Sunday, June 05, 2005

AMC is showing Independence Day right now

Lisa said it was on earlier but it didn't register until now that she also said "it's on AMC!" Yup it's official now: Independence Day is an American Movie Classic. Funny thing: as much as I berate myself for the fact that I watched this seven times in the theaters when it first came out in '96, every time I wind up watching it again I understand anew what it was that kept me coming.

You see, this isn't a movie about evil aliens in fifteen-mile diameter spaceships blowing up the White House at all. Yeah the effects looked wicked cool, especially the scenes where the fighter jets are engaging the alien fighters beneath those monstrosities. Speaking of which, Independence Day probably ranks as the VERY LAST of the old-school special effects blockbusters given how ridiculously LITTLE computer-rendering was used in it, compared to something like Revenge of the Sith. That was neat eye candy but Independence Day was much like Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich's previous effort Stargate in that it focused on the characters more than the techno gimmickery involved. To me, Independence Day was and always will be about the way America should be: a land where there really is no division or meaningless factionalism. A country where every man (and woman) really is considered equal, and not a favored elite by virtue of birth or corporate backing. Independence Day is not a movie that either so-called "liberals" or "neo-cons" should enjoy: a Jew and a black man fly a spaceship together and save the world, and no one ever takes notice of that. The President of the United States is a REAL Air Force flyer who's not afraid to strap into an F-16 and take off after the bad guys alongside refugees from an RV flotilla. No one is stopping to figure out how to capitalize on this mess: they're just fighting to make sure that their children will have a world to wake up to tomorrow.

Man, Independence Day may be one of the most politically mocking movies of all time. No wonder it's always resonated with me somehow.

Anyway, glad to see that it's now being played on AMC alongside such other classics of the American screen as Every Which Way But Loose, Smokey and the Bandit Part 2, Death Race 2000 and National Lampoon's Animal House :-)

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