First post of the new year and we get to dive into a holiday classic. Happy New Year everyone and Happy Fourth of Joooool-eye!
What?! It’s been twenty years since Independence Day and the War of 1996. Humans have used alien technology to make immeasurable advances, but nothing could have prepared them for the next invasion. Will this next generation of fighters not go quietly into the night, not vanish without a fight, live on, and survive to celebrate humanity’s… Independence Day: Resurgence!
Why?! You may be wondering why the aliens are back just twenty years later after getting their alien butts handed to them. Turns out before Will Smith totally rocked them they were able to send out a distress signal to the super mother ship. They’re coming back for vengeance and to sap on our planet’s sweet, sweet molten core. This vengeance comes in the form of a 3000 mile long ship that is so large it totally fucks everything up with its gravity. The motivation for the humans is even simpler: survival.
How?! The aliens’ plan is to take us out, eat our planet’s core, and leave it an empty husk for the interstellar vultures. The humans’ plan is more complicated. That’s because on our own we are straight up screwed. Fortunately there is a rebel alien species that also received the distress signal and comes to our rescue. After first blowing its ship to smithereens (oops) we are able to salvage the powerful alien entity from the wreckage (in the form of a giant white orb). This orb is feared by the enemy aliens as it represents a much more advanced species capable of taking them downtown charlie brown (in the galactic sense). Teamed up with our ally we are able to lure the alien queen from the safety of the mothership and stop the drilling of our core. For this is the only way to safely set up the third film in the trilogy that everyone is obviously clamouring for (though lately Emmerich doesn’t seem super confident in it happening).
Who?! I had an existential crisis about the Who category recently. I started to think that there just weren’t enough Planchet-type characters in this world and I might need to take it in a different direction. Independence Day: Resurgence was a philosophical salve for that wound. I counted no less than five separate Planchets. We had Floyd (a nerdy auditor or something), Dikembe Umbuntu (a kooky African warlord), Papa Levinson (Jeff Goldblum’s extra Jewish father), Dr. Okun and his life partner (back from the dead and faaabbbbbuulllous), and my personal favorite Charlie Miller (BFFs with Liam Hemsworth’s character and a truly classic Planchet). The Who category is back baby! A+++ effort by the writers (one of which was one of the Planchets, Floyd!)
Where?! Kind of a hard question. If you had to pick one location it would be Area 51 in Nevada. Most time was spent there and the best fight scene took place nearby. However, we also have to give a shout out to the Moon, central Africa, and the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, all of which hosted key scenes of the film. Kind of an amazing set of locations. B+ effort using intertitles and everything.
When?! A+ alert! Took place on Independence Day, 2016. Straight up getting it in the title. NBD.
‘Ello everyone! Independence Day: Resurgence? More like …. Resplendent Day 2? Independence Day Boo? I feel like my brain is broken, this is like the fourth week in a row with wizzeak puns. Anywho, we watched a sequel to a beloved Sci Fi adventure from 1996, how could it possibly live up to the expectations? We’ll let’s see:
- The Good – I thought this movie was … surprisingly cogent. It was surprisingly entertaining. The Independence Day stalwarts are still pretty good actors. And the direction was pretty solid. The movie was average in literally every possible regard. Which is surprising. A ton of people think this movie is the worst of the year. For me it was just shy of not that bad.
- The Bad – The use of Goldblum’s father (Judd Hirsch) was atrocious. His story makes no sense (am I wrong or do they suggest he drove literally across the country in a school bus through the film? [NOTE: I was wrong, he was in LA and he was struck by the wave caused by the giant ship’s gravity, not the ship landing]) and could also have been completely cut from the film with no impact. Same goes for the Russian drillers. The young actors are all either anonymous or terrible. The story is ludicrous in a couple different way, but most obviously in that it requires several enormous exposition dumps in order to clear up the plot debris that floats alongside the gravity of the 3000 mile alien ship.
- The BMT – And yet I was entertained. I would gladly watch a third. I would gladly watch a well made show (don’t half ass some NBC thing, but like Showtime or HBO or something? I’d go for it). I do not personally think this is a BMT film. People think this might be the worst of the year! I find that nuts. This is like a 10 tops for me.
The Sci-Fi glory that is this movie inspired me to bring back a rare game: Sklogbusters our scientific mythbusting segment vaguely started for the movie Bats and their giant cave cooling refrigeration unit. In this segment we ask: What do the aliens want with the core and does it make sense that it was their goal in the first one anyways? The key question is: Does it actually contain enough energy to really matter for a ship that size (a 3000 mile long disc)?
To start some back of the envelope calculations (BMT does not guarantee the accuracy of these figures). Let’s assume it is a perfect disc and that it is 8:1 diameter to thickness (because). We also know it is hollow inside, so let’s say it has a hull thickness equivalent to a battleship, and the density of transparent aluminum (Star Trek references all up in here) and you get a mass of about 4 * 10^17 kg I think. Ignoring almost all physics let’s just use 62 MJ / kg as the energy needed to get the spaceship back off of the earth and away from the planet. Using the heat capacity here magma has a heat capacity of 41 J / mol / K, and the core is about 5000 K. Iron is 0.056 kg/mol so each kg of Fe would provide about 4 MJ.
And that is where the figure doesn’t really add up for assuming the core is being used to propel the spaceship back off of the Earth. You need 62 MJ / kg to get each kg of fuel off of the planet, but the heat only provides 4 MJ and the radiation isn’t much at all. Which leads to only one conclusion: fuel is not the reason for the sweet sweet core sucking power of the aliens. Perhaps with wormhole technology travelling the universe is trivial. And perhaps it is, instead, the iron itself they want. They wanted the core to “grow their technology” and for energy. Why not to build dyson spheres? Would make the most sense since they appear to have cold fusion in this universe. I think there is only one moral to this story: questioning and interrogating garbage Sci-Fi science is a waste of time, because I am forced to declare this myth plausible since the technological advances of the alien race appear to be so advanced as to be unknowable. Sigh.