Friday, March 1, 2013

Guest Review: 2012 (2009)

by ScottDS

What better way to ring in the new year (and, uh, the new month) than by discussing a movie made four years ago that has now been rendered obsolete? Yes, we’ll be looking at Roland Emmerich’s disaster movie to end all disaster movies: 2012. The short version of the review is this: “F--- this movie.” For the longer version, please... read on. [smile]

First, allow me to quote from Roger Ebert’s infamous review of North. I feel it’s more than appropriate here:
“I hated this movie. Hated hated hated hated hated this movie. Hated it. Hated every simpering stupid vacant audience-insulting moment of it. Hated the sensibility that thought anyone would like it. Hated the implied insult to the audience by its belief that anyone would be entertained by it.”
Now that we’ve got that out of the way... 2012 speculates that the Mayan calendar is correct and that Earth will experience a cataclysm in late 2012. Apparently, “the neutrinos coming from the sun have mutated into a new kind of nuclear particle.” Yes, that’s a line from the film. The neutrinos are emanating from a large solar flare and are causing the temperature of the Earth’s core to rapidly increase. Geologist Adrian Helmsley (Chiwetel Ejiofor) brings this information to White House Chief of Staff Carl Anheuser (Oliver Platt), who then informs President Thomas Wilson (played by Danny Glover, and NOT Back to the Future actor Thomas F. Wilson). Wilson and other world leaders initiate a project to ensure mankind’s survival, including the construction of huge “arks” in Tibet, along with the stowing away of valuable works of art and other treasures. Tickets are offered to the richest people on the planet for a cool billion euros.
While on a camping trip in Yellowstone with his kids, failed sci-fi writer-slash-limo driver Jackson Curtis (John Cusack) encounters a conspiracy theorist (Woody Harrelson at his stoner best) who tells him about the 2012 phenomenon. Jackson and his kids return to LA just as the s--- starts hitting the fan. They manage to escape as the city falls apart around them, with Jackson’s ex-wife Kate (Amanda Peet) and Kate’s boyfriend Gordon (Thomas McCarthy) in tow. After they learn about the arks, they land in Las Vegas and secure transport with Jackson’s boss Yuri, a Russian billionaire, and Yuri’s trophy girlfriend. They arrive in China and stow away on one of the arks. After waaay too much chaos and carnage, along with CGI earthquakes, floods, and tsunamis, the arks make it to the Cape of Good Hope and the world begins again.

After watching this film for the first time, my reaction was similar to that of an online reviewer who labeled it “cinematic waterboarding.” Let’s start with Roland Emmerich. He co-wrote and directed Independence Day, a fun movie that still has its fans (I’m one of them). Now... imagine if: a.) Independence Day was longer and even more technically and scientifically incoherent, b.) the scenes of destruction featured not only big special effects but tiny CGI people screaming and falling to their deaths, c.) included about three or four more sequences of destruction, each one more mind-numbing than the last, and d.) they killed off Jeff Goldblum’s father for no reason at all.
2012 is a sadistic movie and it doesn’t know when to stop. Where one or two shots of a building crumbling to the ground might do, this movie gives us seven or eight such shots, all longer than they should be, and all with people fleeing for their lives. Jackson and his family escape LA during an Earth crust displacement via limousine, which must have the best suspension system devised by man. To be fair, it’s entertaining to watch once, but it really is like playing Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (Fault), except you’re not playing – you’re watching your friend play. And he’s better than you. And he won’t give up the controller! It becomes overwhelming after awhile. Sure, we get some perfunctory character scenes that help provide breathing room, but with this movie, the disasters are so frequent, you can set your watch to them. Tech stuff is mostly top-notch, though this is one film where it’s obvious that what we’re seeing is fake, simply because there’s so much of it!!

