24 March 2013


2012 (2009)
  • Director: Roland Emmerich
  • Based on Book: No
  • Cast: John Cusack, Amanda Peet, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Thandie Newton, Oliver Platt, Woody Harrelson, Danny Glover, Morgan Lily, Beatrice Rosen
  • Personal “oh yeah him/her” reaction, i.e. have seen this actor/actress in:
    • John Cusack – High Fidelity, Serendipity, 1408, Being John Malkovich, The Cradle Will Rock, The Thin Red Line, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, Grosse Point Blank and more
    • Amanda Peet –Something’s Gotta Give, Igby Goes Down, Changing Lanes
    • Chiwetel Ejiofor: Children of Men, Love Actually, Dirty Pretty Things, Amistad
    • Thandie Newton – Crash, Gridlock’d
    • Oliver Platt: Frost/Nixon, Benny and Joon
    • Woody Harrelson – Battle in Seattle, White Men Can’t Jump, No Country for Old Men, Prairie Home Companion, North Country,
    • Danny Glover – Be Kind Rewind, Honeydripper, Dreamgirls, Manderlay, The Royal Tenenbaums, Bopha, Lethal Weapon 1-4, The Color Purple, Silverado
    • Morgan Lily – You’re Just Not That Into Him
    • Beatrice Rosen – The Dark Knight
  • Why bought: Remembered it as quite good
  • Seen: Twice. First time 2010, recommended by and borrowed from student Salah.  Now: December 12, 2012

Wasn’t that cute?  Watching 2012 on the day the world was supposed to end.  I planned that. How dorky can you get?
And it wasn’t at all “quite good”. It was, in fact, quite bad.  My list of objections isn’t long but the examples of each are, let’s say, numerous, of which I’ll give only a few:
  • Never mind the big stuff like solar storms knocking out the earth’s geology and all the successful dodging of falling skyscrapers and exploding mountains. I can accept all that without a problem. But within that framework – not credible!
    • What father would walk into a clearly lethal lake area with his two kids?
    • Hiking or riding in an open truck across the Himalayas in a shirt or with bare legs. Why can’t filmmakers from sunny California learn that cold means cold? People don’t survive, and certainly don’t stroll, in those temperatures.
    • Hello? There’s one minute left before total annihilation and it’s up to you to swim under water and remove the thing blocking the thing and you hang around explaining to your whining son that he has to stay behind to take care of his little sister, then you kiss your ex-wife a bunch of times and then said son follows you anyway and blah blah blah. That minute went by about five minutes ago.
  • Clichés!
    • Sickeningly banal father-daughter, father-son, dad-kid teary scenes. We don’t care, and of all the billions on earth why should you of all people survive?
    • Ho hum, macho dads, macho boys do all the saving.   The women and the little girls stand around screaming and crying.  Have we seen it before?

Still, the movie isn’t a total bust.  If it hadn’t had any people in it, or let’s say “personal stories”, it would have been quite good.  In other words the special effects were absolutely spectacular.
  • Car racing ahead of street splitting earthquake
  • Tsunami pouring over the Himalayas
  • Flying through exploding mountains.

How do they do all these things?
And between all the boring supposed-to-be-tear-jerking nonsense it’s extremely exciting.
I have to ask though. What in the world are good respectable actors like Danny Glover, John Cusack, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Woody Harrelson doing in a stupid movie like this? They looked embarrassed playing their parts. They should be.
It’s not the worst of the bad films we’ve been watching but it’s not the best wither. Even Independence Day was sort of better. But I really like John Cusack and Danny Glover and the special effects are really truly awesome and don’t tell anybody but I can’t help liking the damn thing. So embarrassingly enough, though it’s on my list of least liked watched movies of 2012 the rating is

2 ½ * of 5.  Isn’t that shameful?

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