DISASTER MOVIE THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW (12A)124min u
Climatologist Jack Hall (Dennis Quaid) meets Professor Terry Rapson (Ian Holm) and, happily, their combined research makes them ﬁrst to spot some drastic climate changes - drops in water temperature, freak storms, hailstones the size of bricks. Now they must convince sceptical vice- president Becker (Kenneth Welsh) that their initial estimation for the coming of the new ice age in ‘100 to 1000 years time’ has been rapidly revised to eight weeks. Actually, scratch that - in about 48 hours. The day after tomorrow, in fact.
The super volcano, in Yellostone Park, is 40,000 years overdue for a gigantic eruption. No, it’s not a movie plot, just a small fact about our imminent destruction. Apparently, ‘it will be heard around the world. The sky will darken, black rain will fall and the Earth will be plunged into the equivalent of a nuclear winter.’
Environmental awareness is a good thing. Save some whales, drive in your unleaded car to the recycling bin. Hell, do anything it takes to placate your conscience. Thing is, we don’t fundamentally care that much about natural disasters. Given that global sympathy for the US may be at an all-time low, the cynic in me is prepared to believe that Roland Emmerich’s latest landmark-destroying CGI bore is nothing more than a government-approved whine and an attempt for the movie mercenaries of LA to work out their 9/11 envy.
However, without any character empathy, no amount of CGI will generate any drama, and without drama there can be no suspense and no
fear. This movie, to have any effect whatsoever, needs us to feel frail, vulnerable and helpless faced with the awesome power of nature. But ironically, there is no nature in this film. I’m not even sure the cast are breathing. Sadly, unlike the wonderfully ludicrous macho posturing of Armageddon or the Boys Own adventure that is Twister, it sits with all the rest - Dante’s Peak, Deep Impact and The Core - in hitting quota for every lazy cliché the genre demands. $125m and
The sky will darken, black rain will fall
it’s still so much more interesting to watch wobbly eye-witness footage or (remember books?) dig out Ray Bradbury’s short story The Wind.
In The Day After Tomorrow, Emmerich has dumped on the movie-going world a soulless and sub-standard cut-and-paste job from his own vile and risible Independence Day, entirely devoid of suspense, humour, emotion or creativity.
ROMANTIC DRAMA JAPANESE STORY (15) 107min 000.
When irritable. chain-smoking Aussie geologist Sandy (T oni Collette) takes Japanese businessman Hiromitsu (Gotaro Tsnashima) on a field trip to the Pilbara desert. strange things begin to happen. Sandy finds Hiromitsu inscrutable and just plain drippy: he finds her louche and bad mannered. Predictably. the Landrover gets caught in a sand bog in an area with no mobile phone coverage. lnitially reluctant to help. Hiromitsu comes out of himself while trying to dig the vehicle out. The two begin to bond. but it is a friendship that is to change both their lives forever.
Bypassing the cliche and cheap xenophobia that mark out the cross-cultural romance mowe (Green Card. French Kiss) Japanese Story reaches out for something more soulful and dreamy. Alison Tilson's spare.
so me LIST 27 May-10 Jun 200/.
A romantic road movie with real depth
uncomplicated script forces these two consummate performers to build their studies of emotional constipation from the ground up. and there are moments of inspiration and emotional detail that can only come from being given the space to improvise. Collette. in particular. has never been better. The vitality and depth she brings to the role locks in deeply With the film's hypnotic. drowsy quality. Ian Baker's beautiful cinematography is greatly aided by the spooky beauty of the barren Pilbara lands. but it is director Sue Brooks (Road to Nni/l) who deserves the most praise. She forces the narrative arc to follow that of the characters' emotional development. so when they break down the film itself begins to feel like it's falling apart. A devastating dance of guilt. grief and tragedy. (Paul Dale)
I Selected release from Fri 4 Jun. See feature, page 72.
I General release from Fri 28 May
DRAMA UZAK (15) 109min 0000
Some guys do. some guys don't. some guys need a lot of loving and. uh. some guys won't. Films about the emotional distance middle-aged men are capable of putting between themselves are about as rare as hen's teeth. So this small. multi- festival award-winning examination of a friendship disintegrating under the pressure of time. Circumstance and change is more than welcome.
Mahmut (Muzaffer Ozdemir) is a successful 40-year-old independent photographer. The envy of the small village from which he hailed. he now lives in Istanbul. The trouble is. his life is actually pretty shit. His wife has left him and he can't seem to lift himself out of his existential crisis. Then one day his cousin YuSUf (Emin Toprak). who has come to the big smoke in search of work. turns up at his front door needing somewhere to crash. The distance (the direct translation of the word ‘uzak') between the two men soon becomes apparent. Mahmut's big city neuroses flare up. while Yusuf becomes ever more lonely and eccentric with each job rejection.
Writer/director Nuri Bilge Ceylan‘s third part of a film trilogy (the other two films Clouds of May and Small Town are. helpfully. still to be released over here) is an astute. droll examination of an old friendship on the slide. While the pace may test some. it balances humorous yet dyspeptic voyeurism with the look and feel of some of the very best works of Tarkovsky (Stalker and The Sacrifice are referenced more than once). A little gem. (Paul Dale)
I Film/iouse. Edinburgh from Fri 28 May, GFI', Glasgow from Fri 18 Jun. See prewew, page 28.
The distance between two Turks