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When my brother-in-law asked me if I wanted to see this film at the cinema I leapt at the chance, mainly because I hadn't been to the cinema in a long time since becomming a Daddy, but also because I had read some reviews about it that were all very positive and had wet my appetite for this film.
When I watched the trailor on Youtube and mentioned to the wife that I was going to see this she rolled her eyes and asked me just how many movies were going to be made that focussed around the end of the world coming and then reeled off a few titles. I guessed that she had a point but then how many films are made about couples falling in love? Or drug dealing etc etc there are only so many topics.
My first impression after seeing the trailor was that it looked different to other films about the world ending as it involved an element of truth behind it which would make me watch this film in a different light. I knew I wouldn't sit through it thinking it had good effects and the writer must have a good imagination but instead I would think wow, what if the myth it is based on is actually going to come true, what will we do? So I was entering the cinema thinking that this film would be different.
So what is this myth that the film is based on? It is part of the Mayan inscriptions which created by the prophets throughout their ages. The Mayan calendar suggests that the world will end in 2012 on the 21st December. Interpretations of the scripture has unveiled that catastrophic events will occur in 2012 leading to a winter solstace on the 21st December killing off the human race but only before the changes throughout that year have lead to a different level of consciousness of the human race to begin with.
Terence McKenna was a writer and a philosopher. He has researched and created algorithisms for the universe and devised that the universe was constructed for 'novelty'. The model he created suggests when 'novelty' will occur but never where exactly but only when. This was used as a universal algorithm to predict future events and of all the times McKenna and colleagues looked at the 'single novelty' event in the future it hit on 21st December 2012 which gives some support to the Mayan beliefs. Could this philosopher's research actually be implying that as far as physics and philosophy is concerned it does appear that something that will change the universe on this date? McKenna himself denied knowing anything about the Mayan calendar.
As well as McKenna's philosophy there are other groups of people around the world who, over the years, have their beliefs and theories which also support the Mayan predictions. This then obviously leads to an air of the unknown and worries about what will happen which then leads to the perfect opportunity for a film director and a script writer to step in and create their own take on what they believe will happen on this fateful date.
I never like to talk too much about plots and story-lines of films in a review so as not to give too much away to those reading as I know that nobody likes a spoiler so I wont go into too much detail here, it's up to you to find out what happens.
The film is based on the fact that the world is coming to an end and how the governments and important world leaders are trying to find a way to survive. They get to action by creating Mystery Arcs in which they will be able to survive the events of 2012. Only the richest people will survive and the governments do what they can to keep the 'average' people from knowing about the upcoming events. It really is a case of only the richest and most powerful will survive.
It isn't just based upon the powerful people in the world creating large ship-like places to survive though, there is another element to this film which draws the viewer in as it is easier to relate to.
Jackson Curtis and his family are a main part in this film. Jackson is divorced and his two children live with his wife and Gordon who he sees as 'his replacement'. He is all consumed by work and then decides to take his children camping in Yellowstone Park. Whilst camping he bumps into someone who seems to talk nonesense to him about the fact that he has found out about an upcoming catastrophic end of the world event which the leaders of the world are trying to keep secret from everyone else. Jackson, like you or I would, dismisses this and thinks of this man as just being crazy and talking nonsense, however, he then realises that things are starting to go wrong. An earthquake, huge cracks appearing in the supermarket are just a few of the events which set Jackson's mind racing and he begins to realise that perhaps there was some truth in the man's ramblings afterall.
Jackson then sets out to try to save his family. This is where he comes into his own and you realise that although he is terribly envious of Gordon he is still prepared to save him along with his wife and children. He sets out to try to take his rather dysfunctional family to find one of these mystery arcs and save his family. The American president too is having a battle- with his conscience. He is torn between saving himself and saving many others which adds to the tension in the film. As well as the gorvernment and the family element in this film it also shows the effects happening across the world with tsunamis, skyscrapers falling down.
As you can imagine from the plot there are lots of dramatic scenes which, if not carried out correctly, will have you sitting there thinking that it is just not believable. In this film though the special effects are fantastic, you simply cannot fault them, they draw you in and I just found myself staring at the scene in complete fascination truly enthrawled by what was happening. The ground sinking, huge tidal wives wiping out countries and just general chaos caused by catastrophies happening worldwide are shot so well that although you cannot relate to this actually happening you are drawn in by it. The way it has been shot enables you to see for yourself what the devastation is like, they overhead, birdseye views of the devastation is a great feature.
I cannot fault the effects at all, they are so cleverly done that the desired outcome is definitely achieved- you are mesmerised and your adrenalin is pumping. It's amazing to think they are created on the computer. You can almost sense the mayhem which is uncurling in the world and you just become lost in the film. I wonder how the special effects will appear on a television screen and not in the cinema as they were amazingly spectacular on the big screen I don't think they will have quite the same pull when on a smaller screen.
The actors in this film include:
John Cusak- Jackson Curtis
Danny Glover- President
Amanda Peet- Kate Curtis
Woody Harleson- Charlie frost- The rambling man
Thomas McCarthy- Gordon
The acting in this film is really very good. I like the fact that John Cusak comes across as a family oreintated man and that he is very believable. He plays the role well and you do get the opinion that he is just like you or I, he is just trying to do his best for his family. Woody plays the weird, rambling man very well, you do find yourself also thinking as Jackson did- this man is just insane!
There are no huge names in this film despite it being such a popular movie but that just makes it better I t hink. Often if you have a huge star appearing in a film I think you bring to the cinema certain expectations. You have seen films where the actor has played a similar role or a completely different one and often that can marr your opinion and expectations but not with this film.
The film begins in 2009 and then skips forwad to 2010 and then onwards. This is done quite smoothly though and you don't feel as though you are being fastforwarded on through months too quickly so that you're disrupted.
What was good about the story line was the fact that it didn't just show the world going into melt down and was just all about the special effects. Sometimes with action movies you do find yourself not following a particular storyline and just watching disaster after disaster where the budget has obviously just been spent on the effects and not on an actual storyline. This, however, incorporates several aspects to the film including the way the government is behaving, the desperate struggle to build the arcs, the family man who is desperately trying to save his family and also the slightly insane rambling man who helps to lift the doom and gloom element every now and again.
This film was a great watch for me. I do really enjoy a good action film and I have watched "The Day After Tomorrow" which was made by the same director and really enjoyed that too. It was the kind of film that you sit through thinking how awful everything is that is happening, that you get behind the main character and you are willing him to survive and at the back of your mind you wonder will this actually happen to us in 2012? Will someone be there to help us? Will we be told about what is going to happen or will it all just be out of our hands and kept secret like in the film?
I sat through this film and became mesermised. I forgot what time of day it was, I forgot what day of the week it was. All I focussed on was the screen in front of me which I think always shows the results of some fantastic directing.
My wife asked me if she would like it and I actually think she would. She doesn't like disaster movies but this one is different as it has the family element to it which makes it a more rounded film. I think there would be tears though, I am not the type to cry in films or shed a tear in general but I do think if you are in touch with your emotions you will find yourself wrapped up in the drama which will lead to the tears as you can imgagine, there are plenty of good guys dying.
The film is a 12A and in all honesty I actually think that this is rated too low. I know that if I was 12 and watching this I would come away feeling terrified. It's not like it is 'just a film' but it based on a theory which has not yet happened and so it could lead to allsorts of fears beginning and as well as that some of the scenes are fairly graphic with blood and bodies. I can only presume that it isn't a 15 because it's not actual violence- people are dying through' natural causes' but i still wouldn't be happy with my 12 year old (If i had one!) going to see this.
I came away from this film having felt like I had sat through some brilliant script writing, fanastic directing and very believable acting. I was more than glad that I had seen it and it definitely lived up to my expectations. It has left me wondering what will happen in 2012 and hoping that the scripture that the Mayan's created were just subjective and had no truth in them.
