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View Full Version : War of The Worlds (Thread contains SPOILERS!)


Cunctator
06-26-2005, 10:39 PM
In summary: it's about

an invasion of the Earth by Martians

Cunctator
06-26-2005, 10:54 PM
I'm not sure how the latest version ends. It depends on how faithful it is to the original HG Wells novel.

It may be worth seeing. The Australian actress Miranda Otto is always worth watching.

HPL
06-26-2005, 11:28 PM
It may be worth seeing, and it may suck donkey balls.

The fact that Spielberg is doing it........Well, we know he can do good movies like "Saving Private Ryan" and "Schilder's List:", but he can also do smaltzy crap like "The Terminal" and his part of "AI".

Not to mention Pussifying ET.

Scissorjack
06-26-2005, 11:53 PM
The chances of anything coming from Mars are

a million to one.

Walker in Eternity
06-27-2005, 05:50 AM
The chances of anything coming from Mars are

a million to one.

but still they come

C K Dexter Haven
06-27-2005, 07:17 AM
The chances of anything coming from Mars are
a million to one.
Of course, as Terry Pratchett would say, million-to-one chances come to pass nine times out of ten in movies and literature.
Spielberg might have changed the origin of the invaders, they needn't be from Mars, after all, if that's no longer plausible. I haven't heard any scuttle on that.

Trion
06-27-2005, 07:22 AM
I haven't heard any scuttle on that.

I have.

They aren't from Mars.

Not that I think it matters one way or the other.

snailboy
06-27-2005, 07:39 AM
The chances of anything coming from Mars are

a million to one.

In the series, we found out that

the aliens didn't come from Mars nor anywhere else in the solar system. I believe the planet was named Moltax.

That doesn't mean the new movie will follow the series though. It's not like they knew for sure where the aliens came from in the first movie anyway.

Zebra
06-27-2005, 08:24 AM
Well, I've seen it. And I also work for the company that is releasing it.

Basically, the film rocked. Rocked hard. Think of a combo of Saving Pvt. Ryan and Jurassic Park. Intense, great special efx, nothing too cutesy, like a kid using her hacker skills and the tripods are totally friggin awesome.

There is very little explaination about the aliens or their motives or even their methods. There is no Dr. Clayton Forrestor explaining how they might be doing this or that to the army.

There are also some nice 'references' to the earlier film version. It wouldn't hurt to watch that soon befor or after seeing the new one.

Johnny L.A.
06-27-2005, 08:31 AM
There is no Dr. Clayton Forrestor explaining how they might be doing this or that to the army.
NB: WotW is where MST3K got the name.

Baldwin
06-27-2005, 09:18 AM
I'll go see it, and Spielberg definitely knows how to make an entertaining picture... but I can't help wishing he'd simply filmed the book, made it a period piece set c. 1900. (There's supposedly a low-budget independent movie that does just that, but it may or may not have actually been filmed; there are allegations that the director is a scam artist.)

N9IWP
06-27-2005, 09:29 AM
I don't know how representative the trailers are, but there is very little Miranda in them. Zebra: Does she get much screen time? Does she hack at an alien tentacle with a sword? ;)

Brian

Zebra
06-27-2005, 09:42 AM
No, her part is pretty much confined to the first ten minutes, (setting up the dynamics of the family relationships) no fighting for her.

and she is there at the end.

Archergal
06-27-2005, 01:08 PM
I saw a trailer for the movie when we went to see Batman Begins. Until then, I'd thought Tom Cruise
only had a daughter (Dakota Fanning). Turns out he has a son too. Maybe it's just scarier when you think a little girl is threatened.

Hampshire
06-27-2005, 01:55 PM
There's two seperate reviews on Ain'tItCoolNews and they both thought it was great.

Clothahump
06-27-2005, 02:11 PM
Sounds like it could be good. So...how does it end?


The butler did it.

Stranger On A Train
06-27-2005, 02:44 PM
The butler did it.So...communism was a red herring?


Count me in the group who wishes that Spielberg had filmed it as a period piece. Then again, I'm still waiting for someone to do The First Men On The Moon and Tono Bungay. (I think The Food of the Gods would be fun, too, but only as a B-film...the 1976 version was a miserable attempt to cash in on the animal monster mania.[/i]

Based exclusively on the trailers, I give it a solid "meh" so far. A lot of FX, a lot of Cruise close-ups, a lot of Dakota Fanning (who is coming to be the child actress version of Jude Law, in the gap left by Joel Haley Osment). We'll see if there's any plot, tension, or novelty.

Stranger

HPL
06-27-2005, 02:51 PM
Sounds like it could be good. So...how does it end? ....I'm kidding.

Rosebud is his sled.

Oz was all a dream.

Rhett walks out on Scarlett.

Rocketeer
06-27-2005, 02:51 PM
Yeah, ya just never know. Bad: it's from Speilberg. Good: it's got tripods.

AuntiePam
06-27-2005, 03:00 PM
It's been awhile since I saw the George Pal version, but I don't recall a character like the one Tim Robbins is playing.

Did I just forget?

JonScribe
06-27-2005, 04:58 PM
...Count me in the group who wishes that Spielberg had filmed it as a period piece. ...

Yeah, but which period: The 1890s, when H.G. Wells wrote his book; the 1930s when Orson Wells did his radio play; of the 1950s when the first movie was released?

I'd vote for 1890s, just to see something different.

Mr. Blue Sky
06-27-2005, 05:02 PM
I'd vote for 1890s, just to see something different.

Like this? (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0425638/)

sj2
06-27-2005, 05:32 PM
You can buy the Orson Wells broadcast on radiospirits.com for 7.95 USD.

HPL
06-27-2005, 06:20 PM
It's been awhile since I saw the George Pal version, but I don't recall a character like the one Tim Robbins is playing.

Did I just forget?

He might be the crazy preacher from the book, but there's not enough to tell.

DMark
06-27-2005, 06:31 PM
In today's Liz Smith column in the New York Post, she tells a plot twist and lets you know who doesn't die at the end.

Zebra
06-27-2005, 08:31 PM
It's been awhile since I saw the George Pal version, but I don't recall a character like the one Tim Robbins is playing.

Did I just forget?

No you didn't. Pretty much the only characters from that version that are in this version are the aliens.

RickJay
06-27-2005, 08:57 PM
And heck, what's wrong with that? I mean, I'm not going to the theatre to see Tom Cruise or his moppet. I'm going to see some ghastly CGI aliens come down and kick some ass.

Zebra
06-27-2005, 09:14 PM
unlike my dates, you will not be left unsatisfied.

DocCathode
06-27-2005, 10:39 PM
Count me in the group who wishes that Spielberg had filmed it as a period piece. Then again, I'm still waiting for someone to do The First Men On The Moon

This version (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0058100/) with effects by Ray Harryhausen isn't good enough for you?

teela brown
06-29-2005, 11:10 AM
I didn't have high hopes, because I loved the book (and the 1950's film version) so much. However, the San Francisco Chronicle (http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2005/06/29/DDGDMDFVCU18.DTL) is praising it to the skies. Doggone it - I can't stand Tom Cruise, but I do want to see those tripods.

AuntiePam
06-29-2005, 11:21 AM
If the movie's a success, I think Spielberg will get more credit for it than Cruise. The movie would do just as well with an unknown in Cruise's role, IMHO.

Actually, I think this is true of any movie Cruise has been in. I don't think people go to his movies just for him. What actor today is considered to guarantee an audience? It's the whole package, especially if the movie has special effects.

David Edelstein is reviewing the movie today on Fresh Air, so it'll be in the archives tomorrow.

Happy Scrappy Hero Pup
06-29-2005, 11:24 AM
Zebra and I saw it last night.

