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Case Number 16701: Small Claims Court

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Nostradamus: 2012

History Channel // 2009 // 94 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Kent Dixon (Retired) // June 28th, 2009

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All Rise...

Judge Kent Dixon is still convinced Y2K did something to his sandwich maker.

The Charge

"It's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine."—REM

The Case

For centuries, prophets and civilizations before us have hidden cryptic messages which seem to point to a cataclysmic event that may happen within our lifetime. Based on a manuscript and drawings discovered in 1994, Nostradamus himself may have pointed directly to global events of the current generation, in an attempt to scare us into changing our course. But have we received that message in time?

December 21, 2012. No, it's not the work of an extremely well-organized staff Christmas party committee. The date has been set as not only the end of the Mayan calendar, but also the supposed time frame when several seemingly unrelated events will come together. It's hard to glean a solid connection between the disparate events, but 2012 is being set up as a memorable year for all the wrong reasons.

As I watched the feature, I quickly became aware of two important facts: 1) There are no scientists who either support or refute the theories presented, and 2) you'll consistently hear phrases like "we suppose," "can be interpreted as," "seems to indicate that," "may be highly significant" and "what many believe to be." Not exactly confidence builders. Worse than that, we're presented with theories and possible future events to indicate no less than the end of the world .

Authors, futurists, and Mayan scholars—a hodge-podge of talking heads—all see signs and wonders in the architecture, drawings, and cryptic messages of ages past that all (in theory) point to a global cataclysm. If this event or phenomenon will actually happen in just three years, why are there no scientists who can point to concrete evidence right now? Referred to, at various times, as a galactic super wave or an unprecedented galactic alignment, the predicted events generally come off sounding more like Gene Roddenberry than Stephen Hawking.

At the risk of sounding like a curmudgeonly skeptic, I believe in God and don't doubt the Bible as an historical document. I also believe future historical events may involve global conflicts currently developing around the world. However, I am not a believer in making assumptions and crying wolf based solely on a broad range of loosely connected symbols and events. I'm not exactly sure when the History Channel made the paradigm shift from scientific and historical fact to the sensationalism that dominates much of Nostradamus: 2012.

Never missing an opportunity to capitalize on the current hot topics or flavors of the day, Hollywood will also be weighing in on this issue with Roland Emmerich's film 2012 in November 2009. A film like this which looks to capitalize on the very real fears of people around the world is in poor taste. But what can we expect from a director who brought us Independence Day and The Day After Tomorrow or an industry that thinks remaking Footloose is a good idea?

The audio and video presentation is what one would expect from an average TV documentary. The sound and image are solid and free from any artifacts or distractions. The only extra feature is some additional interview footage. None of it would have added anything to the documentary and the feature benefits from a shortened run time.

After spending the majority of the time forecasting gloom, doom, and galactic cataclysm, Nostradamus: 2012 does manage to go out on a high note. Apparently, nothing Nostradamus predicted said we'd be snuffed out like a candle. If we can weather the coming storm, mankind will enter a new era of promise and growth. So there's hope for us after all.

The Verdict

Nostradamus: 2012 is guilty of making a lot of assumptions without basing them on scientific fact.

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 90

Perp Profile

Studio: History Channel
Video Formats:
• 1.78:1 Non-Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
• English
Running Time: 94 Minutes
Release Year: 2009
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
• Documentary
• Historical
• Television

Distinguishing Marks

• Additional Footage


• IMDb

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