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The Day After Tomorrow(2004)
When global warming triggers the onset of a new Ice Age, tornadoes flatten Los Angeles, a tidal wave engulfs New York City and the entire Northern Hemisphere begins to freeze solid. Now, climatologist Jack Hall, his son Sam and a small band of survivors must ride out the growing superstorm and stay alive in the face of an enemy more powerful and relentless than any they've ever encountered: Mother Nature!
For more about The Day After Tomorrow and the The Day After Tomorrow Blu-ray release, see the The Day After Tomorrow Blu-ray Review published by PeteR on October 29, 2007 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.
Starring: Dennis Quaid, Jake Gyllenhaal, Ian Holm, Emmy Rossum, Sela Ward, Dash Mihok
Director: Roland Emmerich
» See full cast & crew
The Day After Tomorrow Blu-ray Review
"Save as many as you can."
Reviewed by PeteR, October 29, 2007
In Antarctica, Dr. Jack Hall (Dennis Quaid) and his team are drilling ice cores when the Larsen Ice Shelf breaks off beneath their feet. Alarmed by this and the evidence his core samples present, Hall attempts to warn government officials that the planet is about to undergo a dramatic shift in climate. Unfortunately, he is too late. Hail consisting of giant ice cause chaos in Tokyo; Los Angeles is devastated by a flurry of tornadoes; and giant hurricane-like disturbances sweep down from the Arctic. New York City is deluged by a giant storm surge, where Jack's son, Sam (Jake Gyllenhaall), is attending an academic contest. After briefing the highest levels of the United States Government, Jack and a small team set out to rescue Sam, trapped by a building winter storm that will plunge the planet into another Ice Age.
Much has been made about the science, or lack thereof, in this film. However, if you can believe a stone ring can propel people thousands of light years across space, a Macintosh laptop can bring down a vastly superior alien intelligence, or French nuclear tests can spawn a giant lizard that can outrun Apache helicopters, then the leaps in logic presented here won't prevent you from enjoying this film. The Day After Tomorrow is pure popcorn entertainment, even if you have the feeling the filmmakers were trying to make a statement. The cast: Dennis Quaid, Jake Gyllenhaall, Sela Ward, and Emmy Rossum give decent performances. Unfortunately, the characters barely register long enough for you to root for them. Like any disaster film, the real star here is the visual effects, some of which are stunning. Bottom line, if you try to approach the film as serious entertainment you're bound to be disappointed. If you look at it as a genre movie in the same vein as The Poseidon Adventure, Earthquake, or The Towering Inferno, it succeeds.
The Day After Tomorrow Blu-ray, Video Quality
Fox has encoded The Day After Tomorrow in 1080p MPEG4 AVC. The results are outstanding, but just short of the best demo material. The video is clean with good color and sharpness without edge enhancement. However, the image is missing the depth and dimensionality of the best HD presentations. This isn't the fault of the transfer or encoding since the film was heavily processed and the disc faithfully represents what I saw theatrically. With so much violent weather it's hard to say what is intentional and what isn't. What may be codec/transfer related is a bit of what looks like video noise that creeps into some scenes. The opening flyover in Antarctica, fully CGI, reveals some what appears to be static just below the horizon line. This isn't an issue with most of the film though. Quibbles aside, this is still a very, very good high definition experience. Textures and things like tiny bits of snow are easily resolved. The amount of detail in the effects sequences is amazing and will help keep the film from aging prematurely like several other CGI- based features of the past 10 years. Just go to the L.A. tornado sequence to get an idea what I'm talking about: I saw debris and other items I hadn't noticed before, not even in the theater. This makes the Blu-ray an appreciable upgrade over the DVD version.
The Day After Tomorrow Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Note: this disc is encoded with 5.1 DTS-Master Audio, since I am using the Sony PlayStation 3 as my playback unit only the lossy core 1.5Mbps DTS is currently available to me.
Even without access to the full lossless audio track, The Day After Tomorrow is quite an experience. Stargate, ID4, Godzilla...all of Emmerich's films have been a terrific sonic demo and this film tops them all. Dynamic range is powerful, the many storm sequences give all 6 speakers a workout. You really feel immersed by the soundtrack. This film is not meant for a cheap home theater in a box! Again, the L.A. tornado sequence is prime demo material, with the sounds of destruction occuring wherever you turn your ear. With a good subwoofer, when the building shakes, so will yours!
The soundtrack is also available in French and Spanish in Dolby Digital 5.1 @ 448kbps. Note to Fox: Blu-ray supports the full Dolby Digital 640kbps bitrate!
The Day After Tomorrow Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Compared to the offerings of other studios, the extras included here are a bit sparse, and what is included basically replicates the first disc of the fully loaded Special Edition DVD set. Disappointing...but at least it's a bit more than what was included on previous Fox catalog releases. A nice surprise is that all video based supplements are presented in full 1080p video (no upconversion) and are in good shape.
All video extras are encoded with MPEG4 AVC in with either Dolby Digital (DD) 2.0 @ 224kbps or 5.1 @ 448kbps.
Commentary by Director /Co-Writer Roland Emmerich and Producer Mark Gordon (feature length, DD 2.0): Both participants talk throughout the film but not too much can be gleaned from it: a lot of "that's a great shot" or "remember how we did this?" Gordon, at least, is the more animated of the two.
Commentary By Co-Writer Jeffrey Nachmanoff, Director of Photography Ueli Steiger, Film Editor David Brenner and Film Production Designer Barry Chusid (feature length, DD 2.0): A bit more interesting than the first track, the participants give a more nuts-and-bolts description of the film, though (forgive me), it's impossible to remember who is who unless they are discussing their specific contribution.
Deleted Scenes with optional commentary by Emmerich and Gordon (0:18:35 total, DD 2.0): 10 deleted and extended scenes and sequences cut either for time or story pacing. With the possible exception of the "Hurricane Hunter" sequence, I agree with their deletion.
Theatrical Trailer (various, DD 5.1): Both the famous teaser and the final theatrical trailer.
Fox On Blu-ray (0:08:10 total, DD 5.1): HD trailers for Alien vs. Predator, Fantastic Four, Planet of the Apes, X-MEN: The Last Stand available now from Fox on Blu-ray Disc.
Global Warming Trivia Track (feature length): Subtitle based pop up trivia and information about climate change. Those of you with smaller screens may have problems reading the text.
Personal Scene Selections: During the film, pressing "1" on the remote bookmarks the selected chapter for later playback. Same as the feature in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.
Search Content: Brings up a menu with various characters and topics from "Airplane" to "Zoo". Selecting a topic brings up a listing of all the times they appear in the film and plays the relevant clip.
Cold Zone Game: Trivia question game where you answer 50 questions about climate change. Get a question wrong or take too long to answer and the temperature goes up. Go over 85 degrees and you lose. To get a leg up, I suggest watching the Global Warming Trivia Track first.
The Day After Tomorrow Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
A very good video transfer and an excellent audio track makes The Day After Tomorrow a solid but imperfect addition to my Blu-ray library. Recommended to the fan of the disaster movie genre or home theater buff. Turn off your brain and enjoy.
Reviewer's Note: I tried playing this and Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer on my Windows Vista Ultimate PC with PowerDVD Ultra 7.3. At first the program wouldn't play the disc at all, then an update appeared on site. Downloaded the update, the application starts but all I get is a blank screen. Reinstalling from scratch did not help. Looks like BD+ and PCs don't get along very well, at least for now. Those of you playing via Media Center PCs take note.
The Day After Tomorrow: Other Editions
Blu-ray bundles with The Day After Tomorrow (4 bundles)
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