I really thought Independence Day's BD release was going to be one of those real showcases, like you'd expect another of Fox's flagship titles to be - Titanic, for example. Especially as Fox had backed Blu-ray exclusively over HD-DVD.
I also hoped that Fox would do what any movie fan would do: cram o everything from the best edition currently available - in this case, the Region 1 Five Star Collection 2-disc DVD in THX, which not only has the extended edition of the film (9 minutes of deleted scenes restored) AND the original theatrical cut, but has a ton of extras, including the excellent Jeff Goldblum-hosted HBO 'making of' from '96, and much more. Here, the only extras are the scene-by-scene (euphemism for 'scrappy') Emmerich/Devlin commentary, seperate FX commentary, and -- hang on to your hats -- "high definition trailers". Wow!
But what about the HD transfer of the film? That is, after all, why most of us would buy Independence Day again, right? I'd say that about 5-10% of the prnt looks worthy of BD capabilities: typically, warmer colours and exterior scenes. Interiors and special effects scenes are often grainier than one would hope for, and the seams show in quite a few of the special effects, especially in the case of explosions and fire, the technology for which has obviously improved considerably in the last decade or so. In other words, far from being the hi-def showcase I'd hoped it would be -- and the film, for all its flaws, demands to be -- Independence Day is probably one to rent, rather than buy, because there'll hopefully be a better edition further down the line.
And then we really can celebrate Independence Day...