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5 live review: 2012

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Mark Kermode | 13:49 UK time, Monday, 16 November 2009

5 live's resident movie critic Dr Mark Kermode reviews 2012.

Go to Mark on 5 Live for more reviews and film debate.

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  • Comment number 1.

    Dammit, i can't watch this blog due to being in Ireland but i can say however that i also reviewed this film and it is without doubt one of the worst films of the year, as bad as Bride Wars, and quite possibly one of the worst films of the decade. Shame on John Cusack! When will he ever go back to making masterpieces such as Better Off Dead?

  • Comment number 2.

    Shame on you Doc...The Man with the Golden Gun!!!!!!!!!!

  • Comment number 3.

    the dog jumping out of the fire was in independence day when they're in the tunnel and the explosion is sending all the cars flying.

  • Comment number 4.


    On 2012: Unlike Kubrick or Tarkovsky, Mr. Emmerich proves to be the blind boy who paints pictures with colours and CGI without understanding 'cinema' at all. He joins the league of blind shallow movie-managers, like Michael Bay, David Cameron, "McG", etc etc...


    Thanks to Dr. Kermode for defending the marvel of black & white cinema from a provocative or truly ignorant Mayo (you can never tell with him;).


    Oh, dear BBC - I do not want to stir an international conflict, but I would pay your monthly fees if you let me access Dr. Kermodes site from Germany.

    Do I need to send a petition to Brussels or hire a law-firm to settle the national/european/international licensing agreements on that subject or what do you want me to do??

  • Comment number 5.

    I'm well on board with the CG issue. I remember being wowed by the motorcycle chase in Matrix:Reloaded (made a change from being bored) until Trinity spun the bike around and headed into the oncoming traffic. The camera flew underneath an oncoming truck and kept going. Immediately I knew that was an impossible shot, the traffic must be CG and all the danger (and excitement) was gone.

  • Comment number 6.

    I seem to recall the "dog must live" rule was broken in "Mars Attacks!", although I think that was a deliberate subversion of the rule.

  • Comment number 7.

    Dante's Peak has an old woman having her flesh burnt off her legs in a sulfuric lake before dying a tortured death but the dog survives so it's all OK.
    And T2 is an interesting one for the "kick the dog" trope. In the theatrical release the T-1000, after killing John's foster parents just simply leaves. However in the directors cut he goes out afterward and kills the dog. In many ways, this tiny scene, adds a whole new menace to the T-1000. Sure, you can stab someone through a milk carton with your transforming, liquid metal arm/knife but killing a dog? That's going too far.

  • Comment number 8.

    Quite simply I have reviewed 2012 and believe it to be the best comedy of the year...

  • Comment number 9.

    I guess I'll be watching this on Film 4 in 2011.

    RIP Edward Woodward.

  • Comment number 10.

    Sorry, still can't hear anything after Transformers II. 2012 looked good though.

  • Comment number 11.

    For once, I heard a relevant point by Chris Moyles on Radio 1 this morning:

    MOYLES: I still quite fancy going to see it.

    COMEDY DAVE: The film guy on Five Live on Simon Mayo's show, Mark Kermode, absolutely hates it.

    MOYLES: Oh, in that case, I'm definitely going to see it. Because if Kermode hates it, I'll probably enjoy it.

    COMEDY DAVE: It's all the CGI that he doesn't like in it.

    MOYLES: Yeah. Because if you're going to film a movie about the end of the world, why use CGI? Why not really blow LA up? Dur. "Yeah, we need a shot where the Golden Gate Bridge is collapsing. We'll do it on CGI." "No, God damn it, why not film it for real and then rebuild it?" Yeah, brilliant. Well done, Mark.


    It's the first interesting thing I think I've ever heard Chris Moyles say. Of course that's only my opinion.

    (PS If anyone wants to hear it, it's not on iPlayer yet, but it was at exactly 8am this morning).

  • Comment number 12.

    Absolutely agree about "Practical" stunt work being so much more involving than CGI.
    Take a look at "It's a mad, mad, mad, mad world"; They really flew a twin engined aircraft through a huge advertising hoarding.

    But strangely enough, there is a recent example of genuine stunt work. "Deathrace"... (cue 'Jason Statham' voice); loads of proper stunt driving with real cars and genuine peril.

    Guys like Alf Joint (Cadbury's Milk Tray advert cliff dive) and Carey Loftin (drove the Dodge Challenger in "Vanishing Point") have not yet been entirely usurped by spotty faced herberts hunched over their computer terminals.

  • Comment number 13.

    Even before the reviews, the trailer for 2012 looked so boring... made a fortune at US box office though; will UK audiences prove to be as stupid? Yes, I suspect they will.

  • Comment number 14.

    I am surprised more people didn't comment on the Live and Let Die comment.

  • Comment number 15.

