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Posted by admin | Posted in Movies | Posted on 05-05-2011


  • ISBN13: 0043396347076
  • Condition: NEW
  • Notes: Brand New from Publisher. No Remainder Mark.

From Roland Emmerich, director of THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW and INDEPENDENCE DAY, comes the ultimate action-adventure film, exploding with groundbreaking special effects. As the world faces a catastrophe of apocalyptic proportions, cities collapse and continents crumble. 2012 brings an end to the world and tells of the heroic struggle of the survivors. Starring John Cusack, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Amanda Peet, Woody Harrelson and Danny Glover.

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Comments (5)

So, when the world ends, it’s the politicians and bureaucrats that we’re gonna save, and the writers and the artists and the spiritual leaders are left behind to deal with the apocalypse. That was the most depressing element of the movie. What will the world look like if we only save the “important people” in Washington? Heaven help us. Seriously. If the future world is to be populated with the slimy-dog politicians and their ilk, I think I’ll take my chances with eternal life, thank you very much.

Sitting in the darkened theater watching 2012, I was reminded of “The Bunker” at White Sulphur Springs (in West Virginia). Construction on the 110,000-square-foot bunker was started under Eisenhower’s watch, when we were worried that the USSR might blow us up into lots of radioactive pieces. Turns out, our beloved elected officials were prepared to push The Red Button that’d end the world as we know it, and then turn-tail and run into their bunker, slam the blast-proof door behind them and emerge 90 days later when the danger had passed. And the most amazing part: The Bunker is outfitted with gee-whiz features that’d lead the unsuspecting public to believe the lawmakers were still comfortably ensconced in Washington, DC. In other words, The Bunker was *designed* to perpetrate a fraud on the American people.

Watching “2012” I thought about The Bunker and realized, this movie is probably right. If and when the world ends, it’ll be the politically important that are given seats on the lifeboats. And it’s probably right that if there is a cataclysmic event, the Powers That Be will not tell the unwashed masses what’s going on, lest they try and steal one of those seats on the lifeboat.

That’s just depressing on so many levels.

But I digress.

This movie is definitely impressive on the big screen, and the soundtrack has plenty of bass (which I like). But the script and the writing was a little sappy for my tastes. And as to believability – well – this movie fell short on that score, too. I don’t want to spoil the plot, but NO ONE can drive a limousine *that* well. On the plus side, the graphics are truly amazing and scarier than anything I’ve ever seen before. I had to turn away from the screen to avoid some of the scary-as-hell images. It’s a pretty intense flick, and it does a good job of drawing you in.

A nice side effect: After watching this movie, I’m a lot less worried about getting those pesky credit cards paid off. Does make you think a little more about enjoying every day, and appreciating the simple beauty in our world.

In conclusion, it’s an interesting flick with awe-inspiring graphics, and it’ll hold your attention – if you can suspend disbelief for a couple hours.
Rating: 3 / 5

I think people judge these movies very unfairly. It surprises me when a movie like 2012 comes along and it’s ripped apart before it’s even released. “This movie’s gonna blow, it’s two and a half hours of things blowing up.” I have to play back the sentence in my mind and figure out what was negative about that concept. These movies are meant to be fun, and usually nothing more than that.

I say “usually” because sometimes you get a movie that has absolutely no other reason to exist than to make things explode and momentarily lower your IQ (Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (Single-Disc Edition) is out now. Fun movie.) but occasionally you get something like 2012, which not only offers the calculated mayhem that fans of the action genre desire, but it also offers a surprisingly deep philosophical undertone. Go figure, right?

The movie opens with a fifteen minute montage that sets up the events that will eventually transpire on 2012, and gives us a look at the backroom dealings that occur in the wake of this disturbing discovery concerning the fate of humanity. Once that’s over with, the movie picks up rather quickly, introducing us to the main character, Jackson Curtis, his more-than-dysfunctional family and a grab bag of supporting characters. After a botched camping trip, things kick off rather quickly.

What follows are two hours of absolute chaos. The CG in this movie is astounding, and I cannot stress this enough. The action is relentless, creative, and satisfying on the whole. The LA sequence alone will have you smiling, then you will realize you still have a lot more movie to go, and it never disappoints. The pacing is excellent in this regard. I was in awe the entire way through.

That’s the bottom line: If you love action movies or a good old fashioned thrill ride, the disaster sequences alone are worth the price of admission (unless you’re an astrophysicist, in which case you might be crossing your arms and groaning at this film all the way through).

But what I liked the most about this film was its underlying religious theme. People might be quick to pick up on the major references to this, such as (POSSIBLE SPOILER, though it’s in the trailer): the crack forming between Adam and God on Michelangelo’s “Creation of Adam” at the Sistine Chapel, the destruction of Christ the Redeemer, Vatican City, and the Buddhist temple. With these and other biblical references that you will miss if you blink, Emmerich seems to postulate a world in which you don’t need God for miracles, and where everyone is back on even ground again.

Another theme that Emmerich sets up is the social borders that divide us more than we think. In a world that is coming to an end, it’s not the strong who survive, only the smartest and the wealthiest. The film argues against utilitarianism on several fronts, going so far as to say that to embrace such a concept to an outrageous extent, even to save mankind, would result in a race of humans deprived of its humanity.

Now, I could be wrong. I’m not saying that my interpretation of the movie is spot on, but the movie did make me think, and that’s what I found remarkable returning home from watching a film in which I thought I was just going to watch things blow up for two hours.

I walked in knowing that no one makes disaster movies better than Roland Emmerich, but I ended up watching something that entertained me immensely, made me think, and spurred on a very long conversation between my friends and I. THAT’S how a movie more than earns the price of admission.
Rating: 5 / 5

This movie has outstanding, large-scale eye candy and an interesting apocalypse scenario. It tries to salvage itself from pure spectacle by injecting gooey interpersonal dynamics and unremarkable class/power/politics commentary.