The acting is fine for what this movie is. It’s nice to see John Cusack playing an everyman again. Ejiofor (who played the villain in Serenity) is too good for this movie – he’s just so gosh darn earnest and truthful. But he’s good and you root for him, because we like earnest and truthful people and we want them to succeed. Platt is good as the Chief of Staff and, when compared to most bureaucratic villains in movies like this, his character gets a little more to work with. (I mean, he’s no Robert Wagner in Airport ’79!) In addition to the mayhem, there’s even a slight subplot involving political subterfuge and Harrelson’s character mentions the mysterious deaths of scientists who wanted to reveal the truth before the governments of the world were ready to do so. It’s much ado about nothing and it just adds to the already-exorbitant running time. Oh, and the film also introduces us to Ejiofor’s character’s dad, only to kill him off three scenes later! (Oddly, the Blu-Ray includes an alternate ending where the guy lives – I guess this was deemed “too optimistic” for theater audiences.)
There are also supporting turns by the lovely Thandie Newton as the President’s daughter and love interest for Ejiofor, Star Trek: Enterprise actor John Billingsley (too good for the material, per usual) as a scientist, and Stephen McHattie (Pontypool and one of the best Trek episodes ever made) as an ark captain. Glover is okay as the president but not as good as Morgan Freeman was in Deep Impact. One critic pointed out that, while we obviously have no problem electing a black president, we’d never elect one with Glover’s lisp! [smile] Lastly, there’s Thomas McCarthy as Gordon, Cusack’s ex-wife’s boyfriend. Usually in pop culture, the boyfriend/stepfather/etc. is a total dick. But not here – he’s a good man and the kids like him. So the movie has to go ahead and kill him off... in the worst way possible! The ark’s boarding gate jams and Gordon is crushed to death by the gears!
Unfortunately, I’m going to have to get “ugly American” for a minute. This film appears to be a symptom of Hollywood’s increasing reliance on the foreign market. We’re introduced to characters from other countries, who speak in subtitles, played by actors we have no familiarity with. As a result, there’s no distinction or priority – some of these characters show up later and it’s like, “Oh, I didn’t know the monk in Tibet was gonna be important!” That sort of thing. The first ten minutes are a little disorienting the first time you see it. Who are these people? What are they doing? I can appreciate the mystery, not to mention the need to keep disaster preparations of this magnitude under wraps, but there’s a dissonance on display and in a movie where there’s enough insanity to come, you kinda want to comfort your audience at the beginning, so they’re prepared for later.

What happened, Mr. Emmerich? You used to be a human being! Independence Day was a fun, summer popcorn flick with a host of likable characters and a well-paced story. This movie, on the other hand, is a perpetuum mobile and I hate it.

“Kind of galling when you realize that nutbags with cardboard signs had it right the whole time.”


shawn said...

Meh. I've only seen bits and peices of this flick, but I've seen Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow, Godzilla, Stargate, Universal Soldier and even Moon 44 so I've got a pretty good idea of Emmerich's talents. Spectacle with little substance. Didn't imagine this would be any different.

PikeBishop said...

Some reviewer somewhere hit on the reason this film hit such a sour note with critics and with audiences.

Simply put. The viewer can't really identify with the characters and the fact that he (or she), i.e. the viewer is dead!

Most disaster movies, even those on a grand scale, are still pretty localized. The volcano in LA is not going to hit me in Pittsburgh in the movie world. I can cheer and cringe for the characters dealing with the volcano, knowing that movie world me, and by extension most of the rest of the world are safe.

But here, we all know deep down that we suffered one of those horrible deaths that were shown throughout. Little CGI uses fell into great fissures in the earth, were roasted alive or were in versions of those collapsing buildings Cusack was able to fly between.

Oh yeah, that and the movie sucks!

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, Thanks for the review, I'll comment soon. I've got relatives over so I've been kind of busy.

Tennessee Jed said...

your review is so much better than I suspect this movie is. I saw the trailers on t.v. and kind of decided it would be like The day after tomorrow or whatever. In other words, exactly the kind of video game, cgi laden, pretentious film that Hollywood makes far too much of. I didn't really know the plot, but figured their would be some eco-weeney message. Anyway, had I harbored any thoughts of watching it simply as a good "put the Home theater through it's paces to wow some guests" you have set me straight. I think I will go out of my way to avoid it. Plus, Glover is actually one jerk who is on my "no watch list. You screen them so I don't have to, and for that I thank you.

