Hump Day Report: We’re Still Here
Rants and raves about burning topics that have caught my attention midweek, be it greedy corporate shenanigans, frustration or joy in regards to the Philly sports teams, a movie, show or DVD that has fired up my imagination, an intriguing personality, or what’s happening in the region. — Lori Hoffman, Associate Editor, Atlantic City Weekly.
I’m glad I didn’t quit my job and spend my last dime on a trip to Australia to await the end of the world. Those kooky Mayans were apparently wrong about 12-12-12 being the final day of life on the planet, or maybe they were just a little off on the date and the end of the world will happen next week.
Some prognosticators insist the end of the world date is actually Dec. 21, 2012. As an aside, the 12-12-12 date structure, in which the same two-digit number gets repeated three times, won’t happen again until 2112, according to the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP).
The Web site 2012apocalypse.net notes that, “The 2012 Apocalypse is predicted by an intersection of religions, science, and prophesies. Many great prophets, religious scriptures, and scientific evidence point to a possible apocalyptic event happening in the year 2012. Who or what will cause the 2012 Apocalypse? Super volcanoes? Pestilence and disease? Asteroids? Comets? Antichrist? Global Warming? Nuclear war?”
As a film critic, I’ve enjoyed the theories in numerous end-of-the-world movies. I even enjoyed the silly Mayan end-of-the-world based flick 2012, released in 2009.
So, in honor of 12-12-12, here is a list of enjoyable end-of-the-world movies.
2012 (2009) — What is most believable about this flick is that the super wealthy can buy their way on to the giant ships built to save a small percentage of the world’s population. Of course the rest of us are out of luck. John Cusack is fun as the everyman trying to save his family, and so is Woody Harrelson as a hippie doomsday radio host. Written and directed by Roland Emmerich (Independence Day), the modern king of the genre.
The Day After Tomorrow (2004) — I can’t resist watching this movie when it shows up on TV, which it does frequently. Emmerich is again at the helm in this very human tale that blames global warning for the catastrophic weather changes that lead to a new ice age. With Dennis Quaid, Jake Gyllenhaal, Sela Ward, Emma Rossum and Ian Holm.
Knowing (2009) — This is more of a horror film with an end-of-the-world twist, but it is another film I will watch when it turns up on the tube. Nicolas Cage stars as a widower father and teacher whose son is given a strange list of numbers unearthed from a 1959 time capsule at the boy’s school. Cage begins to decipher the numbers and sees the “end of days” coming soon, this time from solar flares.
Deep Impact/Armageddon (1998) In this battle of comet end-of-world vs. asteroid end-of-world, Deep Impact is the more serious entry and Armageddon is the full tilt action version. Honestly, I prefer the admittedly sillier Bruce Willis, Ben Affleck take on a space mission to stop the giant rock from hitting earth. Impact stars Morgan Freeman, Elijah Wood, Tea Leoni and Robert Duvall.
The Day After/ Testament/ Threads (1983, 1984) — After watching these three movies, the former two American TV movies about life after nukes and the latter, a BBC take on the same subject, I dreamed about being at ground zero of a nuclear explosion. In the dream, I was calm and happy since death was preferable to what life would be like trying to survive in the toxic wasteland that follows. The Day After stars Jason Robards, JoBeth Williams, Steve Guttenberg and John Lithgow. Testament features Jane Alexander, William Devane, Lucas Haas and a relative newcomer at the time named Kevin Costner.
Speaking of Costner, I liked his two post-apocalypse movies, Waterworld (1995) and The Postman (1997) more than most, but like I said I’m a fan of EOTW movies.