Thursday, June 30, 2005

Movie Review: War of the Worlds.

Caution this post contain's spoilers. I'll let you know when I get there tho:

Non-Spoiler: Josh's review of War of the worlds: D maybe a D+. Kat asked if I'd rather see Revenge of the Sith again or this. I had to think long and hard about it. The answer: Probably Sith. But it was a long hard debate.

Pros: Speilberg at least doesn't suffer from Lucas's obsession about putting Computer Graphics into EVERY scene. So I'm thinking that's a plus. Dakota Fanning was good, she can scream on command. Ummmm The Martian craft were creepy and the aliens themselves were suitibly alien. Not guy's in rubber suits.

Cons: I was impressed with Speilberg's lack of attention to deail. There were many times where you the viewer would be sitting there going "Huh? Wait I thought..." Horribly graphic scenes of people dying. An overall sense of doom without redemption. Tom Cruise... well that's another blog entirely. Awkward character interactions, and, being a fan of both the book and the radio show... Why don't directors stick with the book? It was a good book in 1915, its a good book now.

***********************************SPOILER ALERT*******************************
Read this at your own peril for finding out key points about the movie!!!!!

We ahve seen over and over again that when an outside force hits an area (i.e. tsunami, earthquake, hurricane) that people for the most part band together. A "We'll make it through this all right" attitude seems to take over. Sure there are a few that will loot, and become lawless, but for the most part people do seem to come around and help their fellow man. This movie had none of that. The Hand of God (aka the Author) smited (word?) us: the Aliens attacking and the Hand of God saved us: Bacteria, naturally found on earth is what saved us. Not humanity coming together to defeat a common foe. Not a leader rising through the ranks to protect his or her own. It felt random and forced. Granted that's how the book ended too. But, as a parable to WWI that the book is, I'll give HG Wells for not seeing the best in people. Spielberg on the other hand has had 90+ years of history to decide that an outside force seems to have a different affect on people than a problem caused by humans themselves. Over an over Speilberg shows us how petty we are, how dimunitive we are in the face of adversity and above all how poorly we fare when push comes to shove. I just can't belive that. Maybe that's the result of his being significatly older than me and much different expereicnes but I'm glad I don't share his view.

Problem 2: Tom Cruises character. His character (the point of view the movie is told through) is a dispicable human being. He is an absentee father (common enough to Speilberg movies) unconnected to everyone around him. He's somewhat selfish, but that's as far as anyone goes to make him truly "Dispicable". He's not abusive, he's not an alcoholic, he doesn't have too many foibles. As such, he has no catharsis from which he can improve upon his life. He's a jerk at the beginning of the movie and by the end, he's still a jerk but now he's actually killed somone. WHOOPEEE There's a roll model for ya! He doesn't use his past experiences to lead. He dosent draw himself up by his boot straps and save the day (at least for his family) he just happens by chance to do the somewhat right thing ath the somewhat right time. He's lucky. Luck doesn't always equate to a good hero. And, at the end of the movie, his kids still like their step-dad better, and since the step dad is still alive, there's no chance of a romance rekindling with his ex-wife that he just walked 200 miles to see.

Also, in the first 5 minutes of the movie we find out that Ray (cruise) is a giant Crane operator. Aparently he's the best. The aliens come in ships that look like.... You guessed it, Giant Cranes. Do the two seemingly connected facts ever meet up? Nope. That would have been too convienient.

Problem 3: The little things. There were so many inconsistancies it was mind numbing. An electromagnetic pulse takes out everything. Even watches that aren't electrical (now THAT'S a pulse!!!) but still some convienient electrial things still work at times. Too much luck, too much hand of God/Auther saving his subjects.

Problem 4: The aliens. Apparently from what we learn the aliens have been planning this invasion for Millions of years. They're just biding their time. They bury their spaceships here (why wipe us out when we're just apes when they can wait and take us out in cities once we have nukes!). While the aliens themselves are creepy, they are just creepy. Independance day we learn that the aliens need resources and planets like ours are hard to find. Sure I'll take it. Signs: the aliens are advanced scouts and they need subjects to experiment on. Sure I'll take that one too. BUt these aliens seem content to fly half way across the solar system (Surprising that all our Mars missions never saw this coming huh?) to take us out 1 person at a time. Yes you read that right ONE AT A TIME. I was sitting there thinking "Ummmm at this rate were still going to out number you by the time you're done with New York... You had 5 million years to come up with a plan and this is it? To kill us one at a time? Give me Bruce Willis and Jackie Chan any day and we'll kick your ass!"

And, if the alien ships had been here for millions of years, you'd think that they would have discovered microbes and bacteria? I dunno. Maybe interstellar travel doesn't equate to common sense. They are Aliens after all. They do strange and Alien things. Like needing to make the earth a slurry of human blood and entrails. You'd even think that after the first tripod got "Sick" the others might figure somethign was up. But aparently inter-tripod communication got left back on mars.

So there you ahve it. Some decent acting. Some decent special effects, but for the most part, not worth the time and money I paid to see it. And now I'm sure I'd rather see Revenge of the Sith again...


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