The only disappointment really for me was the fact that the Mayan's were not a part of this film. I would have liked to have seen something relating to them and how they had predicted what was going to happen. It would have been interesting to see how the director would have created this but then the film is already 158 minutes long and so I wonder if adding this element in would have made it just too long or would have cut out some other scenes which would have ruined the film for me.
Director: Roland Emmerich
Writer: Harold Kloser, Roland Emmerich
Released: 13th November 2009
Genre: Action, thriller, scifi, adventure, drama
Running time: 158 minutes.
This film is still in cinemas now (3rd December) so if you haven't already done so then I really recommend you going to see this film.
2012 is a 2009 Science fiction - disaster movie directed by Roland Emmerich and starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, John Cusack, Danny Glover, Oliver Platt and Woody Harrelson.
In the year 2009, American Geologist Adrian Helmsley ( Chiwetel Ejiofor ) visits astrophysicist Dr. Satnam Tsurutani ( Jimi Mistry ) in India and learns that the earth is in grave danger by Neutrinos from a large solar flare are causing the earths core to heat up, Adrian intercepts White House chief of staff Carl Anheuser ( Oliver Platt ) at a dinner function to notify President Thomas Wilson ( Danny Glover ) that the result will be a chain of catastrophic disasters.
Secretly in 2010 Wilson and other world leaders begin a project to save humanity, worldwide 400,000 people are chosen to board "Arks" that are being built in secret in the Himalayas, funding is made by selling seats in the private sector for $1 Billion, by the time 2011 comes around mankinds valuable treasures are moved to the Himalayas under the guise of saving them from terrorist attacks.
Move forward to 2012, Jackson Curtis ( John Cusack ) is a failed author who now works as a limo driver for a wealthy russian businessman, he is seperated from his wife Kate ( Amanda Peet ) who is living with man named Gordon ( Thomas McCarthy ), while taking his children for a weekend trip to Yellowstone National park he notices a section of the park cordoned off by the US military, they trespass and are subsequently captured by the military, after being turned away he comes across seemingly insane Charly ( Woody Harrelson ) who broadcasts a radio show from the park and talks about what is really going on, at first Jackson doesn't believe him, but a turn of events changes his mind very quickly and he must race to take his wife and children to safety, meanwhile Helmsley must work with the US Government to move forward their timetable of events when it becomes clear that the possible end of the world is coming sooner than expected !!!!
2012 is a disaster movie in the most basic sense of the genre, Roland Emmerich is the modern day king of this kind of movie and does everything you expect of him given the material he is using.
If you're looking for a cinematic masterpiece, you've come to the wrong place, 2012 is all about big explosions, big special effects and big drama, the actors do a good enough job filling their roles, but such accomplished actors as Danny Glover , Oliver Platt and John Cusack don't really get to flex their acting muscles with the material they have here, all thats required of them is to ham it up occasionally and throw in a little dramatic acting when required.
The real star of the movie are the special effects, I defy anyone not to be impressed with the detail and the awe inspiring scenes we see in the destruction of California and while there are some silly moments during ( the planes escape from LA for instance ) you can't help but be impressed with the time and effort that has gone into the effects we see on the screen, everything is done on a large scale, from the destruction of our cities, to the ARK's that will save humanity, to the musical score.
If you're looking for plot, look elsewhere, if you're looking for disaster you've come to the right place
Lot's of people believe that this is going to come true after seeing this film, especially children. This movie is basically in 2012, an ancient calendar predicts the worlds ending and the Earths core heats up and ultimate destruction wrecks everywhere. I wont ruin the movie for you in this review, don't worry.
The movie is more or less suitable for most of the family, one use of strong language and a some destruction but not a lot of bad content. Now one of the things that will stand out and you will notice is the effects. the effects must have taken ages and the work has paid off. The 3D destruction is very realistic and the dramatic scenes of chaos are very epic and real. You could actually imagine the film as a real documentary to be honest.
It shows different characters, some struggling for survival as the Earth is wrecked. Different natural enemies attack including tsunamis, earthquakes, hurricanes and more! Cities get destroyed in seconds and the detail is very good. You can watch the film over and over again and you will still stare at it with your mouth wide open. It is actually pretty colourful some of the time. Some main characters die and there are relationships in the film that are disturbed and ended by what is happening.
One moment, everything is normal, just a regular day and then all the destruction comes. Tsunamis over the Himalayas and the ground cracking open and tsunamis sinking foundations of cities and more. It's so epci and a great film that will entertain you. Amazing effects and acting!
Im sorry but this film was terrible. Ok now I confess I watched it on a placne, so yes I admit the scale and grandeur of the effects were kindve lost. But aside from that the plot, the storyline, the characters and in some cases the acting was terrible. The only thing that saved me form turning this film off (bearing in mind that it was free !) and just looking into space at 30,000 feet at nothing, which would have been better, was the effects.
Synopsis: Chiwetel Ejifor plays Dr. Adrian Helmsley, hes is investigating the effect of radiation from rare solar storms on the earth, these solar storms are going through the ground and heating up the core. Usual story he tries to warn the president and all the president men and horses dont do anything until later on as everyone thinks hes a wack job. So the earth is becoming unstable and soon there will be tsnami`s, eruptions and the like. So as we cant leave this planet the whole world populaion is doomed unless we come up with a plan but the governments try to keep this a secret and build huge arks with which to evacuate the world brightest and richest to safety in the himilayas. John cusack plays limo driver jackson Curtis when he discovers his boss is one of the lucky few who bought his ticket. so we the story form his eyes as he tries to save his family.
Basically I expected more from Chiwetel Ejiofor and John Cusack, although they played their pretty 2d characters well, Danny Glover - plays the president Thomas Wilson and is just so hammy its awful to watch, he didnt seem as genuine as morgan freeman in deep impact, (which as some have said was better...it really isnt haha). Thandie Newton - plays his daughter Dr. Laura Wilson and is equally hammy. Oliver platt plays his usual flustered comic relief with a fast tongue (although quite serious in this film.) The rest of the cast should be put up against a wall for the most stereotypical acting ive seen yet...the russian ogliarch and his prissy wife, all boobs and no class but guess what she has a heart of gold. The indian scientist with the family and his faith to save him ! the chinese worker who is all for the family and honour, man ! actually woody harrison does a good job as the nut case socialist who wants to blast the truth open.
Basically after roland emmerich made independence day he should have stoped there, but he did Godzilla, not that bad, and the day after tomorrow...terrible and this..terrible...roland take up fishing or something. The only thing i`ll say for him is ...he can do CGI...very good in this film, which is why it gets two stars.
The plot of how the earth is going down is pretty far fetched but I suppose the simpler plots , of huge volcano, meteors and asteroids etc was already taken.
The only thing that was that in the film the chinese are picked to build he arks...again very insulting what are they saying that only the chinese could have the menial manpower to build these huge things , work on them for two years completely obediantly and not ask questions and revolt over as to why they couldnt go on them...oh yes only the repressed chinese worker would be so brainwashingly obedient...cmon
I was really excited to watch this film from the minute it came out and I saw the advertisements. I am a fan of disaster films because there's a hint of reality in them which makes it all a bit more scary and interesting.
Firstly, I'll talk a little about where the ideas came from. You have probably heard the rumours of the world ending on 21st December 2012, the end of 5,125-year-long Mayan calendar. Nobody claims to know exactly what will happen. Some, like myself, think nothing will happen, where others have speculated that the earth will collide with a black hole, a passing planet called Niribu or that there will be a big galactic alignment that would melt the ice caps and flood the world. I'm sure there are more cheery ideas of what may happen, but these are the main ones.
