116 of 130 people found the following review helpful
on April 25, 2004
I am not one who usually writes online reviews, but after reading several that have trashed this movie for being something more that what it is, I feel compelled to defend this entertaining and funny work.
I will be the first to admit that although there are several unrealistic, gaping plot holes and the dialogue is corny at times, anyone who looked for REALITY in this film is taking themselves too seriously. The very nature of the story's premise would suggest to anyone who has an IQ above that of an amoeba that this film is FICTION. I saw this film in 1996 in the theater, and have watched it several times at home on my 27 inch screen. Regardless of the setting, it is still fun to watch because (take note you 2004 social activists)...IT IS NOT MEANT TO BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY! Yes, you too can enjoy the comedy, cheesy banter, and bombastic explosions this 2-hour film has to offer if you check your critical ego with the "power" button of your surround-sound home theater system. Anyone who would even TRY to somehow draw a parallel between this film (which, I repeat, was made in 1996!) and events happening in the world in 2004 need to relax. There was a reason why "Independence Day" broke box-office records when it came out, and it was because we were looking to be entertained for a few hours; we were NOT looking for a documentary on realistic intergalactic relations. So although I would normally rate this movie with 3 or 4 stars, I am going to give it 5 because for the first time I now realize how entertaining (and totally unrealistic) this movie really is. Wasn't that the purpose?
72 of 85 people found the following review helpful
on July 3, 2000
Studios are finally getting the whole DVD thing! This is a truly worth-your-money deal with lots of extras including two versions of the film; the first version is the original theatrical release and the second version is a directors cut featuring about 9 minutes of added footage not released in theatres. What's really great about this is they list what new scenes have been included and some of them are really funny and some of them make the story a lot more heartfelt. Also included is a second disc that includes a really cool mockumentary called "The ID4 Invasion" which is truly a priceless gem in this great collection. Also, there is commentary, lots of interviews with cast and crew, a special effects documentary on the making of the film and the original biplane ending which unfortunately looks really hokey and what I felt after watching it was-THANK GOD THEY DIDN'T GO WITH THAT ENDING-THAT ENDING WOULD'VE MADE THIS MOVIE A "REAL" DISASTER! For a product like this under $30 it is totally worth your money. For those who appreciated this movie as a special effects funfest, this DVD is not one to be passed up. For those of you boring types who felt this movie needed a "serious acting edge" buy Out of Africa and leave science fiction alone! Cheers!
29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on July 18, 2000
"They'll be entering our atmosphere within the next 25 minutes." HAD to put this in! This is undoubtedly one of the most fun sci-fi movies in history. The tale starts with a ship roughly 1/4 size of the moon entering orbit of earth, only to send down multiple city sized ships to our cities to wipe out humanity. This is one of those movies where you won't realize you've spent nearly 3 hours in front of your set. In fact, you'll probably want more!
Though this is not one of your "great thinker" movies, it's not really meant to be. From Dean Devlin himself (Producer), it's really a "popcorn movie." Sit down, eat your popcorn, and enjoy the ride. If you want thought, Amazon.com has 2001 for sale, too. Nonetheless, this movie still succeeds. The story is fun and easy to follow, the characters are believable (and equally fun to watch!), and the special effects are still (4 years later) among the best you'll ever see.
This DVD release is great, too, because it gives you the option to play the theatrical or the special edition versions. Personally, I like the theatrical better, simply because the editing is done more smoothly. The special edition edits sometimes seem a bit rough, but the scenes are still worth watching. Also, the movie in DD is a serious treat!
Supplemental material, you ask? You got it, and LOTS of it! You've got ALL the trailers and TV spots, some cool interviews and movie specials, and more. For the price of the disc, you can't beat this deal.
For sheer fun value, Independence Day sure delivers, and the DVD transfer (superb color and shadow details, with a pleasing 5.1 surround mix) is sure to make you thankful for your investment in a player. This disc is recommended in every way.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on May 4, 2004
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
Yes, the plot is ridiculous and riddled with Texas-sized holes.
Yes, the dialogue is cheesy and the characters lacking.
Yes, it's just a vehicle for pretty special effects.
And the problem is... what?
This was not supposed to be a great cinematic masterpiece. It was not supposed to be a moving epic or a heartrending drama - it set out to be an "aliens attack earth and we kill them" fast paced action-heavy plot-lite popcorn flick, and that's EXACTLY what it is.
