The movie trailer shows a picture of the White House...all of a sudden, its blown into smithereens by a laser blast!!!
This popcorn flick was all that I hoped for, nothing but 100% of everything: action, drama, humor and suspense. Many people are justified in stating that the success of "Independence Day" comes from the fact that its nothing more than what its intended to be: FUN, period.
However, in this day and age of constant threats to modern society from epidemics such as war and disease, "Independence Day" can suddenly mean more than just a cinematic escape from reality. Perhaps it symbolizes the power and determination of the human spirit to prevail against all odds. Well, I most certainly think so! Just observe the plot and you'll find out what I mean:
Several gigantic UFOs, dwarfing anything which mankind can possibly conceive, suddenly hover above major cities all over the world. Without warning, these alien ships simultaneously strike the heart of the cities with awesome laser beams, causing vast proportions of horrific destruction. Just when it seems that all is lost for the citizens of the Planet Earth, a courageous band of human rebels join forces to combat this seemingly impregnable terror. These rebels come from all walks of life, from the dead serious to the outrageously funny. You've got Will Smith, a fighter pilot with a mouth of a wise guy but having a heart of gold; Jeff Goldblum, the computer nerd who knows how to decode the alien bad guys; and Bill Pullman, the dedicated U.S. president who will stop at nothing to preserve the survival of the human race. Put them together and you have a trinity (respectively the heart, mind and soul) of the ultimate good guys to rally "mankind," a word as Pullman in the film eloquently states, "should have a new meaning to us all."
The spirit of this movie owes much to past multi-character disaster classics such as "Earthquake." If you are an avid fan of sci-fi flicks, the content and material of "Independence Day" might be familiar territory for you, but it's a treat to watch nonetheless.
So, do you feel the need to ignite that "fighting human spirit" in you? Then its time to place this on your cart or rush to your nearest video store and celebrate your "Independence Day!"
Independence Day [Blu-ray]
Note of interest to Independence Day fans.
I bought this title and was surprised that the "Special Edition" cut of Independence Day was not on this Blu-ray release as it was listed in the Special Features on Amazon's website. Very disappointed in the listing and the release!
on October 12, 2005
For classic science fiction movie fans of the 50's to the 70's, you
will surely enjoy this film. Its lots of fun, lots of effects and
does not stop till the film ends.
Its quite a good Alien invasion film.
But Warning,, reading other reviews it seems people either love
it or really really hate it.....
To me, this film hits the right buttons........
Whenever this film comes on TV I pause to watch it, or at least do the manly thing and frequently channel hop to it. There are only a handful of films I do this for. I have watched it twice in a month, once ignoring Rachel as she explained how the Democrats really won that last election.
This is a film that has been duplicated and spoofed. What makes this "B" action film so iconic are the numerous subplots that are done well and then brilliantly come together. The film type casts all the characters. In spite of that it takes time to build character to reinforce those stereotypes. Jeff Goldblum as a geeky scientist, Will Smith as a cocky pilot, and Randy Quaid as a nut case.
Even minor scenes such as the one with Harvey Fierstein were excellent as the individual scenes were well scripted. The special effects were top notch for 1996 and still beat today's low grade CG nonsense. The film produced a few memorable lines, and many memorable scenes.
On the down side...the speech given by the President at the end of the film was a bit dorky. I noticed the last time I watched it on a premium movie station, they had cut it to make time for "Mar Attacks." I am the guy who prefers it that way. Sorry. Also for purists, the film holds 100's of factual errors, continuity errors, and goofs. It seems they took so many takes shooting this film to "get it right" they ended up with things out of place from scene to scene. Most people won't notice.
on July 23, 2008
This review has a bit of a spoiler, so don't read on if you don't want to risk it.
Independence Day is great fun to watch, but it is not a great science fiction film by any means. Howvever, the film I think was made to be strictly entertainment, in the mold of old Saturday morning matinees of a bygone era like Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon. It is not high art and the storyline is franky irrational and stupid. The writers obviously threw logic out the window in order to focus on action,comedic momemts, drama, and adventure, not to mention a guaranteed happy ending.
