June 09, 2004


Mark Steyn has the same reaction to The Day After Tomorrow as I had twenty years ago to The Day After:

It looks, well, cool. And, aside from hurling the usual city buses up and down Fifth Avenue, the disaster is strangely unmenacing. The big frozen New York harbour looks about as chilly as the Saguenay fjord in Quebec come February. You get the feeling that a touch of the old frontier spirit and some long underwear would see you through. Sure, millions would die, but they’d mostly be whiners and helpless EU nanny-state types. The rest of us would get by on ice fishing and small government. So unlike Al Gore I came away very chipper: as a disaster (the movie, not Al) it’s oddly reassuring. As John Kerry likes to say, bring it on!

Posted by Tim Blair at June 9, 2004 02:10 PM

There is something very ironic about the surviving mixed group (of the downtrodden and green doomsayers) getting through the disaster by burning books.

Posted by: Greg at June 9, 2004 at 03:14 PM

Just one question for anyone here who's seen the movie: do they have a George Bush Jnr kind of American President who tells the nation/world early on that there's nothing to worry about re: the envrionment / climate change, only to be subsequently proven so wrong (in the movie, anyway)?

I was just wondering if they'd do that...


Posted by: Richard at June 9, 2004 at 03:17 PM

Not quite. The Vice President is a Dick Cheney clone portrayed as irrationally opposing any form of preventive action on the grounds that it would harm the economy. At the films end, he has morphed into an apologetic convert in favour of a green world and brotherhood with the third world.

Posted by: Greg at June 9, 2004 at 03:26 PM

Thanks for the info, Greg. Sounds interesting. Would have liked to have seen a character that perfectly encapsulates all the typical Hollywood stereotypes about Republican Presidents, though.

I guess the only thing that I wanted to know was: are there any Asian characters in the movie? You know, "Asian", that ethnic minority that we never actually get to see in Hollywood movies (or tv shows)?

Or (shock horror!) are all the minority parts played by black actors?

Just wondering if "politically correct" Hollywood has begun to view the world yet in any more of a diverse way yet?


Posted by: Richard at June 9, 2004 at 03:42 PM

In the main storyline you have to settle for black ethnic minority characters. However, to establish that this is a global tragedy there is a scene involving giant hailstones in an asian city.

Posted by: Greg at June 9, 2004 at 03:47 PM

Very funny comments from Mark Steyn. The movie did look visually impressive and I don't think it carried any serious political messages for anyone.

More likely the producer tried to cash in on the pre-election lull for some free publicity for his movie. Cha-ching $$$

Posted by: John Abercrombie at June 9, 2004 at 03:49 PM

What I want to know is, does the movie portray Mexico being as warm as Mexico is right now, with Texas across the river covered in ice? Steyn's review said that people were swimming across the Rio Grande. Well, hell, if the Rio Grande's not frozen, how cold can it be? May as well stay here.

We could do with a bit of global cooling here locally, accompanied by some global drying.

Posted by: Angie Schultz at June 9, 2004 at 03:54 PM

Perhaps answering some of these questions should carry the warning PLOT SPOILERS FOLLOW.

Its snowing as they wade across the Rio Grande.


Forgive my ignorance, how does one type italics?

Posted by: Greg at June 9, 2004 at 04:00 PM

Turn your keyboard 45 degrees to the right.

Posted by: Australian Elvis at June 9, 2004 at 04:09 PM

How droll. Go and eat a strawberry jam, peanut butter and bacon baguette Australian Elvis.

Posted by: Greg at June 9, 2004 at 04:15 PM

Greg, use html tags:
<i>stuff you want to italicize here</i>

You can do bold by using b instead of i in the tags, and lots of other neat stuff that you can read about in any html tutorial.

Posted by: Sarah at June 9, 2004 at 04:40 PM

Anthony Lane's review of TDAT in latest New Yorker is hysterically funny. He said the movie left him "determined to double my consumption of fossil fuels"

Posted by: Yosemita Sam at June 9, 2004 at 04:41 PM

Thanks Sarah. Far more helpfull than that jumpsuit clad Australian Elvis.

Posted by: Greg at June 9, 2004 at 04:44 PM

Someone at the Volokh Conspiracy suggested one could go see this movie in the same spirit as one would watch "Attack Of The Killer Tomatoes" or "Plan 9 From Outer Space."

Posted by: Agent Smith at June 9, 2004 at 04:53 PM

Greg, I believe that Australian Elvis's preferred meal is actually tomato sauce, vegemite, and kangaroo steak on sliced white.

Posted by: TimT at June 9, 2004 at 05:32 PM

I thought it was so bad it was funny. The malevolent frost that chases to star/kid into the library almost had me laughing out loud.

Posted by: Sean at June 9, 2004 at 05:42 PM

The movie was racist in the extreme. The wolves were characterized as uncaring, meat-eating, rapacious brutes.

Posted by: Lewis at June 9, 2004 at 07:46 PM

You know what? I must see this movie. I watched Deep Impact on tv a few days ago and it whetted my appetite for ludicrous, science-defiant disaster movies with cute male leads.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at June 9, 2004 at 08:44 PM

Speaking of bad science in movies, there is a good website ran by an astronomer who does movie reviews. Despite several inaccuracies, Deep Impact actually got a lot of the science right. Compared to movies like Armageddon, Deep Impact was a NASA documentary.

Here's a list of movie reviews on his site. He hasn't yet reviewed "The Day After Tomorrow."

Posted by: Larry J at June 10, 2004 at 01:18 AM

Doug, I recommend this excellent website for basic HTML advice.

Posted by: Angie Schultz at June 10, 2004 at 03:55 AM

Frankly, I was bored halfway through "The Day After Tomorrow". The CGI was great. The rest of it was just predictable, when it wasn't laughable.

Posted by: Rebecca at June 10, 2004 at 04:00 AM

As for minorities...yeah there was a bit in Japan. BUT, I saw this with a friend who speaks Japanese, and she thought what the guy said didn't make sense whatsover, and thought he was probably an American who didn't actually speak Japanese.

Posted by: Richard at June 10, 2004 at 04:07 AM

No modern sci-fi-catastrophe movie would be complete without the african-american mathematics/science genius. Okay, already, we get it!

Posted by: Sean at June 10, 2004 at 05:15 AM

Ah! I heart the Bad Astronomy website. I admit that the special effects in DI weren't that unscientific -- but I was wondering where all the wind and hail and rain and flying cows and whales and stuff were when the big wave was coming. (Okay, I suppose there wouldn't have been very much left of any whales.) But there was just this gentle breeze as everyone is running away from the water. Sure, maybe in an earthquake-caused tidal wave there wouldn't have been much wind, but this was a comet that blew up with the power of ten billion nukes or something.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at June 10, 2004 at 12:30 PM