The plot of the film is based on this. It is December and there is going to be a very big flood that will wipe out the human race. As well as the floods, many people are being killed by other natural disasters like small meteors, earthquakes and tidal waves. The government have built large arks that are very exclusive and only those who are able to afford a very expensive ticket can get on them, so only a small proportion of the human race could survive. We also see the president of America and follow a sub story with him and his family making tough decisions. We also have another sub story about a family who are trying to survive and get to arks despite nothaving tickets.
I thought the visual effects of the film were absoloutely fantastic. Mindblowing action was brilliant and I was wowed. You see the earth tearing itself to pieces and the enormous scale and it's actually scary. It's like all of your nightmares in one film. I would definitely give it ten out of ten for the graphics and special effects.
( * SPOILER BELOW *)
My only complaint was that it was a bit predictable in a sense that the same character, the father of the family played by John Cusack is put into a few really dangerous situations and is pulled out at the last minute. In a realistic situation like this, people die, so the film makers should have not put him in the positions or killed him off. (sorry to be blunt here!)
This is a bit of the main cast:
John Cusack - Jackson Curtis.
Amanda Peet - Kate Curtis.
Thandie Newton - Laura Wilson.
Danny Glover - President Wilson.
I liked a lot of the cast and thought that their acting in the film was fantastic. I thought that they showed a good amount of emotion which helped to make it seem more real. I like John Cusack and think he did play his part well in this film.
I wasn't mad on the end of the film. I felt like saying, "oh this is the end" when I wanted a dramatic climax to finish. I won't say too much about the end incase you haven't watched it yet because it will spoil it if you haven't seen it, but to me it just isn't realistic.
My take on the 2012 end of the world theory. I don't think it's going to happen. Over the years there have been lots of scares and doomsdays predictions all of which have passed and this is another one. We had a big one 1999 about the new millenium but nothing happened. There's no direct evidence so I think it's a lot of gobbledegook.
Overall, I like the film a lot. It is one that I want to get on DVD soon and I would recommend that you watch it. It had me on the edge of my seat at times and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I wouldn't recommend letting younger children watch it. Not that you probably would anyway, but it's only rated a 12, but I think this would be frightening to someone that age and would be unlikely to let my grandkids watch it at that age. I'm getting on a bit and still found it realistic and scary!
I have finally got round to reviewing my first Film DVD, so I hope you like the format of it. Although this film has been released for quite a while, I've only just got around to watching it on my own so I could absorb it completely, and although I enjoyed it to a degree, I felt a need to voice my opinions and incorrect preconceptions I had about this movie. Here is my review of the 2009 disaster film, 2012. No plot spoilers are contained, so feel free to read on if you haven't seen the film.
Set in the year 2012 (of course), the film tells the story about a massive unstoppable geological disaster that wipes out most of the Earth's population whilst also telling of the attempts that the normal people and governments of the world do to preserve human and animal life on the planet. As we have seen before in films such as 'The Day After Tomorrow', 'Deep Impact' and 'Armageddon', the End of the World scenario is not a new concept, so could this movie tell the tale in an different and original way? The primary story revolves around select groups of people directly or indirectly involved in the attempts to survive. Of course, many of these people happen to be American, save for a Chinese family, and we follow the story around what is happening to them and how they end up interacting with each other.
The ideas behind this movie stems from the 2012 phenomenon, a varied form of beliefs based off the South American Mayan calender and that suggest that an Earth changing event, including a possible prophesy of the end of the world in some form will occur on the 21st on December, 2012. The actual nature of the planet-wide natural disaster in question is, in reality, a distinct possibility in our near-future, but remember this movie is for entertainment purposes and not for scaremongering.
--Cast and Performances--
Chiwetel Ejiofor - Dr. Adrian Helmsley
John Cusack - Jackson Curtis
Amanda Peet - Kate Curtis
Liam James - Noah Curtis
Morgan Lily - Lilly Curtis
Thomas McCarthy - Dr. Gordon Silberman
Danny Glover - Thomas Wilson
Thandie Newton - Dr. Laura Wilson
Oliver Platt - Carl Anheuser
Zlatko BuriÄ++ - Yuri Karpov
Beatrice Rosen - Tamara
Woody Harrelson - Charlie Frost
Chin Han - Tenzin
Osric Chau - Nima
John Billingsley - Professor Frederic West
Johann Urb - Sasha
Blu Mankuma - Harry Helmsley
Jimi Mistry - Dr. Satnam Tsurutani
I was a little wary of John Cusack playing the reluctant hero of Jackson, but he performs well and this is reminiscent of his convincing 'Con Air' performance. Good, but not great. All the other actors fill their roles well enough, and Chiwetel Ejiofor plays a knowledgeable, passionate but slightly un-confident Dr Helmsley very well indeed. The character of Satnam is underused and Jimi Mistry does well with what he has, providing a very touching moment during the final half hour. Woody Harrelson is entertaining as Charlie, trying out his nutty side yet again, and a mention should go to Johann Urb, who holds the aircraft scene together impressively and is another character that suffers from being not used enough. Mr Glover as always is in fine form portraying the fictitious US president Wilson, as always in these type of films a well respected and trusted leader. USA always knows best doesn't it? Hhmmm....
When I first heard about this movie, my first reaction was that it was be about global warming, human damages to the Earth, carbon-footprint and all the buzz words and slogans carried around nowadays, and thus be a preach to the masses about being 'green'. This did not sound like an entertaining film for me, because I do not wish to be preached too about keeping my carbon-footprint down in something which I want to relax to and enjoy, I do my personal bit of recycling and that's that. After watching this film however, I'm glad to say my personal preconceptions were way off the mark.
Directed by Roland Emmerich, I really should have seen the wood for the trees. There is no preaching about how we can change the climate, because the type of ecological cataclysm used in the film we have no control over. This was quite surprising and after 15 minutes into the movie you are aware of this so can settle down to enjoy the action and suspense.
As this is a Emmerich film, there is a lot of over-the-top sequences and 'What, Really? That never would Happen!' moments, but all done in such a impressive and convincing way that you find yourself just flowing with it. Unlike with 'The Day After Tomorrow', things get going rather quickly, and before you know it we are a def-com 4 within the first half hour. All the main characters are laid down quickly but with enough dialogue to appreciate their significance. Back-stories are brief, but really not needed as things progress and move quickly in this film, but it still is easy to follow and is not a film you have to see twice or thrice to understand. (See Memento, Back to the Future part 2 and The Matrix Reloaded)
The main draw for this film, is of course the special effects. Mostly spectacular and amazing to watch, the CGI is of the highest quality with some terrific representations of recognisable landmarks such as the Las Vegas Strip and Mount Everest. Fluid and dramatic combined with the performances, this is all done very well and certainly has that big-budget-blockbuster feel. My favourite is one of the first earthquake sequences in Los Angeles with the plane flying over it all. Some minor parts are lacking however, the closing scenes feel a little rushed and I feel the sequence with the animals being carried by the helicopters is, although far-fetched and believable with the ilk of the film, obviously fake.
Onto the character dynamics, I feel the premise of the broken family that through the chain of events they are forced to reconcile has been used far to often in films such as these. 2012 includes a similar family set like Spielberg's 'War of the Worlds' has, and can be quite tiresome to see this pan out in a predictable fashion. The very minor romantic sub-plot with Dr Helmsley seems unnecessary and adds nothing to the film. The general relationships the characters have with one another bears close kinship with Emmerich's older films, and doesn't come across as anything new or original.
This film has entertaining qualities certainly, some sequences are a little harrowing to watch, especially if you are watching with the family. There is no graphic violence really, but the earthquake and tsunami sequences, although overblown, can be upsetting to younger eyes, and a particular part during the climax of the film is a pretty nasty and upsetting whilst not showing any gore to speak of.
