Tag Archives: will smith

My Favorite Scene: Independence Day (1996)

This will undoubtedly win the award for Shortest Favorite Scene Ever.  I know there’s drama around it, what with the running and the helicoptering and Jeff Goldblum staring at his laptop, but this is probably the best explosion in movie history that doesn’t involve a Death Star.  I remember in summer 1995, my best friend and I went to see Apollo 13 and they played the teaser trailer for ID4 and it was pretty much just this.  That’s how you do a teaser trailer.  We’re going to blow up the White House.  Wanna come see?  BOOM.  ID4 coming Summer 1996.

This was before Roland Emmerich went on to make a career out of blowing up any landmark of significance worldwide.  If there’s something left he hasn’t blown up, it’s not significant.  It’s like the cool kids table for monuments.  Has Emmerich blown you up?  Pssht, go sit with the national parks.

There is a sequel to Independence Day coming in 2015 (the year of all movies ever being released).  There’s no Will Smith, but Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman are on-board, so we definitely still have the star power necessary to repel another attack.  I’m guessing it took 20 years, but the alien race noticed that all those frisbee ships they sent Earthward never checked back in, so they’re back.  If there’s a shot of a carpenter satisfyingly hammering in the last nail into the reconstructed White House right before they reduce it to splinters again, I will have a new favorite movie explosion.

Also, depending on the inhabitant of the real White House, I sometimes find this cathartic to bring up and watch several times alongside the news.  My dad does the same thing with Die Hard after a bad day at work.  It’s how we could all tell it was a bad one.  “Dad’s going for Die Hard,” stay out of his way.  Thank you, movies, for helping us “cope”.

My Favorite Scene: The Pursuit of Happyness (2006) “The Job Interview”

To cleanse our mental palates of After Earth, in which M. Night Shaymalan managed to leech the personality out of two of the most charismatic people on Earth: Will & Jaden Smith, let’s look back at Jaden’s debut in The Pursuit of Happyness.  I don’t think this film gets enough recognition on Smith’s resume (possibly because three of his last four films have been notorious bombs and this  was just before that string began.  It’s one of the best turns of his career and from the moment you see Jaden, you know this kid is going to be something special, which he went on to prove when he carried a movie in The Karate Kid.

There’s a scene in this that destroys me.  At their very lowest, when father and son are living on the street, they spend the night in a public restroom in a subway station and Will Smith is bracing himself against the door against thugs trying to bust in, giving everything he has to try to carve out just this little space of safety for his son.  It’s heartbreaking.  This is one of the best dads in film history.  My favorite scene though, it one of the streaks of levity that pepper the film making it inspirational and not a dolorous slog.  Will Smith is painting a house, covered with paint, and gets arrested for delinquent parking tickets.  He’s released just in time for the interview that will literally make or break his life and he sprints from the police station just in time to walk into a Wall Street conference room, filthy and covered in paint.  It’s earnest and funny, but desperate.  Will Smith needs to stop doing Men in Blacks and start acting again, because when he tries, he’s about the best there is.Will Smith, Jaden Smith, The Pursuit of Happyness

Release Date Shuffle: Independence Day 2, X-Men, Apes, Assassin’s Creed, Jurassic Park and More

Independence Day
FOX, Disney and Universal announced new titles and a slew of shuffled release dates.  On FOX’s side:

  • Independence Day 2 has been officially greenlit and has a release date of July 3, 2015.  Are we just going to all live at the movie theater in 2015?  Roland Emmerich and Dean Devil will return to direct, but no Will Smith so….again the point?
  • X-Men Days of Future Past and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes have swapped release dates for next summer.  X-Men will open May 23, 2014.  Apes will open July 18, 2014.
  • Assassin’s Creed has been pushed back one month to June 19, 2015.
  • Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will open July 31, 2015 ( OF COURSE summer 2015).  This is the adaptation of the Ransom Riggs book that’s a sort of Victorian X-Men.  That doesn’t do it justice, but I could not recommend a book more highly.

