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June 17, 2024

2012 (Ways To Ruin a Movie Experience)

By Bernie and Sand Pilarski


Sand says:

Could it really have been ten years ago that I saw the first trailer for the movie 2012? Seems like it. Every time we went to the movies there was this ominous threatening disaster scene with the world ending in 2012, just in time to beat the Christmas shopping rush.

See, the Mayan calendar (allegedly) ends with the year 2012. As we all know, Mayans were well known for their astronomical expertise, human sacrifice, heavy duty architecture, and ability to abandon all those things completely and walk away whistling into the jungle to eat parrots and hang around the campfire in as little attire as possible. Therefore, we should all take note that they must have been right about when the world ends.

Now, what to do about it? Oh, right, the Über-Government has a Plan.

That's it, that's what you need to know to understand the movie, although they don't really mention the human sacrifice or the walking away from civilization part, or the architecture, or the astronomy. But wait, there's one last little bit: the sun will turn traitor to old planet Earth, and send out mutant nutrinos that will turn the Earth into a giant microwave. That's right. Mutant nutrinos. Giant Microwave.

In order to comprehend what that means, you should turn away from your computer, take an uncooked, unbroken egg from your refrigerator, and put it in your microwave oven on "High" for one minute. (Long ago, when I called my dear friend Melissa long distance to tell her I had bought my first microwave oven, she recommended I try this. It was such an astounding event that when my mother got her first microwave oven, I suggested the same thing to her. Most satisfying.)

In fact, you could do the egg-and-microwave thing and save yourself the price of a movie ticket, popcorn, and a drink, watch the movie trailers on line, trim your toenails or clean out the litter box while you do so, and end up with a more satisfactory cinematic experience.

We know already, before the movie begins, that just about everything is going to blow up. That's what the ten years of previews at the theaters have told us. How can we be more entertained?

Let's add in a Semi-Estranged Daddy of two children, the Requisite Sulky Brat-Ass Boy and the little Insecure Sister (for the high-pitched screams), the skeletally thin Conflicted Mother, and a "nice" Live In Boyfriend who is just so "nice" that everybody should love him, just as we should all sympathize with the loser daddy who just screwed up his life and aha, NOW, when the world is about to end, leads his two children into a government restricted zone in Yellowstone Park to get around to discovering Something Big Is Up.

In addition, we need to add three cups of Earnest Young Scientist, a couple of Old Guys Who Miss Their Dead Wives, and a pinch of Hard-Boiled Politicians.

We'll mix all those together with a really bad script, the kind of acting that turns stars and starlets to drink, and CGI that is so over-the-top that you might as well have watched a giant realistic cartoon of Donald Duck mooning the Earth before he sat down on California and crushed it into the sea.

The actors and actresses? No, I will not even mention their names, because undoubtedly, after this movie, they have entered a Shitness Protection Program and walk about wearing bags over their heads, trying not to be recognized as having had anything to do with this Disaster-Disaster Film.

I didn't wear a watch today, which may have been a good thing, as I could not be annoyed at the passing of time during the movie, but that didn't stop me from habitually checking my bare wrist to see how long I had to go to escape the movie.

On the Winter Solstice of the year 2012, I highly recommend that you rent this film on DVD and watch it -- that way, if the world does end, you'll be incredibly grateful.

Bernie said:

So it was raining, which for those of us in the Central Valley of California (where it doesn't much rain) is an event that brings to mind the end of the world. At a certain level, we are kind of sure that the world isn't ending, and we always say "well, we really need the rain," but in point of fact, we are not sure and we really don't mean it. The rain makes it really inconvenient to do stuff outside, and in theory the rain water could soak down and lubricate the tectonic plates causing them to slip, which as you know, would make us all slide into the ocean and make Des Moines ocean front property. In theory. Some of you may not react this way to rain. The important thing here is not that you think this, but rather that you can be aware that some of us do, and when we do, we also think "what kind of movie would we like to go see if the world was ending today?"

Now you could choose to go see a Tom Cruise movie, thereby putting yourself in the frame of mind that you would glad to see the world end, or you could choose to go see a movie about the end of the world in hopes of gaining some pointers about how to survive the rain. Fortunately there was no Tom Cruise movie. Let me repeat, fortunately there was no Tom Cruise movie. I could end there and everyone could walk away with a warm fuzzy feeling, but as you may have already guessed from the rain, Sand and I could not leave well enough alone. We had to go see 2012.

2012 is a movie that promised to be the ultimate disaster movie. Ambitiously, it wanted to wipe out the entire world. With an estimated $200,000,000 budget and the current state of CGI technology, the satisfying destruction of the world seemed within reach. All that was needed was a story on which to hang the CGI and you had the makings of a hit, and in fact, 2012 is a hit. According to Internet Movie Database (imdb.com), the movie has raked in well over $660,000,000, enough to make a sequel a serious consideration.

SPOILER ALERT! I am going to recap the movie here, so if you don't want to know what happens, you may wish to avert your eyes. The plot goes like this: boring, boring, boring, blow stuff up, boring, boring, blow up lots of stuff, boring, really boring, eye rolling stupidity, poorly done pathos, boring, boring, happy ending. There are maybe about twenty minutes of cool CGI tucked into the gizzard of this two and a half hour turkey, but your butt falls asleep between the cool scenes.

This movie tries to be serious and fails completely. It is bad enough that it is almost funny. In fact, I think that if they had used the identical script and simply cast Charlie Sheen in place of John Cusack in the lead, and cast Leslie Nielson as the President instead of Danny Glover, this could have been a perfect comedy and a much more satisfying movie.

This was a big enough disappointment that I was tempted to stand out in front of the theater with a megaphone saying "STEP AWAY FROM THE THEATER, NOTHING TO SEE HERE." I don't even know if I could recommend that you rent the DVD when it comes. I can't believe I'm saying this, but you might want to consider a Tom Cruise movie instead.

Article © Bernie and Sand Pilarski. All rights reserved.
Published on 2009-12-14
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