askally

Movie Night with AskAlly: 2012

In Animals, Dog, Film, Life, People, Travel on March 13, 2011 at 3:03 am

For the last two days I, like most people, spent most of the day with BBC News live running pretty much non-stop in the corner of my laptop while I worked on the next chapter of my thesis. Actually, that’s probably not what most people did the last two days at all, but I am sure that most people, like me, were transfixed by the horrific images of the devastation in Japan. My heart goes out to the victims and their families.

Maybe at first we hoped that a pretty serious bullet had been dodged. A bazooka bullet. Do bazookas have bullets? The point stands: for the first few hours, despite a number of YouTube videos featuring Tokyo getting mad shook up, the predicted death toll was low for a magnitude 8.9 quake. Good on you, Japanese building engineers.

But then there was the tsunami, and we found out what had happened to Sendai, Minamisanriku, and the rest of the Miyagi Prefecture. The footage of a wave of water, debris, and debris on fire obliterating everything in its path didn’t seem real. Neither did the tsunami warnings issued for the rest of the Pacific Basin, nor the reports of nuclear emergencies at power stations. It was like something out of an apocalyptic disaster film; or, more specifically, something from Roland Emmerich’s 2012.

I had never seen this film, but thanks to the magic of Twitter I was made well aware of the parallels (and here you probably thought it was all Bieberphiles and bad grammar and misogynistic hashtag trends). Still, I needed to see for myself if the Japanese earthquake really was a sign of the end of days. So I decided to watch it while working on my chapter, giving myself a break from the news reports. However, I very quickly found myself abandoning any pretence of work and getting 100% invested in the sheer insanity of this film.

I haven’t seen a film this full-on crazy since the 1966 Adam West gem Batman: The Movie. And in that movie, Adam West made a shark blow up by spraying it with a bat-brand shark repellent while dangling upside down from a helicopter within the first 3 minutes of the film. What follows is my scene-by-scene (well, important scene by important scene) reaction to the film. Hopefully you will be inspired to waste 2 hours of your life watching it, too.

(P.S. I am going to answer a question soon. I am working on one as we speak (not really).
But I have started one and put it aside for a month. Be patient; this comes first.)

Begin film: 2012

Oh hey, it’s Kinky Boots. Kinky Boots is gonna save the world, in his kinky boots. There’s no way the movie I am about to watch could be any better than the movie that is in my mind right now.

Kinky Boots

"Hello, my name is Kinky Boots. I read your book. Let's save humanity."

“Hey, I read your crazily optimistic and coincidentally appropriate but poorly received magnum opus novel – it’s almost like it could be the moral guide for a post-apocalyptic rebuilding of human civilisation like the one that will take place after the apocalypse I am concealing from you. Isn’t that weird? Anyway, there’s nothing foreboding about this foreboding military operation at the lake of death, so please continue enjoying your last moments of existence camping trip.”

Man, Woody Harrelson has really let himself go. Right down the crazy route. Although I have to admit, his highly sophisticated animated-video blog really clearly sums up the danger to humanity.

Crazy hippies are scary

Yeah, that's how I'd react if I bumped into crazy hippy Woody Harrelson on top of a soon-to-erupt super volcano, too.

Okay, first – I’m like four minutes into this film. The world can’t be starting to end already – I have to identify with the characters first! I need to see their normal lives so that I am heartbroken when they die! And where are the obligatory side-plots, with annoying pions who will go through horrific experiences so I can watch the world burn in 6 different ways?
And second – how likely is it that the ground would crack directly between this arguing couple who just happen to be two of the main characters? This is what the pions are for, dammit.

Placard

It's a sad day when you realise the nutballs with the signs are right.

Holy shit – the world really is going to start ending right now. They are actually going to destroy California before 20 minutes have passed. And John Cusack’s family and romantic rival are sitting down to waffles – they have no chance.

John Cusack in this limo and shit is all flying and crashing and exploding – whaaat is happening? I don’t even know. Where is your boom-box?

Are you kidding me? I mean, sure it’s fun to watch California literally slide into the ocean, but this kind of narrow escape is only supposed to happen in the last 20 minutes, not the first. How are you going to maintain my interest for 2 hours?

It might just be me, but a pit stop to drive on top of a potential super volcano is probably not the best idea you have ever had.