It's mindless, it's inconsequential, it's FUN. Don't go in expecting anything more than two hours of disposable multi-million dollar special-effects-laden blockbuster trash, and you won't be disappointed.
226 of 285 people found the following review helpful
on March 23, 2009
Format: Blu-rayVerified Purchase
I have to say that I'm a big fan of this film, and I already own the DVD. Most of those wanting to buy this film on Bluray are those who have already seen it and liked it, so I won't comment on the movie content itself, but rather the technical and supplemental aspects of this release.
I borrowed a friend's copy of the BD version of ID4 just a few weeks ago, as I was contemplating whether to add this to my small but growing blu-ray collection. The picture and audio are superb, and watching this on my new LCD at 1080p with the lossless DTS-MA audio track really transported me back to the July of '96, when I watched this on the big screen. This movie has certainly aged well these thirteen years, and the special effects are still terrific even today. While watching, I was pretty much set on adding this to my collection.
That is, until after I finished watching the movie and wanted to see the extras in HD.
The DVD version I have contains two discs and a lot of extras, including an alternate ending, making-of feature, trailers, and cast/crew interviews. Sadly, in this BD release there are none, not even in standard definition. The only "extra" is a commentary track, which, as an another reviewer already pointed out, is laughably outdated. At $25, I would expect more than just a movie and nothing else.
The Dark Knight BD had two discs plus a digital copy for the same price- that was justifiable, even in this economy. This... isn't.
FOX is notorious for double-dipping their DVD and Blu-ray releases. I would imagine that a two-disc or dual-layered "special edition" version will come out over the next year or so.
Needless to say, this BD release is quite a disappointment.
31 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on March 12, 2008
Format: Blu-rayVerified Purchase
Just a quick review for everyone looking at the Blu-ray edition of Independence Day. While the picture and sound are fantastic, this disc does NOT include the extended edition, nor does it include the alternate ending. It does have commentary, but it's OLD commentary from a previous edition. (It references things like, "gee - this looks different on video due to 30 frames per second" which is completely irrelevant at 24fps 1080p HD.) Wait for the double-dip that's sure to follow eventually. In the meantime, hold on to your original ID4 special collectors edition DVD!
67 of 84 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
This is a sensational, sci-fi, alien invasion, action film with a terrific cast and superlative special effects. Alien invaders suddenly darken the skyline across the world, as city sized flying saucers hover ominously over major cities world wide. A computer geek, David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum), figures out how the alien ships are communicating with each other and realizes the import of what he has discovered. He manages to have an audience with President Whitmore (Bill Pullam), as his ex-wife is one of the president's top aides, and tells the president of his findings. Wonder at the alien saucer spectacle turns to terror, as the meaning of the ships in the sky becomes clear.
The White House evacuates just in time, as the aliens launch a world wide attack in complete synchronization, an awesome spectacle that enthralls the viewer. A counter attack is launched, led by fighter pilot Captain Steve Hiller (Will Smith), which ends in disaster for the fighter pilots, as only Hiller survives to fight another day. He manages, however, to bring in a captive. Notwithstanding the gravity of the premise of the film, there are moments of comic relief interspersed throughout.
Meanwhile, our computer geek, realizing why the counter attack failed, comes up with a solution, one that requires nerves of steel and a desire to walk on the wild side. A second counter attack is launched world wide, which leads to some terrific action scenes and heroics by a most unlikely candidate. Naturally, mankind is victorious. It is not the victory itself, however, but what leads up to the victory that makes the film so entertaining.
This is a fast paced film with a myriad of subplots and coincidental pairings that may stretch the viewer's credence but do not take away from the enjoyment of the film. The special effects are dazzling. The cast is excellent. Will Smith is charming and funny throughout. Bill Pullam is appropriately presidential, and Jeff Goldblum is a most convincing computer geek. Look for fine performances from the stellar supporting cast: Mary McConnell, Robert Loggia, Margaret Colin, Randy Quaid, Judd Hirsch, James Rebhorn, Harry Connick, Jr., and Harvey Fierstein. All in all, this is a marvelous film.
Be prepared for an unintended poignant moment in the film, when the camera pans to the New York skyline and the viewer sees the World Trade Center twin towers standing proud and tall on the horizon. It is a moment that gives the viewer pause in remembrance of what was. It is, indeed, a moment to remember.
