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Independence Day: Resurgence Review

Good

Two decades is a long time to wait for a sequel, especially one starring much of the original cast. (The record may go to the 32 years between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens.) But clearly filmmakers Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin have long wanted to follow up their 1996 blockbuster hit Independence Day. The result is a big, fast sci-fi action thriller that lacks both the original movie's enjoyably raucous tone and its break-out star Will Smith.

After the events of 20 years ago, America has taken alien technology to heart, improving transportation and military defence, including creating a base on the moon to keep an eye out for returning tentacled baddies. Then an orb-shape ship appears, followed by a new mothership so large that it spans the entire Atlantic Ocean. President Lanford (Sela Ward) turns to the surviving heroes of the previous invasion for help: scientific expert David (Jeff Goldblum), former president Whitmore (Bill Pullman) and mad genius Brakish (Brent Spiner). Meanwhile, a young team of next-generation pilots dives into the fray, including Dylan (Jesse T. Usher playing Will Smith's now-grown son), Jake (Liam Hemsworth), Patricia (Maika Monroe as Whitmore's daughter and Jake's fiancee) and Charlie (Travis Tope).

The film is assembled in standard disaster movie style, quickly introducing characters and their personal little melodramas before throwing them into the mad chaos of this new invasion. Emmerich is an expert at this structure, using it to hugely entertaining effect from Independence Day to Godzilla, The Day After Tomorrow, 2014 and White House Down. So it's odd that this film feels so lifeless by comparison. The story rushes past at a breathless pace that never allows the characters or events to gain any real traction with the audience. The only sharp wit on hand this time comes from throwaway one-liners apparently improvised by Goldblum. And the action feels eerily derivative, rehashed from Emmerich's filmography with added elements from Star Wars and Apocalypse Now.

Continue reading: Independence Day: Resurgence Review

Roland Emmerich Hand And Footprint Ceremony

John Storey, Jeff Goldblum, Vivica A. Fox, Roland Emmerich, Bill Pullman , Brent Spiner - Roland Emmerich Hand And Footprint Ceremony at TCL Chinese Theatre - Hollywood, California, United States - Monday 20th June 2016

John Storey, Jeff Goldblum, Vivica A. Fox, Roland Emmerich, Bill Pullman and Brent Spiner
Jeff Goldblum
Jeff Goldblum
Jeff Goldblum
John Storey, Jeff Goldblum, Vivica A. Fox, Roland Emmerich, Bill Pullman and Brent Spiner
John Storey, Jeff Goldblum, Vivica A. Fox, Roland Emmerich, Bill Pullman and Brent Spiner

Premiere Of 'Independence Day: Resurgence' - Arrivals

Brent Spiner - Premiere of 20th Century Fox's 'Independence Day: Resurgence' - Arrivals at Hollywood - Los Angeles, California, United States - Monday 20th June 2016

Brent Spiner
Brent Spiner
Brent Spiner
Brent Spiner
Brent Spiner
Brent Spiner

CinemaCon Awards 2016 Las Vegas

Brent Spiner - CinemaCon Bi Screen Achievement Awards held at Caesars Palace Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nv on April 14, 2016 at Caesars Palace - Las Vegas, Nevada, United States - Thursday 14th April 2016

Brent Spiner
Brent Spiner
Jeff Goldblum and Brent Spiner
Jeff Goldblum and Brent Spiner

CinemaCon Big Screen Achievement Awards

Brent Spiner - CinemaCon Big Screen Achievement Awards at Caesars Palace Resort and Casino at Omnia Nightclub, Caesars Palace - Las Vegas, Nevada, United States - Friday 15th April 2016

Brent Spiner
Brent Spiner
Brent Spiner
Brent Spiner
Jeff Goldblum and Brent Spiner
Jeff Goldblum and Brent Spiner

Independence Day: Resurgence - Teaser Trailer


Everyone knows the tale of David Levinson and Captain Steven Hiller, the two men at the forefront of the last Alien invasion. Since that last fateful day, Levinson has worked tirelessly to protect the world and strengthen it from alien attacks, even using the technology they discovered on board the alien spaceship to counter their possible attack methods.

