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Volcano: Not Every Disaster Has to Happen in New York

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The best thing about Volcano is that it’s set in Los Angeles.

If a city is going to be destroyed by a monster, aliens or a natural disaster, it will most likely be Manhattan, as the SciFi Department touched upon in Hollywood Loves to Hate Manhattan. (In the interest of full disclosure, I live in New York.) So seeing Tommy Lee Jones fight lava on Wilshire Boulevard is a refreshing alternative.

Why are so many of these films set on the East Coast? Is it possible that Hollywood can’t bear to pulverize its own backyard? Everyone knows you “don’t crap where you eat.”

The New York Times offers up other explanations in The Irresistible Urge to Destroy New York on Screen. Historian Max Page suggests it’s a sign of the city’s success: “if
there is one thing that symbolizes New York’s pre-eminence, it is that
so many still want to imagine the city’s end.” Author James Sanders (Celluloid Skyline)
adds, “What would be the point of showing a demolished suburban street?
You’d get the point but it just wouldn’t have the punch. You take the
most familiar, iconic symbol of civic society in the world — a big
city, and for Americans, that’s New York — and that’s where disaster
is going to be the most powerful.”

Volcano proves Los Angeles is worthy of cinematic destruction. That’s a compliment.

Watch it tonight, Friday, March 7 at 8PM | 7C. For a complete schedule of show times this month click here.

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