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Independence Day

4K Ultra HD

Blu Ray

  • Score
    from 4 reviewers
    Review Date:
  • 20th Century Fox's UHD Blu-ray of Independence Day impresses with its restoration, immersive sound, and is a must-have for fans.

    Independence Day 4K UHD Blu-ray Front Cover

    Disc Release Date:

  • Video
  • 'Independence Day' on Ultra HD Blu-ray impresses with its 4K restoration, HDR enhancement, and faithful film grain, capturing the movie's original integrity while offering a noticeably refined visual experience.

  • Audio
  • The Ultra HD Blu-ray release of Independence Day features a stunning, aggressive DTS:X mix, elevating the film's immersive experience with precise, room-rattling sound effects and clear dialogue, outshining prior versions.

  • Extra
  • The Independence Day Ultra HD Blu-ray release is feature-rich, including three discs with a mix of HD and SD extras, commentaries, and both theatrical and extended cuts, appealing to enthusiasts and collectors with its comprehensive coverage.

  • Movie
  • Independence Day's 20th anniversary UHD release celebrates its beloved blend of 90s nostalgia, groundbreaking effects, and enduring charm, making it a must-revisit blockbuster.

    Video: 86

    The 4K UHD Blu-ray presentation of "Independence Day" showcases a meticulous restoration of the original negative, scanned at a 4K resolution, benefiting greatly from the HDR grading and a wider color gamut. This release, observed on a Samsung UE65KS9500 Ultra HD 4K TV paired with a Samsung UBD-K8500 Ultra HD Blu-ray player, demonstrates a significantly refined image quality over previous versions, despite being anchored to its Super 35 source material which inherently presents a notable amount of film grain. This graininess, while authentic to the film's original aesthetic, might challenge viewers accustomed to the pristine clarity of digital filmmaking. The restoration pays off particularly well in terms of detail enhancement in facial features, clothing, and props, though the film’s age and shooting format mean it can't achieve the razor-sharpness of contemporary 4K productions.

    The HDR application robustly elevates the visual experience, deepening blacks and enhancing highlights to bring out intricate details in the model work and explosions, making them look exceptional without succumbing to the flatness often found in digital effects. The color reproduction benefits from the 10-bit video depth and wider color gamut, presenting colors more realistically and with greater impact across the film's diverse palette, although some have noted a cooler tone compared to the Blu-ray. These elements together ensure that "Independence Day" retains its cinematic texture and depth, despite the limitations imparted by its original filming techniques.

    Comparisons to the Blu-ray release show that while the 1080p version delivers an impressive image quality, the 4K UHD disc refines and enhances these visuals further, with more defined grain structure and a level of detail that’s more akin to viewing actual film in theaters. There's a particular emphasis on how HDR and WCG contribute to a richer visual palette and improved shadow detail, making for not just an upgrade but an essential viewing for fans and cinephiles alike. Despite some debates on color accuracy, this release illustrates a balanced approach to refining vibrant hues and contrast levels, providing a viewing experience that's undoubtedly superior, albeit closely mirroring its Blu-ray counterpart in overall excellence.

    Audio: 91

    The new DTS:X mix for the 4K UHD Blu-ray release of "Independence Day" overhauls its auditory presentation, marking a significant upgrade from its DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 roots. Tested across various setups, from a Denon AVR-X7200WA AV Receiver in a 7.2.4-channel configuration to an 11.1 setup incorporating overhead channels, the immersive audio experience is nothing short of revolutionary. This mix utilizes additional channels, including overheads, to create an enveloping soundscape that far surpasses previous releases in depth, aggression, and immersion. The intricate layering allows for an exceptional dynamic range where the low frequency effects (LFE) pack a substantial punch, underlining action-packed sequences with remarkable bass that fills the room, all while ensuring David Arnold’s score and dialogue remain clear and centralized within the chaos.

    The overhead channels, in particular, are used to spectacular effect – bringing to life aerial dogfights, the daunting presence of alien ships, and the iconic destruction of US landmarks with a tangible sense of movement and presence overhead. The immersive mix excels not only in its bombastic use of the soundstage during these large-scale sequences but also in capturing finer auditory details such as the distinct whir of debris or the subtle communications within a command center. Such meticulous sound design highlights the versatility and depth of the DTS:X format, offering an auditory experience that truly complements the visual scale of the film.

    Despite its aggressive nature, which at times borders on the extreme, this mix has been praised for its ability to retain clarity and detail across all elements – from dialogue to the most minute sound effects, even at lower volumes. This auditory experience is not just about overwhelming power but also encompasses an extraordinary level of detail that brings out the intricacies within each scene, making "Independence Day" a reference-quality showcase for what immersive audio can achieve in home theaters equipped with DTS:X capability.

    Extra: 82

    The "Independence Day" 4K UHD Blu-ray release offers a compelling mix of retrospective and technical supplements across its three discs, with the special features disc being particularly rich in content. Alongside two engaging audio commentaries by director/writer Roland Emmerich and writer/producer Dean Devlin, and VFX Supervisors Volker Engel and Doug Smith, the set includes a unique mix of standard and high-definition extras. Notable is the HD documentary "Independence Day: A Legacy Surging Forward," providing a look back at the film's creation and its enduring legacy, albeit without Will Smith's direct participation. Additionally, fans are treated to a blend of SD features like the original theatrical ending, gag reel, "Creating Reality" documentary, and more, that delve into the movie's production, special effects, and alternative content. This release balances nostalgia with new insights, making it a comprehensive collection for enthusiasts.

