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The UnPopular Opinion: Independence Day

07.04.2012

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THE UNPOPULAR OPINION is an ongoing column featuring different takes on films that either the writer HATED, but that the majority of film fans LOVED, or that the writer LOVED, but that most others LOATHED. We're hoping this column will promote constructive and geek fueled discussion. Enjoy!

**** SOME SPOILERS ENSUE****

On the one hand it might be argued that I'm just not the right guy to appreciate a loud, popcorn-fueled blockbuster.  And that may be true, though there are a fair number that I have happily enjoyed over the years (THE AVENGERS, WRATH OF THE TITANS, DOOMSDAY, NIGHT WATCH, THE LOSERS, THE ROCK, TOTAL RECALL, to name a few).  On the other hand, I maintain that a movie can be bursting with exciting action, deal with larger-than-life situations, be filled with plenty of explosions and destruction, be completely entertaining, and still respect me as an audience member and tell a good story. 

INDEPENDENCE DAY is barely any of these things, with absolutely nothing beneath the surface to boot.  It's not engaging or fun, it disrespects my intelligence, the action is poorly crafted, and it tells a hollow story so boring in its execution that I was nearly tearing my eyes out by the time this 2 hour and 24 minute whale of a movie had at last beached itself.  I know that I saw this movie once before when I was ten, and I can barely remember anything about that viewing experience (including whether I even liked it or not).  Now here I am, having seen it again twelve years later, hoping to whomever is listening to let me forget what I've seen and the fact I spent 2 hours and 24 minutes of my life watching this... this vapid, dumb whisp of celluloid fluff.

ID4 UnPop pic 3

"If we don't act now, we may not have much of an America left to defend."

The thing is, on a technical and superficial level, INDEPENDENCE DAY gets a lot right.  The music swells at just the right moments, plenty of "important" people and places die in explosive and bombastic ways, the "story" follows all the requisite beats needed to affectively show humanity at its lowest point before rising up due to a last minute spark of good old American knowhow, and it has plenty of action besides.  In fact, INDEPENDENCE DAY is nearly a masterclass on how to guide an audience through a (seemingly) emotional and inspiring experience when really being the exact opposite.  Because at the end of the day INDEPENDENCE DAY isn't a story so much as a ride, one so carefully constructed in its disrespectful inanity that I actually found myself insulted.

INDEPENDENCE DAY is a product without any actual feeling or meaning or truth behind the loud and fiery façade, and is actually possibly the single most manipulative movie I’ve ever witnessed.  DRIVE, THE AVENGERS, and THE DARK KNIGHT are all examples of films that manage to be extraordinarily affective stories without forcing anything down my throat or manipulating me into feeling certain things at certain times.  Now I have no problem feeling what flimmaker wants me to feel - that's part of the point of telling a story in the first place.  But what does bug me is when I have no choice because they have technically tapped into the right places without respecting me enough to get there on my own.  And INDEPENDENCE DAY is shameless in such manipulation, because it knows that there is nothing but air beneath the surface.  A lot of people complain about certain movies being "Oscar Bait," and it is my opinion that INDEPENDENCE DAY is an action movie cut from the exact same cloth.  It's "Action Bait," and poorly done at that on any level beyond the techinical achievement of blowing miniatures up.

ID4 UnPop pic 1

"It's like in chess: First, you strategically position your pieces and when the timing is right you strike. They're using this signal to synchronize their efforts and in 5 hours the countdown will be over."

I won't spend too much time on plot holes, though there's one in particular that just... well, it bugs the shit out of me because the entire plot hinges on this development.  When looking for some way in which to fly the alien spacecraft found in Area 51, Will Smith steps forward and says "I've seen the way they maneuver, Sir."  Then he gets inside the ship... and knows how to use it.  Because he was chased by it through a canyon.  The rest of the movie cannot happen if Smith is unable to fly the ship, and yet he is able to without much trouble beyond a humorous hitch or two (pun intended).  Yeah, there's some sort of diagram that kind of shows him what to do, but that shit's still left extremely vague.

And speaking of the aliens, talk about some bland design.  I suppose it was kind of cute to have stereotypical aliens be wearing scary suits (for whatever reason), but the suits and the ships and the aliens themselves were one and all completely boring in their depiction and execution.  Maybe the intention in the mind of Roland Emmerich was that the point of the movie wasn't having cool enemies so much as having humanity unite in the face of a vast threat, but that doesn't mean I can't find it extremely frustrating that what seems to be just about zero thought was put into the design of anything found in this movie. 