When the people of Earth learn that Aliens are on their way back to our planet, there's automatic hysteria and a hope that the newly installed space defences will help counter the attack. Whatever stringent plans David develops he, more than anyone, realises that it will probably not be enough to protect us.

Independence Day: Resurgence takes place twenty years after the original movie and sees many of the cast taking up the same role again. The film is directed by Roland Emmerich (known for The Day After Tomorrow, Godzilla and the first Independence Day movie.)

Magic City Comic Con - Day 2

Brent Spiner - Magic City Comic Con held at Miami Airport Convention Center - Day 2 at Miami Airport Convention Center, Comic Con - Miami, Florida, United States - Saturday 16th January 2016

Brent Spiner
Brent Spiner
Brent Spiner
Brent Spiner
Brent Spiner
Brent Spiner

Hurray: Brent Spiner Is Returning As Dr Okun In 'Independence Day 2'


Brent Spiner

Independence Day 2 has added to its roster this week, welcoming back Brent Spiner as the eccentric Dr Brackish Okun - a key character in Roland Emmerich's 1996 sci-fi spectacular.

Brent SpinerBrent Spineris reprising his Dr Okun character for Independence Day 2

Spiner was already an established TV actor when he appeared in the original movie, having spent five years in Star Trek: The Next Generation. 

Continue reading: Hurray: Brent Spiner Is Returning As Dr Okun In 'Independence Day 2'

Material Girls Review


Weak
I confess a fascination -- perhaps unhealthy by definition -- with the actress/singer/empire Hilary Duff. She's in no way a better actress than, say, Lindsay Lohan and her career doesn't have the occasional bursts of quality that dot Lohan's resume. But Duff has a puppy-ish goofiness and, more to the point, bold-outlined limitations on her acting abilities, that render her weirdly endearing. Most of her post-Disney movies have failed even as cheesy guilty pleasures, but I keep Netflixing those DVDs anyway, hoping for the best.

That kind of relativism -- hoping for the best possible Hilary Duff movie -- is what got me to see Material Girls in a theater (it wasn't screened for critics). It's a Duff movie through and through: Hilary's mom produced it, and her sister Haylie gets second billing. (Casting her less famous real-life sister as her movie sidekick is sweetly misguided, and therefore vintage Duff.) Hil-Hil and Hay-Hay play Tanzie and Ava Marchetta, spoiled heiresses whose cosmetics empire is threatened, landing them in the poorhouse. The opportunity for cheap culture-clash humor (see entitled rich girls adjust to poverty!) and cheap shots at Paris and Nicky Hilton (or even a fictional rehash of The Simple Life), combined with the participation of director Martha Coolidge (an expert in blonde bubbliness by virtue of having made Valley Girl years ago) makes Material Girls a candidate for a teenybopping good time. The peculiar, slapdash movie they made instead nonetheless eclipses most of the star's previous pre-teen pictures, because it finally drives a Duff vehicle into the land of beguilingly awful.

Continue reading: Material Girls Review

Star Trek: Nemesis Review


Bad
Long has held the rule that even-numbered Star Trek movies are good and odd-numbered ones are bad. I hereby propose a new rule be adopted: Say what you will about the odds and evens, but above all else, every fifth movie is utter crap.

Star Trek: Nemesis, the tenth (and God help us, the last) movie in the unstoppable Trek series, offers the thinnest story since Star Trek V took the previous crew to the center of the galaxy in search of God. But at least this one isn't saddled by metaphysical nonsense. All of that's out the shuttle bay doors in favor of good, old-fashioned idiocy, ripped from yesterday's headlines.

Continue reading: Star Trek: Nemesis Review

Trekkies Review


Excellent
Hilarious in the way that true stories only can be, Trekkies is a documentary that looks inside the lives of the world's most rabid fanatics: Star Trek fans. Nuttiness knows no bounds with these guys, who bid hundreds of dollars for a prosthesis used on the show, who make their own costumes, who travel across the country to go to the conventions, and who idolize the stars of Trek with a zeal otherwise unknown to man. At the same time, the amount of love these people share and the strong values the show has instilled in them make them not as pathetic as you'd think. A devilishly compelling story that makes you question when you're supposed to laugh. Not to be missed for any fan of sci-fi.

