Roland Emmerich

Forget director Roland Emmerich and his eye for the Apocalypse. Sarah Palin, in an interview with Newsmax, toys with the idea of Glenn Beck as a presidential running mate: "I can envision a couple of different combinations, if ever I were to be in a position to really even seriously consider running for anything in the future, and I'm not there yet," Palin tells Newsmax. "But Glenn Beck I have great respect for. He's a hoot. He gets his message across in such a clever way. And he's so bold – I have to respect that. He calls it like he sees it, and he's very, very, very effective." Words fail.

No, 2012 is not quite the pointless cinematic exercise that G.I. Joe was, as I noted in my review last week. But that hardly means that Roland Emmerich's disasterpiece is unworthy of its own tone poem.

At this point, I’m not sure which has become more tiresome: Roland Emmerich’s penchant for emotionally overwrought end-of-the-world pictures or his penchant for giving said pictures time-specific titles. With the exception of Godzilla, which advertised its subject with forthright specificity, his titles have exhibited a peculiar insistence on emphasizing the when at the expense of the what: Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow, and now 2012.


Alexander Zaitchik is a freelance journalist based in New York City. He visited Greenland in August as part of an official press delegation sponsored by the island's home-rule government. It's become a cliché of Arctic reportage to begin stories by describing the calving of glaciers—that process by which enormous vertical slabs of ice, some as tall as skyscrapers, slice off the glacial shelf and collapse into the waiting sea. During a recent reporting trip to Greenland, I quickly understood the impulse to chronicle this phenomenon.


Weather ... Or Not

In the 1994 movie Stargate, director Roland Emmerich presented us with an interstellar portal leading to a planet populated by ancient Egyptian look-alikes. Two years later, with Independence Day, he offered a genocidal alien invasion that was overcome by two guys spreading a computer virus. And two years after that, his Godzilla featured a 200-foot-tall radioactive iguana running amuck in Manhattan.