Dean Devlin

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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

'Independence Day' Sequel Will Go Ahead Without 'Expensive' Will Smith


Will Smith Roland Emmerich Channing Tatum Dean Devlin James Vanderbilt

Two Independence Day sequels have been scheduled to be released in July 2015 probably without the star of the first film, Will Smith. In an interview with the director of the upcoming film, Roland Emmerich (who directed Channing Tatum in White House Down), said Will Smith is "too expensive". He also said it was because Smith is "too much of a marquee name".

Roland Emmerich
Director Roland Emmerich at the 10,000BC Premiere, L.A. in 2008

Emmerich directed the first Independence Day, in 1996. However, after 17 years Emmerich is aware he is not only catering for an audience who remember the first film but for those who "are new" to the concept. Hence if Smith were to appear in the upcoming sequel, comparisons will be too easily made. In many respects this could alienate (excuse the terrible pun) the new audience. 

Continue reading: 'Independence Day' Sequel Will Go Ahead Without 'Expensive' Will Smith

The 2012 Saturn Awards At Castaways

Beth Riesgraf and Dean Devlin - Beth Riesgraf, Dean Devlin Thursday 26th July 2012 The 2012

Beth Riesgraf and Dean Devlin
Beth Riesgraf
Beth Riesgraf
Beth Riesgraf
Beth Riesgraf
Beth Riesgraf

National Multiple Sclerosis Society's 37th Annual Dinner Of Champions

Dean Devlin and Lisa Brenner - Dean Devlin and wife Lisa Brenner Century City, California - National Multiple Sclerosis Society's 37th annual Dinner of Champions Monday 12th September 2011

Dean Devlin and Lisa Brenner

The 2009 Saturn Awards At The Castaways

Dean Devlin and Saturn Awards Wednesday 24th June 2009 The 2009

Dean Devlin and Saturn Awards

40th Anniversary Celebration Of Stanley Kramer's Film 'Guess Who's Coming To Dinner' At The Hammer Museum

Dean Devlin and Hammer Museum Monday 11th February 2008 40th Anniversary Celebration of Stanley Kramer's Film 'Guess Who's Coming to Dinner' at the Hammer Museum Los Angeles, California

Dean Devlin and Hammer Museum
Dean Devlin and Hammer Museum
Kat Kramer, Dean Devlin, Karen Kramer, Lexine Wong and Hammer Museum

Eight Legged Freaks Review


Weak
Spiders are annoying little creatures that always find ways to invade your space. Many people find the sight of them scary, but usually a good-soled shoe is the best defense. But the spiders of Eight Legged Freaks are so massive that a shoe won't even dent their exoskeleton; too bad the film itself leaves a similarly lackluster impression.

In the Arizona desert town of Prosperity, there is little to get excited about - not even the sparkling new shopping mall can bring energy to this lifeless place. But when a toxic spill oozes its way to a spider farm (local industry!), the spiders mutate into gigantic monsters and this sleepy town is in for a rude awakening. After eating up the dog, cat, and ostrich population, hundreds of hungry eight-legged beasts are ready to feast on the residents. It is now up to a love-struck miner (David Arquette), the best-looking sheriff since Suzanne Somers (Kari Wuhrer), her kids (Scarlett Johansson and Scott Terra), and an annoying ham-radio operator (Doug E. Doug) to save this who-really-cares little town.

Continue reading: Eight Legged Freaks Review

The Patriot Review


Excellent
A note to filmmakers who want to make a movie about a war: Please understand that your film does not need to be as long as the actual war itself. We will not hold it against you if it's shorter. As such, I will try to keep this review to a length where you can read it in a few minutes.

The Patriot gives Mel Gibson the opportunity to do something he's never done before: To orate at length about the evils of taxation without representation... oh, okay... and to kill a bunch of damn redcoats!!!

Continue reading: The Patriot Review

Godzilla (1998) Review


Weak
The sad thing about the cast of the new Gozilla is this: you can't put a name for the part of Godzilla. In lieu of such, I state that Godzilla stars Matthew Broderick, Jean Reno, Maria Pitillo, Hank Azaria, Kevin Dunn, and a really big lizard.

Any movie that has a cast like that should give you an immediate clue as to the cinematic quality.

Continue reading: Godzilla (1998) Review

Real Genius Review


Extraordinary
Ah, the '80s. It was the semi-golden decade of decadence and self-importance. It was the last time when what the average Joe likes determined what the movie studios made, not the other way around. Consequently, it was the last decade for really funny movies. In the 90s, if you wanted to make something side-splitting, you had to go Independent.

In the '80s, however, there are no shortage of movies that are just plain fun. From the Ghostbusters films to Ferris Bueller's Day Off, to the off-kilter dark comedy/horror April Fools Day, the 80s had no shortage of movies that made you laugh. It was the only time that comedies had scripts instead of actors that make up their own scripts, and, as a consequence, the movies of the '80s were actually funny.

Continue reading: Real Genius Review

Stargate Review


OK
When did I miss the event that made Stargate worthy of an "Ultimate Edition" DVD, complete with director's cut? I guess that MacGyver-starring TV show thing is more popular than I thought.

Anyway, if you're unfamiliar with Stargate, the story is pretty straightforward. Military types unearth a big metal ring encoded with Egyptian hieroglyphics, then import a kooky archeologist (James Spader) to figure out what it does -- which, within 30 minutes, involves the opening up of a portal to another world, millions of light years away.

Continue reading: Stargate Review

Independence Day Review


Excellent
Independence Day marks the glorious realization of what, for me, has been a nearly 25 year wait. Countless prayers have gone unanswered, but on this day, I have finally witnessed on screen what I have only dreamt of all my life, for this film features the complete and total destruction of the city of Houston through the use of nuclear weapons, by the U.S. government's own hand!

But watching my home town be blown away is only one of the charms of ID4 (the film's hip moniker). First there's the War of the Worlds meets Star Wars meets The Right Stuff story, about a superior, marauding alien force threatening to annihilate the human race (and almost succeeding). And an all-star cast of freedom fighters (more on them later). Director Roland Emmerich, who redeems himself for the idiocy of Stargate, and who isn't afraid to kill off the good guys. Some dazzling visuals. Loud sound effects. Plus every Star Trek and X-Files fan in town in the audience. What more do you want?

Continue reading: Independence Day Review

Dean Devlin

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Dean Devlin 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...

Eight Legged Freaks Movie Review

Eight Legged Freaks Movie Review

Spiders are annoying little creatures that always find ways to invade your space. Many people...

The Patriot Movie Review

The Patriot Movie Review

A note to filmmakers who want to make a movie about a war: Please...

Godzilla (1998) Movie Review

Godzilla (1998) Movie Review

The sad thing about the cast of the new Gozilla is this: you can't put...

Real Genius Movie Review

Real Genius Movie Review

Ah, the '80s. It was the semi-golden decade of decadence and self-importance. It...

Stargate Movie Review

Stargate Movie Review

When did I miss the event that made Stargate worthy of an "Ultimate Edition" DVD,...

Independence Day Movie Review

Independence Day Movie Review

Independence Day marks the glorious realization of what, for me, has been a nearly 25...

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