It was amazing.

Expansive when it needed to be, claustrophobic when called for, little dialogue, excellent situational directing.

I don't even want to say a word about it because it's so stunning that I don't want to ruin it.

But I recommend it wholeheartedly. Go go go right now.

I will review it furhter in my LJ this afternoon.

Stranger On A Train
06-29-2005, 11:25 AM
Yeah, but which period: The 1890s, when H.G. Wells wrote his book; the 1930s when Orson Wells did his radio play; of the 1950s when the first movie was released?In the original 1890's setting. The George Pal-produced film was good, but the '50s-era Red Scare subtext is kind of tedious, and the acting and dialog is subpar, to say the least. It's not bad enough to be funny (see Earth vs. The Flying Saucers for that), but not really a great classic like The Day The Earth Stood Still, either.


This version (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0058100/) [of The First Men On The Moon with effects by Ray Harryhausen isn't good enough for you?Huh. I've never seen that. The reviews don't give it a break, though.

Stranger

Rock-n-Rolga
06-29-2005, 11:56 AM
I'll go see it, and Spielberg definitely knows how to make an entertaining picture... but I can't help wishing he'd simply filmed the book, made it a period piece set c. 1900. (There's supposedly a low-budget independent movie that does just that, but it may or may not have actually been filmed; there are allegations that the director is a scam artist.)

Saw a quote from Spielburg in a recent issue of Entertainment Weekly (Sorry, don't know the exact one. Was thumbing through it at the oil change place) where he said he wasn't interested in doing a version set in the 1890's because he thought that among other things the costumes were unattractive and stuffy, something like that. Anyway, he seemed very disdainful of doing a period piece, which is too bad because he probably could have done a bang-up job of it.

Am currently pondering the Cruise dislike/Whoa, tripods! dilemma as well.

Rock-n-Rolga
06-29-2005, 11:59 AM
Err, SpielbErg, sorry. Dang aliens must have stopped here and hijacked my brain on their way to Tom's place...

Shirley Ujest
06-29-2005, 12:31 PM
I will wait for video because 1) movies are too expensive and 2) The Whole Tom Cruise thingie.

However, it would be really funny if Speilburg slipped into the film a Yoyodyne Propulsion Systems gag.


HAH!

a35362
06-29-2005, 01:14 PM
It's got a 79% "Fresh" rating at Rotten Tomatoes, but Ebert gave it two stars.

DMark
06-29-2005, 02:29 PM
Zebra and I saw it last night.

...little dialogue...

Actually was going to ask that. I have some friends visiting from Germany and their English is zilch. Would they be able to understand the film if I took them along with me? (I don't want to have to whisper translations in the theater.)

In other words, if I give them the outline of the story before we go into the theater, would they be able to follow along and like the film?

The Hook
06-29-2005, 02:31 PM
It's got a 79% "Fresh" rating at Rotten Tomatoes, but Ebert gave it two stars.

Mostly because it's just another "blow'em up" movie. However, I don't know how much I can trust Ebert's review on this one. He doesn't like it, basically, because he didn't like the tripods. :dubious:

dropzone
06-29-2005, 02:36 PM
...he said he wasn't interested in doing a version set in the 1890's because he thought that among other things the costumes were unattractive and stuffy, something like that.1890s fashion unattractive? He needs a better costume designer.

My feelings about Mr Cruise have not swayed my decision. The tripods win.

Zebra
06-29-2005, 02:47 PM
Actually was going to ask that. I have some friends visiting from Germany and their English is zilch. Would they be able to understand the film if I took them along with me? (I don't want to have to whisper translations in the theater.)

In other words, if I give them the outline of the story before we go into the theater, would they be able to follow along and like the film?


I think so. Especially if they know the basic story. Just explain that Tom is divorced from the kids mother and they are only visiting for the weekend. The boy and Tom don't get along. Other than that, I think they if they watch movies they would do fine.

Stranger On A Train
06-29-2005, 03:02 PM
Mostly because it's just another "blow'em up" movie. However, I don't know how much I can trust Ebert's review on this one. He doesn't like it, basically, because he didn't like the tripods. :dubious:Not only that, but he makes one of his characteristic gaffs*: If evolution has taught us anything, it is that limbs of living things, from men to dinosaurs to spiders to centipedes, tend to come in numbers divisible by four. Three legs are inherently not stable, as Ray demonstrates when he damages one leg of a giant tripod, and it falls helplessly to the ground.Uh, Rog, plenty of creatures do will with six legs (not divisible by four), and I don't know about your compatriots, but most of the people I know tend to rove about with the frightenenly diminutive and unstable number of two legs. Odd numbers are not preferred, not because they're unstable, but because they're unsymmetrical and virtually all land-based fauna tend to be symmetrical in construction. The rational for this can be speculated, but nontheless a tripod is not "inherently not stable". One wonders why he doesn't make the same argument against The Empire Strikes Back and the ease by which the AT-ATs are disabled.

But then, this guy also gave the universally-panned Bewitched two and a half stars, putting it on the edge of watchability (in his estimation), so I don't place a lot of credit into his rating system. At least he's honest about what he doesn't like, so you know where his bias comes from.

Stranger

*It is my contention that in nearly every review, Ebert gets either some material fact from the film utterly wrong, or incorrectly states some physical principle that the film allegedly defies. I don't know if he's doing this to see if the reader is awake, or whether he's just a lazy, inattentive, and bloated windbag, but it's as annoying as heck. Stop it, Roger.

Stranger On A Train
06-29-2005, 03:05 PM
And if Ebert hates WotW for it's tripods, he might as just well go ahead and write his dismissive review for this film (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0441811/) now.

Now, am I the only one wondering who would win in a "Celebrity Deathmatch" between Roger Ebert and Buckminster Fuller? ;)

Stranger

Zebra
06-29-2005, 03:14 PM
Not only that, but he makes one of his characteristic gaffs*: Uh, Rog, plenty of creatures do will with six legs (not divisible by four), and I don't know about your compatriots, but most of the people I know tend to rove about with the frightenenly diminutive and unstable number of two legs. Odd numbers are not preferred, not because they're unstable, but because they're unsymmetrical and virtually all land-based fauna tend to be symmetrical in construction. The rational for this can be speculated, but nontheless a tripod is not "inherently not stable". One wonders why he doesn't make the same argument against The Empire Strikes Back and the ease by which the AT-ATs are disabled.

But then, this guy also gave the universally-panned Bewitched two and a half stars, putting it on the edge of watchability (in his estimation), so I don't place a lot of credit into his rating system. At least he's honest about what he doesn't like, so you know where his bias comes from.

Stranger

*It is my contention that in nearly every review, Ebert gets either some material fact from the film utterly wrong, or incorrectly states some physical principle that the film allegedly defies. I don't know if he's doing this to see if the reader is awake, or whether he's just a lazy, inattentive, and bloated windbag, but it's as annoying as heck. Stop it, Roger.


Since Ray doesn't take down a Tripod by damaging one leg.

Rick
06-29-2005, 03:23 PM
I'll take bloated windbags for $100 Alex.

Happy Scrappy Hero Pup
06-29-2005, 05:56 PM
My review is up.

I'm mean to the universal you, but that's just my writing style.

