INDEPENDENCE DAY: RESURGENCE

We Always Knew They’d Come Back

Director
Roland Emmerich

Starring
Jeff Goldblum
Bill Pullman
Liam Hemsworth
Jessie T Usher
Maika Monroe



I was twelve years old back in 1996 and was enamoured with the scope, scale and stupidity of blockbuster hit Independence Day. It was dumb, charming, funny and thrilling, combining cutting edge model work and visual effects. This sequel is none of those.

Twenty years after an alien invasion crippled the Earth, killing off three billion plus people, mankind has bounced back. With the help of David Levinson [Goldblum], we have formed a union of nations and harnessed the alien technology to rebuild and expand. As the anniversary of the attack approaches, the only alien ship to actually make land has activated and those who have experienced a direct link with the aliens have been suffering intense visions; one in particular is ex-President Thomas Whitmore [Pullman]. With a strange vessel appearing above a base on the moon, it would appear history is destined to repeat itself.

It took five writers to produce this convoluted dull mess and despite being a rehash of the first film, it somehow manages to retain none of the magic that convinced us to excuse the blatant flaws. So how did we get here? The first trailers made a logical sense, showing how humanity had recovered after the thwarted alien invasion and hybridising our technologies to advance our race but everything else was flat. In order to answer that question the first thing we need to establish is that nostalgia sells. I appreciate that plans have been in place for an Independence Day sequel for years but with the success of other countless reboots, remakes and majorly-delayed-sequels, there is a studio confidence that a film of this nature will earn huge revenue based on people’s fondness for the franchise. In truth, this blandness is just stifling cinema as a whole and pissing on the memory of the original/s.

Interestingly Jurassic World managed to succeed despite casting only one returning actor and while there are many familiar faces in this film, it’s the absentees that stand out the most. First and foremost, the death of Will Smith’s character is actually acceptable but rather poorly executed. The first glimpse we get is an “oil painting” in the rebuilt White House which looks more like a production still with a blurry Photoshop filter, blown up and printed out.. because that’s exactly what it is. Then there’s the absence of David’s ex-wife Constance Spano [Margaret Colin] which is probably explained somewhere but I didn’t pick up on anything noteworthy. Not to mention all the other supporting roles who played large parts in the original but didn’t warrant a mention this time round. Most annoyingly is the replacement of Ross Bagley and Mae Whitman as Dylan and Patricia respectively; I understand the logic for it but as the replacements brought so little to the role, you wonder what the point was.

With that to one side, let’s take a quick look at the ‘surviving’ cast members. The selection of veterans is a bit of a weird mix of cameos and feature roles. Goldblum sinks right back into the role of David well but that could largely be because it’s Goldblum playing Goldblum. Pullman’s character has the most notable transition from hero President to jittery, nightmare-riddled wreck. It’s a bold choice and one he plays well but then shakes off all-too-quickly once he’s had a shave. Brent Spiner’s eccentric Dr Okun is given a lot more screen time and uses it to inject some genuinely humorous moments – even detrimentally when the scene called for seriousness. But the new additions are so banal. Hemsworth as the cavalier jock douche, Travis Tope playing said jock douche’s comic-relief childhood friend, a frankly unrecognisable Charlotte Gainsbourg as stubborn.. psychologist I think? and a whole host of dismissible expendable nobodies.

**Huge spoiler in the last line**
Defenders will always state that a film like this shouldn’t be graded on its script (these people are obviously wrong) and we should focus on the accomplishments of the visual spectacle. With that in mind, the visual effects present are technically impressive but wholly uninspired. The once unique look is now horribly generic; I lost count as to how many times we cut back and forth between a VERY CGI ship flying through a VERY CGI narrow gap and an actor making guttural screams – as we all know this is how you activate a vessel’s turbo boost. Thus we’re left with something that continually hammers you with flashing imagery yet still manages to be incredibly boring. That and I’m quite amazed there were any landmarks left standing after the first attack. No tension, no thrills, no suspense. And to top it all off, Emmerich pulled the same stunt from Godzilla by revealing the queen wasn’t dead after the giant film-ending explosion.. I mean, they both stole that from Aliens anyway but you get the point.

What could have been a really clever and novel sequel boiled down to little more than a rather expensive cash-grab which will inevitably fail thanks to its complete lack of awareness as to what made people fall in love with (or at least enjoy) the first film: cutting-edge visual sequences, charming performances, a stirring score and a lack of competition at the box office. Not to mention the fact Resurgence also ends on such a heavy implication for a sequel that it manages to rob the audience of any closure. A sequel, which I can’t imagine being greenlit any time soon.


