Tag Archives: the day after tomorrow

New York: We’re a Great Big Part of It!

I accidentally realized that I posted this on MY MAIN BLOG site, instead of this blog. So, FINALLY realizing this, here’s my screening post…

The Day after Tomorrow

            What makes a great film stand out above the rest is its ability to reflect the world around and to be relatable to universal times. Roland Emmerich’s The Day after Tomorrow (2004) uses the setting of New York and references the rest of the United States to allow for the viewer to place his or herself into the context of the film.

            The city of New York has constantly been a setting for destruction in American films. Watchmen, I am Legend, and Independence Day are just a few examples of films that have also used this largely-populated area as a place of devastation. New York, one of the most populated and industrial cities in the present United States, has been the ideal setting for most cinematic films. James Sanders, author of Celluloid Skyline, states that New York is “where disaster is going to be the most powerful”. He also believes that the use of suburban cities in films wouldn’t have the shock-effect on the viewer as much as the most symbolic and iconic symbol of American population, New York, has.

            The mise-en-scene, or what is put in front of the camera, of The Day after Tomorrow includes the city of New York that has experienced the most damaging and devastating storm since the ice age. However, the illusion of realism is faltered because of the rapid change in climate and the quickly-developing tornadoes and floods all over the world.

            The main character Jack (Quaid), a climatologist, is involved in not only warning the people of the impending storm, but also treks his way to New York to rescue his trapped son Sam (Gyllenhal) and friends, who are currently taking refuge in the New York Public Library. The cut scenes between the two main story lines gives the viewer a look on not only the destruction that Sam and the refugees are experiencing in New York, but also the viewer gets to experience Jack’s journey along with the rest of the American citizens’ escapes from the storms. However, the viewer becomes most affected by the tragedy occurring in New York because director Emmerich develops characters such as the homeless man, the librarians, and the police officers from New York that the viewer becomes attached to. Most of the emotional impact of the movie is sparked from the camera pans that show the entirety of the destruction of New York, and also from the emotional attachment from the developed characters.

            Although the movie The Day after Tomorrow was made in 2004, it still instills fear and curiosity in viewers just as much today as it did when the film came out. Climate change and global warming have constantly been a topic of discussion, and was even brought up in an address by president Obama on June 25th of this year. Movies such as this, which not only use realistic themes but also realistic settings such as New York will continue to make the viewer wonder if these films will ever prove to happen in real life.




A New Ice Age?

The movie The Day After Tomorrow shows us what can happen when extreme climate changes occur to the earth. The very beginning of the movie begins with an aerial shot of what appears of be the ocean and ice. The viewer of the movie is looking down into the water and ice while the opening credits are displayed parallel to the water. The shot gradually turns upwards in order for the viewer to see the glaciers coming up from the water. The opening credits change with the crane shot as well, with the credits now being vertical to match the new camera angle. From the very opening scene, the viewer gets the idea that the movie will have something to do with the ice and/or the ocean.

After the opening credits, the movie changes to a scene with one of the main characters, Jack, and his partners Frank and Jason in Antarctica. While collecting data, there is a giant shelf of ice that breaks off from where the men are working. The viewer sees cracks occurring, but Jason is the first to actually hear the cracked ice. The camera shows a close up of his face as he stops to listen to the sound of breaking ice and then zooms out to show the ice breaking all around him. While Jack tries to save some of their data he falls into the cracked portion of the ice and Jason and Frank have to save him. After collecting this data Jack then gives a speech in New Delhi, India on climate change that may occur from a change in the Atlantic current due to ocean global warming. Global warming is causing the fresh water glaciers to melt into the Atlantic Ocean, which is leading to a critical desalination point. His message is ignored for the most part until bizarre weather starts taking place all over the world. The movie shows several different scenes depicting the climate changes, such as the falling of snow in New Delhi, giant ice chunks hailing down in Tokyo, multiple tornados destroying large portions Las Angeles (including the famous Hollywood sign), and airplanes being brought down by turbulence in the Midwest part of the United States.

