2012 (2009)

A frustrated writer struggles to keep his family alive when a series of global catastrophes threatens to annihilate mankind. (IMDb)
It’s intense, no doubt, but in a discomforting, empty sort of way-feels hard to feel relief at the constant near escapes of our protagonists when 99.9% of the rest of the world is completely annihilated in massive dumps of CGI. On one hand, this numbness as a response to such widespread devastation rings partially true, but on the other, it speaks to a certain blockbuster gloss that leaves the film’s themes of human desperation and end-of-the-world values inconsistent and underdeveloped.
6/10 (Mediocre)

Flatliners (1990)

flatliners_xlg

Four Medical students experiment on “near death” experiences that involve past tragedies until the dark consequences begin to jeopardize their lives. (IMDb)
The main cast is excellent here as five ambitious medical students attempting to experience life after death. Tense medical drama blends with nightmarish scenes of memories and hallucinations as side effects are revealed, creating a powerful sense of discomfort aided by gloomy cinematography, while the emotional quests for resolve that follow add yet another dimension to the film. Puzzlingly, Joe’s story is left hanging, but the film remains a great, unsettling thriller with a cohesive feel.
7.5/10 (Really Good)