K said...

Thanks for the review Scott. I'm sure in the future I would have downloaded this movie and you saved me that dubious pleasure.

Anonymous said...

shawn -

"Spectacle with little substance" is correct but at least a couple of those movies are... fun, and pleasant experiences to watch. They don't give you a headache half-way through!

Emmerich hasn't made a good movie since he and co-writer/producer Dean Devlin split up, then again they made Godzilla together so maybe that theory is BS. :-)

Anonymous said...

Pike -

That must've been the one review I didn't read in preparation for this piece. :-)

That reviewer is right and you know what else? The arks in this movie are partly financed by all the billion-euro tickets sold to the rich people of the world, which makes the middle-class audience member think, "Oh man, I'd never be able to afford that! What are the odds I'd be able to get on board one of the arks?!"

Deep Impact did this much better, with the lottery system. And Independence Day was different because there was an enemy presence that people could volunteer to fight.

Anonymous said...

Andrew -

No worries! Family first (unless they're crazy and you don't feel guilty ignoring them). :-D

Anonymous said...

Jed -

2012 does not have an eco message like The Day After Tomorrow does, at least none that I can recall. I swore I wouldn't watch this movie a second time so I had to write this review from memory and YouTube clips. :-)

(The Day After Tomorrow does, however, feature Emmy Rossum, a.k.a. the future ex-Mrs. ScottDS but I don't like her enough to see that movie again!)

And I can't say the film is pretentious. That quality usually sticks out like a sore thumb - this movie is many things but "pretentious" is not one of them. In order to be pretentious, the movie would have to aspire to be something greater, and it doesn't.

As for Glover, I don't do lists but I understand. He's about as far left as one can be while still living in this country and even an apolitical friend of mine was like, "Wait, what?" when he found out Glover and Chávez were best buddies.

Anonymous said...

K -

Ordinarily, I'm the first person to say, "See the movie for yourself - maybe you'll disagree!"

Not this time. :-)

tryanmax said...

I agree. This movie was just awful. Just...*shakes head*...awful.

I kinda knew what to expect from that early scene featuring the billion euro buy-in--insinuating that, by the year 2012, the euro would be the global currency de rigueur. That just painted a real clear picture of the particular fantasy world we would be inhabiting for the next 2+ hours.

Anonymous said...

tryanmax -

Re: the euro, it never occured to me until I read this comment at the IMDb:

"Many of the world's wealthiest people were able to buy seats on the arks by giving the governments of the world much needed funding, in order to have the extremely expensive arks built. This is completely unnecessary, as the world economy is about to crumble within a few years given the cataclysmic events about to transpire. All the world's governments could simply print all the money they would need as they would never have to worry about the resulting inflation."

I have no idea if this would work or not, but it sounds convincing. :-)

tryanmax said...

Yeah, it would work. The governments wouldn't even need to print the money per se. They'd just borrow against their faith and credit. After all, their debtors are all going to be dead shortly.

rlaWTX said...

As I was reading through, my question when I got to the comments was going to be about this buy-in: if the world is ending, why does anyone care about billions of Euros????

But then I got to these last 2 and realized that the screenwriters were just not thinking clearly...

I have seen pieces on TV as I was surfing, but I have never stopped longer than to say, "oh, it's 2012", and don't figure I will. If I want goofy catastrophe movies, I'll stick with SyFy's! :)

Anonymous said...

rla -

Yeah, it might be best to stick with the SyFy flicks. :-)

As for the euros, I guess it makes sense in the context of the movie: sell tickets to raise money for the construction of the arks. But Emmerich and his co-writer didn't think it through... and I imagine any advice they may have received from a technical adviser - assuming they even hired one - was thrown out the window.

tryanmax said...

How sad is it that the typical SyFy flick has a more coherent narrative than this one?

