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Independence Day (1996)

NOTE: This commentary track is on most versions of the DVD, but not the single-disc full frame edition (it is on the "Five Star Collection", the "Limited Edition", the 2-disc version that doesn't have a specific label, and the single-disc widescreen releases).

Commentaries on this disc:

Commentary 1: Director Roland Emmerich and producer Dean Devlin Rating:5.4/10 (9 votes) [graph]Login to vote or review
Reviewed by pat00139 on March 27th, 2007:Find all reviews by pat00139
Standard commentary with some nice moments. A lot of dead air, especially as the movie gets to its end. Nothing very exciting. I am surprised though that it took them all of 2 hours before they said that this movie was an updated version of ‘The War of the Worlds’. Even though Devlin said it’s more like a 1970s disaster film (just imagine ‘Earthquake’ or ‘The Towering Inferno’ with aliens), I still think of it as a ‘War of the Worlds’ remake. It's not the best commentary, and the technical one is actually fairly better.
Reviewed by Gledster on July 18th, 2008:Find all reviews by Gledster
I agree with Pat above. The commentary starts off promisingly, lots of chatter and talk, the two obviously get on well but it degenerates from there. Eventually one of the two commentators is reduced to pointing out "That's a model, that's CGI, that's a model again..."

Lots of dead air also where they enjoy their own creation. Some little asides about life on set but too much dead air for my liking.
Reviewed by TylerMirage on June 29th, 2016:Find all reviews by TylerMirage
As others have pointed out, there's an unfortunate abundance of dead air. Would've benefited from having another producer or two thrown in there.

If you're a fan of the movie or big FX movies, this is probably more worth your time than if you're a casual movie fan.

Despite the German-born Roland's very good grasp of the English language, one of his idiosyncracies (which can be heard pretty much any time he speaks) is that he uses a lot of..."transitional phrases" (?) when he speaks. "Like", "Y'know", "Kind of". Words and phrases that help his brain catch up with his mouth like we all do. However, Roland is EXCESSIVE with them. I swear, there's one run-on sentence where he uses "like kind of" at least FIVE times. In a SINGLE SENTENCE.

"For this shot we, like kind of put the camera on its side so like we could, like kind of film the explosion from a certain angle, that like kind of would make it seem more visceral, like kind of a more horrific thing, y'know?"


It was the kind of thing that you don't notice, but once you *do* notice it...that's all you'll like kind of hear.


-The original "The Day The Earth Stood Still" is one of Roland's favourite movies.
Reviewed by thegibson99 on January 18th, 2017:Find all reviews by thegibson99
Because of the previous reviews I fully expected this to be boring. It ended up being a lot more interesting than I expected. It's certainly not an entertaining commentary, but it is full of interesting information about choices they made throughout production and how some special effects shots were created. A lot of emphasis on creating character in what would be a generic disaster movie. Oh and there's not that much dead air; just a few moments.
Commentary 2: Special effects supervisors Volker Engel and Doug Smith Rating:5.1/10 (7 votes) [graph]Login to vote or review
Reviewed by space guy on August 7th, 2004:Find all reviews by space guy
Special effects commentaries tend to be alittle weak. This one is no exception. Most DVD views have seen at least one special feature telling how special effects are done. That's the way to present special effects, not a commentary.
Reviewed by pat00139 on March 27th, 2007:Find all reviews by pat00139
I found this commentary more interesting. They, oddly enough, had more anecdotes about the movie than the producer and director. The movie is effects heavy, so these two had a lot on their hands, as they explained how all the shots were put together. There were some interesting tidbits (the enemy gun column inside the alien vessel blowing up at the end was the Empire State Building turned upside down.) All in all, a very good technical commentary.
Reviewed by TylerMirage on June 29th, 2016:Find all reviews by TylerMirage
As a VFX-buff, this was the commentary that I was most looking forward to. It's better than the Roland/Dean commentary, but that's not saying much.

If you're not interested in FX, then this is an easy skip. But they provide some nice insight into the methods that they used to achieve the work.


-The flipping firetruck when the aliens blast New York was just a toy purchased from Toys 'R Us.