    I have to disagree Mark, CGI isn't "EASY", I for one work in the visual effect industry and hence do CGI everyday. It makes anything possible yes, but it isn't EASY by any stretch, directors are pushing what CG Artist's can do by asking for more and more technically challenging shots. You don't just "draw it", if it were that simple my life would be easy. I know you are an advocate for not being outspoken in a field you know little about so I'm not going to hold this against you, but you DO have a point though. The fact that anything can be done, allows for directors to have little imagination as they know that a wealth of talented CGI artists can carry out their vision. Also REAL effects and stunts often hold more weight than CGI, which is why we try to use as much original footage to make the final composites hold weight and seem convincing. Which is why I have a great deal of respect for people like Chris Nolan who Carry out as much as they can on set and use CG where applicable.

    Needless to say 2012 was a severe disapointment in terms of film-making and it adds to the arguement that Good visual effects isn't enough to carry a film... even though it would be considered traitorus for ME to admit it, but as a film lover I can't deny it! ;-)

  • Comment number 16.

    The dog running out of the building on fire was definitely Volcano, Dr Kermode

  • Comment number 17.

    When i saw the trailer for 2012 i instantly thought of what (in my own twisted silly mind) would be a much better idea for a movie than the pitch i was seeing. You know from the get go in a trailer like this that there will be not one narrative risk taken.

    How about a movie where in some alternate world that the Earth did actually adhere to the ancient Myan calender and that its people all know about the end of the earth as its happening and the film explores how people go about preparing for their own deaths, the few 'crazies' aside who attempt to be getting of earth, surely as bad as that sounds it can't be worse than what mr emmerich is going to regurgetate?

    Dante's Peak though takes the biscuit though, you can tell from just its title that there is a better film in there, Joe Dante's Peak anyone?

  • Comment number 18.

    I have definately spelled Mayan wrong, i think. Not that i care too much. Doubt Mel Gibson did.

  • Comment number 19.

    Hang on, we've got a decent president now. He dies but The Queen and Silvio Berlusconi live? Can I at least choose one more?

  • Comment number 20.

    er, no Silvio Berlusconi dies by choice just as Danny Glover did. No sign of the DoE or other HRH's ; we only see HMQ and the Corgis.

    Actually, the Queen is only worth about $450 million according to Forbes magazine so she wouldn't be able to afford a place on the "Ark".

    Silvio Berlusconi is worth about $9.4 billion so he would be able to afford several places, so maybe he gave a place to HMQ even after she told him to shush.

  • Comment number 21.

    LOL. Thank you for working out the logistics for me. I'm appointing you as Transport Minister - which given that everyone is stuck on a big ark now, is an infinitely more vital department.

  • Comment number 22.

    Being Queen post apocalypse might be a bit dreary. Of the 800 or so billionaires in the world (rather less because my figures are dollars and the actual ticket price was 1 billion euros), there would only be about 25 subjects to wave to, all of whom would have considerably more money and presumably enjoy a higher status post apocalypse. It might be one of Tony Robinson's worst jobs in history.

    If the Queen doesn't make it aboard, The Duke of Westminster would. His wife is distantly in line to the throne, so the monarchy survives. Hoorah! :-)

    Returning to the subject, a film about a post-apocalyptic 2012 (sans CGI) starting where this pre-Thanksgiving turkey ended would have been much more interesting.

  • Comment number 23.

    The 2012 argument reminds me of the Yes album 90125, which was the album's catalogue number.

  • Comment number 24.

    Dr K: It was The Man With The Golden Gun with the car jumping over the river. But they famously and despicably ruined that incredible stunt with the sound-effect of a swanny whistle!!! Shameful!

  • Comment number 25.

    A query:

    The two films you reviewed as being the most cynically minded, in recent memory, are Transformers 2 and 2012. If they just exist for moneymaking purposes, then why are they so long? Surely they could cut down on budget and raise their profit margins by shortening the amount of explosions? It would seem to me that the audience numbers would be the same if the film was 2hrs long rather than 2 and a half...

    Does this mean that these films are made by madmen directors drunk on the idea of excess instead of bankers? Or is it true that for every piece of money spent, there is more money earnt back...?

  • Comment number 26.

    I'm not a huge fan of the disaster movie genre but I quite enjoyed this. Yes, there was some laughably over the top moments but generally it was good.

    By the way, I keep meaning to find out what the song is at the end. There seemed to be a lot in the credits before it got to "music" so I couldn't read what or who it was. Does anyone know?

  • Comment number 27.

    2012 left me with the whatever syndrome, I imagine this is much like taking too many Valium before going to the cinema. You’re right Mark CGI ‘stunts’ can lead to this syndrome, in this case the near misses that seem to carry on forever. A tower block nearly misses the car, the plane is nearly crushed by two collapsing tower blocks, the car jumps a massive fissure… Whatever, I remain disassociated. Goes back to watching old movies that still have the ability to touch like no amount of CGI can.

  • Comment number 28.

    100% agree about the thoughts on CGI. I remember when Gladiator when they talked about how amazing it was that they had been able to create the Colisseum by getting shots of a few hundred people in a stand, stitching them together and painting the remainder of a set on a computer.

    What was really impressive was Ben Hur, where they built the largest film set ever and filled it with 15,000 people.


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