The slight annoyance I have with this film is of the moral message that gets rammed down your throat during the final hour of the movie. It is indeed righteous to comment on human value, and 2012 makes this with dialogue mostly from Dr Helmsley who asks the question who has the right to judge who lives and who dies. It does provoke a thought or two I must admit, but could have been done a tad more subtly and not effectively barked at you by a man with an American voice. It's a shame that these kind of films overplay the American influence every time, and although parts are set in India and China, the main protagonists are all American. There is even a visual comic dig at the Queen at one point, and I feel all of this Americanisation de-values the film a glimmer, but is expected and as always tolerated to enjoy the story.
--Presentation and Production--
This is the basic single disc release of 2012. It has a easy to navigate menu, with your selected choice highlighted in yellow. It has smooth selection, quick loading and movie clips playing in the background. Sub menu's have movie stills in the background, again with easy to navigate choices. The movie itself is of high DVD quality in picture and sound on a dual layer format.
Region - 2, Duel Layer, Widescreen 2.40
Age Rated - 12
Languages available - English, French,
Sound - Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles Available - English, Arabic, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, Hindi, Norwegian, Swedish.
Feature runtime - 2.31 approx
DVD release by Sony
Produced by Columbia Pictures.
--Packaging and DVD Extras--
The cover design depicts a Chinese monk atop a mountain staring at an oncoming tsunami, the title in large silver digital-style typeface. All the relevant DVD,cast and production information is printed on the back cover, along with a short blurb and newspaper review headline. Sleeve designs may vary depending on which version of the DVD (or Blu-Ray) you have purchased.
Special features included are an alternate ending, which although would have added a more of a happy ending as such, is largely unimportant. Also included are the directors commentary, 5 deleted scenes and trailers for upcoming films during the time of release.
2012 is a typical in-your-face family Hollywood blockbuster, heavily filled with superb special effects, a moral message, a well known and recognised primary cast and a story to keep you interested to the end. As always with these films, the story does take second fiddle to the awesome effects on screen, but can now and then trigger an emotion or two, and doesn't preach the messages of the human induced doom I was expecting. A great film for a boring Friday night in just for that little bit of overblown and far-out story telling, but not something that's going to hold in the memory banks for any great deal of time. Fun and eye-popping stuff with just that little bit of sustenance without being a brain-ache.
2012 is available from all DVD stockists and online stores such as Play, Amazon, HMV and Ebay. Expect to pay any anything from £6.99 to £15.99.
Thanks for Reading. © Novabug
Director: Roland Emmerich
Genre: Action / Adventure / Drama / Science Fiction
Release date: 13TH November 2009
Writer: Roland Emmerich / Harald Kloser
Running time: 15 minutes
Producer: Roland Emmerich / Harald Kloser / Mark Godon / Larry J. Franco / Ute Emmerich
Rating: 12 Contains sustained moderate threat, and one use of strong language.
Distribution: Columbia Pictures
Screen: Widescreen 2.40:1 Anamorphic
Languages: English - Dolby Digital (5.1)
Subtitles: English hard of hearing (feature only) Arabic, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, Hindi, Norwegian, Swedish.
Region: Region 2 - Will only play on European Region 2 or multi-region DVD players.
Explosive, Cataclysmic, Epic, Sci-Fi disaster film = 2012 ???
Inspired by Graham Hancock's bestselling non-fiction book 'Fingerprints of the Gods' Director Emmerich brings up 2012....
In 2009, Indian astrophysicist Dr Satnam Tsurutani (Jimi Mistry) perplexes me with some scientific jargon that sails swiftly over ones head, however you get the impression the earth as we know it, is in for catastrophe of epic proportions! The earth's core I believe is breaking up due to an increasing temperature, obviously at a rapid tenure. With this he informs his American geologist friend Dr Adrian Helmsley about 'The Rapture of the 'Apocalypse who notifies the highest of authorities.
Now to the 'Core' of the film, as we are introduced to Jackson Curtis played by John Cusack, obviously like in all these cynical, obvious movies I.e. War of the Worlds, he has lost his family to an obvious flawless individual, the kids treat him with apathy, he seems a little lost and still obviously in love with his ex-wife Kate played by Amanda Peet. Jackson a science fiction writer, go figure! And a part-time limousine driver, has his yearly bond with his children by taking them to Yellowstone National Park, where things go awry.
Jackson becomes suspicious about the world's changing fortunes as events stat to unfold, a chance meeting with Dr Helmsley and a rather worryingly extraverted Charlie Frost played by Woody Harrelson ignites his fears further, obviously! Charlie has maps you know! From here the movie kicks into gears, full of explosions, fire, destruction....you know it's a disaster movie of epic proportions, what else could you possibly expect!? Can Jackson save his family? Will his kids ever love him again? Does his ex-wife still have feelings for him? Oh shucks... (does this come across as cynical?)
CAST & CREW
John Cusack - Plays Jackson Curtis, the archetypal misunderstood ex father of two...his family have fallen out of love with him, replaced by another. Jackson is the obvious lead character a struggling writer, and part time limousine driver that has something to prove, he is sincere enough, and always likeable, good choice for a lead, not bristling with muscles, the average Joe who does not glam the role up or over dramatise things.
Chitwetel Ejiofor - Plays Dr Adrian Helmsley, the American geologist, the good guy! The guy that makes you sick with his love for salvation and humanity! Sickening a guy can be so charming and far too sentimental with such clichéd big speeches! Having said all that, you can definitely warm to him, does a good job!
Danny Glover - Plays Thomas Wilson the president of the United States! Now I'm not a glover lover :D ...I can rhyme, and this does not change my opinion of him, poor choice, I cannot understand what he is saying half the time, his whisperish spiel is half audible. Furthermore, he is so transparent and honourable, you just want to pass the sick bucket, obviously that's more down to the script that himself, but still ..useless!
Amanda Peet plays Jackson's ex-wife Kate, Woody Harrelson plays the eccentric scientist, disguised as a recluse hiding in Yellowstone Park, only has a cameo role, but cracking performance as usual, you've got to love the guy! Thandie Newton also only really plays a cameo as the daughter of the president, pretty much non-existent to comment. An unknown to me Thomas McCarthy plays Kate's current boyfriend, a plastic surgeon, the obvious very normal good guy, played well I may add.
Overall the cast has it's appeals, and it's a largely decent list of stars, however call me cynical again, but everything fits as normal, ticks in the right boxes, the characters and their roles, positions are too obvious and border the same stick as many other moves.
Roland Emmerich is the serial disaster movie maker, most notable scalps include Independence Day, and the Day after Tomorrow, 2012 could even be the follow up. This film is his second highest grossing movie ever of over $769 million worldwide and over $225 million in its first week as a box office hit, also entering at number one in its first weekend. In fact such a big hit it's the 33rd highest grossing film of all time worldwide. Having said all that considering the film cost over $200 million to produce, with marketing costs on top of that, what else would you expect, but here is what the critics said.....
It received a mixture of reviews like all films, but for such a watched film it largely failed, Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 39% positive rate, with an average of only 5.1 out of 10. Peter Travers of Rolling Stone criticized the film by comparing it to Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen: "Beware 2012, which works the dubious miracle of almost matching Transformers 2 for sheer, cynical, mind-numbing, time-wasting, money-draining, soul-sucking stupidity."
Roger Ebert was enthusiastic about the film, giving it 3½ stars out of 4, saying it "delivers what it promises, and since no sentient being will buy a ticket expecting anything else, it will be, for its audiences, one of the most satisfactory films of the year"
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES
* Commentary with writer/director Roland Emmerich and Co-writer Harald Kloser
Commentary as you watch the main film, explaining why and what's happening, pretty much what it says on the tin.
