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Is The 2012 Trailer Anti-Catholic?

I'm a movie guy. I love going to the movies. Don't get there often but I still check out all the trailers online and plot strategy to get out of the house for those movies I really want to see.

So I just saw the trailer to the new movie 2012. When I first clicked on it my first thought was aren't we all getting tired of big budget disaster porn but then I paid attention to what I was seeing in the preview and something seemed a little...well you decide:

At the 20 second mark we've got the arms of the Jesus the Redeemer statue in Rio De Janiero falling off and then the whole thing falling over completely.

34 seconds in you see like fifty thousand people with candles standing in St. Peter's Square looking up at the Pope who's looking down at them.

36 seconds in you've got a crowd of people all making the sign of the cross.

Then you get about 12 or so seconds of regular old fireballs from the sky type mayhem.

50 seconds there's an image of St. Peter's Basilica toppling.

52 seconds cut to Cardinals inside praying only to look up at the art on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel to see it breaking apart and presumably crushing them.

54 seconds Those people who were praying with candles outside are now screaming and running. Why? Because the dome of St. Peter's is crashing down on top of them and then rolling over them crushing a few thousand people as it rolls essentially on top of the camera blacking everything out.

(Holy metaphor alert Batman!)

The rest of the trailer is just regular old mayhem and the White House getting destroyed. And at the end it says, "Find out the Truth."

And I'm just sitting there thinking "I think somebody's got a problem with Catholicism." I mean, that makes Ron Howard looks pretty nice by comparison. But then I thought maybe it's just because Catholics have the big iconic architecture and imagery. I mean what would Protestant mayhem look like anyway? Rick Warren falling over on top of someone.

I don't like to jump to conclusions so I Googled Roland Emmerich, the director, who, according to numerous sources is openly gay and an activist liberal. But hey, it's Hollywood, who isn't?

I wondered if this guy has some sort of distaste for things Catholic. And darn it but what do I find? I warn you this is kinda weird.

In a closet in his house, Mr. Emmerich has a statue of Pope John Paul II laughing while reading his own obituary. That's right. Pope John Paul II. In a closet. Laughing while reading his own obituary. You don't believe me, right? Well, look below.

And then it gets a little weirder. I'm not kidding.
According to the Guardian:
Mao and Lenin fill the length of the 25ft living room wall; an old master-style painting of the Crucifixion shows Jesus sporting a Wham T-shirt; in the guest bathroom is a portrait of Saddam Hussein
I always just thought Roland Emmerich was a mediocre director of bad movies with a ginormous budget. That's still true. But now he's a mediocre director of bad movies that I'm not going to see.

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Dr. Lacrimosus said...

Who knows? It may be about the visions of Catholic mystics on the end time...maybe the movie makes the claim that the Church is right, at least in the movie?

Kind of a "what if my worst nightmares were true?" for the director...

Mary in CO said...


This is more of a "gotta capitalize on the paranoia about the 'end' of the Mayan calendar" moment for the director.

Images of Catholic iconic figures crumbling Christ in Rio or St. Peter's) do smack of "even God cannot save you now". Or perhaps Emmerich has jumped on Ron Howard's "smear the Catholics, cuz it makes for good box office" train.

PS: Would love to see Ralph McInerny's "Third Revelation" made into a movie. A chiller!

William said...

From the trailer I saw during Harry Potter, it looked like your usual Dystopia, "Must save certain genetics" with a spaceship and two of each animal and all of that over-done nonsense. None of that "God won't save you now" stuff, I'm happy to say, I don't think I could have handled it.

And I'm sorry, but given the choice between our loving God and Scientists trying to "Preserve Mankind," does this guy really think he has a better chance with the Scientists? Being openly gay and a director of bad movies probably won't win you a spot on Mars.

Maybe that's overly harsh, but I really do hate this kind of stuff.

Robert said...

I noticed Muslims in the trailer as well.
I'd say Emmerich is simply anti-God, anti-religion. Catholics and Muslims are easy targets.

SherryTex said...

