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In a galaxy not too far from our own, a star has exploded, and the resulting blast of radiation is hurtling towards Earth. Now it's up to one daring astrophysicist to create a shield that will protect the planet from imminent destruction.
For more about 2012: Supernova and the 2012: Supernova Blu-ray release, see 2012: Supernova Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on January 15, 2013 where this Blu-ray release scored 1.5 out of 5.
Starring: Brian Krause, Heather McComb, Najarra Townsend, Allura Lee, Alan Poe, Emma Samms
Director: Anthony Fankhauser
» See full cast & crew
2012: Supernova Blu-ray Review
It's coming right for us!
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, January 15, 2013
Ah, The Asylum. So predictably clumsy and poor at its craft, but also like an old friend, a security blanket, a cinematic comfort zone of all things super cheap, reliably vacuous, and blatantly unoriginal. 2012: Supernova aims to capitalize on the once-feverish lead-up to the "doomsday" date of 2012, this particular film telling the story of a rogue 200-year-old galactic supernova with its sights set squarely on top of Earth. Cue all of the usual low-end Disaster movie visuals, recycled plot lines, and general filmmaking incompetence. Oh yes, this is The Asylum at the figurative top and literal bottom of its game, a cinematic trash heap of the finest variety, a film so monumentally awful it could only be topped by the even more monumentally awful Asylum pictures that sputter out of the gate without so much as a plot to their name. Good times indeed for cinema masochists in search of the next great dud of a movie through which to revel in drivel.
It's been 200 years since a supernova formed far from Earth. Since then, it's been on a collision course with mankind's home world. Unbeknownst to but a few in the government and scientific communities, shuttle missions have been carrying nuclear payloads to the International Space Station to deal with the inbound supernova. The team is spearheaded by Dr. Kelvin (Brian Krause) who is called into the office when it appears the timetable for the supernova's arrival is suddenly moved up. He, his wife Laura (Heather McComb), and his daughter Tina (Najarra Townsend) are separated on the way to the military base from which he will act to stop the supernova. Kelvin arrives safely but the ladies find themselves in the middle of a dangerous astral attack in wide-open desert country. As the supernova enters the solar system -- it destroys Pluto, zips past Jupiter, and has its way with the asteroid belt -- scientists scramble to get the necessary nuclear payloads to the space station in time. Meanwhile, Kelvin tries urgently to stay in contact with his family as it tries to survive the ever-increasing harsh conditions and havoc wrought by the incoming wave of destruction.
One could pretty much substitute a review for any other Asylum Sci-Fi-centric movie into this one and it would be largely accurate. 2012: Supernova slugs through the same tired problems and evokes the same sort of responses from audiences, chiefly revolving around acting, plotting, and special effects. The film plays with that classic setup in which neither the script nor the performances do the film any favors, and both seem to be challenging the other to see how low they can go, how one can outdo the other in terms of sheer awfulness. The script is thoughtless and recycles the worst clichés, and in doing so sucks all of the emotion from the characters, emotion that made movies like Deep Impact such an impressive success. On the flip side, the characters seem absolutely listless and disinterested, partially because, well, they're not the cream of the crop in the acting world (there's a reason why they're in 2012: Supernova) and because the script (and likely the filmmaking team) asks nothing of them beyond robotic movements and insipid recitation of lines. Few movies show so much faux emotion and lifeless performances as these; even the most action-packed moments come across as stale, a testament to the absolute lack of purpose within the script and sense of originality or audience involvement with the people and story.
The picture also slugs along with abysmal visual effects that look like they're the product of an introductory computer graphics course, not a professional Hollywood production. Not that The Asylum sets out to make the sort of movies that actually spend the money necessary to create passable visuals, but just a little more effort would go a long way in not masking the poor script or substandard performances but at least in giving the movie a little more credibility. The visuals stick out like the proverbial sore thumb (the movie deserves nothing more than an awful cliché); one particularly egregious shot features a digital plant getting struck by digital lightning and set ablaze by digital fire. It looks awful and the movie would have been better off without. The same goes for The Asylum's age-old trick of using "fast-paced Action movie" music in nearly every scene in an effort to create a sense of urgency and excitement where none exists, and where it doesn't need to exist. The filmmakers obviously realize the movie creates zero tension but believe they can squeeze out some artificial heart-pounding elements by adding a layer of music. No such luck, but good effort! On the plus side, the movie does get its celestial geography of the Milky Way correct; the supernova comes in and destroys Pluto (at least the debate as to whether it should still be a planet or not can go away), moves past the moons of Jupiter, and pushes onward to the asteroid belt on its way to Earth. Perhaps had the filmmakers' very educated mothers showed them more planets and fewer movies, audiences could be spared these awful films.
2012: Supernova Blu-ray, Video Quality
2012: Supernova looks decent enough at-a-glance (or select glances) but doesn't hold up under scrutiny. At its best, the glossy HD imagery appears smooth and lifeless but serves viewers with adequate, fairly crisp details, revealing basic facial, clothing, and environmental details well above the capabilities of a standard definition release. Unfortunately, the rest of the image doesn't do so well. Colors usually favor a heavily tinted shading, whether amber, golden, gray, or blue. There's little in-between and every element, from flesh tones to clothes, succumbs to heavy tinting. But even if that's filmmaker intent, which does seem to be the case, the transfer is littered with a myriad of very real issues. Heavy noise infiltrates many scenes. Blacks often appear washed out and the general image quite hazy. Color transitions are poor and blocky, ringing is evident, and shimmering is the norm. It's a very low-end HD transfer that's barely suitable for the bargain bin.
2012: Supernova Blu-ray, Audio Quality
2012: Supernova features a lackluster but generally passable DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 lossless soundtrack. Echo Bridge's presentation plays nicely enough across the front, sometimes stretching for better clarity but usually finding a decent balance between energy and accuracy. The track lacks the dynamism and full-fledged presence of better tracks, but given the film's bargain origins asking for much more might not be reasonable. Dialogue is generally clear and firm, only occasionally a bit too shallow. Gunfire, car chases, and other high-impact sound elements are replicated clearly and accurately enough. This isn't an exemplary track by any stretch of the imagination, but it suits the material well enough.
2012: Supernova Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Echo Bridge's Blu-ray release of 2012: Supernova contains no supplementary content.
2012: Supernova Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
No surprise it's an awful movie, but 2012: Supernova at least has the benefit of a cheesy underbelly, a plot so ridiculously overdone and characters, writing, direction, and special effects so putrid that it's worth a few good laughs along the way. The Asylum excels in the creation of inferior filmmaking, making movies that cling onto the coattails of other projects and, with 2012 Supernova, a would-be end-of-times date for a double dose of nonsensical fun. Fortunately, 2012 did not see the physical end of the world, which means only more bad Asylum movies for the enjoying in 2013 and beyond. And good for them; here's hoping they keep cranking them out, because Heaven knows in these times a little humor -- even unintentional humor -- goes a long, long way. As a Blu-ray release, 2012: Supernova also comes up well short of common acceptability. Poor video, mediocre audio, and no supplements may make this a lousy Blu-ray, but it's worth a few bucks for the laughs.
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