Doctor Strange – Movie Review

December 8th, 2016

movie reviewI guess there is no such thing as ‘Superhero Movie Fatigue’? Or Marvel just managed to get the formula down. It is quite impressive how they do it. I think for two years now I’m hearing people moaning about all the comic book movies and how it is just too much. And still, whenever a new Marvel or DC comic movie is released… people go see them and the films keep making tons of money. I’m part of the problem. Well, I haven’t seen all of them on the big screen. But most of them. And one thing can be said… most of these films are good.

After Ant-Man we again have one of the lesser known superheroes to get his debut. Doctor Strange is about Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), an egomaniac, narcissistic neurosurgeon who lives a pretty high society life in New York City. One evening, on the way to a party, he gets into a car accident. He gets out pretty bruised but the worst thing is the fact that his hands are crippled. After multiple operations his hands are at least kind of working again. But getting back into his profession is pretty much a no go. Of course he’s devastated by that and goes into a rage mode that does not really help keeping friendships alive. By accident he learns about a guy who mysteriously managed to overcome being paraplegic. He looks for him and after a brief talk he learns where the guy found the power to fix himself. Stephen embarks on a trip to Kathmandu, Nepal to learn specifics on how he may be able to heal his hands with the same power that helped the other man he saw earlier. In Nepal Stephen finds the Kamar-Taj. Within that temple he meets the Ancien One (Tilda Swinton). He learns techniques that open doors to other dimensions and allow even things like the manipulation of time itself. The visuals we get to see there are really good and definitely worth the additional price for 3d. While all this stuff is happening we also see how Kaecilius (Mads Mikkelsen) is trying to destory three Sanctums that hold up a mystical shield, that covers the Earth and protects it from bad stuff from other dimensions. Kaecilius wants to break that shield and enable an almighty being called Dormammu to enter our dimension in exchange for immortality. Soon Stephen is in the middle of trying to stop Kaecilius. Even if that means to use powers that not all of the warriors, who fight along him, approve.

So much for a kind of sort of plot summary. The movie is paced really well and never feels boring. It’s just under two hours long, which is greatly appreciated. However! It is missing some parts when Stephen is in the temple and learning about all the mystical powers. We just get told he read like 20 books. We are not told how much time he actually spends in that temple. When he’s back in New York it seems like it wasn’t more than two weeks since he went away. The film needed one or two scenes that showed time passing. It would also help to kind of visualize his character transformation. He does not completely lose his arrogance but he learns to take a step back and evaluate things when necessary.

The movie also falls into typical Marvel movie traps. We, once again, don’t have a really strong villain. The villain (Mads Mikkelsen) in this movie sort of kind of just appears right at the start of the film and doesn’t come with too much of a backstory. Mads Mikkelsen nonetheless tries to get the most out of the character. But even an actor of his caliber can’t overplay the fact that it’s just another stand-in character for ‘bad guy’. Considering that these movies are rather long in general I wonder why stuff like Stephen’s time in the temple feels so short. They could have easily added another 5 minutes that show Stephen’s process of changing in character a little better.

If you have seen the trailer then you know that this movie visually is quite a stunner. It’s a rare case where the visuals really make the movie without hurting it. The abstract, kaleidoscopic looking cityscapes, constantly changing look and appearance, are amazing to watch. We got a glimpse of that in Christopher Nolan’s ‘Inception’ movie. Dr. Strange turn up these effects to 11. You almost miss the action sequences themselves while watching the visual stuff that going on around them. It’s on the brink of visual overkill but it also works. Keeping the balance surely wasn’t easy and I have to applaud the skill that went into directing the VFX action sequences. Because of that the film is a rare case that works really well in 3d.

Despite its flaws I was amazed how fast the film was over. Like I said earlier, the film is very well paced and time flies. Benedict Cumberbatch manages it to fit flawlessly into the Marvel Cinematic Universe and it’s hinted that he definitely has a place side by side along the characters we already know.

PS: Did anyone else notice some similarities to the Star Trek (the reboot) musical score? I mean, it’s the same composer.