ID4 UnPop pic 2

"Now that's what I call a close encounter."

Hearkening back to a few paragraphs ago, the design is really a perfect example of how INDEPENDENCE DAY is utterly vapid and unexciting despite pretending to be otherwise - the aliens are only threatening because 1) they generally blow shit up and 2) everyone says that they're threatening.  There's absolutely nothing in their design, methods, or goals that inspires me to be afraid and hope that they're defeated.  And no, I don't want humanity to be destroyed, but you know what I mean.  I only want those things because the movie tells me that I do, not because I came to that conclusion myself due to the affective, engaging, and interesting filmmaking.  The aliens and their methods are not scary, I don't feel for the characters that they're threatening, and I couldn't care less about what happens during this movie.  This is mainly due to the fact that there just isn't enough time to develop the large cast of characters plus an entire alien invasion story, and so consquently both suffer and I care about neither.

Look, I don't hate INDEPENDENCE DAY.  But I do think that even in the realm of the popcorn blockbuster it swiftly reveals itself to be cold and lacking.  With a story that's spread far too thin, a runtime that's far too long, an art aesthetic that's far too boring, action that's far from thrilling, story beats that are far from surprising, characters that are far from complete, and a score that is as muddled as the aftermath of one of the movie's many explosions. INDEPENDENCE DAY shoots for the stars and comes up seriously short.

ID4 UnPop pic 4

"Didn't I promise you fireworks?"

Oh, and if you have any suggestions for The UnPopular Opinion I’m always happy to hear them. You can send along an email to ajstepenberg@joblo.com, spell it out below, slap it up on my wall in Movie Fan Central, or send me a private message via Movie Fan Central. Provide me with as many movie suggestions as you like, with any reasoning you'd care to share, and if I agree then you may one day see it featured in this very column!

 

CLICK IMAGE TO OPEN GALLERY & SEE MORE PICS...

Extra Tidbit: Reportedly "Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich penned the script in four weeks. It was sent out on a Thursday, and they started fielding offers the next day. By Monday, they were in pre-production."
Source: JoBlo.com

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3:59PM on 07/05/2012
I loved this film as a kid, but when going back and rewatching it as an adult, it seems to just be nostalgia that holds me. I remember loving it, but it's not very good.
I loved this film as a kid, but when going back and rewatching it as an adult, it seems to just be nostalgia that holds me. I remember loving it, but it's not very good.
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12:58PM on 07/05/2012

I agree everyone has an opinion...

Mine is... Yes it is cheesy... it has logical loopholes... but.. i loved it as a kid.. love it even now. ID4 and x files are two of my most influential childhood memories about aliens.
Mine is... Yes it is cheesy... it has logical loopholes... but.. i loved it as a kid.. love it even now. ID4 and x files are two of my most influential childhood memories about aliens.
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-3
11:32AM on 07/05/2012

EAGLE ONE FOX TWO!

I'm almost indifferent to this film. It can be fun in parts, but it does gets tiresome. It runs too long, and considering that they defeat the aliens in less than a week from their arrival it seems oddly paced and wastes time with too many characters.

Though me and my friends call out "EAGLE ONE FOX TWO", etc. as a joke whenever we throw things. I have to give the movie props for adding that to our lexicon.

I'm surprised you didn't mention the fact that the alien computer's operating
I'm almost indifferent to this film. It can be fun in parts, but it does gets tiresome. It runs too long, and considering that they defeat the aliens in less than a week from their arrival it seems oddly paced and wastes time with too many characters.

Though me and my friends call out "EAGLE ONE FOX TWO", etc. as a joke whenever we throw things. I have to give the movie props for adding that to our lexicon.

I'm surprised you didn't mention the fact that the alien computer's operating system coincidentally is compatible with our mid 90's Macs. The aliens are taken out too easily (just fly a plane into their laser beam?). For super advanced aliens they sure let their weak points be extremely vulnerable.