* Roland Emmerich: Master of the modern epic (9.31)
What a waste of nine minutes and thirty one seconds of my life as the cast and crew talk about Roland, basically massaging his ego, pretty pointless and nothing I needed or wanted to hear. Some budding filmmakers may find this of interest, but others no thanks.
* Alternate ending (3.30)
Even stupider ending then the real one, so glad it was not used, just made you cringe with the moralist tale. However didn't really differ that much from the original anyway.
* Deleted scenes
- Limo Drive with twins (0.39) Further warning signs to what's about to happen, pretty pointless, and can see why it was cut in an already long movie.
- President Wilson talks with Sally (1.18) Personally I think this should have been included, as in the film the part concluding this didn't really make sense, so this would have given all the required answers.
- Something must have gone wrong (1.22) Does not add much except more cliché sick bucket stuff, glad it was axed.
- Jackson underwater (1.02) It could easily been added to the movie, but it adds little but would not been out of place either.
- Anheuser Apologises (0.54) This could have only been included with the alternate ending, so pretty obvious why it was cut.
- Blu-ray disc Is High definition (2.00) Shows an array of different films, and the benefits Blu ray in high definition has, including the interactive game playing, cinechat whilst watching the film and other advanced features, has nothing to do with the movie at all.
- Cloudy with a chance of meatballs (1.58) Previewing a totally different movie, looked quite funny though.
- Did you hear the Morgan's? (2.08) - A preview of Hugh Grant's latest movie
- Michelle Jackson this is it (2.20) - A preview of the Michael Jackson movie.
Overall the extras are useless, the master of a modern epic is really boring and not something I'd want to watch, it tells me nothing much about the film itself, just glorifying the man. The deleted scenes are not at all interesting, obviously why they were deleted, and the trailers had nothing to do with the film, so wondered why they were even included.
The ancient Mayan tribe predicted the world as we know it would end 2012, scientist's have further added fuel to such theories, Roland Emmerich makes it a firm reality in this box office smash.
What does 2012 bring to the table? Well the overriding theme to my thoughts would be howling laughter, I'm all for a big scale epic disaster movie that flaunts with stupidity, you just choose to switch your brain of for an hour or two and divulge into a labyrinth of twists, turn and explosions. However 2012 is pushing the boundaries way too far for even the most discerning of watcher!
Granted, we all know what we are about to see, a pathway paved full of turmoil and destruction, but this is ridiculed by the heights it tries to scale. Without giving too much away, the way in which Jackson rescues his family from their family home, is basically pathetic, it's just never going to happen, furthermore their escape from the American suburb whilst it catastrophically falls down around them is ludicrous. What's more is the ability for the roads to stay in tact as the car dances over cracks whilst everything else is destroyed, a second later and the movie would have ended already if you follow me.
Further to my annoyance is the lack of panic in the seemingly calm, not grief stricken automobile, in fact not once throughout the movie did I see anyone showing emotion, or panicking enough to warrant end of days destruction. Not once did I believe in what I was seeing, yeah the world is falling down around us, and heck we have no idea why and where salvation is going to come, but nah we don't need to shout or scream in hysteria, it borders ridiculous. And this theme continues throughout with a near wooden cast, that only annoys further with such obvious sentimental speeches that just make you think, good grief, why bother... we've heard this before in a number and one disaster movies.
It's the added old question how come James Bond never dies, why does everything always seem to fall in place, even with the most turgid of scenarios, nothing bad happens, something miraculously falls where it should that it really beggars belief. Forgive my cynicism but flying a small airplane through a sky bombarded with fire, falling skyscrapers and catapulting trains and not taking a single hit, just stretched this way too far for my liking.
It's cliché driven, lacks any real plot apart from the obvious, and has no twists or turns to keep you entertained, it's just over glorified heroism from one guy! He must be the Messiah! Every box has been ticked in accordance to other disaster films of this ilk, nothing different, same characterisations, same scenarios, same everything. So if you enjoy anything from Deep Impact, The Day After Tomorrow, Armageddon or 2012: Doomsday then you probably would enjoy this movie. Personally I enjoyed the Day after Tomorrow much more than this fictional plethora of destruction, and it's not in the same league as other such as War of the Worlds.
Okay there are some enjoyable moments, it's packed full of action, and if you like destruction then it's kind of fun, the cinematography is decent, the scenes shot exceptionally well, but I think that's where the credibility ends.
Even the ending does nothing for me, no feeling of yes! Or a nice feeling in the stomach, just overblown, over sentimental, and heroism from some no mark. ..the only thing I was exciting about was seeing how they depict the new world, and how civilisation would have transformed after such demise and destruction, and even then I was not satisfied, it weekly limped around a bit, edging towards another sentimental finale instead. Overall, the story too weak, no sub plots, no character depth, nothing to fall in love with except the CGI special effects heroics, lazy direction ...fooling the viewer with over dramatics! I'd not recommend buying this movie, however If it's on TV it's worth a watch, but don't be expecting to see anything genuine or different.
==DISASTER VIEWING! = NO THANKS!!!==
Amazon price: £5.00
There are films which once viewed leave a lasting impression on the viewer, there are others which when viewed leave the viewer in laughing hysterically because they are that bad. Guess which type of film this is?
A film depicting the end of the earth on December 21 2012, as predicted by ancient Mayan texts, one in which the earth's crusts disintegrate and the seas rise yes you know you're in classic Roland Emmerich territory (Independence Day and Day after Tomorrow). So without too many hopes and expectation I sat down to watch the 2 and a half hour film depicting the end of the earth. Oh dear, what a waste of time.
The concept of disaster movies is one which interests most viewers from time to time, some of us remember the classic 70's disaster movies like The Poseidon adventure and equate films like these with destruction, adventure and usually poignant death scenes. Disaster films in the new Millennium have been upgraded from tower blocks or ships to cities, then countries and now the entire world. As they have increased in scope, the budget has increased but the writing has decreased.
So what's it all about
Scientists find out that the Earth's crust is breaking apart down to the core heating up - why that is never explained but hey let's not worry about quibbles like that. The world's governments soon decide to build a series of arks in Nepal and set up plans to get 400000 people in them when the end of days comes. To finance this berths are offered to very rich me for 1 billion Euros'.
Travel forward 3 years and we are now in 2012 and we meet Jackson Curtis (John Cusack) whose taking his two kids on a camping holiday in Yellowstone, he is divorced from his wife and she has a new lover. Jackson finds out about the ark from a strange man in the woods but dismisses the plans. He then is told by his employers, a rich Russian to go and die when he gets mysterious summons to get out of the US.
Curtis then goes back persuades his kids, ex and her new boyfriend to get out of the city and fly with him to get a map to the ark from this strange man. We are then treated to half an hour of driving through LA collapsing, then flying through LA collapsing before getting the map and flying through Las Vegas collapsing.
There is a lot of iconic buildings collapsing in this film, whether its Big Ben, Golden Gate bridge or the Eiffel Tower and interestingly the Sistine Chapel in Rome which has moved for the night to St Peters basilica. However, with intermittent cracks in the buildings heralding collapse we have the chance to see a crack developing between God and Adam on the ceiling - oh yes the director doesn't miss a trick. There is of course the obligatory collapse of the Washington monument onto the White house of course though they are in fact quite distant in real terms.
There is plenty of action, loads of explosions, no real connection to reality and in fact the film is one of the funniest of the year. Unfortunatly the humour isn't intentional and the director and producers made a VERY serious film here. However, it soon descends into cars avoiding buildings, planes avoiding buildings and lots and lots of floods.
Indeed the flooding is where I felt the film became a parody of itself and it wasn't help by the stomach churning humanity as a whole message press ganged onto the end of the film. So we have this one chance of redeeming the film but the film made this ending so slushy sentimental that any integrity was forever lost at this point.