7.8/10

Doctor Strange on IMDb

Spotlight – Movie Review

November 20th, 2016

movie reviewIn a time where journalism is reduced to sending out a keyword through the Google machine, it is refreshing to see how true and real journalism is done. And yes, I was tempted to use the term ‘was done’. It’s not completely dead yet. Thank god.

Spotlight is made in the vain of classics like “All The President’s Men” and focusses on a team of journalists that works a special department for the Boston Globe newspaper. The so-called ‘Spotlight’ column. They feature very specific and hard hitting topics that often reveal how crooked the world actually is. Right away we meet our main players Walter Robinson (Michael Keaton), Mike Rezendes (Mark Ruffalo), Sacha Pfeiffer (Rachel McAdams) and Matt Carrol (Brian d’Arcy James). They build the team that works on the Spotlight articles. It’s 2001, just before 9/11, and the team is looking for new topics. The newspaper is getting a new editor, Marty Baron (Liev Schreiber), that stumbles upon an article saying that church ‘higher ups’ knew about an earlier child molestation case and did nothing to stop it. His instincts make him go to the spotlight team and asks them to snoop around a bit. At first the team looks at it a little sceptical but soon understand that there is more to discover. While working the case they uncover tons of people with personal stories about being molested in their past. The deeper they dig the more heartbreaking the truth becomes for everyone involved.

For someone like me it can be a little hard to relate to the material. I’m not a church person. Never was and probably never will be. That doesn’t mean that I don’t respect people who ‘believe’. It’s just that I chose to ‘believe’ my own stuff. To understand this film you have to set yourself into the heads of these people. Boston (or the US in general) is a very church dominated area. In some parts, to say something against church, is a sacrilege. It’s an institution that is defended no matter what. We get that impression in the film numerous times. The movie raises the question why people so viciously defend the church. It doesn’t give a real answer. From what I gathered it’s fear. But from what? The journalists we follow grew up in that environment and become more and more disillusioned with every detail they uncover. These are moments where the choice of actors really shines. Their eyes constantly say “how can all this be true?”. They have to face a hard truth and they accept it. Because there are hard facts covered by the material they uncover. By accepting that sad truth they decide to dig deeper and uncover everything possible. Even if it means to hold the story back until they got everything backed up, verified and ready. Journalism!

On a technical level the movie presents itself rather sober/matter-of-fact. There are no fancy animations or cg work. Its style is almost that of a documentary. From what is in the film the script is really tight. There is no moment where you think “come on… move along already!”. Everything flows well and the storytelling works. Every character also gets their a fair share of screen time and it’s used very well by all of them. We get lots of moments that show how hard actual journalism is and how much dedication it requires. But we also get our quiet moments where the characters contemplate about what they uncovered and how it affects them. Then there are moments where they interview victims. These are heartbreaking and frustrating at the same time. And by frustrating I mean that stuff like this actually happens. Scenes like these create an emotional response and that is one of the goals a movie like this should have. This movie even scores these goals. It works very well in these scenes. It makes you question why ‘Religion’ actually exists and why so many people believe in it when so many others use it to fuck up the people who trust them.

If there is a negative thing to say about it then it may be the rather ‘sober’ presentation. It is very down to earth and non-sensational. It’s very quiet. I guess the one thing I wanted was to have that one moment where the movie gets a little louder. A little more ‘in your face’. The movie talks about these horrible things and maintains that low matter-of-fact voice. Maybe that was a stylistic choice. I wanted to scream all the time. “How?!” or “Why?” or “Why is the church tolerating this!?”. The movie asks these questions but doesn’t necessarily answer them. Maybe there is no real answer. Though… I expected something like an answer. At least a hint.

I think it’s a good and important film, that came probably 10 years too late. Will it be a movie I’ll watch a couple of times? Surely not. But it’s a film you should see at one point or another.

