Thursday, May 12, 2005

My thoughts on a bad movie

Yesterday I had a yen to see a bad movie, so off to TLA I went. On the way, I decided that I wanted something in the man versus nature genre, so I selected "The Day After Tomorrow." Premise: Mankind, having fucked up the planet with pollutants and what have you, gets bitch-slapped by the green hand of Mother Nature with another ice age.

This movie is everything a bad Hollywood movie should be. It has a cheesy lead actor (Dennis Quaid), an unlikely premise (an ice age develops in three days), and a boring but non-offensive romance (the protaganist's son and some chick). As you know, many Hollywood action flicks use the old disaster-force-is-right-behind-you scene. Sometimes that force is rushing water, the flames of an explosion, or lava...doesn't matter which. In "Day After", it was temperature. Yes. Coldness was chasing them down a hallway. I guess that's stupid people! This movie also had the moment of selfless heroism, in which a character sacrifices himself so that the rest may live. Dennis Quaid and I both screamed "No!"; he with anguish, me with delight. Finally, the film had the requisite moral message, which was "pollution bad."

Perhaps my favorite part of this film was the appearance of the wolves, who having escaped from the NYC zoo earlier in the film, showed up at the most opportune moment. Not only were the wolves rendered in bad CGI, they were clearly evil. Even caged and well fed at the movie's beginning they were vicious; by the time Manhattan was a frozen tundra they were downright malevolent. And rather slow and clumsy, I might add. Jake Gyllenhaal is cute, but he ain't outrunning a real wolf pack without divine assistance, nor is he likely to fool them with the old "fake left, go right" maneuver.

Anyway, the film was thoroughly bad and thoroughly enjoyable. Thank you, Mr. Emmerich, for making the kind of pablum that keeps the crowds out of my independent movie house. Keep it up, chum.


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