My MBP is suddenly locking up to the point that only a power down will fix it. Neither command+alt+esc or command+alt+shift+esc do anything. It started by getting some nice screens in multiple languages that told me I had to power down. That happened about four times, now I don't even get those screens it just seems to lock up. I used to get crash reports to send to Apple, the details of which were nebulous but I don't get those anymore either. I am looking at the log but see nothing. Am I missing something?
That message means that there is a kernel panic. This may happen if you connect new hardware to your computer. For possible reasons/fixes, see this article from the Apple website. Here is a section from the "Troubleshooting" section...
Was the computer starting up, shutting down, or performing a particular task when the recurring kernel panic happened?
Is the kernel panic intermittent, or does it happen every time you do a certain thing?
Does it occur only when a certain external device is connected, or a device is connected to a certain port?
Reading through that article should give you a general idea what is happening and possible ways to fix it.
I am presently experiencing the same and, as a former MacGenius, I may be able to shed some light. Does everything freeze? That is, if you are watching something in QuickTime, does that still work but you cannot switch to another app? Can you force quit? Does the problem occur if you are using another user, say, a test account? There was a firmware update for the disk controller. Have you seen if your device is covered? Is there a correlation or series of actions that seem to evoke the behavior? For instance, does the lockup occur while idle for a long time, or after performing transcoding with handbrake (which maxes out the CPUs, thereby causing maximum stress on the machine, the fans, etc)? Have you verified the disk is OK, for example, booting from the install CD, using disk utility or booting from an external HD and running techtool's suite? When I did this, my hard drive and RAM proved to be working correctly and the problem manifests when I use handbrake. In consulting with others, I believe it is a problem with the disk controller on my MBP even though Apple hasn't addressed it with a firmware.