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Mainstream - 2012

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John Cusack, Amanda Peet, Chiwetel Ejiofor
Woody Harrelson, Danny Glover, Oliver Platt
Directed by Roland Emmerich
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment 2010
158 minutes

158 minutes is a bit much for a disaster movie but the 2012 DVD is certainly worth the investment: things blow up and are destroyed real, real good and real often. This movie is based on the Mayan calendar prediction that the earth will expire in 2012. It really runs with the premise and makes the most of every possible idea. A very solid cast makes for believable characters dealing with an unbelievable premise. If you like disaster movies, 2012 has to be on your list. The only false note here is there is not a scene where FUX News blames the Black President for the disaster.

Movie fans will immediately recognize the way 2012 sets up the story: a scientists discovers something that menaces the planet; he tells the government; the government keeps it secret and tosses in a nefarious plan.  A bright, divorced guy (Cusack) discovers the truth aided by a crackpot (Harrelson); when the sh!t hits the fan people panic and when disaster strikes the divorced guy does all he can to save his ex-wife and their kids. Meanwhile, a whole bunch of stuff gets wiped out in spectacular fashion.

2012 is one of those rare disaster movies that also has a sense of fun. Cusack’s wife is grocery shopping with the new husband who says “There’s something pulling us apart” right before a fault line develops right between them. There are other darkly comic moments. The Queen of England has a very interesting cameo.

For those who think the nefarious plan is implausible remember the great Wall Street swindles and many actions by current governments.

2012 is a lot of fun. Just go along for the ride and enjoy the world coming to an end.

Special features on the 2012 DVD include the usual commentary track, deleted scenes, and alternate ending. The Blu-ray version features an interactive Mayan calendar (only on BD) and more of the usual featurettes and such.

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