After one of my film classes I overheard a fellow student as the professor: "What do you think is the greatest film from the 90's?" I forget what the teacher's answer was, because the student chimed in his answer completely straight faced "Independence Day. It's got everything you could want in a movie. It's perfect."
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5:01AM on 07/05/2012
Apologies for the double post.
Apologies for the double post.
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5:01AM on 07/05/2012
I'm with Paul Shirey on this one. Yes, most of the film makes no sense and you can pick it apart any which way, there are some incredibly corny moments and some of it is dated... but I still hold a special place in my heart for it and love it unabashedly. I don't think this article was justified (it's easy to hate on Independence Day, there are far more worthy films to have an unpopular opinion of).
I'm with Paul Shirey on this one. Yes, most of the film makes no sense and you can pick it apart any which way, there are some incredibly corny moments and some of it is dated... but I still hold a special place in my heart for it and love it unabashedly. I don't think this article was justified (it's easy to hate on Independence Day, there are far more worthy films to have an unpopular opinion of).
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10:26PM on 07/04/2012
I agree, to a certain extent. The aliens aren't that threatening in design and are only 'badass' in their ship. A plothole that always bothered me was the whole "they came from the moon" thing. Will Smith does deliver a good amount of fun though.
I agree, to a certain extent. The aliens aren't that threatening in design and are only 'badass' in their ship. A plothole that always bothered me was the whole "they came from the moon" thing. Will Smith does deliver a good amount of fun though.
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-3
9:42PM on 07/04/2012

Hold up...

Are you serious? When did anyone ever praise this film as being a quality movie? This is like saying you are going against the grain and criticizing Nickelback. Sure, it's popular, but no one ever really thought it was a quality. It was a summer, special effects movie which was synonymous with stupidity for most of the 90s. Unless I'm mistaken the reviews for this film at the time of its release were pretty mediocre. Not sure how you are fighting the mainstream on this one.
Are you serious? When did anyone ever praise this film as being a quality movie? This is like saying you are going against the grain and criticizing Nickelback. Sure, it's popular, but no one ever really thought it was a quality. It was a summer, special effects movie which was synonymous with stupidity for most of the 90s. Unless I'm mistaken the reviews for this film at the time of its release were pretty mediocre. Not sure how you are fighting the mainstream on this one.
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9:26PM on 07/04/2012

Didn't understand this point

"The aliens and their methods are not scary, I don't feel for the characters that they're threatening". Entire cities being destroyed is pretty scary. Or maybe you mean the creatures themselves? I would still have to disagree. I worked at a theater when ID4 came out and every showing the audience always jumped durning the Area 51 "alien attack" sequence. Sure the scene wasn't horror movie level of scary but it well shot and the Brent Spiner puppet was exceptionally creepy. It definitely
"The aliens and their methods are not scary, I don't feel for the characters that they're threatening". Entire cities being destroyed is pretty scary. Or maybe you mean the creatures themselves? I would still have to disagree. I worked at a theater when ID4 came out and every showing the audience always jumped durning the Area 51 "alien attack" sequence. Sure the scene wasn't horror movie level of scary but it well shot and the Brent Spiner puppet was exceptionally creepy. It definitely showed that an unarmed alien was threatening.
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8:23PM on 07/04/2012

Affective?