Overall, this kind of disaster movie has finally come to the end here and perhaps we could return to disaster movies smaller in scope but higher in tension.
Overall a bit poor and well over done to the n'th degree.
Whenever someone talks about this movie, they think about two things: the end of the world and the special effects. I won't get into the apocalyptic aspect of this movie in order to avoid any online conflict. However, I will say that the special effects in this movie are great. They are actually some of the best special effects I have ever seen. These special effects made you feel like you right in the middle of the action with buildings collapsing, natural disasters, and multitudes of explosion happening all around.
Aside from the special effects, the acting was unimpressive even by seasoned veterans like John Cusack, Amanda Peet, and Danny Glover (all actors that I enjoy watching most of the time). I definitely expected a lot more from all of them.
The storyline/plot of the film was predictable in several different ways. I felt like I already knew what was going to happen. I hate having that film. It makes me feel as though I have wasted both my time and money.
If you really want to see this movie, don't do it for either the acting or the storyline. Honestly, the special effects are the only thing about this film that make it worth watching.
Thus, I give this film an average rating for the average done by everyone but the special effects team.
The year is 2009 and Geologist Adrian Helmsley is called to visit his friend in India where strange things have been happening. They have discovered that the Earths crust is heating up and this could mean catastrophe for life as we know it. Helmsley goes back to America where he meets with White House Chief of Staff and President to explain to them what is happening. The President along with a team of men and$ Helmsley notify all officials around the world of what is going to happen as they have predicted that the end of the world will come in 2012. The countries set about keeping the news quiet and making provisions for when it happens.
Now the year 2012 has arrived and writer Jackson Curtis is taking his children away camping but when they arrive at Yellowstone park they are in for a shock when the river has dried up and the government has taken over the area. Jackson meets crazy man Charlie who believes he knows what is happening and the government are building arks to save people when the end of the world happens, but Jackson takes no notice of him. Back in Los Angeles mini earthquakes and tremors are ripping through the land and killing thousands so Jackson's ex-wife calls his to bring the children home but when he gets there he finds chaos and just manages to get his family out of the house before the whole area collapses and goes into the water.
Jackson tries to get his head around what is happening and so starts to believe that Charlie was right so goes to look for him and find out where the arks are. Will Jackson and his family survive and is it really the end of the world and for just how long can the government keep it from the public?
I had wanted to see this film when it first came out but as there have been several poor reviews of it I decided that was not going to pay the full price for the DVD so waited for the price to drop. Despite the poor reviews both me and hubby thoroughly enjoyed the film. The storyline was good but nothing amazing as it was just another end of the world film but it was definitely saved by the special effects. The story was slightly better than other films of the same story as we did get to see what happened after the end of the world and how people managed to survive.
The acting was good and for me the best role was that of Helmsley who was played by Chiwetel Ejiofor, he was a good strong character who started out as slightly naive and could easily be intimidated by the high ranking men at the White house but as the film moved on he gained strength and I enjoyed watching him grow. He worked well with all acting with him and there was a good close bond towards the second half of the film with him and the role of the President's daughter, played by Thandie Newton.
Jackson Curtis was played by John Cusack and he played another great role. He was a down to earth guy who wanted to protect his family and nothing was going to stop him doing so, there were a lot of sides to his character which he put across in a very good way, he showed compassion when seeing his children with his ex-wife's new boyfriend and he showed strength when speaking with Charlie who he did not believe and thought was crazy. He managed to make me feel so many different emotions throughout the film and I did enjoy how he was able to do this. We did have a lot of other good actors in the film including, Danny Glover, Amanda Peet, Woody Harrelson and Liam James. Each bought something different to the story and managed to give it some depth.
The film was mainly set in America and the sets and props were all very good. The best thing in the film has got to be the special effects, throughout the film they were spectacular, he had whole countries collapsing and sea rising causing tsunamis and the way these were made and fitted into the film was excellent. I had no problem believing them and found they all looked very real and quite scary at times. A lot of work ad money must have been put into these as they really are the factor which saved this film from being just another average disaster movie.
The music was nothing special and it was quite mixed, the classical parts were the best as they helped with the emotions and tensions of the scenes in which it was played.
The DVD which I have does have some bonus material which includes:-
Commentary with Writer/ Director Roland Emmerich and co-writer Harald Kloser
Roland Emmerich: Master of the Modern Epic
As we have not watched these then I am not able to comment on how good o0r poor they are and as a result I have listed this as a film only review.
The running time of the film is 2 hours and 31 minutes, this may seem quite long but once you get into the story then you really do forget about the running time. The rate s a 12 as it does contain sustained moderate threat and one use o0f strong language I do agree with the rate but as this is a disaster movie I don't think it is one which many 12 year olds would enjoy. The DVD can be bought for just £7 for Tesco and on line and I think this is much better value for money than the full price of £12.
I am going to give this film a good solid 4 stars, I do recommend it but don't expect too much story wise as it is really the special effects which make this film so good and entertaining.
My opinion and experience with the film:
This science fiction disaster related film was released 13th November 2009 in the UK. A few months ago I went to see 2012 movie with some friends. We went to the nearest cinema to watch it and before the film started we had heard some mixed comments about the film but we weren't sure about many details of the film.
The film was fairly long as it was 2 and a half hours long, although there was a lot of action so it kept you glued to the screen with excitement. There were several natural disasters featured in this film which made it a very action, adventurous and exciting film as there was a risk of the world ending with all these disasters happening. The disasters included volcanic eruptions, earthquakes etc. I thought the film got off to a slow start with the first 30 minutes or so a bit boring, although after that it was really gripping and the time went really quickly while watching it because it was so exciting to watch.However, once the film got going I thought that the graphics were amazing! The graphics were very dramatic and there was a lot going on, I thought that the excellent graphics was probably one of the stronger points for the film. I give it a 3/5 because the film went on a bit too long where the plot wasn't strong enough, however the graphics were exceptional and some of the acting such as from Jackson Curtis was brilliant so it deserves a 3. I think if the film got going quicker and it didn't have the boring half an hour at the start and a little bit more to the plot then it would of been an amazing film!
I thought that the beginning part of the film was a little bit confusing and weird when
Jackson took his children to the National Park and they met Charlie Frost! I thought that they could of made this character better because it was slightly confusing at the start.
I thought the bit where Jackson got the plane to try to save his family where they narrowly escaped being killed by the natural disasters was probably one of the most gripping parts because you didn't know what was going to happen and it was very dramatic. The end was also quite good where they narrowly missed the iceberg and the main characters survived so it had a happy ending. Although, very unrealistic!
Quick facts about the film:
Director : Roland Emmerich
Cast:John Cusack played Jackson Curtis who I thought was excellent, his acting was really good and the character he played was good!
Chiwetel Ejiofor : Dr Adrian Helmsey who was a geologist and scientific advisor for the president
Amanda Peet: Kate Curtis who is a medical student and Jackson's ex- wife
Liam James: Noah Curtis who is Jackson and Kate's son
Morgan Lily: Lilly Curtis who is Jackson and Kate's daughter
Thomas McCarthy: Kate's present boyfriend Dr Gordon Silberman who is a plastic surgeon and part-time pilot
Zlatko BuriÄ++: Yuri Karpov who is the Russian Billionaire
Beatrice Rosen: Tamara who is Yuri's Russian girlfriend
Oliver Platt : Carl Anheuser who is the Presiden't chief of staff
Thandie Newton: Dr Laura Wilson who is the Presidents daughter
Danny Glover : Thomas Wilson who is the President of United States
Woody Harrelson: Charlie Frost who is a scientist disguised as a Yellowstone hermit who explains the Mayan 2012 legends to Jackson Curtis
Distributed by: Columbia Pictures
The film is based on the 2012 phenonemon 'the worlds going to end' ...and it started in the year 2009 and the first half an hour was building up to it but not much happened. This was the bit I found particularly boring. However, once the film got to 2012 this was when the film took off, and there were natural disaster after disaster such as earthquakes etc. The key events in the film were when Jackson and his family had a narrow escape from getting caught up in the earthquake they got a aircraft and just about survived the disaster. This was a very dramatic and thrilling part in the film as it was so close to ending the world and the main characters ending. The graphics in this part of the film were spectacular and amazing.