Muppets, Disney, Kermit, Fozzie, Miss Piggy, Gonzo

  • Disney announced that the next Muppet movie has been retitled from The Muppets…Again to Muppets Most Wanted. The James Bobin-directed film will release on March 21, 2014.
  • A direct-to-video sequel to Planes entitled Planes: Fire & Rescue will be released July 18, 2014.  Disney will not let the Cars thing go…
  • Saving Mr. Banks, the story of how Walt Disney got the rights to Mary Poppins, has been moved up one week to December 13, 2013.  Disney will be played by Tom Hanks.
  • The adaptation of the beloved children’s book Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day is officially dated for October 10, 2014.
  • Brad Bird’s much-anticipated Tomorrowland has been moved up one week to December 12, 2014.
  • Rob Marshall’s Into the Woods is slated for December 25, 2014.

Jurassic Park IV

  • Finally, Universal announced that Jurassic Park IV is back on for (wait for it) SUMMER 2015.

So, I know I harp on it, but this is what we have for summer 2015 so far and I’m going to include Man of Steel 2 because I see now way in the world Warner Brothers can get it out by next year:

  • Star Wars Episode VII
  • Avengers 2
  • Ant-Man
  • Fantastic Four (FOX’s Mark Millar-penned reboot)
  • The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt. 2
  • Jurassic Park 4
  • Pirates of the Caribbean 5
  • Assassin’s Creed
  • Independence Day 2
  • Inside Out (Pixar film from Up & WALL-E’s Pete Docter)
  • Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
  • Man of Steel 2

And that’s all just announced.  Episode VII, Avengers, Superman, Pirates and Hunger Games are all potential worldwide billion dollar films.  It’s beyond crowded and we’re still two years away!  Why can’t some of those films come out next year when it looks like slim pickings again?

Independence Day 2 and 3 News



It came out a full year before the blockbuster and was just the alien ship blowing the White House to splinters.  I wish there were more teasers that managed the feat of immediately grabbing the audience by the throat without giving away anything. 

I loved the movie when it came out, but it has not aged well.  The effects are dated in a lot of areas and the last time I watched it, I kind of marveled that it had worked at all.  Most of its success, aside from the (at the time) amazing effects can be attributed to Will Smith in his summer blockbuster king heyday.  So who wants to see another film (or two) in that same vein from the man who brought us Godzilla, The Day After Tomorrow and ….like five other movies where the world blew up, but WITHOUT Will Smith’s involvement.  “I DO!” said no one ever.  Too bad.  It seems as though the long-rumored ID4 sequels are going ahead.  Perhaps they’ll resurrect Randy Quaid’s character, last seen saving the world by flying a nuke up essentially the alien ship’s bum.

Here’s what Roland Emmerich told Entertainment Weekly about two sequels to the film, tentatively titled ID Forever Part 1 & 2 (the story would take place 20 years after the events of Independence Day):


The humans knew that one day the aliens would come back, and they know that the only way you can really travel in space is through wormholes. So for the aliens, it could take two or three weeks, but for us that’s 20 or 25 years. It’s a changed world. It’s like parallel history. [Humans] have harnessed all this alien technology. We don’t know how to duplicate it because it’s organically-grown technology, but we know how to take an antigravity device and put it in a human airplane.


The only cast member onboard at this point is Bill Pullman.  Will Smith has not expressed interest, so it appears as though they will have his character’s nephew fill his shoes (mmmhmmm).  Emmerich says that some of the original cast will be back but that this will be a new generation fighting the alien threat.  No word on the involvement of crazy Brent Spiner bunker scientist (so good).  You may not have picked up on this from my reserved tone, but I’m somewhat skeptical about this endeavor.  I try to point that out when my subtlety gets overly..subtle, yeah I need coffee and to not think about this any more.