7.5/10

Spotlight on IMDb

3D Total Features

November 17th, 2016

3dtotal.com Features

After a long time trying to get one of my works into the 3D Total Galleries, this year I finally managed to sneak in there. It’s not easy to get your work included there and I want to take this post just to say how cool it is to have finally made it. To have your work side by side with the work of so many other talented folks is a great motivation to keep pushing your boundaries. Now recently I managed to get a third piece of mine selected for inclusion into their gallery and that kind of proves to me that the stuff I create does work. Of course it’s always a taste thing but still, even if you are not the biggest fan of the subject matter a picture or work/project presents, you can still recognize the skill and artistry that went into crafting a project. However, having a three of my works in their gallery is a cool thing!

Return to Chronos Keep: here

Beasts shall rise: here

From here I can almost see the Stars: here

And an article where I wrote a little about the process behind “From here I can see…”.

Find the article here: Making of a Sci-Fi cityscape

Regards
signed

Frontier

November 13th, 2016



Frontier

This time we have a collaboration piece between me and Alastair Temple. He’s a fellow artist from the Luminarium artgroup and mostly into Photography. Every now and then he’s going Scifi or Abstract. Here he combined his abstract technique with some neat scifi and asked me to add some additional magic as well. It mainly the space station. I also added some additional detail to the alien structures and worked on the composition a bit. In the end we both created individual versions of the scene.

I had my fun with this one and the weirdly shaped looking structures add a nice sense of mystery to the whole thing. What specifically these are you ask? I have no clue. I leave that to your imagination. :)

Mandelbulb – Vue – Photoshop – Lightroom – 4000×2000

Find Alastair’s version and a little background info on Behance
Find his Website here: http://www.alastairtemple.co.uk/

The artwork on:
DeviantartArtstationDrawcrowdCGSociety

wallpapers available

Regards

signed

Greenland II

October 16th, 2016



Greenland II

Here we have just 4 fun piece. Just wanted to test some rock assets in a neat nature scene. While playing around it clicked with me and I had a really nice lighting setup. I wanted to use it and invested some extra time into the scene. Not too much though since I just wanted to play and test around for fun. =)

Vue – Photoshop – Lightroom – 5000×2812

Had my fun with this one and hope you enjoy the view. :)

Wireframe

wallpapers available

The artwork on:
DeviantartArtstationDrawcrowdCGSociety

Regards

signed

Return To Chronos Keep

October 6th, 2016



Return To Chronos Keep

I started this one shortly after I finished reading ‘Hyperion Cantos’ by Dan Simmons. Easily some of the best scifi you will ever read. So, go… get it and read it if you haven’t! I decided to try myself on a scene from the book (and there are so many good ones!). Late in the story our group of characters is sorta kinda trapped at a very important place and they need to stay there. Unfortunately food and water runs out and they decide to send 2 of them back to a fortress kind of place to get food and water. So my scene shows one of them on their way. What we see is how I kind of imagined the environment looking like in that part of the book. In the book it’s sort of described as a desert with some neat atmospheric effects. That ‘atmospheric effects’ part got me. In the end it’s not a super exciting scene I guess. I had my fun playing around with it though. =)

Technically it’s a mix of 3d and 2d techniques. Created with Vue, The Plant Factory, World Machine & Photoshop. I used Apophysis renders to visualize the atmospheric effects. After rendering the scene plate I, as usual, did go back to add lots of elements I rendered separately. I also oriented on the descriptions in the book regarding lighting and colours. Got that part good I think. =)

6500×2967 – Vue – The Plant Factory – World Machine – Photoshop – Lightroom

This pic is part of The Luminarium’s 28th Exhibit. Some amazing work by some great digital artists in there. Check it out here!

Plate
Scene Setup
Print Detail

wallpapers available

The artwork on:
DeviantartArtstationDrawcrowdCGSociety

Regards

signed

Luminarium Exhibit #28

October 5th, 2016

The Luminarium Exhibit #28

Here we go with the 28th Exhibit of The Luminarium Artgroup. While the future of the group remains a little unsure, we managed to get together once more for another fine release. With a free for all topic our creativity had free reign. The results surely leave a mark and inspires on various artistic fields. Music, Photography and Digital Art of all kinds again shows some neat variety!

For your dose of inspiration go here – Illuminate.