I thought that the middle was quite weak with not much of a story going on and too drawn out. However, the ending is really good as it once again was a near miss for the main characters. Although the film ended happily as most of the key characters survive. The film was based in Canada and USA.
Theme song: Time for Miracles by Adam Lambert which I thought was the perfect song because the lyrics really related to the film because they needed a miracle to save them from all the disasters happening all round the world.
To summarise, I think that it's the type of film which you either like or you don't, if you like a lot of action but not really bothered about a strong plot then it's a good film although I think a key problem is that the film took too long to get going and I nearly fell asleep after 20 minutes because not much was happening then all of a sudden the earth started falling apart with all kinds of disasters happening.
I wanted shock and awe when I went to go and watch this film. I went on the release night and almost every cinema in the area was jammed!. Finally at the last minute we got into a showing and in simple terms I walked out dissapointed. The film's main character (John Cusack) evolves around an author who predicts the end of the world yet moonlights as a limo driver. He's divorced and just after dropping his off kids off back home to the ex, the world starts to fall apart. Cue the action chase back to the house to rescue the kids and ex-wife and her current boyfriend.
The graphics were stunning but somewhat not as good or powerful as those seen in Deep Impact or Independence day but the scenes with limo maxing out were great.
John Cusack is a great actor, I just feel like the director went about this in a kind kids-kinda-comic book kinda way.
Woody Harrelson is also in it but really only plays a small part.
The ending is okish, but doesn't award you with sticking through with the film to the end. It just shows everyone at sea.
Basically it's ok but nothing speacial, I seen much much better
2012 is an awesome disaster movie written by Harald Kloser and directed by Roland Emmerich. It was released in the United States on 13th November 2009.
What is the movie about?
The story of 2012 revolves around a family who struggle to survive the end of the world along with hundreds of people. The plot begins when an American geologist named Adrian Helmsley discovers that the temperature of the Earth's crust is rapidly increasing due to the solar flare caused by the sun.
Adrian informs the White House Chief of Staff and the president of United States that a catastrophic chain of natural disasters will occur. The movie leaps another 2 years and a group of international leaders begin a secret project to ensure that humanity survives.
Jackson Curtis, a fiction writer takes his two children, Noah and Lily to a camping trip in Yellowstone National Park where he meets Charlie Frost who hosts a radio show. Charlie reveals to him that the 2012 phenomenon will certainly occur and talks further about the ark project secretly planned by the government officials.
This is when the real drama begins and the struggle for humanity to survive the worldwide phenomenon. Will Jackson be able to survive and take his family to China where the arks are located? Can humanity survive the worst disaster to ever hit them? Watch 2012 and find out for yourself!
Do you find the plot strong?
Reviewed by critics, Rotten Tomatoes have said that 'Despite the movie containing plenty of exciting thrills, it lacks a strong script.' However, I did not think the story was a problem for me. I found it rather realistic and enjoyable and felt the emotions of those people who wanted to live and keep the humanitarian race alive. I am certainly satisfied that this movie does not contain any sexually explicit material at all! During our present movie industries generation, we have plenty of new releases and remakes that contain nudity which producers think is a good way to boost gross revenue.
What do I think of the movie overall?
I discovered the movie through a trailer on TV which interestingly showed some of the disasters that were occurring including the destruction of Los Angeles.
Disaster movies were one of my most favourite movie genres packed with action, death and survival. 2012 is one that I could not imagine having the excitement than any other disaster movie released including blockbuster hits such as Titanic and Day after Tomorrow.
I personally feel as though no other future disaster movie can compare with 2012 unless there is a big boost in graphics and 3D technology and a stronger plot by any chance.
- Cast & Credits -
- Story -
2012 tells the story of what happens in December 2012, when the Mayans have foretold that the world, as we know it anyway, will basically come to an end. The movie follows Jackson Curtis, his ex-wife, her boyfriend and Jacksons kids as they try to escape, Jackson having written a book based on the predictions of the Mayan people, while also following the main geologist, Adrian Helmsley, who battles with his conscience about whats happening and the rights or wrongs of how the situation is handled, politically, though having little say in it ultimately, given his level in the chain of command. Can the human race survive? what happens in 2012 when the predictions come true? you'll have to watch the movie to find out.
- Thoughts & Opinions -
I'm slightly torn on this movie because on one hand it was really quite intense, the visual effects were quite stunning and it was more entertaining and I thought better than other similar movies such as The Day After Tomorrow, yet it was still really quite cheesy and predictable, so is it a very good movie or not? I think its quite a good movie to watch once but its certainly not a movie I would watch again.
I felt that the start of the movie was a little long drawn out and perhaps the first twenty minutes or so could have been taken out, making it a more reasonably length, as the movie is really quite long at almost two and a half hours long. Having said that, I'd have rolled my eyes if the world started to end, so to speak, too soon into the movie, though perhaps if more information was given about the Mayan folklore surrounding this supposed impending disaster was provided, if more interesting scientific information was somehow added, that would have perhaps made it more relevant and interesting, rather than the viewer watching Jackson taking his kids camping in the countryside and the whole suburban family situation with the ex-wifes boyfriend having a go at him back at home and Jackson trying to impress the kids by taking them camping in a limo(!). Yes Jackson is one of the main characters and you want to have some character development but it just seems so cheesy and ultimately not very important to have the whole dysfunctional family background brought into it.
Of course there's the 'baddies' side of things too and, in this case on an individual level rather than in terms of politicians and so on, this would be the multi-millionaire Russian boxing manager, Yuri. Of course, a rich Russian, he must be a selfish what-not, what an utter villain! well I suppose its a bit harsh to call him a real 'villain' as such as he does help the Curtis' out but it turns out that he is pretty selfish, especially in regards to his girlfriend, as we discover quite late into the movie.
There's a moral to the movie I feel as it tries to teach you to not be so selfish and to know that humanity is all about caring for each other and so we shouldn't just look out for each other (yadda yadda) and this comes to a head quite poignantly when a couple of political leaders decide to make a sacrifice. Of course this can be seen as rather predictable and cheesy, although thats not to say that the moral is wrong per se but all the same, it is rather predictable and cheesy. The other part of the movie thats rather annoying is when the Curtis' are trying to out-run (or out-fly) the disaster and somehow they manage to bridge that gap and the vehicle makes it to the other side or the plane will disappear into the smoke and just manage to come back out etc., which sceptics would likely laugh and roll their eyes at - there again, come on, this is a disaster movie and the world is coming to an end, so, yeah, I can't say I know what that would be like but I wouldn't have thought its too realistic from that point of view and I wasn't so keen on that. At the same time, as I say the visual effects were really good, it was really quite impressive and atmospheric and I wished that my TV had a larger screen because I can imagine that it would look particularly good on a large widescreen TV. From the cinematography point of view, this is a very realistic and perhaps even somewhat shocking movie, with the shots of large long cracks appearing and buildings disappearing into the cracks, the earth seeming to be somewhat swallowed by volcanic eruptions, the earth crust moving etc., the visual effects are definitely what makes the movie worth watching and indeed what saves it from being rather boring or worse really.