As Jack and other fellow scientists do more research, they come to the realization that the cold temperatures from the Antarctic are moving towards civilization and are combining with cool air from the troposphere, which is descending too quickly to warm, thus creating several global storms. These storms appear to be similar looking to hurricanes, except all over landmasses. The movie repeatedly shows the earth from the view of astronauts in space as the storm covers more and more of the earth, eventually making all landmasses invisible. The rest of the movie portrays the tale of survival for Jack and his family, along with the rest of the world. In a scene where the southern half of the United States is evacuated to Mexico, another aerial shot shows U.S. citizens illegally crossing the river into Mexico after the border is closed. People are desperate to survive and this is shown to great detail. There are even small amounts of a love story thrown into the mix, which pulls the viewer into other aspects of the movie besides the terrible destruction and deaths of many, many people.

In the end, the storm gradually starts to clear up and the astronauts are able to start seeing land again. Jack is able to save his son Sam who was trapped in New York and many other survivors are found. The movie ends with a final scene of the earth, as the astronauts say they have never seen air quite so clear. The sound track played at the opening scene is then replayed at the end, wrapping the movie up.

Although the movie may be a bit dramatic in how global warming may change the climate of our earth, it does teach a good lessen. We need to watch what we do with our resources and control how we use them. Things such as a new ice age occurring from our use of greenhouse gases may seem far-fetched, but over a larger time span (maybe not quite as short as 7-10 days) something similar to this could happen.


Global Warming: Cinema or Reality?

The film “The day after tomorrow” is a movie that exposes, in a very explicit way, the consequences of the global warming. Although the film might be a little bit exaggerated, the idea presented is not far from reality.

The movie starts when scientists and climatologists propose that global warming is going increase rapidly and cause massive climate change in the world in the next 100 or 1000 years. The melting of the poles is provoking that the currents of the sea will change dramatically and this will unchain the union of huge hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis and earthquakes.

The special effects achieved to keep the curiosity of the spectator from the beginning to the end of the movie. Also, the theme of the movie was good. It can induce a little fear because that situation is what many people are afraid of what could happen in the future. However, there are some scenes that went a little over reality, like the immediate climate change, in just a few days, with the massive hurricanes or scenes where the scene where of the protagonists do not get hit by the temperature change in the room of the library.

There have been reports and researches about climate change and global warming, but this movie directed by Roland Emmerich can have a bigger impact than these documentaries. Are the special effects from the movie exaggerations or they might be just an example of what could occur?

Even though the movie has a happy ending and leaves some hope after the president’s speech (this will teach humanity some humility), the consequences of the climate change may last longer. We are the cause of all of this we cannot keep living like we do or did in the past, now is the time to start taking measures.

“The day after tomorrow” is an interesting film that can make us realize that the increase of the global warming can bring serious consequences to Earth and humanity. The effects of climate change can already be seen in the world today. The tornadoes in the Midwest have made the news in Spain and right now we are experiencing the coldest summer in 200 years. This is probably attributed to worldwide climate change. The scariest thing is that the consequences of the climate change are unpredictable.


Screening Report

It’s been awhile since I’ve seen this movie and I’ve kind of forgotten how far some of our “theories” have come regarding disasters (referencing things that happen in 2012). When I watch movies like this I usually look at the entertainment value and I think with this type of disaster movie the audience is entertained plenty. It’s easy to get lost in the drama of the race against time, the fight for survival, and the occasional love story that gets thrown in there. However, I think that this movie is also intended to shock the audience in a great way. Since 2012 didn’t come out until after this film, I do believe this was one of the first disaster type films that takes place now, in a modern time. Films before had covered historical events like Titanic, while other films like Armageddon and Independence Day cover th futuristic aspect. Not only in a very modern time, but the director only uses scenes that take place in th United States, unlike other films that have many overseas type scenes. The reason why a film like this can hit home is the fact that the director chooses to use scenes that take place in two great American symbols; Los Angeles and then New York. Scenes like downtown LA being torn apart by a giant tornado and the Statue of Liberty being slammed by a giant wave can give the audience a sense of fear because it can apply to them directly. Perhaps there is even some politics hidden in the film as the director chooses Mexico as the site of refuge for those fleeing the storm; an immediate reversal of the immigration that goes on today. In the end, the director uses several factors like the “stern face close up” and the climatic music that make it that typical disaster movie.
One of the other things that I caught early on in the movie that I had blogged about was the lack of timeline in the scientist’s knowledge; in the end they were ultimately wrong about their timeline even though it was at minimum 100 years away. I think that the director and writers were also trying to insert a warning in the film that since the last ice age occured around 10000 years ago, who knows how close the next one could be. Still, one movie about huge natural disasters won’t scare our world leaders into immediately changing international laws so the debate continues. Besides, we go to the movies to be entertained not lectured right?