Saturday, June 25, 2016

Independence Day: Resurgence & Free State of Jones

Independence Day: Resurgence

It’s the sequel to the 1996 blockbuster “Independence Day” (minus Will Smith) this time out starring Liam Hemsworth as WS’s character persona replacement, along with some of the original cast members including Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Judd Hirsch, Vivica A. Fox, Brent Spiner, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Jessie Usher, Maika Monroe, Angelababy (yes that is her name), William Fichtner and Sela Ward.

So with that you already know that the octopus looking aliens are coming back, as if the first ass kicking we gave them wasn’t enough they again travel a couple trillion light years miles back to little old earth for some plain old global human ingenuity to put them back in their place.

Here’s my question, why? If you are going to take 20 years to do a sequel and hire 5 writers to make this screenplay, then why make it sound like it was written by an 18 month old baby playing with an I-Pad. I mean it’s not the that you can’t find something enjoyable about film, but it is so lathered up with repetitious cliché lines and scenes essentially a carbon copy of the original my question is WHY? Why did it to take 20 years to write this cheesy dialogue.

Visuals of the film were impressive with some entertaining aerial swift action, so it’s not a complete snoozer. But overall it’s just inept and lacking any real life or death consequence to the Cirque du Soleil high wire array of action on display. You take Jeff Goldblum out this film and it crashes and burns on arrival.

And finally another why. Why was actor Judd Hirsh (the elderly father to Goldblum’s character) even cast in this movie? I mean all he did was stir a boat on the water and drive a yellow school bus in the desert for the 2:10 minutes running time.

The movie is mostly forgettable after you leave the theater. But if you should go, I insist for your benefit that 20th Century Fox Films change the title to this effort to “Independence Day: Regurgitated”. Somewhere WS is smiling that he took a pass on this one.

2 - Stars  

Free State of Jones

Starring Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey, Free State of Jones is a true action-drama set during the Civil War, and tells the story of defiant Southern farmer, Newt Knight, and his extraordinary armed rebellion against the Confederacy. Banding together with other small farmers and local slaves, Knight launched an uprising that led Jones County, Mississippi to secede from the Confederacy, creating a Free State of Jones. Knight continued his struggle into Reconstruction, distinguishing him as a compelling, if controversial, figure of defiance long beyond the War.

McConaughey does a good job in elevating this material to both convey some real powerful moments and earnestness to the films core historical themes portraying human injustice verses the need to doing what is right. But in the end FSOJ is only about McConaughey’s character Knight and nothing more. The supporting characters almost seem to vanish from the screen in terms of their relevance just as soon as they stop speaking. You would be hard pressed to remember what they said just seconds after their scene was over.

There are a couple of amazing dramatic moments in the film, but not enough of them to say hey after 2:30 minute running time……………. “Hey, you got to go see this in the theater”.

Still should you go see this it is watchable, but I do recommend you focus on the historical significance of the film's subject in how back in the 1860's and today the same social and political issues are very much relevant today.  

2 – 3/4 Stars

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