is joined by rising talent Aaron Eckhart, who was memorable as a biker with a heart of gold in Erin Brockovich. The man with the best chin in Hollywood since Huey Lewis is taking on the role of Dr. Keyes, so this will be his first chance to carry a film as a lead. They will be surrounded by an outstanding supporting cast, including the marvelous Delroy Lindo (Get Shorty, The One), Alfre Woodard (Love and Basketball, Star Trek: First Contact), Stanley Tucci (Big Night, Big Trouble), Richard Jenkins (the deceased father on Six Feet Under), DJ Qualls (Road Trip, The New Guy), and Bruce Greenwood (coming off the best performance of his career as John F. Kennedy in Thirteen Days). This blend of gifted character actors goes a long in establishing that The Core has tremendous potential. (David Mumpower/BOP)

Vital statistics for The Core
Main Cast Aaron Eckhart, Josh Keyes, Nicole Leroux, Hilary Swank, Delroy Lindo, Stanley Tucci, DJ Qualls, Bruce Greenwood, Alfre Woodard
Supporting Cast Tcheky Karyo, Richard Jenkins, Gregory Bennett, Dion Johnstone, Christopher Shyer, Jennifer Spence
Director Jon Amiel
Screenwriter Cooper Layne, John Rogers
Distributor Paramount
Rating PG-13
Running Time 135 minutes
Screen Count 3,017
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture

Comparison films for The Core
Adjusted Opening
Total BO
Adjusted Total
Deep Impact 5/8/9841.15 52.90 3156 13039.00 16125.0 140.46 180.58 3.41
Armageddon 7/3/9836.09 46.40 3127 11541.00 14272.5 201.58 259.17 5.08
Erin Brockovich 3/17/0028.14 31.48 2845 9891.00 10643.4 125.55 140.45 4.46
Double Jeopardy 9/24/9923.16 27.59 2547 9093.00 10381.8 116.40 138.71 5.03
Insomnia 5/24/0220.93 21.76 2610 9988.00 9988.0 67.26 69.93 3.21
Dante's Peak 2/7/9718.49 24.29 2657 6959.00 8793.5 67.16 88.22 3.63
Volcano 4/25/9714.58 19.15 2774 5256.00 6641.6 47.49 62.38 3.26
Thirteen Days 1/12/019.78 10.43 2029 4820.00 4948.0 34.57 36.89 3.01
New Guy, The 5/10/029.01 9.36 2687 3352.00 3352.0 28.97 30.12 3.22
Big Trouble 4/5/023.55 3.69 1961 1808.00 1808.0 7.26 7.54 2.05
Possession 8/16/021.58 1.64 270 5833.00 5833.0 10.10 10.50 6.41
Ararat 11/15/020.21 0.21 6 35188.00 35188.0 1.69 1.75 8.05
Below 10/11/020.20 0.20 168 1199.00 1199.0 0.59 0.61 2.93



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