The Day After Tomorrow

Cover Art and Menu: 9/10
Use that statue of liberty in distress for shock value…I like it. A snow buried New York City is a cool image, (get it?) It’s a blockbuster kind of flick so I expect there to be some kind of star power on the cover, but they didn’t stoop that low. The menu takes a nod from a weather radar, which is a nice touch. Overall I like the packaging. This is a rare occasion. Mark your calendars!

Features: 6/10

  • Commentary by Roland Emmerich & Mark Gordon – Commentary is great. I love it when the director takes the time to discuss their movie. It adds a lot to the whole experience if you are as curious about all those special effects and hard to get shots like I am.
  • Commentary by Writer Jeffery Nachmanoff, Cinematographer Ueli Steiger, Editor David Brenner & production designer Barry Chusid – More commentary, this time by the technical master minds behind the look of the movie. I love all that technical talk…hmmm so sexy šŸ™‚
  • Deleted Scenes – These don’t add much to the story at all. One scene is an alternate version of one that ends up in the movie, but it’s really not that interesting to be honest. I would have rather had a big behind the scenes making of type of feature to stick on this disk one way or another.
  • Interactive Audio Demo – One scene where you can turn off all the different layers of sound and just listen to the voices, or the weather, or any other isolated sound track. It’s pretty cool, but it would have been nice to have added a few more scenes with the same options.

The Movie: 7/10:
Just so you know, I love disaster movies. Does this mean my review of this particular movie will be biased? Yes, just a little. But that’s not to say I’m going to give it a fantastic score. I know a so-so movie when I see one. I do, however, know a good movie watching experience when I see one and I got that from The Day After Tomorrow.

We all have to be honest about these movies. We are talking about a flick that requires you check your brain at the door to avoid any over thinking during the less than scientific moments. I don’t mind holes in plots, gaps in reality, even huge holes in feasibility. This is a movie people, not a true life weather report! They are allowed to stretch the imagination and mix in a little real life science at their discretion.

Who is the star of the show, or should I say WHAT is the star of the show? The special effects would be the true answer to that question. They can claim that this is a character study played against a background of a global disaster, but that’s just too much Hollywood whoo haa. It’s a disaster movie, plain and simple. There are characters running around of course, but we are not looking for award winning performances are we? We want a few people to freak out, a few people to go into shock and walk around like zombies, and we want a couple of people to have a level head so they can save the day. How do you save the day when the planet is about to hit a new ice age? Well, save might be a strong word. I would say we need a couple of characters to embody the human spirit, strength, and bravery. That’s what they give us with Dennis Quaid’s fatherly mission to find his son and his brave companions. Quaid takes his role pretty seriously. I guess there’s no room for a sense of humor when you’re the guy who predicted the new ice age, and your prediction comes true.

Now, back to special effects. I don’t know what LA would look like if it were besieged by tornadoes. I don’t know what a human would look like if they were quick frozen in mid motion. Who am I to say if they got it right or not? I think the special effects vary from excellent and convincing to semi-cheezy with a hint of cheap. Most of it looks great so those moments when the illusion is broken by less than perfect effects are forgivable. CGI wild dogs are the lowest of the low in this particular movie. You’ll know what I mean when you see them.

I like “what if” scenarios. That’s part of the beauty of being a movie lover. You can go to a place and time when something extraordinary is happening while sitting safely in your seat. The something extraordinary this time is that the polar ice caps have melted so much from global warming that the oceans’ balance of salt vs. fresh water has been disturbed thereby causing a catastrophic series of weather events. This leads up to three massive “hurricane” type storms that are bringing the big freeze to the entire northern hemisphere. Humankind will have to rebuild everything north of the equator. The combination of seeing New York city overtaken by a tidal wave, and then frozen, and then buried in Antarctic type terrain is enough to give you the big picture of just how the world would be impacted in the event that this movie science would become a reality. I can honestly say that even the second time I watched the film I was looking closely at every corner of the screen to find more disastrous side effects of it all. I have to say that you need to take a leap of faith with some of what they are offering. Just take my advice and don’t question anything. Don’t look too terribly close and don’t open up the old Science 101 archives in the back of your mind. You will be trying to prove their Hollywood version of what could happen wrong and it would be much less fun. Just go with the flow.

The only thing I don’t like about these movies is that when they arbitrarily kill off millions even billions of people, they always tag on a semi-happy or barely tolerable half miserable ending. I want to see a disaster movie that ends appropriately. I’m a cheery kind of gal.

Value: 6/10
Oh my goodness. Will these people ever learn? It’s more than 20 bucks and it’s not that heavy in the extra department. The movie isn’t a classic disaster film which adds up to not being worth that kind of price tag. The DVD is not a good deal at all, not with so much potential for showing us the behind the scenes stuff, which they chose not to do. Rent this little gem of an “end of the world as we know it” flick and save your cash for that rainy (or snowy) day when fiction becomes reality. ;P

Overall Score 7/10