Weekly insights into our crazy world.

Thursday, May 14, 2015



On May 29th, the disaster flick SAN ANDREAS will come rolling into a theater near you. What's it about? C'mon.. You know! It's about a massive earthquake of biblical proportions. And the only one who can save California is Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. (Boring!) Anyhow, the upcoming movie prompted debate at the DUNER BLOG headquarters. We wanted to know: Which cities have been destroyed the most in the movies?

#10 ROME. The Eternal City comes in tenth place because most of Rome's recognizable monuments are already in ruins. What fun is blowing up crumbling rocks? The one exception is: Vatican City. In the 2012 flick The Core, director Jon Amiel implodes St. Peter's square in an epic, slow-motion sequence.

#9. CHICAGO. The Windy City has friendly people, and good people don't normally die in movies. Everyone loves to see nasty New Yorkers and rich Beverly Hills people get killed, but those nice folks in Chicago are a different story. Nonetheless, downtown was completely obliterated by Mega-Tron in Transformers 3.

#8. LAS VEGAS.  While blowing up the Vegas Strip would appeal to many frustrated gamblers, it actually doesn't happen much in the movies. Sin City's proximity to Area 51 has resulted in a couple of cinematographic alien attacks, but we like the ample decimation of the casinos in Resident Evil: Extinction the best.

#7. PARIS. As a popular destination for young American lovebirds, Paris appears in numerous blockbusters. A couple of times, things turn surprisingly ugly for the tourists on their vacations. Evil gargoyles take flight in V is for Vendetta and zombies eat the Eiffel Tower in 28 Weeks Later.

#6. WASHINGTON DC. For a long time, it was taboo for filmmakers to destroy treasured American institutions like Capitol Hill or the Lincoln Memorial. In the 1950's, such actions were illegal according to the McCarthy Hearings. That all changed in 1996, when director Roland Emmerich famously pierced the White House with a blue alien laser in the thriller Independence Day. BOOM!

#5. LONDON. Unlike Rome, this capital is blessed with numerous proud, recognizable landmarks that are cool to destroy. St. Paul's Cathedral was imploded dramatically in Reign of Fire. Enemies of G.I. Joe take out Big Ben and Parliament. However, it is the recent Harry Potter movies who have helped London take the #5 spot. We like the Millennium Bridge sinking into the Thames in the Half Blood Prince. 

#4. SAN FRANCISCO. According to our research, the majestic Golden Gate Bridge is the single most destroyed monument in the movies. It was saved by the Enterprise in Star Trek IV, the X-Men villains tear it down...even cartoon characters stomp it to bits in Monsters vs. Aliens. The rest of San Francisco remains fairly unscathed, except for the pretend skyscraper in 1974's The Towering Inferno.

#3. TOKYO. There are 28 Godzilla movies, and Tokyo goes down in each of them! While these crude, cardboard models look silly today, these iconic, black and white images of a monster destroying a city helped define what Monster Disaster flicks are supposed to be.

#2. LOS ANGELES. Of course L.A. is gonna get blown up the most...It's where all the movies are made! Hence, the City of Angels holds the distinction of being destroyed in the most different manners. It was scorched by lava in Volcano, hit by aliens in Terminator 2, burned to a crisp in Skyline and flooded in Dragon Wars. So it should be able to handle the upcoming quake in San Andreas...right?

#1. NEW YORK CITY. Watching the 1933 movie King Kong seems horribly dated today. But when it came out in 1933 it shattered box office records, thus becoming the first Blockbuster. New York became the top location for comic book superheroes, which is paying off in spades today. In fact...it's hard to turn on the TV and not see the Big Apple being blown to bits!

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