A review by Shlomoh Sherman

Independence Day [1996]
Director: Roland Emmerich
Writers: Dean Devlin, Roland Emmerich
Stars: Will Smith, Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum
Country: USA
Language: English
Release Date: July 3, 1996 (USA)
Filming Locations: Santa Clarita, California, USA
Box Office:
Budget:$75,000,000 (estimated)
Opening Weekend USA: $50,228,264, July 7, 1996
Gross USA: $306,169,268
Cumulative Worldwide Gross: $817,400,891
Company Credits: Production Co: Twentieth Century Fox, Centropolis Entertainment
Runtime: 145 min | 154 min (extended cut)
Sound Mix: DTS 70 mm (70 mm print)| DTS (35 mm prints)| Dolby Digital (35 mm prints)| SDDS (35 mm prints)| DTS (DTS: X)
Color: Color

We hold these truths to be self-evident. Not all movies are created equal,and they are not endowed by their creators with the inalienable right to barage our senses and sensibilities with utter trash (what Spanish speaking people call "pura mierda").

Nevertheless, that's exactly what the makers of the current very over-rated rage, INDEPENDENCE DAY, have done. New York City Mayor Koch, in his review of this sad excuse for a sci-fi film, noted that you will be more sorry that you wasted your time than that you wasted your hard earned $8 plus. But this film has you more than merely wasting your time. It has you go into paraxisms of embarrassment, if you have any sensitivity whatsoever.

Not only has the story been better told before. Not only have the special effects been seen before, and better done. Most other sci-fi films that this reviewer has seen, including those utter now campy sci-horror films ofthe 1950s, have at least a hint of a good script. I am willing to bet that even some of Ed Wood's works have better dialogue than that of INDEPENDENCE DAY.

To me, the most laughable AND the most embarrassing aspect of the film are the portrayals of Harvey Firestein of an overly swishy homosexual, and of Judd Hirsch as a horribly stereotyped New York Jewish father. Both of these roles are completely superfluous to the film's story.

One has to wonder, not only why they were written into the script but more, why these two actors were willing to sully their reputations and craft. It's also amazing to me that an actor of such fine quality as Jeff Goldblum would be willing to involve himself in this utter mess. Perhaps if I were an actor in Hollywood, and my agent told me that all I had to do was to be a parody of what my background is, and that I would make an incredible amount of money in a flim guaranteed to gross hundreds of millions before it is through, then yeah, maybe I too would be a whore and do it for the money.

The story, as is well known, concerns itself with the invasion of earth by a race of aliens bent on killing off mankind and taking over our planet,and the subsequent uprising of the human race to fight off the attack on July 4th, American Independence Day. I will not ruin the story for those who insist on seeing this claptrap, even though they may have heard how bad it is, by telling the details of the denoument. I will merely say that the defeat of the invaders is in the hands of an Afro-American pilot, a New York Jewish intellectual, a drunken has-been, and a sickenly clean cut JFK clone of a president. What a winning combination!

There is even, believe it or not, a bit of RELIGION thrown in, when Judd Hirsch, who plays Jeff Goldblum's over-talkative, pushy Jewish father, gives his son a pair of old TEFILLIN, and tells him to pray. Oy Vey! I'll bet that even the ALMIGHTY Himself was embarrassed!

But hey, go see it, if you want to be rooked. After all, its summer, and the days are long, and you have to fill up your leisure time somehow, right? OK. Go for it. Make your day!

I know not what course others may take. But as for me, give me liberty or give me the death of INDEPENDENCE DAY.

New York

Cast overview, first billed only:
Will Smith      ... Capt. Steven Hiller
Bill Pullman ... President Thomas J. Whitmore
Jeff Goldblum ... David Levinson
Mary McDonnell ... Marilyn Whitmore
Judd Hirsch      ... Julius Levinson
Robert Loggia ... General William Grey
Randy Quaid      ... Russell Casse
Margaret Colin ... Constance Spano
James Rebhorn ... Albert Nimziki
Harvey Fierstein ... Marty Gilbert
Adam Baldwin ... Major Mitchell
Brent Spiner ... Dr. Brakish Okun
James Duval      ... Miguel
Vivica A. Fox ... Jasmine Dubrow
Lisa Jakub      ... Alicia

See Bonnie Kramer's Response to My Review of Independence Day HERE!

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