My Favorite Movies #45 – Independence Day

Independence Day - PosterIndependence Day

1996

Directed by Roland Emmerich

Quick synopsis… When aliens in an enormous spacecraft suddenly arrive in Earth’s atmosphere and start blowing things up, it falls to a cocky pilot (Will Smith) and a goofy scientist (Jeff Goldblum) to save the planet from total destruction. With plenty of action, special effects sequences and pithy one-liners, Independence Day is one of the 1990s’ best popcorn flicks. Bill Pullman co-stars as the gung-ho president who urges his citizens to fight back.

  • First of all… Who wrote that synopsis for Netflix?
  • “Cocky pilot”? “Goofy scientist”? “Gung-ho president”?
  • You’re a multi-billion dollar company and you pay people to write short synopses for the movies you still send people in the mail. You can’t do better than that?
  • Anyone else remember seeing the first advertisement for Independence Day during Super Bowl XXX?
  • I was at a party with the kids in my youth group from church and we were all hushed by the image of the White House exploding.
  • Who wasn’t planning to see this movie after a teaser like that?
  • I’m curious… Had we ever seen mass destruction on this kind of scale prior to this movie?
  • I know disaster movies have come and gone over the years with classics like The Towering InfernoThe Poseidon Adventure, and Earthquake.
  • But none of those depicted the absolute annihilation of major cities around the world.
  • I also wonder how the story for this movie came about?
  • I picture Emmerich and Dean Devlin sitting down and one of them asking the question, “What if aliens showed up with flying saucers the size of New York City?”
  • I’m sure the real story is available at Wikipedia.
  • I just don’t feel like digging right now.
  • It’s late on Sunday evening as I do this and I’ve had a rough day.
  • I know you probably don’t care what kind of day I’ve had…
  • Just know that’s why I’m only halfway interested in this whole thing right now…
  • Sorry… it’s actually been a rough week.
  • But that has nothing to do with Independence Day or aliens coming to earth.
  • Is it safe to say that this is the film that launched Will Smith into super stardom?
  • I mean, I know he had the music career and Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was a successful series.
  • But this is what made him a movie star, right?
  • Because after that came Men in BlackAliWild Wild West… okay, let’s not talk about Wild Wild West.
  • Bill Pullman was impressive as President Whitmore who, by the way, I listed as one of six fictional presidents I’d have rather seen run for president back in 2016.
  • If you don’t get chills from his speech near the end of the film, I question your ability to get chills from anything.
  • Oh, and Jeff Goldblum is about as Jeff Goldblum as he can get. Except maybe for Jurassic Park.
  • You don’t need me to tell you this movie is worth watching.
  • If you haven’t seen it, give it a go.
  • You’re okay skipping the 20 years later sequel, Independence Day: Resurgence.
  • And try not to judge the movie based on its special effects.
  • They haven’t aged well.
  • But the snappy one-liners and Pullman’s speech make the whole thing worth it.

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