Nevertheless, the film is an achievement in the realm of technical prowess at the very beginning of the film. The way it presented the technical superiority and power of the aliens is quite stunning, but after that original awe the film somewhat degrades into a series of Star Wars or Battlestar Galactica battle scenes. Good mindless entertainment, but nothing special.
Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum are both competent given the limited script. As for Bill Pullman as President acting as an acient King leading his tribe into battle, well I don't know. He just didn't seem right for the part, though again, maybe it wasn't his fault since the part was ridiculous.
Finally, this film shouldn't be reviewed. It should simply be enjoyed for what it is, that is good ol' fashioned science fiction adventure as entertainment. Nothing more.
on July 4, 2004
Director Roland Emmerich (The Day After Tomorrow & The Patriot) became a popular name in big-budget summer movies with the successful 1996 blockbuster "Independence Day". Massive alien spaceships mysteriously enter the Earth's atmosphere and unleash a devastating assault on the world's major cities. Now, a small human resistance organizes a final stand against the powerful invaders. "Independence Day" is a 153 minutes of pure movie fun. Its simple plot and stereotypical characters are rather predictable but still quite enjoyable. Its amusing humor, intense battle sequences and outstanding special effects are this Sci-Fi film's true highlights. The all-star cast features Will Smith, Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum, Judd Hirsch, Randy Quaid, Vivica A. Fox and Robert Loggia.
"Independence Day" Limited Edition is a worthy bargain DVD. Both theatrical and extended cuts are presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen format. The DVD contains an amazing picture quality with rich color detail and great resolution. The clear 5.1 Dolby Digital sound delivers some well balanced surrounds and awesome bass, but a DTS audio track should have been included in this new release. Among special features, it contains two audio commentaries by filmmakers and FX crew, and a sneak peak at Emmerich's FX epic "The Day After Tomorrow". Despite the lack of supplements, "Independence Day" receives a pleasant "B-".
on June 30, 2004
Finally, science fiction the way it used to be: rousing, cosmically xenophobic and ferociously patriotic. Forget E.T. and his cuddly ilk. INDEPENDENCE DAY's Bellicose aliens want our Earth and intend to squash us like bugs--Bugs!--to get it. It's up to a ragtag band of can-do-Americans, ranging from the President (Bill Pullman) to a druncken crop-duster pilot (Randy Quaid), to rally our spirits and save our bacon.
An engaging of second-tier-talent--Jeff Goldblum, Will Smith, Judd Hirsch et al.-- is on hand, and the lack of superstars works to the picture's advantage. Whereas Arnold, Tom or Sly would have to make it out alive, these journey men could bite the dust at any moment, and a surprising number of them do. For once, as a result, something's really at stake in all those white-knuckle suspense scenes.
If the writer/directer team of Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich made some engagingly loopy moves in STARGATE, here they play genre convections dead straight and make them work. Thumbnail sketches of the dozen or so principal character are executed quickly and efficiently, so you actually care a little when they're imperled. The aliens, meanwhile are a fabulously nasty lot of slimy, tentacled, malevolent telepaths, but all their superior technology is no match for our red, white and blue.
on June 2, 2004
I really enjoyed Independence Day. Will Smith was riot and Bill Pullman as the President of the USA was a kick.
However, having just seen Emmerich's The Day After Tomorrow, I was left wondering whether he has it in for DC, Los Angeles and NYC. Actually, I was rather surprised at how many cheered when I watched this in the theater when the White House got it.....what were these people thinking.
Anyway, this movie takes you all around the world and of course a bit of luck is what causes the good guys to win. I really got a kick out of how the Aliens on the mother ship say "uh oh...." when they realize their goose is cooked.
Interesting the graphics of the larger buildings being the target of the aliens. Sadly the implosion of the Library Tower and the Empire State Building looked all too much like that of the WTC.
