Welcome to Earth.

This line isn’t actually in the movie, it’s from the first one. I love Independence Day, the original, more than words can express. Jeff Goldblum is the man and Bill Pullman is pretty fucking fantastic. I knew the sequel, which was totally unnecessary to make, would be lackluster but Goldblum was in it, so I had to go. J wanted to see it in 3D, so we shelled out $40 and saw it on Saturday night.

“This is the worst movie I’ve ever seen,” is what he said as we were about halfway through. Whatever, man. 

Okay, so it WAS totally ridiculous, but it was an amazing disaster movie. The mothership (the one carrying the Queen) was the size of a hemisphere, not just the size of a city. The Queen alien herself was about 10 stories tall and all of the aliens can use guns now. The aliens are over exterminating planets and they’re all about stealing molter cores from other planets to use on their own. A huge space ball comes to our space station on the moon to try to warn us, but of course, we’re afraid of anything unfamiliar, so we shoot it down. 

The destruction is 100x’s worse this time around. But aside from that, Will Smith’s character’s son is now a star fighter pilot and Gale (aka Thor’s brother aka Liam Hemsworth) is in cahoots with him (he’s also a fighter pilot), and he’s in a relationship with President Whitmore’s (Bill Pullman) daughter, Patricia, who’s now in her 20′s. 

That was all nostalgic and great. I really loved it for that aspect. I wondered though, what happened to the crazy drunk’s kids from the first movie? We’ll never know as they’re not in this movie.

i hear this is going to tank this weekend and that’s sad. But the writing is just so bad, it’s like they weren’t even trying. 

Despite that it was a 10 on the cheesiness scale, I enjoyed it. If you have nostalgia for the original, go see this one and bring your low expectations with you. Because: Jeff Goldblum. 

Whatever side you’re on, you’re wrong.

That’s the tagline being used on many of the promotional materials.  My week of theatre moved forward with the recent revival of David Mamet’s Oleanna, starring Bill Pullman and Julia Stiles.  Being a fan of both stars, I was excited to see if both could pull off acting on-stage as well as they had on screen.  I will admit to having reservations when it came to Ms. Stiles though.  I saw her on-stage in 2005 in Playwrights Horizons’ production of Fran’s Bed (by Joan Marcus) and was left a bit underwhelmed (which was rather disappointing considering that I’m a huge fan of her film work).  Still, I saw the role of Carol as a role better suited for Stiles, so I kept my spirits high as John and I took our front mezzanine seats (thanks to TDF’s pick-a-tix booth at the Flea Market) in The Golden Theatre.

Oleanna is an 80-minute one act, three scene play that tells the story of a college professor, John,  (at an unnamed prestigious university) who has just received tenure and one of his students whom he’s taken an interest in when she meets with him to tell him that she doesn’t understand what he’s teaching and wants desperately to understand.  He tells her that he’ll re-teach the course to her personally, if she wishes.  The second scene occurs after Carol (Stiles) has reported a sexual harassment complaint to the tenure board and John (Pullman) is in danger of losing his promotion.  Carol claims that he was coming onto her and distorts a number of other things that were said during their first meeting.  Before trying to exit his office, John grabs her (a big no-no for a professor, I learned, when John (my friend), an aspiring professor, gasped).

The climax in the final scene had everyone gasping, and John had a grip on my arm so firm that it nearly cut off my circulation.  “I loved every moment of that, I was totally on his side.”  I won’t disclose what happened though.

Bill Pullman gave a convincing and fluid performance as John.  Everyone line flowed and it seemed quite natural to him – and when reading his former credits in the Playbill beforehand, it seems theatre is second nature to him.

Julia Stiles, however, was a bit more stagnant and unnatural in her role.  It felt rather forced when she was delivering her lines.  My assumption that this is a role that was more easily relatable for someone her age was correct – she was better than in Fran’s Bed.  Still, she lacked.  I think it’s a safe assumption to conclude that sadly, she is an actress whose strength relies on camera close-ups on her facial expressions for her talent to truly come across; and onstage, that just can’t happen.

This is a truly enjoyable 80 minutes at the theatre; never once does it drag and it captivates you from the first few minutes until the end.  Incase you want to pick up tickets of your own, you buy them at the box office at The Golden Theatre (45th between Broadway and 8th) or at Telecharge.com, and here is a code to get a 45% discount ($59 Tuesdays – Fridays and only $65 Saturdays and Sundays): OLCD99