X-Men X-Pansion

Of all the superhero teams out there the X-Men were one of the first, in comic book form and on the silver-screen. Although in the beginning (of the comic books) the line-up simply consisted of Cyclops, Jean Grey, Iceman, Angel and Beast, this evolving team constantly added characters to their ranks such as Wolverine, Nightcrawler and Storm. One of these line-ups happened to appear in a film in 2000 (check), and from then on the X-Men franchise has grown into seven films; and it isn’t about to stop any time soon.

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Before the last film, X-Men: Days of Future Past, was released, returning director Bryan Singer had already announced that the follow-up to this film would be released in 2016 and would be titled X-Men: Apocalypse. For any fans of the comic books the super-villain Apocalypse, or En Sabah Nur, needs no introduction, for anyone unfamiliar he is regarded as the first ever mutant; a hint to this was given in the Days of Future Past end credits sequence, when we saw him as a child building the pyramids of Egypt. There are many villains in the Marvel universe, some are much more dangerous than others, and two of the most powerful are Apocalypse and Thanos. Seen as The Avengers will eventually be battling the latter in 2018, it only seems right that the other super-powered team on the big screen should clash with a character just as horrific.

The film will be set in 1983, 10 years after Days of Future Past, and will see James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Evan Peters and Hugh Jackman reprise their roles once again; and will also feature young versions of Cyclops, Storm, Nightcrawler and Jean Grey, along with a cameo from Channing Tatum as Gambit, before his 2016 solo film.

The title may very well give something away about the plot of the film, perhaps this is going to once again alter history and be the end of the X-Men due to this foe. Apocalypse is definitely up to the challenge, he was already powerful, but that power increased when he merged himself with celestial energy. Along with being able to regenerate himself, mimic other powers and control his molecular structure so that he can be as malleable or tough as he likes, he is also telekinetic, telepathic and a genius in the sciences. So the team will definitely have their work cut out for them this time.

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Television Series

It appears that with the acclaim that the X-Men franchise has had, 20th Century Fox are trying to take the heroes to the small screen; with their own television series.

Not much is known about what the series will depict at the moment as Fox are still trying to buy the rights from Marvel; Fox own the film rights to X-Men, but not the comic book rights. With Marvel having so much on their plate the moment, with TV shows Agents of SHIELD and Agent Carter coming later this year, plus Daredevil, AKA Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist and The Defenders all in the works they might not feel that another superhero team on TV is needed. However it would be great to be able to sit in front of the TV each week and see the team battle a new enemy, which could also tie into the films and introduce many more X-Men.

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Although the X-Men franchise took a slight swerve at times, it appears that it is safely back on track now.

Paramore: A Decade On

In the small town of Franklin, Tennessee two brothers, guitarist Josh and drummer Zac Farro were keen to start a band but nothing seemed to be clicking for them; that is until 13 year-old Hayley Williams moves into town and begins to write for them. Jeremy Davis, who Williams already knew, soon took the position of bass player and Jason Bynum took on the role of rhythm guitarist. Now that they had their line-up all they needed was a name, and the suggestion of ‘Hidden Corporate Messages’ from an employee at Taco Bell didn’t seem to fit very well. They decided to take the name Paramore, as it was the maiden name of the mother of one of their past bass players. The name also evolved from the French phrase for ‘secret lover’. Although very young at the time, the youngest member being Zac Farro at 12, this band from a small town in the USA set out on a mission to conquer the world – I think it’s safe to say that after 10 years and 4 albums that goal has more or less been accomplished.

Paramore were signed to the niche record label Fueled By Ramen and began writing songs together as a band, the first being the song ‘Conspiracy’ which would feature on their first album. After playing a few shows Jeremy Davis left the band due to personal reasons, and was later replaced by John Hembree. However the band marched on and wrote their début album ‘All We Know Is Falling’ in 2005, whose opening track ‘All We Know’ is actually written about the hole that Davis created when he left the band. The album was a great first record that showed the world what Paramore are made of. The Farro brothers’ raw guitar and hard drum beats gave it that rough rock sound, and Williams’ soft but high vocals brought a feeling of calm about it. ‘Pressure’ was the first single released from the album, which, although did not chart at the time, has since become a fan favourite. Second music video ‘Emergency’ and live video ‘All We Know’ followed; by this time Hunter Lamb had replaced Jason Bynum on rhythm guitar and due to the band’s pleas, Jeremy Davis had returned to play bass in place of John Hembree.