I can still remember the look on the man's face while looking up in disbelief as the alien ship over Manhattan begins to ignite the Empire State Building. This as a fascinating movie and fun for the most part. The story did drag a bit at times. I look forward to getting the limited edition.
on May 13, 2004
This latest DVD release of Independence Day marks the third time this film has been repackaged. While this practice of what I like to call "double dipping", (or is it triple dipping in this case?) is certainly not new, every studio has done this at some point. What makes this release particularly shamefull though, is the fact that, the only reason it exists is to promote another film, as it's readied for theatrical realese.
The film itself, also known as ID4, tries to be a throwback to the "disaster" films of the 70s. A huge cast of well known actors tries to overcome a major threat and be victorious in the end. Anyone familar with an alien saga known as V, will likely find many similarities between that mini series, and this film. Huge spacecrafts are in orbit around Earth and can be seen over many cities. The world wonders what these visitors have in store for us. David (Jeff Goldblum) determines that the aliens have begun counting down. He and his father (Judd Hirsch) race to Washington D.C. to tell the President (Bill Pullman). Shortly after the 2 men arrive at the White House, the aliens attack, and those that are left, decide to fight back.
Thanks to Will Smith the film is saved. The film is your typical "event" movie, many of which, do have a place in cinema history. The effects are pretty good and the film manages to entertain, despite a very contrived script, and lopsided second act. I would consider this film to be a VERY guilty pleasure of mine. As I implied earlier, Will Smith takes what he is given to do and helps to makes it work somehow. Brought to you by the team that made the awful Godzilla remake, a few years later, at least ID4 gave viewers some fun characters to root for.
The "limited edition" DVD main extras are merely lifed from the previous versions. The film viewer can select to watch either the original theatrical cut, or the special edition version, with 9 minutes of additional footage. The extended scenes don't really add much to the story, but it's still nice to have the option to choose. The two audio commentary tracks are O.K. (at best) The first, features director Roland Emmerich and producer Dean Devlin, both men are fine I guess, but some of their comments are laughable---comparing ID4 to the original Star Wars-c'mon! The second track features special effects wizzards (and Oscar winners) Volker Engle and Doug Smith. This stuff gets a bit technical at times and may lose some folks. Now for really ugly stuff. The hyped and "exclusive" sneak peek at the making of Emmerich's The Day After Tomorrow, amounts to nothing more than a quick 2 minute commercial for the movie. It doesn't really add much to what's already out there about the movie.
I would say that if you don't already own ID4 on DVD, you could buy this, and be satisfied. If you own the "Five Star Collection" 2 disc set, skip this altogether. There's nothing "new"...If you do buy the Limited Edition, you will find a free movie-money coupon good for admission to The Day After Tomorrow--during its first 2 weeks or so, of release...At least if it turns out to be bad, you can say you saw it for free.
on May 4, 2004
This is DVD marketing at its ugliest, worst case scenario. What is this, the third version now?
I have the two disc ultimate, or whatever it was, from last year and it's good enough despite a nasty chapter change sequence after the gang escapes the White House. The thing just freezes outright and sloppily cuts into the next chapter. There isn't any scratches on the disc, so I'm assuming that's one of the errors that this release will supposedly correct.
The movie itself gets 4 stars from me because it's shameless, B sci fi with a grade A budget. It's not meant to be logical, it's straight up fun.
Special mention has to go to an incredible score by David Arnold. This was his follow up punch to his amazing Stargate score, and he has never come close again to the heights of ID4 and Stargate music compositions. I consider him a two hit wonder, and the soundtrack to this movie sorely needs to be redone with the other 50 percent of the score restored to the CD.
Anyways, pardon that digression. If you don't own this movie already, and you like sci-fi, go ahead and get this version and don't look back. If nothing else, it's a lot more entertaining than the Star Wars prequels and it will show off your DVD player and television's capabilities.