Free at last!

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I like movies. Roughly 43 gabillion other people also like movies.  I took 1 film class in college (‘Film History’ to be exact), and a while back I did a bit of reviewing over at Horror News, a pretty cool site. Some years back, as a structured Cultural-enrichment thing, I taught ‘Film and Media’ at a middle school campus after school one day per week in Tyler, Texas (for pay).  I’m saying all this to convey that: I don’t have a ‘special’ opinion on films, but I like to think, one that is fairly well informed……for someone who doesn’t pay his rent as a movie critic.

So, for my gift to the universe today, I’d like to offer a few comments about Independence Day: Resurgence.   <clears throat> This is a film, that most assuredly tries very hard….it really does. Put bluntly: the 1st and 3rd acts deliver fairly well, they do. The 2nd act, however, is an utter train wreck of the highest order…..it just is. I haven’t even the energy to go beat by beat through this whole movie, but honestly here it is in a nutshell:

The aliens come back. They’re strong. Their ship is big (presented in a VERY CONFUSING FASHION that was a huge visual ‘miss’ from a production standpoint. I mean, a big spaceship that’s 3500 miles wide…..and you can’t figure out a better way to present it than in this strange, broken, 7 or 8 shots deliver pell-mell?)  There’s a lot of running around, flying stuff, shooting at stuff, somber expressions, tired cliches (that were tired 15 years ago), yelling, a stumbling former US President presented in an overwrought fashion, close ups of 50-something actors’ faces, blah-blah-diggety-blah. Oh, there’s an alien queen who’s kinda cool, but that gets old fast.

Now, I know I’m going to make someone (or some people) mad, but this is my blog: Maika Monroe is a part of the new stable of who-told-them-they-could-actually-act young female actors so prevalent today. Daisy whats-her-name is good, don’t misunderstand, she is….she’s good…..I think she has a lot of range, I do.  But we REALLY DON’T HAVE a Judy Garland or a Meg Ryan or a Barbara Streisand today…..we don’t…..we really don’t.  I don’t know what the problem is……she’s 23 years old, she’s done (before this) about 4 films that anyone would know (or might even care) about. So, none of that’s her fault……but for a young female lead, playing in a film like this aimed at an understandably young audience…..she just lacks the Pa-Zow! power for this role…..she just does.

Here’s my advice: if you can stream, or rent (or whatever) this one for no more than a buck-fifty……sure, go for it. But outside of that: save your money. It wants, and hopes and prays to be this summer’s gonzo blockbuster…….but it just fails….in a real bad way.

 

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