Independence Day

Name: Independence Day
Year: 1996
Rating: PG-13
Running Time (minutes): 145
Description: On July 2nd, communications systems worldwide are sent into chaos by a strange atmospheric interference. It is soon learned by the military that a number of enormous objects are on a collision course with Earth. At first thought to be meteors, they are later revealed to be gigantic spacecraft, piloted by a mysterious alien species. After attempts to communicate with the aliens go nowhere, David Levinson, an ex-scientist turned cable technician, discovers that the aliens are going to attack major points around the globe in less than a day. On July 3rd, the aliens all but obliterate New York, Los Angeles, and Washington. The survivors set out in convoys towards Area 51, a strange government testing ground where it is rumoured the military has a captured alien spacecraft of their own. The survivors devise a plan to fight back against the enslaving aliens and July 4th becomes the day humanity will fight for its freedom. July 4th is their Independence Day…
Stars: Will Smith, Bill Pullman and Jeff Goldblum
Genres: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi, Thriller

I didn’t want to watch this film at first because of its simplistic plot and all, but my brother kept telling me I should give it a try and today seemed the perfect opportunity.

It’s actually not bad at all given the uncomplicated story. I liked how they managed to make me care about nearly all the characters. At the beginning, it was rather difficult to keep track of who was who and I definitely missed the fact that the First Lady was not on the airplane with the President, but other than that, I rather enjoyed it.

The music was even better. It’s so refreshing to hear a purely orchestral score that will remind me of this film forever, that will probably work perfectly well as a stand-alone listening experience and that does more than aimlessly accompanying the film. Very interesting underscore and main themes, and I especially liked the music during the President’s speech. Very nice sound mix too.

This was also the first time the American audio-describer was so enthusiastic.

Happy independence day, everyone!

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The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Name: The Hunchback Of Notre Dame
Year: 1996
Rating: PG
Running Time (minutes): 91
Description: In 15th century Paris, Clopin the puppeteer tells the story of Quasimodo, the misshapen gentle-souled bell ringer of Notre Dame, who was nearly killed as a baby by Claude Frollo, the Minister of Justice. But Frollo was forced by the Archdeacon of Notre Dame to raise Quasimodo as his own. Now a young man, Quasimodo is hidden from the world by Frollo in the belltower of the cathedral. But during the Festival of Fools, Quasimodo, cheered on by his gargoyle friends Victor, Hugo, and Laverne, decides to take part in the festivities, where he meets the lively gypsy girl Esmeralda and the handsome soldier Phoebus. The three of them find themselves ranged against Frollo’s cruelty and his attempts to destroy the home of the gypsies, the Court of Miracles. And Quasimodo must desperately defend both Esmeralda and the very cathedral of Notre Dame.
Stars: Demi Moore, Jason Alexander and Mary Kay Bergman
Genres: Animation, Drama, Family, Musical, Romance

I decided to watch this one because the TV guide only offered mindless, shallow action movies other than this one, which aren’t my cup of tea. In the beginning I had some misgivings about it being too childish for me, but then the music started. WHAT, A, SCORE! I just LOVED the chords that accompanied the words ‘Notre Dame’ in the first cue. Then the bells came, then the organ, then the choir… The captain’s theme is perfect as well, I can’t stop chanting ‘with fire, with fire…’ They really have to do this one live in concert and there’d better be a good commercial release! As it happens, I had already heard a suite in concert a week ago, but that was played by a youth orchestra that didn’t have a string section. Never thought the real thing would sound so enchanting.

The story was not bad either. Thanks to the aforementioned concert, I already knew how it was gonna end, but never mind. Esmeralda did sound artificial at times, but, again, never mind. Can’t get over that score!

The audio description was good, but they didn’t emphasise Quasimodo’s deformed face sufficiently. Or maybe they did and I just didn’t really hear it because the sound mix in general wasn’t ideal.