Here's what I think. If you don't agree, well, you know what you are. (http://www.livejournal.com/users/happy_scrappy/) ;)

dare_devil007_
06-29-2005, 07:29 PM
It was really cool. I totally forgot that I was looking at Tom Cruise while I was watching the movie. All of the bad publicity and the backlash he's received recently was completely forgotten while I was watching this. It was extremely intense, visually assaulting and spectacular, emotionally mind-bending...I could go on and on. I didn't expect it to be extremely true to the book, of course, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. I thought Tom Cruise's character, Ray's, son, Robbie, was extremely annoying, especially when he sees those soldiers and then tells his dad, "I HAVE to see this! You have to let me go." Then, he gets separated from his dad and sister. Hello?! His life is in danger and he wants to see things get blown up?! Just go watch a movie, dude. Anyways, I was feeling really sick today and I could barely get up and move around. But, I really wanted to go watch this movie, so I decided to go, and afterwards, I was so surprised I didn't die from emotional exhaustion. That's how cool this movie was.

El_Kabong
06-29-2005, 10:00 PM
I've long been a fan of the 1953 version of WotW, and despite the well-known flaws of that film I have to consider it something of a classic, if not on quite the same tier as Day the Earth Stood Still and Forbidden Planet. So I had some trepidations about going to see the new version, but not so much because it was Speilberg or Cruise or becasue it wasn't set in the 1890's (I've got no personal problem with updating the story), mostly because a) I wasn't much impressed with the trailer b) it would mess with my fond memories of the earlier film.

Well, I saw the new version tonight and it freakin' rawks. IMO, within the thematic constraints of the movie (basically we follow three people from New Jersey to New England as everything around them gets blowed up real good) it's an instant classic. The Tripods are awesome and horrifying; more or less what I envisioned when I read the book. Dakota Fanning is pretty wonderful, and the compositions and imagery are stunning. Most of all, for me at least Spielberg managed to get the all-important supsension of disbelief; throughout the film I could easily feel the fright, panic and horror portrayed by the actors. Spielberg has for once reigned in his sentimental streak; the whole movie, except for maybe the last couple of minutes, is almost unbearably harsh. Hey, but, we're dealing with the attempted extermination of humanity by merciless aliens here; damn right it would be harsh. Lastly, Spielberg takes a few of the best bits from the earlier film and makes them his own while still respecting the source.

It would be unfortunate, I think, if the growing legion of Cruise-haters gives this one a miss purely on the basis of who plays lead: yeah, he may come off as bit of an idiot in real life, but he nails his character (a feckless, not fully-grown up blue-collar dad) and not once during the film did I find myslef thinking about the couch-jumping, Scientology-shilling buffoon that has people so up in arms.

Ok, so in the end it's really just an effects-laden thrill ride (Shock! Horror! Tripods!) but as I said, within those limits it's pretty damn good. One and a half thumbs up.

One thumb up

El_Kabong
06-29-2005, 10:03 PM
And one undeleted line from the draft post (the last). Whoops.

Equipoise
06-30-2005, 01:43 AM
It would be unfortunate, I think, if the growing legion of Cruise-haters gives this one a miss purely on the basis of who plays lead: yeah, he may come off as bit of an idiot in real life, but he nails his character (a feckless, not fully-grown up blue-collar dad) and not once during the film did I find myslef thinking about the couch-jumping, Scientology-shilling buffoon that has people so up in arms.

I'm one of those Cruise/$cientology haters, and I loved the movie! I agree with your entire review. The movie is INTENSE so keep the little kids at home. I think my husband still has marks on his arm where I kept squeezing him. I even gasped and cried "OH NO!" outloud a few times. It grabbed me and, as they say, didn't let go.

My opinion of Cruise the man is in the gutter for his idiotic beliefs and anti-psychiatry big mouth, but I do like him as an actor, and I do think he is a good actor. I was able to suspend disbelief. He even had me crying a couple of times. I thought his journey from being a self-centered jerk to a warm human loving father was believable. Dakota Fanning is among the finest child actors around. She doesn't have a whole lot to do in this besides act scared, but she does a good job of it. Anyone who bitches about her screaming would probably find themselves screaming like a little girl if they were in the same situation, so they should probably just STFU.

Forget the nitpicking. It was exactly what a good summer popcorn movie should be, and then some. I can't wait to see it again!


And when I do, just like the 1st time, I'll pay to see another movie and duck into WOTW again. Batman Returns got 2 extra tickets sold today, I'm proud to say. Go BR!

Vision of Love
06-30-2005, 03:59 AM
This isn't very detailed, but here's what I wrote about it in my blog:
I'm not one to boycott a movie for its leading actor, so last night, I saw a 6:50 p.m. showing of the latest Spielberg blockbuster, War of the Worlds.

After the previous sci-fi Spielberg & Cruise collaboration, Minority Report, I found the premise of War of the Worlds to be surprisingly simple: An extraterrestrial army attacks the people on Earth in order to take over the planet. The story follows a family's (and other people's) escape from the aliens' destructive path. Tom Cruise is rather good in his role, but the highlight for me, as always, is the amazing Dakota Fanning. I had a laugh to myself thinking that in real life, the actress probably would not be as childish as the character she plays.

So if you're planning on watching the movie, do yourself a favour and don't expect to see anything too thought-provoking or intelligent. It's just a bunch of people fleeing from big, bad aliens. Instead, revel in a great aural/visual spectacle of immense machines, explosions, and flying dust and debris. Perhaps the only time the movie shows its science is in its conclusion, which you probably won't see coming if you haven't read the book. It is hinted at only once during the movie, and most will probably dismiss it as screen filler.

The bottom line: For those seeking excitement, this movie really delivers. Take the film for what it is, a popcorn flick. If you are a sucker for science fiction films, special effects, and summer blockbusters in general (like I am), you will probably step out of the theatre satisfied.

Grade: B
There isn't much to say about it to other people because the plot is so straightforward. It almost makes you wonder how the movie came to be nearly 2 hours long.

El_Kabong
06-30-2005, 06:36 AM
It almost makes you wonder how the movie came to be nearly 2 hours long.

Agreed. After thinking about it overnight, there do seem to be some issues of pacing that belie the film's apparently rushed production schedule: the sequence involving the Tim Robbins character seems to go on far longer than it needs to for story purposes, and the ending is very abrupt, giving the distinct impression that one or more scripted scenes were deleted due a lack of time to complete them.

Add to that a number of lapses of logic in the story; without getting into spoilers, some of what happens in the film doesn't square with what we are shown of the aliens' capabilities.

No matter; I hate to use buzzwords, but I don't know how to describe the first two-thirds of the film other than some of the most propulsive filmmaking I've ever seen. Likewise, it's pretty rare that I feel personally affected by action/horror films of this type, but there are some images in this thing that could easily give me nightmares for weeks. If you're into that sort of thing, go for it, but as someone else mentioned you probably wanbt to leave the younger kids at home.

Scissorjack
06-30-2005, 06:48 AM
Since Ray doesn't take down a Tripod by damaging one leg.

Edward Hyde does, in the cracking The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen {the comic version, not the risible movie} take on War Of The Worlds. He also gets to

anally rape The Invisible Man

which I would pay good money to see up on the big screen.

Cuckoorex
06-30-2005, 09:46 AM
I absolutely fucking love this movie. Pure summer blockbuster of the highest caliber.

One question that has bothered me since seeing the film, however, and maybe some of you Dopers can answer it for me:
After the EMP hits, everything that runs on electricity is fried, right? So how the hell does that one guy have a working camcorder as the tripod is emerging from the ground?

TwoTrouts
06-30-2005, 10:06 AM
I saw the movie last night and have to agree that it is terrific. Special effects aside, I especially liked the way Spielberg kept the focus on how this terror affected different people. Whether it was the mob, the slacker teenage son, or the ambulance driver Ogilvy, each had their own psychological demons to battle while the world crumbled around them. I may be alone here, but I loved the scene with Tim Robbins/Ogilvy. I believe it was very necessary to the movie, was wonderfully done, and drove the character development aspect of the film. The scene was an integral part of the book as well, IIRC.