    Extras included in this disc:

    Audio Commentary: Commentary from director/writer Roland Emmerich and writer/producer Dean Devlin on both cuts. Audio Commentary: VFX Supervisors Volker Engel and Doug Smith discuss the film's Oscar-winning special effects. ID4 Datastream Trivia Track: Pop-up facts available only on the Theatrical Version. Independence Day Resurgence Theatrical Trailer: A preview of the sequel. Independence Day: A Legacy Surging Forward: HD documentary looking back at the film's legacy. Original Theatrical Ending: Alternate ending with commentary. Gag Reel: Compilation of bloopers and staged cuts. Creating Reality: Documentary on the visual effects. ID4 Invasion: A mockumentary featuring news about the film’s events. The Making of ID4: Behind-the-scenes insights hosted by Jeff Goldblum. Combat Review: Selection of destruction scenes. Monitor Earth Broadcasts: Compilation of fake news broadcasts created for the film. Gallery: A collection of stills, sketches, and storyboards. Teaser Trailers: Collection of the film's teaser trailers. Theatrical Trailer: Full-length trailer. TV Spots: Short promotional spots for television.

    Movie: 81

    Revisiting "Independence Day" through its 4K UHD Blu-ray presentation rekindles the grandeur and excitement of this iconic mid-90s blockbuster, offering both a nostalgic journey and a demonstration of technological advancements in movie presentation. Released by 20th Century Fox, the Ultra HD version boasts an impressive HDR coloring and 2160p resolution, breathing new life into Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin's creation. With DTS:X sound accompanying the visual upgrade, every explosion and iconic speech fills the room with an immersive auditory experience. Despite its age, the film's effects, combining practical and CGI methods, have held up remarkably well, lending a sense of realism and spectacle that modern filmmaking often struggles to capture. The inclusion of both theatrical and extended cuts ensures that aficionados have their preferred narratives at their fingertips, although the extended cut’s additional character beats offer a fuller experience without fundamentally altering the gripping pace of the alien invasion story.

    The success of "Independence Day" as a summer touchstone was predicated on its blend of spectacle, humor, and human drama. The 4K UHD enhancement underscores these strengths, making the alien ships more menacing, the destruction of landmarks more visceral, and the dogfights in the sky even more thrilling. It reintroduces the film’s charm to a generation that might have missed its original theatrical run, proving that technological advances in home cinema can indeed revitalize the shared experience of blockbuster filmmaking. The performances – from Will Smith's charismatic fighter pilot to Bill Pullman's presidential gravitas – gain new dimensions with this remastered clarity, reaffirming the cast's chemistry and the film's place in the pantheon of great American sci-fi action movies.

    Navigating through this 4K UHD release also reflects on "Independence Day" not merely as a film but as a cultural phenomenon. It encapsulates a specific era of Hollywood spectacle yet transcends it by showcasing how far home entertainment technology has come, allowing today's viewers to experience the same awe and excitement in their living rooms as audiences did in theaters decades ago. This release does not reinvent "Independence Day" but reaffirms why it mattered and continues to do so – as a piece of pure, unadulterated entertainment that has weathered the test of time gracefully, now presented with all the advantages modern technology offers.

    Total: 82

    In celebrating two decades since the explosion of "Independence Day" into the cinematic universe, 20th Century Fox has launched an Ultra HD Blu-ray version that elevates this quintessential blockbuster to new heights of visual and auditory experience. Remastered from the original negative and enhanced with HDR grading for a wider color gamut and high dynamic range, the film's 4K presentation breathes new life into its spectacular blend of disaster and alien invasion narrative. The 4K transfer's fidelity to detail and texture is remarkable, despite the presence of natural film grain, enhancing the visual spectacle without detracting from it. Coupled with a newly minted DTS:X soundtrack, the immersive audio experience propels this release into a realm of unparalleled home entertainment, redefining the engagement audiences can expect from high-definition viewing.

    The enhancements in sound and picture quality are not the only aspects that merit acclaim. This release comes bundled with a comprehensive suite of extras, including all previously available content as well as a new retrospective documentary, making it a definitive collection for enthusiasts and newcomers alike. The leap from regular Blu-ray to 4K UHD is monumental, showcasing a dramatic improvement in both visual clarity and sound depth; this is a title that pushes the capabilities of the UHD format to their limits, providing an exhilarating showcase for the technology. Given its technical achievements and the timeless appeal of its narrative—anchored by memorable performances and grounded in a mix of fun, excitement, and affectionate cheese—"Independence Day" on UHD Blu-ray represents more than just a home video release; it's an essential acquisition for aficionados of film and fidelity alike.

    In conclusion, this Ultra HD Blu-ray edition of "Independence Day" is recommended for those poised to harness the full potential of HDR10 and DTS:X technologies, offering an experience that significantly surpasses previous versions in both visual and auditory impact. While the cost may prompt considerations of value relative to existing Blu-ray editions, especially for those yet to invest in compatible display and sound systems, the quality presented justifies the investment for enthusiasts and serves as a compelling reason for upgrades. This release marries nostalgia with cutting-edge home theatre technology, solidifying its status as a must-own for collectors and a testament to the enduring appeal of this landmark film.