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The Day After Tomorrow (**)
Directed by Roland Emmerich
Written by Roland Emmerich and Jeffrey Nachmanoff
The Day After Tomorrow
Principal Cast
Dennis Quaid -- Jack Hall
Jake Gyllenhaal -- Sam Hall
Emmy Rossum -- Laura Chapman
Dash Mihok -- Jason Evans
Jay O. Sanders -- Frank Harris
Sela Ward -- Dr. Lucy Hall
Austin Nichols -- J.D.
Arjay Smith -- Brian Parks
Tamlyn Tomita -- Janet Tokada
Sasha Roiz -- Parker
Ian Holm -- Terry Rapson
Nassim Sharara -- Saudi Delegate
Carl Alacchi -- Venezuelan Delegate
Kenneth Welsh -- Vice President Becker
Ratings are based on Rick's four star system.
One star - the commercials are more entertaining than the viewing.
Two stars - watch if you have nothing better to do.
Three stars - good solid entertainment.
Four stars - you never dreamed viewing could be this good.
Past Feature Reviews
A review by Rick Norwood

The Day After Tomorrow is to science fiction what Van Helsing is to horror films; big and dumb. But Van Helsing at least offered a little charm.

The CGI sequences -- the tornados in Los Angeles, the tidal wave that engulfs New York -- are entertaining, but it is a sorry movie where the CGI effects have more personality than the characters. Roland Emmerich said in an interview that special effects do not hold your interest unless the characters are interesting. Good insight. Now, if only he would realize that he has no talent for creating interesting characters, and stop writing all his own movies. He is good on the set-up, weak on the delivery. The only real actor in the film is Ian Holm. When he was on screen, I was entertained. A lot of the time I was bored. The other characters wander around in a snowstorm, trying to rescue the one person who matters to them, while millions are dying all around them. That could work if we cared about the characters, but they have as much personality as an action figure.

Al Gore has speculated that, dumb as it is, The Day After Tomorrow may at least help people wake up to the problem of global warming. Maybe fewer people will write letters to the editor saying, "Golly Moses, last winter was so cold we could use a little global warming if you ask me." I'm afraid it will have the opposite effect. Martin Gardner complained about The X-Files because it seemed to support belief in psychic phenomena. Actually, The X- Files helped to relegate psychic phenomena firmly to the realm of fiction. Will The Day After Tomorrow place global warming in the realm of fiction? In a little while, I'll tell you the truth about global warming, but first, a few more comments about the movie.

Most reviewers have noted that the most unbelievable thing in the movie is the Vice President saying he is sorry he didn't pay attention to the warnings about global warming when there was still time. Actually, the most unbelievable thing in the movie is when he forgives the entire Central American debt in order get their permission to move refugees into Mexico. Fuggedaboudit! If the USA froze, the US Military would conquer Mexico and annex it to the United States in record time. Make no mistake about that.

No credit cookies.

And now, the truth about global warming. Yes, it is real. Yes, it will be a big problem for our children, if not for ourselves. Is there anything we can do to stop it, or at least slow it down? Nobody knows the answer to that one. Conservation has already made a difference -- slowing the rate at which global warming is accelerating. Falling population in the West is starting to make a big difference. On the other hand, the growing prosperity of China will probably add more to global warming than our conservation can possibly save. What can we do? Two things, which will actually save money and stimulate the economy. First, let scientists, not politicians or voters, regulate nuclear power. Everybody who is informed on the subject knows that nuclear power is safer than oil or coal. Second, improve public transportation. Elect a president and vice president whose cronies are in the public transportation industry.

Copyright © 2004 Rick Norwood

Rick Norwood is a mathematician and writer whose small press publishing house, Manuscript Press, has published books by Hal Clement, R.A. Lafferty, and Hal Foster. He is also the editor of Comics Revue Monthly, which publishes such classic comic strips as Flash Gordon, Sky Masters, Modesty Blaise, Tarzan, Odd Bodkins, Casey Ruggles, The Phantom, Gasoline Alley, Krazy Kat, Alley Oop, Little Orphan Annie, Barnaby, Buz Sawyer, and Steve Canyon.

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