Zebra
06-30-2005, 10:12 AM
I absolutely fucking love this movie. Pure summer blockbuster of the highest caliber.

One question that has bothered me since seeing the film, however, and maybe some of you Dopers can answer it for me:
After the EMP hits, everything that runs on electricity is fried, right? So how the hell does that one guy have a working camcorder as the tripod is emerging from the ground?


Well, there are nits to pick. You could say it was a mistake, or you could say that the camcorder was in a Fairaday (?) cage. (is that what they are called?)

Little Bird
06-30-2005, 10:59 AM
I will wait for video because 1) movies are too expensive and 2) The Whole Tom Cruise thingie.

However, it would be really funny if Speilburg slipped into the film a Yoyodyne Propulsion Systems gag.


HAH!
Do not wait for the video. Unless your tv is garage door sized. You need to see the tripods BIG.

Little Bird
06-30-2005, 11:00 AM
Actually was going to ask that. I have some friends visiting from Germany and their English is zilch. Would they be able to understand the film if I took them along with me? (I don't want to have to whisper translations in the theater.)

In other words, if I give them the outline of the story before we go into the theater, would they be able to follow along and like the film?
I think they could follow it just fine. It could almost be a silent film. Big scary machines = bad, cute little blond girl = good.

(sorry for the double post)

dare_devil007_
06-30-2005, 11:11 AM
I will wait for video because 1) movies are too expensive and 2) The Whole Tom Cruise thingie.

However, it would be really funny if Speilburg slipped into the film a Yoyodyne Propulsion Systems gag.


HAH!

Like Little Bird said, don't wait for the video. This is one movie you should see in theatres because it's a movie of high calibre (well, I think so). It's just not the same if you watch it at home. And the whole Tom Cruise thingy? You'll forget about it during the movie. I sure as hell did.

Archergal
06-30-2005, 11:28 AM
We saw the movie at the 3:15 pm show yesterday. It didn't suck, though emotionally it seemed overall to be a little hollow to me. But the aliens are pretty nifty, and it follows the original story better than the 1953 version did.

I also think that the son surviving at the end of the movie was a sop to the happy-ending crowd
BTW, did anyone else notice
that the grandparents at the end of the movie were Gene Barry and Ann Robinson, the stars of the 1953 version?

BTW, the original novel by H.G. Wells is available online for free at Project Gutenberg, here (http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/36).

Bomzaway
06-30-2005, 11:49 AM
Don't wait for video, and don't let your misgivings about Tom Cruise or Speilberg get in the way of experiencing this film. It's a pretty amazing movie. My first impressions are usually over the top, so I'm going to see it again in a couple of hours, but right now, my feeling is that it could very well be one of the best movies ever made...EVER MADE I tell you! :eek:

For those of you that have already seen it....wasn't that scene with the train just tremendously eerie and haunting?

Larry Mudd
06-30-2005, 12:10 PM
Saw it last night -- I'll just add to the chorus. Awesome. (I took Guin's suggestion from one of the Tom Cruise is a Prat threads and bought a ticket to Bewitched to get in the door.)

Much better than I'd hoped. "Invaders from Mars" is usually a pretty remote theme. Somehow, they managed to make it immediate, engaging, and real.

The jaw-dropping spectacle was pretty fantastic, but it was the acting that really sold the movie, and everyone did a bang-up job. Dakota Fanning was astonishing as always. I have to admit that Tom Cruise did good work, too. (I still hope he's sent to Coventry, though -- but it was easy to forget about that for a couple of hours.)

The thing with Tim Robbins' character was really, really, gut-wrenching. Eeeesh.

DocCathode
06-30-2005, 01:13 PM
Now, am I the only one wondering who would win in a "Celebrity Deathmatch" between Roger Ebert and Buckminster Fuller?

I don't recall Bucky making great use of the tripod, so I'm curious just what made you think of him.

Oh, Bucky all the way. He'll stand there mumbling to himself for a while. Then, when Ebert charges, Bucky will poke him in just the right place in just the right way and his spine will snap. "Yes, I thought that would be the weak point. This is the 21st century! Why are we still using the same spines cavemen used?" As Ebert is carried away by paramedics, Bucky will use the ring ropes and some folding chairs to make a model of the Dyymaxion Tensegrity Spine.

jsc1953
06-30-2005, 02:16 PM
Oddly, in some uses a tripod is the most stable. As a stool, for example. Since 3 points uniquely identify a plane, a 3-legged stool is physically incapable of wobbling.

Just thought I'd share....I haven't seen the movie.

Little Bird
06-30-2005, 03:09 PM
BTW, did anyone else notice
that the grandparents at the end of the movie were Gene Barry and Ann Robinson, the stars of the 1953 version?
No way! Seriously? Awesome!

Bomzaway
06-30-2005, 03:41 PM
Now, after a second screening in less than 24 hours, I have to say that I am just as enthused about this film as ever. It's really, REALLY good.

Tupug Anachi
06-30-2005, 03:47 PM
I loved it! It was scary! I want to see it again. I think the audio special effects are going to haunt me for a while. Especially the sound of the tripods stomping around during the cellar scenes. :eek:

cainxinth
06-30-2005, 04:16 PM
Absolutely outstanding. More than once I muttered to myself, "it's a nightmare." Truly terrifying in all the best ways a scary movie should be; not by startling the audience or grossing us out, but by putting us in the actors' shoes, and making us wonder what it would be like to be faced with an unspeakable horror.

The two scenes that struck me the most were:

The mob attacking Ray and his kids in the van. The ferry scene too for that matter. A mob of people scared to violence can be just as frightening as any alien monster.

and

The people huddled in the holding cages under the tripods waiting to be sucked into that giant red sphincter one by one. Good god, I almost had to look away.

Archergal
06-30-2005, 04:28 PM
Little Bird, yup, 'tis true. I confirmed it on the IMDB.

Queen Bruin
06-30-2005, 05:03 PM
Hmm, well I wasn't gonna go see it, but I think everyone has me convinced. :) I'll have to check out that indie version - I've been chafing for a period piece as well.

Bomzaway
06-30-2005, 05:21 PM
I loved it! It was scary! I want to see it again. I think the audio special effects are going to haunt me for a while. Especially the sound of the tripods stomping around during the cellar scenes. :eek:

Randy Thom is the sound designer and he's incedible! Matter of fact, he won an Oscar for the Incredibles. I heard him on NPR the other day and it made me want to see this film all the more. He also won an Oscar for The Right Stuff and has been nominated quite a few times.

El_Kabong
06-30-2005, 07:02 PM
For those of you that have already seen it....wasn't that scene with the train just tremendously eerie and haunting?

OK, I thought it was just me. That was the scene that actually made it hard for me to get to sleep last night.

I'm wondering also if that wasn't some kind of backhanded reference to the scene with the cows near the beginning of Mars Attacks!

BTW, ya want some world-class pointless nitpicking? Here ya go. The train had the correct Amtrak Northeast livery, but the characters who witnessed its passage were on the west bank of the Hudson. The passenger line is on the east bank, however; the west bank line is freight only. Sacrilege!

:D

OK, so maybe it was an emergency reroute. I'll shut up now.

Equipoise
06-30-2005, 07:15 PM
Don't wait for video, and don't let your misgivings about Tom Cruise or Speilberg get in the way of experiencing this film. It's a pretty amazing movie. My first impressions are usually over the top, so I'm going to see it again in a couple of hours, but right now, my feeling is that it could very well be one of the best movies ever made...EVER MADE I tell you! :eek:

For those of you that have already seen it....wasn't that scene with the train just tremendously eerie and haunting?