Release Date:
24th June 2016

The Scene To Look Out For:
Every scene feels like a glorified, SyFy Channel b-movie with an actual budget. If I had to pick something in particular as a positive standout, it would be a genuine task. Crap, on the other hand, is another matter entirely; the whole film is chock-full. I think I’m going to have to go for a bit of an abstract concept here and say, the thing of note was any time Resurgence tried to really hammer home that nostalgia and recycled lines or scenarios from Independence Day. From Pullman’s underwhelming speech (which was pretty amazing last time, they even played it twice here) to fathers sacrificing themselves for their kids, to kooky scientist nonsense, to more of that “humans are the best” bullshit. Anything that worked last time is brought out, paraded around and feels like a dying circus elephant from your childhood and if it doesn’t bring a tear to your eye, it bloody well should.

Notable Characters:
**The first half is a bit spoilery**
Two of the new additions pissed me off so much. First we have the current American President, Elizabeth Lanford [Sela Ward] who is amazingly useless, continuing to hold a celebratory ceremony despite an alien presence on the moon then has no real plan of action and gets killed while muttering to a roomful of aliens “there will be no peace.” And then we have Nicolas Wright as Floyd Rosenberg. Floyd is such a painfully awful character; every line of dialogue woeful, every situation cringeworthy and the fact he survives the whole film is an incredible insult when so many other random supporting roles died for literally nothing. And to make matters worse, Wright is one of the men responsible for the script – which should really explain everything.

Highlighted Quote:
“It speaks.. hehe.. in English”

In A Few Words:
“An absolutely shocking film, rich in commendable computer generated imagery, void of pretty much everything else”

Total Score:

1/5

Cinema City Film Quiz #169

[19 June 2016]


Winning Team:
Princess Karaoke
Genre – The wolf pack returns to Tokyo and become a howling success

Runners Up:
Howl’s Moving Brothel
Genre – Contact Kinky’s Delivery Service or our website: PornoRosso.com
Wiki’s Delivery Service
Genre – In a post-apocalyptic world, Wikipedia continues by hand-delivering pages of information [citation needed]
Studio Jubblies.. With Sexy Results
Genre – Russ Meyers inspired comedy featuring Lindsay Lohan on a cat bus
The Studio Giblets
Genre – The studio’s innards, outards and everything in between
Kiki, Sophie And Howl’s Moving Delivery Service Castle
Genre – Sophie and Howl help Kiki with her deliveries
The Incredible Shrinking Dan
Genre – Family suspense


ROUND I: Pre-Production
1. What was the title of the first sequel to The Godfather?
THE GODFATHER PART II
2. Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy tells the story of which superhero?
BATMAN
3. The Thin Red Line is set during which military conflict?
WORLD WAR II
4. Who directed Jackie Brown?
QUENTIN TARANTINO
5. What is the name of Dorothy’s dog in The Wizard Of Oz?
TOTO
6. Woody, Buzz, Andy and Bo Peep are characters in which film?
TOY STORY
7. Bruce Willis plays a cop fighting terrorists in a skyscraper in which film?
DIE HARD
8. Which instrument does Andrew Neiman play in Whiplash?
DRUMS
9. What is the title of the 1959 epic about a Jewish prince who is sold into slavery by his Roman childhood friend, regains his freedom and returns to reap revenge?
BEN-HUR
10. What is the name of the character played by Anthony Perkins in Psycho?
NORMAN BATES


ROUND II: Filming [Hayao Miyazaki special]
1. What was the title of the film to earn Miyazaki an Oscar? Spirited Away? Ponyo? Howl’s Moving Castle?
SPIRITED AWAY
2. What colour is Porco’s plane in Porco Rosso? Yellow? White? Red?
RED
3. What are the names of the two sisters in My Neighbour Totoro? Satsuki and Mei? Touka and Hinami? Asuka and Rei?
SATSUKI AND MEI
4. Which of the following Miyazaki films does not feature a female lead? Nausicaa: Valley Of The Wind? Castle In The Sky? Princess Mononoke?
PRINCESS MONONOKE
5. How old is Kiki when she sets out to find her place in the world at the start of Kiki’s Delivery Service? 10? 13? 15?
THIRTEEN
6. In Howl’s Moving Castle, Howl can transform into which type of animal? Dragon? Deer? Bird?
BIRD
7. The Wind Rises is a fictionalised biopic of Jiro Horikoshi, what was Horikoshi famous for? Sailing around the world? Designing fighter planes? Painting landscapes?
DESIGNING FIGHTER PLANES
8. What was the title of the Miyazaki animation produced by TMS Entertainment (Tokyo Movie Shinsha), rather than Studio Ghibli? The Castle Of Cagliostro? Arrietty? Metropolis?
THE CASTLE OF CAGLIOSTRO
9. Who has scored all bar one of Miyazaki’s feature films? Bruce Faulconer? Hayato Matsuo? Joe Hisaishi?
JOE HISAISHI (real name Mamoru Fujisawa)
10. Liam Neeson voices the role of Fujimoto in Ponyo, a father searching for his daughter who he believes has been taken to the mainland, solely because of his role in Taken. True or False?
FALSE (Taken was released a year after Ponyo)


