2012 and other movies

We’ve gotta get out of here, pronto. Jackson turns the key in the ignition, hurried, shaking, but the engine doesn’t start. He tries again, his face gleaming with sweat—


Everyone’s panicking—yells, screams, hysteria—panicking loudly.

Slowly a booming voice rises over the din, a bass Russian voice that’s as heavy as its owner: “Everybody shut uuuuup!”

The car grows silent as the camera flashes to the dashboard and the most well-integrated product placement I’ve ever seen, ever: Bentley—elegant, slanted, silver letters.

The voice continues: “Engine, start.”

When school’s out and the weather’s cold, my family migrates: we have a tradition of driving to South Carolina every Thanksgiving and Florida every winter. While we’re there, we have a tradition of seeing a movie every evening. Above is my favorite scene from my favorite movie this Thanksgiving: 2012.


My dad and I looked forward to 2012 for maybe a year. The trailer was simple and short and revealed nothing but certain doom and big waves. Want more? “Google Search 2012,” it said.

Aside from my esteem for any corporation that uses Google in a trailer, I wanted to see 2012 for the same reason I read more than the first three pages of “Willa”—I didn’t know what to expect, and I wanted to know. This was vital not only because it made me want to see the movie, but also because it didn’t ruin it. Most trailers build up expectations, and most movies don’t live up to them: some reveal so much of the plot that you could write the story yourself; some surrender the best scenes, leaving little for the film itself. The trailer for 2012 was perfect.

The movie was even better than the trailer. We laughed, we cried, we gripped the edges of our seats…but mostly we laughed. There was comedy; there were love stories; there were touching father-son moments; there were insights into what it means to be a leader and the value of loyalty. There were characters you could relate to, characters you could look up to, and characters you wish didn’t die. No scene was superfluous.

And, of course, there were the special effects. See San Francisco falling, building by shattering glass building, into the Pacific. See the Eifel Tower collapse. See waves crashing over mountains and airplanes and flowing lava. See the world we know, the ramparts of thousands of years, destroyed in sickeningly realistic detail.

Though they were nowhere near as awesome, here are the rest of the movies we saw over Thanksgiving break:

Couples Retreat

Couples Retreat is your token romantic comedy. Like most token romantic comedies, it was cute and it made me laugh but it reminded me too much of last year’s Four Christmases (and not just because Vince Vaughn plays almost the same character in both of them). The underlying lesson seems to revolve around sex, and I’m not sure how I feel about that.

A Christmas Carol

I didn’t enjoy this nearly as much as I expected to, maybe because I didn’t get the laughs I expected from Jim Carrey, or maybe because I already knew the plot by heart. But it was an excellent movie: the acting was wonderful, the plot was (of course) amazing, the special effects and the 3D-ness were great, and I left determined to spread the Christmas spirit.

Planet 51

I only saw the last half hour of this one, but I liked that half hour. It was very cute, very funny, and had a very positive lesson, do not fear the unknown, that encourages science and discourages racism.

Old Dogs

We went to see this the day after the day it came out because the trailer made us laugh. Unfortunately, this was one of those not-so-rare cases when the trailer gives away (almost) all the best parts. After a few laughs in the beginning, most of the movie wasn’t very funny. Then suddenly we were laughing ceaselessly and hysterically around the middle. Then we laughed a bit more throughout the rest of the movie (and I’m pretty sure my seven-year-old brother cried). Then it was over.

While I’m at it, I think I’ll comment on a few more movies I’ve seen over the past few months:

Without a Paddle

I watched (or started watching) this because of the hype I thought I remembered it getting whenever it was that it came out. It was not funny. The acting was bad. The canoeing was worse.


Jawbreaker is Mean Girls’ big sister with a tiny bit of gut wrenching horror. The popular girls abuse their popularity. High school drama. Murder. The queen bee goes down. I liked it.

Sugar & Spice

More high school drama, but this time the popular girls live happily ever after. I didn’t like it as much as Jawbreaker, but it was good in an ironic sort of way.

Real Genius

This movie makes it to my top three, which is why I saved it for last. It’s hilarious because so much of it is true: insanity and study parties, amazing pranks, and strange men in your closet embodying deus ex machina. Watch it if you’ve ever pulled an all-nighter programming, overscheduled yourself and loved it, or considered yourself, even for a split second, a nerd.


~ by science cow on November 28, 2009.

2 Responses to “2012 and other movies”

  1. “Jawbreaker

    Jawbreaker is Mean Girls’ big sister with a tiny bit of gut wrenching horror. The popular girls abuse their popularity. High school drama. Murder. The queen bee goes down. I liked it.”

    Yes! I loved that movie too. I love the fact that people can actually fit jawbreakers into their mouths, let alone die from them. Very cool

    • I don’t like the idea that people can die at all, but yeah, it was a good movie. Thanks for the comment! =)

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