While Director Roland Emmerich likes to do things on a "big" scale, most of his newer films are awful and boring. But, when "Independence Day" first came out it really did feel like something new in the way it offered a "big" film that was thoroughly entertaining, and didn't leave viewers feeling guilty for enjoying it. "Independence Day still holds up remarkably well, and even more-so with the wonderful 4K UltraHD release being offered from FOX.
In a complete turnaround from the friendly aliens of "CE3K," the aliens in "ID4: Independence Day" only mean the human race harm. While there are formulaic storylines going on, there are also a fair share of surprises and deaths of major characters when least suspected.(at least, by big budget Hollywood standards)
FOX has provided this Ultra HD Blu-ray release as a 3 Disc Combo-pack. The Ultra HD and regular blu-ray each offer the theatrical and extended cut of the film. A 2nd blu-ray offers a variety of special features and a HD code. Unfortunately, the HD code doesn't provide a simultaneous UltraHD offering as most WB releases do on VUDU.
FOX has provided a full 4K scan of the 35mm film source along with an obvious HDR color timing upgrade. Whether one chooses the theatrical or extended cut(9 minutes longer and preferred)the 2.39:1 image is astounding and a noticeable improvement over the already impressive regular blu-ray. Colors are far more vivid, especially in scenes with red tones. None of this improvement in richness comes with the sacrifice of naturalness. The image just looks terrific and realistic. There's also more grain evident in UltraHD, but this only gives the film an added film-like feel. Detail is also improved upon in 4K but not in a way that will wow the viewer as the color improvement can.
FOX has provided a DTS:X mix that should excite audiences enough to make them want 4K in the same way DTS felt like a huge advance over standard Dolby Surround. The DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix offered on the blu-ray is extremely immersive. While the mix is dated in scenes with effects that are a bit predictable and less impressively nuanced than the better mixes of today, it's still aggressive and offers a fine balance with dialogue and music. However, upon hearing the DTS:X mix, that alone, leaves audiences without any patience for the blu-ray again. The sound mix, both in terms of dynamic range and broad expansion of the environment is never less than amazing! THIS is the kind of soundmix one wants to demonstrate and impress friends with. It's just AMAZING!!! While much of "INDEPENDENCE DAY" is about over-the-top moments, this mix offers plenty of bass effects and gentler, nuanced moments too! It's outstanding from beginning to end!
The original audio commentary previously offered on laserdisc has been carried over for the UltraHD and the blu-ray. Trivia tracks, featurettes in HD and standard resolution, an alternate ending and much more are included.
While this release is well-timed for the theatrical release of the sequel, a 4K UltraHD release this spectacular makes for a great addition to a film lover's library any time of the year, birthdays, holidays or just to enjoy one's great home theater potential.