Starring: Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Mary McDonnell, Judd Hirsch, Margaret Colin, Randy Quaid, Robert Loggia, James Rebhorn, Vivica A. Fox
Written By: Dean Devlin, Roland Emmerich
Directed By: Roland Emmerich
Studio: 20th Century Fox
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Independence Day is 20 years old and Fox has released a newly packaged Blu-Ray with a new 30 minute documentary. The movie was fun back then and it still holds up well. Sure, it’s hokey and a little dated but couldn’t ask for a more entertaining summer blockbuster!
I’m sure you all know about ID4 by now but I’ll give you a brief rundown. On July 2nd, giant spaceships begin to fly all over the Earth. They move into different positions or landmarks. David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum), an MIT-trained satellite expert, discovers in a satellite feed that the aliens are really counting down to an attack. David and his Father miraculously get a chance to tell the President before it’s too late. Meanwhile, the movie follows around an alcoholic crop duster (no not that kind) and former fighter pilot Russell Casse (Randy Quaid). Russell claims to have been abducted by aliens and would love to get some payback. On July 3rd, Captain Steven Hiller (Will Smith) and his squadron attack one of the ships but are all wiped out except him. Eventually Hiller, David, The President and others meet up together at Area 51. David discovers a way to get through the alien’s force fields, but they’ll need to find a way up into space to do it. But on July 4th, that’s the day Earth fought back. Ooooh yeah.
I still remember seeing ID4 in the movie theater when I was 18. Then watching the movie over and over and over again. It’s just one of those entertaining flicks you put on when it was on TV. That is, if you liked the movie. I always like the special effects, the cast, some of the jokes and the premise of aliens attacking Earth. After 20 years, the movie still holds up well. Some things are bit dated but that’s to be expected. Believe it or not, I prefer some of the special effects in this movie to what’s being showcased in movies today. They did a lot of miniature sets and actually blew things up instead of doing it with a computer. They did do CGI for things but Roland Emmerich wanted a more practical approach. We’ll see if he sticks to that with the sequel coming out this Summer.
As much as I like the movie, I always laugh at the cheesy parts of the movie. The crazy Randy Quaid saluting to the camera at the end of the movie. Why would you salute as you’re flying a plane and when no one is watching you? Harry Connick, Jr’s corny lines and acting. The way the great Goldblum delivers his lines like William Shatner. “I gave it a cold…a virus…a computer…virus.” The fact that Will Smith’s stripper girlfriend SOMEHOW finds the First Lady sort of alive, and her boyfriend…the only one alive from the Alien Attack assault. There’s a young president who’s conveniently a former fighter pilot. The list goes on and on. The fact is you shouldn’t take this movie too seriously because the director and writer certainly didn’t.
The extras on this Blu-Ray include a new 30 minute documentary, and then all the stuff you’ve seen on previous Blu-Ray and DVD versions. I reviewed (http://new.readjunk.com/reviews/dvdreviews/independence-day/) the DVD of this back in 2005 (woof) so a lot the same stuff are on here. The 30 minute documentary is good because a lot of people discuss how ID4 became a surprise hit. They show you how things were done, how it paved the way for movies to do expensive Superbowl Ads, and they discuss the sequel a little bit. That new documentary and the tidbits about the new movie is probably the reason why this Blu-Ray was made. I didn’t own ID4 on Blu-Ray so i’m glad I got this to review.
Theatrical and Extended Cuts
New 30 minute documentary
Id4 Invasion mock-umentary
Making of ID4
Aspect ratio: 2.39:1
Original aspect ratio: 2.39:1
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)
French: Dolby Digital Mono
Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1 (448 kbps)
French: DTS 5.1
Spanish: DTS 5.1
German: DTS 5.1
Italian: DTS 5.1
Portuguese: Dolby Digital 5.1
English SDH, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish
Bottom Line: After 20 years, Independence Day is still an entertaining film that doesn’t take itself too seriously
Running Time: 153 mins