You use the word "affective" three times. In the immortal words of Inigo Montoya in The Princess Bride: "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." I think you might mean "effective." Or maybe I'm wrong? It's just that I've never seen anyone use that word even once. And you, well, you keep using it. Here's what it means: af∑fec∑tive ( -f k t v). adj. Psychology. 1. Influenced by or resulting from the emotions. 2. Concerned with or arousing feelings or emotions;
You use the word "affective" three times. In the immortal words of Inigo Montoya in The Princess Bride: "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." I think you might mean "effective." Or maybe I'm wrong? It's just that I've never seen anyone use that word even once. And you, well, you keep using it. Here's what it means: af∑fec∑tive ( -f k t v). adj. Psychology. 1. Influenced by or resulting from the emotions. 2. Concerned with or arousing feelings or emotions; emotional.
Whereas, here's what "effective" means: producing a decided, decisive, or desired effect, eg. an effective policy.
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1:31AM on 07/05/2012
Good eye and good reference, but yes, I use the word "affective" because it's exactly what I meant. It was my intention to explain that I wasn't affected on an emotional level, that my emotions were not aroused by what I was witnessing. So if when I say things such as "...are all examples of films that manage to be extraordinarily affective stories..." I'm referring to the fact that they generate an emotional response in me. Meaning it might then be said that "Christopher Nolan's
Good eye and good reference, but yes, I use the word "affective" because it's exactly what I meant. It was my intention to explain that I wasn't affected on an emotional level, that my emotions were not aroused by what I was witnessing. So if when I say things such as "...are all examples of films that manage to be extraordinarily affective stories..." I'm referring to the fact that they generate an emotional response in me. Meaning it might then be said that "Christopher Nolan's storytelling methods are very effective, and it was due to this fact that I found Harvey Dent's conflict to be very affective." That example sentence may be a bit clunky, and for that I apologize, but I think it still serves.
1:35AM on 07/05/2012
Then again, perhaps I'm using the word with the correct intention but in an incorrect manner. I'll do some research and ask around and see if I can't be more clear in the future!
Then again, perhaps I'm using the word with the correct intention but in an incorrect manner. I'll do some research and ask around and see if I can't be more clear in the future!
8:20PM on 07/04/2012
I get what you're saying. And I agree. Kind of. But for me this popcorn, however manipulative it may be, is my brand. I dig the complex character relations, even if there are too many of them to go deep (would really like to know more about Russell Case in particular). The special effects, while dated a little, do hold up well enough. The aliens themselves are a bit of an afterthought, and I find the Roswell story a bit cheesy, and Will Smith's character, Vivica Fox, etc. is the weakest of the
I get what you're saying. And I agree. Kind of. But for me this popcorn, however manipulative it may be, is my brand. I dig the complex character relations, even if there are too many of them to go deep (would really like to know more about Russell Case in particular). The special effects, while dated a little, do hold up well enough. The aliens themselves are a bit of an afterthought, and I find the Roswell story a bit cheesy, and Will Smith's character, Vivica Fox, etc. is the weakest of the three story branches. "Independence Day" is one of those movies that succeeds not because it's all that great, but because it took an idea that had been done before (alien invasion) and did it on a grander, and more realistic scale than had been done at that time. That the ultimate payoff isn't what it could have been doesn't mean that much to me cuz I enjoyed it when I was eleven and I have enjoyed it plenty since. Even the stupid twists that don't exactly make sense fall in that gray area of "Why not?" But if this movie came out now I'd probably be just a might more critical. It did begin Emmerich's reign of destruction, which I'm not that much of a fan of, but I know some people don't mind.
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7:55PM on 07/04/2012
I enjoyed it when it came out but over the yrs it doesn't do anything for me. I always thought that Will Smith and Randy Quaid ruined it. Will Smith with his over the top bs and Quaid's character was just an idiot and his I'm back scene with the jet is just retarded. I thought Bill Pullman was a decent president and Goldblum was watchable. The special effects were killer which is why everyone wanted to see it. I mean who doesn't enjoy the scene with the White House getting blown to hell.
I enjoyed it when it came out but over the yrs it doesn't do anything for me. I always thought that Will Smith and Randy Quaid ruined it. Will Smith with his over the top bs and Quaid's character was just an idiot and his I'm back scene with the jet is just retarded. I thought Bill Pullman was a decent president and Goldblum was watchable. The special effects were killer which is why everyone wanted to see it. I mean who doesn't enjoy the scene with the White House getting blown to hell. THe film would be a lot better if they had cut out Smith and Quaid imo.

Oh and the fact that a movie this old needs a spoiler warning just shows what a bunch of cry-babies people are today.
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7:12PM on 07/04/2012
The alien spacecraft at Area 51 had been dissected and researched. They had added Bucket Seats and instructions. At this point, anyone really could have flown the thing. Will Smith was simply saying that he was probably the most qualified to fly it to the mothership, because he had seen how they maneuver. They were going to be flying through lots of enemy crafts. They needed the movements of the ship to be believable.
The alien spacecraft at Area 51 had been dissected and researched. They had added Bucket Seats and instructions. At this point, anyone really could have flown the thing. Will Smith was simply saying that he was probably the most qualified to fly it to the mothership, because he had seen how they maneuver. They were going to be flying through lots of enemy crafts. They needed the movements of the ship to be believable.
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2:21AM on 07/05/2012
That's like saying I can be a race driver because I've seen how the cars go round the circuit....please
That's like saying I can be a race driver because I've seen how the cars go round the circuit....please
4:36PM on 07/04/2012
Worst part: The alien, which later rips apart a bunch of scientists and nearly kills the President with his mind...gets knocked out for hours and hours because Will Smith punches his SUIT...not his head, but the other alien he was wearing over himself.
He punched the alien in its OUTFIT.
Worst part: The alien, which later rips apart a bunch of scientists and nearly kills the President with his mind...gets knocked out for hours and hours because Will Smith punches his SUIT...not his head, but the other alien he was wearing over himself.
He punched the alien in its OUTFIT.
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+9
3:44PM on 07/04/2012