Low expectations will serve you well. See it in on the biggest screen you can find. This one will not make the transition to DVD very well unless you have a Bill Gates sized movie theater in your basement.
Rating: 2 / 5

Sir or madam, if you came for intelligent, thought-provoking sci-fi, please leave right now. If you know anything about Roland Emmerich, you know that he likes his CG… and lots of it, and usually at the expense of believability and good storytelling sense, even for the far out science fiction genre where audiences expect the usual. If instead, you came to see lots of glorious CG mayhem and stuff getting destroyed in spectacular fashion, you are in for a good time. 2012 is unabashedly dumb sci-fi and elevates the art of apocalyptic destruction to new heights. His over-the-top CG-driven films like Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow, Godzilla have grossed hundreds of millions of dollars around the world, so why change a winning, if uninspired, formula, right? After the abysmal 10,000 B.C., Emmerich went back to doing what he does best: blowing famous places up. This time, he blows up the entire world. A master of subtlety he is not.

The story takes too long to ramp up, and for the first 35 minutes, I was waiting for the destruction to begin. Never mind the paper-thin premise of the Mayan prophecy. It’s only mentioned in passing. We don’t get any explanation of that besides a 60-second Flash animation made by Charlie Frost (Woody Harrelson), a survivalist, conspiracy nut and amateur radio personality. I didn’t care about the predictable and cliche exposition about the discovery by scientists of Earth’s impending doom and preposterous scientific explanation that follows. We’ve seen this already in Day After Tomorrow, The Core, or Deep Impact, and countless other disaster movies. The idea of solar flares heating up the Earth and dire predictions of destruction are similar to Knowing. You can sleep through the first 1/4 of the movie and not miss anything. It’s all background exposition about characters we don’t care about, including Jackson Curtis (John Cusack), a writer who works part-time as a chauffeur to a rich Russian businessman, Curtis’s estranged wife and 2 kids, or her new plastic surgeon boyfriend, and other dysfunctional relationships between father and son, etc. Everyone is pretty much a throw-away character with throw-away performances by a seemingly laryngitis-afflicted Danny Glover as the unconvincing President, Thandie Newton as his daughter, etc, but you didn’t come for the human drama.

In 2012, Emmerich is up to his old tired tricks again. Jackson Curtis is rapper 50 Cent’s name backwards. In 10,000 BC, the protagonist is named D’Leh, which is “Held” backwards, German for “hero”. He likes to re-use character stereotypes. We get a nutty disposable character, Charlie (a waste of Woody Harrelson’s talents), who is the same kind of character as the homeless guy from Day After Tomorrow. We also have the same tireless scientist trying to convince world leaders. We get a dog running to its owner and leaping to safety at the last possible moment just like in Independence Day. One of the kids is named Noah, a corny reference to the later plot element. Lastly, we get a heavy-handed, trite, and preachy speech at the end about humanity and compassion like in Independence Day. It’s all very kid-friendly PG-13 stuff and it’s OK that the rest of the humanity gets completely annihilated as long as the main characters escape impossible odds by the skin of their teeth, right?

The story is safe, very average, and wholly predictable, but that’s what makes it profitable. If you’re going to see this, you are probably in it for the CG anyway and not for the quantum leaps of logic required to follow the story, and that’s where I can find no fault. The CG is extravagant and you’ve never seen terrestrial destruction this fantastical before! With top-notch cinematography and set designs, 2012 really sets the bar very high for future apocalyptic films to come and takes us to new levels of ridiculosity. Entire continents get ripped up, whole cities go down in flames, an aircraft carrier demolishes the White House! And of course, our heroes flee in a Russian Antonov An-225, the largest fixed wing aircraft ever built (it was designed to transport the Russian space shuttle), because fuel economy and maneuverability is no big deal when escaping the end of the world, and of course, 10 people really do need all that leg room. And naturally, such a plane would be filled with Bentleys, Ferraris and other luxury cars that they don’t jettison, because you never know when you might need them. Don’t you know how hard it is to find voice-activated ignition and genuine all-leather interiors during the end times?

Remember to turn off your brain. Sit back and enjoy! Everything fall down, go BOOM.
Rating: 3 / 5

Wow. Just wow.

I can’t even begin spelling out all the problems with this movie. Bad script? Check! Bad acting? Check! Predictable? Check! Way to long? Check! Two dimensional characters? Check! Silly situations? Check! Overblown CGI? Check! Cartoonish destruction? Check!

This review would be 30 pages long if I started to take this movie apart. But my biggest problem is the science. I know, this IS a sci-fi, disaster movie. I know they had to make something up to make the end of the world seem possible; I have no problem with that. My problem is that it seems to me that Roland Emmerich just took a 6th grade science textbook and threw it out the window, I mean, there’s stuff in here that would make a 10 year old shake his head.

My favorite example: John Cusack’s character is in a car, on an airplane, flying 40,000 feet above the middle of nowhere over the Pacific Ocean, and is playing with the car radio trying to find a station. He turns to his wife and says: “There’s nothing. Not even an emergency signal!”. WELL OF COURSE! YOU’RE IN A PLANE OVER THE OCEAN! HELLO?

To enjoy this movie, you have to know nothing about how anything in this world works, from the government, to airplanes, to even radios. My biggest problem is that these little things don’t let me believe the movie. Nothing in it is plausible. I loved Star Wars because the characters and situations seemed believable, and that movie stretches science even farther than this one. But I can believe it.

I can’t do the same for this movie. It just seems to me that humans can never act the way they do in this movie. Or airplanes. Or radios. This movie is a fraud. I want my money back.
Rating: 1 / 5

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