I finally got around to watching the movie A Day After Tomorrow and it was a hoot. Initial reactions to the movie include laughter because I forgot how outrageous disaster movies are. The audio of the news reporters saying things such as “oh my god, now there are FIVE tornadoes in downtown New York” really invoked some hearty laughs. The special effects actually were not as bad as I expected, especially when considering how much CGI has advanced over the past fifteen years.
Similarly, I watched the movie taking into consideration the sound as a main player of the story. In doing this, I was reminded of the sound effects in the Transformers films because of the abundance of sounds that did not come from initially shooting the movie, but carefully constructed in order to build a world where giant robot aliens could exist. In other words, I appreciate the meticulousness of recording and editing sounds that match the visual effects.
For example, when the library started to freeze on the inside and the ice was spreading through the door, the crackling noise of the ice definitely did not exist in that space initially and nor did the ice. In order for it to be convincing, the sound and visual effects had to line up and make me believe it’s really happening.
I guess what I’m trying to say, is that although movies like these may not be well written, learning about sound effects and the important of audio allowed me to appreciate the role that sound takes in all films, shitty or not shitty.
One last thing I can comment on more relevantly is the trope of disaster movies. I noticed many aspects of this trope in A Day After Tomorrow; the ridiculous news headlines voice over audio, things getting better all of a sudden, and somehow the main characters surviving impossible circumstances…it’s all there.
All in all, despite taking a weather class this quarter and understanding that most of the shit that happens in the film is impossible, A Day After Tomorrow was super enjoyable, (but for all the wrong reasons).