The Luminarium: WebsiteDeviantartBehance

Regards

signed

Greenland I

September 3rd, 2016



Greenland I

Here we have an experiment I did a long time ago. 2011 to be exact. I guess I never really was happy with it. The goal was to create a nature scene. And some parts in here I do really enjoy. But the overall picture is too cluttered and lacks composition. However, I decided to dig it out and play around with the atmosphere and colors a little. In the end I decided to go for a more vivid color scheme to give it some fantasy character. It’s ‘presentable’ now I guess. =D Still no masterpiece though.

Created and rendered with Vue and a load of detail fixing in Photoshop. I also re-rendered a couple of elements to bring in some additional detail here and there. So ultimately it may not be the result I wanted but still, I invested some extra work for it nonetheless. I don’t know exactly why but the water area took forever to render. =D

Vue – Photoshop – Lightroom – 6000×3100

Had my fun with this one and hope you enjoy the view. :)

Wireframe
Plate

wallpapers available

The artwork on:
DeviantartArtstationDrawcrowdCGSociety

Regards

signed

Star Trek: Beyond – Movie Review

August 20th, 2016

movie reviewIn 2013 I was quite disappointed by ‘Into Darkness’ and the lack of ideas in there. Time flies and now we already have the third installment in the ‘Kelvin’ timeline. I really liked how they rebooted the movies in 2009 and thought they were quite clever in how they did it. All that cleverness was missing in ‘Into Darkness’. So my hopes for new ideas were quite high with Star Trek: Beyond.

The movie starts rather slow and introspective. We learn the Enterprise is on a long term mission and listen to Kirk, while he explains what difficulties the crew is faceing, when going on a mission like that. It’s not always action and most of the time quite a drag. We get a glimpse into how the daily life of the crew and the relationships between them looks like. I really liked that rather personal part. It’s rare we get that in the Star Trek movies. We get a very nice scene between Bones (Karl Urban) and Kirk (Chris Pine) sharing a drink. It’s Kirk’s birthday and he is thinking about his father and the fact that he is the same age now like his father when he died. We haven’t seen Kirk like that in quite a while and I think it makes him much more human than what we know of him from the last two movies. He’s reflecting back on the decisions he made so far.

The ship is on its way to Yorktown starbase for a well deserved shore leave. Yorktown is eye candy deluxe. I’m rarely blown away by VFX anymore but what they did there is fantastic. I didn’t expect that since I avoided spoilers for this film. We get to see quite a bit of that starbase throughout the film and it’s always eyecatching. The crew splits up and we get some personal moments for all our main guys. Again something missing in the previous two films and very welcome in this one.

While the crew is having fun or deals with personal matters Kirk gets an offer for a promotion. Chris Pine does a nice job there with his character, showing how troubled Kirk is at this point in his life. In the meantime Spock (Zachary Quinto) learns that Ambassador Spock (Leonard Nimoy) died. Which makes him think about things too. Some heady stuff in the first 30 minutes of this film. I liked that! And suddenly the station receives a SOS.

Shore leave is history and the crew on its way to investigate what’s going on with the SOS. The Enterprise captures an escape pod drifting out of a nearby uncharted nebula. The rescued alien tells them that their ship is stranded on Altamid, a planet sitting in the middle of said uncharted nebula. Of course our heroes investigate further and find that planet. Only to be attacked by a swarm of ships. Hundreds of ships that, out of nowhere, attack the Enterprise. Quite the battle breaks out but ultimately the Enterprise is going down. At the same time the crew is evacuating but each pod is captured by the swarm and brought to the surface. This is also the time when we meet Krall (Idris Elba), the villain of this film. After this heavy (and maybe a little long) action part I felt a little shellshocked since there was not too much build up to that scene.

The Enterprise is pretty much destroyed but our heroes made it safely to the surface of Altamid. All of them are scattered and trying to get everyone back together. Some nice writing in that part since we get some more personal moments. Especially the part where Bones and Spock are together. Spock is injured and Bones is taking care of him. Urban and Quinto make these scenes really enjoyable. That’s when you know how much you missed these more quiet moments in the past two films. And that’s all I want to go into the story at this point. Let’s just say that Krall is after something and that there are a couple of twists throughout the film. A clash of ideologies that’s a main theme of this film.