Anonymous said...

tryanmax -

Andrew would know more about that than me! I actually don't watch the SyFy originals and the one friend of mine with whom I'd like to watch them doesn't get the appeal of purposely watching a bad movie - he prefers to discover a bad movie, not go into one that he already knows is bad.

Different strokes for different folks, I guess. :-)

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I agree completely. The SciFi Channel has some very fun apocalypse films and they are generally better than this one, even though they are made on a shoestring budget.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, I struggled to get through this one. It was unpleasant and incoherent. It was unbelievably stupid. I thought the effects were cartoony and way to unbelievable. The ability of the characters to move around freely all around the country and within cities to reach all the landmarks just in time for the latest disaster was not credible. The reactions of the other characters was not credible. The dialog was moronic.

The Ebert quote just about sums up this movie perfectly.

Anonymous said...

Andrew -

"Struggle" is a good word. I mentioned it before but I watched this and The Invention of Lying on the same weekend... boy, what a f---ing depressing weekend!!

It was unpleasant and I was almost offended by Emmerich's cavalier attitude towards all the death and dismemberment on display.

Transportation is always a problem in these movies and even in TV shows like 24 where characters need to get from A to Z in ten minutes before X happens. It's one of those things I can accept simply based on the needs of the genre.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, Transportation is definitely a problem in these movies, but here it was laughable. It's one thing to let the hero somehow work their way across a packed NYC in the course of two hours, it's another to let them move freely around several major cities, always getting to where they need to get just in time and then getting back to where they they to get just in time to see the city fall apart around them as they narrowly escape.

I think cavalier is a good way to put the way they handled death in this film. They were too serious about it on the one hand as this wasn't a comedy, but they showed no concern whatsoever for those people. It's kind of like he was getting off on showing dead people everywhere.

The Invention of Lying really stank.

Anonymous said...

Andrew -

There's one shot in the film that takes place during the plane escape sequence (see the fourth still we used) where a train literally flies off into the newly-formed chasm and you hear a quick chorus of screams. (That video link is a montage so the audio cuts off here and there bewteen shots.)

And it takes you out of the movie. You stop marveling at the visuals and you really start thinking about all those poor people.

Yet we don't really think about that in Independence Day and I really believe it's because the technology we have now allows you to get "more realistic" as opposed to miniature buildings with no people.

There's also the destruction of the Sistine Chapel with the crack that forms on the ceiling between God and Adam. Very subtle, boys. Very subtle. [rolls eyes]

Alex said...

Cinematic waterboarding! Love it!

Glad I skipped this in the theaters and waited all this time for your review, Scott. You basically watched it so I don't have to--thanks for the public service!

When I hear "Roland Emmerich" and "John Cusack" separately, let alone together, it's like cinematic kryptonite for me. No thanks.

Anonymous said...

Alex -

The "waterboarding" line isn't mine but I'm glad you like it. :-)

And like I said to K above, I'm always the one in these situations to say, "See it for yourself!" but this film is an exception.

There are plenty of bad movies that are still entertaining and fun to watch - this is not.

Alex said...

Scott, I know the line wasn't yours, but it still cracked me up. Also great: your short review of this movie. You wouldn't think it would be so difficult to screw up an end-of-the-world movie, but 2012 stands as proof that it is, indeed, possible.

Regarding so-good-they're-bad movies, my buddy, for five American dollars, just purchased the complete collection of Andy Sidaris' "Triple B" movies. I cannot wait to watch these!

Anonymous said...

Alex -

Thanks for the kind words.

If you want to see a movie that really is so bad, it's good, check out this recently-unearthed cult item.

I hope to review it one day. It was made in the 80s in Orlando by guys who had no idea what the hell they were doing... and a film buff bought the print on eBay for $50 a few years ago. The rest is history. :-)

BIG MO said...

Stupid is the perfect word to describe this movie. The only interesting characters died: Woody H’s goofball Charlie, the Russian pilot Sasha and the boyfriend Gordon, who we know is dead meat almost from the start.

