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One of the biggest box office hits of all time, Independence Day delivers the ultimate encounter when mysterious and powerful aliens launch an all out invasion against the human race. The spectacle begins when massive spaceships appear in Earth's skies. But wonder turns to terror as the ships blast destructive beams of fire down on cities all over the planet. Now the world's only hope lies with a determined band of survivors, uniting for one last strike against the invaders -- before it's the end of mankind.
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Quite simply, those people simply don't get it. Independence Day is not, and was never meant to be "scientificaly accurate". In fact, it was never meant to be taken as high drama or be an award contender (although those special effects deserve mention). Independence Day is a campy, tongue-in-cheek tribute to 50's sci-fi and you know what? I'm fine with that. It's the perfect pop-corn film. Before Roland Emmerich found success (thanks to this film) and tried to make the end of the world his ongoing obsession (along with taking himself too seriously) he made two gems that us movie fans will love forever: Stargate and this film. The merits and flaws of this film have been discussed ad nauseaum so let's look at the blu-ray release.
First the transer which, I think, is pretty outstanding. Considering this film was made way before the advent of HD, the film looks quite beautiful. Colors are bright and natural, textures are well defined.The military uniforms are a perfect example of this. There are a few flaws here and there but nothing major. There is some grain but I'm fine with that. It is film after all. A scene or two might look soft but again, unless you are looking for the specifics you will hardly notice. Even the effects, which were done right before the onset of CGI hold up very well. All the model work, motion control shots and blue screen compositions look seamless. This is especially noteworthy because High Definition has a tendency to reveal stuff that filmakers thought would stay hidden thanks to the "character" of traditional film. In this case, the hiding was very well done or the people who transfered the film really did their homework. By the way, if you own any type of Home Theater setup, get ready to get your senses attacked. The mix is pretty outstanding too.
On the special features front, this release has a major flaw: It does not include the extended version of the Ultimate Edition DVD. It only includes the theatrical version which is fine but here is the thing: The best extra by far in the package is the pop-up track that gives you little details of the film and it's production as you watch the film. The track is very insightful and fans of the film will really enjoy learning all the details, bloopers and stories. The problem is the track mentions the extended scenes of the DVD several times and makes you wonder why the heck didn't they just include them. In fact there is a lot of extras missing that were in the Ultimate Edition. One could argue that some of that stuff is outdated but they did include the original commentary track from the DVD and that certainly has not aged well. So what gives? My guess? Independence Day: Super-Mega-Ultra-Ultimate Blu-Ray 15th(or 20th) Anniversary Edition. You know how it goes.
Independence Day is a very entertaining film and it has aged very well. The transfer is awsome and looks great in HD. Some might hesitate knowing that there will probably a bigger release with more and newer features down the road but in my opinion the price of this blu-ray disc has come down enough to not feel too guilty about it.
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