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In the summer of 2006, the band played to thousands of people and promoted their name around America on the Warped Tour; that same year saw them play not only their first headlining shows, but their first headlining sold out shows. The support just carried on coming from then on, although they were still quite an unknown band at this point, it seemed the UK definitely wanted to hear more as they were voted best new band in British magazine Kerrang! and Hayley Williams was also voted #2 in the ‘sexiest female’ category. Hunter Lamb left the band soon after, leaving Williams, Davis and the Farros to continue on as a quartet.

With a début album which had been well received among their fans the band now had to write new material; and that material would need to be leaps and bounds better than All We Know Is Falling. As the band had lost their rhythm guitarist, old friend Taylor York stepped in as a touring guitarist. In mid 2007 Paramore released their second album ‘Riot!’ – this record blasted the band into the mainstream with such singles as ‘Misery Business’, ‘That’s What You Get’ and ‘Crushcrushcrush’. The album represented the growth that the band had gone through since their first album, Williams has said herself that the lyrics for ‘Misery Business’ were more honest than anything she’s ever written before. The raw sound of the band was slightly pulled back for Riot!, replaced in some places by lighter chord progressions, however Josh Farro’s melodic guitar playing was still present throughout.

The year 2008 saw the band take to the big screen, with their tracks ‘Decode’ and ‘I Caught Myself’, being featured on the soundtrack for ‘Twilight’; the first in The Twilight Saga. Decode became one of the group’s most famous tracks, selling over one million copies, and was later featured on their third album as a bonus track on the international release. The band only wrote material for the first film in the series as they did not want to be known as “that Twilight band”.

Heading up to releasing their third album there were many problems in the group; the constant touring had created friction between the members and it had become difficult for them to constantly be around each other. Josh had also raised concerns that the media were more focused around Hayley rather than the entire band. Nonetheless, Paramore’s third album ‘Brand New Eyes’ was released in 2009, and reminded their fans that they still had fire left inside them. Singles like ‘Careful’ and ‘Ignorance’ brought back that rough sound that was present at the beginning of the band’s career, and slow, peaceful ‘The Only Exception’ and ‘Misguided Ghosts’ brought back Williams’ soft tones and meaningful lyrics. Mid-album track ‘Looking Up’ was Williams’ view on the trouble that the band had had with each other, and how they had come out on top. Concluding song ‘All I Wanted’ also saw the vocalist attempt to expand her abilities in the form of this track, which took her voice to higher notes than we had ever heard before. Soon after the release of Brand New Eyes, Taylor York became an official member of the band.

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Unfortunately, it appeared as though the trouble between the members had never really been resolved, as in late 2010 Hayley, Jeremy and Taylor released a statement on paramore.net explaining that Josh and Zac Farro would be leaving the band, as they did not want to continue with the group. Josh stated that he thought the band had become a manufactured product of their record label, something which the remaining three members felt they had addressed years ago.

With two of their founding members gone, the future looked bleak for Paramore as the trio had to decide what their next step was. Not wanting to let down the fans, and wanting to carry on themselves, Hayley, Jeremy and Taylor announced that they would be releasing new music in 2011. Although this music would not be a full-length album, 2011 would definitely see the band keep busy; along with writing for their fourth album the band recorded the song ‘Monster’, which appeared on the ‘Transformers: Dark Of The Moon’ soundtrack. They then released three songs, ‘Renegade’, ‘Hello Cold World’ and ‘In The Mourning’, which became known as ‘The Singles Club’, and were only available to download from Paramore’s website.

