Starlog Archive: Independence Day

Earlier this summer, Independence Day: Resurgence was one of many disappointing sequels.  Many were scratching their heads wondering why anyone would make a sequel to a movie that was twenty years old and way past its pop culture expiration date.  The reason was simple.  The first Independence Day was the highest-grossing movie of 1996.  It was so big that Time Magazine credited the movie with reviving science fiction!  So naturally, Starlog was pretty excited about the alien invasion/disaster flick.

And here’s that Time Magazine cover I referenced:


Posted on August 17, 2016, in Movies, Starlog Archives and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. How can they say this brought back sci-fi? Sci-fi has been going like gangbusters long before this turkey which was nothing but a 90’s version of “Plan 9 from Outer Space”


    • I had that same reaction in 1996. But I guess it had been a while since there had been a big sci fi blockbuster of Star Wars proportions. I remember that during the time that Star Wars was dormant, every expensive sci fi movie was being billed as “the next Star Wars”.


  2. This is definitely one of those hindsight films. I’m not really surprised the sequel doesn’t seem all that popular; I don’t think too many people were clamoring for a revival of “Independence Day”, since it was such an in the moment deal. Real nice coverage here by Starlog, though.


      • Why Movies In Summer (And Beyond) 2016 Underperformed


        Blockbuster movies love to indulge in ridiculous action and special effects, but what makes audiences love the mayhem of The Avengers, and not the craziness of Independence Day: Resurgence?

        It all comes down to one thing: audiences care. Great writing, direction and acting allow an audience to like a character, but when a character becomes embroiled in an ethical conflict, viewers suddenly begin to care what happens, almost as if they have a personal stake in the conflict of the movie. In other words, the action, explosions and stunts all have to mean something.

        Blockbuster summer movies like The Dark Knight, Finding Nemo or even The Hunger Games all have deeper philosophical questions they ask of both their characters and their audiences. In summer 2016, the majority of releases lacked those deeper ideas. Whereas The Dark Knight asked questions about operating outside the law, Suicide Squad meandered around any real subtext. Finding Nemo addressed issues of friendship, family and fear, while Resurgence seemed to exist simply to move from one effects sequence to another. The Hunger Games examined tribalism, responsibility, and government manipulation, while Warcraft seemed preoccupied with setting up the next movie in the series, rather than examining the conflict that was actually on the screen! In sum, the greatest “summer movies” manage to enchant the eyes with great looking visuals and the mind and heart with deeper questions. Had movies in 2016 done a better job of concentrating on their philosophical underpinnings rather than their action and effects, they might have enjoyed more success.


  3. Very simple: Jurassic World was a good movie. Independence Day Regurgitate was a bad movie.


  4. The Legacy Of 9/11 and its Influence on Hollywood

    View story at

    I’m amazed at how different films were pre 9/11. The films of the 1990s that I largely grew up with were vastly different. Look at America’s place in the world then: after the fall of the Berlin Wall, America was top dog. Capitalism had won, communism had failed and America had asserted itself as the greatest country on Earth. Americans had little to fear in the real world and Hollywood came up with outlandish threats such as alien invaders (Independence Day) and asteroids (Deep Impact, Armageddon). In these movies America was portrayed as the brave hero who unites the world in the name of the common good. Take a look at Bill Pullman’s speech in Independence Day:

    “The Fourth of July will no longer be known as an American holiday, but as the day the world declared in one voice: “We will not go quietly into the night!”.

    The speech oozes patriotism, America will unite the world and will lead a ragtag, underdog earth team to defeat an alien race with superior technology. Seeing this movie as a child I was mesmerized, and to this day I still feel inspired watching it.


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