ROUND III: Post-Production
1. Technically there are four superheroes in Kick-Ass, name them. (one point per correct answer)
KICK-ASS / HIT GIRL / BIG DADDY / RED MIST
2. The Fast And The Furious was released in which year?
2001
3. Who directed American Gangster?
RIDLEY SCOTT
4. The following is the poster tagline for which film, “Alcatraz. Only one man has ever broken out. Now five million lives depend on two men breaking in”?
THE ROCK
5. Of the Eon James Bond franchise, John Glen directed the most. How many titles did he direct?
FIVE (For Your Eyes Only, Octopussy, A View To A Kill, The Living Daylights, Licence To Kill)
6. Sir Ulrich von Liechtenstein from Gelderland is the main character from which film?
A KNIGHT’S TALE
7. The following is a quote from which film, “It’s so fluffy I’m gonna die”?
DESPICABLE ME
8. Airheads, Coneheads, Bulletproof and Funny People all featured which actor?
ADAM SANDLER
9. The following quote is from which film, “You got me out here dragging your heavy ass, through the burning desert, with your dreadlocks sticking out the back of my parachute. You gotta come down here with an attitude, acting all big and bad. And what the hell is that smell?”
INDEPENDENCE DAY
10. How many films has Matt Damon directed?
NONE


ROUND IV: Promotion & Release
1. Easy A, starring Emma Stone is partially inspired by which book? Persuasion by Jane Austen? The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne? Moby Dick by Herman Melville?
THE SCARLET LETTER BY NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE
2. In Ratatouille, what is Chef Gusteau’s motto which inspires Remy? Anyone can cook? You can be a chef too? My kitchen is your kitchen?
ANYONE CAN COOK
3. In The Others, Grace’s daughter Anne draws a picture detailing people she’s seen around the house multiple times. How many people does she draw? 4? 5? 6?
FOUR
4. Which film about lucid dreaming tells the story of David and his interactions with a company called Life Extension? Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind? Vanilla Sky? Inception?
VANILLA SKY
5. What did Michael Mann direct in 2001? Heat? The Insider? Ali?
ALI
6. Enemy At The Gates features several flashbacks to a young Vasily Zaytsev hunting what type of animal with his grandfather? Elk? Bears? Wolves?
WOLVES
7. In the Tim Burton film Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street, Sweeney Todd is an adopted alias, what is the barber’s real name? Edward Eames? James Jones? Benjamin Barker?
BENJAMIN BARKER
8. The following quote is from which film, “I guess I am going to have to get used to looking at perty people and perty people going to have to get used to looking at me”? Mud? True Grit? Sling Blade?
SLING BLADE
9. How many Oscars has Tom Hanks been nominated for? Five? Eight? Eleven?
FIVE (Big, Philadelphia, Forrest Gump, Saving Private Ryan, Cast Away)
10. The opening narration for Escape From New York is voiced by Jamie Lee Curtis. True or False?
TRUE


BOUNS IMAGE ROUND
Screenshots: The Royal Tennenbaums / Shallow Hal / Iron Man 2
Poster: Emma
Actor: Gwyneth Paltrow


Cinema City Film Quiz #168

[06 June 2016]


Winning Team:
Being Mr Rogers
Genre – Steve Rogers retires to become a sweater-vest wearing neighbour

Runners Up:
Caps Lock America
Genre – British superhero Brian Blessed convinces the entire USA to ditch lowercase letters in online discourse
“Better Get One Of The Captain”
Genre – After being unfrozen, Captain America takes a picture of ‘himself’ to check he’s still ‘intact’
Saving Private Bucky
Genre – When Cappy met Bucky
Hydra Think We’re Gonna Win?
Genre – Captain A says ‘Nay’
Rogering Steve
Genre – A tale of how Captain America got laid after nearly seven decades in the ice
Civil Whore
Genre – Unclassified


ROUND I: Pre-Production
1. Beneath The Planet Of The Apes is the sequel to which film?
PLANET OF THE APES
2. What type of animal is Babe in the film of the same name?
PIG
3. Sean Connery, Timothy Dalton and Daniel Craig have all played which character?
JAMES BOND
4. The aliens in 1953’s War Of The Worlds are from which planet?
MARS
5. Who has directed the live-action Transformers films, to date?
MICHAEL BAY
6. What is the name of the sequel to Disney’s The Rescuers?
THE RESCUERS DOWN UNDER
7. Good Will Hunting, Dogma and Ocean’s Eleven all starred which actor?
MATT DAMON
8. The Oscar winning musical Oliver! was released in which year?
1968
9. Rodan, King Ghidorah and Mothra are all recurring characters in which Japanese franchise?
GODZILLA / GOJIRA
10. In which film did Gregory Peck play Atticus Finch?
TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD


