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Independence Day

A movie directed by Roland Emmerich

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Visually Fun Flick, But It Takes Itself Too Seriously

  • Apr 19, 2004
"Independence Day" could have been a great film. It's got the huge explosions that draw in big summer crowds, it's loaded with fodder for popcorn popping, but after that...

Honestly, this isn't a terrible movie. It will hold your attention for the entire duration of the film. The visuals, especially the opening sequence showing you just how tiny the moon and our little neck of the universe can be, are fantastic. The special effects are top-notch and the acting is over-the-top, loud-mouthed and fun. The aliens are believeable enough and I liked the touch of Roswell thrown in to give the story a little substance.

However, things went downhill from there. Now if you've read my review of Emmerich's "Godzilla," you already know that I liked that movie. But the reasons I liked it are the same reasons that I'm not overly fond of "Independence Day." Like the large lizard flick, the story has no originality to it whatsoever. It's a blatant rip-off of all those old Sunday matinee sci-fi movies. At least "Godzilla" had the decency to impregnate the title character. Tons of buildings are destroyed in both films, but "Godzilla" more or less just toppled things over trying to hide from the baddies. Only Madison Square Garden received any extra special attention. In "ID4," buildings were destroyed to show people just how nifty the special effects were. The two biggest disappointments in "ID4" had to be the virus implanting ending(just too unbelieveable) and Will Smith. Normally I like Mr. Smith, but he's just too annoying in this movie. I found myself hoping that one of the aliens would have whacked him just to shut him up.

In closing, I have to say that this is a fun movie to watch if you like explosions, but for some reason, this movie doesn't click with me like "Godzilla" did. I know they are different films, but they were created on the same larger-than-life scale. "ID4" takes itself too seriously. It's nothing more than a glorified cheesy sci-fi movie that's fun to watch, but just not fun enough. For a better time, "Starship Troopers" has explosions galore, including some cool bug guts. If that's not your speed, check out "Armageddon." It has that whole "end of the world" thing going for it. Both of these movies don't take themselves too serously, and they are a lot more enjoyable to watch. If that still doesn't fit your bill, break out the old Atari and play "Space Invaders." Now that's entertainment.

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More Independence Day (movie) reviews
Quick Tip by . January 28, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
All this money they spend and what do we get? A reworked ending of WAR OF THE WORLDS! Boo! Hiss!
review by . July 02, 2006
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: Action; special effects; Will Smith.     Cons: Nothing really.     The Bottom Line: Independence Day is a fun if not terrifying movie to watch.      Plot Details: This opinion reveals major details about the movie''s plot. So here it is once again Saturday night, my wife has left me to fend for myself to quilt of all things. I must be getting boring in my old age! Anyway thank god for Dish Network, HBO and the Saturday night movie. …
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Kendall Fontenot ()
Despite looking extremely cool, I have to admit that I'm a dork. I grew up on the outskirts of the small town of Oberlin, LA. I have since relocated to the Lake Charles, LA area.I love my home state … more
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Independence Day
(also known by its promotional abbreviation ID4) is a 1996 science fiction film about a hostile alien invasion of Earth, focusing on a disparate group of individuals and families as they converge in the Nevada desert and, along with the rest of the human population, participate in a last-chance retaliation on July 4 – the same date as the Independence Day holiday in the United States. It was directed by Roland Emmerich, who co-wrote the script with producer Dean Devlin.

While promoting Stargate in Europe, Emmerich came up with the idea for the film when fielding a question about his own belief in the existence of alien life. He and Devlin decided to incorporate a large-scale attack when noticing that aliens in most invasion films travel long distances in outer space only to remain hidden when reaching Earth. Principal photography for the film began in July 1995 in New York City, and the film was officially completed on June 20, 1996.

The film was scheduled for release on July 3, 1996, but due to the high level of anticipation for the movie, many theaters began showing it on the evening of July 2, 1996, the same day the film begins. The film's combined domestic and international box office gross is $816,969,268, which at one point was the second-highest worldwide gross of all-time. It holds the 25th highest worldwide gross of a movie all-time, and was at the forefront of the large-scale disaster film and science fiction resurgences of the ...
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Cast: Randy Quaid, Rance Howard, Leland Orser, Frank Welker, Will Smith, Bill Pullman, Anthony Crivello, Bill Smitrovich, John Capodice, Robert Loggia, Michael Winther, Jeff Goldblum, Vivica A. Fox, Jerry Dunphy, Richard Speight, Jr., Jay Acovone, James Rebhorn, Margaret Colin, John McLaughlin, Thom Barry, Adam Baldwin, Giuseppe Andrews, Greg Collins, Nelson Mashita, Jack Moore, Jim Piddock, Malcom Danare, David Pressman, Mary McDonnell, Judd Hirsch, Deenie Dakota, Thomas F. Duffy, Kimberly Beck, Bobby Hosea, Jana Marie Hupp, Lisa Jakub, Tim Kelleher, Carlos Lacamara, Dan Lauria, Jon Mathews, John Bennett Perry, Jeff Phillips, Robert Pine, George Putnam, Elston Ridgle, Raphael Sbarge, Pat Skipper, Brent Spiner, Lisa Star, John Storey, Mark Thompson, Lyman Ward, Mirron E. Willis, Arthur A. Brooks, Harvey Fierstein, Barry Nolan, Frank Novak, James Wong, Robin Groth, Richard Pachorek, Kevin Sifuentes, Ross Elliot Bagley, James Duval, Andrew Keegan, Mae Whitman, Devon Gummersall, Kiersten Warren, Joey Andrews, Joe Fowler, Randy Oglesby, Ross Lacy, John Bradley, Fred Barnes, Wayne Wilderson, Adam Tomei, Sayed Badreya, Eleanor Clift, Joyce Cohen, Jack Germond, Steve Giannelli, James J. Joyce, Morton Kondracke, Carlos Lara, Michael G. Moertl, Mike Monteleone, Julie Moran, Marisa Morell, Vivian Palermo, Matt Pashkow, Eric Paskel, Lee Strauss, Troy Willis, Eric Michael Zee, Arthur Brooks
Director: Roland Emmerich
Genre: Fantasy, Sci-Fi
Release Date: July 2, 1996
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Screen Writer: Dean Devlin, Roland Emmerich
Runtime: 2hrs 25min
Studio: Centropolis Entertainment, Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation
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