I saw the same preview during Harry Potter and had similar thoughts. It is becoming common place to see priests and devoted others killed as part of the film and entertainment.

Makes you miss Bill Murray saying "Nobody steps on a Church in my town."

Anonymous said...

"Rick Warren falling over on top of someone." LOL

Foxfier, formerly Sailorette said...

I think anti-Christian is very popular, and Catholics are just the most easily identifiable and clearly Christian.

Mostly 'cus I can't see even folks who hate Catholicism thinking this is cool with the rest of Christianity. Could be a failure of my imagination, though.

Joe Chavez said...

Roland has . . . how should one say . . . "issues?"

I wouldn't necessarily say that the trailer is anti-Catholic (ditto to what Robert said previously).

However, if anything, this movie--if it makes it big at the box office--will obviously get people talking about the end times. It's a perfect opportunity for all of us Christians to brush up on our eschatology and be prepared with the real truth not Holly-weird's version of the truth.

S.logan said...

Wow. This is something that I might have seen without reading your post. It's so important that people of faith do their research into who they're monies will be supporting. In this case, Emmerich will get none of mine. Thanks for the enlightment.

Also, as a Protestant, I laughed out loud to this: "I mean what would Protestant mayhem look like anyway? Rick Warren falling over on top of someone."

L.T. said...

No more anti-Catholic than it's anti-American for showing the White House or Washington Monument pulverized. The bigger it is, the harder it falls. Hollywood likes filming big things fall hard. Catholicism is big. Ergo, Hollywood likes filming Catholicism falling hard. Is that anti-big or pro-big? It's just Hollywood.

Anonymous said...

AAAW, heck, and I just love disaster movies.
comments -
1. End of the "world" as we know it
- The Catholics all go, right to the arms of Jesus, so we don't need the structures.
2. And since "they" don't want us around to mess with the culture of death headonism world view - we can leave
heaven is better than a world defined by "them"
3. I agree with the comment The Vatican going is like the Empire State or ... Big defining, makes a big movie splash.
4. Catholics have too much hope, delight and promise, to make disaster movies,
so to see smash, disaster, alien invasion, entertainment, where else can we go?

Anonymous said...

How is this anti-catholic?
The first comment is correct.

Dr. Lacrimosus said...

He's also apparently against John F. Kennedy. Note the final trailer scene where Kennedy destroys the Whitehouse.

William said...

I was going to make a huge Catholic rant here, but, eh, I'll bump it to the basics. Showing God destroying the Vatican goes back to the most basic of Catholic Tenants, that Jesus gave us His Bride the Church to establish His eternal link to the world. So showing a world where God abandons man by destroying it, especially those in the middle of an act of prayer, is pretty offensive, especially if done "gleefully" as this movie proports to do.

Believe me, even if it was just Rick Warren falling down, I wouldn't see the movie just as much.

DQM said...

Following the theory that the simplest explanation is the most likely, St Pete's and the White House are just 2 of the most recognizable bits of architecture on the planet.

Anonymous said...

The Catholic Church is the most enduring institution on Earth, therefore it is very effective to show it in disaster movies. I dont see anti-Catholicism, instead I see a recognition of the Church as the pinnacle human institutions.

Anonymous said...

of course its not merely a human institution...

Scott W. said...

I see anti-Catholicism under every rock, and there is just not enough here to determine that. However, I'll bet 100 silver of Lord of the Rings Online currency that there will be predictable digs at Catholicism and Christianity in the film.

Paul said...

"I mean what would Protestant mayhem look like anyway?"

I know it would sound like one hand clapping...

Anonymous said...

Dr. Lacrimosus -
John F. Kennedy was the only Catholic president.

Foxfier, formerly Sailorette said...

Scott W.-
sucker bet. When are there not gratuitous digs at the only religion it's acceptable to hate in one of these films?

Try something more complex-- my bet is on at least two speaking characters that are identifiably Christian, probably Catholic, denying the danger the doom-sayer says, and probably dying on screen.
About a 50% chance of a Gaea worshiper (possibly in the Greek sense) doing some of the doomsday foretelling. You know, the traditional humans-are-an-infection thing.

