“For centuries the prophecies of Nostradamus have been part of the historic record. While highly speculative and controversial, their author’s legacy endures.”
Since before I can remember there have been folks warning us that the end is near. Dates of concern have come and gone in the decades of my own life. I remember a planetary alignment in the 1980’s that was supposed to end it all. Of course, all of us remember the huge circus that surrounded the dawning of the current millennium. That one was going to be caused by our own short-sightedness in programming our computers. Apparently, the smartest minds on the planet didn’t really see the year 2000 coming until about 1990. The global electronic networks were going to crash, and society, as we knew it, was going to come to a standstill. January first came and went with much more of a whimper than a bang, and the only thing that caused our world to stand still was the level of inebriation. Now the new target date is closing upon us quickly.
The Mayan civilization knew their astronomy. They had an understanding of the universe that was considerably ahead of its time. Although the civilization is long since gone, their calculations of astronomical events has been with us ever since. From eclipses to weather pattern shifts, the Mayans have accurately predicted the order of things in our night skies. It’s been a comfort to some that the knowledge of that ancient culture was still with us. All of that is going to change in December of 2012. That’s when those calculations cease and the Mayan Astronomical calendar ends. For some, that foretells the end of everything. For most of us, that marks the endpoint at which the civilization had gotten around to mapping.
Then there’s the famous sage and prophet Nostradamus. The 16th century alchemist left behind a series of prophesies that have had rather eerie moments of accuracy. He not only predicted several European wars, but nearly nailed the names of two of the continent’s biggest instigators. He referred to a German named Hister who would do many of the things we associate with Hitler. He predicted not only Napoleon’s name, but his birth on an island near Italy. Of course, all of Nostradamus’s predictions have one vital thing in common. The prediction was only recognizable after the event itself. If the man left us these writings as a warning, they have failed miserably in that respect. Now it appears that Nostradamus had some ideas about when the world would reach its critical decline. As scholars of the man’s writings begin to pore over his words carefully, there appears to be a pattern that some say offers our first glimpse of a prediction before the event occurs. When does Nostradamus think the world might end? Coincidentally, he puts the fateful day at December 21st, 2012. It’s the moment when the Sun will rise at the exact center point of our galaxy. It happens about once every 26,000 years. What makes this one so important? That’s what Nostradamus 2012 wants to talk to you about.
The documentary attempts to bridge together these two independent “prophesies” and demonstrate the evidence that some believe points to the end in 2012. While there are some interesting points to be found in the show, there is also a ton of speculation here. Some of these connections require a stretch that even Reed Richards would find difficult to make. There is some information that does not really feel very accurate. Like the Global Warming crowd, the show attempts to demonstrate an increase in powerful storms. It ties things like the Tsunami event and Katrina into a galactic plot to kill us all. To hear these guys talk, you would think there weren’t natural disasters until very recently. Most of the scholars here are already convinced that they are seeing the end of days. There’s plenty of computer-generated imagery that helps to demonstrate many of these celestial theories. And while the show and its participants never actually say that the world will be completely destroyed on that date, the “experts” do all point to a belief that a major shift will happen on that date. There is a sense that while our lives may not end in 2012, life as we know it now certainly will. There is even an attempt to tie in 9/11, which I find to be somewhat in bad taste. In that sense, life as we knew it has already changed.
The show is an interesting enough diversion, but I expected just a little bit more. The ideas are somewhat repetitive. I’d say go ahead and rent the thing, because it’ll give you a few laughs and even a few things to think about. Unfortunately, the title has a short shelf-life in your collection. In just over two years it either won’t matter because you won’t have a video collection anymore, or it will be terribly irrelevant. How often do you find yourself revisiting the whole Y2K thing these days? That’s what I thought.
Nostradamus 2012 is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.78:1. The 1080p image is arrived at with an AVC/MPEG-4 codec at an average of almost 30 mbps. The quality of the image presentation here is pretty impressive. Colors are all very natural. Detail is high. Even the archive footage of disasters and such look better than these things tend to look on documentaries even in high definition. A lot of it is created footage in a controlled situation, likely with HD cameras. The interview clips often exist in a dark background, providing dramatic contrast.
The DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 is only really intended to offer the dramatic narration and interview clips from the “experts”. There are a few moments of heightened musical cues that actually deliver some nice sub elements to the sound presentation.
The Lost Book Of Nostradamus: (1:30:43) This is really a completely separate feature film. It focuses on Nostradamus and offers some historical background on the man. A book of illustrations was found in the 1990’s that appear to be either related to or created by Nostradamus himself. It is here that a lot of the 2012 predictions tie in. The feature looks at the book and provides the interpretations that lead us to that 2012 event. This is actually far more compelling and informative than the main feature.
I don’t need Nostradamus to tell me where I’ll be on December 21st, 2012. I’ll probably be watching some film or television show and preparing to report to you guys about what I saw. Will I take note of the date? Probably. I think we all will. The retail businesses would love if the prediction came true. Imagine what would happen if the world really did end on December 21st. They made all of that Christmas dough and there won’t be one return. But are we “really on the edge of the biggest ride in all of history?”