2012 was insultingly and intellectually stupid for a number of reasons. Just a few:

1) There’s no way come heaven or hell you could outrun a pyroclastic flow – not on foot, not in an RV. If you are anywhere near the Yellowstone caldera when it blows, you’d have a split second to say “Oh s***” before you’re incinerated by fire or blown away by the shock wave. (In case you don’t know, much of Yellowstone park is essentially the super volcano’s crater. If it blows when you’re in or around the park, you’re toast.)

2) You cannot fly a plane through a volcanic ash cloud and expect to stay in the air long. Volcanic ash isn’t like ash from a forest fire. It’s superheated rock that’s essentially pulverized into glass. If you fly through a huge cloud of this stuff, your engines will die and you’ll find out really quick how well you can glide a crippled aircraft. But in 2012 our intrepid heroes fly through the expanding Yellowstone ash cloud (actually the pyroclastic flow) and the ash cloud of the entire Hawaiian chain with no problem.

3) You cannot fly helicopters that high in the Himalayas with animals hanging in slings underneath without a) the copters failing from thin air and unnatural payload, or 2) the animals themselves suffocating from lack of oxygen or freezing to death or both.

4) You couldn’t stand—or do anything—during an earthquake powerful enough to destroy a major metropolis by upending and sliding it into the ocean.

5) If a super-dooper-mega tsunami was large enough to engulf the Himalayas, there’s no way Africa would escape as the planet’s new high ground. Such a super-dooper mega tsunami would cover the planet.

6) If the Yellowstone caldera and hundreds of volcanos around the world erupted simultaneously and kept going and going, there’s no flipping way that the sky would be as clear as a bright summer’s day a mere month later.

And I thought of these while watching the movie.

AndrewPrice said...

Alex, What's too bad is that I once really liked Cusack -- Better Off Dead. Then he got hyper political and became a real jerk.

AndrewPrice said...

Big Mo, and that's just the beginning of the problems with this film!

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, I can't disagree with you about the killings. I personally didn't think of the people because nothing in this film was the least bit real to me, so they were just more pixels to me, but I think it shows a really twisted mind to want to include that in a film.

Anonymous said...


I can't disagree with agree with any of those things! And you're right - only the most remotely interesting characters died.

Another note about the Russians: okay, so Cusack works for a rich Russian guy, but when we meet him and his gal and they join up, I was like, "Wait, we're following these characters?! Who gives a s--- about any of them?!"

This movie didn't seem to know who was important. It would be the equivalent of following Harvey Fierstein's character in Independence Day, if he had no memorable lines or quirks and was played by an unknown actor!

Anonymous said...

Andrew -

Yeah, Cusack seems to be a dick, though he gets points for being consistent.

And I still like Better Off Dead. :-)

Koshcat said...

My only criticism of your review is I wish it came out before I saw the movie.

A well written Hollywood movie about Yellowstone caldera blowing up would probably be rally good.

T-Rav said...

Nice review, Scott. I love the takedown of this cinema farce.

I didn't understand the plot before reading this, but it goes to show how little Hollywood grasps what natural disasters are. If the sun decides it's determined to kill the Earth (via mutated neutrinos or whatever else), the only thing you can do in response is make your peace with God--no super-ark is going to save you.

Besides which, the CGI deaths have always bothered me. Emmerich seems to have a real problem with this--even in Independence Day, which I too am still a fan of, there was that really eye-rolling scene where he was practically telling us, "Oh all these people are dying in the aliens' fireball and it's so terrible, but look! The family dog made it to safety!" I realize it's easier to show the deaths of random humans than of animals on screen, but come on.

Anonymous said...

Koshcat -

Sorry I was late. :-) I had been planning on reviewing this movie and as luck would have it, there was a gap in the posting schedule so I decided to do it now instead of later.

A cursory Internet searched reveals a British-made docudrama that aired on the Discovery Channel in 2005 titled Supervolcano, which is about the Caldera - I can't vouch for its quality.

I'm sure SyFy is working on their own version but it'll probably be called Calderapus or Sharkaldera or something. :-)

Anonymous said...

T-Rav -

Yeah, that's an old (unofficial) Hollywood rule: "Don't kill the dog!"

