112. Independence Day (A)
: Sure, it's at times jingoistic and at other times rather dumb (and occasionally, both at once -- witness the President of the United States taking a fighter plane into battle in the finale!), but that doesn't stop the film from being a completely enjoyable blockbuster. It helps that it was made right before the total dominance of computer generated visual effects -- although there's some CGI, and not every shot works, the vast majority are model shots that are a welcome departure from the look of current big-budget films. It also helps that the film never loses its focus on its characters; compared to too many recent films, the emphasis on the human element here is positively refreshing.
Emmerich and Devlin, sadly, only collaborated on one more film (the mediocre period piece The Patriot
) before going their separate (and unmemorable) ways. Hopefully, a sequel to this film never gets off the ground -- there's a reason the film bursts into David Arnold's patriotic anthem rather than ponder the reality of radioactive wreckage (some of it quite large) raining down over much of the earth. It's not playing the long game, something a sequel inevitably set over a decade later would be forced to do.
Home Video: 63 +1