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DVD Review: THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW

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PHOTOGRAPHY

THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW

DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 123 minutes, two commentary tracks, deleted scenes, Interactive Sound Demo, trailers, and DVD-ROM content

STUDIO: FOX

DVD Release date: 10/12/2004

PLOT: Global warming triggers a global superstorm that causes the next Ice Age to begin. A small group of people must ride out the storm in the Northern Hemisphere including climatologist Jack Hall and his son Sam.

ANALYSIS: THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW is a big budget effects movie. The movie features some of the best effects ever seen as you witness twisters tear apart Los Angeles, New York being flooded before it turns to snow and freezes up, and other big storms. THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW was inspired by the book "The Coming Global Superstorm" by Art Bell and Whitley Strieber (Art has his radio show while Whitley has written books about being abducted by Aliens). So it is questionable whether we will have events like in the movie happening leading to a new ice age. We should pay more attention to stop global warming. This movie is a cautionary tale that is also a summer movie with big effects.

VIDEO/ AUDIO: DAY AFTER TOMORROW is presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreeen. Colors and blacks are good. The picture is clear, but the title credits do look a little soft.

The music and sound effects really pack a punch on the English 5.1 Dolby Surround track. Most of the dialogue can be heard clearly while other moments might be due to the sound editing/mixing. Other audio tracks are Spanish and French Dolby Surround, and a 5.1 English DTS track. Other than close captioning, you can chose from English, French, or Spanish subtitles.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

On the DVD are two audio commentary tracks for the movie. The first track is with Director/Producer/Co-Writer Roland Emmerich and Producer Mark Gordon. They talk about what shots they had to cut in the editing of the movie, how long it took to get some special effects done (and some they paid twice for), the actors (and some of their habits including Nestor Serrano improving in scenes), their worries over the script, and what are the good scenes of the movie. They also make fun of the movie a little (but it is mostly Mark Gordon who even goes on act out some of the lines and even does some wolf barking sounds). This commentary track does provide some insight into the movie, but it is just an average commentary track with some gaps of silence as they watch some scenes.

The next commentary track features Co-Writer Jeffrey Nachmanoff, Director of Photography Ueu Steiger, Editor David Brenner, and Production Designer Barry Chusid. This track has talk about the changes made to the script, the editing of the movie, and other things about the movie. I liked this commentary track better and there was no Mark Gordon around to make a monkey out of himself (while telling a few details about the production). It offers some more detail into the production not mentioned in the other track including some scenes were moved during editing and a few scenes written at the last minute.

Deleted scenes basically amount to 6 1/2 minutes in length. One of the scenes showing a Japanese man talking a Wall Street trader (where in the film he is talking to his wife) while the other one shows the other side of the coin of a story Sam Hall told in the movie (this time from Jack's POV).

If you want to see how many different tracks of audio go into a scene (like the helicopters crashing in Scotland scene), you can hear the scene with one of eight audio tracks (with one being the final mix) in the "AUDIO ANATOMY" Interactive Sound Demo.

Rounding out the special features is access to over an hour of Exclusive "Making Of" footage only if you are connected to the internet and have this DVD inserted in a DVD-ROM drive. The Making of footage is of various scenes and they can only be viewed in Quicktime or Windows Media Player (.asf video codec, haven't they heard of divx?!) You can also access Global Watch which lists various disasters due to the extreme weather throughout the years (and they even include some of the events from the movie as part of it). Other DVD-ROM features include links to CITY FREEZE or the Official Website). I rather have had most of these features be accessible through a regular DVD player on a second disc. Sometimes the DVD-ROM content is slow to load.

MENUS: Nice interactive widescreen menus which has some bits from newscasts playing in the audio in the main menu.

DVD PACKAGE DESIGN: I'm not much for sleeves over DVD cases and I don't see much point of the lenticular cover on the sleeve which doesn't have much movement in it. I have seen better. The lenticular cover is just a gimmick to catch a person's eye in an attempt to get them to buy the DVD. I think the cover image is eye grabbing enough without having to be a lenticular cover.

FINAL ANALYSIS: If you just want a movie to entertain you for two hours, rent it. If you want to see various cool special effects over and over (or you saw in the theaters and liked it), go buy the DVD. I do wish FOX didn't do the access of some features through DVD-ROM. Expect a 2 disc Special Edition to be coming out later.

this DVD review is (c)9-30-2004 David Blackwell. This review cannot be reprinted without permission. send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com

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