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The end of the world

25 Comments
By Chris Betros

In case you don’t know it, the world will end on Dec 21, 2012 – at least according to the Mayan calendar. So that we know what to expect from the global cataclysm, director Roland Emmerich will unleash the doomsday film “2012” on the world in November.

The 53-year-old German director, responsible for such films as “The Day After Tomorrow,” “Independence Day” and “Godzilla,” treated the Japanese media to 15 minutes of eye-popping footage from the still-unfinished film for the first time in the world. The $200 million film stars John Cusak as a mathematician trying to save his family, Danny Glover as the U.S. president, Woody Harrelson as a doomsday prophet, as well as Thandie Newton, Oliver Platt, Amanda Peet and Chiwetel Ejiofor.

The special effects showing the geothermal collapse of the Earth surpass anything seen before: a massive tidal wave tips an aircraft carrier onto the White House, fireballs drop from the sky, St Peter’s Basilica collapses on the faithful, and so on. However, Emmerich pointed out that the story is the most important element. “My idea for this movie started with the characters,” he said. “They tell the story. If you don’t believe in the characters, then you won’t believe in the story, no matter how good the special effects are.”

He said “2012” was the most difficult film he has ever done. “There are up to 1,400 visual effects in it. We had effects for every conceivable challenge. The cast were very good. Most of the time, they had to stand in front of a big blue screen and react to something that wasn’t there.”

Emmerich has earned a reputation as a disaster movie director, but he thinks that isn’t really true. “You could call ‘The Day After Tomorrow’ a disaster movie, but ‘Independence Day’ wasn’t, although it followed the template. ‘2012’ packs everything I’ve done before into one film,” he said.

The film is not just about an apocalypse. It is also about hope and new beginning, said Emmerich. “It’s about a moral dilemma that humanity must face. There are two groups of people – those who know about the impending disaster early on and want to keep it a secret, such as politicians and scientists, and those who do not know – the public. Then there is a race to build ‘Noah’s arks,’ but who gets a place and who doesn’t?”

Adding a light touch to the special preview event in Tokyo was Japanese celebrity Megumi Yasu, 27. A concerned Yasu asked Emmerich if the Mayan prophecy on which the film is based was true, since her birthday is Dec 22. “Well, I hope not,” the director reassured her. “It would be an unfortunate birthday for you.”

"2012" opens worldwide (including Japan) on Nov 21.

© Japan Today

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25 Comments
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“It’s about a moral dilemma that humanity must face. There are two groups of people – those who know about the impending disaster early on and want to keep it a secret, such as politicians and scientists, and those who do not know – the public. Then there is a race to build ‘Noah’s arks,’ but who gets a place and who doesn’t?”

But we already know the ending right? If the public are informed, they will ignore it anyway and say that the scientists must be wrong. Any other ending is not realistic. Didn't Al Gore already do this movie?

That little sling aside, does anybody believe this 2012 stuff? I mean aside from my mother and mother in law?

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the earth will end today if they dont turn the aircon on soon.... :)

jodan jodan, I dont epect much new from this movie... the day after tomorrow had an typical hollywood happy end and so will 2012... they wont risk a movie without an happy end...

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I agree with Sebaschan about Hollywood not risking making a movie without a happy ending.

It makes them predictable and takes away the suspense no matter how great the visual effects are.

Hollywood has forgotten "tragedy". Heroes can and should die sometime!

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They should do a movie where the hero, an archeologist, find a mayan calendar starting from January 2013!

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This guy and his movies should be banned from planet earth! He is one of the reasons that cause mass stupidity!

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The world doesn`t end according to the mayan calendar, It is merely the end of the long count. As the b'ak'tun ends and runs out of numbers to continue - it would just start again at 0.

Dec 21st is significant as it is a winter solstice, and that has often has spiritual implications in ancient cultures.

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so the movie is just plain nonsense... :*)

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I'll take Michael Bay of this guy any day.

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If people are stupid enough to buy into this Y2K crap and other doomsday scenarios and spend their money on it then its all good for the global economy. I know a guy who will not save for his future because he thinks that Nibiru will slam into Earth in 2009 or 2010 or 2011 or 2012. The guy has been watching too much youtube.

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I haven't seen this movie yet but is the President African American? It seems that every "Extinction Level Event" type movie shows the President as African American or a woman. Except for the one with Will Smith and the aliens.

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"but is the President African American? It seems that every "Extinction Level Event" type movie shows the President as African American or a woman."

Yeah. But someone told me it is written in the Bible somewhere, so that must be it.

He is one of the reasons that cause mass stupidity!

DrJones, I know you are not into watching kid movies, but ICE AGE 3 will include DINOSAUR characters. So we will have wooly mammoths, humans, and dinosaurs all walking the earth and being anthropomorphic together. What a great thing to show kids. I think that is the definition of "causing mass stupidity." Truly this is a harbinger of the end of days. Coming soon to a theater near you.

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Roland Emmerich's movies are crap!!!!!

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I agree with Sebaschan about Hollywood not risking making a movie without a happy ending

any of y'all seen knowing?

at any rate, I'm looking forward to this movie. trailer looks cool. I love a good end of the world disaster flick. Bring it.

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Except for the one with Will Smith and the aliens

Jack Nickolson, Mars attacks

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This should be a though provoking movie. Thoughts such as "Why did I pay to see this crap?" and "Oh yeah I downloaded it...whatever"

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The Day After Tomorrow,” “Independence Day” and “Godzilla,

ha! that make it easier for me to see of not see the 2012!

any of y'all seen knowing?

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0448011/

very interesting build up, but then it let you down at the last quarter of the movie. and the climax of the movie, i felt like i was watching religion movie, that was really pissed me off. such a shame for seemingly good movie.

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This is absurd! Everyone knows the Earth will end in 2043 when the asteroid that misses the first time comes back.

And then, whenever someone is talking about how difficult a film was to make and that person is referring to special effects rather than acting, this is a warning that the film itself is not worth seeing.

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Yes, Farmboy, you are right. Every country should prepare for this by building the most possible nuclear missiles. Only if we shoot from all places will we manage to destroy that asteroid.

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I hope it is better than the crap "Doomsday 2012". That whole film is a lot like those religious cult flicks.

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"Danny Glover as the U.S. president"

He should be great as the president. He'll probably be the single redeeming feature of this turkey. But instead of fighting a natural disaster, he should be fighting the Predator again.

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"In case you don’t know it, the world will end on Dec 21, 2012 – at least according to the Mayan calendar..."

No, that's not accordin' to the Mayan calendar.

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They should make a movie with both Danny Glover and Jack Nicholson fighting both the Predator and the Martians.

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The end of one world is just the begining of another.

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@Klein2 It's not so much about the 'what' here but about the 'how'! His movies are 99.9% full of the most annoying cliches, so much that it hurts any spectator who has at least a spark of intelligence.

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He's also the director of that monumentally awful 10,000 B.C. movie.

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