The biggest alien invasion picture of the summer of 1996 is Independence Day. But it's not the first. The Arrival, with a significantly lower budget than Fox's July 3 release, has that distinction, and, while this particular film doesn't boast any radical or surprising ideas, it combines numerous familiar plot elements into a suspenseful, entertaining whole. Best of all, perhaps, is the realization that some thought went into writer/director David Twohy's script. This is not a dumb movie; in fact, with its heavy reliance upon real science, it's startlingly credible.James Berardinelli
Transformers is so belabored that it makes Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End seem like a masterpiece of pacing. It makes that "classic" midsummer alien invasion movie, Independence Day, seem like a template for inventive plotting and solid character development. Even by Michael Bay standards, this movie is vapid. Yes, there are plenty of explosions, but those are a dime-a-dozen these days; even Discovery Channel's Mythbusters has them. Transformers isn't clean, big-budget fun; it's clean, big-budget tedium. For Transformers fans, I suppose this is a dream motion picture. For everyone else, it's a nightmare.James Berardinelli
Godzilla is the ultimate culmination of the "who cares about plot" summer movie. A loose remake of the 1954 "classic" Japanese monster movie, Godzilla, King of the Monsters (which is itself pretty thin in the story department), Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin's big-budget lizard-stomps-Manhattan disaster flick has been written with the brain dead in mind. The script isn't just "dumbed down," it's lobotomized. Godzilla lives and dies on special effects alone.James Berardinelli
As one of our colleagues recently put it, this Republican pledge of no new taxes is pure Bushlips. It's Bushlips when the president says 'No new taxes' and sends a budget requiring the Finance Committee to raise $20 billion in new revenues: $15 billion in taxes and $5 billion in user fees.Lloyd Millard Bentsen Jr.
Too often, failing government agencies get bigger budgets, while successful agencies have their budgets cut because government caters to those screaming the loudest, regardless of what theyre screaming about. In business, its exactly the opposite! You invest more in the most successful departments, and less in those that arent performing.Michael Bloomberg