I love the end of this movie

BIllions of people have been killed, most of the world's infrastructure is demolished, massive alien ships are plummeting to the ground and probably polluting the environment but they are all smoking cigars and laughing.
BIllions of people have been killed, most of the world's infrastructure is demolished, massive alien ships are plummeting to the ground and probably polluting the environment but they are all smoking cigars and laughing.
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+7
3:09PM on 07/04/2012
A good movie? Certainly not. Highly enjoyable? Well, my 15 year old self loved the film and my inner 15 year old self still loves it. The film has the charm of a big budget, action blockbuster. It's the same with so many 80's action films. This is one of those 90's action films that isn't great, but a lot of fun.
A good movie? Certainly not. Highly enjoyable? Well, my 15 year old self loved the film and my inner 15 year old self still loves it. The film has the charm of a big budget, action blockbuster. It's the same with so many 80's action films. This is one of those 90's action films that isn't great, but a lot of fun.
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+13
3:04PM on 07/04/2012

Ha

Really this fucker liked Doomsday but did not like Independence Day. They should change the name of the article to The Trollers Opinion.
Really this fucker liked Doomsday but did not like Independence Day. They should change the name of the article to The Trollers Opinion.
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2:49PM on 07/04/2012

Dude, you're taking this film waaay too seriously....

I can understand your viewpoint, might even agree that this film lacks in properly thoughtout designs and detailings......But I HAVE TO say, man this film still entertains me to this day! I know the dialogs are corny, the situations cheesy, but still its too damn fun to watch it every time its on TV. And I did care about some of the the main characters and their motivations, mainly because Goldblum, Pullman and Smith are just seem very earnest as the leads.This is a good old fashioned old
I can understand your viewpoint, might even agree that this film lacks in properly thoughtout designs and detailings......But I HAVE TO say, man this film still entertains me to this day! I know the dialogs are corny, the situations cheesy, but still its too damn fun to watch it every time its on TV. And I did care about some of the the main characters and their motivations, mainly because Goldblum, Pullman and Smith are just seem very earnest as the leads.This is a good old fashioned old school Hollywood disaster flick like the AIRPORT, TOWERING INFERNO, EARTHQUAKE or POSEIDON ADVENTURE (though that was much better), as in it has servicable characters to deal with a particulerly nasty bit of natural or other kinds of disaster. And as far as aliens attacking type flick goes, 16 years later and it's still is the ultimate allout alien invasion movie out there.

Finally, I DO have to disagree with you being that aliens weren't scary. The true terror of aliens doesn't lie with how much fucked up the actual alien looks or behaves, its the TOTAL INDIFFERENTNESS about killing a planet full of people just because we're not on the top food chain anymore, and most importantly the TOTAL HELPLESSNESS of mankind in an overwhelming situation like that. Even after thousands of years of development, in the end we can do NOTHING about preventing our extinction, THAT IS SCARY. I still remember the absolute despair on the face of Bill Pullman after the failed nuclear strike, yeah THAT shit was scary alright. Plus, the actual aliens looked & behaved pretty fuckup too if I recall, remember the operation theater sequence and the way it talked through the voice of the dead scientist? That looked (and sounded) way creepy to me.

Anyway, I know ALL of the misgivings and problems with the storylines and character developments, in the end its all about if you can just go with it or not. I for one, had gone on the ride for may be like a dozen times, and won't have any problem going another dozen or so in the future too. Shoot me.

