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.
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 June 2, 2004
Director: Roland Emmerich
Cast: Will Smith, Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum, Mary McDonnell, Judd Hirsch, Margaret Colin, Randy Quaid, Robert Loggia, James Rebhorn, Harvey Fierstein.
Running Time: 145 minutes.
Rated PG-13 for some violence, a particularly scary alien scene, and brief language.
A quintessential example of the "summer blockbuster", "Independence Day" is a full-filled science-fiction epic with a likable cast, astonishing special effects, and a unique style of direction from Roland Emmerich. It is a film that emphasizes the American dream, patriotism, and perhaps is a stab at communism, in which the war against the all-mighty alien terror is actually symbolizing the decades of struggle that the United States dealt with against socialist countries such as Nazi Germany and the U.S.S.R.
Will Smith is excellent as a rogue fighter pilot who finds himself preparing for an unusual enemy--a species of extra-terrestrials that first hovered over the planet Earth, but then struck mightily with beams of destructive fire that ripped apart all of the world's major cities. Bill Pullman gives an adequate role as the gung ho president who must trust his heart and not let political issues determine the fate of the world as he knows it. Jeff Goldblum play his usual scientist role, but is wittier than usual and is a grand compliment to the Fresh Prince. The three main stars engage in an all-out battle against the aliens, eventually coming face to face with the mothership and its inhabitants.
"ID4" is certainly not an emotional film, but more of a visual effects spectacle that show-boats the arriving technology at the time. Director Roland Emmerich basically states "screw your cool-looking dinosaurs Spielberg, check this out!" and lets loose with a barrage of intense explosions and catastrophe, making the first half of the film similar to that of an old 1970's national disaster flick. The second half of "Independence Day" is truly enjoyable as the audience gets to konw the characters better and they are intertwined in a battle for mankind. Cheesy, outlandish, and sometimes down-right stupid; however, it not taken too seroiusly, "ID4" is a rock-em, sock-em adventure that will delight the whole family. Still probably has the coolest looking spaceship ever created on film--it is amazing!
on May 20, 2004
Firstly, you're amazed by the alien ship that appears, curious about the contingency plan, and then completely blown away by the explosions and special effects. This is American patriotism at its very best, yet you forget all of that with the amount of action, comedy and typical plotlines. Ok, so the acting wasn't THAT great, but you can watch this film a hundred times and never get bored. There one liners always crack you up, and once again, America is always the one that saves the day!
A simple plot - aliens threaten the world's (more so America's) existence and someone (America) has to do something about it. With a cast led by Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum and (at the time) an aspiring Will Smith, that were all very good to watch, not forgetting the rather nice looking Vivica A. Fox as Smith's fiancé I can't really put a flaw in this film since it was great fun to see. God bless America!
Done in true US Military style, 'Independence Day' is an entertaining, patriotic watch - one big dose of eye candy which can be seen again and again.