Why You Should See the ID4 / IDR Double Feature in Theaters

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To quote the official press release:

After INDEPENDENCE DAY redefined the event movie genre, the next epic chapter delivers global spectacle on an unimaginable scale. Using recovered alien technology, the nations of Earth have collaborated on an immense defense program to protect the planet. But nothing can prepare us for the Aliens’ advanced and unprecedented force. Only the ingenuity of a few brave men and women can bring our world back from the brink of extinction.

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Despite this description, there actually is one thing that can prepare us for the “Resurgence”, and that’s re-watching the original Independence blah blah blah... Isn’t that what we all do with pretty much every sequel though? Grab a copy of the previous film on DVD/Blu-ray or find it on our favorite streaming service, and then head out to see the new film in theaters? This time, before finding out just how the aliens have… “resurged”, there will be a unique experience from a past era available to adventurous moviegoers, one that you may have heard your parents or grandparents reminiscing about.

I’m speaking of course of the rare opportunity to take in a ‘double feature’ involving a brand new blockbuster film. While it used to be the norm in the era of classical Hollywood cinema, these days the idea of a theatrical double feature is very much a foreign concept. It is after all more than a four hour commitment, and unless you frequent film festivals or the opera (some run in the four hour range), you’re probably not used to sitting in a theater for such an extended period. For my part, I’m going to attempt to make a case for joining those of us who will be partaking in this adventure by presenting some reasons for doing so that you may not have considered.

1) Nostalgia Factor

The “Double Feature” or “Double Bill” format actually began in opera houses, before the advent of the motion picture industry, but the term has generally become associated with the classic Hollywood era. Back then it was not only seen as common practice, but moviegoers actually came to expect this two for the price of one deal. Even though often times only one of the films was of high quality, while the other was a low budget “B-movie”, you were still getting twice as much entertainment for your buck - or fraction of a buck in those days. The rare occasion of a modern day double feature gives us a chance to revisit a bygone era, and see what it was like back in ‘the old days’ - even if the price of admission is 30 times what our grandparents paid.

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2) BOGO Moviegoing

Plain and simple, you are getting two films on the big screen for the price of one. Only one of them is a new release in this case, and most people have probably already seen the original Independence Day, but everything is better on the big screen. “ID4” came out almost exactly 20 years ago, and I know a lot of my younger friends were too young to see this film - which arguably changed the blockbuster ‘event movie’ genre forever - in all its big screen glory. If you were already going to see “Resurgence” in theaters, it would almost be silly *not* to take advantage of having a whole other movie attached for the cost of the ticket you were already planning to pay for.

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3) Rarity

Disney/Pixar “Toyed” (rimshot) with the concept back in 2009 when Toy Story and Toy Story 2 were re-released as a double feature a year ahead of the third film in that franchise. The next year, Summit Entertainment took a similar angle the when they indulged hoards of ‘Twihards’ with the first two Twilight Saga installments back-to-back before the release of the third film in that series. (no judgement if you passed on that one, or if you didn’t...) Prior to these anomalies however, you have got to go back nearly a decade to 2007 for a legitimate cinematic twofer in the Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez "Grindhouse" films, Planet Terror and Death Proof. My point is, this doesn’t happen very often anymore, so you should definitely consider seizing the opportunity while you can. If you’re not an avid cinephile, it’s actually pretty fun to finish a movie - experience this wild thing called an “intermission” - and know that you still have the main feature to look forward to.

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4) Visual Effects Comparison

Independence Day hit theaters on July 2, 1996. Twenty years it’s been since the first invasion! (that doesn’t make me feel old or anything…) At the time, “ID4” represented the pinnacle of special effects technology, winning the 1996 Academy Award for Best Visual Effects. This year, with its $200 million budget, “Resurgence” will be showcasing perhaps the best visual effects that 2016 has to offer, so what better chance to view a side-by-side comparison of twenty years worth of special effects evolution? Now, you *could* watch the original at home for comparison, but even the best of home theater systems is no match for the full sensory immersion of big screen visuals paired with a professional sound system.

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5) Encouraging More Double Features in the Future

Those of us who *are* avid cinephiles get all giddy over the idea of a double feature involving a major film release, because as I pointed out earlier, it almost never happens. A successful turnout for this offering could lead to similar moves by major studios in the future, and that’s a positive change for us all. If you decide to take a chance on it this time, you’ll see for yourself what a great experience the double feature can be but for those of us who already know, we want more! Anyway, when is more free stuff ever a bad thing?