Of the ‘Kelvin’ movies this one definitely felt the most like Star Trek. Simon Pegg and Doug Jung did a great job capturing that old flair while still keeping some heavy action setpieces in there. The dialogue and banter between the characters sounded true to the original material and never felt forced. When the crew is scattered on the planet surface the story splits up too of course. Some of the story strings naturally felt more interesting than others and when the movie cut away from the Bones/Spock part it felt a little draggy here and there. It could be because Krall surely wasn’t the most creative villain. There could have been done a little more to give him a more fleshed out character. I mean, you got Idris Elba… this guy is magic… use that magic! Unfortunately we only get glimpses of his skillset.

Much like in the first two films we have a great balance between the heroes here. Everybody gets something to do and no one is left out. So we do get our Sulu (John Cho), Chekov (Anton Yelchin) and Uhura (Zoe Saldana) moments too. Especially Chekov gets some more time and I enjoyed watching him do stuff. And that’s the heart breaker in this film. Anton Yelchin is no longer with us and he does such a fantastic job here breathing life into this character. At the end of the film Kirk gives a toast to everyone lost and at exactly the right second they cut to Checkov. Damn man that hit hard. At the same time they manage to pay a very worthy tribute to the original crew/cast. Again without it feeling forced and that’s another testament to some good and solid writing. We also get a new character, Jaylah (Sofia Boutella), Scotty (Simon Pegg) gets to meet when lost on the planet. I really enjoyed her and she gets some great kickass moments as well. She has some great chemistry with all the main characters.

Let’s talk about some of the themes in this film. The most visible one is teamwork. We have this villain that is all about the ‘one man show’ path to get things done. On the other side we have the crew of the Enterprise and their teamwork approach. Overall the film is about how working together gets things done much more efficiently. Our heroes try to work together in every way possible while our villain is pretty much trying to accomplish his goal alone. I’m tempted to say that he’s not doing too badly. Still, the movie promotes teamwork and does it well enough. All the interaction between the various Enterprise crew members plays out fantastically. Beside the teamwork thing we also he a layer of old versus new in here. There are a couple of nice scenes that suggest that we are finally leaving old Star Trek behind and plan to go an own way with future stories. All that is handled respectfully and I applaud the movie for that. Still, from a personal point of view, teamwork is fine and good but often enough too many cooks ruin the show. Every now and then the lone wolf approach is totally justified.

Things that do not work so well are easy to find though. Why does everyone land in the same area of the planet?! They manage to meet up pretty easy. Another thing is the habbit of destroying the Enterprise. Or let’s just say that they are on their way of making it a habbit. They should avoid that in the next film. The Enterprise is the flagship of the Federation and everybody wants to serve on that ship. The way it looks now I would be surprised if anyone would feel happy to get assigned to the Enterprise. It’s like a death sentence! Almost comical. Last but not least the villain isn’t very well written. With all the character things that work so well in this film… the villain was flat. The core of hHis motivation is different enough enough to keep him somewhat interesting. Still, with Idris Elba they had something there and missed to use it. The action, for the most part, was fun and well done. The VFX and design work… top notch. Only the face to face fight scenes had too quick cuts and for most of the time I had problems following what’s going on. On a funny comparison Star Trek: Beyond felt more like a worthy ‘Wrath Of Khan’ clone than ‘Into Darkness’ did.

A thing I wish for the next movie would be… bring Jaylah back! Sofia Boutella did a great job with this character and since we unfortunately lost Anton Yelchin/Chekov, why not use that newly introduced character? Instead of trying to replace Chekov (which is impossible from my pov) try out that new character! Play around and make the ‘Kelvin Timeline’ its own thing! But that’s my two cents.

So ultimately I would say this film is on par with Star Trek 2009. Except this one has more heart and felt less ‘technical’ if that makes any sense. I enjoyed the character moments and the acting was very well through the bench. They paid a nice tribute to the original actors and the whole thing felt like it was written by someone who understands what Star Trek is about. And all that without missing the mark on the action! For some reason this film did not do so amazingly well with the box office. What’s wrong with you people? Go see it as long as it’s on the big screen!

