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I ain’t askeert o’ nothin’. 2 April 2010

Posted by The Inimitable M in One-offs.
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I watched 2012 last night.  The über-skeptic scientist in me could only watch the film and say, “Ooooh cool effects!”  They sure made it seem real…kind of…in a surreal sort of way.  It reminded me of Independence Day, actually.  It was full of the same sort of absurdity and drama in the story line, yet the special effects were so darn good, I was able to overlook the lousy story.   I give it 3 stars.  ½ a star goes to the actors for suffering through this, and 2½ go to Industrial Light & Magic for making the film.

The fact that he could drive a limo, a jeep, a camper and all that rot through the purported various gates of hell was just too freaking stupid.  That whole climbing out of a pit with a map in his hand?  Pffffffft.  That stepfather with 2 flying lessons saving the day in that twin-engine?  Puhleeeze.  People were calling family members and the lines were down everywhere but their house?  The towers to make that call were miraculously still standing?  How about saying that the President of the United States stayed behind and trusted in prayer…and the other one who did was the Italian Prime Minister?  THAT little nugget didn’t get past me, either, especially since the Italian Prime Minister is a socialist…and for pete’s sake, it’s Berlusconi. 

I’m sorry, but it wasn’t even good science fiction.  I couldn’t cheer for the survivors the way that I could cheer for people in Independence Day.  There was no personal emotional investment.  Yes, I know, I never show emotions, anyway, but you just have to feel something for the characters, and all I felt was familiarity because I’d seen them in other films.

There wasn’t enough scientific explanation.  But, then, you know me.  I want less maudlin human emotion crap in a film like this and more science, science, science. 

That entire roller coaster feeling, however, was too cool.  Where do you get THAT for 2 ½ hours for $4.99, yeah? 

I then got to thinking that, despite the fact I know alot about how the Maya used calendars (which is why this whole deadearth theory seems ridiculous to me), I haven’t read anything in the last 10-15 years.  I found some great sites from tribe.com, kachina.net, skepdic.com and the actual Maya calendar site at mayacalendar.com, plus a few pretty wishy-washy psychic sites.  While at least one of the psychic sites said the world would not end in 2012, the way they approached it was incredibly airy, which is something the Maya were not.

I have got to give kudos to a friend from my former life, Dennis Muren, for his special effects.  Industrial Light & Magic deserved major awards for what they did with this film.  They saved the director’s ass.  The story line?  Meh.  The magic in the visuals?  Bravo.

Here’s a video of Dennis at a conference where he’s talking about special effects.  Couldn’t just pop it in because it belongs to the New Yorker, but it’s about special effects in general, and he touches on the work done for 2012.  It’s long (more than half an hour).  If you have the patience, it’s worth watching.

(Click on the picture)

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Comments»

1. KayAnna Kirby - 2 April 2010

I agree. I saw 2012 a few weeks ago and thought the same thing. I went into the movie knowing it was campy so I didn’t get the let down that I would’ve had thinking otherwise. However, the never ending action, and special effects were fun. It was a fun movie to watch. You missed a lot of campy ridiculous moments, like running from an erupting volcano, or driving through buildings etc. lol. Fun nonetheless.

2. Liz Fichera - 2 April 2010

Thanks for the review. I think movie makers try to “wow” viewers with the special effects, hoping that they’ll overlook story details. That only goes so far. Think I’ll wait till I can rent it for a buck at Blockbusters.

3. simply scott - 2 April 2010

It was a cool, fun movie, and that’s all anyone should take away from it or expect from it. The kids thought it was awesome, and it was in a roller coastery kind of way. Totally worth the money I shelled out, but if they wanted to see it again, I would rent it.


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