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Independence Day


Directed by Roland Emmerich
Released in 1996
Starring Bill Pullman as President Thomas J. Whitmore, Jeff Goldblum as David Levinson, Will Smith as Captain Steven Hiller, Margaret Colin as Constance Spano, Randy Quaid as Russell Casse, Vivica A. Fox as Jasmine Dubrow, Judd Hirsch as Julius Levinson, Robert Loggia as General William Grey, Brent Spiner as Dr. Okun, Mary McDonnell as First Lady Marilyn Whitmore, James Duval as Miguel, Harry Connick Jr. as Captain Jimmy Wilder, Mae Whitman as Patricia Whitmore, Kiersten Warren as Tiffany and Harvey Fierstein as Marty Gilbert

This is a review of the EXTENDED CUT, which runs at 154 minutes, vs. the Theatrical Cut's 145 minutes.

In my opinion, this is one of the best movies of all time. I remember after I first saw this -- I think it was the DAY IT CAME OUT in 1996 -- AT THE VERY FIRST SHOWING (it was, like, 11 AM) -- I came out of this movie thinking it was the best film I had ever seen. And after watching it again in HD on a big TV, I still feel like... it's one of the greatest films ever. I'm pretty sure it was left off the '90s Countdown, which is a gross mistake, and a big testament to why this website is total crap except for perhaps my presence being among you.

Independence Day is a spiritual experience. At least it is for me. Some of you aren't so spiritual. This movie seems like a tribute to Star Wars in a way, as well as Alien and other outer space movies. To me, this is MY Star Wars. You know how people have had spiritual experiences with the Star Wars movies? Well, Star Wars doesn't really impact me the way Independence Day can. Independence Day is my religious space movie.

In this movie, ordinary citizens of Planet Earth are confronted with a power greater than themselves -- and ultimately, they discover that they can be just as powerful. In case you know NOTHING about this movie... it's about alien ships (MASSIVE alien ships) that come to Earth. At first, nobody knows what their intentions are. Then, the truth -- probably the obvious truth -- is revealed: They're going to kill us all.

The first hour or so of the movie is the best -- everything that happens on July 2nd. That's when the alien ships arrive and everybody freaks out and we get to know the main characters and finally, they start blowing up things. Starting on July 3rd... the film does get weaker, I think. But not too weak. It just doesn't have the same impact and feeling as the first hour. Will Smith takes over and turns it into a comedy. I fear the lack of Will Smith in the upcoming sequel, Independence Day: Resurgence, might greatly lessen that film. His sort of over-the-top delivery of comedic lines shows a brute strength and ballsy bravery that carries along the rest of the film, which could have plummeted to boringness without him.

Creepy eyed Jeff Goldblum, displaying a sexy, muscled chest beneath a haphazard wife-beater and a thin, cute necklace wrapped around his neck like an emblem of a God, works very well as Will Smith's brainy, genius counterpart.

Leading the charge of celebrated masculinity in this motion picture has got to be the hunky Bill Pullman as President Whitmore, who seems to sort of be mirroring a better version of our own '90s prez, Bill Clinton. Note how they're both Bills.

Even Randy Quaid pulls in the punches as lovable drunken redneck mess Russell Casse, a former victim of alien abduction who now cropdusts for a living (though you never see any crop circles, for some reason).

On the female side of things, '70s Blaxploitation queen Pam Grier herself seems to be resurrected in the form of Vivica A. Fox, who plays Will Smith's single mom girlfriend, a tough survivor chick who also works as a sassy stripper. She finds herself in a Mad Max world after the aliens have destroyed her city, and she even leads a mission picking up stragglers and survivors of the carnage in an abandoned maintenance pick-up truck that she's taken control of. Now THIS is the woman who should have been Tom Hardy's partner in that bland-in-the-sand Mad Max: Fury Road.

She's FAR, far better than that robotic Sinead O'Connor that Charlize Theron portrayed.

There's really not much else to say. For some reason, I'm just not feeling like writing much about the film right now. I just came to tell you all that it's one of the best films ever made and you really need to take it more seriously if you don't. If you liked Mrs. Doubtfire, you'll like this movie, since somehow Harvey Fierstein (Mrs. Doubtfire's brother) and Lisa Jakub (Mrs. Doubtfire's daughter) found their way into this picture. Harvey Fierstein literally makes Independence Day at least 25% better just from his scenes alone, and there's more of him in the Extended Cut. Now about that Extended Cut -- I wasn't exactly sure which scenes were new, but I figured the ones that FELT new to me probably were, and there were a lot of moments like that. For the most part, I greatly enjoyed the Extended Cut more than the Theatrical Cut. It mostly runs seamlessly. There was one moment that I thought kinda felt off. But for the most part, it shows and tells you new things about the movie and I think it even gave it a new experience, so I would DEFINITELY check out the Extended Cut of Independence Day if you haven't already.

I guess that's all I have to say. I don't have to always be so funny all the time with my reviews, do I? I can't think of much to say. I haven't ate today. This is a SERIOUS movie. This is about the end of the world.

This is about how small we are in the grand scheme of things and how one day, everything we thought we knew could be totally changed. BRACE YOURSELVES. You never know when something MAJOR might come your way.