Their fourth album, which was self-titled, was then released in mid 2013, and ranked #1 on the USA’s Billboard Chart. The record was very different than any of their other albums, firstly with a 17 track-listing it was much longer than their previous offerings; but what had altered the most was the sound. Although Paramore’s sound had slightly changed through their previous three records, the essence could still be felt through the songs; it seemed that after the departure of Josh Farro the band had decided to take a slightly different road in their music – something which the trio had earlier expressed would happen. This was not to say that they were not the same old Paramore that we had come to know and love, as songs such as ‘Now’, ‘Anklebiters’ and ‘Part II’ (which is sort of a sequel to the song ‘Let The Flames Begin’ from Riot!) still screamed classic Paramore with their hard guitar riffs and intense vocals. However tracks like ‘Still Into You’, ‘Grow Up’ and the three ukulele songs showed that the band had not only stuck to their roots, but also taken a trip down the pop side of things. Something which seemed to play off in their favour in some respects, as last released single ‘Ain’t It Fun’ went on to be the band’s highest charting song.

Whether you love them or loathe them, there is no denying that this pop-punk band from Franklin, Tennessee have accomplished a whole lot in their 10 years together. They have lost members and gained members, and although Williams may have made some slightly odd choices recently with her various appearances in rap songs and sporting a very questionable fringe, right now the band seem closer than ever and world domination is still in their sights.

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Who would have thought that when this unknown band released their début album All We Know Is Falling, they would ignite a fire that would still be burning 10 years later.

Paramore’s Album Catalogue:

All We Know Is Falling – 2005

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Interesting Fact – The album is actually dedicated to 16 year-old Lanie Kealhofer, Hayley Williams’ friend who died on May 2005; the song Brighter on the record is also dedicated to her.

Riot! – 2007

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Interesting Fact – The back-up vocals provided on the album’s concluding track Born For This, were from fan Mary Bonney who had previously won a competition to sing on the song.

Brand New Eyes2009

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Interesting Fact – The butterfly that appears on the cover of Brand New Eyes is one that Hayley Williams found dead in the drive-way of her mother’s house; they pinned it to a fence and took a picture of it.

Paramore – 2013

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Interesting Fact – For their music video for Ain’t It Fun the band set about trying to break as many world records as they could, in total they broke 10.

Marvel’s Phase 3 Is Revealed

The news is in, at Disney’s El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, Marvel announced what the next films up until 2019 will be in their Cinematic Universe. Be warned Marvel fans, you will be excited.

So we already know that the avengers sequel, Avengers: Age of Ultron, will sign off Marvel’s phase 2 in 2015, and Ant-Man will kick-off phase 3, also in 2015. Just like Iron man had his own third film, so will Captain America and Thor in 2016 and 2017. With the Captain America sequel being called ‘Civil War’ is it possible that we may be seeing one of the greatest comic book story lines of all time brought to the screen, let’s hope so.

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James Gunn is once again going to bring the Guardians of the Galaxy to the screen in a 2017 sequel, whereas James Gunn’s GOTG took the Marvel Universe into space themes, 2016’s Doctor Strange film will take it into the magic and parallel universe side of things.

As the list continues, we are finally going to see an African-American crusader have their own solo film with Black Panther in 2017, and we will also get a female avenger in her own solo film; Carol Danvers in Captain Marvel. The third avengers film will be the all out brawl between our heroes and the almighty Thanos, it will be split into two films and the second will finish off phase 3. We will also get another super group as well in the Inhumans film, with all these heroes together it is looking to be an action-packed next five years.

The full film list is as follows:

Captain America 3: Civil WarMay 2016

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Doctor Strange November 2016

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Guardians of the Galaxy May 2017

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Thor: RagnarokJuly 2017

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Black PantherNovember 2017

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Captain MarvelJuly 2018

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Inhumans November 2018

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The Avengers: Infinity War Parts 1 and 2May 2018 and May 2019

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Nobody Puts The South-West Silver Screens In The Corner

As Cornwall’s booming cinema industry hangs on the edge of extinction, the Phoenix cinema in Falmouth is fighting back and hoping to rise from the ashes.

