T Nation

War of The Worlds; Let's Discuss


#1

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!

Mufasa


#2

Wasn't too happy with it.

I think he should have just filmed the book: It's just not the same, if Woking
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woking and http://www.cix.co.uk/~sjbradshaw/martian/
isn't destroyed first. As they said in a BBC Radio 4 show last week "Woking should be put off the map..." :wink:

I remember the phantastic 1959 Time Machine movie, which worked IMO, because it was not modernised too much.

Had he sticked closer to the setting of the book, it would have been better.

But I'm a bit of a sci-fi traditionalist. :wink:

Makkun


#3

Great stuff, Makkun!

I think he TRIED to pay homage to the original novel, as best he could, within the context of modern audiences...but I understand what you're saying...

I think that the Tim Robbins (Zeb and RJ's FAVORITE actor! LOL!) just seemed stuck in "Mystic River" mode, with the basement scene appearing to be much too long...

I liked it...but I just think Speilberg could have given us more...

Mufasa


#4

I think he focused too much on Tom Cruise. I think he should have made it much more expansive. He took the same route that Signs took and I didn't care much for that movie either as far as how it focused in on one family. Overall, I got what he was trying to do, however, the going out with a whimper instead of a bang should have been rethought.

The idea worked, however, in movie form, it leaves you lacking at the end. I was in awe at what he came up with throughout the first half of the movie with regards to special effects. They weren't overdone. The little girl in that movie is becoming one of my favorite actresses, especially after Man on Fire. Overall, I got his idea and I give him much credit for how he did the movie, but I hated the way the ending played out.


#5

I definitely enjoyed the movie and felt that Speilberg did a great job of conveying panic, pandemonium, and confusion with the first encounter and ferry scenes. However, I think that the whole father-son relationship got a little old and detracted from the movie.

I also liked that Speilberg didn't stray too far from the plot of the novel and stayed with the original ending instead of devising a more spectacular one.

3/4 stars - one of the better summer movies i've seen so far


#6

If I remember correctly, in the book (btw a free e-book under Project Gutenberg licence) he spends something like 12 days hidden in the house, 5 or so hidden under coal. And "Tim Robbins" is a useless drinker.

That's what made the book so effective - the total helplessness, just runnning and hiding. So in that sense, the only heroic scene, fighting the tripod, was most against the original story.

Sure, Spielberg used many scenes from the book (which I liked - even in a modernised way, just like the one with the first tripod), but I would have loved to see some real retro-sci-fi. And I guess Spielberg could have pulled it of.

Funnily enough, I found the kids not too annoying. Both of them were kinda acceptable.

Makkun


#7

The girl was acceptable. I got tired of the boy after the first time he tried to hop on a military jeep.


#8

The little girl (Dakota Fanning) is a great actress. I like her.

I saw the movie last Wednesday. I remember being scared of the original when I was a kid but opted to see this one anyway.

Not a fan of Tom Cruise, either. Never thought he was all that. But even more recently since he's been kooky.

The movie scared the ever-loving crap right out of me. Psychological terror.

Add to that the fact that the little girl has the same name as my daughter and she has curly blonde hair like my daughter -- I was a mess!

Emotions aside, I think it was a decent movie.


#9

Off topic but Alen vs predator is the WORST film I have ever seen and I am a huge Alien and Predator fan! Godawful is the word.

Am going to see War Of the Worlds or Batman on Wednesday I think, which should i see?


#10

Both are okay- I prefered Batman myself. I'd give it 4 stars to War of the Worlds three. Christian Bale is fast becoming one of my favorite actors.

The first half of War of the Worlds is excellent but I was a little disappointed with how fast they wrapped it up. I realise the whole 'succumb to viruses' thing was true to HG Wells' s original story, but it was a bit too quickly executed.

I was hoping the irritating son would get a heat ray to the head but unfortunately he survived!

Tom Cruiserweight was alright I guess, playing an Everyman role, not some ultra-gifted character like he usually plays.

Has anyone listened to the 70's audio version of War of the Worlds with Richard Burton narrating, and all these soaring guitar solos? Now that is a wicked version of the story.


#11

Batman is the better movie, but you should see them both.


#12

I didn't think much of it. The FX were definitely impressive and things blew up really well but I found the movie lacking overall. Dakota Fanning was a bright spot in the movie.

Haven't read the book but saw the original flick and I'd recommend that over this. Didn't care for the ending either.

I liked Tim Robbins' appearance, but agree with Mufasa that the basement scene was a bit long.

ConorM - I'd recommend "Batman". Saw that today and it rocked.


#13

Enjoyed the movie... was willing to accept the ending, since it is true to form anyway.

However, might have been nicer to spice it up or drag it out or have humankind at least figure out the susceptibility and work to make it a reality.


#14

man im not even reading this thread. as much as i wanna see it im waitin for dvd :frowning:


#15

Why wait for DVD?


#16

Just saw it. Liked it a lot. I read the book years ago. Seems pretty true to form.

I thought this was one of Tom's less annoying roles. Thought he did pretty well.

The little girl is great. She's impressive for such a young kid.


#17

I loved the scene where everyone's scrambing to get on the ferry and then it cuts to the forest and you the see the tripod emerge.

And I was thinking "Oh man, you're all screwed."

But I hated the ending. And how the hell did that stupid kid live?


#18

Yeah, that was a good scene.

Same thing when they were at the train crossing when the train goes by. My thought was the same as yours.


#19

saw it last night and still got the whaaAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAOoowww sound stuck in my head, love that shit. I thought it was sweet movie until after tom took down the first one. Then all of a sudden they are all dying like nothing.

I really hated how it ended as well, I dont even know where to begin, like: Cruise and his kid come walking up to the house nobody else in the streets after its all over with and his wife just happens to be standing at the door, then comes the whole family and the kid who should have been dead or atleast missing a limb or two.

Very dissappointed with how it wrapped up, I think vroom's idea would have worked well, maybe show a news report between him going to boston showing how the tripods all got taken out and the damage done all over the world, maybe how they took a couple aliens into custody and explained why they attacked, to kill us, to take our planet, whatever the reason.

either way, still cool movie
wwhhaaaaAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAOOOooww

btw: after the first power outage whats with the guy and his working camcorder?


#20

My nephew is staying with me for the week and we were contemplating this movie or Batman. It was okay, but in the end I wished we woulda went to see The Batman.

Oh well, there's tomorrow night.

I liked the little girl as well and agree that the wife and grandparents were totally unscathed and in nice clean clothes for the world's population just almost being wiped out.