And FYI, THE LOSERS was TOTAL SHIT. It truly isn't fair to talk about "missed opportunities" of ID4 if you can like that big pile of....missed opportunities.
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2:45PM on 07/04/2012

Mostly agree

I'm of the same mind on this for the most part. I loved this when it came out...LOVED IT! I praised it to the high heavens. Then, my brain developed a bit more and the burden of logic arrived at my doorstep (and yeah, I get the irony of logic in an alien invasion movie). There will always be a special place for ID4 for nostalgia's sake, but man...it is an awful, illogical, hokey mess sandwiched between some animated performances and bada boom effects. That doesn't mean it's not a good
I'm of the same mind on this for the most part. I loved this when it came out...LOVED IT! I praised it to the high heavens. Then, my brain developed a bit more and the burden of logic arrived at my doorstep (and yeah, I get the irony of logic in an alien invasion movie). There will always be a special place for ID4 for nostalgia's sake, but man...it is an awful, illogical, hokey mess sandwiched between some animated performances and bada boom effects. That doesn't mean it's not a good time...it's just a very different good time than it was when it originally hit theaters.
Oh, and the score by David Arnold is classic. Absolutely not muddled. See James Newton Howard's score for Green Lantern or Snow White and The Huntsman for that.
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5:01AM on 07/05/2012
Agreed!
Agreed!
1:40PM on 07/04/2012
Thank you Alejandro

This movie stinks. The set-up is fantastic (the first hour of the film leading to the cities getting torched), the follow through is beyond stupid. Hollow, cliched characters. Cringe-inducing dialog (Oh you did not just shoot that green shit at me...ugggghhh) and a non-sensical ending.

Not to mention that culturally its biggest impact was to later inspire a real life President into thinking he was an actual fighter pilot.
Thank you Alejandro

This movie stinks. The set-up is fantastic (the first hour of the film leading to the cities getting torched), the follow through is beyond stupid. Hollow, cliched characters. Cringe-inducing dialog (Oh you did not just shoot that green shit at me...ugggghhh) and a non-sensical ending.

Not to mention that culturally its biggest impact was to later inspire a real life President into thinking he was an actual fighter pilot.
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+1
1:22PM on 07/04/2012

Interesting...

..I'm always surprised to see the movies that land in this column. And it's hard to accept your credebility when you mention as examples for great movies "The Losers" and Doomsday". Seriously?! The Losers had the WORST antagonist that I have ever seen in a movie, and don't even make me start on Doomsday!
For ID4, it's been more than 10 years since i've seen it. Totally rewatching this. Nostalgia is probably gonna make it as fun as when I was a kid. ;)
..I'm always surprised to see the movies that land in this column. And it's hard to accept your credebility when you mention as examples for great movies "The Losers" and Doomsday". Seriously?! The Losers had the WORST antagonist that I have ever seen in a movie, and don't even make me start on Doomsday!
For ID4, it's been more than 10 years since i've seen it. Totally rewatching this. Nostalgia is probably gonna make it as fun as when I was a kid. ;)
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+7
1:13PM on 07/04/2012

Wow

I'm suprised by all the hate. This movie is still fantastic to this day. Also, the new layout sucks. Hope the bugs get worked in time for your Comic-Con coverage!
I'm suprised by all the hate. This movie is still fantastic to this day. Also, the new layout sucks. Hope the bugs get worked in time for your Comic-Con coverage!
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12:31PM on 07/04/2012
To this day, this movie remains the very worst of all the 'Lassie' sequels.
To this day, this movie remains the very worst of all the 'Lassie' sequels.
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12:30PM on 07/04/2012
I don't like this movie at all. Always thought I was the only one. Nice to see I'm not alone!
I don't like this movie at all. Always thought I was the only one. Nice to see I'm not alone!
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+13
12:29PM on 07/04/2012
I don't hear people calling this film a masterpiece, but just a fun action film. I still think the action/visuals are cool, and even like the main cast in the film (Smith, Goldblum and Pullman). Yes, nostalgia plays a part in my enjoyment b/c this was one of the first alien invasion movies I saw as a kid, but its still one of the better alien invasion movies in recent years (certainly better than Skyline or Battle: LA).
I don't hear people calling this film a masterpiece, but just a fun action film. I still think the action/visuals are cool, and even like the main cast in the film (Smith, Goldblum and Pullman). Yes, nostalgia plays a part in my enjoyment b/c this was one of the first alien invasion movies I saw as a kid, but its still one of the better alien invasion movies in recent years (certainly better than Skyline or Battle: LA).
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12:01PM on 07/04/2012
I like it. I have the Directors Cut DVD and whilst the extras don't add much it does flesh a few bits out.
This is one of those films that requires you to suspend all belief in reality and just go with it. I am happy to do so for most of Emmercich's films TBH.
I like it. I have the Directors Cut DVD and whilst the extras don't add much it does flesh a few bits out.
This is one of those films that requires you to suspend all belief in reality and just go with it. I am happy to do so for most of Emmercich's films TBH.
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11:58AM on 07/04/2012

