Sunday, November 14, 2010


I finally saw 2012 last night. I have been waiting for a while now to see it. I didn't go when it was in the theaters and it was not on HBO when we still had HBO. That ended (HBO) when I lost my job about a month ago. Now I have been renting from Redbox once a week. I only rent one movie a week so that is only 4 dollars a month. Redbox seemed to be playing a shell game showing one copy available the last couple weeks at Redboxes slightly out of the range I was willing to drive. I had a hard time telling if the DVD was checked out at the boxes closest to me or if it just was not part of the inventory at those locations. Anyway I had a brainstorm last night and decided to check out Blockbuster, knowing that they had gotten into the kiosk business. Most of the blockbuster stores near me have closed and to be honest, I prefer going to the kiosk. One thing about the kiosk though. They should put a time limit or not allow you to chose movies from the kiosk itself. This keeps everyone waiting in line. Now that almost everyone has a computer and an internet connection there is no reason not to reserve your movie online and pick it up.

Anyway, I found the movie at the Blockbuster kiosk, setup an account with them like I had with Redbox, rented the movie and went to pick it up. It appears that Blockbuster has some deal with Speedway gas stations as that is where a lot of the kiosks are located. They also had some deal where you could get a discount on pop and frozen pizza if you have a Speedway card which I didn't. Blockbuster's web site seemed easier to use also and if a kiosk had a movie that was checked out, it was clearly indicated so you know maybe to check again later to see if the movie is available.

Ok, enough about kiosk movie renting. 2012, why did they only write half a movie? The first half is great mindless special affects candy. I wish I had seen it in the theater. Its funny, exciting and I highly recommend it. The science behind it is specious but the scientific babble is written well enough not to get in the way of the special effects. John Cusack does a good job even though I am well aware he only does these big money movies to fund the stuff he really wants to do. That's ok with me. The problem is about one half to three quarters through the movie it has to have some kind of "lesson" and totally dissolves into some oozing mess of a plot about people buying seats on the arks (plot spoiler) so that only the super wealthy are saved. Towards the end it takes on a Pirates of the Caribbean quality as one of the good guys takes charge and begins barking orders. The last 10 minutes or so revolve around an apparent design flaw in the ship where the engine can't start until the doors close, go figure.

The good guys are mostly minorities, the bad guys mostly white except for John Cusack of course. One of the bad guys is Russian, he has two fat kids who are brats which is a slight twist. Normally you would expect these roles to be American. In the end the evil Russian sort of redeems himself while the evil American white guy, Oliver Platt's character, does not. Oliver Platt is a good actor and kind of wasted playing a caricature role like this. They could have added more depth to his character. They did actually during the middle of the movie but that is all gone by the final scenes. Danny Glover spends the whole movie looking pathetic. Too bad they couldn't get Morgan Freeman for the president role again. Woody Harrelson is good as a lunatic conspiracy theorist radio talk show host. There are some additional subplots that are stuck on and add nothing to the movie other than length. The action is all over the top but it is pulled off in such a way that it doesn't make it too hard to suspend disbelief.

In the end, it was worth the $1.08 I spent plus the 8 mile round trip to the kiosk to get the movie. I just wish they had gone to the trouble of writing a complete script.

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