For much of the 1990s, Roland Emmerich was the king of blockbuster cinema. The Stutgart born director found in Hollywood the perfect toolbox for his grand visions, hitting big with sci-fi thrillers like Stargate and Independence Day, the late-90s Godzilla chapter, and old-school disaster films like The Day After Tomorrow and 2012. After 2016’s sequel, Independence Day: Resurgence, he returns to the big screen with his Word War II epic Midway.
The film, with an ensemble including the likes of Ed Skrein, Patrick Wilson, Luke Evans, Aaron Eckhart, Nick Jonas, Woody Harrelson, Tadanobu Asano, Etsushi Toyokawa, Mandy Moore and Dennis Quaid, tells the events surrounding the attack on Pearl Harbor and eventual battle in the mid-pacific through the eyes of these characters. Splitting the decision-making of the leadership from quotidian bravery (or cowardice) of the regular soldier, the film’s expansive look at the battle rarely descends into dogma, instead tries through its mix of spectacle and character beats to provide a thrilling film that still feels at its core more than mere escapism.
/Film spoke to Emmerich about this push to provide nuance in the telling of the story, how other productions shaped the long genesis of this production, and what how he feels the creation of these kinds of stories have changed over the last few decades.
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In 2001, Michael Bay unleashed Pearl Harbor, a big, dumb, corny, effects-driven war epic about the attack on Pearl Harbor, and the battles that followed. Featuring a lifeless romantic subplot and an exhausting runtime, it’s not what anyone would consider to be a good movie. But watching Midway, the new catastrophe from disaster movie maven Roland Emmerich that covers similar material, one finds themselves pining for the nuance of Bayhem. For all his flaws, Michael Bay at least knows how to stage a scene with human characters interacting (sometimes). The same can’t be said for Emmerich.
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Even though Independence Day: Resurgence raked in nearly $390 million at the worldwide box office, it was still quite the disappointment for 20th Century Fox. The film didn’t land well with critics either, earning just a 29% on Rotten Tomatoes, not to mention a 30% from audiences. They weren’t the only ones disappointed, because director Roland Emmerich has found himself regretting ever making the movie. Read More »
At some point, Independence Day director Roland Emmerich must have watched Michael Bay’s Pearl Harbor and thought, “I can do that.” And so he did! The result is Midway, which might as well be called Roland Emmerich’s Pearl Harbor Remake. The visual aesthetic of the film, right down to the digitally enhanced destruction and oversaturated lighting, looks nearly identical to Bay’s WWII flick. But hey, at least he did away with that love story stuff. Girls – yuck! Watch the Midway trailer below.
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Roland Emmerich likes to destroy stuff – it’s kind of his thing. Cities, planets, Shakespeare’s career – he’s willing to blow it all up in the name of entertainment. Emmerich’s latest disaster-piece is going to give him a chance to kill two birds with one stone. Or rather, two celestial bodies with one very big stone. Emmerich’s Moonfall will follow a group of astronauts trying to prevent the Moon from crashing into Earth.
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Roland Emmerich, the master of blowing shit up, is tackling a historical epic. Emmerich will helm Maya Lord, a project being compared to Dances With Wolves, Braveheart and The Patriot. So long, exploding buildings. Hello, period costumes!
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Posted on Thursday, December 15th, 2016 by Jacob Hall
Earlier this year, I was the only person on the planet mentally unwell enough to defend Independence Day: Resurgence, one of the most critically reviled blockbuster in a year chock-full of movies that audiences of all stripes flat-out rejected. I suppose I just have a soft spot for director Roland Emmerich, whose filmmaking has evolved over the years from “glossy Irwin Allen riff” to “hilariously cruel, misanthropic insanity.” It came as no surprise that Emmerich’s next movie was supposed to be a science fiction thriller about the moon plummeting into the earth. That was the next logical step.
But Emmerich has other interests, too, like trying to prove that Shakespeare didn’t write his plays and making hideously awful movies about important events in LGBTQ history and, apparently, reading the work of author Blake Crouch, since he’s in currently looking to adapt his 2016 novel Dark Matter.
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Audiences weren’t too keen to jump back into the world of Independence Day this past summer. Roland Emmerich‘s all-around underwhelming sequel failed to match half the success of its predecessor. The pricey sequel didn’t connect with audiences, meaning we probably won’t see Independence Day 3‘s intergalactic journey anytime soon. Another sequel we maybe shouldn’t expect from Stonewall director Roland Emmerich? The Stargate one he’s been planning a long time.
Below, learn more about why the Stargate reboot isn’t happening.
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Back in 1996, the film Independence Day was an impressive piece of blockbuster spectacle. The amount of destruction on display done with outstanding visual effects for the time was a sight that demanded to be seen on the big screen. However, 20 years later, that destruction isn’t nearly as captivating in Independence Day: Resurgence, and it’s just one of the many problems the sequel has that keep it from measuring up to the original.
Perhaps the biggest problem is that all the destruction in Independence Day: Resurgence not only feels like a computer generated rehash of what we already saw done with more practical effects back in 1996, but it’s also been done countless other times in recent years in several of the Marvel movies and more recent DC Comics movies. Director Roland Emmerich has certainly taken notice, and he thinks the third acts are basically retreads of what he’s already done. Find out what Roland Emmerich had to say about superhero destruction after the jump. Read More »
When Independence Day hit theaters in 1996, it brought the spectacle of global destruction, exciting action, some decent laughs, and an ensemble of memorable characters with nary a huge movie star in sight. Twenty years later, Independence Day: Resurgence attempts to deliver all that again. But despite a plot point out of left field that shifts the sequel away from a simple retread of the original and toward an absolute bonkers, universe-expanding set-up for a sequel, this follow-up falls flat and lacks any of the heart, charm, efficiency and exhilaration that makes the first one entertaining to this day.
Read our full Independence Day Resurgence review after the jump. Read More »