Last Wednesday, for shits and giggles, I sat down in front of my laptop and put on Roland Emmerich’s 1996 blockbuster, Independence Day, as a way of celebrating Canada’s southern neighbours. With my trusty companion, a bottle of wine, I liveblogged the whole experience, and this week I’m posting this pseudo-review, with timestamps, in its entirety. Enjoy.
5:23 (PM): Y'all ready for this?
5:25: Dammit, classy wine bottles should have screw tops
5:26: On that note, my companion for tonight's festivities is a 2010 Henry of Pelham Baco Noir. Been to their winery in the Niagara shorthills.
5:27: I'm letting it breathe for a few minutes, but make no mistake: I'm drinking this straight from the bottle.
5:29: Alright, then. Let's get this movable feast underway.
5:31: When I was a kid, I used to think these exploding main titles were so cool.
5:31: "We came in peace for all mankind." Oooooh the pathos.
5:32: Fun fact: until about 2000 or so I thought these aliens were supposed to come from the moon.
5:33: SETI tech is listening to "It's the End of the World as We Know It." I see what you did there, soundtrack supervisor.
5:34: DRAMATIC. SHOTS. OF. WASHINGTON.
5:35: Another fun fact: back in '96, I thought Bill Pullman was supposed to be playing Bill Clinton.
5:36: Man, Clinton would be such a good movie president.
5:36: Mary McDonnell plays the first lady. How much more awesome would this movie be if BSG's Laura Roslin was the president?
5:37: I want to make a movie where every scene transition is marked by someone reaction incredulously to a phone call.
5:38: MORE. DRAMATIC. SHOTS. THIS TIME OF NEW YORK.
5:38: Jeff Goldblum and Judd Hirsch are hands down the best part of this movie.
5:39: "Who should we get to co-head up this sci fi action movie cast?" "Jeff Goldblum."
5:39: Oh yay, Harvey Ferstein. It's like the male Dr. Girlfriend.
5:40: Man, remember when kids used to casually wear overalls? That was a weird time.
5:41: Awwww fuck it's Randy Quaid.
5:41: Ladies and gentlemen, the first instance of "heroic music" in this movie is reserved for Randy "Cousin Eddie" Quaid.
5:42: The bigass city ships in this movie used to terrify me.
5:44: Other things that used to terrify me: the tornadoes in Twister and the Bumble Snow Monster in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
5:44: If nothing else, the effects in this movie are convincing. I really miss practical effects.
5:45: That submarine captain just did a dead on Bill Paxton impression.
5:45: For all of their failings, most alien invasion movies do a great job of setup. Really ominous openings.
5:46: Things that should be in Earth's atmosphere: GIANT FUCKING WALL OF FIRE.
5:48: I love Bill Pullman's gritty voice.
5:48: Jeff Goldblum's Goldbluming it up.
5:49: Does it hurt Harvey Ferstein to talk?
5:49: Holy shit, this guitar riff playing over the diner scene was stuck in my head two weeks ago.
5:50: Wait, is Randy Quaid's character set up as a main protagonist before Will Smith? The fuck?
5:51: It's a full twenty minutes before they introduce Will Smith. No way.
5:51: You have to do that within five minutes, tops.
5:53: These alien ship shots are really damn good.
5:53: That's right, Mr. Police Officer, just stop your car in the middle of a freaking intersection.
5:55: First thing Will Smith does in this movie: piss. Just piss
5:56: I love how the last thing Will Smith sees is the CITY-SIZED SPACE SHIP.
5:57: So do the aliens deliberately position themselves over the most iconic building in each major city? Are they familiar with human culture?
5:59: "Do so in an orderly fashion." OH THE IRONY.
5:59: That's right, Vivica A. Fox, how DARE they call Will Smith in from leave during an ALIEN FUCKING CRISIS.
6:01: Oh Will Smith. You so Will Smithy.
6:01: Man, Judd Hirsch should carry a shotgun in more movies.
6:04: I appreciate this movie even more now that I know Randy Quaid was just playing himself.
6:05: And in the roll of Will Smith's snarky best friend, your mom's favourite singer Harry Connick, Jr.
6:06: Will Smith: Not asking, not telling.
6:06: This movie was the first time I saw a thong. Or a stripper.
6:07: Jeff Goldblum IS 90s cyber hacker.
6:10: Question posed by @ScottMcNeil What would John McClane do?
6:12: I won't lie: this sub plotline with Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman is hilarious.
6:12: I wish I could have a dramatic countdown timer on my laptop like Jeff Goldblum's.
6:15: And now, the moment we've all been waiting for: city-wide destruction.
6:16: Aaaaaaaaand moneyshot.
6:18: These city destruction shots are still convincing. Well maybe not the cars flying everywhere but I love them nonetheless.
6:20: That's right, wait for the dumb dog.
6:20: Vivica A. Fox, I know you're part of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad but there's no way you could have survived that.
6:23: "What happened, mommy?" "FUCKING ALIENS."
6:24: Man, 90s pilots are the best.
6:25: Harry Connick, Jr. "Imma make a funny speech." Will Smith: "MY GIRLFRIEND MIGHT BE DEAD, ASSHOLE."
6:26: Why was Roland Emmerich so insistent on the pilots calling out missile names?
6:26: Question for anyone reading: has Will Smith ever not been Will Smithy in a movie he's done?
6:29: This came out the same year as Twister and Space Jam. What an idiosyncratic year.
