Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Apocalypse Hollywood

Last Wednesday I went to go see the new Harry Potter movie (you know, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, aka Numero Seis). I'll leave the reviewing up to our lovely Arts editor, Rachael, and to have the last word on the movie, but frankly, I found it lagging and lacking. It was a filler movie, of sorts, and I saw it as more of a bridge than a real mvoie that could hold its weight on its own. That, however, is besides the point. What is is my favorite part of any movie-going experience: the previews.

Oh, and previews in the theater are something magical. It wouldn't really matter if the clip was trying to sell me a biopic on the creator of shoelaces, I would undoubtedly lean over to the person next to me and whisper "I want to see that"... and I know you've been there, too. But there was a theme in Wednesday's previews (even if it's been a relatively popular subject in recent decades): Movies about what will happen to us and our Earth after life as we know it has decidedly ended.

Admittedly, there are a agood handful of top notch movies on the apoloclypse. Waterworld sheds life on an, erm, water world (and Kevin Cosner does his best to keep afloat a movie that should have sunk terribly and horribly and disturbingly). Zombies are the focal point of more than enough versions of Dawn of the Dead (and Shaun of the Dead, which needs no discussion). 2007's I am Legend highlights Will Smith's uncanny ability to consistently defeat bad guys in the midst of total world destruction (a la Men in Black), but contains an awkward amount of religion (Will Smith famously screaming "There is no God!" but retracts the statement-- the zombie-like characters creating a sort of expose on what the world would be like with out any organized religon. Unfortnately, that sounds a little too settling.)

But more recently, Hollywood has taken yet another stab at multiple retellings of this world sans life ideal.

WALL-E proved to be a moving and undoubtely thoughtful picture on what will happen with we've rotted our world to absolute shit. Manhattan has been turned into a series of unrecycleables and meager machines have been hired, if you will, to clean up the continues formation of waste. That is, until another robot ("Eeeee-va" is the most beautiful two syllable phrase I've heard in a long, long time, thanks to this children's movie) lands on our little world to test the living situation (obviously nil). It's a satire on where we as fat and lazy human beings (although, Americans seem to be the only group of people that have made it up to live in space... a generous thought, Pixar and Disney) will be in a few hundred years if we continue to be fat and lazy (procreation is a completely different thought). WALL-E managed to make a children's movie into something very 1984-esque and required viewing for all 7 to, eh, ... everyone.

The most religously driven upcoming Hollywood disaster has, unfortunately (because I love him) John Cusack's name all over it. 2012, set to release this November, tells the story of, well, 2012. If I have to explain to you the meaning behind this little number, then you've not opened the pages of your National Enquirer in quite some time. But it's the little superstition that on the 12th of December, 2012, our world as we know it will simply end via natural phenomena. Talk about hella Doomsday. The movie depicts fireballs and earthquakes. From the same creators as The Day After Tomorrow, 2012 follows the same general eventline. Cusack, who has taken more of the father-roles (and I greatly miss him in his Say Anything days. Greatly) is constantly in the car, driving away from whatever it is that's threatening his family, or in the airplane, flying away and calming down his children and partner. Nostradamus can tell me over and over again what's going to happen in 2012, you religious yay-sayers can urge me to unplug my computer on that day, but frankly, I'm going to see the movie (admittedly in the theaters) and chuckle in all of my glee that, hey, Cusack's back and, wow, cool effects.

Coming out in September, the movie 9 depicts the post-apocolyptic world from a, well, a sock puppet's point of view. The main character, 9, is a few inches tall, made of cloth, and has a zipper running up his stomache and wakes up to find himself in a world of low-hanging dark gasses and evil-doers behind most, in not all, corners. He meets other sock puppet characters (conveniently named 1, 2, 3, ... 8) who have chosen to hide for the rest of their lives from the bad cats. Elijah Wood and John C. Reilly debut their cartoon skills in this eery movie that resembles WALL-E in its allure, but will undoubtely contain it's own spectacular spectaculars. But hey, what's more interesting than seeing how your potato sack will fare once you're gone?

Us movie goers have more to look foward to beyond this year, even. 28 Months Later is set to come out in 2011 (if development plans don't die before then) and the zombie saga continues. There are more than enough versions on what we're going to experience when we've actually expired... what's with this possibly-not-so-new versions on post apocalyptic us?

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