Am I the only one hoping the Mayans were right?

Having grown up in the hay-day of the disaster film, I'll let you all (ahhh... I mean you Joe) in on a dirty little secret.... I was pretty stoked to see Roland Emmerich's utterly reviled 2012. While it sported a lousy 30% from snooty critics on rottentomatoes.com, it scored a modestly respectable 6.1 IMDb rating from Joe Six-Pack. I kinda knew what to expect going in – it was going to be cheesy and ludicrous and about 85% CGI.

...and I was right. The critics nailed this one. It is cheesy and ludicrous, all special effects and no soul. It's also the most spectacular, ass-kicking, fun-ride I've seen since Speed Racer. 2012 isn't supposed to be a great film, it's just supposed to entertain us and on this level, it simply knocked my socks off. Emmerich pulled out all the stops and after an opening half hour of stern, scientific-head-nodding with all sorts of murmurs like, “....but neutrinos can't affect matter. Well they are.” (Cue concerned scientist looks), the final 2 hours is absolutely insane. Everything gets destroyed. Every landmark and recognizable world city (except Toronto, so it seems we're not world class after all dammit) is split in half, torched and swallowed up by Mother Earth. You go girl. Here's what she did to Vegas for example....

2012 is 2013 times more satisfying than the gooey and insufferable Avatar, with all of its holistic planetary connectivity and hand-holding horseshit. The Mother Earth in 2012 is a fiery galactic bitch set on wiping the slate clean and starting all over again. Now there's an uppity interstellar mass I can get behind.

On a side note, the “goofs” section for 2012 on IMDb.com is 3073(!) words long and includes things like....

"Revealing mistakes: In the movie, neutrinos interact with the earth's core and cause temperature to rise. But, since they come from the sun, the first matter they should interact with is the water in the oceans, and as result our oceans should start to boil. For some undeclared reason in the movie, only the earth's core interacts with them."

That people seriously stew about things like this constantly amazes me. (....they're "microwaves"... you retard....) Around the middle of the movie, Yellowstone National Park goes nuclear with the largest volcanic explosion in history and rather than the initial shock wave instantly vapourizing the onlooking Woody Harrelson, he's gently knocked over and then pops right back up again. And you're going to get worked up about neutrino science? Ridiculous. (Rest assured that the plant-eating-vegan-do-gooder Harrelson gets it large a few minutes later when he's crushed under 2 acres of flying mountain top. YES! Nice one, Roland.)

All in all, I'd say 2012 was $250,000,000.00 well spent. If there was a Most Ridiculous Movie award at the Oscars, Avatar would still win it, but Roland would have definitely got the nomination he deserved. If you want the ultimate in cheesy Emmerich goodness, however – run the alternate ending and treat yourself to an impossibly-happy Hollywood ending to a film where 6 billion people just got flash-fried. Too, too fabulous. I squirted Coke right out my nose and nearly choked to death as I watched. I swear to God.




Britarded said...

i's hear

the coelacanth said...

that's it - i'm watching this tonight!

Dropkick said...

i watched this in D-Box seating. That's where your actual theater seats move in relation to the action on screen and even that couldn't get me into a movie this stupid.
Some people get a real hard on for shit blowing up but i've never really been that kind of movie-goer.
i guess if you've been watching summer blockbusters since you were 2 stuff blowing up seems old hat.
The last time i cared about something blowing up was the buildings of Parliament in V for Vendetta. Before that it was the Death Star (both of them)

i think the last line of this film "look daddy, no more pull-ups" has a double meaning.
1. The line relates directly with the film speaking of us as a species having to grow up.
2. It speaks directly to the audience saying "hey! you don't have to sit through this shit anymore!"

i challenge you to sneak your Avatar hate into everything you write for the blog throughout the year.
You're on a pretty good roll so far.

オテモヤン said...


La Sporgenza said...

Strange you would suggest that I hated Avatar because I didn't Kris. As an event movie, it also delivered and made for an entertaining 2+ hour diversion. The problem with Avatar is fairly straightforward – by most measurements, it's just not a very good film. The story and themes are infantile, unrealistic and irrelevant, but that's probably not the fault of the filmmakers. Although it's probably true of every generation, we seem compelled to overstate every achievement, every current event as the biggest this and the biggest that of all time. It's a game changer. These are the best Olympics ever. This is unprecedented. That's never been done before. etc. etc. etc.

This proclivity for exaggeration is both a little pompous and a lot boring. We endure nearly constant media intrusion and have to grapple with the endless sensationalizing of news and entertainment designed to stand out from the next guy's broadcast. Yesterday's story needs to be one-upped and the result is an infinite feedback loop the amplifies the mediocre into the important. My point about 2012 was only partly tongue-in-cheek. As a film, it's not a lot different from Avatar in many ways. What is different, the result of some very shrewd marketing, is Cameron's film has plugged into this desire and expectation for modern excellence. It's ended up receiving an incredible (and quite frankly, mostly undeserved), degree of acclaim as a great film, which it certainly is not. It's an event, a spectacle, which isn't a bad thing at all, we've just lost all perspective on its true merits as a film. The only thing Avatar changes about film is the industry's economics. It drives an even larger wedge between film as an art form and film as a commercial venture. While it expands the possibilities of technically manufactured movies and an artificial visual palette, it doesn't advance the language of cinema as a tool for communication and disseminating ideas. One could even argue that Avatar represents a giant step backward in this regard.

To be sure, 2012 is guilty of all of these same charges, but it seemed somehow less intellectually insulting than Avatar. It has ground rules and the filmmaker acknowledges that the audience is in on the joke right out of the gates. Emmerich's film is all illusion and banality delivered at breakneck speed, promising nothing other than escapism, thrills, chills and more than it's share of audience groans. To impose anything else on it is pointless. The reason I keep referring back to Avatar in a number of my recent post is to suggest it needs to be seen as the preposterously overblown B movie it is. Avatar isn't a total film experience in the way that great films are. Cameron's fantastic use of technology props up a terrible screenplay that's clogged with hokey plot retreads, gag-inducing dialogue, and shallow characterizations. Just like 2012 is.

Dropkick said...

Hey Sporg,
I think we should rename Crunchy Frog "Blood of the Nav'i". ya know... for the kids