And it's always fun doing takedowns - I review too many movies I enjoy; I should really review some movies I hate. But that would require me to watch them again! :-)

But even in Independence Day, those were relatively brief shots in one sequence and they didn't yet have the capability to add CGI people - in this movie, the chaos NEVER! F---ING! ENDS!

And perhaps, psychologically, the audience was somewhat comforted by the fact that the aliens could be beaten - they were a threat we could face and strategize against. It's a powerful influence - that voice in the back of your head that says, "Don't worry, everything will be fine."

But with Mother Nature, it's every man for himself! And chaos seemed to happen almost randomly because the story demanded it.

BIG MO said...

ScottDS and Koshcat - Supervolcano is really, really good. Fantastic, even. Well worth watching. In fact, it's one of a handful of docu-dramas that I have on my Kindle Fire. The characters are good, the science is superb and accurate, the storyline makes sense, it's pretty seemless and the F/X are fine. And the exposition -- of which there is a lot -- is done very well, because when Yellowstone finally blows, you know what's happening and why.

I daresay Supervolcano is the best drama/doc ever done about any volcano.

AndrewPrice said...

Sorry folks, the word verification is back on because once again, the spammers are back -- nail fungus and sleeping remedies this time.

Koshcat said...

I saw supervolcano as well and it isn't bad. It might be better with Scarlett Johansson in tight clothes.

"I want one." - Tony Stark

Anonymous said...

Wow, I had no idea Supervolcano was so popular. Maybe that means there's a market for such a story after all. :-)

Gideon7 said...

Roland Emmerich has reportedly been selected to film Issac Asimov's Foundation trilogy.

The mind boggles. It will probably be the worst SF adaptation since Paul Verhoeven's Starship Troopers.

Anonymous said...

Gideon -

I haven't read the Foundation books but I believe that subject came up recently on this blog and no one seemed to be enthused - it's easy to see why. :-)

And I've never read Starship Troopers the book but the movie works for me, even if it's not entirely what Heinlein had in mind.

Alex said...

Andrew: I hear you on Cusack. I have to admit, I liked Grosse Point Blank.

Scott: I think you just linked to the greatest movie--no, the greatest thing--ever made. Shut down the blog after you review this one: without even having seen the movie, I can tell you that The Miami Connection wins movies.

Anonymous said...

Alex -


I so want to talk more about it but I'll save it for the review. I can't guarantee I'll review it next week or next month but your comment has caused me to put it at the top of my to-do list. :-)

There's a backstory to how this film happened, but I'll save it for later.

AndrewPrice said...

Alex, I like Gross Point Blank. I always think of it as Lane Meyers grows up.

Anonymous said...

Good review Scott, though I must say that maybe you were a bit to kind to the movie in your review.

I have had the misfortune of seeing this movie twice and I watched all of it both times. The first time on DVD and like when I saw the remake of The Day The Earth Stood Still I only finished it to see how bad it could get (not as bad as TDTESS but it is pretty dam bad). The second time I saw it on TV at a friends house and I only stayed to watch it as I was getting a life home. And it didn't get any better the second time I saw it, I will never see it again, even if I have to walk home.

I liked the Starship Troopers movie, it was good SF fluff and when I read the book I understand the hate from the people who read the book first. I still enjoy both, the book is great and a part of me hopes they make a proper movie from it but another part of me realises they would stuff it up so they should leave it alone. Never read the Foundation Series but Roland Emmerich should not be allowed anywhere near it (or any other movie for that matter) without someone talented looking over his shoulder every single step of the way. Actually its not worth the risk, don't let him near another movie.


Anonymous said...

Anon/Scott -

Too kind? I almost e-mailed Andrew after the fact apologizing for being too snarky! Ha!

Twice, huh? Ouch. I didn't even watch it a second time to write this review - I used whatever clips I could find on YouTube, along with my own traumatic memories of the event (the event = watching the movie). :-)

I still haven't seen the remake of TDTESS. I'm a Keanu fan but it's not worth it.

Emmerich is doing a movie right now called White House Down about the White House being taken over by terrorists...