Star Trek: Generations Review


Good
The seventh Star Trek movie went where no man had gone before, at least not in Hollywood: Attempting to take an old and lethargic movie franchise and reinvigorate it with a new cast -- uniting both the original and new casts in one massive crossover movie.

Generations (having dispensed with the numbering of the sequels) is a fair enough film. It's massively contrived to be sure -- the Kirk-era cast and Picard-era cast were meant to be some 80 years apart -- but considering the difficulty of trying to combine two crews in one movie, Shatner & Stewart turned in a fair enough endeavor.

Continue reading: Star Trek: Generations Review

Star Trek: Insurrection Review


OK
By 1998, the Star Trek legacy was looking thin. The series had run through all of its big villains, Trek's cast was happily dabbling in other projects, and the memory of Kirk and co. had long since faded happily into the land of reruns.

But you can't keep Trek down, and the crew saddled up for this lackluster experience, the likes of which would typically comprise an hour-long episode of The Next Generation, and not even a season finale.

Continue reading: Star Trek: Insurrection Review

Star Trek: First Contact Review


Very Good
People tend to measure the quality of a Star Trek movie in relation to those near it in the cycle. Compared to episodes before (5 and 7) and those that followed (9 and 10), this eighth installment of the unkillable series is surprisingly watchable.

Jonthan "Riker" Frakes is at the helm this time, taking the Next Generation crew on its first mission without the original series cast. The setup comes fast, as Frakes trots out one of the series' most reliable villains: The Borg. Building from the mythology set up in the series, Picard (a former Borg captive) has a serious axe to grind, and when Starfleet ends up in a skirmish with an invading Borg ship, he defies orders and engages them in battle. The day is won, but an escape pod shoots from the ship, tunnels through time (stop rolling your eyes), and lands on earth. We see the effects immediately: The Borg has completely taken over the planet. The only sensible solution: Follow the Borg through the time hole and try to wipe 'em out in the past.

Continue reading: Star Trek: First Contact Review

Master Of Disguise Review


Terrible

"The funny voices? The silly faces? They were funny for about one second," says a woman breaking the heart of Pistachio Disguisey (Dana Carvey) in the nitwit kiddie spy flick "Master of Disguise."

She couldn't be more right. In a transparently desperate attempt at a career comeback, Carvey hams like a bad Christmas dinner as Pistachio, a clumsy twit of an Italian waiter who learns that he comes from a long line of disguise experts who have been "protecting the world from evil over the centuries."

For no explained reason, his father (James Brolin) has kept the family history a secret from Pistachio. But when Pistachio's mom and dad are kidnapped by their old arch-enemy -- a black-market art collector named Devlin Bowman (Brent Spiner) -- Grandpa (Harold Gould) shows up to train Pistachio for a rescue mission designed to showcase Carvey's ability to affect an endless array of annoying personas.

Continue reading: Master Of Disguise Review

Brent Spiner

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Brent Spiner Movies

Independence Day: Resurgence Movie Review

Independence Day: Resurgence Movie Review

Two decades is a long time to wait for a sequel, especially one starring much...

Independence Day: Resurgence - Teaser Trailer

Independence Day: Resurgence - Teaser Trailer

Everyone knows the tale of David Levinson and Captain Steven Hiller, the two men at...

Material Girls Movie Review

Material Girls Movie Review

I confess a fascination -- perhaps unhealthy by definition -- with the actress/singer/empire Hilary Duff....

Star Trek: Nemesis Movie Review

Star Trek: Nemesis Movie Review

Long has held the rule that even-numbered Star Trek movies are good and odd-numbered ones...

Star Trek: Nemesis Movie Review

Star Trek: Nemesis Movie Review

"Star Trek" films have always faced considerable scrutiny from their detail-oriented fans, so one would...

The Aviator Movie Review

The Aviator Movie Review

Eschewing every pitfall of the biopic genre and delving deeply into the essence of both...

I Am Sam Movie Review

I Am Sam Movie Review

To grasp the shameless, trolling-for-Oscars concept behind "I Am Sam," an insufferably mawkish, mentally-challenged melodrama...

Master Of Disguise Movie Review

Master Of Disguise Movie Review

"The funny voices? The silly faces? They were funny for about one second," says a...

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