L.Mundane said...

I think the point is that Jon Cusak is a really good driver but the question is , Can he drive a boat?

Protestant mayhem would involve "The 700 club" or Joel Osteen

Foxfier, formerly Sailorette said...

On a serious note-- maybe a tent revival?

RC2 said...

The trailer also shows Muslims making the Haj.

Anonymous said...

I so totally wanted to see this movie, but now with this enligtening revelation... EH!

That freak-director really is a whack job.

= = = =

RC2 said:

"The trailer also shows Muslims making the Haj."

Is the movie going to show a meteor wiping them out? Are we going to be told it's okay for Catholics to be portrayed getting wiped out at St Peter's but not the Muslims doing their thing? Oh, but of course.


Agnes B Bullock said...

You forgot to mention the USS John F. Kennedy aircraft carrier being shown turning over and crashing into the Capitol (or was it the White House), yet another "subtle" antiCatholic shot, aimed directly at US Catholics. My husband Geoff remembered this one.

Anonymous said...

I've heard it, or read it somewhere that Catholics make quickly communicated digestable "icons" in movies.

Guy in black suit w/a white collar? Aha, Catholic Priest. Cassock. Even better.

See how you were able to put 2 and 2 together so quickly in the trailer? Now could they communicate that much data so fast using the 2nd Bible Baptist Free Evangelical (used to be a shoe store in a strip mall) church blowing up?

Anonymous said...

UUMMM. If I remember correctly, Didn't God promise not to flood the world again? But I have to say, those futuristic looking arcs sure look cool. So that's where all our bail out money went.
Sorry, another dumb movie by an anti-chrisitian director. No thank you.

nightfly said...

And Jon Cusack isn't necessarily the friendlist fellow in the world, either.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't assume that the director is anti-Catholic. What does it mean that our blessed Pope John Paul II would be laughing at his own obituary? If I were going to the arms of Jesus I would laugh too. Many saints have been happy about being called to their Lord. As for Jesus in a Wham! shirt--well, his sense of humor isn't mine, but to have Jesus and the Pope in your house at all means you think He is an important figure who loves everyone--even George Michael.

Still, sounds like a lame movie.

Foxfier, formerly Sailorette said...

"As well-researched as 'The Day After Tomorrow,' as accurate as 'The da Vinci Code.'"
-I. M. Yoking, Imaginary Reviews

Andrew said...

Anyone else notice the Sistine Chapel ceiling splits EXACTLY BETWEEN God's and Adam's hands?

Yeah, I call Anti-Catholic.

Foxfier, formerly Sailorette said...

*though pops up from another conversation elsewhere, on line, about how folks are amazing good and amazing horrible*
Might be anti-human-- anti-good-man-- with Catholicism symbolizing all that's good or admirable about humans, and the destruction all that's horrible about people.

Pink said...

I am a Muslim. The demonisation of Muslims and Arabs in the media is anything but pretty. However, I have not seen the hatred of any religion or sect in Hollywood as much as I have seen it against the Catholic Church.

I am not going to spend my money on 2012; and I will certainly keep my eyes open for Roland Emmerich's name - I won't spend my money on any of his trash.

Hate is not a Godly value.
-Pink Muslimah

Anonymous said...

wow good info but everyone forgets to mention something most of hollywood is antichristian and mostly ANTICATHOlIC. hollywood is run by AntiCatholics and mostly by Jews and they to be honest hate Catholics more than anyone else remember how hollywood and Jewish people attacked the Passion of The Christ. Roland Emmerich and many others like him try to find smart ways to attack Christians and Catholics without people knowing they are. I will not waste my money on this but even though I wont I know that sadly this movie will make a lot of money that it does not deserve its just another end of the world film cant Hollywood think of a better story!

Anonymous said...

I'm neither Catholic, nor am I a tinfoil-hat-wearing conspiracy theorist, but I saw this trailer and immediately thought the same thing: "Whomever directed this has serious issues against the Catholic Church."

Anonymous said...