Good to hear it

Even when I was 11 and saw this in the cinemas i felt it was overrated, bloated garbage, a fun premise that was totally hampered by lame filmmaking. I ve disliked the film so much ive avoided anything by Emmerich since, which is ironic because my fav film growing up was Universal Solider, you cant win them all i guess
Even when I was 11 and saw this in the cinemas i felt it was overrated, bloated garbage, a fun premise that was totally hampered by lame filmmaking. I ve disliked the film so much ive avoided anything by Emmerich since, which is ironic because my fav film growing up was Universal Solider, you cant win them all i guess
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-2
11:47AM on 07/04/2012
hahaha.. I just watched it again for the Awfully Good sentiment and was laughing at myself the whole time for liking it. It is beyond dumb on an unimaginable level, yet it manages to keep you glued to the screen. I have to admit it, when it came out I went to the theater SEVERAL times. So yeah.. guilty as charged for liking this piece of cinematic crap. Then again you might be drunk as hell and still be able to save the planet... how is that for a good ol' family inspiration?
hahaha.. I just watched it again for the Awfully Good sentiment and was laughing at myself the whole time for liking it. It is beyond dumb on an unimaginable level, yet it manages to keep you glued to the screen. I have to admit it, when it came out I went to the theater SEVERAL times. So yeah.. guilty as charged for liking this piece of cinematic crap. Then again you might be drunk as hell and still be able to save the planet... how is that for a good ol' family inspiration?
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11:47AM on 07/04/2012
"Cold and lacking"? This movie has action, romance, drama, science-fiction, horror. It's pure popcorn flick.
"Cold and lacking"? This movie has action, romance, drama, science-fiction, horror. It's pure popcorn flick.
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-2
11:44AM on 07/04/2012
I agree with everything you say cause there all valid points. I loved this movie when it came out and watched it twice in theaters and then bought it on VHS and probably watched it another 50 times when I was a kid. The reason I still enjoy it (and probably most people who enjoy it) is purely for nostolgic reasons. If this flick had come out now exactly the way it is I dont think most people would like it as much as they do. This flick to me represents exactly what a Hollywood popcorn flick was
I agree with everything you say cause there all valid points. I loved this movie when it came out and watched it twice in theaters and then bought it on VHS and probably watched it another 50 times when I was a kid. The reason I still enjoy it (and probably most people who enjoy it) is purely for nostolgic reasons. If this flick had come out now exactly the way it is I dont think most people would like it as much as they do. This flick to me represents exactly what a Hollywood popcorn flick was in the 90's. Its the "so bad its good" kind of enjoyment that we get out of it now. Being 10 when I originally watched it it blew my mind away and cause of that I still enjoy it to this day.
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11:44AM on 07/04/2012
Alejandro, thank you a hundred times for publishing what so many of us have been thinking. The movie Independence Day is shallow, specious spectacle. It has less substance and true emotion than a fireworks display. The film could have been at least that moving, but it managed somehow to not be despite its manipulative use of visual and music. Independence Day was not thoughtful sci-fi, and it could have been. It had great themes and events with which to work. It was not a great heroic tale.
Alejandro, thank you a hundred times for publishing what so many of us have been thinking. The movie Independence Day is shallow, specious spectacle. It has less substance and true emotion than a fireworks display. The film could have been at least that moving, but it managed somehow to not be despite its manipulative use of visual and music. Independence Day was not thoughtful sci-fi, and it could have been. It had great themes and events with which to work. It was not a great heroic tale. Pullman's speech was fucken terrible; compare it to Freeman's presidential speech in Deep Impact or most other Hollywood speeches. Smith was not a great hero; he was a hackneyed and potentially-offensive stereotype. Compare him to most action heroes in most other films. Hell, compare him to most blacksploitation action heroes; he is clownish. Emmerich's Independence Day is not a great comment on America in time of crisis. The film keeps the emotions way too light.
Independence Day is a sci-fi Pearl Harbor. Bay's movie exploited patriotism for dollars, so did Independence Day. Thank you again for this column.
Happy 4th, buddy!
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10:56AM on 07/04/2012
Jeff Goldblum's reaction to this article:

[link]
Jeff Goldblum's reaction to this article:

[link]
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9:46AM on 07/04/2012
I loved this movie when I was younger. I watch it now and it's definitely corny... but still terrific popcorn fun--nothing more.
I loved this movie when I was younger. I watch it now and it's definitely corny... but still terrific popcorn fun--nothing more.
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9:45AM on 07/04/2012

Wait, what?

