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From Roland Emmerich, director of THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW and INDEPENDENCE DAY, comes the ultimate action-adventure film, exploding with groundbreaking special effects. As the world faces a catastrophe of apocalyptic proportions, cities collapse and continents crumble. 2012 brings an end to the world and tells of the heroic struggle of the survivors. Starring John Cusack, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Amanda Peet, Woody Harrelson and Danny Glover.
Now this is how you destroy the world. Roland Emmerich's 2012 pounces on a Nostradamus-style loophole in the Mayan calendar and rams the apocalypse through it, gleefully conjuring up an enormous amount of Saturday-matinee fun in the process. A scientist (Chiwetel Ejiofor) detects shifting continental plates and sun flares and realizes that this foretells the imminent destruction of the planet. Just as the molten lava is about to hit the fan, a novelist (John Cusack) takes his kids on a trip to Yellowstone; later he'll hook up with his ex (Amanda Peet) and her new boyfriend (Tom McCarthy) in a global journey toward safety. If there is any safety. The suitably hair-raising plot lines are punctuated--frequently, people, frequently--by visions of mayhem around the globe: the Vatican falls over, the White House is clobbered (Emmerich's Independence Day was not enough on that score), and the California coastline dives into the Pacific Ocean. Unlike other action directors we could name, Emmerich actually understands how to let you see and drink in these vast special-effects vistas--and they are incredible. He also honors the old Irwin Allen disaster-movie tradition by actually shelling out for good actors. Cusack and Ejiofor are convincing even in the cheesiest material; toss in Danny Glover (the U.S. president), Woody Harrelson (a nut-bar conspiracy-theorizing radio host), Thandie Newton, and Oliver Platt, and you've got a very watchable batch of people. Emmerich hasn't developed an ear for dialogue, even at this stage in his career, and the final act goes on a bit too long. This is a very silly movie, but if you've got a weakness for B-movie energy and hairbreadth escapes, 2012 delivers quite a bit of both. --Robert Horton
Stills from 2012 (Click for larger image)
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- Aspect Ratio : 2.40:1
- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- MPAA rating : s_medPG13 PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
- Product Dimensions : 7.5 x 5.25 x 0.5 inches; 2.4 Ounces
- Audio Description: : English
- Item model number : 9649
- Director : Roland Emmerich
- Media Format : Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
- Run time : 2 hours and 38 minutes
- Release date : March 2, 2010
- Actors : John Cusack, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Danny Glover, Woody Harrelson, Tom McCarthy
- Dubbed: : French
- Subtitles: : English, French
- Studio : Sony Pictures
- ASIN : B001OQCV2E
- Number of discs : 1
- Best Sellers Rank: #4,564 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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If you do watch this, when it's over, ask yourself: Are rich people really the best choice for repopulating the world? The ones who made their fortunes by despoiling it in the first place?
As fa as disaster movies go the effects are good as only you'd epect from Roland Emmerich. John Cusack is always enjoyable and he does the best he can with the script. The blu ray version looks and sounds good on a 4K TV despite not having an upscaling player. Its a much better film I think than say Deep Impact. Wood Harrelson kills it as the conspiracy nut. Oliver Plat nails it as the character you have to and want to hate. The interesting side story on the cruise ship with the poseideon adventure feel was very entertaining. Added to my collection with all the other disaster movies i can't get enough of the stupid fun.
Price? I got the special addition, two disc blu ray. Price? I did what they called "shopping" and got it for less then Wally World. No I did not go for a digital download. I have a 4K TV, so this was great. Not the Blu Ray is an upgrade from the DVD version.
As I said, a great diversion movie. It is a disaster movie. If you want to entertain the kids etc this works. if you want to entertain the Book Club friends with Wine and Cheese this will not work. Ahh I remember when Star Wars got bad reviews....
