End of the World

Fitzpatrick Turturro

Often I see a real person in the news or in a documentary and my mind immediately comes up with an actor to portray him or her in a biopic. This happened this week when I watched a short film about failed prophet Robert Fitzpatrick, who last year spent his life savings on subway ads in NYC warning that the end of the world would happen on May 21, 2011 (exactly 19 months before the just-passed Mayan choice). The 13-minute documentary, titled We Will Forget, is directed by Garret Harkawik, and you can watch it in full after the jump. Above is a still of Fitzpatrick next to a photo of my choice to play him in a dramatic story of his life, John Turturro. Perhaps you’ll think of someone else (my wife was reminded more of Bob Balaban; you might prefer Zeljko Ivanek or James Rebhorn), but to me Turturro was just born to play this retired MTA worker from Staten Island. He’s like a cross between Turturro’s turn as the real-life Herbie Stempel from Quiz Show and his role as the lonely, reclusive brother on the TV series Monk. There are some other Turturro characters in there, as well, I’m sure. He could definitely do the accent, the mannerisms and the climactic display of confused disappointment seen sadly at the end of the short. As long as the movie itself garned enough attention, this could be a good part to finally earn Turturro his long-overdue Oscar nomination.

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We all know the basic staples of the approaching end of days – zombies, aliens, nukes, robots, viruses, asteroids, global warming – all those good things. When a movie uses one of these go-to death-day scenarios we can’t help but to shell out the cash to watch it all go to hell on the big screen. However it takes some real brainpower to pull away from these apocalyptic norms, and when a movie does come along toting some hip new way for us all to die – even if said movie doesn’t pan out – you have to respect their willingness to get creative. Here are some movies that took a chance and gave us an end we’d never see coming.

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The Mayans, the wise race of ancients who created hot cocoa, set December 21st, 2012 as the end date of their Calendar, which the intelligent and logical amongst us know signifies the day the world will end, presumably at 12:21:12am, Mountain Time. From now until zero date, we will explore the 50 films you need to watch before the entire world perishes. We don’t have much time, so be content, be prepared, be entertained. The Film: Quest For Fire (1981) The Plot: 80,000 years ago in the time of the neanderthal one of the most precious commodities was fire. It served to cook food, keep warm, and ownership of fire by a tribe of human ancestors was a sign of power – because at that time it was not understood as to how it could be manufactured. When one such tribe gets brutally attacked by another group they lose their flame in the aftermath. Three of the group’s males (Nicholas Kadi, Everett McGill, and Ron Perlman in his first film role) break from the tribe and trek the land in search of another flame, and on their journey encounter groups of similar beings; some of which are as brutal as the creatures that attacked them earlier, and others more ‘strange’ to their current level of understanding.

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The Mayans, the wise race of ancients who created hot cocoa, set December 21st, 2012 as the end date of their Calendar, which the intelligent and logical amongst us know signifies the day the world will end, presumably at 12:21:12am, Mountain Time. From now until zero date, we will explore the 50 films you need to watch before the entire world perishes. We don’t have much time, so be content, be prepared, be entertained. The Film: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (2005) The Plot: Arthur Dent (Martin Freeman) discovers that his house is scheduled for demolition to make way for a freeway bypass. Thanks to his unique friend Ford Prefect (Mos Def), he also discovers that the planet Earth is scheduled for demolition to make way for a hyperspace bypass. The worst day of Arthur Dent’s life soon turns into the most fascinating one when Ford takes him along on a trip through the galaxy by hitching a ride on passing spaceships. Dent learns that Ford is a writer for the interstellarly famous book “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” which offers plenty of advice for would-be travelers, including “Don’t Panic” and to always bring along your towel. During their travels, Arthur and Ford meet up with the two-headed galactic president Zaphod Beeblebrox (Sam Rockwell) and quirky Earth girl Trillian (Zooey Daschenel), who are looking for an ancient supercomputer that will provide the answer to the ultimate questions of life, the universe and everything.

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The Mayans, the wise race of ancients who created hot cocoa, set December 21st, 2012 as the end date of their Calendar, which the intelligent and logical amongst us know signifies the day the world will end, presumably at 12:21:12am, Mountain Time. From now until zero date, we will explore the 50 films you need to watch before the entire world perishes. We don’t have much time, so be content, be prepared, be entertained. The Film: Idiocracy (2006) The Plot: Joe Bauers (Luke Wilson), a private in the United States Army, is the quintessential average joe. He’s not smart, but he’s not dumb. He’s not handsome or ugly, physically gifted or deficient. He is, by all accounts, the exactly average American. As such, he’s selected to be a guinea pig in a top secret hibernation experiment for one year. However, when the commanding officer of the experiment is busted for running a prostitution ring, Joe and fellow guinea pig prostitute Rita (Maya Rudolph) awaken 500 years in the future where America is really, really dum. (Get it, I spelled dumb wrong on purpose?)

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The Mayans, the wise race of ancients who created hot cocoa, set December 21st, 2012 as the end date of their Calendar, which the intelligent and logical amongst us know signifies the day the world will end, presumably at 12:21:12am, Mountain Time. From now until zero date, we will explore the 50 films you need to watch before the entire world perishes. We don’t have much time, so be content, be prepared, be entertained. The Film: WALL-E (2008) The Plot: In the distant future, humanity has abandoned Earth (presumably after it got all jacked up in the Mayan Apocalypse), leaving behind a small waste collecting robot, WALL-E, who has faithfully executed his programming by cleaning up all the trash we’ve left behind and crafting it into cute little bundles. His predictable life is turned upside down with the arrival of EVE, a reconnaissance robot he falls in robot love with that leads him on a journey across the stars that will alter the course of humanity.

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published: 12.23.2014
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published: 12.22.2014
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published: 12.19.2014
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