How is this even remotely the 'unpopular' opinion? Everyone rips on Independence Day.. =/
How is this even remotely the 'unpopular' opinion? Everyone rips on Independence Day.. =/
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9:39AM on 07/04/2012

Wait, what?

How is this even remotely the 'unpopular' opinion? Everyone rips on Independence Day.. =/
How is this even remotely the 'unpopular' opinion? Everyone rips on Independence Day.. =/
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9:22AM on 07/04/2012
I always think writers can say whatever they want, as long as they provide good valid reasons, and that is what has been done here. However, I did love this film very much and feel quite sentimental about it, somehow. I had so much fun watching it, really enjoyed how large-scale the action was, and while the story and characters are of course really cheesy it all worked with the tone of the story. Also, I want to see a movie where Harrison Ford's president James Marshall from Air Force One runs
I always think writers can say whatever they want, as long as they provide good valid reasons, and that is what has been done here. However, I did love this film very much and feel quite sentimental about it, somehow. I had so much fun watching it, really enjoyed how large-scale the action was, and while the story and characters are of course really cheesy it all worked with the tone of the story. Also, I want to see a movie where Harrison Ford's president James Marshall from Air Force One runs against Bill Pullman's president in this film!
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9:05AM on 07/04/2012

Don't agree at all but that's me...

This movie fucking rocks me from beginning to end. Sure there are many moments in the plot that make no fucking sense at all including most of the science however with Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum fighting aliens, your argument becomes invalid. Love the action, the FX and models have really held up and it's just an overall blast. I still think it's the best alien invasion movie ever made, better than both WAR OF THE WORLDS to be honest.

It also contains one of my top 10 funniest movie scenes
This movie fucking rocks me from beginning to end. Sure there are many moments in the plot that make no fucking sense at all including most of the science however with Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum fighting aliens, your argument becomes invalid. Love the action, the FX and models have really held up and it's just an overall blast. I still think it's the best alien invasion movie ever made, better than both WAR OF THE WORLDS to be honest.

It also contains one of my top 10 funniest movie scenes ever...."AND WHAT THE HELL IS THAT SMELL?!??!"
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8:56AM on 07/04/2012
Thanks for that. I was wowed by my first viewing of this movie and ran back to see it THE NEXT DAY with friends. Thats when i started to really listen to the bad dialogue and get annoyed with the stolen War of the Worlds plotine (down to the virus that kills the baddies). But nothing got me like that goddamn dog surviving EVERYTHING. stupid dog.
Thanks for that. I was wowed by my first viewing of this movie and ran back to see it THE NEXT DAY with friends. Thats when i started to really listen to the bad dialogue and get annoyed with the stolen War of the Worlds plotine (down to the virus that kills the baddies). But nothing got me like that goddamn dog surviving EVERYTHING. stupid dog.
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-2
8:51AM on 07/04/2012

Thank you!

I thought I was the only one
I thought I was the only one
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8:30AM on 07/04/2012
Another excellent article by you. You make some great points and have sound judgement of the movie, but I 100% disagree with you - even though I hated the dog in the tunnel- I had a lot of fun with the movie. To me it's an "it is what it is" movie and that doesn't bother me at all. You could actually copy and paste some of what you said into a War Horse article - talk about a movie trying to force you how to feel. Always look forward to your "unpopular opinions."
Another excellent article by you. You make some great points and have sound judgement of the movie, but I 100% disagree with you - even though I hated the dog in the tunnel- I had a lot of fun with the movie. To me it's an "it is what it is" movie and that doesn't bother me at all. You could actually copy and paste some of what you said into a War Horse article - talk about a movie trying to force you how to feel. Always look forward to your "unpopular opinions."
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