PS: They managed to bring in Sabotage by the Beastie Boys again. And that in the most awesome way possible! Loved it! And I would have never believed that I would be able to like a Rihanna song but that end credit piece is pretty nice. Even though it feels so random having her name attached to a Star Trek movie. To round this PS up, I feel really angry that so many VFX artists that worked on this film did not get their credit at the end of the film. Shame on you Hollywood. You don’t know what I’m talking about? Well, check here.

7.8/10

Star Trek: Beyond on IMDb

Independence Day 2 – Movie Review

August 11th, 2016

movie reviewIn 1996 I was a fanatic for that movie called ‘Independence Day’ (ID4). Even read the book! Which is almost insane for my standards. Granted I was 14 years old at the time. I saw the movie a day before it opened in an early screening together with my mom. A nice memory. This movie was an inspiration on many levels. And it also taught me a valuable lesson. There is rarely a movie (or anything) that can live up to the hype that may come with it. So ultimately the movie was a little bit of a let down back then. I don’t know what I expected. I guess something that wasn’t as campy as the movie ended up being. Something with a more serious tone. Now we are in 2016 and get a sequel to a movie that went on to be one of the most successful blockbusters of all time. This new film… probably 16 years too late I suppose. So in hindsight, what did I take away from ID4 in 1996? Hype rarely matters, I fell in love with R.E.M. and that computers will be the future in movie making.

The new movie starts and it feels like the alien attack from 1996 created a new timeline where Earth developed into a new direction. Mankind made use of the alien technology and we are using it to our own advantage. Throughout the movie there are hints at what happened directly after the alien ships dropped out of the sky and how there were ground fights between humans and surviving aliens. Now wouldn’t that have been a neat little movie? How we fight the remaining alien forces? Instead we jumped straight into the movie’s 2016. It starts with former President Whitmore (Bill Pullman) having a vision/nightmare of the aliens. He wakes up bathed in sweat and in a not so good condition. Pullman does a great job here showing that his character did not have the best time after the events of 1996. At that point (5 minutes into the film) I thought it would be cool to go deeper into that PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) kind of angle our heroes of 96 have to deal with. Unfortunately that’s pretty much dopped and washed away within minutes. Just to come up once in a while when it doesn’t matter anymore. Too bad. That would have been a very interesting angle to the movie as a whole. Now we get to know some new characters. Jake Morrison (Liam Hemsworth) is a hotshot pilot stuck doing useless missions on a moon base, mankind established for defense purposes. Back on Earth he did a risky move when on a training mission with Dylan Hiller (Jessie T. Usher), that led to Dylan’s jet crashing into a rock wall. Dylan barely makes it out of the plane alive. Both were friends and here we have our character conflict construct. ‘Hiller’ sounds familiar? Sure… Dylan is the son of Will Smith’s character from 1996. Will Smith’s character died a not so heroic death, in the time between the movies, flying a test jet. Which brings me to a point where I had to shake my head hard. Early on in the movie we are in the White House and his son Dylan meets president Lanford (Sela Ward). While he walks into the room we can see a painting on the wall with his father. And I swear to god that it looked like they ran the cheapest filter in Photoshop over it and composited it into the picture frame on the wall. This looked sooooo cheap. Ridiculous! To top it off they used a promo shot that was constantly used back in 1996 for all kinds of press releases. My god, really? Last but not least the last important new character is Whitmore’s daughter Patricia (Maika Monroe). Presidential speech writer and fighter jet pilot (now that’s a combination). Sounds cool and ridiculous at the same time. An achievement in my eyes!

Next we get to the man himself, Jeff Goldblum, giving his all Goldblum! He seems to really know and understand in what kind of movie he’s in here and plays his mannerisms literally to 11 with his David Levinson character. He was fun and always a presence when on screen. Beside Bill Pullman I enjoyed Jeff Goldblum the most. Especially when we follow him to Africa where he wants to get access to a ship that in 1996 landed to drill into the earth. Yes, they contradict a lot of stuff that happened in the first film. I had no problem with that part though. There we learn that the aliens sent an SOS in 1996 and that something big is coming now. Oh and we meet Catherine Marceaux (Charlotte Gainsbourg) who seems to be an old flame of David. Not a single word about David’s ex wife in this movie though. There in Africa we learn that these earlier mentioned visions are a common thing with people who came into closer contact with the aliens.