6:29: Also here is the official Space Jam site, still active after all these years.
6:30: NO NOT HARRY CONNICK, JR.
6:32: Oh yes, THIS SCENE.
6:32: "WELCOME TO EARF."
6:32: "Now that's what I call a closhe encounter."
6:34: Judd Hirsch's mention of John Lennon is how I first learned about the Beatles.
6:34: "John Lennon: smart man. Shot in the back, very sad, very sad."
6:35: "My God." That's right, Bill Pullman.
6:38: Yeah Will Smiht, you talk back to that unconsicous alien.
6:40: "You don't actually think they spend $20,000 on a hammer, $30,000 on a toilet seat, do you?" Oh Judd Hirsch.
6:41: w0000000 Data!
6:41: I actually like how they tie this back to the "Roswell crashes."
6:44: I love the alien designs in this movie.
6:44: Yeeeeeee, Jayne Cobb.
6:45: I love how these RVers just DRIVE UP to Area 51.
6:47: "We're being exterminated." No shit, Bill Pullman.
6:48: Does Bill Pullman exist in this movie just to grunt ominous lines?
6:50: Independence Day: PRO-STRIPPER PROPAGANDA?!?
6:51: "Now spread it very, very gently." @sabrina_jade "That's what he said."
6:52: Dammit, Data, this wouldn't have happened if you remained human.
6:53: "Can there be a peace between us?" "Fuck all y'all."
6:55: Jayne totally shot the fuck out of that alien.
6:57: Will Smith just straight up stole a helicopter. Bad. Ass.
6:59: Did Air Force One's personal radar tech get promoted to head of radar at Area 51? Some random Area 51 radar tech is really pissed right now.
6:59: A minor key variation on the main theme. This is how you know it's a tense moment.
7:00: "May our children forgive us." oh Bill Pullman, you so dramatic,
7:01: DAMMIT LAURA ROSLIN YOU HANG ON.
7:02: How you know your boyfriend loves you: he hijacks a GODDAMNED HELICOPTER to meet up with you.
7:05: NO NOT LAURA ROSLIN.
7:05: Aw yiss, drunk Jeff Goldblum.
7:09: Does Jeff Goldblum actually talk like that or does he put on that stuttering gimmick?
7:10: Independence Day actually does a good job of intertwining its characters and resolving their arcs.
7:11: The two heroes don't meet until an HOUR AND AND FORTY MINUTES into this movie.
7:12: "It's about bloody time." That's right, British commander.
7:13: Independence Day: the grand story about how Jayne Cobb recruited Randy Quaid.
7:14: That's right, let's just recruit these hick pilots. Certainly biplane experience can translate to FLYING A FUCKING F-18.
7:16: Awww, Will Smith and Vivica A. Fox getting married is actually kind of cute.
7:16: Also, I know I'm referring to these characters by their actors' names, but that's not an insult.
7:16: Will Smith being Will Smith should never be a bad thing.
7:19: Holy God, Ann Veal from Arrested Development/Katara from Avatar: The Last Airbender plays the president's daughter.
7:19: "TODAY WE CELEBRATE OUR INDEPENDENCE DAY!!!"
7:23: "I picked a Hell of a day to quit drinking." You're a terrible pilot, Randy Quaid.
7:23: "Oops." "Oops?"
7:24: Even alien invasions cannot stop Will Smith from being Will Smithy.
7:26: "What about the people outside?" Yeah, that totally wouldn't occur to Jayne.
7:27: The alien mothership is suitably haunting.
7:29: If this were a video game, the mothership alien would be the boss.
7:29: A lot of people complain about a human computer virus being effective on an advanced alien system, but I just don't care.
7:31: Another another fun fact: when I was a kid, I thought this final air battle took place in SPACE.
7:32: Jayne saved those people.
7:33: Man what if the crew of Serenity encountered the Independence Day aliens, and triggered visions from one of Jayne's past lives?
7:33: Will Smith's stepson and the president's daughter are totally gonna hook up, thus giving birth to Barack Obama.
7:34: Oh man, if Obama fought an alien spaceship he'd nail a second term.
7:35: Randy Quaid: the true hero of this movie.
7:35: How did Randy Quaid's son get into the mission control room?
7:37: "Alright you alien assholes, in the words of my generation: UP YOUUURRRSSSS!!!!""
7:37: "HELLO BOYS, I'M BAAAAACK!!!"
7:38: Jayne just boosted that kid's self-esteem. Way to go, Jayne.
7:38: I know Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum are top-billed, but everyone is a hero in this movie. Except for the secretary of defence.
7:40: The alien boss is unable to understand human tomfoolery.
7:41: "I AIN'T HEARD NO FAT LADY!!!" "Forget the fat lady, you're obsessed with the fat lady!"
7:43: I've reached the daily limit for Tweets, which I didn't think was a thing.
7:43: Still, humans won.
7:44: Jeff Goldblum has good swagger.
7:45: Huh, just realized Bill Pullman and Robert Loggia starred together in Lost Highway.
7:46: In a possible future, the events of this movie will be the reason Americans celebrate Independence Day.
7:47: Ahhhhhh, that was fun. I hope to do this some other time. Preferably once a year, if alcohol has to be involved.
Wow, that was much more fun than it had any right to be. I also consumed that entire bottle, though that was probably pretty easy to tell.
Look forward to more of these haphazard liveblogged movie reviews, albeit without the presence of alcohol.