Top reviews from other countries
The carnage effects are grade "A" stuff, eye popping and ear splintering, Emmerich is a master at this sort of thing, and with a likable cast comfortably chewing through the safe disaster film making screenplay, it's a very decent popcorn blockbuster. It also isn't afraid to explore some dark moments, all of which - while not all being a surprise - strike strong emotional chords. It knows its disaster movie roots and is happy to tug on them.
2012 made a $500 million profit, that's a figure not to be ignored. The blockbuster movie loving public lapped it up, they often love this stuff, they just want to see the world exploding and chases and crashes and humans imploding or being heroic. If you have to strip it bare on any sort of cerebral level, then of course it's naked. But fully clothed, attired purely in modern film popcorn clobber, then it's grand dramatic and exciting fun. And this even as you have to massage your buttocks at the two hour mark. 7/10
Let's not beat around the incinerated bush as they say, chances are you watched this for the apocalyptic mayhem that Emmerich meticulously orchestrated. In which case good for you. The visual splendour and all-round screams of innocent civilians falling through the cracks of doom, will certainly keep viewers..ummm...engaged? Yeah, engaged. Entertained would be inappropriate. And obviously, the state-of-the-art technology is showcased exuberantly, with a slight undertone of melancholy as cities are wiped off the face of the Earth.
But y'know, when certain lines like "we're being pulled apart" are exerted, followed by a giant crack in the ground ferociously splitting a supermarket in half with the couple on each side, it just makes you wonder. How? How can a film so "90s", with all its buoyant intricacies and ridiculousness, become so overlong and tedious. Understandably, it's a disaster flick, not to be taken seriously and sprinkled with a tiny dusting of salt to spice up the premise. Yet holy sweet lord did I yawn more times than the Russian billionaire proclaiming his nationality in his best Vin Diesel impression possible.
The characters were lifeless. You shan't care if they drown, become crushed by a toppling skyscraper or incinerated by an exploding super volcano. They are literally a means to provide variance to the disasters, by travelling across the globe and narrowly escaping every situation by the thinnest of margins. Absurd. Absolutely stupid. The lines of dialogue were woeful. "I'm not wearing any pull-ups!". Shut it missy, before I launch you off this spaceship. The character choices themselves were baffling. Parking a camper van five miles away from the actual plane, meaning Jackson has to exert energy and outrun the sizzling caldera looming behind him. Tense? Eh. Lacking common sense? Definitely.
Yet my biggest gripe is, and altogether now, plot conveniences! Yes, they're back with a vengeance. Ready yourselves. So. Jackson, who goes back to save his ex-wife's family, is a writer who also chauffeurs a rich Russian billionaire around (who happens to have a ticket to a humanity-saving ark) whose wife is a patient of Jackson's ex-wife's partner, who is a plastic surgeon, who has the talent of piloting a plane with another pilot that is having an affair with Russian billionaire wife, who has no connection to a geologist who loved reading Jackson's book (that only sold 427 copies) who allowed Jackson and his kids to be escorted out of Yellowstone (to which they were trespassing) with no charges, but soon develops a romance with the President's daughter who has no real purpose to the story whatsoever, due to the President staying behind and...yeah. Whatever.
Ejiofor and Newton provide some good acting, everyone else ranged from bad to functional. And the most frustrating aspect is, that Emmerich dabbles into the moral and ethical consequences of not notifying humanity of their impending demise. The wealthy receiving and purchasing invites to save their lives whilst the rest of civilisation have no choice but to embrace death. But these infrequently forced moments of ethics were not enough to save this disaster flick from being the ironic overlong disaster that it is. Visually engaging, literarily snooze-inducing. Typical Emmerich I suppose...