The cinema is no longer just a place for film buffs to marvel at the constantly improving picture and sound quality of movies. It is a place where you can go for an evening out with a group of friends, a date or even your family; and it doesn’t even need to be a film that you are eager to watch. It has become a social establishment, such as a pub – minus the drinking – to be enjoyed by a local community.

Unfortunately a construction plan could be put in place which, if passed, could lead to the closure of most of the local cinemas around Cornwall, mainly the ones owned by Merlin Cinemas.

The plan, which was brought up back in December 2013, is to build another ASDA supermarket and a CINEWORLD multi-screen complex in Pool near Redruth, that will consist of various restaurants and retail units. Obviously the building of the multi-screen cinema will cause heavy damage to local cinemas, due to the large competition that will be created. However more competition is the last of the worries that is on the mind of the Merlin Cinemas, as it turns out that film priority from production companies will go straight to the multi-screen.

“The multi-plex will want to forge their own identity.”

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Hard at work at the Phoenix.

One cinema that will be hugely affecting by this plan is the Phoenix picture house in Falmouth, and when talking to manager Alex Jones, who was clearly eager to get his opinion across, the threat of the multi-screen becomes much clearer. Mr. Jones explains how a lot of customers come from outside the area, so they have to travel far anyway, “A lot of people think it won’t mean an awful lot to us because we’re quite far away from where the development is going to be, but currently an awful lot of people come from outside the area to Falmouth so it is relatively possible that they will just turn the car around the other way and go into a different direction.” He goes onto explain how the multi-screen will not only take away customers, but also the films themselves. “We suddenly will have difficulty getting new releases here, as the multi-plex will want to forge their own identity, and suddenly the film companies will probably say ‘you can play it in Falmouth but not until it’s about 3 or 4 weeks old’, and so by default people travel from Falmouth to there if they want to see X-Men which is in at the moment. It’s only going to be at the multi-plex, we can tell people ‘it’ll be here in 3 or 4 weeks time’, but they want to see it now.” By giving the multi-screen priority over the newly released films, the local cinemas just won’t get their business because by the time the films do arrive at somewhere like the Phoenix, they will have already been out for a month or maybe more.

Although this may just come across as the film companies trying to make more money for the bigger cinema organisations, the truth underneath is much darker than you would have thought as this idea of not giving local/small cinemas films at their actual time of release is an illegal act. “It has been legally outlawed that it goes on, and they use different reasons, like we haven’t got enough copies to go around, and of course it’s a hard answer for us to argue against because we don’t know how many copies they produce.”

The plan, which was put into place by Salmon Harvestor Properties Limited, is set to get started in 2014. In a statement to the West Briton in December 2013 from Rorie Henderson, who is the development director at Salmon Harvestor, it has been revealed that the plans for the multi-screen have been in talks for a while. “The scheme has been in limbo for about 18 months or so, but it’s as confirmed as can be. The next nine months to a year will be spent putting forward a major planning application for the site.” The chairman of Carn Brea Leisure Centre Trust, Colin Rowe, also voiced their optimism for the project, “We look very forward to working with them on the next steps of a project that enables the leisure centre to be transformed and the facility to be secured for the benefit of the community long-term.” Although the Leisure Centre Trust are putting a lot of thought into the community, the thoughts of Cornwall’s local cinema trade seems to be going out the window.

“They wanted for so long a cinema to come back to Falmouth.”

If there isn’t an uproar then we could very easily see our local cinema lifestyle crumble. Thankfully Merlin Cinemas have started a campaign called the ‘Save Our Cinemas’ campaign, in an aid to gather enough signatures that town council’s will put their word in to stop the plans for the multi-screen in Looe. It seems that it isn’t just the owners and employees at the cinemas that are supporting this campaign, and it is coming quite close to there being a talk about scrapping the plans. As Mr. Jones explains “Of course we’re running it across all our cinemas, but here in Falmouth it’s being massively supported. Through the cinemas altogether we’ve got 14,000 signatures against it at the moment. And you only need 5,000 to trigger a debate, we’re well above that.” Mr. Jones seems positive about the reaction from cinema goers and Falmouth town council, “The town council have been addressed by the managing director here as well, they’re all unanimously in favour of being against it.

