Independence Day

Much like Titanic (also on the list, some other time) this is a film that only really reaches its stride in the second half, once the iceberg has hit and the world starts to sink. Ignoring the obvious, huge and much-discussed plot holes (what if the alien spaceships didn’t operate on Mac OS?) this is actually a very enjoyable popcorn film, with Roland Emmerich unleashing his full hatred on mankind in the form of giant spaceships playing a lethal game of chess with the Earth. The cast contains many tongue-in-cheek performances by actors more known for comedy (Will Smith, Randy Quaid, Jeff Goldblum) and displays people from all walks of life, be they a drunken former abductee or a Clinton-esque president, berated for being too young, all bonding together to save their planet. At times it is a little too patriotic though, as we are shown late in the film that the rest of the world have been waiting for the yanks to come up with a solution (“About bloody time” complains a typically posh Englishman), but then in a big dumb action movie you can expect some big dumb ideas (Smith’s first human interaction with an alien sees him punching it in the head). Also, the US patriotism is probably more of a money-making plot, seeing as the director is actually from Germany.
Choose film 8/10
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2012

Say what you will about Roland Emmerich, and many have and I’m sure many more will, but the man knows how to abuse a landscape. Given that within his back catalogue, the guy’s unleashed a giant reptile around New York, had aliens destroy all the major cities of the world and frozen the entire northern hemisphere, you’d think he’d be looking for something new, to stretch his horizon a little beyond the tedium of landscape desecration. Well now it looks like he may be doing just that, but before he goes, he wants to make sure he’s remembered for the disaster movie to end all disaster movies. So, in 2012, which historical landmarks are being reduced to so much dust in the wind? The Washington monument? The Sistine chapel? Christ the Redeemer? If you answered d) All of the above, congratulations, you’re correct, as Emmerich has had enough of humanity, and is blowing all of civilisation sky high. He even has a pop at Mount Everest, and we didn’t even build that.