Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Well. It would have been the perfect evening for 2012 except that when I was at the Redbox machine on Monday - do you not love the Redbox machine? The Redbox machine is the most efficient way to part people from their money that has possibly ever been devised - I got the wrong 2012. Yes, as impossible as it sounds, as catering to a desire on the part of the moviegoing public that nobody knew existed, there's more than one movie about the forthcoming end of the world in 2012. There's the big one, the 2012 that hit the movie theatres last winter and was soundly ridiculed by every single movie critic on Earth, which means, of course, that it is almost certainly well worth watching (I have it on good authority that it features not just one but many a bus plunge into a ravine.) And then, apparently, there's a Christian version, called 2012: Doomsday - because I guess the original, based as it is on decidedly unChristian prophecies, was not at all Jesusy enough, or, hell, for all I know there are now Christian versions of every movie made, which is either a hilariously entertaining idea or terrifying or, as is usually the case, both.
Anyway, we figured out something was wrong pretty quickly, because 2012: Doomsday is made by an outfit called Faith Films which right there sounds pretty damn ominous. There were only two previews, too, and you know that's impossible for a major movie. One of them featured Tyrannosaurus Rexes on the loose in New York and the other was apparently about giant spiders, so they looked like excellent movies. Any movie with a T. Rex in Central Park, as in the first preview, is de facto good and the second one, which showed a giant spider waving a blonde around in the air with one of its legs, (this is probably arachnoidally incorrect yet is still, let's face it, highly excellent) looked great too, yet somehow these previews lacked conviction. They were narrated by the same guy with a deep spooky appropriate to previews featuring animatronic giant monsters voice but they were sadly lacking a release date. Still. They gave me high hopes for 2012: Doomsday.
The movie opened with a terrifically apocalyptic soundtrack that more or less made up for the fact that it was accompanied by a really boring film of what I think was the Amazon but could well have been the Potomac or possibly the French Broad shot from over head with a veering camera. "Five bucks," I said to Audrey, "says he works the Carmina Burana in here any minute."
Then the movie became highly confusing.
"Is this soft core porn?" said Audrey, as the army guy first snapped at the young female scientist.
"Why is she here?" he demanded, and I said, "So she can wear that wet T-shirt."
That must have been the reason, because after they left the rain to wander into the ancient tunnels really quickly to retrieve a glowing crucifix, they came back out into perfect weather - after passing a large lamp that wasn't there on the way in. I thought they were going to spin the glowing crucifix to open a gate into somewhere much more interesting, like the Lost World or the demon dimension but instead they just bore it reverently away. I have a feeling that Christians aren't supposed to spin Jesus like the pointer on a Twister game (left stigmata, yellow!) but one can always hope. After the tunnels, there were several more jump cuts leading to mysterious encounters between almost attractive people with the kind of stilted dialogue that usually ends up in the bedroom but disappointingly, in this case, did not. Finally a scientist kinda guy from Baltimore explained how there was a black hole at the center of the earth and then, alas, we had to turn the movie off.
Actually, the black hole did not finish the movie for us - it wasn't even the exciting "diagram" which the scientist was waving around, an orange circle with a black circle in the middle representing, one imagines, the black hole, that led to the lunge for the off button. Neither was it the part where everyone starts drawing crosses in front of three rocks a la Close Encounters, although that was pretty funny. No, it was the soft porn dialogue. See, this girl jogs sexily into the Mexican village - yeah, right after the black hole bit and yes, the movie was a bit disjointed, why do you ask? - and meets a cute guy who is creepily taking pictures of her with a telephoto lens. That big lens is always just so hard to resist and so subtle, too. Anyway, once he had achieved a series of bad pictures of her looking confused, he came vaulting in all, "Hey Baybeee." He wasn't really far enough away to need a lens that size. This, naturally, caused her to frown disapprovingly yet edge in closer. Then she said, gaspingly (she was jogging and all, that's why the shorts and camisole) that she was just looking for a doctor for the remote village where she was a missionary. A perfectly reasonable request, after all, and right in tune with the rest of the movie and we could probably have finished watching it if camera guy had not then said, "Well, I am a photojournalist but I have had many years of medical school."
And yet they still didn't fade into sex! Even a trained professional at watching bad movies such as myself cannot in all good conscience keep watching after a sentence like that.