I'm a proud Catholic. I think it is more about St. Peter's being of a legendary stature to the most people (to a lesser extent, the Cristo Redentor in Brazil, but it is clear what it represents).

The trailer also shows thousands of Muslims praying at the Black Stone for the Hajj or whatever. I even have to wiki where that is -- (here it is: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masjid_al-Haram -- it's the "Grand Mosque"! Ha! Even such a basic name escaped my memory, tho I did remember the Black Stone!).

The thing is with other world faiths, the head building of such places cannot ever reach the everyman's mind more than those of Catholicism. Baha'i houses of worship? Jewish ones? Mormon? Anglican? Orthodox? RUSSIAN Orthodox? Hindu? Muslim (in this case, the Grand Mosque)? The only religious place I can think of touching this is the Hagia Sophia, and that isn't some central House of Worship -- just a landmark.

The Vatican/Cristo Redentor are the most recognizable and the most iconic. I think that their "destruction" in a sensational film like this elevates the stature of the Catholic faith. It upset me, too, but ultimately, I think it speaks to the world-wide appeal and knowledge that is had for the faith and its institutions.

That's just me. Like I said, destroying the Kashi Vishwanath (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kashi_Vishwanath) just wouldn't have the same *oomph* for such a film.

Anonymous said...

I also find it odd that on November 13th the reading at mass in the Catholic church is the following:

Luke 17:26-37

Just as it was in the days of Noah, so too it will be in the days of the Son of Man. They were eating and drinking, and marrying and being given in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed all of them. Likewise, just as it was in the days of Lot: they were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building, but on the day that Lot left Sodom, it rained fire and sulphur from heaven and destroyed all of them — it will be like that on the day that the Son of Man is revealed. On that day, anyone on the housetop who has belongings in the house must not come down to take them away; and likewise anyone in the field must not turn back. Remember Lot's wife. Those who try to make their life secure will lose it, but those who lose their life will keep it. I tell you, on that night there will be two in one bed; one will be taken and the other left. There will be two women grinding meal together; one will be taken and the other left.' Then they asked him, 'Where, Lord?' He said to them, 'Where the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.'

Anonymous said...

i bet muslin mosques are not shown being destroyed!!! Watch.

Anonymous said...

Any practicing Catholic would know that the end of the world doesn't really matter. If you live each day as it is your last with Christ-like behavior, you will be rewarded with eternal life in heaven.

As for the oddities in Mr. Emmerich's house, it's probably a cry for attention.

Todd Lemieux said...

Hey... it's all gotta go eventually.

Not in the enternal, nihilistic sense, but the physical world ain't gonna last forever.

I get more of a kick out of the idea that the government has it together enough to save everyone. I would bet 10 bucks they would be in committee until 2014 at least.

Anonymous said...

My family and i watched the movie (sister's boyfriend is a pirate), and if one isn't looking for anti-Catholicism, he wouldn't necessarily pick up on it. being on the look out for just that,...

a little bit of a spoiler... so if you don't plan on watching the film, which if you've already seen the day after tomorrow, you've basically seen this movie too...

i did notice that all the individuals who pray during the movie end up dying. this was mostly christians, and having the Vatican seen, mostly Catholics, but there was also a hindu family killed, and a buddhist temple destroyed. The people who survived on the arks either purchased their way on or were chosen for their genetic quality, either way, i would (mis?)construe this as praise for the gods of money and science.

Anonymous said...

It is both anti Catholic and anti American. We (America) are portrayed as the bad guys; the film goes out of its way to mention the preference of the Euro over the Dollar and the Chinese are the ones, in the end, that save the day. This film seemed to me to be more of a metaphor about the enevitable decline (and destruction) of the U.S. and Romon Catholic church than a film about the end of the world.

Anonymous said...

In an interview he said that he had considered destroying the Kaaba along with Mecca but has decided for his personal safety to not try it.

Anonymous said...

