Aug 1, 2009

“Hollywood Destroys the World”

Joel C. Rosenberg
By Joel C. Rosenberg

New wave of movies focuses on the apocalypse.

A few days ago, my three oldest sons and I saw a trailer for ‘2012,’ the new apocalyptic film starring Jon Cusack that envisions a Mayan prophecy coming true involving the end of the world occurring in less than three years. The trailer began: “How would the governments of our planet prepare six billion people for the end of the world?”

A moment later came the words….”They wouldn’t.”

The trailer triggered a conversation with my boys about how all over the world people are becoming more and more worried about coming cataclysmic events, and how Hollywood has been increasingly focused on making blockbuster disaster films about the end of the earth and the end of mankind.

A new poll finds 64% of Israelis believe the time has come to build the Third Temple, prophesied as happening in the “last days” of history. The Radical Muslim leaders of Iran say the end of the world is at hand, and are seeking nuclear weapons to bring it about. The Radical environmentalists say doomsday is coming quickly due to global warming. The History Channel kicked off 2009 with a week of documentaries about End Times prophecies, and dubbed the series, “Armageddon Week.” Evangelical Christians, like me, believe global events are lining up just as Jesus Christ and the Biblical prophets said they would in the “last days.” Books about the End Times repeatedly hit the New York Times best-sellers lists, and prophecy conferences are increasingly sold out.

Picking up a thread of this trend is an intriguing story in Friday’s Wall Street Journal headlined, “Hollywood Destroys The World”. The article explains how Hollywood is increasingly consumed with making “end of the world” films, in part because film-makers themselves fear actual disasters are just over the horizon.

Excerpts from the story:
  • “Director Roland Emmerich has nearly destroyed the world three times already. This time, he means to finish the job,” notes the Journal. “In his next movie, ‘2012,’ which comes out in November, the earth will rip apart, fulfilling an ancient prophecy. The director previously leveled civilization with an alien attack in the 1996 movie ‘Independence Day,’ unleashed Godzilla a couple years later and orchestrated a climate disaster in 2004’s ‘The Day After Tomorrow.’ His new film, he says, reflects a darker world view. ‘I’m really very pessimistic these days,’ he says.”….

  • “Most of the storytellers say they are reacting to anxiety over real threats in uncertain times: the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, two U.S. wars abroad, multiple pandemics, a global financial crisis and new attention to environmental perils. ‘The Road’ even weaves in footage shot during recent disasters, such as Hurricane Katrina, into its scenes of destruction. ‘For me, I feel like I live in an apocalyptic world with global warfare, a recession, and resource scarcity,’ says Jesse Alexander, writer and executive producer of NBC’s ‘Day One.’”….

  • “’Day One,’ a series coming to NBC in March, follows a handful of neighbors trying to survive and understand a calamity that erased the world’s infrastructure. ‘The Colony,’ now airing on Discovery Channel, is a reality show set in an imagined end-times period in which contestants hunt for food, water and shelter after a presumed disaster.”