I finally saw it today, and wanted to discuss it with The Nation...
Speilberg most likely had an important decision to make when he made this film:
Do I pay homage to the H.G. Wells Original novel (via the use of Tripods, death-rays, etc.) AND at least partially to the 1953 Classic (e.g. with a woman/girl screaming into the Alien probe/chopping the head of the probe off/having an Alien crawl out of the ship at the end and die) OR
Do I just completely "update" the movie with nukes, Alien Warplanes (which, by the way, were found unused at the end of H.G. Wells novel), updated Aliens to badasses like Predators or something that actually directly FIGHT humans.
Speilberg is a student of film history and chose the Former.
We are VERY "Special Effects" sauvy today, and perhaps expected "more" from Speilberg...but I completely "get" what he wanted the do.
As a student and lover of Science Fiction (both in print and in film), I liked it...
Could Speilberg have "updated" it a little more? Absolutely...
However, I think H.G. Wells would have loved this interpretation of his Novel.
(As a side note...I saw "Alien vs. Predator" again at home...I think that those damn Predators have been juicin' since the last two films! To me, they are still the ultimate "Alien Badasses", dread locks and all! But since they are "Ultimate Hunters", they would have NO interest in what amounted to wholesale slaughter in "War".)
3 plus out of 4!