The movie is long and I'm someone who can fairly easily lose interest in a long movie if the story is too slow or if there isn't enough action or otherwise if its not entertaining but in this case, I didn't become too distracted and I did watch it in full. I found that having the lights off and watching it in the dark made it quite atmospheric and I found myself being quite moved by it somehow, although I do feel that it is still quite cheesy and even predictable in parts but I guess I overlooked this.
As perhaps predictable as it is within the disaster movie genre, I did feel quite frustrated and annoyed with the scene where the governer of California, (aka Mr 'I'll be back' Schwarzennegger) was shown holding a press conference and trying to calm the citizens by insisting that he believed the worst was over and that there was no need to panic, only a few moments before the city where the Curtis' were living in and watching said press conference, started to, well, be destroyed. Not that I thought this denial wouldn't happen but gah, I'm sure I was left thinking typical! you can never trust politicians! lol now whether Arnold had any say in this portrayal or whatever, who knows lol it doesn't really paint him in a good light though, does it?.
I would perhaps warn that this movie isn't for those who are easily upset or for younger viewers (though it does have a '12' rating, which is about right I feel), as it is rather dark obviously due to the story and like I say it is a bit 'intense', if your in a bad frame of mind then this is rather a depressing movie and so isn't the best thing to watch, though I suppose that goes without saying but I thought I might as well add that... there are some touching scenes whereby those who are in the know decide to make that final, emotional phone call to loved ones, wanting to say goodbye or with some small hope that they may give their location and agree to be picked up but to no avail. Yes thats rather cheesy but its also quite moving, it depends how you react to such scenes I suppose... one scene in particular I wanted to reach for a tissue afterwards!.
I'll also admit that after the movie (finally...lol) finished, I did have an urge to rush up and open the curtains, just to check and be sure that everything was normal outside - if that isn't too embarrassing to admit lol.
- Would I Recommend It? -
Its funny - in some ways this movie was really not that good but on the other hand, it was really good, so its hard to decide how to rate this, though either way I would recommend it.
If you like these sorts of movies and if you have a particularly good/widescreen TV then I would definitely recommend that you watch this movie for the special effects. Its by no means perfect but most of the disadvantages are only a little irksome and overall I thought that this movie was quite intense/moving and I don't regret watching it, although I don't think that this is a movie you'd want to watch twice, so if you can catch it on a movie channel or rent it, then I'd recommend that but I wouldn't particularly recommend buying it on DVD, as I think this is a movie that if I bought it, I wouldn't watch it again, having seen it once, though im still glad I saw it.
I hope you found this review useful and as ever, thanks for any and all r/r/c's. This review is also posted on Ciao UK under the same username.
I honestly do not know what I was thinking when I added this to my rental list the other week. I was obviously having a momentary lapse of concentration as I had read predominantly bad reviews of this film and was aware it was yet another 'end of the world' saga. However, it arrived from lovefilm at the weekend and we decided to give it a chance (despite my other half raising his eyebrows at the choice).
Oh how I wish I could get the hours back I have lost to this absolute monstrosity of a film. I really wish I could give it no stars because in my opinion to give it one is to give it one too many.
Released in 2009, this film was directed (I use the term loosely, given the amount of CGI heavy scenes it would be fairer to say 'edited' or 'manipulated') by Roland Emmerich.
The end of the world is nigh! Again! This time, it is based around a prediction by the ancient Mayan civilization who calculated the end of the world to be around the 21st December 2012.
The idea within the film is that the sun has suddenly started giving off incredibly high levels of radiation which is causing the earth's core to heat up and as a result of this the crust is going to break up and shift causing massive earthquakes, tsunamis and a shifting of the polar axis.
The film follows a geologist, Adrian Helmsley (Ejiofor) who has discovered evidence of what is happening and becomes embroiled with the US Government in trying to prepare for the inevitable by creating huge ships which will carry around 400,000 people until the planet has reorganised itself.
It also follows sci-fi author Jackson Curtis (Cusack) who accidentally stumbles upon the truth while on holiday with his kids (yes really!) in yellowstone park and then does everything possible to get his estranged family on to one of the ships.
John Cusack - Jackson Curtis
Amanda Peet - Kate Curtis
Thandie Newton - Dr Laura Wilson (First Daughter)
Chiwetel Ejiofor - Dr Adrian Helmsley
Danny Glover - Thomas Wilson (President of the USA)
Liam James - Noah Curtis
Morgan Lily - Lily Curtis
Woody Harrelson - Charlie Frost
Thomas McCarthy - Dr Gordon Silberman
Johann Urb - Sasha (Russian pilot)
Zlatco Buric - Yuri Karpov (Russian Billionaire/Curtis' boss)
I am trying desperately to think of some positives. It is very difficult.
I guess it was fairly humorous in some parts although this was entirely unintentional. In particular the scene where the Chinese are airlifting one elephant / giraffe / rhino at a time by helicoptor harness over the himalayas had us in stitches, but by then hysteria was setting in so it might not actually be that funny to anyone else.
Where to begin?
This film was so bad (in our opinion) that I simply have to question the judgement of all of the actors involved. What a shame to see names like Woody Harrelson and John Cusack involved in such a poor scripted movie, what were they thinking? Worse than this, it could have been a major hollywood breakthrough for brit newcomer Ejiofor.
The script is bad, the acting is hilariously wooden all round. Cliches fly out thick and fast, the whole thing quickly descends into one very long, tedious and incredibly unbelievable CGI scene and any nuance of reality seems a very long way away. And it is so very long. 158 minutes of dirge. If I had paid to see it at the cinema I think I would have given up around the 90 minute mark.
I am not against 'disaster movies' per se, I really am not. But they have to be somewhat believable in my opinion to be worthy of praise. The odd moment of 'will he make it to the plane as the runway disappears into a void' could work - but when huge sections are just one scene after another of utterly incredible feats of blatently green screen stunts, I sort of lose the will to live.
Whole sections of the california coastline slide into the Pacific but somehow, despite utter carnage all around, Jackson manages to procure a plane, luckily his estranged wife's new bloke Dr Silberman happens to have a small amount of pilot experience and somehow translates this into singlehandedly flying the plane around toppling skyscrapers, under collapsing freeways and through volcanic ashclouds and lava (hey - we could do with his skills for European airspace over the summer surely!).
Jackson meanwhile manages to drive a motorhome through a volcanic eruption, hundreds of lava balls miss him by inches and then one takes the end off his motorhome and its all on fire but miraculously still driving perfectly, he gets to the runway and then an earthquake opens up a massive chasm and the motorhome falls in....cue panic on the plane which is as yet unaffected...but never fear! One hand comes grasping out of the top of the chasm, our hero has somehow managed to escape again!
Which is lucky because he needs to be there to drive a brand new bentley off the back of a cargo plane as it comes in to land (minus landing gear) in China (where the magic ships leave from). Obviously.
Need I go on? It's like Deep Impact on acid. Or Independance Day if a 5 year old was asked to create the stunts.
I found it very hard to feel any warmth for the characters, the script is very poor which does not give them much to work with, but seriously I just could not help laughing at the daft cliches and silly lines which were spewing forth. Why? Woody Harrelson??? Why?? (he plays a nutty ex-scientist turned hippy who inexplicably decides he will stand on top of the erupting volcano preaching like a religious zealot until the earth claims him, naturally).
Also, I am afraid this is just way too far fetched for me to feel even an inkling of 'it could happen'. It is a shame as this could have been much better and more interesting if only they had toned down the hilarious special effects.
My husband summed it up pretty well for me, when we finally got to the credits he said "I never thought you could pick a worse film than Wanted but you have." At least Wanted had the eye candy of James McAvoy. This has very little in the way of redeeming features.
If you like your films brain dead and absolutely crammed to the rafters with green screeen CGI heavy stunt scenes then maybe this is for you. Otherwise avoid like the plague.
Available to rent now on Lovefilm if you really must.