Film Review – THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW (2004)

THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW (2004, USA, 124m, 12) ***
Action, Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller
dist. Twentieth Century Fox; pr co. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation / Centropolis Entertainment / Lions Gate Films / Mark Gordon Productions; d. Roland Emmerich; w. Roland Emmerich, Jeffrey Nachmanoff (based on a story by Roland Emmerich); pr. Roland Emmerich, Mark Gordon, Thomas M. Hammel; ph. Ueli Steiger (DeLuxe | 2.39:1); m. Harald Kloser; ed. David Brenner; pd. Barry Chusid; ad. Claude Paré.
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), Robin Wilcock (Tony), Jason Blicker (Paul), Kenneth Moskow (Bob), Tim Hamaguchi (Taka), Glenn Plummer (Luther), Adrian Lester (Simon), Richard McMillan (Dennis), Perry King (President Blake), Mimi Kuzyk (Secretary of State).
Even global warming advocates may baulk at the situations presented in this far-fetched, but surprisingly enjoyable disaster epic. After climatologist Quaid is largely ignored by U.N. officials when presenting his environmental concerns, his research proves true when an enormous “superstorm” develops, setting off catastrophic natural disasters throughout the world. Trying to get to his son, Gyllenhaal, who is trapped in New York with his friend Rossum and others, Quaid and his crew must travel by foot from Philadelphia, braving the elements, to get to Sam before it’s too late. The game and likeable cast keep their faith in the lame script, delivering awkward dialogue without a metaphorical wink to the audience. Emmerich loves destroying his iconic buildings and landmarks and here he and his effects team take their carnage to impressive set-pieces in LA and NYC. He asks an awful lot of his audience to suspend their disbelief, but for those willing to do so this is a fun ride.

Film Review – JAWS 3 (1983)

JAWS 3 (1983, USA, 99m, PG) **
Action, Horror, Thriller
dist. Universal Pictures (USA), Cinema International Corporation (CIC) (UK); pr co. Universal Pictures / Alan Landsburg Productions / MCA Theatricals; d. Joe Alves; w. Richard Matheson, Carl Gottlieb (based on a story by Guerdon Trueblood and characters created by Peter Benchley); pr. Rupert Hitzig; ph. James A. Contner (Technicolor | 2.39:1); m. Alan Parker; ed. Corky Ehlers, Randy Roberts; pd. Woods Mackintosh; ad. Paul Eads, Christopher Horner.
cast: Dennis Quaid (Mike Brody), Bess Armstrong (Kathryn Morgan), Simon MacCorkindale (Philip FitzRoyce), Louis Gossett Jr. (Calvin Bouchard), John Putch (Sean Brody), Lea Thompson (Kelly Ann Bukowski), P.H. Moriarty (Jack Tate), Dan Blasko (Dan), Liz Morris (Liz), Lisa Maurer (Ethel), Harry Grant (Shelby Overman), Andy Hansen (Silver Bullet), P.T. Horn (Tunnel Guide), John Edson (Bob Woodbury), Kaye Stevens (Mrs. Kallender), Rich Valliere (Leonard Glass (as Archie Valliere)), Alonzo Ward (Fred), Cathy Cervenka (Sherrie), Jane Horner (Suzie), Kathy Jenkins (Sheila).
This is the second of the increasingly preposterous sequels to 1975’s mega-hit JAWS. The gimmick here is that the film was shot in 3-D and was released as JAWS 3-D. The story here sees a young great white shark finds its way into a sea-themed park managed by Calvin Bouchard (Gossett Jr.), where workers try to capture it. But the facility’s attempt to keep the shark in captivity has dire consequences: A much larger mother shark appears in search of its offspring. Among those who must battle the angry aquatic killing machine are marine biologist Kathryn Morgan (Armstrong), her co-worker Mike Brody (Quaid) and a pair of friendly dolphins. Alves seems more interested in compiling as many 3-D jump scares and depth of field shots than he is in building a compelling story. The result is some decidedly dodgy effects work – the shark footage is often unconvincing – made all the more obvious due to the 3-D process. Quaid and Armstrong do their best to breathe life into their stock characters and situations, whilst Gossett Jr. and McCorkindale see the material for what it is and play with tongue-in-cheek. Followed by JAWS: THE REVENGE (1987).