That was an amazing scene, and so out of the blue. Another director might have shown the set up...tripod...train...tripod...train...uh oh, we know what's going to happen next! The way Spielberg put it in there, almost as a random afterthought, made it all the more chilling. You experience it as the people there experience it: bell dings, gate comes down, train's coming, ok. And then, the train races past. OH MY GOD!

Stephe96
06-30-2005, 07:41 PM
I have a question that I will keep as vague as possible. The birds at the end. I get what was going on there, but what was SAID about them?

Anyone get what I mean? THanks

Archergal
06-30-2005, 08:01 PM
My husband first thought Tom Cruise's character was saying "The bird shit is killing them!" But we think what he was actually saying wasTheir shields are down.
I agree, that exchange was almost impossible to understand.

Stephe96
06-30-2005, 10:40 PM
I don't think this is too much of a spoiler but again I'll keep this observation rather vague....but did anyone else find it interesting that a movie featuring narration from Morgan Freeman also featured Tim Robbins....um....doing what he's doing in that basement?

By the way, thank you Archergal for that explanation. I figured it was something like that.

Zebra
07-01-2005, 08:30 AM
I have a question that I will keep as vague as possible. The birds at the end. I get what was going on there, but what was SAID about them?

Anyone get what I mean? THanks


A friend of mine was leaving the theatre and he overheard a woman saying "So it was the BIRDS that killed them" and he somehow resisted the urge to smack her.

FriarTed
07-01-2005, 08:53 AM
I'll go see it, and Spielberg definitely knows how to make an entertaining picture... but I can't help wishing he'd simply filmed the book, made it a period piece set c. 1900. (There's supposedly a low-budget independent movie that does just that, but it may or may not have actually been filmed; there are allegations that the director is a scam artist.)

Oh it was done, all right! THREE FREAKING HOURS OF FLAT ACTING AND BAD CGI WITH LONG BORING STRETCHES OF INACTION BETWEEN!!! THE HORROR! THE HORROR!

On DVD for about $9- faithful to the book, probably to the letter, and dead in spirit.

I saw the Spielberg-Cruise movie yesterday- YOWZA! Loved it! Was basically faithful to the story with some interesting twists. And while Tom was good- Dakota Fanning was the star.

FriarTed
07-01-2005, 09:09 AM
He might be the crazy preacher from the book, but there's not enough to tell.

Robbins fills the role but his character isn't a preacher.

Btw, he is quite good also!

Btw- another awesome & awful scene- Dakota by the river.

And I join the Chorus- DO NOT WAIT FOR THE DVD! YA GOTTA SEE THIS ON THE BIG SCREEN!

flyboy
07-01-2005, 09:21 AM
Zebra and I saw it last night.

It was amazing.

Expansive when it needed to be, claustrophobic when called for, little dialogue, excellent situational directing.

I don't even want to say a word about it because it's so stunning that I don't want to ruin it.

But I recommend it wholeheartedly. Go go go right now.I saw it last night, and all I have to say is "ditto."

FriarTed
07-01-2005, 09:23 AM
(I think The Food of the Gods would be fun, too, but only as a B-film...the 1976 version was a miserable attempt to cash in on the animal monster mania.[/i]



Stranger

May I introduce you to the wonder that is VILLAGE OF THE GIANTS!

Starring Tommy Kirk, little Ronny Howard, Beau Bridges, Suzanne Sommers AND Toni (Hey Mickey) Basil!


http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0059878/

Tripler
07-01-2005, 10:35 AM
I saw it last night. I was . . . disappointed.

And I've got a lot of spoilers. Sorry about that, but even though I've read most of the thread, I don't want to give away anything (just in case).

Pros:
Pretty good special effects! As horrifying as it is to think of people being vaporized by death rays, I was. . . horrified!

Fairly thorough in the storyline, WRT small details: The EMP pulse knocks out everything (except for that one camcorder . . . which still confuses me). And I did like the point how angry, panic-stricken mobs would inevitably arise. Nice touch, that I think is unfortunately left out of most horror flicks.

Cons:
Tom Cruise. While he did an okay job, I think I unfortunately fell into the media's anti-Tom thing while watching the movie. Regardless, I think they could have found someone a little more believable to begin with. 'Specially in the Tim Robbins scenes. It was like watching Andre the Giant fight Hervé Villechaize (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0898199/) Besides, I'm supposed to imagine that a guy who can't even keep his fridge stocked is going to safely escort his kids on a 6 hour hike through a battlefront, all the way to Boston? C'mon . . .

Too much special effects. As scary as the tripods are, they weren't sneaky or sinister like the aliens from . . . Aliens. You knew where the tripods were, so you ran away (sometimes being vaporized in the process). Give me something that can sneak up on me.

Too simple of a plot. Maybe it's because I like them political thrillers, but here's the plot:

Aliens invade, and we're all pretty much toast. Save kids by getting 'em back to Mom.
That's it? :rolleyes: No scenes of the effort to find a weakness? I don't know, maybe I've been kinda been spoiled by the "Humanity can adapt, overcome and kick ass" alien movies. USA! USA!


A couple of other points:

I totally missed the significance of the birds and the shields when I saw the movie. Thanks for pointing that out.
The real monster of this movie is the Pulaski Skyway (the elevated highway behind Tommy's house). That thing is a monstrosity of engineering, and I'm glad that got toasted.


Now, three questions:
1. What was the point of the empty airliner? I think I'm missing something. . .
2. What were the red vines/plants? What were they there for?
3. When the people got sucked up into the machine, what were they being sucked up into . . . the machine's anus?

Trip's Pick: C+ / One thumb up, one thumb down / 2 1/2 stars.
This movie did it's job: to keep me mildly entertainted for two hours. Note the italicized "mildly". I say the movie "did it's job" in that it saved me money. Where I could have gone to a bar and played some cards, losing $40 in the same amount of time, instead, I spend $5.50 and saw the movie. This movie was a decent alternative to having my arse handed to me by a constant stream of other player's flushes and straights.

Tripler
. . . and as I typed this post, I think I realized that I've been groomed/grown accustomed to certain flicks.

Silentgoldfish
07-01-2005, 10:41 AM
Now, three questions:
1. What was the point of the empty airliner? I think I'm missing something. . .
2. What were the red vines/plants? What were they there for?
3. When the people got sucked up into the machine, what were they being sucked up into . . . the machine's anus?


1. A plane crashed into the house they were sheltering in. Just a bit of random destruction, like the flaming train.
2. Terraforming.
3. Sphincters are nature's natural way to close off the end of a tube. I do think it's plausible that aliens might use them to seal off ports like that that open and close often.

I was a bit ambivalent when I left the theatre but the more I think about it, the more I liked it. Tripods are frigging cool!

El_Kabong
07-01-2005, 10:57 AM
I visited IMDB last night and note that the user comments so far appear to be overwhelmingly negative, to the point whether I wonder if we all saw the same movie. Most of the criticisms seem to fall into the category of a) Dakota screams way too much; b) I hate Tom Cruise so his latest film suxs; c) I never read the book so since I have no idea that most of the major plot points follow those in the novel, I don't have a clue why the film is structured the way it is; d) it's not upbeat enough (huh?!?)

Ok, I'm not being entirely fair, but many of the crits do seem to be on those lines. I'll agree that the science is generally ludicrous, some of the situations that move the story forward are contrived, and there are clear signs of the film's absurdly rushed development process, but I still contend that Speilberg appears to have gotten what he wanted to get onto the screen, and that it is interesting and good.

I look at it as basically as a deliberate attempt to strip a film down to pure peril, with the same sort of emphasis on story through image as the best silent films. Hey, maybe I'm being pretentious here; if so, I accept the charge.

