I had to get some new tires on my car yesterday, so I went to a Sears located a few hundred feet from the local movie theater, so I could watch a movie while the tires were changed. I dropped the car off at 1:00 PM and loped over to catch an early afternoon view of just-released 2012.
Entering the actual theater, I was astounded to see that it was full. I had to ask a few people if the coat-covered seat next to them was taken. This was a sold out early weekday afternoon movie. I don't think I have EVER seen that before.
Be forwarned. I'm an apocalypse movie fan. I loved Deep Impact, with Morgan Freeman, Tea Leoni and Robert Duvall, and Armageddon, with Bruce Willis, Billy Bob Thornton, Ben Affleck.
This flick, starring John Cusack, Amanda Peet, Danny Glover (as president) and Woody Harrelson (as dead-on weirdo conspiracist) was a blast.
It's based on the idea that the Mayan Calendar predicts the end of the world in 2012. The writers and directors assume this means cataclysmic events of the geological kind. But perhaps, the Mayans figured out that Sara Palin would win the 2012 elections, which would also end the world as we know it.
Frankly, I was skeptical that they could carry off this plotline. With all the hype it received in the runup to its release, I wondered whether it would live up to the promise. It does.
Let's be clear, this is not educational. But it is, occasionally inspiring.
It took away some of my skepticism when, in the mandatory early stage of the movie, when the panicked scientist told a high level government fat cat bureaucrat, the fat cat actually responds with immediacy and urgency, taking the scientist seriously-- exactly the opposite of the way global warming critics like Senator James Inhofe would respond.
Of course, as we've learned from the Democrats and Obama, just because one response is better than the most neanderthal range of responses possible.
The movie kept me on the edge of my seat enough of the time to make ME satisfied I was on a great thrill ride. It built characters that were not very deep, but who you cared about, in spite of their flaws, and even, for a few moments, it was touching.
I think I can add, without it being a spoiler, one message 2012 offers is that a writer, by reaching and touching one person, can make a difference for the whole world.
The graphics are, necessarily, incredible. This is an eye-candy movie. Go expecting to be entertained and not enlightened, and it's well worth the ten bucks-- a great two plus hours of escapism that race by faster than you'd imagine.
What a difference, compared to Men Who Stare At Goats, which was a real disappointment, considering the star power included. Even great actors couldn't save that movie's weak script.