By George Rose
November 10, 2009
Independence Day (1996)
For every great Roland Emmerich movie, there's an equally terrible one. He's directed such blockbuster action hits as Stargate, The Patriot and The Day After Tomorrow. He's also made blockbuster crap in the form of Godzilla and 10,000 B.C. What we can always rely on from Emmerich, though, is his ability to pack a movie full of special effects and destruction on a massive scale. This upcoming weekend he releases 2012, which hopes to capitalize on that fame. Part of me says it looks like the sequel to The Day After Tomorrow. Another part of me says it will be everything The Day After Tomorrow was supposed to be. In the end, it will probably make a ton of money because nothing decent has been released in theaters for several weeks. It can be said, though, without any hesitation that it will not come close to the critically or financial success of his biggest work, the legendary Independence Day.
Do I really need to tell you what this movie is about? If you're one of the five people in this world who hasn't seen it, you are in for a real treat. No, it's not about a Fourth of July barbeque gone wrong. It's about an alien invasion that only Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Randy Quaid, and Vivica A. Fox can stop. The scenes where the aliens destroy major cities, including Washington, DC, were worth the price of admission alone, but in rare Emmerich form the movie is also packed with surprisingly heartfelt performances and an immersive storyline. Maybe it's because he finally gave his actors characters with depth, but Independence Day is more than one of his typical apocalyptic tales. It solidified his position as the go-to director of destruction, helped make Will Smith the most recognizable face of the Summer movie season, and will forever remain among the End-Of-The-World classics which all future attempts will be compared to. The timing of 2012's release is impeccable; only because there hasn't been anything good in the last few weeks and because I miss the days of Summer action movies am I going to see it. Otherwise, I'd just stay in and rent Independence Day.
Failure to Launch (2006)
In one of my fits of rage in the last two weeks, which stemmed from my Yankees supporting friend getting rowdy and obnoxious during EVERY game of the World Series, I left the room where we were watching the game and decided to look for a more relaxing movie on TV. The only decent thing on was Failure to Launch. While it is arguably not one of the great romantic comedies in the last decade, it is still a good, informative movie on the culture of dating. It also stars Matthew McConaughey and Sarah Jessica Parker. More importantly, it stars some of my favorite lesser known actors in supporting roles: Zooey Deschanel, Justin Bartha and Bradley Cooper. Ok, so both Bartha and Cooper were in the recent smash hit The Hangover, but only since then have audiences jumped on the Cooper bandwagon and they still continue to ignore Bartha as a leading man. Regardless, the cast alone makes this movie worth watching, but luckily that's not all.