What The Film!? – Independence Day

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What The Film!? is a weekly column exclusive to Under The Gun Review that brings to light the general fuckery Hollywood hoped you’d never notice. Written by Dane Sager, this column shows no mercy to films that try to pull the proverbial wool over our eyes. If you know a film with major plot holes or those that make you scratch your eyes out, tell us! Email utgjames@gmail.com with the subject “What The Film” and we’ll try to get your suggestion featured on the site.

Last week, in a brilliant example of misdirection, I lead you all to believe that I was going to write What The Film!? on the science fiction disaster movie Independence Day and then instead did Armageddon instead. You should have seen your faces, you were so blown out of the water because of how left field it was. It was a piece of art, that misdirection.

There were no hints at all. It just hit you right in the face.

With Independence Day 2 & 3 being made (maybe), it seems as if this disaster movie that blew up the careers of everyone in it (and the White House, hiyo!) is going from a stand alone picture to a franchise, do not worry. It doesn’t matter how bad a sequel is, it doesn’t taint the original. A Good Day to Die Hard and Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines doesn’t make Die Hard and Terminator 2: Judgement Day any less than the greatest action movies ever made.

Yes, with current technology, looking back at Independence Day it doesn’t seem so revolutionary, but this movie came out when the technology we have no was in its infancy. You need to understand that when people saw the White House explode, it was something no one has ever done before in a movie, let alone something that was so prominent in its marketing. It was a shocking image that propelled what was a loose adaption of War of the Worlds into what was then the second highest grossing movie of all time.

So famous, it even had a level based on it in Star Fox 64

Independence Day is what put Will Smith on the map as a serious actor and the summer after, Men In Black solidified that position as a powerhouse that will sell a lot of tickets when not directed by M Night Shyamalan. A natural crowd pleaser who starred in some of the biggest science fiction movies of the past twenty years, but wait, there’s more. He used to have a penchant for writing rap theme songs for his major movies, Men In Black, Wild Wild West, Men In Black II, even the theme song to his TV show The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. He stopped this trend with I, Robot, leaving millions of fans disappointed that we’d never see Big Will do the robot with a robot. 

The music video directs itself, it’s so simple.

I’m here to let you know that Big Will actually did write a rap theme song for Independence Day, it just was never released due to unknown reasons. Through my connections at Warner Bros Studios (which didn’t release Independence Day, but did release Mars Attacks! so I trust them), I have received the transcript of one of the recording session to Will Smith’s unreleased “ID4 (Welcome to Earth)” single. It looks as if its beat was sampling Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA”, but other reports say it sampled Springsteen’s “4th of July”. It could be both.

 

So now, without any further delays, I show you the transcript to “ID4 (Welcome to Earth)”, a UTG Exclusive.

ID4 WELCOME TO EARTH

(spoken dialogue over intro)

Uh.

Uh.

Yeah yeah.

(unintelligible alien sounds)

I think you stopped on the wrong planet. Yeah.

(sound effects implying Will Smith is violently attacking the alien)

Yeah, yeah.

(sound effects continue, ultimately stopping as the song experiences its ‘drop’)

Welcome to Earth.

(Rapping starts)

July 4th, have I gone cray-zay?/Alien ships over every city?
An MIT graduate said that just maybe/
They’re hijackin’ satellites to communicate globally.

But what’s this? The signal’s countin’ down?/With these big alien ships over every town?
Something feels wrong, something’s not right/We gonna kick some alien ass tonight.

I’m gettin’ in my jet and flyin’ atcha/Keepin’ you alive, just to spite ya
Draggin’ your body to the nearest base/Just after I punched you in the face

These aliens takin’ over just won’t die/No matter how hard we fight or try
They seem unstoppable, they just stay alive

For some reason, the chorus wasn’t included on the sheet. Maybe that’s why it wasn’t released.

(at this point in the recording, papers are being shuffled, we hear Will Smith taking off the headphones, it’s unknown if this was another spoken word part of the song of if Big Will was going off script)

Hey, hey, woah, woah, What do you mean they don’t die?

(a second voice pops in, maybe Jeff Goldblum or a music producer, unknown. The voice in unintelligible in the recording)

No, I have not read the script yet. Do I drag this alien to a base in a suit? Can it breath oxygen?

(second voice unintelligible (SVU))

It can? That’s stupid. No one will believe that.

(SVU, sounding a little upset)

I signed on because I liked Stargate and wanted to do something besides Bad Boys II

(SVU)

So you’re telling me that they can die, but I’m rapping that they aren’t?

(SVU)

 That just seems dishonest.

(SVU)

Keep going? What? Does the song retcon the “they can’t die” part of the song?

(SVU)

Okay, fine. I’ll start on the fourth beat, just give me a measure or two to time it.

(Inhales, counts to self)

(rapping)

Area 51 is the base I brought it to/I’m asked to help, just like I wanted to
We look back and society is in crumbles/New York, DC, LA is all just rubble
Helpin’ the President of the United States/Not sure what danger ahead awaits
We send a nuke out to one of the alien crafts/No part of it is damaged, but Huston is trashed

 (spoken)

Wait, wait, so you’re telling me that this movie has the destruction of New York City, Washington DC, Los Angeles and Huston? Did we nuke them all or did the aliens do some of that?

(SVU)

That seems really dark for a summer action movie, that’d be like if  Superman let Metropolis get destroyed because he was too busy punching a guy. It doesn’t seem like this movie will sell well. Just kind of dark.

(SVU)

Well, if you think so, why don’t you rap the song?

(SVU)

Yeah.

(SVU)

Yeah, but that’s still really stupid. This movie seems stupid and dark.

(SVU)

And how much am I being paid for this?

(SVU)

Oh, cool.

(counts himself in again)

These alien bastards ain’t got me stressed/Cuz all their ships run on Mac OS
Goldblum writes out an Apple Virus/Upload to the mothership through their wireless

(spoken)

Know what? No. This is really stupid. Why would an alien space craft run on the same operating system as a computer on Earth?

(SVU)

No, like why would their computer systems even be remotely like ours? How could two completely different life forms on other sides of the galaxy not only evolve into intelligent beings and create computers, but to have independently create the same kind of computer? Like it would be shocking alone if they based it on binary, but the fact that it runs the same OS and we could code a computer virus to take it out is absurd.

(SVU)

No.

(SVU angry)

Damn it, Glenn, I said I’m not doing it. I’m quiting

(SVU angry)

No, my contract was for the movie, the song was not a part of the contract. I can quit this.

(SVU)

No, Glenn. I’m leaving.

(Door slams)

Gotta say, I think that sounds like another #1 Grammy winning hit for Will Smith, if I say so myself.

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