Roland Emmerich is one of my favourite movie directors. For over 20 years he has produced some of the biggest and most standout movies of my movie going career. From a young age I knew of the release of several of his films, but was too young to see. But as I got older, I began to see these movies, and in turn love them. Now, whenever a new Roland Emmerich film is due for release; it instantly becomes a must see for me.
Yes, he may only have a couple of movies with fresh rating ratings on Rotten Tomatoes, but to me; cinema is a form of entertainment, and he produces entertaining movies. So, in celebration of one of my favourite movie directors, I have picked my top 5 favourites from his collection to share with you. Enjoy!
5. White House Down – This one is a weird one, as it was released the same year as another film about an attack on the White House (Olympus Has Fallen). Now while that film did better at the box office, this one is held in much better regard. Starring both Jamie Foxx and Channing Tatum, White House Down is a much smaller film in scope in comparisons to Emmerich’s much larger movies, but it doesn’t detract from it’s entertaining value, as this still carries large amounts of action and drama in a confined space, plus the chemistry between its two lead stars is simple movie magic.
4. Godzilla – In 1998; there was one movie I wanted to see more than anything else; Godzilla. As a fan I was super excited to see this and I could not wait. Time has passed by however and I began to see this film as something else. Despite the name, this is not a Godzilla film; plain and simple. That is not Godzilla! In fact the creature has since been renamed outside itself as Zilla: because the creature really took ‘the God out of Godzilla’. Move past that though, and forget the name; what we have here is an awesome (albeit generic) american Monster Movie; it is very cool, the rampage scenes are terrific, the arrival of the creature is fantastic, and the military scenes are all awesome. Yes, the film does slow down to a crawl with that ridiculous baby scene in Madison Square Garden, but look beyond that, and the error with the title; and you still have a pretty good Monster Movie.
3. Independence Day: Resurgence – Possibly delivered a bit too late for it to really work, Resurgence is still a pretty fun film. It feels like a much smaller film in comparison to it’s titanic older brother; but it still carries the ideas and mythos from it’s predecessor for fans of the original to fall in love with the concept once more, but still carry an interesting enough idea for new fans to get hooked. Sadly it seems we won’t get a follow-up, but, at least we still got something.
2. The Day After Tomorrow – Much like Independence Day before it, this film was sold to audiences for it’s grand apocalyptic look. The sight of the weather going haywire with giant waves and tornadoes trashing the landscape at breakneck speeds. That’s what sold this film, and there are a lot of those instances here; but at the same time there is a lot of theory and science as to why this is happening, but at heart, the film is also a story of a family drama caught up in the middle of it. You see the story of Dennis Quaid trying to tell the world about this and how to survive it, whilst his son (Jake Gyllenhaal) is far away in New York City which has now been caught in a winter storm that would put Game of Thrones to shame. It’s a really bleak apocalyptic vision, but it’s also a cool and enjoyable drama that keeps you hooked and reeled in from start to finish.
1. Independence Day – Independence Day is the Godfather of Disaster Movies. It changed the design and rulebook on them by going as big and as bad as possible, going to extremes to suggest it cannot be survived; but then somehow, people do! It takes the idea of Alien Invasion movies, and then multiplying them by at least a billion, creating these terrifying images of city sized alien ships descending on the world’s major cities, then obliterating them in just a few minutes! The film then ramps up the tension when the unwelcome guests seem undefeatable with their greatest technologies. In the end, it’s not sheer brawn that defeats them; but also brains, and the unlikeliest of heroes to bring down the ultimate threat! All of this is so wonderfully brought together, by focussing on three great actors (Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum, and Bill Pullman), who in addition are supported by a truly brilliant cast who melt together in unison, as if they did it all the time. It looks devastatingly real, and over twenty years on, it hasn’t aged a day!