2012 [Blu-Ray] Roland Emmerich

2012 [Blu-Ray] Roland Emmerich
The only way to approach 2012 is with low expectations, because there is absolutely no other scenario where anybody's could possibly be exceeded. And while it tries hard to appear as something more than a dumb disaster movie, it really isn't ― this is pure escapism at its best and worst. The plot latches onto the fact that the Mayan calendar stops in 2012 and how some people suspect that indicates some kind of doomsday scenario. That particular myth is fleshed out with some impressive-sounding science and a wafer-thin storyline that tries to put a human face on the impending annihilation before things proceed at a breakneck pace with natural disaster after natural disaster. Even when the plot shifts gears somewhat to how the survivors are going to deal with the apparent end of the world, things aren't much better and there's the predictability that accompanies so many Hollywood blockbusters. Considering the other movies on director Roland Emmerich's resume (Independence Day and The Day After Tomorrow), it's not difficult to know what to expect: a cloyingly one-dimensional movie featuring spectacular special effects. At least initially; their effectiveness definitely fades as the movie drags on, as there's only so much wanton destruction an audience can endure. 2012 has its entertaining moments, but clocking in at over two-and-a-half hours makes it overly long and ineffective at conveying suspense, with the relentless moments of jeopardy eventually becoming laughable, as well as some of the dialogue. Everything about the film simply exists as a framework on which to hang the special effects, which admittedly look very impressive on Blu-Ray, but the movie gets pretty close to being a chore to watch despite a cast that includes John Cusack, Woody Harrelson, Thandie Newton and Oliver Platt, who try to convince themselves this is Oscar-worthy material. The movie is accompanied by a rather dull commentary track featuring Emmerich and co-writer Harald Klosser, where they don't say much of anything. The Picture-in-Picture commentary is much better, with cast and crew talking about their experiences, and also some other behind-the-scenes footage. The majority of the extras are collected on a second Blu-Ray disc, including an interactive Mayan calendar that provides horoscopes and personality profiles based on your date of birth. In addition, there are a few deleted scenes, an alternate ending and some other behind-the-scenes featurettes. The most interesting of the bunch is "Countdown To The Future," which looks at the supposed Mayan prophecy for 2012 and how it might actually be true. But the extras, just like the film, feel remarkably empty and underwhelming. (Sony)