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This week:
The Day After Tomorrow

Filthy says:
"Weather Porn, and not at all sexy.

Summer movies are supposed to be big, dumb and exciting, like dating a steroid-addled crackhead with an eating disorder. I'm not a fan of the big and dumb, but it's the way summer movies are supposed to be. What's surprising to me is how incredibly dumb this year's blockbusters are so far. I thought Van Helsing was bottoming out as far as treating an audience like braindead farts who wouldn't know a plot if it hit us in the nuts. But this The Day After Tomorrow plumbs deeper, like Johnny Long in Candy Bottoms' self-directed Journey to the Bottom of my Ass. The result is the same, too: go deep and come out covered in shit and guts.

That The Day After Tomorrow even has a plot is an obligatory nod to what director/writer Roland Emmerich must feel is a quaint old tradition of story-telling in movies. He can't possibly give a shit about it, or else it'd be a lot better. What he really loves is weather porn--hot three-way hurricane confluences, tight, wet teen tsunamis, rock-hard shafts of ice thrusting through virgin soil, and nasty scientists in lab coats talking dirty about climatic changes. The story is like the third arm grafted onto some Nazi during a bizarre Third Reich medical experiment; it just flops around uselessly. (Yeah, I know that one's a bit of a stretch, but I like the image.)

What a lousy piece of shit.

Dennis Quaid is a NOAA scientist who predicts that global warming could trigger a new ice age. He tries to make his case to a very Dick Cheney-esque Vice President whose response is something like "We can burn all the oil we want. You science boys are assholes. Blah, blah, blah, look at me, I'm an obnoxiously oversimplified parody of the real Vice-President." This is a major political criticism handled as ham-fistedly as the dick of a masturbating butcher. It's he kind of shit that makes a liberal like myself embarrassed by how God damn obnoxious and simplistic other liberals can be. Right after Quaid's warning, he and another scientist (the slumming Ian Holm) discover the ice age really is coming. Not in a 100 years or even ten, but this fucking week.

That's when the weather kicks in. The entire northern hemisphere gets wet, shaken and generally aroused. Girl-on-girl tornadoes and orgies of snow destroy Los Angeles and submerge New York City. The Hollywood sign gets obliterated, skyscrapers freeze and shatter and oil tankers float down Fifth Avenue. It's an impressive display of special effects if you're into storms, easily enough to thaw the most uptight weather girl's cold front and start her to diddling her doppler radar.

Emmerich appears to have been interested in real science up to a point. Then he got a hell of a lot more interested in what his special effects crew could do, regardless of whether it made any sense. There are literally cold fronts chasing people down streets, and tsunamis chasing people too. Somehow neither catch the movies heros (but get everyone else) when they jump through an open window. It's sorof sickening to see someone pretend they know about science, only to use it as an excuse to make up fantastical, exaggerated bullshit that will only scare simple-minded hillbillies. The movie portays massive destruction, killing billions of people worldwide and leaving billions more homeless.

Which makes it really fucking hard to give a rat's ass about the handful of dullards that Emmerich spends the second half of the movie telling us about. After The Day After Tomorrow blows its money shot, we're stuck watching Quaid, Jake Gyllenhall (as a teenager too old for the high school in "Beverly Hills 90210") and other nameless hacks mope, slog around in snow and fret over whether they'll fall in love against the background of cataclysm. Most moronic of all, Quaid's character walks through 60-foot snow drifts from Washington, DC to New York City (I shit you not) in a couple of days simply to see how his son is doing in a city where supposedly everyone has died. He has no plan of what to do once he gets there. I mean, when you walk into a frozen city full of millions dead with nothing but a tent, what the fuck do you think you can add? What makes you think you're so fucking special? Maybe he figured his son was so damn stupid that he needed to be there to keep him from eating bricks. Whatever, this journey is the emotional core of the movie and it doesn't make a Goddamn lick of sense.

Of course, neither does the whole bit about fierce wolves chasing Gylenhall around a Russian tanker while he's looking for medication. This isn't a dream sequence; it's just an example of how fucking desperate this movie is for anything remotely interesting to show us once the storm dissipates.

Dozens of minor and completely undeveloped characters enter and leave after half-baked attempts to get us to give a fuck. Seriously, I'm sure most of the people frozen under the snowdrifts would have been more interesting than these jackasses. And that's after they froze.

Finally, Emmerich uses this pile of shit to promote a political agenda about global warming and fossil fuels (what you wanna bet the asshole has a Hummer?). I've got nothing against making a political point. But a fucking lousy movie full of absurd contrivances ain't the way to do it. You want to entertain us? Do that. You want us to support your beliefs about global warming? Well, then give us facts instead of illogical, hysterical bullshit. This should not be the basis of a national debate as Emmerich and his marketers would love. The movie also wants us to despise Dick Cheney. I hate Dick Cheney; I bet his wife and his dog hate him but stick around because he's got a fucking awesome bomb shelter. But a true and worthwhile hatred has to be rooted in facts and reality. That's how I establish my hatred for almost everything. If you have to lie to make people hate the same things you do, you're either an asshole or too fucking lazy to collect the facts you need. This movie's too lazy.

It's garbage. Another bad fucking movie that treats the audience like stupid infants that will swallow anything spoonfed to us, and we'll be grateful for it. Lesbian porn has better characters and plots than weather porn. One Finger for The Day After Tomorrow.

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Clay Smith of Access Hollywood

In Raising Helen "Kate Hudson will steal your heart!"

"Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban take this spectacular series to brilliant new heights!"

Shrek 2 is "another animated classic!.. Even better than its Oscar-winning predecessor! If ever there was a summer movie for the whole family, this is it!"

Clay proves you can even whore for decent movies.

Filthy's Reading
Diana Preston - A Pirate of Exquisite Mind

Listening to
The Cramps - Bad Music for Bad People


School of Rock (Man, talk about overrated)