I’ve always liked Wile E. Coyote. He never gives up, and is clearly one of the smartest Looney Tunes characters. Comparing him with a character like Bugs Bunny. Bugs is a character who just wings it or cons his way through a scheme. And Coyote just wants to eat, an important motivation to say the least. Coyote represents one of the most important life lesson anybody can ever learn. You can be the smartest, most resourceful, most worthy person and somebody less qualified may still come out on top. Still, that’s no reason to stop trying.
As I’ve said in a previous post, we are living in the ever growing, ever tiring era of remakes, reboots, late sequels, prequels, etc. Movies like this are either a hit or miss as there are many factors to consider the least of which is a good storyline. I think its fair to say that back in 1996 when Independence Day was first released, it showed audience a new look to the ever classic alien invasion science fiction genre. It was action packed, contained a stellar A-list cast, and was undoubtedly considered to be first movie in what we are now very familiar with; the Michael Bay- type action movie. Lots of visual effects, explosions, villains you love to hate, and nice guy heroes. And twenty years later… they came back.
Independence Day: Resurgence takes place twenty years after the original alien invasion of Earth. Earth has essentially assimilated the leftover alien technology and made it their own with hovercrafts, antigravity propulsion, colonizing of the Moon, etc. And brought back a few familiar faces back to face the extra terrestrial foe yet again (without the ever popular Will Smith). And it brought in new heroes, like Liam Hemsworth as Jake Morrison and Jessie Usher who plays the now grown up Dylan Hiller.
While this was undoubtedly a good sequel, it still had its issues. There was an even less ammount of character development on the part of any of the heroes, as if the action itself was a main character. Granted, that’s pretty much how the original was. But that was when this type of action movie was new to the scene. In this movies with explosions every ten seconds, this style of filmmaking gets old fast. In that aspect, this was a movie that was joyfully made for the fans and was trying way too hard at some points to be a carbon copy of the first movie. While there is some character development on the new characters, more could’ve been given.
This film also attempts to shed some light on what the alien’s inicial plan was for harvesting the Earth. This included an excellent backstory about Congolese fighting the aliens who were left behind on Earth, and the only ship to remain intact. This backstory alone would’ve made a great stand alone movie, as the tone of those scene in this movie were less Independence Day and more like Predator. And the film also dealt with more in the nature of the Alien’s telepathy on the characters of Dr. Okun (Brent Spiner) and President Whitmore (Bill Pullman). The idea of exploring the telepathy was something only touched on in one scene in the first film, but this film makes it a plot point.
The corniness, and yet the humorous points of this movie mostly came from the return of some of the original characters (mostly on the part of the crazy, but hilarious Brent Spiner and the hysterical Judd Hirsch). But there were parts of the movie where one could not help but roll their eyes. Particularly the fight scene which bears a striking resemblance to Pacific Rim (you’ll know when you see it).
All in all, this was a good sequel. Not great, but still an entertaining addition to franchise for a whole new generation.
Final Score: 6.5/10
Directed by Roland Emmerich
Liam Hemsworth………Jake Morrison
Jeff Goldblum……David Levinson
Bill Pullman…….Pres. Thomas Whitmore
Jessie Usher……Dylan Dubrow-Hiller
Sela Ward…..Pres. Elizabeth Landford
Travis Tope…….Charles Ritter
William Fichtner…..Gen. Joshua Adams
Charlotte Gainsbourg…..Dr. Catherine Marceaux
Judd Hirsch……Julius Levinson
Brent Spiner….Dr. Brakish Okun
Vivica A. Fox……Jasmine Dubrow-Hiller
Robert Loggia…..Gen. William Grey
One of the lesser known biblical epics of the 20th century, this is a film about the biblical hero David. It chronicles his life, betrayals, battles, and romances. Even well beyond the infamous fight with Goliath. Indeed, one could argue that the figure of David is very much the King Arthur or even the Beowulf of the Bible.
The little known factor of this film’s existence may have a great deal to do with the very little controversy surrounding the storyline. As far as Biblical epics in the cinema are concerned, this one is treated with great respect. Not adding in or strongly editing the storyline like the 2014 Darren Aronofsky film “Noah” or Ridley Scott’s “Exodus: Gods and Kings”. Where those movies focused mainly on the prophets, and the psychological impact God has on them both, the film “King David” is more focused on the events and has minor character development. Another factor which was very well done was their portrayal of God. God is not in the film, but is talked about constantly by the prophets, giving Him a more realistic and contemporary presence in this movie.
The overall tone of the movie is very interesting. It’s almost like a Game of Thrones or Vikings episode. With alliances, enemies, etc. and with a surprising amount of politics as the fragile peace with enemy nations threaten all the kingdoms of the land. and being a product of the 80’s it has a sort-of Conan the Barbarian feel to it, at a point in that very decade where the lonesome battlefield hero stereotype was becoming a bit stale in pop culture and in fantasy/action films altogether.
Richard Gere’s performance as David leaves a great deal to be desired. Like many of the modern day action stars, he often has blank expressions which like the audience a bit confused as to the character’s motives (assuming they haven’t read the Bible, or aren’t familiar with the history of Israel). one performance that should have the highest praise is that of Edward Woodward as King Saul. He perfectly conveys the jealousy, paranoia, and the borderline insanity of Israel’s first king. Like Gabriel Byrne as Uther in John Boorman’s “Excalibur”, Woodward’s acting in this particular film show a great hatred, as well as great sympathy for Saul as he struggles between his own pride and the very reputation of David.
Overall, this is not a very religious film, but you don’t have to be religious to enjoy what is basically the Games of Thrones of the Bible. Its is a story about courage, faith, and the price of greatness.
Final score: 6.5/10
Directed by Bruce Beresford
Tim Curry got the role of the Lord of Darkness mostly because of his role in “Rocky Horror Picture Show”. Makeup artist Rob Bottin said whoever director Ridley Scott chose for the role would have to endure hours upon hours of makeup and prosthetics. Scott remembered Curry in Rocky Horror, and thought “Well anybody who does that had to be the bravest man in the world.”