It is the horror film that every Aussie horror fan is talking about at the moment. The creepy poster is in the cinema lobbies and the trailer is on our screens. Now the cast of Slender Man explain what the film is all about.
Summary: Two decades after the first Independence Day invasion, Earth is faced with a new extra-Solar threat. But will mankind’s new space defenses be enough?
Australian Cinema Release Date: 23rd June 2016
Australian DVD Release Date: TBA
Director: Roland Emmerich
Screenwriter: Dean Devlin, Roland Emmerich, James Vanderbilt, Nicolas Wright, James A. Woods
Cast: Gbenga Akinnagbe (Agent Travis), Angelbaby (Rain Lao), Arturo del Puerto (Bordeaux), William Fichtner (General Adams), Vivica A. Fox (Jasmine Hiller), Charlotte Gainsbourg (Catherine Marceaux), Jeff Goldblum (David Levinson), Mckenna Grace (Daisy), Evan Bryn Graves (Pilot P. Goodman), Tavis Hammer (Jeffrey Fineman), Chin Han (Commander Jiang), Liam Hemsworth (Jake Morrison), Judd Hirsch (Julius Levinson), Joey King (Sam), Kenny Leu (Ping Li), Lance Lim (Camper Kevin), Robert Loggia (General Grey), Joshua Mikel (Armand), Maika Monroe (Patricia Whitmore), Robert Neary (Captain McQuaide), Hans Obma (Sokolov), Deobia Oparei (Dikembe Umbutu), Bill Pullman (President Whitmore), Jenna Purdy (Voice of Sphere (voice)), Ryan Baloy Rivera (Sgt. P. Howard), Zeb Sanders (Camper Henry), Christian Simpson (Sgt. Fletcher Smith), Donovan Tyee Smith (Camper Marcus), Brent Spiner (Dr. Brakish Okun), Patrick St. Espirit (Secretary of Defense Tanner), John Storey (Dr. Isaacs), Travis Tope (Charlie Miller), Jessie T. Usher (Dylan Hiller), Joel Virgel (Jacques), Sela Ward (President Lanford), Garrett Wareing (Bobby), Nate Warren (Marley Sullivan), Hays Wellford (Felix), Otis Winston (Brian Cole), James A. Woods (Lt. Ritter), Nicolas Wright (Floyd Rosenberg)
Runtime: 120 mins
Has there ever been a film that you loved when you were younger that you have revisited as an adult and been bitterly disappointed? It happened to me recently with ‘Independence Day.’ As a kid this movie blew me away, the special effects, the idea that aliens could blow up the White House… and yes even Will Smith (I was addicted to the ‘Fresh Prince Of Air’). Going back to watch it last week though I realised that the film was not as great as I remembered, aside from the special effects it was actually a bit of a cheesy film and probably shouldn’t be considered a classic.
Still I didn’t let me truth defining moment about the original dampen my hopes for ‘Independence Day: Resurgence’, after all I kept telling myself it’s twenty years later, Roland Emmerich has grown as a director and I guiltily kind of enjoyed ‘White House Down.’ Well as it turns out I was horribly wrong, yes it may be twenty years on but Emmerich hasn’t learnt anything new and he is still making the same mistakes that made ‘Godzilla’ and ‘The Day After Tomorrow’ films that might have impressed the masses but had serious film lovers shaking their heads over what they have just seen.
Emmerich’s new storyline has been put together by a team of screenwriters that sees the world as a very different place to what it was 20 years earlier. Humans have embraced the alien technology that was used against them in the previous war giving a very new look to things even as basic as a helicopter. Our old heroes are also very different people as well. Former President Whitmore (Bill Pullman – ‘While You Were Sleeping’) is a depressed mess, his daughter Patricia (Maika Monroe – ‘It Follows’) works at the White House, Dr. Brakish Okun (Brent Spiner – Star Trek: Generations) has been a coma for 20 years, while David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum – ‘Jurassic Park’) travels the world and is considered an ‘alien expert.’ He now answers to the likes of President Lanford (Sela Ward – ‘Gone Girl’) and General Adams (William Fichtner – ‘The Dark Knight’) who have developed a pretty impressive defence system for Earth.
Then there are the newcomers – the likes of bored fighter pilot Jake Morrison (Liam Hemsworth – ‘The Hunger Games’) forced to live in the shadows of the likes of the famous Dylan Hiller (Jessie T. Usher – ‘Teeange’),Charlie Miler (Tarvis Tope – ‘The Town That Dreaded Sundown’) and Dr. Catherine Marceaux (Charlotte Gainsbourg – ‘Antchrist’) a former rival of Levinson’s who now wants to help him. Somehow this mixture of people all have to bring it together and help fight when the aliens return, once again hellbent on destroying Earth.