Tripler
07-01-2005, 10:58 AM
1. A plane crashed into the house they were sheltering in. Just a bit of random destruction, like the flaming train.

Ahh! I didn't put the two and two together. Thanks!

2. Terraforming.

But they seemed to be alive. . . that they eventually declined into nothing but dust by the end of the show. Living terraforming? Hrm . . .

3. Sphincters are nature's natural way to close off the end of a tube. I do think it's plausible that aliens might use them to seal off ports like that that open and close often.

Which leads me to believe that the machines were alive too: Living pilot driving a living machine.

Tripler
I thought the train was scarier than the empty airliner. Everyone saw the flaming "ghost train".

Archergal
07-01-2005, 10:59 AM
The red vines were in the original story that H.G. Wells wrote. From the Project Gutenberg edition.
Apparently the vegetable kingdom in Mars, instead of having green for a dominant colour, is of a vivid blood-red tint. At any rate, the seeds which the Martians (intentionally or accidentally) brought with them gave rise in all cases to red-coloured growths. Only that known popularly as the red weed, however, gained any footing in competition with terrestrial forms. The red creeper was quite a transitory growth, and few people have seen it growing. For a time, however, the red weed grew with astonishing vigour and luxuriance.

Another thing from the book was the Martians drinking blood through the metal pipettes. Another quote: "Let it suffice to say, blood obtained from a still living animal, in most cases from a human being, was run directly by means of a little pipette into the recipient canal [of the Martian]"

Larry Mudd
07-01-2005, 11:02 AM
Tripler, with regard to the simplicity of the plot, that's the part of the movie that's totally faithful to H.G. Wells. It's pretty much the whole point of the the story.

In the novel, it's never clear whether the weeds were being sown for a purpose or if the seeds were accidentally transferred from Mars. They're mainly there for foreshadowing.It's extremely invasive, and chokes out all native flora as it quickly and easily takes over the landscape. Then it just as quickly dies off.

drachillix
07-01-2005, 11:44 AM
I absolutely fucking love this movie. Pure summer blockbuster of the highest caliber.

One question that has bothered me since seeing the film, however, and maybe some of you Dopers can answer it for me:
Hell with the still working camera, I want to know why Tom cruises charachters old mustang died on his son. I am not a mustang expert but that looks like a 68 mustang. That should have breaker/point ignition and should not have been fried by EMP. One of my first thoughts when the EMP thing came up in the movie was that they would have a functioning car to help them escape.

Tripler
07-01-2005, 12:42 PM
Archergal, Larry, I thank you guys!

I didn't see the 1953 version, but I thought there was something "deeper" to the vines. I think I was just reading into 'em a little too much.

Thanks!

Tripler
Now I'm not sure whether to hate the Martians or Communists more. . .

smiling bandit
07-01-2005, 02:55 PM
The EMP was a huge macguffin. AFAIK, it doesn't fry electronics, though it can render them useless for quite a while. But then, in many ways the aliens were a huge macguffin.

Great movie. Truly frightening.

Hodge
07-01-2005, 04:22 PM
I just got back. Basically, I'm abivalent.

Cool effects, great direction, good acting. However, I felt that the paper-thin plot meandered, the attempted balancing of large-scale disaster with intimate character moments didn't always work, the ending seemed hurried and abrupt, and I disliked the typically Spielbergian appeal to cheap sentiment in the final scene. And of course, Cruise played his patented "cocky asshole who learns a life lesson and becomes a better father/brother/lawyer/pool player/fighter pilot in the end." He does it well but, damn, it's getting old.

I know I'm going to get shot down for this but Signs, with all it's myriad plot holes and credibility stretching contrivances, was a better movie than WoW. I found it far more suspenseful (esp. in the basement scene as compared to the one in WoW which ruined the suspense by dragging on far too long) and the characters much better developed and believable.

rexnervous
07-01-2005, 05:00 PM
Great Summer Movie! Nothing too deep, nothing overly sentimental (notwithstanding the dumb ending, which I'll go into more detail in a bit). But solid action, great FX, terrifying, plausible (within reason). Went into it expecting, to be honest, to be disappointed, but for most of the movie was on the edge of my seat.

So I loved it (for a summer movie). Except, of course, for the ending:

It's one thing to have him walk up to the grandparents' townhouse. But did anyone notice that there was no destruction there? In the middle of Boston? Lame.

I knew the son was dead, and had accepted it. Dumb dumb DUMB decision by Spielberg to have the son be alive at the end. Why does this family come through unscathed?

Ok. Now a couple of questions that I had during the movie that I need help with:

So the machines were buried millions of years ago, before there were humans. Yet the aliens need human - or at least mammalian - blood (although I'm assuming human blood; otherwise, why not attack when there were great herds of buffalo and such across North America?). Anyway, how on earth - no pun intended - would the aliens know that evolution was going to happen the way it did? Unless they happen to bury machines on every life-bearing planet they come across.

So they need human blood. Why vaporize everyone in the beginning then? Seems a waste of viable fertilizer.

Anyway - what a fun movie. And I wholeheartedly agree - do not wait for the DVD unless you have a 60" home theater system at your house. It will not be the same.

Archergal
07-01-2005, 05:10 PM
rexnervous, I think the buried ships was just a plot device so they could have some cool sfx. You start looking too closely at that plot line, and it falls apart in your hands.

rexnervous
07-01-2005, 05:19 PM
rexnervous, I think the buried ships was just a plot device so they could have some cool sfx. You start looking too closely at that plot line, and it falls apart in your hands.

True that. There's the whole "you mean not one oil exploration or archaeological dig or guy-with-metal-detector has seen these?" :)

I guess I'm just one who does want some semblance of scientific validity to my sci-fi movies.

But disregarding that, it was still a great example of action/explosion/suspense film-making.

Rufus Xavier
07-01-2005, 05:28 PM
I really enjoyed the movie, and I haven't seen anything positive mentioned in this thread yet that I disagree with. I think Tom Cruise did a better than adequate job, as the entire movie was told from his POV, essentially. The man is in every single scene. Even a great actor can have a hard time pulling that off, and I cound Cruise believeable most of the time.

I thought Dakota was fantastic, one of the best acting jobs I've ever seen from someone barely into double digits, agewise. I loved Tim Robbins; he made me more nervous than the actual aliens did.

Special effects and sound were fantastic, most of the scary scenes had me gripped, and at around the 1:40 mark I started to believe this might be the greatest disaster film of all time. The last 15 minutes were a bit deflating to me, and clearly there are some plot holes, but nothing egregious, in my opinion.

I thought the ferry scene was the highlight, and all in all I think this was one of the best disaster films ever made.

Most of all I echo the sentiment: see it on the big screen!!!!

Zebra
07-01-2005, 06:43 PM
Personally, I think one of the strengths of the movie is that very little is explained. We really don't know how the tripods got there. Were they buried millions of years ago or a thousand? We don't know. And the blood and red vines? Yes it might be terra forming or maybe it is just that the aliens are just plain mean.

I felt that the first tripods up were the destroyers. They vaporized people and buildings. They also acted like the first wolves to go after the caribou. The heard starts to stampede to safety and the harvester pods are there waiting for them.


I also really liked that the movie is basically about one family. I'm tired of the disaster films that have 10 different plot lines of different types of people reacting to 'thing'. I think if we cut to the president or the war room it would not be as good a movie. There is also very little comic relief.

One strange thing I find though is that there is a big quotable quote from the movie.

dogbutler
07-01-2005, 06:45 PM
3. When the people got sucked up into the machine, what were they being sucked up into . . . the machine's anus?

On Mars, gerbil stuffs you

Good Egg
07-01-2005, 07:29 PM
I've been interested in going. My neices, ages 11 and 13 want to go. Would they be able to handle it?

