A channel entirely devoted to weather was a fantastic idea until we got phones that would tell us the weather and do so without waiting ten minutes to see what the weather was like in a major city in our area. So what’s a network entirely devoted to weather to do? What if they turned their efforts to covering hard news not just of natural disasters (as much fun as it is to toss a reporter into a hurricane) but of their aftermath? What if they did an investigative report on how FEMA has attempted (if at all) to change in response to Hurricane Katrina? What about a special on how a disaster like a tsunami leaves damage beyond the loss of life and property but affects drinking water and dispersed children and other factors we don’t traditionally think of?
Or they could just show movies about weather. Hit the jump for what is sure to be one of the dumbest movie-related news stories of 2009.
In a press release distributed today, The Weather Channel announced it will begin showing weather-related movies starting on October 30th with a movie every Friday night for the next three weeks. They’ll kick it off with “The Perfect Storm” which isn’t a great movie but at least it tries to be honest to the real events it portrays and I could totally buy Christopher McDonald as a meteorologist. Even better, they’re broadcasting the film on the anniversary of the real perfect storm on which the story is based. What better way to honor those killed by weather than by taking time away from showing weather reports.
Then there’s “March of the Penguins” and if you have to show movies–and you don’t–it’s good to show an Oscar-winner that ties into the issue of global warming but does so with cuddly, adorable birds that can’t fly but can slide on their tummies.
But then it gets so stupid that I want to go down to TWC headquarters (and it’s not far from my house) and scream at some people. On November 13th, you get “Misery”. Yes, the one based on the Steven King book about the author who is taken hostage by an obsessed fan. It’s a great movie and it gets to be part of this grand experiment because a snowstorm is what strands James Caan’s character. The snowstorm plays no other part in the film. There are tons of disaster movies where the weather proves a constant antagonist but they went with “Misery” because I guess the cold weather drives you to smash ankles with a sledgehammer.
And for the coup de grace, “Deep Blue Sea”. There’s a storm at one point which is what the film is known for. “Deep Blue Sea” isn’t remembered for the shark that eats Samuel L. Jackson in mid-sentence or for its premise of creating genetically modified sharks to cure Alzheimer’s. It’s remembered for the storm that brings down a helicopter. Bravo, Weather Channel. You have already proved this a worth experiment.
May I make a suggestion? I say if you’re going to go down,go down in batshit insane flames. Why not just take some of your archive footage of people’s lives being destroyed by natural disasters and add wacky sound effects? Or maybe a movie marathon devoted to the film of Carl Weathers? Feel free to take these ideas, Weather Channel, since you’re clearly out of them.
Here’s the press release proving I didn’t make this up.
THE WEATHER CHANNEL ADDS FEATURE FILMS TO NETWORK SCHEDULE
New Movie Series “The Weather Channel Presents…” Launches October 30 with George Clooney and Mark Wahlberg in The Perfect Storm
ATLANTA (October 20, 2009) – For the first time in its 27-year history, The Weather Channel® (TWC) will add movies to its programming schedule with “The Weather Channel Presents…” This new movie series launches Friday, October 30, with the TWC premiere of The Perfect Storm, starring George Clooney, which coincides with the anniversary of the ferocious “perfect storm” of 1991, on which the movie was based.
Following The Perfect Storm on Oct. 30, TWC will air feature films every Friday night in November. Weather plays a central role to the story, plot or overall theme in each of the movies selected.
TWC meteorologist Jen Carfagno will host the new series, introducing each film and providing relevant commentary.
“From the Nor’easter in The Perfect Storm to the tornado that takes Dorothy to Oz, weather has a long history as a film star,” said Geoffrey Darby, executive vice president of programming for The Weather Channel. “Adding films to our Friday night lineup is a great way for us to further demonstrate how weather is an all-encompassing part of our lives that entertains and inspires us.”
“The Weather Channel Presents…” will feature the following movies:
The Perfect Storm – Premieres Friday, Oct. 30, at 8 p.m. ET (18-year anniversary of the “perfect storm” on which movie was based)
* Based on actual events and Sebastian Junger’s best-selling book, this dramatic story chronicles a group of Gloucester fishermen on their vessel’s ill-fated journey into the North Atlantic, as they ignore warnings of a monster storm brewing with winds at 50-60 knots. Their captain, played by George Clooney, tries his best to save his crew and battle the fiercest storm of the 20th century. The film also stars Mark Wahlberg, Diane Lane and John C. Reilly.
* March of the Penguins – Premieres Friday, Nov. 6, at 8 p.m. ET
The 2006 Academy Award winner for Best Documentary Feature, this beautiful story narrated by Morgan Freeman chronicles the heroic, harrowing journey by emperor penguins amid subfreezing temperatures and violent snowstorms at the South Pole in order to hatch a new generation.
* Misery – Premieres Friday, Nov. 13, at 8 p.m. ET
When novelist Paul Sheldon, played by James Caan, crashes his car during a blinding snowstorm, he ends up writing to stay alive when “rescued” by obsessed fan Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates in an Academy Award-winning role), who is less than hospitable when she finds out he has killed off her favorite character.
* Deep Blue Sea – Premieres Friday, Nov. 20, at 8 p.m. ET
A group of medical researchers finds themselves stranded aboard a remote marine laboratory working with genetically enhanced Mako sharks. With a tropical storm swirling around the now-sinking lab, the mutant sharks strike back at those who used them as lab rats. This action thriller stars Samuel L. Jackson and LL Cool J.
During “The Weather Channel Presents…,” viewers will continue to receive their localized weather forecasts throughout the film, where it can be seen on the lower portion of the screen in addition to any severe weather alerts or warnings.
To learn more about the series and other TWC programming, visit www.weather.com/tv.
About The Weather Channel Companies
The Weather Channel, a 24-hour weather network, is seen in more than 99 million U.S. households. The Weather Channel reaches more than 40 million unique users online per month through weather.com and products including The Weather Channel Desktop, making it the most popular source of online weather, news and information according to Nielsen//Net Ratings. The Weather Channel also operates The Weather Channel HD; Weatherscan, a 24-hour, all-local weather network; The Weather Channel Radio Network; and is the leading weather information provider for emerging technologies. This includes broadband and interactive television applications and wireless weather products including the most popular content site on the Mobile Web. The Weather Channel Companies are owned by a consortium made up of NBC Universal and the private equity firms The Blackstone Group and Bain Capital.