Soon the aliens arrive and it’s the overkill version of the “make it bigger!” cliche. The alien ship is so big that it has its own gravitational field! What follows after the arrival of that 5000km big ship is hard to watch. See, to have fun with the stuff that’s going on at that point, you would have to ignore everything you learned about physics ever. The movie didn’t manage it to make the audience switch on that ‘I don’t care’ mode though. And so this whole destruction porn sequence feels so idiotic and overkill that it hurts. But hey, don’t get me wrong. What the VFX guys did there is amazing stuff and it looks cool. But it’s so far off in ‘I can’t believe this’ territory that it just doesn’t work for the movie. As a VFX demo reel though, sure! Just the appearance of that gigantic alien would have been an extinction level event. Throwing the moon out of orbit and do whatever to the Earth’s rotation. Mankind would have been done within a matter of hours I guess. But again the movie goes to 11 and makes that alien ship land over the atlantic ocean. Just NO!

Eventually all the different characters meet up in Area 51 (of course). Can you spot the lazy writing? And from there we launch our attack against that 5000km ship. A ship that got its own ecosystem inside it. We even get a 10 minute scene in there. That part was rather interesting! Far too short! And how do our heroes get out of there? By redoing the escape scene from the ID4 finale. Can you spot the lazy writing? From a writing standpoint its fair to compare this movie to Jurassic World. The same formula of “take whatever was awesome in the old movie and translate it into the new one”. I already found that cheap in Jurassic World and it’s the same with this film. However, there are some new things in here as well. I don’t want to spoil it but it’s not many and all of them implemented in the most lazy way possible.

Other actors worth to mention are William Fichtner, Judd Hirsch and Brent Spiner. The cast list doesn’t read bad to be honest but what they’re given to work with is just so plain stupid. And that Roland Emmerich typical humor, that is so typical for his movies, doesn’t work either. It never does. A rather decent cast that is pretty much wasted. A lot of scenes that feel so evil like green screen that it constantly takes you out of the movie. The VFX, otherwise technically well done, feel so badly directed with so many quick cuts and content cluttered/busy images that there rarely was a point to focus on. When the camera work was quiet I enjoyed it. But the action was too erratic for my taste. And I thought we left that kind of direction behind us now.

For the first 30 minutes or so I was on board and wondered why the reviews were so bad. But as soon as the aliens arrive the complete film falls apart and into levels of stupidity that I couldn’t just have fun with it anymore. You know what? I wonder how a Christopher Nolan version of that movie would have looked like. Or better Steven Soderbergh. With a more grounded storytelling and realistic presentation. We all can dream, right?

In the end this movie feels like lazy fan-fiction. Fan-fiction can be cool if executed well enough but that is not the case here. I have to admit though that, from the outside, it’s the sequel movie I hoped for when walking out of the screening in 1996. I definitely wanted makind to use the crashed alien ships for our own advantage and make a technological leap. That’s the case in this movie but it is not really explored. Oh man, there are so many missed opportunities in this film. It constantly reminds you that there would have been better movies possible with all the ideas they had for this movie. I would love to see the battles with the stranded aliens after we defeated their ships in 1996. A dark gritty us vs them war movie? Sign me up! But no. Maybe an anthology movie would have been cool. Tell different stories by different characters that show the situation right after the events in 1996 from different perspectives. Missed opportunities all over this movie.

As a final verdict I can only say that, if you want to see this film, do it on the big screen in a cinema. There are some neat (but chaotic at times) visuals in this film that might get lost when watching the film on a tv. But that’s all. I saw it in 2D and cannot imagine any advantage with the 3D version other than you walk out of this film with a headache.

5.9/10

Independence Day: Resurgence on IMDb