Re-Watch: Independence Day (1996)

Independence Day aka ID4
Director: Roland Emmerich
Writer: Dean Devlin, Roland Emmerich
Cast: Will SmithBill PullmanJeff GoldblumMary McDonnellJudd HirschRobert LoggiaRandy QuaidMargaret ColinVivica A. FoxJames RebhornHarvey FiersteinAdam BaldwinBrent SpinerJames Duval
Seen on: 4.8.2016

Plot:
Satellites pick up a strange signal from outer space and soon huge spaceships arrive and position themselves around the earth in strategic points. Communications expert David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum) is convinced that the aliens will attack and tries to get in touch with the President of the USA (Bill Pullman). Since the two of them don’t have the best history, this is easier said than done. When counterforces are finally mobilized – led by people like Airforce Captain Steven Hiller (Will Smith) – the aliens turn out to be near invincible. What is needed now is creative problem solving and everybody working together.

I was 11 when Independence Day came out and I don’t know how many times I’ve seen the film since, though it had been years that I’d seen it. After the catastrophe of the new film, I decided that a re-watch was in order to wash away the bitter aftertaste. An excellent decision, as ID4 is still an entertaining bit of popcorn cinema, even after all these years.

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Independence Day: Resurgence (2016)

Independence Day: Resurgence
Director: Roland Emmerich
Writer: Nicolas Wright, James A. Woods, Dean Devlin, Roland Emmerich, James Vanderbilt
Sequel to: Independence Day
Cast: Liam Hemsworth, Jeff Goldblum, Jessie T. Usher, Bill Pullman, Maika Monroe, Sela Ward, William Fichtner, Judd Hirsch, Brent Spiner, Patrick St. Esprit, Vivica A. Fox, Angelababy, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Deobia Oparei, Nicolas Wright, Travis Tope, Chin Han
Seen on: 22.7.2016

Plot:
It’s been 20 years since earth was invaded by aliens and humanity managed to fight back and win. With the alien technology left behind, we even expanded our own reach into the the universe. But what appears to be a golden time to most people, is the calm before the storm for others like former president Whitmore (Bill Pullman) who fears that the aliens will return and that they will be better prepared this time. It’s on Independence Day that his fears seem to come true and a few fighters – old and new – find themselves battling for humanity’s very existence.

I very much like the original Independence Day and I was really looking forward to this sequel, especially since it involved many of the people working on the first film. Unfortunately though, Independence Day: Resurgence is a catastrophe on pretty much every level.

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White House Down (2013)

White House Down
Director: Roland Emmerich
Writer: James Vanderbilt
Cast: Channing Tatum, Jamie Foxx, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jason Clarke, Richard Jenkins, Joey King, James Woods, Nicolas Wright, Jimmi Simpson, Rachelle Lefevre, Lance Reddick

Plot:
John Cale (Channing Tatum) is a bodyguard and wants nothing more than to work for the Secret Service and on the protection detail of the president Sawyer (Jamie Foxx). Especially because his daughter Emily (Joey King) is a huge fan of the president. So when John actually gets an interview in the White House, he takes Emily with him. Unfortunately this just happens to be the day where the White House and the president are attacked. Suddenly everything depends on John.

It is hard to not compare this film to Olympus Has Fallen. And White House Down is the clear winner in that comparison. I didn’t even have alcohol and I enjoyed pretty much every second of it, even if not everything was supposed to be as funny as it was.

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Anonymous (2011)

Anonymous
Director: Roland Emmerich
Writer: John Orloff
Cast: Rhys Ifans, Vanessa Redgrave, Sebastian Armesto, Rafe Spall, David Thewlis, Edward Hogg, Xavier Samuel, Sam Reid, Jamie Campbell Bower

Plot:
Edward De Vere (Rhys Ifans) is the Earl of Oxford and as such it is very much frowned upon that he writes plays, even though the aging Queen Elizabeth (Vanessa Redgrave) loves (his) plays very much. But Edward has the idea of letting the rather unknown writer Ben Jonson (Sebastian Armesto) take credit for his plays. But instead the obnoxious actor William Shakespeare (Rafe Spall) puts his name to it – and that is only where the trouble starts for Edward.

Holy crap, this movie was bad. I mean, I expected it to be bad, but I also expected it to be entertaining with it. But when I wasn’t headdesking, I was bored. Not what I think of as a good time. It does have its moments, but they are few and far between.

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2012 (2009)

2012 is the newest movie by Roland Emmerich, starring John Cusack, Amanda Peet, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Thandie Newton, Danny Glover, Woody Harrelson and Oliver Platt.

Plot:
Scientists make a discovery: the world is ending in 2012, the Mayans were right. So, the most powerful men of the world hatch out a plan, don’t tell anyone about it and then in 2012, one righteous man tries to save his family.
Honestly, who cares about the plot? The plot is not important.

2012 delivers what Roland Emmerich promised in Independence Day and The Day After Tomorrow: Nobody can destroy the earth just like he does. You just need to ignore the science (ridiculous), the story itself (been there, seen that times one hundred) and the (mostly) mediocre acting and enjoy the Special Effects. Since nothing about this movie is outrageously offensive, that’s easily done.

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