November 13th, 2009

Cinema Dave  Swashbuckling ournalist and

"2012" is typical disaster, Hollywood style

As President Danny Glover says in the latest box office sensation, **2012,** "The world is going to end and there is nothing we can do about it." For apocalyptic scholars, **2012** does fulfill one's pessimism to a point. The pure pessimist will be disappointed - **2012** plants enough seeds for a sequel.

**2012** follows the formula of the old Irwin Allen disaster flicks from the 1970s, most notably **The Poseidon Adventure** and **The Towering Inferno.** First you establish the exposition of stereotypical characters from different social strata, mainly the dysfunctional family and the smart people who work in the White House. The second act features the climatic disaster and the third act reveals the producer's core assertion.

The constant marketing on television has presented some enticing shots for "2012." On the big screen for a matinee price, the epic action scenes are a visual feast. **2012** will be remembered for the aerial shots of airplanes escaping from crumbling runways. While these scenes are repeated three times, these sequences do not feel repetitive The special effects in these sequences are full of tiny details that will involve closer and repeating viewing.

After witnessing two hours of heart pounding action in which Christian and Asian landmarks crumble in front of our very eyes, **2012** suffers from a prolonged climax with two scenes of contrived suspense featuring a father's sacrifice. These scenes involve John Cusack, as the father,feel shallow. For a film that won this critic over earlier, **2012** bogs down under the weight of it's own lofty themes.
Cinema Dave  Swashbuckling ournalist and

"Drag Me to Hell" is Raimi Brothers having fun

For the pure pessimist in need of a fix, Sam Raimi's **Drag Me to Hell** was released on DVD in time for Halloween. While he has been sidetracked by directing the **Spider-Man** trilogy, Raimi was well known for his horror movies (**The Evil Dead trilogy,** **The Gift** **Darkman**). Co-written with his brother Ivan, Sam Raimi **Drag Me to Hell** is a morality tale for 2009.

Christine (Alison Lohman) denies credit to a toothless gypsy woman. The gypsy woman does not like the way she is treated, so she puts a curse upon Christine. Christine has nightmares and suffers from delusions.

**Drag Me to Hell** is entertaining from beginning to end. Lohman gives a charming performance and generates more sympathy than any of the characters featured in **2012.** Both motion pictures present negative themes, yet **Drag Me to Hell** communicates an important moral lesson while **2012** presents more socialized propaganda from Hollywood.