The quality of this two disc DVD is superlative with crystal clear visuals and great sound quality. The letterbox format offers both the theatrical release version and the special edition version from which to choose. The special edition version offers an extra nine minutes of restored footage. The second disc offers a myriad of features, including an interesting thirty minute documentary on the making of the film. All in all, this two disc DVD is a terrific value and well worth having in one's collection.
26 of 31 people found the following review helpful
This is one of my most favorite movies!! It is hard to pick which is better the cast, special effects or writing. The special effects go without saying - superb. The timing on some of the events like the synchronized takedown of the different cities could not have been done better. I can't say enough nice things about the cast. Will Smith was funny at times and yet still the tragic hero. Randy Quaid was priceless! Jeff Goldblum was more likeable in this movie than I have ever seen him in the past. I also thought Robert Loggia and Bill Pullman were well chosen. While the script was similar to movies done in the past, there was a new spin on it. I particularly liked the scene when Bill Pullman gave his speech prior to fighting the enemy. Some borrowed history from a Dylan Thomas' poem was genius.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on May 23, 2008
First off, I can tell you that I have always loved this movie for what it is and always has been...... a better than average sci-fi movie. It actually has a plot that makes sense, and the writers succefully intermixed the story line of 4 different groups of people until they merge at the end to 'save the world'. The effects are great.... way ahead of its time in 96. And it's got IMHO one of the best written speaches that ever hit the big screen (the president's speach to the pilots). Kudos to the writer who wrote that....it almost brings me to tears no matter how many times I watch it. And Bill Pullman does an AWESOME...let me repeat...AWESOME acting job in this movie (ex: hospital scene where he is 'loosing' his wife -the first lady).
HOWEVER...this review isn't to try and sell you on the movie. LOL! The movie is from 96, and chances are, you already know if you love or hate ID4. My opinion is not going to change that. ON THE OTHER HAND, if you love this movie....if you watched it 10 times over when it first came out.... if you were one of the crazy people who saw it at it's midnight release (*raises hand*)...then you ABSOLUTLEY HAVE to see it on Blu-Ray.
Now I already own numerous upon numerous Blu-Rays and I will be the first one to say that the technology is well worth the price tag of these disks and getting a new player. ALSO... a lot of people don't know that to properly see Blu-Ray in it's highest quality, you not only need the player and the disk...but you better be hooking it all up with HDMI cables or you are going to be loosing quality in the process. Again... it's another expenditure, but if you love your movies and are a big QUALITY FREAK...it's worth double it's price tag. It really does make a BIG difference (and the HDMI cables will even help the quality of non-blu ray's if you use them for your normal dvd player too).
But I digress... For me, ID4 is no longer even watchable in any other format other than Blu-Ray. When I bought this I had my doubts as to whether or not it would be true 1080p since it was originally recorded in 96 before the technology was even a glimmer in anyone's eye (and remasters aren't always what they are cracked up to be). But trust me... they out did theirselves on this one. But don't take my word for it.... DO THIS: Buy the movie, watch it in blu-ray...and THEN go to the special content menu and watch THE ORIGINAL TEASER TRAILER. It's played in it's original format. You know? The format that we all thought looked out of this world on the big screen back in 96? Well, OMG....the difference is MIND BLOWING. STAGGERING, even! Seeing the original format after watching the blue ray version brings it all into perspective. The detail on the new Blu-Ray version in the space ships...the fire...even the buildings.... all I can say is WOW!
And apparently I'm not the only one who noticed this. I'm in the Chicago area....and I had a heckuva time finding this Blu-Ray in regular stores. Eveyone seems to be trying to get their paws on it (-May 08). Grab it thru Amazon...save yourself a headache. :)
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on May 4, 2004
I am writing this review in the face of a number of negative entries I found when looking through the reviews already posted. I found Independence Day to be a fun, visually exciting experience. A number of existing reviews picked apart the story line and made a big thing of the plot holes. SO WHAT? This was not a serious scientific presentation, but a chance to suspend belief and immerse one's self in a visual soup of big bang effects. Of course there were plot holes but did you actually think that a laptop would lay waste to an alien invasion? Windows can't even talk to MAC! How would a human written virus infect an alien system? To those who took such offense at the technical side and the plot issues.... lighten up!! By the way, almost every negative review was riddled with incorrect spelling and grammar. THAT should be negatively reviewed!