TV Party is a Friday feature in which Film Editors Dominick Mayer and Justin Gerber, alongside Editor-in-Chief Michael Roffman, suggest one movie apiece to enjoy over the weekend. Joining them each week will be two rotating film staff writers to help round out the selections. Seek out any of the films via Netflix, Amazon, Redbox, Hulu, OnDemand, or abandoned Blockbuster and Hollywood Video stores — however you crazy kids watch movies these days! Enjoy ’em for the first time, a second, or maybe a redemptive third.
*punch* “Welcome to Earth.”
It’s strange how, over time, so many people have come to associate Roland Emmerich’s Independence Day with that moment, the one in the picture above. It’s more or less a throwaway and comes into the film at roughly the halfway point, after the Earth has been decimated by a series of coordinated tasks by a hyper-advanced alien race that ends up being too advanced to fear or prepare for our indomitable MS-DOS technologies. But I digress. Independence Day is one of the definitive American summer movies, and it was a vehicle perfectly tailored to mid-‘90s Smith, the film that catapulted him to indisputable, film-opening leading man status.
It’s also a ridiculous amount of fun if you can swallow a fair deal of affectionate jingoism in your action movies. (Then again, how many modern disaster films, or any films, have attempted to envision a world in which absolute political unity is achieved as the result of Randy Quaid making the ultimate sacrifice in service of his country?) It’s loud, it’s played out on the most colossal scale imaginable, and if Smith’s star-making, endlessly charismatic performance as a frustrated would-be astronaut doesn’t sell you, then I’ll end with this hard sell: Jeff Goldblum.