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INDEPENDENCE DAY has no moment to spare. It starts out quickly with the sight of a gigantic alien spaceship hovering over the craters of the moon, heading towards the Earth. The film has the usual news on Earth, like all invasion flicks, having the news spread, starting from a small organization investigating extraterrestrial activity, then to the military, who then phone calls The White House, giving it full news to President Thomas Whitmore (Bill Pullman), who obviously remembers Michael Douglas' president performance in THE American PRESIDENT (but I didn't say lampoon), who stares in a moment of shock and disbelief.
Before the sight of the alien spaceship hovering above the cities around the world, we first get a glimpse of the many characters in the film. First, there's computer engineer David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum, in an excellent performance), playing chess with father Julius Levinson(Judd Hirsh) at Central Park. David is divorced from his wife (Margaret Colin), who happens to be the President's Chief-of-staff (see the connections). Then it switches to Kansas, where the focus is a small family. The father, Russell Casse (Randy Quaid), a crop-dust farmer, believes he's kidnapped by aliens and is willing for payback, much to the dismay of his teenage kids. We also get introduced to a soldier (Will Smith), who both longs to return to NASA and reach for the stars (literally), and to propose to his girlfriend Jasmine (Vivica A. Fox).
Well, enough of that. It's time we see an invasion, and, boy, did we get one. After the discovery of the invaders plot (using the Earth's satellites to plan an attack), we get a mind-blowing sequence after another at incredible pace. The destruction at the streets of New York are just the first great effects-laden sequences in the film. Lets see, we get a STAR WARS-inspired dogfight between fighter jets and alien spaceships. And we also get a suspenseful sequence of an alien in laboratory (Talk about a close encounter), INDEPENDENCE DAY doesn't fail when it comes to a good visual feast. Admittedly, some of the effects are cheesy, seeing how much CGI has improved over the years, but they still provide an eye-filling experience.
When I first learned about science fiction, I was in grade school in the 1960s. I loved all the old movies and shows on TV, famous stuff from the late 1950s and early 1960s, with the alien monsters, visits to other planets, robots that talked, time travel, and the concept of an infinite universe with other beings. It makes me think of When Worlds Collide, THEM!, Man with the X-Ray Eyes, The Time Machine, and of course the original Star Trek, and so many others. As time progressed, however, the definition of science fiction somehow changed. What was known as horror and occult supernatural stuff somehow made the grade to being called "sci-fi." BUT it's not true science fiction in my book. Once in a great while, a true sci-fi movie would come around. Independence Day was one of them.
The ultimate encounter when mysterious and powerful aliens launch an all out invasion against the human race. The spectacle begins when massive spaceships appear in Earth's skies, disrupt satellite communications, attack major cities, and send our world into darkness. Extinction is inevitable. With excellent -- no, spectacular special effects, we cringe in our seats and fear the worst. But then...a surprise ending. Who'd think that a computer virus would save the day! It's a great escape movie and one that is welcomed in the times we live in. 'Tis a classic good-feel movie with incredible acting by Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum. Not to mention a president of whom we all would love, Bill Pullman, and a wonderful breaking-the-sterotypical-Taxi TV show character, Judd Hirsch. It has a lot of favorite actors and all are powerful and perfect in their roles! I recommend this movie to mature kids and grandparents alike. It is just, well... stellar!
Drawing from the title of this review, if you haven't seen this movie by now, something is wrong. You're just one of those people who skip blockbusters, listen to others talk about them for months or years until the stars of the film become superstars, and the characters they portray become icons. Then, if you ever admit it, everyone looks at you and says incredulously, "You mean you actually haven't seen INDEPENDENCE DAY? Are you KIDDING?"
Well, welcome back to popular culture. If you needed to read a review before seeing or buying this film, you need only understand this: INDEPENDENCE DAY was one of the films that galvanized audiences squarely behind the stardom of Will Smith, who literally does no wrong in this movie. He portrays a military pilot and fighter who meets the aliens head-on with a gutsy swagger that left every young man leaving the movie trying to emulate him.
Despite the predictable ending -- we win -- all the fun is in getting there, right up to the politically incorrect, celebratory cigars enjoyed by Smith and Goldblum at the conclusion. It is an exciting, uplifting, feel-good, heroes always win kind of sci-fi thriller that at times is creepingly real. One scene in the movie says it all -- when the aliens bear down with rays on the White House and blow it to smithereens, the way some of us wish an alien ship would do right now (lol!)
The special effects? Everything you'd expect, but the acting and the strength of the ensemble delivering this screenplay is worth every minute on the screen. Stop reading this silly review, get on eBay right now, and find a widescreen copy with a good price. Now, BUY IT OR BID NOW! You don't want to face another person who says, "You haven't seen INDEPENDENCE DAY?." do you?
It's one you will want to own....and watch again and again.
This box set dvd of INDEPENDENCE DAY is awesome and very beautiful!!! First, is the fact that this movie is one of my favs from R. Emmerich. (The Best is STARGATE).
The box set comes complete with a 2 disc edition and a fold-out box made of heavy paper and cardboard. Similar to the 2 disc edition of PREDATOR.
The artwork is fantastic!!! Pics of the alien ships, the alien (themself), and of the earth from the film's special effects.
What makes this dvd different than the other copies of Independence Day, is the fact that it does NOT have a simple single disc, with the usual Amaray-type dvd box. BORING!!! -there must be like: 3, 4, or even 5 different types of the same kind of copy for this particular film on dvd; and they are ALL basically the same!!!! LAME!!!
For those who are collector's, like myself, this box set dvd is a MUST have for ALL collections of sci-fi "fanatics"--like myself!!!!
Lastly, there is a small collectable booklet inside with the production notes, and other fun facts about the film during it's time of "making." This booklet provides lots of useful info. that i learned about the film's direction(s), as well as the special effects and the many different shots used on location during the filming of this movie.
Of course, it does contain the 2 diff. versions of the film: theatrical & Extended/director's cut, but then again--ALL of the diff. versions of this movie on dvd DOES too. The extended version is the ONLY version of this film that should ALWAYS be chosen to play when watching this film every time!!!!
So, if you have one of the "other" dvd versions, i recommend storing that one, and upgrading to this box set immediately!! You WON'T regret buying it!!!! $
Highly recommended 2003 release of "Independence Day" in a North American DVD format. This sci-fi flick is funny, thought provoking, patriotic, exciting and almost everything else you can think of. It's about the earth being invaded by aliens in flying saucers but with many new twists. And - of course I totally believe a USMC Captain (Will Smith) instinctly knows how to fly a flying saucer! OK, not really but it did make the movie funny at the height of the drama. The movie was like that: the absurd being mixed with deadly serious and a touch of comedy. That's probably one of the reasons such a vast audience loved this film (including me). As with all films, parents of school age children should probably watch it first to verify it's OK.
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