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“The Day After Tomorrow (All Access Collector’s Edition)”
Reviewed by: Wayne A. Klein
Genre: Drama
Video: 2.35:1 Anamorphic widescreen
Audio: Dolby Digital Surround 5.1, DTS Surround Sound
Languages English, French
Subtitles English
Length 123 minutes
Rating PG-13
Release Date 10/12/04
Studio 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Commentary: Roland Emmerich, Producer Mark Gordon; screenwriter Jeffrey Nachmanoff, cinematographer Ueli Steiger, editor David Brenner, production designer Barry Chusio
Documentaries: None
Featurettes: “Pre-Production”, “Production”, “Post Production, “The Science”
Filmography/Biography: None
Interviews: None
Trailers/TV Spots: Trailers and TV spots including “Alien Quadrilogy”, “Alien Vs. Predator”, “Man on Fire
Alternate/Deleted Scenes: None
Music Video: None
Other: “Storyboard Gallery”, “Concept Art Gallery”
Cast and Crew: Dennis Quaid, Jake Gyllenhaal, Emmy Rossum, Dash Mihok, Jay O. Sanders, Ian Holm
Written By: Roland Emmerich and Jeffrey Nachmanoff
Produced By: Mark Gordon and Roland Emmerich
Directed By: Roland Emmerich
Music: Harald Kloser and Thomas Wanker
The Review:

What can you say about these double dip DVDs that come out shortly after the original DVD release,come on now. While hell hasn’t frozen over, it seems as if most of the northern hemisphere will. Climatologist Jack Hall (Dennis Quaid) discovers that the world has premature menopause in a sense; we’re witnessing the beginning of a new ice age with dramatic climate shifts resulting in destructive tornados rampaging across the L.A. basin and a shifting climate change that instantly freezes anything it touches. Hall must save his stranded son. To do so Hall must brave the perils of the devastated landscape as he travels from Washington D.C. to New York City. “The Day After Tomorrow” like many of Roland Emmerich’s films is a throwback to the 70’s popcorn film. This time the genre he tackles is the disaster film. While it’s a disaster film, it’s not a complete disaster. While the story may sound far fetched, the acting along with the CGI effects puts it over. Emmerich’s film comes across with a remarkable degree of sincerity and has some sly satirical touches directed at our current political leaders. Like most disaster movies, its full of enough plot holes to drive a snowplow through but that doesn’t make the film any less enjoyable as a popcorn movie with a conscience. ---

Image and Sound: This transfer appears to be EXACTLY the same as the previous version. A very nice transfer highlights “The Day After Tomorrow”. While it isn’t quite as perfect as it should be, there are few of the digital blemishes one has come to expect in these mass-market produced DVDs. I did notice some edge enhancement in some scenes but overall it looks pretty solid. The vibrant colors stand in sharp contrast to the ghostly white exteriors of New York City buried under age. The wonderful sound reproduction virtually guarantees that this will work out your home sound system.
The Extras:

This is where the only difference exists between the regular edition and this humorously titled “All Access” special edition. We get to see the previsualization of the movie (not the whole thing) with commentary by Karen Goulekas the visual effects supervisor on the film. She comments on the key sequences and we see some of the previsualizations compared to the finished. “Pre-Production Meeting” is actually video shot of the early meeting between director Emmerich and his staff. There’s also a storyboard gallery included. The concept art gallery gives a wide variety of material to compare to the finished product. ***

“The Force of Destiny” a featurette looking at the science beyond the film (which isn’t, of course, completely realistic). Featuring scientists discussing the environmental issues that face America and the world today, it’s an enlightening and sometimes eye opening featurette. Will you agree with the conclusions of the featurette? That depends upon your politics. ---

Commentary: Emmerich’s commentary along with producer Gordon and the second audio commentary featuring the screenwriter and various production crew gives a detailed background on the development of the film from pre-production to post-production. Emmerich’s is, surprisingly, the least interesting commentary of the bunch. His comments are pretty mundane on the whole and viewers probably won’t listen to his comments (along with Gordon’s) very often.
Final Words: If not for the top notch performances from the leads and the stunning CGI effects, “The Day After Tomorrow” would have degenerated into your generic disaster movie, or worse, a Sci-Fi original movie shown at 3am. The compelling believable performances of Quaid, Ian Holm, Jake Gyllenhaal, Jay O. Sanders and Sela Ward help make the movie’s preposterous story believable. Emmerich’s direction lacks the energy he demonstrated in “Stargate” and is more akin to the laid back pacing of “Independence Day”. Once the disasters strike the pacing picks up and it’ll keep the kids entertained. As a cautionary tale it may be unbelievable but Emmerich’s heart is certainly in the right place and it’s entertaining. I do wish that Fox had allowed Trey Parker and Matt Stone to make parody of the film with puppets. That would have been fun.


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