Perhaps the scariest thing about ‘Independence Day: Resurgence’ (is certainly not the aliens) is the fact that it becomes painfully obvious early on that despite it being twenty years later Emmerich seems to have learnt nothing as a filmmaker. Still there are the bad attempts of humor throughout the film, the awful over-writing of characters that makes them so clichéd and these repetitive tropes that keep turning up in Emmerich films (like a computer telling the characters of the impending danger).
Even worse this time around though are the facts though that Emmerich seems to have borrowed so much from other films, especially the ‘Star Wars’ franchise for this film, and just how unbelievable this film is to its audience. Yes, of course, a story about aliens attacking Earth is supposed to be a believable drama but can anyone buy the fact that two characters that are emotional and physical wrecks after the events of the first film are suddenly able to swing around and be battle ready this time around… one was even in a coma for 20 years but is suddenly able to do his work like nothing has happened.
The other area in which Emmerich manages to lose his audience with this film is the over saturation of characters and the even worse habit of introducing characters well into the film, far too late for you to ever care what happens to them. The result is a film where it is virtually impossible to connect with any of the characters, which in turn means the suspense that should be there in a movie like this is just non-existant. Add that to the fact that you find yourselves laughing at a lot of the dialogue littered throughout the film, or groan at ‘you have the heart of the warrior’ and this soon becomes a film that should be referred to as a let-down of a blockbuster.
The poor screenplay also lets down its cast badly. The likes of Charlotte Gainsbourg and Lima Hemsworth are sadly given nothing to work with and it’s likely people will quickly forget that they even made this film pretty quickly. Likewise if Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman thought this was the film that would resurrect their careers then they are very sadly mistaken. And as for the newcomers… well they barely even create a blip on the screen.
With a dreadful screenplay and nothing new when it comes to special effects ‘Independence Day: Resurgence’ ends up being one of the biggest disappointments of 2016. Even worse is the fact that we know another one is on the way… it’s like looking forward to a dentist’s appointment. One to avoid.
There’s a lot of reliance on nostalgia in making sequels or follow ups ten or twenty after the previous film in a franchise. Recent memory brings up hits like Star Wars episode 7 and Creed but also not so successful films like Zoolander 2. As always with sequels it can be difficult catching lightning in a bottle twice but with a decade or two in between films that can only make it more of a challenge.
You can hear Adam Ross’s Independence Day: Resurgence review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #182.
Other Subculture Entertainment Independence Day: Resurgence reviews: You can also listen to our full Independence Day: Resurgence review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #182.
Summary: A Secret Service agent is tasked with saving the life of the U.S. President after the White House is overtaken by a paramilitary group.
Australian Cinema Release Date: 5th September, 2013
Australian DVD Release Date: TBA
Director: Roland Emmerich
Screenwriter: James Vanderbilt
Cast: Andrea Apergis (Ritter), Garcelle Beauvais (Alison Sawyer), Jason Clarke (Stenz), Chad Connell (Gabriel Byrnes), Victor Cornfoot (Agent Reid), Matt Craven (Agent Kellerman), Faber Dewar (Colonel Cameron), Jamie Foxx (President Sawyer), Kyle Gatehouse (Conrad), Jackie Geary (Jenna), Maggie Gyllenhaal (Finnerty), Falk Hentschel (Motts), Peter Jacobson (Wallace), Richard Jenkins (Raphelson), Joey King (Emily), Vincent Leclerc (Agent Todd), Rachelle Lefevre (Melanie), Anthony Lemke (Captain Hutton), Michael Murphy (Vice President Hammond), Romano Orzari (Mulcahy), Kevin Rankin (Killick), Lance Reddick (General Caulfield), Patrick Sabongui (Bobby), Andrew Simms (Roger Skinner), Jimmi Simpson (Tyler), Channing Tatum (Cale), Lee Villeneuve (Chen), Jake Weber (Agent Hope), Barbara Williams (Muriel Walker), James Woods (Walker), Nicholas Wright (Donnie the Guide), Anatoly Zinoviev (Vadim)
Runtime: 131 mins
Please check Dave’s review of ‘White House Down’ that is available on The Helium Entertainment Channel
Please check Greg’s review of ‘White House Down’ that is available on www.filmreviews.com.au
Please check Nick’s review of ‘White House Down’ that is available on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep 48
Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘White House Down′: Please check The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep 48 for our in-depth review of ‘White House Down.’
