I listened to #3 on my way to work this morning. It was fun to listen to, but not being a movie guy I had no clue when it came to a lot of the comparisons to other films, directors, and actors. The volume levels of the three participants were slightly unbalanced but the audio was pretty good overall and easy for the listener to understand. The banter and discussion were interesting and entertaining. Would listen again
For the record, I adore Independence Day. Not because it's a great film, or even a good film, but because it's a well-executed example of exactly the movie it's trying to be: a campy, trope-heavy big-budget disaster/alien invasion movie with the right blend of stereotypical characters, comedy, melodrama, and big explosions. It's a perfect popcorn movie.
And I disagree with the assertion that it's a direct (as in note-for-note) ripoff of The War of the Worlds, as it diverges from and/or minimizes some key elements of the seminal work. In my recollection of TWOTW, a fundamental aspect was the buildup of the tension in the beginning -- the mystery and drama of scattered reports of unknown entities running amok and wreaking havoc, as humanity tried to comprehend the scale of what was going on. In ID1, we knew within the first five minutes that they were aliens from outside the solar system and that the scale was immense. And we figured out beforehand (through the corny satellite clock countdown) that widespread hostility was going to occur at a precise moment in time. The deal in TWOTW was that mankind was utterly helpless in the face of overwhelming alien power despite our military prowess and learned scientists, and that it was only a stroke of luck that saved us (the literal virus). ID1 showed us defeating the aliens through logic, subterfuge, and putting aside our inter-cultural hostility and joining together to defeat a common enemy. The fact that we used a completely bogus computer "virus" as part of this effort was just a nod to TWOTW, in my view. Also, Armageddon was complete tripe (apologies to those Peelers who actually like tripe).
IN ANY CASE, I shall be checking out the overview and at least a couple more of the podcasts. Thanks for sharing!