See? This – this is what I was talking about. Oh, but it’s okay, because apparently the laws of physics and statistics don’t apply to John Cusack, so his crappy tin-can mobile home is pretty much safe as houses.

Airplane

It's the little light aircraft that could.

Does this plane have, like, turbo boost or something? Also, how many times can you narrowly escape certain death?

A) How is it that three lessons on a single engine plane enables you to fly a jet? I don’t know anything about airplanes, but there seem to be a lot of buttons and flashing lights on this thing that weren’t on your little one. B) Who is this monk? What is going on? Who are these people? Where am I? Are they speaking Chinese? Why are there no subtitles?

Vegas Ruined

"Ohahaha look - look at those little tiny people burn to death as the Mirage slowly sinks into liquid hot magma! It's like something from a Wayans brothers' movie! Now that's entertainment."

Also: it is important, when you are (yet again) about to die, to take time to stare in awe at your method of transport. This is key.

This film is so over the top crazy that it has pulled itself full circle from pure shit to pure genius. They are actually laughing at the destruction of Las Vegas. Oh ho ho! Was that the Eiffel Tower replica we just knocked over? I think so – ahaha brilliant! And everyone but us is dying a horrible death. Classic. This film just doesn’t even care any more. It’s not only burning down human civilisation, it is pissing on the ashes.

Whaaat the Sistine Chapel just cracked right along the spark of life. Was that necessary? YES IT WAS.

Yeaah… they smooshed the White House with an aircraft carrier. My life has never been as complete as it is right now. How did I never see this movie until now?

Smoosh the Whitehouse

Whoever thought to themselves, "What is the best way to destroy the White House?" and decided the answer was "SMOOSH IT WITH A BIG BIG BOAT" deserves a Nobel prize for something. It doesn't even matter what.

No, sexy Russian pilot – don’t be a hero! You need to live and populate the new world with sexy Russian babies! But wait – maybe he will make it? Awww, shit. Down he goes.

WHAT. Now there is a flying giraffe. A flying giraffe. You can’t make this stuff up.

Those evil rich Russians totally screwed our heroes over. No good will come of that, they can rest assured. They shall be justly punished in due course.

Whelp, that confirms it. Oliver Platt is a dickhead.

This random busty lady is going to die for the sake of her stupid floofy dog. We don’t need stupid floofy dogs to rebuild society. It’s not even cute, it looks like an inbred rodent. Just let it go.

The gate is stuck. Everybody is going to die oh god.

Oliver Platt

See, what's happening here is Oliver Platt is being a big ol' jerk, and Kinky Boots is about to take him down. That's what's happening.

Woah. You knew they were going to kill the stepdad, but did it have to be so gruesome? Yeesh – squishy squishy.

What is happening now? Are they going to go all Titanic on the tip of Mount Everest?! I think they are. Yeah they definitely are. Holy shit this movie has everything!

Alright, seriously? Will everybody please stop swimming into the tunnel of death, please? Please. Come on. You people have a species to save. Don’t be dumb.

Tunnel of Death

"It's a suicide mission, but I have to go, to save the world." "I'll go with you." NO. "Yes, and me." NO. STOP THAT. How many more people have to die, goddamnit?!

The suicide mission has been a complete success! Oh no, wait. John Cusack survived. The suicide mission has been an utter failure. Honestly – don’t you people know how these things even work? The clue is in the name: suicide mission. Suicide.

Oooh they are opening up the gates – the dove has come back with an olive leaf, people. We have olives. Prepare for olives. I would bet all the money in an Icelandic bank that the first thing they see will be some bad-ass CGI dinosaurs. With jet-packs. But seriously: dinosaurs, yes? Yes? Yes.

What? No! Where the hell are my dinosaurs?

Humanity evolved out of Africa, and now it’s going back to Africa to start the process all over again. The lesson here is that history is cyclical. It all ends up right back where it started. Awww, doesn’t that just make you think?

So in the end everything worked out okay for an apocalypse and John Cusak didn’t even die. Although I seriously expected there to be dinosaurs when they opened the gates, so I was a bit disappointed by that. And now back to the real world where it’s really 3am and real tragedy has occurred in Japan and I am really freaking out that 2012is going to really happen for real.

Lack of Dinosaurs

On the top, you will see what I expected from a film of this calibre: note the dinosaurs flying comfortably alongside helicopters. Beneath it, you will see its immensely inferior doppelganger: note the lack of any dinosaurs or similar creatures. Subpar.

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