Lou Dobbs quit CNN.

If that isn't a harbinger of the end of the world as we know it, there's 2012.

That year is when, according to a misinterpretation of the Mayan calendar, the world is going to come to an end.

Did they know something about the 2012 Presidential election that we don't?

Well, yes, according to the screenplay by Harald Kloser and Roland Emmerich, who also cowrote 10,000 BC and The Day After Tomorrow. Emmerich, who directed 10,000 BC, The Day After Tomorrow, Independence Day and Stargate, also directs 2012.

In 2012, because of a galactic alignment (which happens every December, by the way), solar flares will send neutrons into space, through the atmosphere, and create a new kind of nuclear particle in the Earth's core, causing it to heat up, resulting in fissures in the earth's crust, earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunamis.

Picture the earth as an orange spinning inside your microwave. Warning: Don't try this at home.

Just when we thought we figured out global warming, there's solar warming to worry about.

2012, of course, is a preposterous movie. Put aside the History-Discovery channels babble-on about such myths. The movie's plot, pacing and protagonists' seeming nine lives are what's beyond belief.

2012 has its jolting, loud, edge-of-your seat moments. Forget a spill in aisle three of the supermarket. How about a crevice in aisle three? Cheerios!

The movie also has quieter moments, with good character interaction, and a family sanctity-centered storyline, which keeps the movie emotionally compelling.

The casting of reliable supporting actors as leads is smart.

John Cusack, as a struggling published author and estranged husband, is solid.

Amanda Peet, as his former wife, is sweetly compassionate.

Chiwetel Ejiofor (pronounced Chew-it-tell Edge-oh-for), as the scientist who sounds the alert on the Earth's fate, is believably sympathetic.

Contributing supporting, but also quality, work are Danny Glover, as the president of the United States; Thandie Newton, as his daughter; Oliver Platt, as a presidential aide; Woody Harrelson as a wacky radio personality; and George Segal as a cruise ship lounge entertainer.

The special effects are stupendous, especially in the first hour when American icons are demolished left and right, including the Lincoln Monument, the Eiffel Tower (the fake Las Vegas one, not the Paris original) and the Randy's Donuts sign on the way to Los Angeles International Airport.

Alas, the end of the world takes too darn long. The final hour of this nearly three-hour movie is as waterlogged as The Poseidon Adventure.

Emmerich, whose specialty is directing disaster-themed movies, doesn't seem to realize sometimes less is more.

Since 2012 is about the end of the world, at least there won't be a sequel.

Or, having seen the movie, will there?

Anyway, I'm putting my order in for a Mayan desk calendar for 2013.

2012: MPAA Rated PG 13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13) for intense disaster sequences and some language; Genre: Action, Drama, Science-Fiction; Run time: 2 hr., 38 min. Distributed by Columbia Pictures

Credit Readers Anonymous: 2012 was filmed in British Columbia, Canada, and Los Angeles. For more information about predictions about 2012, check out a live seminar by David Wilcock presented in September 2009: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=scym0WH3Jww

Box Office, Nov. 13: It was a Doomsday scenario, with 2012 opening at No. 1, with a blockbuster $65 million, sending Disney's A Christmas Carol to No. 2, $22.3 million, $63.3 million, two weeks; 3. The Men Who Stare at Goats, $6.2 million, $23.3 million, two weeks; 4. Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire, $6 million, $8.9 million, two weeks; 5. Michael Jackson's This Is It, $5.1 million, $68.2 million, three weeks; 6. The Fourth Kind, $4.7 million, $20.5 million, two weeks; 7. Couples Retreat, $4.2 million, $102.1 million, six weeks; 8. Paranormal Activity, $4.2 million, $103.8 million, eight weeks; 9. Law Abiding Citizen, $3.9 million, $67.3 million, five weeks; 10. The Box, $3.1 million, $13.2 million, two weeks. Pirate Radio opened at No. 11, with $2.8 million, in 882 theaters, compared to 3,404 for 2012.

Unreel, Nov. 18: The Twilight Saga: New Moon stars Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart as Edward and Bella in the second in the series based on Stephenie Meyer's novels. It's her party and she'll, well, you know, if she wants to. Opening Nov. 20: Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson voices an astronaut and Seann William Scott and Jessica Biel voice other animated characters in Planet 51. Sandra Bullock and Tim McGraw portray the couple who provide a home for Michael Oher in The Blind Side, based on the story of the NFL Baltimore Ravens' first-round draft pick.

Tune in to Paul Willistein's movie reviews on Lehigh Valley Arts Salon, 6 - 6:30 p.m. Mondays on WDIY 88.1 FM Lehigh Valley Community Public Radio. Listen to recent movie reviews at www.wdiy.org. Read his previous movie reviews at www.tnonline.com