Another week gone by and no news about returning to work. What’s a person to do? I decided to get out of the house and head for the theater to catch a matinee. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to see but figured I would go with whatever was starting. When I arrived, there were quite a few cars in the parking lot and a school bus parked out front, so I asked the person at the ticket window which movie everyone was there to see (although I was sure I already knew the answer). Sure enough, it was “The Twilight Saga: New Moon”. You know I don’t do crowds, so I decided to see “2012″instead. The movie stars John Cusak, Amanda Peet, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Thandie Newton, Woody Harrelson, and Danny Glover. The title “2012″ refers to the date (December 12, 2012) which some believe will be the end of life on planet Earth because that is when the Ancient Mayan calendar expires. I wasn’t overly impressed by the previews of this movie but what the heck. Maybe I’d be pleasantly surprised since I had low expectations.
The movie begins with scientists observing a giant solar flare, the likes of which man has never seen. They soon realize the neutrinos from the flare are causing the earth’s core to heat up exponentially, melting the interior of the planet which, in turn, is causing the earth’s crust to become unstable.
Meanwhile, writer/limo driver Jackson Curtis (played by Mr. Cusak) shows up at his ex-wife’s place to take his two kids for a weekend of camping in Yellowstone. Once there, he finds something is up, but isn’t quite sure what. The camping trip lasts only until the first major city-splitting earthquake. Shortly after, all hell breaks loose (super volcanic and volcanic eruptions, 1,500 foot tsunamis, earthquakes, floods) and those involved make a mad dash for safety.
My guess is, whether you like this movie or not will depend on your mindset when you go see it. Is it trying to be fantasy or reality? If you’re expecting to see a mindless work of fiction with lots of action, destruction, and spectacular special effects, you’ll enjoy it. Matter of fact, if you have the option, you should see it on an IMAX screen. If you’re expecting a suspenseful, dramatic, realistic interpretation of the apocalypse… you’ll enjoy the spectacular special effects. Maybe.
Overall I thought the movie was good. I mean, I wasn’t angry about the $5 matinee ticket price. What can I say, I like effects. But even those effects wouldn’t have been worth a regular $10 ticket price. Since it didn’t seem to be a spoof (nor was it billed as one), my mindset was on seeing a realistic portrayal of “the end”. Unfortunately, there were too many unrealistic moments. Situations that even a lay person would know is not likely. Besides being predictable, it also had the usual movie recipe (sappy moments, bad attempts at humor and, at points, downright cheesy moments). It was also WAY too long. The movie runs 2 hours and 38 minutes and could have easily been edited down to a reasonable length.
Not long ago, a movie had a story and they sprinkled special effects in and around the story to enhance it. A really good movie would absorb you in and make you believe it (even a fantasy movie). A really good movie would get you personally invested and emotionally involved. Nowadays, more movies seem to be all about the graphics and effects with a sprinkle of story in there to fill the gaps. There’s no connection. This movie is no exception.