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    Independence Day
    Stars:Will Smith, Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum
    I had been looking forward to this movie for a long time. Today, I sat through a region-wide power outage, braved huge crowds, long lines, and 90 minutes of standing around to get in to see Independence Day. Was it worth it? You're damned right it was.

    This has got to be one of the most awe-inspiring movies of all time. The special effects are nothing short of spectacular. The acting is fantastic, especially Will Smith's. The story is straightforward and gripping. However, there are a few minor problems. No movie is perfect, right?

    First of all, one of my biggest movie complaints can be found here. That's right, they're all using freakin' Macintosh computers. Here a Mac, there a Mac, everywhere a Mac Mac. Oh, how that irritates me. Okay. Flaw number two: (and I'll try not to reveal too much of the plot here) How did Jeff Goldblum connect his Mac to the alien's computers? (Maybe they were using Mac's, too.)

    The third and final flaw can be found in some cheesy, overused cliches that are scattered about this film. Other than that, I really couldn't find anything wrong with this picture. Sure, it borrowed some elements from other sci-fi movies including War of the Worlds, V, and Stargate, but I see no reason to complain about that. I liked how, unlike V, the aliens are completely hostile and foreign: they don't seem to have any weaknesses in their technology. That's gotta suck.

    You may think I'm complaining more than raving. Well, you're wrong. Rave rave rave rave. This is a great movie. Additionally, it is one of the few films that can live up to its hype. I mean, just look at what these monsterous ships (each 15 miles long, coming from a 342-mile long mothership) do to these cities. We're not talking little puny explosions, here. We're talking massive destruction. I think more people die in this movie than any other. Millions. Fortunately, the ones that die aren't our heroes. That would make the movie annoying, wouldn't it?

    Okay, so to conclude, Independence Day is deserving of the hundreds of millions of box-office dollars it's likely to gross. It's got everything: cool heroes, great effects, binding story, humor, and massive destruction. Oh, yeah!

    Appendum: I rarely see movies before anyone else reviews them, so this time I had an opportunity to see what the critics said after I saw the movie. Basic conclusion: The critics are morons. Take, for instance, Roger Ebert. After I read his review of Independence Day, I was left with a feeling of "Did you even watch the movie?" So therefore, here I have the negative points he made, followed by my explanation of them.

    Jeff Goldblum intercepts the alien signal, which is a countdown timer. Now why would aliens from the other side of the galaxy use our system of hours, minutes, and seconds? The signal Jeff Goldblum intercepted was a binary sequence, steadily degrading. Using the rate of signal "recycling," he extrapolated the time the countdown would end, and set up a timer accordingly. Any third grader with a $5 calculator can do that.

    Why do the aliens always use "ray guns?" They don't use "ray guns." They fire green pulses of energy that clearly move slower than light. When those huge ships fire their primary weapon, the laser is projected as a guide, and does no damage until the big energy pulse is sent along it. Nope. No "ray guns" in this movie.

    Couldn't they have come up with something more original than "octopus men?" First of all, they aren't "octopus men." They have more than eight appendages and absolutely no suction cups. Second, name me another movie that uses "octopus men."

    You would think the aliens would have anti-virus programs for their computers. Why? Maybe they don't have evil hackers on the other side of the galaxy. These are aliens, remember? They might not have ever encountered a computer virus before. Think about it.

    Jeff Goldblum had too easy a time connecting his computer to the alien's systems. True, I had this complaint before. But, in retrospect, They were studying that downed alien ship since 1948. They probably found a way to access its computers. It makes sense.

    If these big ships are so powerful, why send the little fighters out after the Air Force? You can kill a lot of roaches using a Bug Bomb, but sometimes you have to go in there and spray the remaining ones. Here's another anology. The Rebel attack force is making a run on the Death Star. Now, this Death Star is a big-ass thing that can destroy an entire planet! It could really "whoop E.T.'s ass." But what does Darth Vader do? He sends out the Imperial fighter squadron to combat the Rebels. Sometimes, you just have to "fight them ship-to-ship."

    The little alien fighters were a dissapointment, just these little ugly grey jobs. Okay, Dr. Ebert, prominent physicist and ufologist. What should the little alien fighters look like?

    There was also an ABC movie critic who had the following complaint:
    How did Jeff Goldblum get to the White House if the streets are so crowded? People were leaving the city, not entering it. Outbound traffic was backed up. Pay attention. Judd Hirsch explained it.

    So, to conclude, I don't know why these critics are complaining. I don't see why anyone would have any kind of bias against this film. If you're going to complain about Independence Day, make sure your arguments are substantive and logical. I'll give you an example. When the stealth bombers are making a run at the alien ships, our heros are following the action on ground-based radar. Stealth bombers elude radar, right? Hmmm.

    Comments? E-mail movies@aldebaran.net