ROUND II: Filming [Captain America special]
1. Who plays the role of Captain America in the MCU? Sebastian Stan? Chris Evans? Chris Pratt?
CHRIS EVANS
2. What was the subtitle of the first Captain America film? Origins? Super Soldier? The First Avenger?
THE FIRST AVENGER
3. T’Challa is crown prince of which fictional nation in Captain America: Civil War? Genosha? Latveria? Wakanda?
4. Captain America: The Winter Soldier was released in which year? 2013? 2014? 2015?
2014
5. What is the colour of the Infinity Stone used to create Vision in Avengers: Age Of Ultron? Yellow? Blue? Red?
YELLOW
6. Who composed the score for The Avengers? Alan Silvestri? Tyler Bates? Ramin Djawadi?
ALAN SILVESTRI
7. Which character said the following, “You wear a flag on your chest and think you fight a battle of nations. I have seen the future Captain, there are no flags”? Arnim Zola? Red Skull? Alexander Pierce?
RED SKULL
8. What is the name of the counter-terrorism group headed by Captain America and Black Widow in Captain America: The Winter Soldier? HAMMER? STRIKE? SWORD?
STRIKE (Special Tactical Reserve for International Key Emergencies)
9. How many individuals are present in the Triskelion office when Pym tenders his resignation at the start of Ant-Man? Six? Five? Four?
FOUR (Hank Pym, Peggy Carter, Howard Stark, Mitchell Carson)
10. Thor: The Dark World was the first Marvel film not set in the United States. True or False?
TRUE


ROUND III: Post-Production
1. What are the titles of all the Bourne films released to date? (one point per correct answer)
THE BOURNE IDENTITY / THE BOURNE SUPREMACY / THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM / THE BOURNE LEGACY
2. What is the name of the song that plays on the radio every morning in Groundhog Day?
I GOT YOU BABE
3. Who directed The Rainmaker, Jack and Rumble Fish?
FRANCIS FORD COPPOLA
4. How long has The Truman Show been on the air before Truman starts to suspect the world around him?
THIRTY
5. The following films all featured which actor, Bananas, Cobra, Spy Kids 3D: Game Over and Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot?
SYLVESTER STALLONE
6. What does Turing have printed in newspapers to recruit people to his cryptography team in The Imitation Game?
A CROSSWORD PUZZLE
7. In Snatch, Boris Yurinov has two nicknames, name them. (one point per correct answer)
BORIS THE BLADE / BORIS THE BULLET DODGER
8. Finish the following quote from The Dark Knight, “Introduce a little anarchy, upset the established order and everything becomes chaos”.
I’M AN AGENT OF CHAOS
9. 2013’s The Lone Ranger received how many Oscar nominations?
TWO (visual effects and makeup/hairstyling)
10. Which film starred Harvey Keitel, Michael Madsen, Brad Pitt and Susan Sarandon?
THELMA & LOUISE


ROUND IV: Promotion & Release
1. Who directed Double Indemnity? Billy Wilder? Clarence Brown? Frank Capra?
BILLY WILDER
2. What is the name of the horse that Lonnegan loses his money on in The Sting? Desperate Dan? Lucky Dan? Fancy Dan?
LUCKY DAN
3. The following quote is from which film, “I am putting myself to the fullest possible use, which is all I think that any conscious entity can ever hope to do”? Ex Machina? I, Robot? 2001: A Space Odyssey?
2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY
4. In Lost In Translation, Bob Harris is in Japan to promote what type of alcoholic drink? Whiskey? Vodka? Sake?
WHISKEY
5. Bing Bong is a character in which Pixar film? The Good Dinosaur? Inside Out? Wall-E?
INSIDE OUT
6. Who played the title role in Mr Smith Goes To Washington? James Stewart? Clark Gable? Gary Cooper?
JAMES STEWART
7. Who received top billing on the poster for 1997’s LA Confidential? Russell Crowe? Kim Basinger? Kevin Spacey?
KEVIN SPACEY
8. What colour chess pieces does Antonius Block play with in The Seventh Seal? White? Black? Red?
WHITE
9. What is the first dinosaur featured in Jurassic Park? Brachiosaurus? Velociraptor? Triceratops?
VELOCIRAPTOR
10. The studio heads at Warner Bros threatened to fire John Huston for the amount of smoking in The Maltese Falcon, believing that audience members would want to step outside and smoke rather than watch the film. True or False?
TRUE (scenes were reshot but lost a lot of tension and heavy smoking was reinstated)


BOUNS IMAGE ROUND
Screenshots: Withnail & I / Corpse Bride / Garfield: A Tale Of Two Kitties
Poster: Bram Stoker’s Dracula
Actor: Richard E Grant