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MOVIE INFO

Director:
Andy Pickard
Cast:
Various
Writing Credits:
Sarah Hollister, Larry Weitzman

Synopsis:
It's a year that many have prophesized will bring a catastrophic end to life as we know it. Whatever is in store a massive cosmic collision, a global environmental disaster, an Armageddon-like religious showdown, or a more subtle transformation many believe that 2012 will mark a major shift in the history of our planet. But what is there to substantiate such fears? A detailed, historical investigation of this chilling prophecy is the mission of Nostradamus 2012 an exciting History special that casts the doomsday warning in a frighteningly modern context.

December 21, 2012 is bearing down on us with alarming speed. Whether or not we are able to collectively heed the warnings and affect a course to avert disaster may be the defining moment of the modern age.

MPAA:
Rated NR

DVD DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Audio:
English DTS-HD MA Stereo 2.0
Subtitles:
English
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
English

Runtime: 91 min.
Price: $24.95
Release Date: 9/28/2010

Bonus:
• “The Lost Prophecies of Nostradamus” Documentary


PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

EQUIPMENT
Panasonic 50" TH-50PZ77U 1080p Plasma Monitor; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.

RELATED REVIEWS


Nostradamus 2012 [Blu-Ray] (2009)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (September 15, 2010)

Wasn’t the world supposed to end when we hit the year 2000? I guess that was believed to be more of a man-made catastrophe due to the computer disasters so many anticipated. Well, maybe predictions will come true with the next big “end of days” event in 2012.

That’s the subject of a History Channel documentary called Nostradamus: 2012. In it, we get comments from The Divine Matrix author Gregg Braden, Vision for 2012 author John Petersen, Monument to the End of Time co-author Vincent Bridges, Walking in the Fire author Rabbi Ariel Bar Tzadok, Apocalypse 2012 author Lawrence Joseph, Maya Cosmogenesis 2012 author John Major Jenkins, Maya scholar Joseph Jochmans, Nostradamus and the Antichrist author John Hogue, Secrets of Alchemy author Jay Weidner, author/archaic futurist Moira Timms, Zuni Pueblo consultant Clifford Mahooty, and Earth Under Fire author Paul Laviolette. The participants discuss a variety of signs that an apocalypse may come at the end of 2012.

Most History Channel documentaries offer a pretty scholarly look at their subjects. Unfortunately, that’s less of a theme here. Instead, 2012 prefers to take something of a tabloid approach to its subject.

Admittedly, it’s tough to avoid the sensational side of a topic such as this. We’re firmly into tinfoil hat territory here, so it should come as no surprise that the program highlights the spooky supernatural side of things.

I think the show would’ve worked better as part of the Conspiracy? series. Granted, it doesn’t actually cover a conspiracy, but it still fits in that franchise’s concept of investigating controversial concepts.

Unlike Conspiracy?, however, 2012 doesn’t provide a balanced view of the topic. It seems to take the mystical claims on face value and doesn’t get into alternate, skeptical perspectives. We get inundated with the idea that Nostradamus was a super-psychic and don’t hear anything to contradict this idea.

Not that the program clearly claims the world will come to an end in late 2012, but it sticks almost exclusively with thoughts that fit this theme. Most of these revolve around the impact of a “galactic alignment”, and the show digs into all the ways that climate change connects to apocalyptic predictions.

Oddly, 2012 strongly wants us to buy global warming as part of the astrological shifts and the prophecy. At no point does anyone suggest that climate change results from man-made actions and not galactic issues.

Seriously? Global warming is all due to the sun’s position and not because of all the things humans have done? A lot of people would love to believe that, and heck, maybe it’s true. However, it seems nutty that the program doesn’t even pay lip service to anything that fails to support ancient mystical interpretations.

We also don’t get much to tell us why we should give a hoot about Nostradamus’s prediction. 2012 claims that many of his notions came true but it doesn’t cite any of these. If he really was such a brilliant mind, it’d be nice to hear evidence of this. As displayed here, his prophecies tend to be as vague and open to interpretation as the daily astrology charts; we can easily interpret his writings in various ways that we’d like.

I’m a little depressed that the History Channel provides a show heavy on sensationalism and light on critical introspection. 2012 throws out some interesting ideas but it fails to subject them to any form of scrutiny. It’s too one-sided and silly to succeed.