Baldwin
07-01-2005, 07:47 PM
I enjoyed the flick. It combined elements of the Wells novel and the 1953 movie. (Note: H.G. Wells. Orson Welles.) For instance, the Wells tripods with the 1953 force fields. Tim Robbins' character was adapted from the Artilleryman in the novel. It was nice to see the Red Weed. Spielberg is great at using a camera to communicate emotion and explicate action. Just keep him away from the script.

Cruise was okay; he's actually a decent actor, and was excellent in Collateral, even if he is a nut. But y'know whom I would have cast? John C. Reilly.

It's true that the actions of the aliens don't seem to make a lot of sense. Also, the idea of machine being buried for millions of years seems ludicrous. I'm tempted to go out on a limb and posit that it's not the case -- that is, that we don't know that the machines were already buried, and that it's just sheer speculation on the part of the characters, and maybe there's a different explanation... except that the posters for the movie say "They're Already Here". So screw it.

Just for fun: there are actually four (4) current or coming-soon versions of Wells' novel for us to consider.

1) The big-budget Spielberg movie we've been discussing. (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0407304/)

2) The Timothy Hines period piece that apparently has gone straight to video and is a piece of crap. (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0425638/)

3) Another updated version, directed by David Michael Latt, that may actually be decent. (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0449040/)

4) Just possibly, an animated version based on the concept album "Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of the War of the Worlds", which I'm sure many of you remember fondly, and which has just been reissued on CD. (What the Hell happened to my original copy? Must have lost it in the house fire of 1986.)

Silentgoldfish
07-01-2005, 07:48 PM
I've been interested in going. My neices, ages 11 and 13 want to go. Would they be able to handle it?

I'd say no. The only reason that it got a PG 13 is that most of the deaths are by disintegration and so there's no blood. But it's a really horrific movie, and I think I would have been shit scared had I seen it at that age.

rexnervous
07-01-2005, 07:51 PM
I'd say no. The only reason that it got a PG 13 is that most of the deaths are by disintegration and so there's no blood. But it's a really horrific movie, and I think I would have been shit scared had I seen it at that age.
Agreed. This is one helluva an intense movie. 13, probably. 11, not likely.

Zebra
07-01-2005, 08:59 PM
I've been interested in going. My neices, ages 11 and 13 want to go. Would they be able to handle it?


What are your neices like? What's the scariest movie they've been able to handle?

I doubt that it would have lasting trauma but it might give them some nightmares.

Especially if you play the tuba or if you buy twizzlers for them.

Tripler
07-01-2005, 10:28 PM
On Mars, gerbil stuffs you

Dude, don't be a Communist. For the love of Og. . .

Tripler
I wouldn't be hatin', but I hate Commie pinkos.

Bomzaway
07-01-2005, 11:13 PM
I thought I'd ask around about the EM pulse thing. Got my hand slapped for spoiling, but got some good answers too.

http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=323563

mack
07-01-2005, 11:58 PM
I used my once a year theater-going trip to see this. As far as remakes go, I thought it was top notch.

One thing I don't get about these alien movies is that while the beings look really scary and evil I don't see how their bodies reflect any kind of evolutionary advantage over ours. I guess that's one of those Hollywood annoyances

I was a little suspicious in the beginning when Ray went flying around the corner in his mustang. Cheesy, but that's hollywood.

The rebellious son thing got old real fast. Especially the yelling.

When the machine first started cracking the street and buildings and made it's appearance didn't it occur to Ray that maybe he ought to go check on the kids? I mean this thing didn't look like it was going to start making balloon animals. Maybe that was to reinforce the lousy father thing.

There was a sort of a curveball in the very beginning because I thought when I saw Ray so skillfully handle the shipping container with the crane that it was a skill he would use later in the movie.

The part from when they rolled into the little town until they went into Tim Robbin's farmhouse was fantastic. The mob, the train, the ferry, the scene when they got out of the water and the machines were everywhere were all first rate. The machines hovering over the town is classic.

I was bummed when I saw the machine slumped against the building in Boston. This is the end? Awwww. So I guess it must have been pretty good.

The feeding sphincter was really creepy. Nice touch.

What was really cool was when I went outside after the movie and it was all gloomy and stormy. :eek:

They showed a trailer for King Kong. It looks like fun but Kong looks kind of puny. More like Mighty Joe Young.

RikWriter
07-02-2005, 12:15 AM
I saw it tonight and was very impressed. Not sure what movie all the haters saw, but it wasn't this one. Excellent acting by everyone but the kid who played Robbie, excellent effects, very creepy mood throughout the film.

ouryL
07-02-2005, 12:28 AM
We saw the movie at the 3:15 pm show yesterday. It didn't suck, though emotionally it seemed overall to be a little hollow to me. But the aliens are pretty nifty, and it follows the original story better than the 1953 version did.

I also think that the son surviving at the end of the movie was a sop to the happy-ending crowd
BTW, did anyone else notice
that the grandparents at the end of the movie were Gene Barry and Ann Robinson, the stars of the 1953 version?

BTW, the original novel by H.G. Wells is available online for free at Project Gutenberg, here (http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/36).


Didn't you think Gene Barry was dead?

ouryL
07-02-2005, 12:31 AM
I thought the first half sucked. People were calm when they should have been running their asses off and people were hysterical to the point you wanna shoot them.

kaylasdad99
07-02-2005, 12:52 AM
And of course, Cruise played his patented "cocky asshole who learns a life lesson and becomes a better father/brother/lawyer/pool player/fighter pilot in the end."Pssssst. You left out bartender.

ouryL
07-02-2005, 01:05 AM
The end credits listed Sailor Moon rb, but I don't recall seeing anything Sailor Moonish? Does any one remember anything? :confused:

ouryL
07-02-2005, 01:08 AM
and wasn't that song Dakota sang from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang?

MEBuckner
07-02-2005, 02:52 AM
Moderator's Note: I've added a spoiler warning to the title of the thread, because I want to reply to several posts with spoilers in them, and juggling all the spoiler and quote tags is getting old. So, if you don't want to read spoilers, you have roughly a minute before I hit the reply button again.

MEBuckner
07-02-2005, 03:00 AM
I just got back from a late showing (starting at 12:40 A.M.), and driving home I definitely had a weird, slightly disoriented, post-apocalyptic feeling. Especially when there was a bit of a traffic jam on the highway leaving the movie theater....

Regarding the ending (this contains a spoiler for the book, as well):

In the book, IIRC the narrator doesn't have any children, but he does have a wife, from whom he is separated and gives up for dead. At the end, he discovers she survived. So in a sense having the whole family survive (actually, did new husband/stepdad make it?) is being faithful to the novel.

Ok. Now a couple of questions that I had during the movie that I need help with:

So the machines were buried millions of years ago, before there were humans. Yet the aliens need human - or at least mammalian - blood (although I'm assuming human blood; otherwise, why not attack when there were great herds of buffalo and such across North America?). Anyway, how on earth - no pun intended - would the aliens know that evolution was going to happen the way it did? Unless they happen to bury machines on every life-bearing planet they come across.

So they need human blood. Why vaporize everyone in the beginning then? Seems a waste of viable fertilizer.
Maybe they don't need human blood, or even mammalian blood; maybe they're just using us to fertilize their terraformation vines (or I suppose that should be anti-terraformation) because, hey, they need fertilizer, and they also need to kill of the dominant species of the planet anyway. Might as well kill two birds with one stone. Of course, vaporizing us also works; it's not like they probably invaded Earth because we are uniquely suited among all the creatures of the Universe to fertilize the red vines.

