Sunday, May 15, 2011


(May 2004, U.S.)

Well, you've got to hand it to a director like Roland Emmerich - the man certianly knows how to destroy our cities; whether by aliens from space, Godzilla himself, the doomsday prophecies of 2012, or in the case of THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW, the catastrophic effects of global warming in a series of extreme weather events that usher in global cooling which leads to a new ice age. Believable or not, it all makes for an entertaining science fiction disaster film.

Dennis Quaid (an actor, by the way, that I can remember as far back as BREAKING AWAY in 1979) plays paleoclimatologist Jack Hall whom, as cliche would have it, is the one man who tries in vain to warn our government about the impending disasters that await us. Our government, of course, won't listen until it's too late. The weather actually starts out amusing enough as we get to watch a series of unatural twisters destroy downtown Los Angesles, including the famous "HOLLYWOOD" sign (Burn, Hollywood, burn!!!). Across the world, additional violent weather cause mass destruction, including a massive snowstorm in New Delhi and a hailstorm destroying Tokyo, Japan. By the time the very heavy rains begin to flood New York City, it no longer feels so amusing. The immense wave that overtakes the city is actually chilling to watch. Rain eventually turns to snow that all but completely covers the entire Northern hemisphere of our planet. Our heros of this film take refuge inside the great New York City Public Library and are forced to burn even the rarest of books in order to feed the fire that will keep them alvie. While other survivors in the northern United States are also forced to stay inside due to the cold, the President orders the evacuation of the southern states, causing almost all of the refugees to head to Mexico in a rather strange situation of immigrant reversal. The film interestingly concludes with U.S. astronauts looking down at Earth from their Space Station, showing most of the northern hemisphere covered in ice and snow, and ironically, a major reduction in pollution; the air never looking cleaner than it does right there and then. Like I said, ironic.

Favorite line or dialogue:

Jack Hall (on his son Sam failing calculus): "I'm not angry. I'm disappointed."
Sam Hall: "Do you wanna hear my side of it?"
Jack: "Sam, how can there be two sides?"
Sam: "Hey, look, I got every question right on the final and the only reason why Mr. Spengler failed me was because I didn't write out the solutions."
Jack: "Why not?"
Sam: "I do them in my head."
Jack: "Did you tell him that?"
Sam: "I did. He didn't believe me. He said if he couldn't do them in his head then I must be cheating."
Jack: "Well, that's ridiculous! How can he fail you for being smarter than he is?"
Sam: "That's what I said."
Jack: "You did? How'd he take it?"
Sam: "He flunked me, remember?"

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