Jeffpearlman.com book giveaway: Independence Day … what the f^%$?: Part II

So a couple of weeks ago I held a contest here—two signed books for the reader who could best explain why Independence Day, the 1996 summer blockbuster starring Will Smith and a fire-repellent dog, sucks so badly.

I received a shocking number of entries, and I thank you all. The winner, however, is Pittsburgh’s finest, John LaQuatra.

Wrote John:

I haven’t seen the movie in some time, but this movie is an odd phenomenon because I usually leave it on if I stumble across it, knowing very well it’s horrid.

The Randy Quaid character is one of the main reason this movie sucks. Outside of how completely insane it is to believe some alcoholic conspiracist would man a mission to save earth, they attempted to mix in some humor in his character and the entire film.

The unforgivable part of this movie is right before Quaid’s suicide mission he says, “In the words of my generation, UP YOURS!” It’s a line so bad that it embarrasses me to type it.

This movie sucks alright, but again, we watch it like sheep. This may fall under my circular theory of things that we hate so much we eventually like in a humorous way. My examples of that are usually songs that are so bad, but eventually become “classics.”

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Admittedly, some of the responses were more detailed than John’s. But the winner hits on what, I truly believe, is the ultimate undoing of a bad movie—Randy Quaid’s ridiculous portrayal of a drunk crop duster, and his final line—”Up Yours!”—which makes me cringe, too.

Congrats, John. And sincere thanks to all the participants …

2 thoughts on “Jeffpearlman.com book giveaway: Independence Day … what the f^%$?: Part II”

  1. Frankly Jeff, I have to disagree with our friend John. I believe the movie to be a work of art, and I believe Randy Quaid’s character to be only the latest incarnation of a literary staple: the down-on-his-luck everyman who ends up as the hero. In the long tradition of characters like Tom Joad, Boo Radley, and anyone Bruce Willis has ever played, Randy Quaid’s character Russell Casse is a hero for the ages. And his defining line, “Up Yours” is not meant as a crass insult, but as a direct, literal assertion of where he was going to fly his place. He was, in a way, calling his shot. Russell Casse: A literary figure, a literal man. The greatest character in the history of cinema.

  2. What I still don’t understand is how right after Randy Quaid heads up to the eye of the destruction ray, the son yells “DAD!” and lunges for some of control panel but he is stopped by an Army guy. Now what could this kid have done? Turned off an intercom? Adjusted the brightness of the computer monitor? Really what could he have done?

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