The Blu-ray Grades: Picture B/ Audio C/ Bonus B-

Nostradamus: 2012 appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. While the quality varied dependent on the source, the show usually looked pretty good.

Sharpness depended on the nature of the footage. Much of the program used material shot with HD cameras, and those elements usually provided solid delineation. With some minor exceptions, those bits appeared concise and accurate.

However, when the show used material filmed with lower resolution cameras, the results weren’t as spiffy. Those sequences suffered from blockiness and a lack of much definition. However, they also tended to fly by pretty quickly. 2012 could use semi-frenetic editing, so the lower quality shots rarely lingered on screen.

Colors also varied, but they usually looked acceptably accurate and realistic. The show went with natural hues that demonstrated pretty positive reproduction. Blacks also appeared fairly deep and dark, while shadows – mainly found in ominous re-enactment shots – were clear and visible. The problems with some source footage affected my impression of the visuals, but this was still an attractive enough release for a “B”.

Don’t expect much from the DTS-HD MA 2.0 soundtrack of 2012, though it seemed perfectly satisfactory for this kind of project. Actually, the soundfield opened up a bit more than I expected. The series used the various channels to create general ambience much of the time. None of this demonstrated very good localization, but at least the track showed some life. Music offered decent stereo imaging, and the surrounds bolstered the various sequences.

Audio quality was decent. Speech sounded natural and concise, without edginess or other issues. Music and effects appeared acceptable, though not particularly dynamic. I thought the track worked well enough for a “C”.

How did the picture and sound of this Blu-ray compare to the show’s DVD release? Audio remained very similar, as neither track impressed. However, visuals demonstrated big improvements. The DVD was non-anamorphic, so the boost in resolution found here made the documentary substantially more appealing in terms of picture quality.

In terms of extras, the Blu-ray includes a “bonus program”. The Lost Book of Nostradamus goes for one hour, 30 minutes, 43 seconds and includes notes from Nostradamus scholar Peter Lemesurier, metaphysical writer Scarlett Ross, Secrets of Alchemy author Jay Weidner, Monument to the End of Time co-author Vincent Bridges, psychic/author Ellie Crystal, Nostradamus Society of America president Victor Baines, journalist/Nostradamus researcher Dr. Robert Pinotti, Italian journalist Enza Massa, Art History Professor/Symbologist Ron Picco, Nostradamus: The Man Behind the Prophecies author Ian Wilson, Italian Central National Library librarian Livia Martinol, Italian Central National Library consultant Valentina Piccinin, National Italian Library director Osvaldo Avallone, Catherine de Medici: Renaissance Queen of France author Leonie Frieda, author/descendant of Nostradamus’s secretary Bernard Chevignard, bibliography/library science professor Maria Misiti, astro-psychologist/author Dr. Louis Turi, ink and color specialist Andrea Fortini, Nostradamus archivist Michel Chomarat and manuscript specialist Maria Fadiga.

The show looks at the 1990s discovery of a book possibly written by Nostradamus. Some of the program investigates its legitimacy, but most of the piece discusses the “prophecies” it contains.

Which makes the documentary a bit of a dud. It suffers from virtually all of the same problems that affect 2012 itself, as it comes without even the vaguest sign of skepticism or any attempts at scientific truth. It just allows the true believers to throw out their interpretations of the writings without any challenge. I really believe a good documentary about Nostradamus could be made, but it doesn’t show up on this Blu-ray.

In an odd move, the Blu-ray omits the only supplement from the DVD. The latter came with about 15 minutes of additional scenes. While I didn’t think these were valuable, I still don’t understand why the Blu-ray wouldn’t include them.

Do people really take the ramblings of a 16th century “seer” seriously? Apparently, as Nostradamus 2012 views its subject without the slightest hint of skepticism or scrutiny. That means it provides some intriguing thoughts but lacks the depth to become anything more than an idle curiosity.

The Blu-ray presents good picture and adequate audio along with one fairly substantial supplement. If you like this program, the Blu-ray is the superior release; when compared to the DVD, it offers improved visuals and more significant extras. However, I still think the documentary is a crock and can’t recommend it to anyone who hasn’t already imbibed the Nostradamus Kool-Aide.

To rate this film, visit the original review of NOSTRADAMUS 2012

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