...which is odd because a very similar movie is coming out soon titled Olympus Has Fallen. It's obvious we have another Deep Impact/Armageddon situation... again!

AndrewPrice said...

ScottAU, Yep, it would have helped to have this review before anyone saw the film, wouldn't it? LOL!

I HATE TDTESS with a passion. What an angry, offensive film. I reviewed it (HERE) and as you can see, I was not kind.

On Starship Troopers, I enjoyed the film for what it was, but I hadn't read the book either by that point and they're so different I can't really connect them in my head.

AndrewPrice said...

ScottDS, They're doing another White House take over film? They just released one called Olympus Has Fallen or something like that. My indifferent level is really high on that one right now.

Anonymous said...

Andrew -

Olympus is coming out soon - it hasn't been released yet.

I believe this is what people call synchronicity:

"Synchronicity is the experience of two or more events that are apparently causally unrelated or unlikely to occur together by chance, yet are experienced as occurring together in a meaningful manner."

It seems to happen in Hollywood every few years. :-)

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, I see that a lot in Hollywood and, honestly, I have often suspected it has less to do with some random event as it does with simply corporate spying or IP theft.

Anonymous said...

Andrew -

I'm sure each studio likes to keep abreast of what the the studio next door is doing... but in an industry with X number of writers and Y number of development lackeys, it's entirely possible for this to happen by chance.

Sometimes, one studio wins and the other loses (see: Outbreak vs. the unfilmed Crisis in the Hot Zone)... but for the most part it's left up to the audience to decide.

Or maybe it is spying! :-)

Alex said...


I just read your The Day The Earth Stood Still remake, and all I have to say is, BRAVO! One of the best! Had me cracking up out loud. Remind me not to see that one, either (unless drunk).

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks Alex, I'm glad you liked it. I did enjoy writing that one.

Be warned though, it is a horrible, horrible movie. You will be offended if you try to watch it.

Anonymous said...


Not too snarky at all, in fact a long way from it. Avoid TDTESS at all costs, after being warned about how bad it is there are only two reasons to watch it. You want to loose all
faith no Hollywood of you want to be able to tell people that you have seen not only the worst remake ever but the worst movie ever made. Apart from those two reasons avoid it at all cost.

Two movies about terrorists taking over the White House, the tone of both movies could be changed by the part they assign to the President in the script. If the President is a Republican you can expect the terrorists to be sympathetic and if he (or she) is a Democrat then expect him (her) to be brave and to personally fight back and the terrorists to be white, possibly even Americans trying to take over the government.


That is one of the best reviews I have ever read, any review I wrote (for either movie) could be unprintable due to the profanity. And the Starship Troopers movie only shares a title
with the book, in virtually everything else it has nothing to do with it.


Anonymous said...

Anon/Scott -

I'm not planning on seeing TDTESS anytime soon, so no worries! :-)

Here's the synopsis from Olympus Has Fallen:

"Disgraced former Presidential guard Mike Banning finds himself trapped inside the White House in the wake of a terrorist attack; using his inside knowledge, Banning works with national security to rescue the President from his kidnappers."

Aaron Eckhart is the president and Gerard Butler is Banning. I think the villains are North Koreans but I'm not sure.

And here's the synopsis from White House Down:

"A Secret Service agent is tasked with saving the life of the U.S. President after the White House is overtaken by a paramilitary group."

Jamie Foxx is the president and Channing Tatum is the Secret Service agent. (And much to the chagrin of my lady friends, I think he keeps his clothes on this time!)

AndrewPrice said...

ScottAU, Thanks! I enjoyed writing the review much more than I enjoyed watching the movie!

ScottDS, It sounds to me like White House Down is going to be a slap at conservatives and Olympus Has Fallen won't. Although let me say that I wish they would stop trying to use the North Koreans as villains. That's lame. Why not use somewhere more threatening like Haiti or Canada.

Alex said...

Andrew, The Day The Earth Stood Still sure sounds it. I failed to mention in my typo-riddled post that I followed the link there from this post.

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