Just in time for the Fourth of July, the rah-rah sci-fi blockbuster Independence Day gets the double-disc superspecial DVD treatment, and while there’s no arguing that you’ll get lots of bang for your buck, there’s something a little too prefab spiffy about all the bonus goodies. The first disc is, as per the norm with these two-DVD sets, devoted to the film itself, featuring the theatrical cut and the ”Special Edition” version — both in anamorphic wide-screen and Dolby Digital 5.1 sound — which includes nine minutes of restored footage (mostly extraneous character stuff that adds nothing to the film’s impact), and a commentary by director Roland Emmerich and producer Dean Devlin.
On the other platter you get a pair of ”by the numbers” behind-the-scenes documentaries, a witty compilation of the film’s faux-news footage, the original biplane ending sequence (and Devlin’s savvy explanation of why it was scrapped), storyboards, trailers, alien design sketches, and — if you look closely — a random-explosion finder. As full to the gills as this disc is, it lacks the geek-obsessive depth of the best special-edition DVDs. Like ”Independence Day” itself, it’s pretty stirring… on the surface.