 

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The cinema industry has been an odd one throughout the past century, with attendance constantly going up and down. During the war-era of the 1930s and 40s the attendance of customers in picture houses in the UK was at the highest it had ever been; and has ever been since. Peaking at 1.46 billion admissions in 1946, according to economicshelp.org. Perhaps this was because people needed some form of escapism from the terrors of the war that raged on outside. However through the 1950s, 60s and 70s there was a gradual decrease in the attendance of cinema patrons, and the industry was swept aside. Then the mid 1980s saw the industry begin to get back on its feet, and it has been constantly on rise ever since. With this rise more and more cinemas began to pop up all over the country, and Mr. Jones explains how now local cinemas are a vital part to any community, “It’s grown in vitality in the last 10 years, they like to come out to the cinema again, they like to come and see the big-screen experience, not just films but also live shows from London, so the experience now is massive. It’s not just teens and families, it’s older people as well who will have deserted cinemas in the 1960s and 70s coming back in droves, and they love it. So for the community it’s hugely important, because even if we suddenly close, I can’t see a hundred percent of all our business going to the multi-plex.

“We’ve opened it up ourselves and brought all the people back.”

In a way it has become a kind of vicious cycle for the cinema industry and especially local cinemas such as the Phoenix, which was awarded the best independent cinema in the UK in their opening year by RAAM (national cinema awards). With the industry beginning to gain momentum once again, cinemas began to pop up in towns all over Cornwall, and the big companies saw this and have decided to make a multi-plex to get in on some of the action, hence the vicious cycle.

Vox pops with a cinema fan

“There wasn’t a cinema in Falmouth for over 20 years, and we’ve only been here for 5 years. If it wasn’t for us opening cinemas like this, there’s no way a multi-plex would even look to Cornwall, they’ve seen what we’re doing and thought ‘aha, we’ll have a slice of that’. We’ve opened it up ourselves and brought all the people back.” Alex Jones ends on a rather grim note, as he realises that because cinemas like the Phoenix have brought the industry back to its feet, their own accomplishments could be their downfall.

With the ‘Save Our Cinemas’ campaign signatures greatly surpassing the cause for concern mark of 5,000, and Falmouth’s town council being anonymously behind the campaign, there could be a light at the end of the tunnel yet. These cinemas are a vital part to any community, and to lose one of them would be to lose apart of your town.

For more information on the ‘Save Our Cinemas’ campaign visit the Merlin cinemas website at merlincinemas.co.uk. Or head down to your local, or closest, Merlin cinema to sign the petition and pick up a leaflet.

Channing Tatum To Star As Gambit

As I said in my previous post it seems to be every other day that some new information about a Marvel film comes out, and the X-Men franchise is definitely one that is high on the radar at the moment. Especially with the new X-Men: Days of Future Past being released and the announcement of the already named sequel, X-Men: Apocalypse.

But the most recent piece of ramblings about the world’s most famous mutant force comes in the shape of another new character being introduced, one that is well known throughout the comic books, but rather unknown in the films; Gambit (A.K.A Remy LeBeau). There will be a lot of film fans unfamiliar with the brown jacket wearing X-Man – who can change energy into pink kinetic energy that he usually uses through playing cards – except for his cameo in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, however he is a vital part to the X-Men universe.

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This is great news for fans out there, finally they might get to see a worthy take on Gambit in X-Men: Apocalypse, and then possibly in a spin-off film. Unfortunately the choice for who is going to portray the vigilante has caused quite a stir with fan-boys, it is going to be none other than the usually-cast-in-romantic-films hunk Channing Tatum. Now don’t get me wrong I do love a bit of the Tatum, but as Gambit…I’m not so sure. Although he is shown to be rather buff in the comics, the character still has a slim build, which female fans of Tatum will know he does not.