The echoes of his previous hits can certainly be clearly heard, whether it's destroying the White House but saving the dog again just like he did in Independence Day or having characters outrun extreme weather conditions - in this case pyroclastic clouds rather than global warming itself - as they did in The Day After Tomorrow. But there's no denying that he gives great Apocalypse, and he clearly has enough anarchic spins on the End of the World As We Know It to fill another movie with jaw-dropping special effects setpieces, taking on a whole new set of iconic landmarks. Thus a crack along the Sistine Chapel that divides the hand of Adam and God results in the Vatican crushing the praying masses, the statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio De Janeiro falls apart like jelly, Yellowstone Park becomes the world's biggest super volcano and Hollywood and the entire state of California fall into the sea while the ground opens up beneath Las Vegas like Sodom and Gomorrah Part Two. This is Armageddon - the Rollercoaster Ride, and about as impressively staged on a purely technical level as you're ever likely to see on the screen, and unlike other hacks who overdo the shakeycam and MTV editing, Emmerich has enough confidence in the spectacle and old-fashioned filmmaking nous to let you actually see it all properly.
It's a surprisingly well-structured film too, at least for its first two thirds, giving enough detail to move the film towards the cataclysmic day without giving away its entire hand too soon. Even more surprisingly it keeps the worst excesses of cheap sentiment that the genre is notorious for at bay for much of its running time before finally giving way to temptation in the soggy finale that could have done with a bit more ruthlessness and a lot less cheese. But for the most part the worst excesses are relegated to the deleted scenes bin on the DVD and Blu-ray (including one character getting a crowdpleasing but unbelievable sock on the jaw while a couple of dead meat supporting players miraculously return from their watery grave).
Not that everything works so well. Some of the cast (Chiwetel Ejiofor, John Cusack, Oliver Platt) get dealt a better hand by the writers than others (George Segal, Woody Harrelson) and there are enough bad lines that raise laughs like "The director of the Louvre was an enemy of humanity?" for you to suspect they were put there deliberately. The costume design of the crew of the arks in the finale, especially Stephen McHattie's captain, look like leftovers from a cancelled 50s TV show and there are a some unfortunately poor in a laugh-out-loud way moments in the boarding sequence (hint: oil sheiks and corgis).
But by far the biggest drawback is the image quality. While the big effects sequences are convincing enough, the decision to use the highly flawed Panavision Genesis digital cameras instead of shooting on film means that shots of an airship carrier crashing into the White House look more convincing than simple shots of characters talking in dark locations or at night - and there are a lot of them in the last section of the film. Blu-ray can't help the problems of lack of depth, detail and definition or the persistent blurring even on simple motion in low light levels, merely accurately reproduce the flaws in the original. While the image quality is never as bad as on Superman Returns, it's a major step back from the kind of quality you should expect from a film this expensive.
Yet for all that, as a spectacular exercise in watching big things get destroyed while the odd human being makes an unlikely hair's-breadth escape that usually defies the laws of physics, it does it's job.
While the DVD only offers an audio commentary, adulatory featurette on the director and 5 negligible deleted scenes and a hokier alternate ending as extras, the Blu-ray includes additional puff pieces (though not as many as the US disc, which also includes a music video) as well as a picture-in-picture featurettes, but there's nothing of much substance here.
This is a epic,action packed,special effects(which are the best ever to me in a film and nothing has looked as good on a cinema)heavy and mother of all disaster films and needs to be seen at least once in your lifetime.
As I said the acting is very good especially from John Cusack and Chiwetel Ejiofer and considering that nearly all the disaster moments that the actors don't see what we see their acting is brilliant and they are reacting to things that are not there and proof of good actors,its the same with the actors in Transformers when there are no robots to them but just to us watching at home.
The special effects are jaw dropping with without doubt the highlights are the stunning eruption of Yellowstone which nearly blew my eardrums off in the cinema and the mega quake in LA which shown the city destroyed for ever and so say would take thousands of years to rebuild and believe me you would not want this to happen for real people.
Its silly,very cheesy and drags a bit after a astonishing first hour but all in all you won't see a more spectacular and jaw dropping piece of blockbuster entertainment than this in your lifetime.