2012   3 comments

I was in a movie theatre for the end of the world. For me it came on Saturday morning, November 28, 2009, but the film claimed it was December 2012.

You may have seen disaster movies before, but you have to see this one. I went to see it for laughs, but let’s ignore all the impossibilities and ask ourselves if it was a good movie. The answer is yes. You get to know and care about the characters in it. I was on the edge of my seat, eyes glued to the screen for the last two hours of the film.

As disasters go, the cause of the problem in 2012 is almost believable. Almost. I liked it when the scientist/hero learned that neutrinos were causing the earth’s core to overheat, and said that was impossible. I liked it when the researchers who discovered the effect just pointed to the equipment. Are we really so sure what’s possible and what isn’t? An enormous increase in solar activity (solar activity is increasing as we read this) causes the earth’s molten core to heat up. This causes intense volcanic activity all over the world, and earthquakes of gigantic proportions. The earthquakes cause tidal waves big enough to sweep over continents. If the shaking and the explosions, and the deadly gases released into the atmosphere don’t kill you, the floods will.

The movie follows the efforts of one heroic man, a wannabe science fiction writer who is really a chauffer for a rich Russian billionaire. He learns that the end is near, and that there is supposedly a safe place to go, and decides to save his family–even though his wife has divorced him and his son resents him. He learns all this in Yellowstone, which is probably one of the first places that would erupt–partly from government scientists who are monitoring the site, and partly from a crazy radio announcer  (Woody Harrelson does over-the-top crazy characters in film better than any other American actor, IMHO) who has put all the clues together–and there have been plenty of clues in the last three years. He not only gets back to Los Angeles in time to get his family out, but also returns to Yellowstone to try and rescue the nutso announcer and get the map showing where the arks are being built. This is the ludicrous part of the film, and I laughed all the way through the sinking of California and the eruption of Yellowstone. But, the special effects were great. If you like celluloid destruction, the effects were beyond awesome. The movie trailers only hint at the incredible escalating catastrophe. I haven’t been this blown away by a movie’s special effects since opening day of Star Wars back in 1977.

The scientific speculation in 2012 is interesting. If the Earth’s core got hotter, it would cause more volcanic activity. If you were building arks to ride out such a storm, you’d probably want to put them in either the Himalayas or the Andes. If the world was coming to an end, and the government knew about it, they’d save government officials/employees and the rich who could help finance the work. They probably would kill everyone who figured it out and tried to spill the beans.

There is some great acting in the movie. It comes mostly from the bit players. The kids are all excellent. I love watching child actors. They really get into the story. Woody Harrelson as the crazy Yellowstone disk jockey is worth the price of the movie by himself. His internet web page about the end of the world is priceless, brilliant satire of the web in general.

When it was over, I got to wondering. If governments knew the end was coming soon, would they help make such movies with financing and influence on the sly just to prepare the people for the end? Call me paranoid, but it seems like just the sort of thing our U.S. government would do.  They’d probably take a share of the money the movie made too.

 I have seen the end of the world as we know it, and I wouldn’t live through it. Neither would you. Neither would the stars of this movie. They should have died a dozen times or more, but if they die, there’s no movie, so I’ll accept all the impossibilities that kept them alive. The end of the world will be a time for heroes, and 2012 gives us heroes we can all identify with.

I could say a lot more for 2012. The movie gives us all a lot to think about, and it does it by laying all the messages between the lines. The big theme is the end of the world. Great special effects–laughed all the way through that. What makes the movie worth seeing is the many vignettes that talk about what it means to be human. The movie is best when you see a child fighting to save his father, when you see a nerd protesting that he’s not a pilot (but he has to be or they will all die), when you see a woman risking her life to save her dog, when you see a disk jockey broadcasting live from the lip of an erupting volcano. 

I thought I was going to 2012 just to spend time with son and friends and get a few laughs. I wound up really enjoying the film. Ignore the impossibilities–just watch the people. I guarantee a good time.


(I meant to put a still from the film in here, but this uploading pictures doesn’t work nearly as smoothly as it should. I guess I need more practice. But if you wanna see pictures, you know how to use Google. Look it up. There are pictures enough from the film for those who care to look.)

Posted December 1, 2009 by atroll in Uncategorized

3 responses to “2012

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  1. Just another Millennium fetish movie, trying to re-envision Issac Newton’s 2012 “calculations.”
    As for managed media, if you look at the films before America’s involvement in anything big, they never saw it coming. If you look at the news, Newsweek is preaching Dick Cheney should run for President in 2012. I don’t think the whackos and quacks are in much agreement.
    And please don’t let John Cusak be the harbinger of my future. He’s no Orestes by far.

  2. People are drowning in the ark’s closed bulkhead chambers. They can’t get out! The bulkheads are sealed. YET… water can still get in. Quickly. That’s why people are drowning. How does water quickly enter the bulkheads if the people cannot exit the bulkheads? If the bulkheads are not keeping water out, why are they sealed? Why not just open the bulkheads and stop the people from drowning? Why don’t the people just swim out from wherever the water is coming in?

    Movies do not have t be realistic or believable, but they do have to be internally consistent. This movie was crap on so many levels, it was not fun. Even the special effects were horrific because we are supposed to enjoy them while simultaneously forgetting that billions (not an exaggeration) of innocent people are being burned, drowned and crushed.

    Really a pathetic and desperate movie.

  3. I don’t think you were paying attention, Aguy. Water was getting in because the door was jammed open, not because it was sealed.

    I’ll admit that the movie doesn’t hold water in dozens of different ways. But it seems to me that you have a nit-picking attitude. Instead of picking nits like that, look at the acting, especially by the children in the film. Get on the roller coaster and ride with the special effects. Wouldn’t you like to drive through a collapsing skyscraper and bust out free on the other side? Wouldn’t you like to be in a plane taking off just as a massive earthquake wrecks the place behind you?

    C’mon, the movie was a big plate of cheese all the way through. Some cheeses stink, and some are delicious, but you have free will. Just eat the cheese that appeals to you. It was ultimate escapism. Don’t get hung up on tiny scientific details they didn’t get right–just enjoy the wild ride!

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