However saying that, he could tone it down before filming due to the film being set for a 2016 release, and Tatum does have the same country background that Gambit has, so maybe you comic book fans shouldn’t be pulling your hair out just yet.

Marvel Movie News

With Marvel’s Phase 2 now in full swing, with Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World and Captain America: The Winter Soldier already out and Guardians of the Galaxy’s release date fast approaching, it is becoming the norm for a piece of news about the upcoming films to be released weekly. But that side of Marvel is not what this article is about, no there are two pieces of rather exciting news concerning the two Marvel franchises owned by 20th Century Fox and Sony.

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The first being the upcoming reboot of Fantastic Four. Due to the first two attempts at taking the adventures of Mr. Fantastic, Invisible Woman, The Thing and Human Torch to the screen failed to dazzle film and comic book audiences alike; even Captain America on fire couldn’t save it. 20th Century Fox have now decided to give it another go, here’s hoping that they do it justice this time; as the Fantastic Four are one of the most famous superhero teams in the Marvel universe and really deserve a great franchise. Josh Trank (Chronicle) is helming the new adaptation, and the film stars a much younger cast than its predecessor, with Miles Teller (Mr. Fantastic), Kate Mara (Invisible Woman), Michael B. Jordan (Human Torch) and Jamie Bell (The Thing).

Doctor Doom will once again be the main villain for the 2015 film, however it has recently been released that Tim Blake Nelson (whose last Marvel film role was as Samuel Sterns/The Leader in The Incredible Hulk) has signed on to the film, and will be portraying Harvey Elder. A scientist who is shunned by civilisation and eventually becomes the Moleman, who rules over an underground species called ‘Moloids’. Although Nelson will feature in this film, his character is more likely going to be a set up for the next Fantastic Four movie, set for a 2017 release.

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The other half of the big news comes from Sony’s The Amazing Spider-Man. If like me you sat through to the end of the credits at the cinema when watching The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and all you got was a little clip from the new X-Men: Days of Future Past film; you might have felt slightly disappointed. Well it actually turns out that if you have the smart phone app ‘Shazam’, then you can Shazam the end credits song – ‘It’s On Again’ by Alicia Keys – and you will be shown various different images that tease at the line-up for the upcoming Drew Goddard directed ‘Sinister Six’ film.

The pictures, from SuperHeroHype, are shown below:

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From the images it appears that the villains who will be assembling in their own film will be: Green Goblin, Doctor Octopus, Rhino, Vulture, Kraven the Hunter and Mysterio. Personally I can’t wait to see how the back story of Kraven will be shown on-screen, and what a new-age version of Mysterio will look like.

Big things are coming.

Independence Day 2 Update

Roland Emmerich is known for creating ridiculously over-the-top disaster movies – such as 2012 and The Day After Tomorrow. However back in the 90s he created – along with a questionable Godzilla remake – a film that should be in most film lovers collections. The 1996 alien invasion film ‘Independence Day’; starring Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman.

independenceday1Independence Day took its audience on a wild ride, as Captain Steven Hiller and David Levinson attempted to find a weakness for the alien intruders, who were destroying major cities all over the world with their giant laser beams. There were some very epic scenes throughout the film, most were of walls of fire vaporising everything in its path. However the inspirational speech given by president Thomas J. Whitmore and the emotional battle ending, along with Will Smith’s humorous witty portrayal of the army pilot are arguably the best parts of the film.

Here’s the news. We all know that Hollywood loves to remake or create sequels of their most popular films, and now Independence Day – even with the fury of the fans – is also getting this treatment. There is no plot line for the sequel at the moment, however what we do know is that the film’s biggest star, Will Smith, is not returning to play his character; which I’m sure is the reason a lot of audience members saw the original in the first place.

It is quite hard to picture Independence Day without Smith, so how Emmerich plans to make the story work and still keep the fans happy is yet to be seen.