ID4: Independence Day (1996)

The 25th Film I have seen in theaters…

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Will Smith becomes a superstar in this 1996 classic blockbuster.

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July, 1996. Aliens invade the earth and simultaneously blow up all of it’s major cities. The human race must band together and fight off the invaders!

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This was the one. He was already famous from Fresh Prince and Bad Boys, but this is where “WILL SMITH” was truly born. He plays pilot Steven Hiller of the air force. Welcome to Earth indeed.

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Jeff Goldblum was already an established star by this point, and appears here as one of our leads. He plays David Levinson, compuer/science expert guy. He figures out some alien codes and uses a 1990’s apple (compatible with nothing) to hack a goddamn alien starship. He was great.

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Bill Pullman was going to be remembered as Lone Star in Spaceballs until this baby rolled around. He is President Whitmore, former pilot, all around badass. TODAY WE CELEBRATE OUR INDEPENDENCE DAY!

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Mary McDonnell plays the first lady, Marilyn. I can’t help but draw comparisons to the role she would assume a few years later: President of the universe/whatever on Battlestar Galactica. Same damn suit.

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It pleased me to no end to see Judd Hirsch as Goldblum’s father Julius. I was already a fan from Taxi, Dear John, and other work (He played Dracula once- look it up) so I was thrilled for more Hirsch.

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Robert Loggia is General Grey, the seemingly only one of the President’s men that has any sense. I loved this guy. Look up his orange juice commercial. He passed in 2015 at the age of 85. Next to him is James Rebhorn playing Nimzicki, the secretary of defense, jerk-face. He passed in 2014 at the age of 65.

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This was the last burst of activity for Randy Quaid’s career. 1996 Quaid was hot and would follow this up with some great movies before he seemingly lost his mind and made a sex tape. He played Russell, the loony who claims to have been abducted by aliens. He was one of the more memorable parts of the film. He also saved the Earth.

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Margaret Colin is Constance, White House communications director and ex-wife of Goldblum’s character. She has some good scenes, but the women kinda got shortchanged in this movie.

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Vivica A Fox is the stripper/ Smith’s girlfriend Jasmine. She has some good, albeit highly convenient, scenes with the first lady.

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I loved seeing Harvey Fierstein in things. We need more of him in 2020. He is Marty, victim of the aliens. Goodbye Marty.

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DATA HIMSELF! Brent Spiner plays Dr Okum, alien expert at Area 51! Despite dying here, he comes back in the sequel.

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It was July 7th, 1996, my 17th birthday and this movie was my present. Is it Shakespeare? No. Is it a great film, though? That is a matter of opinion. In many ways, this is THE quintisential 1990’s action film. Big, dumb, explosive, full of every cliche known to man. My wife hates it. I adore it. It reminds me of a simpler time in life. I’ve still not brought myself to watch the sequel. Maybe I need to rectify that.

 

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