Kids, follow the money. That is how Holywood keeps score and your future as a director in GHollywood is tied to the gross, not the quality. Why spend more money on advertising when all you have to do is topple a few Christian icons, preferrably on top of a crwod of praying Christians? We'll do the rest for them with loud wailing and gnashing of teeth. Film at 11. Let's sit down, talk quietly amongst ourselves and keep our money in our wallets.

Peace, Love and a Hallmark movie at home with the family,
Jim in Milwaukee

Movies are fun said...

I am a firm practicing Catholic. I saw this movie.

THE WHOLE WORLD gets destroyed. California falls into the ocean. Californians might call it an anti-Californian movie. The Washington monument falls over. Is is anti-washington? Or anti-american? Yellowstone national park explodes. Is it anti-national parks?

Come on people - this is Hollywood. This is a popcorn, eye-popper. It's fun. It's exciting. It's not really making any statement whatsoever.

Lighten up a little.

Foxfier, formerly Sailorette said...

Amazingly, though, out of the whole world being destroyed...the focus is on Catholic imagery.

Yeash, this is right up there with folks insisting that the Ft. Hood guy's actions had nothing to do with Islam, nope, nadda, ignore the yelling "god is great" and the lecture on how Muslims should kill non-believers.

It's not like it's some huge big deal that some clown in Hollywood has a thing for screwing with the Church, but that doesn't mean we should cover our eyes, drum our heels on the floor and insist that there's no sign that any bias exists.

Anonymous said...

Father Robert Barron has a great video review of the movie on his website "wordonfire.org"!

Joe Heschmeyer said...


"The whole Vatican kind of tips and kind of rolls over the people. It said something, because in the story, some people … believe in praying and prayer, and they pray in front of the church, and it's probably the wrong thing, what they would do in that situation," Emmerich told SciFi.

He also took out the famous statue of Jesus overlooking Rio.

"Because I'm against organized religion," he said.

"But there is one place even he couldn't bring himself to obliterate," the report said, the Kaaba, the focus of the Islamic Hajj pilgrimage.


There's a word for that. Cowardice.

Kell Brigan said...

My thoughts:
I might kind of like the statue of His Holiness JP the Great (i.e. laughing at his own obit) if it were in another context. It could be taken as His Holiness amused at the idea of some people believing "death" has any sting, or as evidence of His Holiness' humility. At least the artist made a nice likeness. Doubt if Emmerich has any clue what he's stuck in his closet, literally or figuratively.

Love Fr. Barron's description of the St. Peter's dome crushing all those praying folks as "one of the great moments in cinematic anti-Catholicism."

B movie. It shall pass. The Church shall endure. In the meantime, however, I am most ticked off at the bad physics in the film. If St. Peter's collapsed due to seismic shifts, it would collapse on itself, i.e. the base of the dome would give out. It wouldn't roll on anyone, praying or otherwise. And, God forbid, were the Christ of the Andies to collapse, it would give way first at the base. The movie version looks like the arms are being pulled off using invisible puppet strings. I thought the atheists were supposed to be all about the science?

Foxfier, formerly Sailorette said...

It's right up there with the frost physics of the day after tomorrow.

As usual, appearance > all.

Anonymous said...

Roland Emmerich -- sad little man. And what's sadder still is that in his heart of hearts he knows it. This is why he can't leave the whole anti catholic anti chrisitian theme alone. It torments him like a hot poker. maybe there is a God roland. poke. maybe there is a God roland. poke. maybe He will judge your ass roland. poke. maybe all those saints who died for the faith are right. poke. maybe I'm just angry at an institution and faith that says all my darkest hates are wrong after all and not to be indulged. poke. maybe.. maybe.. Until he just can't stand it and it drives him on to create more trash, to decorate his own house with his shouting against God. My prediction: one day roland will die either in an orgy of drug induced mania clawing at the bedcovers as demons welcome him to their tender mercies or as one in peace thanking Jesus for saving him.

Anonymous said...

PS Im not catholic Im eastern orthodox but we are all brothers in christ and when I saw the anti vatican scenes in the clips it enraged me but then I laughed. For it is written: God laughs at the fool who doesn't believe He exists. God bless you folks.

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