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Independence Day Resurgence (Review)

id4-gallery2-gallery-imageI am a big fan of the original Independence Day and I saw it four times in the theater and at least 3 times a year ever since. I understand that the sequel was not liked by fans and critics alike. I did enjoy Independence Day Resurgence but my feelings are mixed. I have watched it several times to sort out just how I felt about this movie. First of all, I JUST love alien invasion movies and that on its own will already earn some praise from me.

One point I want to make is that if a person goes into this movie expecting it to be similar or just like the original ID4 then they are bound to be disappointed. If, however, you approach this with an open mind and accept the movie for what it is…a lighthearted science-fiction action and adventure movie…I think there are things in this film to enjoy.

I will review the movie by revealing my pros & cons. Remember, not all pros and cons are of equal value. I will start with the cons first.

1). Too many characters. Its not that I wasn’t able to keep track of them, its just that there were too many to keep track of and that bogged down the story.

2). Not enough tension. I think with the concentration and focus on the many relationships the movie lost a sense of dread and immanent danger annihilation the first movie had. I never had that sense of tension that our characters were in real trouble.

3) Poor pacing. The original was well paced and I think the poor pacing of this movie is due to trying to cram the stories of all the characters within this movie.

Now for the pros.

1). I liked the focus on the original characters and it was good to see them back! I specifically liked the performances of Jeff Goldblum, Judd Hirsch and Brent Spiner as Dr. Okun. Spiner’s character had much more screen time and did provide comic relief and was just a hoot. For those who think his character died watch the original once again. As the alien is using him to speak through, Okun’s fingers are against the glass and are moving showing he is alive. Plus, when we first see Dr. Okun in IDR he is shown moving his fingers before he awakes. That is a nice subtle touch!

2). Great Special Effects. I am unapologetic about my love of eye candy known as special effects. This movie was a delight on the eyes and senses and for me that was very entertaining.

independenceday2-destruction

3). The Alien Queen. I am also a lover of Kaiju movies (giant monsters) and the Alien Queen was just great as a giant monster…Loved it!

4). More Science-Fiction. i loved how they showed how much the earth has changed due to the incorporation of alien technology on the human race. Although this could also fit under the special effects reasons why I enjoyed the movie, I single this out because it was done so well and it is what made the movie different from the original (in a good way).

5). Action and adventure. This had a lot of action, more aliens, great battles and ton of destruction porn!

6). Decent story. Despite the character overload the story is pretty good. I did care about the characters, I hated to see Jasmine Hiller’s character die, and it was interesting and entertaining how they all got together to save the Earth once more.

Sure, I don’t exactly enjoy it as I did the original but this movie does have a lot going for me. I am very certain this alien invasion movie will have repeated viewings in my house.

 

Area 407 (A.K.A. Tape 407)

Area 407 (A.K.A. Tape 407)

Starring: Abigail Schrader, Samantha Lester, James Lyons, Melanie Lyons, Brendan Patrick Connor, Ken Garcia, Samantha Sloyan

Directors: Dale Fabriger, Evert Wallin

Release Date: April 27, 2012 (limited)

 This movie just popped up on my radar a day or so ago! I follow several websites dedicated to upcoming movies and it still amazes me when a movie is set to be released that I never heard of. I already have a list of movies that are being made now that are due out in 2013 and 2014. Movies like this are a pleasant surprise. I really don’t know too much about this movie except that it is an independent movie and it is part of the “found footage” genre exemplified by such movies as The Blair Witch Project, Cloverfield, Apollo 18 and the most recent movie, Chronicle, where teens develop superpowers.

 I really enjoyed Cloverfield and was all wrapped up in the viral marketing for that movie. Cloverfield was the best at first viewing because I did not know what was happening and the entire focus of the movie is not the story but the experience of the events. However, my slight disappointment with Cloverfield came with successive viewings because once the events are known the experience is greatly lessened. That has been my experience with all of these found footage movies. It remains to be seen whether Area 407 is similar in that regards.

 Since I do not know too much about the movie I will quote a plot synopsis from Commingsoon.com.

 Plot Summary: “Area 407,” features footage that feels too real for reality and too disturbing for fiction. This footage captured by two passengers on an airline flight from New York to Los Angeles spans the hours of one night until the next early morning. Boarding the plane on New Years Eve, two teenage sisters begin there impromptu filming of themselves and their fellow travelers. Unknown to them as well as the other passengers this flight is doomed from the outset.

 After taking off and soon celebrating the arrival of the new year the passengers are soon sent into shock and alarm as the plane experiences severe turbulence. The relentless weather attack causes panic and terror amongst the passengers until the plane ultimately crashes in a remote government-testing reserve.

 Soon after the crash the passengers take quick account of the few among them that remain alive. The survivors, bloody and disoriented, are pursued in the darkness by unknown predators that, unbeknownst to them, are part of the government’s top-secret Mesa Experiment. The group of individuals that are among them are diverse and struggle with a common plan to move forward with and stay alive. Without warning deaths occur and lead each person to assess what they can possibly do to evade such a lethal threat. Running through the dark and being trailed by something that cannot be fully seen, these survivors do the only thing they can, try to stay alive.