DVD Review: THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW Collector's Edition

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THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW (All-Acess) Collector's Edition

DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 123 minutes, two audio commentaries, two documentaries, 5 featurettes, 10 deleted scenes (with optional commentary), Interactive audio demo, theatrical teaser and trailers, and storyboard and concept art galleries.


RELEASE DATE: 5-24-2005

ANALYSIS: THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW is supposed to be a cautionary tale, but I bet most of you want the movie for the purpose of the destruction the weather causes to cities like New York City and Los Angeles. The first half of the movie is the best part of the movie before it slows down to being a drama of Climiatologist Jack hall (Dennis Qauid) braving the freaky weather to save his son Sam(Jake Gyllenhaal). THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW relies alot on melodrama and special effects. I know director Roland Emmerich partly based this on "The coming Global Superstorm", a book written by Art Bell and Whitley Striber. The effects of a superstorm are pumped up for the movie's storyline to give all the big effects and deliver an entertaining movie. What else do you expect from a big budget summer movie?

THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW is a popcorn movie. You want to see destruction. Summer popcorn movies sometimes don't have the best scripts. The point is that you want to see tornados rip apart LA and New York freeze over on the TV screen. Regular actors are cast and not superstars. It is not that kind of movie where you need a star name to get the people watch. The superstorm is the concept that sells the movie.

VIDEO/AUDIO: DAY AFTER TOMORROW is presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreeen. Colors and blacks are good. The picture is clear. Basically this looks like the same transfer from the single disc release.

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.


Disc ONE- The first disc has two audio commentaries that were on the single disc release. 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.


Disc TWO-

PRE-PRODUCTION: A five minute featurette on PREVISUALIZATION has the Visual Effects Supervisor talk about the previz work done on major scenes before the movie went into production. The Previz and final scenes are compared side to side. The PRE-PRODUCTION MEETING starts out as very dull, but humor and moving tables is soon to follow. Rounding out the PRE-PRODUCTION part of the second disc are storyboard and concept art galleries.

PRODUCTION: In this section a Behind-The-Scenes documentary called TWO KINGS AND A SCRIBE: A FILMMAKING CONVERSATION is a fascinating look at THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW once you get past the first five minutes. It is filled with behind-the-scenes footage and screen tests in addition to conversations with the director, producer, the screenwriter, and others. They mention a pot smoking scene they were sad to lose because they had to have a PG-13 ending, Jake Gyllenhaal being surprised when he was kissed during a screen test by his 15 year old co-star, and who came up with the speech at the end of the movie.

THE SCIENCE: THE FORCE OF DESTINY: THE SCIENCE AND POLITICS OF CLIMATE CHANGE puts everything in the movie in perspective as this one hour documentary tells us how we are changing the climate, what we can do about it, and the problems in trying to put those changes in action (Translation: some big companies are more interested more in profit than the environment).

POST-PRODUCTION: Included in this section is a 31 minute featurette called PUSHING THE ENVELOPE: VISUAL EFFECTS focusing on how the various CGI effects were created by nine different Special Effects Houses. Also you get a ten minute featurette on SCORING and you can see the composer at work as the movie's score is being scored on the Newman Stage and an Interactive Audio Demo (also on the single disc release). Finally, ten deleted scenes (with optional commentary by Director/Co-Writer Roland Emmerich and Producer Mark Gordon) are included compared to the couple of deleted scenes included on the single disc release. They give reasons why the scenes were cut and the production stories behind them.

Also on the DVD are the theatrical teaser and two theatrical trailers for THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW, and spots for the ALIEN QUADRILOGY, ALIEN VS. PREDATOR, and MAN ON FIRE.

MENUS/PACKAGING: The packaging isn't bad, but still it won't beat the frozen Statue of Liberty image on the single disc edition. The menus are very nicely designed and animated. Thumps up.

FINAL ANALYSIS: Even though some extras are on the single disc edition, the two disc Collector's Edition is worth it for the amount of new extras and eight additional deleted scenes not on the single disc. If you just want the movie, stick with the single disc edition. if you want to watch the special features or were waiting for the two disc to buy it, THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW Collector's Edition is for you.

this DVD Review is (c)5-13-2005 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. Send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com and look for additional content at http://www.livejournal.com/users/enterlinemedia