Summary: Disney’s fantastical adventure Oz: The Great and Powerful, directed by Sam Raimi, imagines the origins of L. Frank Baum’s beloved character, the Wizard of Oz. When Oscar Diggs (James Franco), a small-time circus magician with dubious ethics, is hurled away from dusty Kansas to the vibrant Land of Oz, he thinks he’s hit the jackpot – fame and fortune are his for the taking – that is until he meets three witches, Theodora (Mila Kunis), Evanora (Rachel Weisz) and Glinda (Michelle Williams), who are not convinced he is the great wizard everyone’s been expecting.
Reluctantly drawn into the epic problems facing the Land of Oz and its inhabitants, Oscar must find out who is good and who is evil before it is too late. Putting his magical arts to use through illusion, ingenuity – and even a bit of wizardry – Oscar transforms himself not only into the great and powerful Wizard of Oz but into a better man as well.
Australian Cinema Release Date: 7th March, 2013
Australian DVD Release Date: TBA
Director: Sam Raimi
Screenwriter: Mitchell Kapner, David Lindsay-Abaire, L. Frank Baum (novel)
Cast: Russell Bobbitt (Mr. Baum), Zach Braff (Frank/Finley), Bill Cobbs (Master Tinker), Tony Cox (Knuck), James Franco (Oscar Diggs), Joey King (Girl In Wheelchair/China Girl), Mila Kunis (Theodora/The Wicked Witch Of The West), Abigail Spencer (May), Rachel Weisz (Evanora), Michelle Williams (Annie/Glinda)
Runtime: 130 mins
Dave Griffiths’s ‘Oz The Great And Powerful’ Review:
You have to hand it to Sam Raimi (‘Drag Me To Hell’, ‘Spider-Man 3’), he is a bit of a glutton for punishment. His work on the ‘Spider-Man’ franchise seemed to divide fans of the webbed crusader and now he almost commits cinematic sacrilege by taking on the challenge of producing a prequel to one of the most loved films of all time ‘The Sound Of Music’.
Luckily for Raimi he is up to the task and despite the fact the film has a massive lull in the middle scenes it does enough to entertain the audience and keeps the fabulous world of Oz well and truly alive.
The film begins with Oscar Diggs (James Franco – ‘Lovelace’, ‘Interior Leather Bar’) as a womanizing poor impersonation of a magician who is so wrapped up in his own lifestyle that he can’t even commit to the love of his life Annie (Michelle Williams – ‘My Week With Marilyn’, ‘Take This Waltz’) even if that means seeing her walk down the aisle with another man.
When a freak accident involving a hot air balloon and a tornado occurs Oscar suddenly finds himself in a strange new land where he meets witch sisters Theodora (Mila Kunis – ‘Tar’, ‘Ted’) and Evanora (Rachel Weisz – ‘The Bourne Legacy’, ‘Dream House’) and despite his promises he can’t help but continue on his womanizing ways.
Declaring him as the Wizard and their savoir, the two witches send Oscar along with his winged-monkey sidekick Finley (Zach Braff – ‘Tar’, TV’S ‘The Exes’) to destroy the supposed wicked witch Glinda (Michelle Williams). Along the way he meets a young broken China Girl (Joey King – ‘Family Weekend’, ‘The Dark Knight Rises’) whom he helps, however when he arrives at his destination he begins flirting with Glinda which causes all hell to break out with Theodora and Evanora meaning that nobodies lives are safe.
‘Oz The Great And Powerful’ is one film that you just have to see in 3D. Raimi has made the Oz universe look like something from ‘Avatar’ while the producers have also used a lot of the same ideas that they used in Tim Burton’s ‘Alive In Wonderland’. There are also clear references to ‘Pinnochio’ and of course ‘Wicked’ but Raimi brings them all together and produces a film that seems to mix the right amount of comedy, drama and even some action… just be warned that some of the supernatural scenes may scare younger audience members.
And while the film is a great watch it really lets down its leading man, James Franco. Oscar is this interesting character but for some reason the screenplay just seems to have grinning wildly for most of the time. Luckily Michelle Williams, Rachel Weisz and Mila Kunis put in brilliant performances and are like leading ladies of old.
‘Oz The Great And Wonderful’ is an enjoyable watch and Sam Raimi shows that he is the visionary director that his early career suggested.
Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘Oz The Great And Powerful′: Check Episode #23 (available 8th March) of our The Good The Bad The Ugly Podcast for a more in-depth review of ‘Oz The Great And Powerful’. Dave also has a review of ‘Oz The Great And Powerful’ that is available on the Helium Entertainment Channel.