You know, I'm a reasonably intelligent person, so going into this movie I expected loud, dumb spectacle, not much more or less. That's what I got more or less. But here's the thing, this could have easily been an hour and a half, half of that running time could have been planes flying and buildings falling and a few people escaping to start a new life/world or whatever. But this movie pads itself out with philosophical arguments and discussions that it is far too stupid to even support, much less make interesting. The laziness is personified by this character portrayed by Woody Harrelson who plays some mountain man with a radio show he does from Yellowstone from his RV. And of course he is the crazy man that has figured out about the world ending (spoiler alert!) At one point he tells John Cusack to "download his blog" to learn the truth of whats going on. "Download my blog"? No one has ever said that, and the fact that no one bothered to change just that line because "who would notice" in a million dollar movie just shows how lazy this is, despite all the time and effort that were put into the effects. I mean there is a certain amount of batshit thrill to watching the world fall apart, sure, but the rest...ugh. Like I said, not so surprising. Speaking of which, though, how long does John Cusack get to skate on Lloyd Dobbler and/or Rob Gordon before he gets called out for his crappy movie choices? The guy that played his kid's stepfather/romantic rival in here is Tom McCarthy. He played the journalist who made up stories about the homeless being murdered in the last season of The Wire, and has directed two good movies in The Station Agent and The Visitor. He just had another one which is getting good reviews open up at Sundance with Paul Giametti called Win-Win. I'm just saying, that might be where the money went for him.
I will say this, though, did you see the teaser trailer for 2012? It was actually pretty neat (and for a movie so loud, somewhat quiet, comparatively speaking).
As subtle as huge wave going over a mountain could be, I suppose. They probably got that ideas (somewhat) from the original teaser trailer for The Shining using that same music and just a shot of the elevator.
Not really the same effect, though.