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According to the Weather Channel, weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re about and hour or so from landfall by Hurricane Katrina and things look bad. Obviously, with sustained winds of better than 150mph, this storm will go down in the archives as a baseline to which others will be measured. Much like the Hurricane Andrew strike on the Florida coastline, Katrina promises the same level of destruction but on a much larger scale.
Why does everyone seem happy about it.
I get home from work and click into the coverage and thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a bald man leaning over a map, detailing with cold precision and scientific data, the impending path of Katrina. As he speaks, its easy to see his smile. I swear the guy is giddy with glee and can barely contain himself; he probably has no idea heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s grinning like a lackey. The guy has probably been in the meteorological field for years and this is a watershed event for his profession. How can you blame the guy for grinning at a once in a lifetime event happening on his watch?
The same with the anchors who are switching from one report to the next. With the obligatory Ã¢â‚¬Å“liveÃ¢â‚¬Â? report from the scene, we can see reporters, bundled against the weather, talking about trees bending, stop signs folding, and transformers popping. They tend to throw out Ã¢â‚¬Å“I hope this horrible event doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t happenÃ¢â‚¬Â? or Ã¢â‚¬Å“I hope it avoids us,Ã¢â‚¬Â? or finally, Ã¢â‚¬Å“I hope it dissipates prior to landfallÃ¢â‚¬Â? but you really know they donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t mean it. I can almost see the Ã¢â‚¬Å“winkÃ¢â‚¬Â? while they plead for relief but secretly hope for carnage.
Its like a train wreck. People will say they wish for the best, but in all honesty, most want this storm to strike with savage ferocity Ã¢â‚¬â€œ except those close by. They want to see images of roofs getting ripped off, cars being tossed around like empty milk jugs, and waves crushing million dollar yachts in the bay. Most find it hard to look away. Why do you think they actually HAVE the Weather Channel? I mean, all you need to do these days is check your local weather on the internet (IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m guessing more households have internet than the Weather Channel). Much like a Nascar race, most watch for the crash, most slow down to soak in the details of a wreck on the freeway, and most watch the coverage on the Weather Channel for the inclement anomalies.
They use words like Ã¢â‚¬Å“vicious,Ã¢â‚¬Â? Ã¢â‚¬Å“going to be rough,Ã¢â‚¬Â? Ã¢â‚¬Å“the deadly,Ã¢â‚¬Â? or Ã¢â‚¬Å“the KILLER stormÃ¢â‚¬Â? are being thrown out. They glamorize the cresting surf, the pounding rain, and the potential danger. They almost seemed disappointed when Katrina shifted from a category 5 to a category 4 upon landfall. However, never fear intrepid watcher, this is still a Ã¢â‚¬Å“very dangerous storm,Ã¢â‚¬Â? they tell us. Ã¢â‚¬Å“There isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t much difference!Ã¢â‚¬Â? You can almost hear them whispering, Ã¢â‚¬Å“keep watching, we promise a show littered with carnage and destruction.Ã¢â‚¬Â?
This is just crazy.
IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve always been fond of the post-apocalyptic film genre and though disaster movies donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t normally fit within the narrow confines of that slant, The Day After Tomorrow firmly entrenches itself within its border. So, with a little time on hands, and a local theater which lends itself to good amenities and small crowds, I took in a late show.
The movie starts off calmly enough with concern over global warming and the threat of a massive climate shift effecting humanity. Of course, the projected 80 to 100 year estimate comes crashing down when a severe shift happens within days. The entire northern hemisphere is affected. Though the script is by no means epic in nature, nor are the actors winning any awards, the true protagonist of the film lies within its excellent, compelling and believable CGI weather effects Ã¢â‚¬â€œ truly exceptional to behold on the big-screen.
The effects begin benignly enough with large chunks of ice hitting Hong Kong, a thick snowstorm or two over Northern Europe but things quickly ramp up with a massive wave washing over downtown Manhattan, multiple tornados ripping Los Angeles apart and panic gripping the nation. By the time scientists manage to inform the Executive branch that everyone north of Texas needs to be evacuated south, weather havoc is in full swing. The film rounds out with a soft rescue mission where father-finds-son in the now snowy wasteland which was once New York City (canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t NY get a break?!).
Obviously this film takes a suspension of disbelief approach to modern weather effects but imprints those violent storms on the mind quite well. There are a couple of short soap-box moments where I was told just what a bad person I am for driving a petroleum consuming vehicle but they pass quickly without too much pain. All in all, I found this movie enjoyable and probably worth seeing on the big screen. I would not advise paying full price so if you can bag a matinee then have at it.
Finally, on that Original Headshot scale, it earns a STRONG Six mostly for effects and a moderately compelling storyline. Enjoy.