One thing I don't get about these alien movies is that while the beings look really scary and evil I don't see how their bodies reflect any kind of evolutionary advantage over ours. I guess that's one of those Hollywood annoyances
Well, I don't think the aliens bodies would necessarily reflect any "evolutionary advantage" over ours; they'd just be different. (Although they did seem to have the standard Hollywood Advanced Alien Really Big Heads. Being an OB/GYN on wherever they come from must be quite a challenge.) They have advanced technology; rather like us, presumably they long ago switched from slow old biological evolution to the much swifter cultural evolution. Naked humans can't outrun cheetahs or outswim whales, but look who is driving whom to the brink of extinction (alas).

There was a sort of a curveball in the very beginning because I thought when I saw Ray so skillfully handle the shipping container with the crane that it was a skill he would use later in the movie.
As soon as I saw that scene, I took it for an interesting foreshadowing of the tripods, which, like Ray's crane, are semi-robotic machines with a biological operator sitting up top making it go.



(My sig line seems oddly...reassuring tonight.)

Silentgoldfish
07-02-2005, 06:13 AM
I really liked how the aliens had 3 legs, explaining why they invaded with Tripods.

flamingbananas
07-02-2005, 03:28 PM
This move was amazing. I thought Cruise acted really well and Fanning acted exactly how I prolly would have in that situation. The tripods were badass and just.... wow. I'm hoping to see this again later today.

Gangster Octopus
07-02-2005, 06:38 PM
One of my first thoughts after seeing this excelent movie was how much better this movie was in the hands of Spielberg than it would have been in the hands of a Jerry Bruckheimer or Michael Bay.

Neidhart
07-02-2005, 06:54 PM
(Although they did seem to have the standard Hollywood Advanced Alien Really Big Heads. Being an OB/GYN on wherever they come from must be quite a challenge.)

They look like amphibians, so I suspect they hatch from eggs.

RickJay
07-02-2005, 08:24 PM
I admit one thing I didn't like about the aliens is that

They had three legs, but two eyes. Three eyes would have been cooler.

BlackKnight
07-02-2005, 08:43 PM
I thought it was mostly crap. I'm surprised that it's getting so many glowing reviews here. The special effects are decent (although not spectacular in this day and age), but the rest leaves much to be desired.

First off, I don't buy Tom Cruise as a blue collar worker. The movie would have been markedly better with a no-name Joe Shmoe as the lead. Especially if he was slightly overweight and didn't look like a movie star. (I understand why they cast Cruise, of course.)

Both children were annoying. What was the point of the conversation about the splinter in Dakota's finger? I thought it was to show her as being tough for her age - except she spent the rest of the movie whining and screaming. And the son steals his dad's car? I would have called the cops right away on the little bastard. Why the hell does he even want these wretched spawn at his house?

At least Dakota's character wasn't actively trying to get killed, like the son. What the hell was his problem? After he stole my car and gave me that kind of attitude, I would have let him run away with the army. Note to Hollywood: Not all teenage males are sullen, angsty pricks who act irrationally all the time and think they're invincible. Really.

Come to think of it, Tom could have saved countless lives just by rolling down his window as he drove past the damaged cars and yelling, "Check the solenoids!" (At least, I believe that's the name of the part he told the mechanic to check. I don't know car parts.) While it doesn't take long for this knowledge to become obsolete, there were plenty of times in the beginning of the film for it to have been useful to somebody.

Unsympathetic characters aside, there were too many implausable moments for me to take the film very seriously. For example, a plane crashes into your house, but your minivan not only survives completely intact, but doesn't get a single flat tire driving over piles of broken glass and metal? (In my mind during the movie: "But it got a five-star safety rating!")

The heat rays looked cartoony and seemed remarkably inefficient. They only lasted for a second or two at a time, then stopped, then fired again. Why not a sustained barrage? Why not use poison gas? For that matter, why not just drop some bombs (or even very large rocks) from orbit onto all major cities? How the hell did these giant machines get buried underground and avoid detection for possibly thousands of years? Why are people standing around watching it come out of the ground instead of running? I fet no sympathy as the first wave were cut down. In my book, if there's a gaping, growing hole in the middle of the street, you should go somewhere else immediately.

The tripods, while realistic, didn't impress me much. They just looked uninspired, artistically. Of course, we didn't get many good close up shots of them, and when we did all we really saw were giant headlights. They were neither dark and graceful, nor lumbering and menacing. (Not to mention that when we first see a shield glow as it stops missiles, it clearly is not protecting the legs of the tripod. Later, a tripod appears to have its legs shielded, but that first time I couldn't help but think, "Use your harpoons and tow-cables; go for the legs!")

Speaking of the shields, why do the shields go down? Sure, the controllers of the tripods get sick, but why would that make them lower their shields (or wonder in circles aimlessly)? Is there a thirty minute cool-down before they can use them again or something? Did they leave them on overnight and now the battery's dead?

Also, why doesn't the snake-like sensor arm have a heat sensor? Or at least a microphone that doesn't suck? It should have easily been able to detect the presense of Cruise, Dakota, and crazy shotgun guy. Heck, if it had even been able to look down it would have found them easily behind the mirror.

Alright, now that I've had my little rant, I'll say what I liked about the movie.
I liked the train. It was an unexpected bit of creepiness.
I also liked how they lost the minivan. Very tense.
I also like how somebody else paid for my ticket.

athelas
07-02-2005, 08:55 PM
Loved it. See it.

msmith537
07-02-2005, 09:23 PM
This move was amazing. I thought Cruise acted really well and Fanning acted exactly how I prolly would have in that situation. The tripods were badass and just.... wow. I'm hoping to see this again later today.


Yes..I too would have screamed just like Dakota Fanning.


I thought the first half sucked. People were calm when they should have been running their asses off and people were hysterical to the point you wanna shoot them.

Well you pretty much got your wish for the second part.

I thought the first half of the movie was crazy! Freakin 1920's style Death Rays blasting people into ashes!

The movie is relatively bloodless but there are a whole lot of holy freakin shit!! moments:

-That first monsterous tripod going apeshit on Bayonne, NJ. (that's the Bayonne Bridge (http://www.roberts-1.com/bikehudson/v/r/verr_gwb/photos/jun-02/bb/arch_outside_400.jpg), not the Pulasky Skyway (http://www.explorer.road.jp/us/nj/expressways/pl_skyway02.jpg). (The viaduct leading up to the main span of the PS is an all steel truss structure while the BB has I-beams supported by concrete columns.)

-The bodies all washing by in the river

-The crowd tearing apart their stolen minivan outside the diner

-The flaming train

-The flaming humvees rolling off the hill

-The ferry landing



And one thing I loved -

one of the first movies AFAIK where the hero basically was like "ok asshole, since you refuse to listen to reason and are behaving in an erradic way that will get us all killed, I'm taking you down".


Unfortuneately, I never did care for the deux ex machina ending of any version of WotW.



Gangster Octopus - You did see that movie. It was called Independence Day.

Baldwin
07-02-2005, 09:36 PM
Spoiler:
One thing I don't get about these alien movies is that while the beings look really scary and evil I don't see how their bodies reflect any kind of evolutionary advantage over ours. I guess that's one of those Hollywood annoyances.
You don't need any evolutionary advantage to successfully invade and conquer -- just better technology. If Wells' novel is really a satirical reflection on British colonialism, remember that white Europeans were in no way physically nor mentally superior to the darker people they stole countries from.

Given that the current U.S. administration is acting as if we were an imperial power, maybe that kind of satire is relevant again.

Scissorjack
07-02-2005, 10:04 PM
Dude, don't be a Communist. For the love of Og. . .

They don't call it The Red Planet for nothin', ya know.

Battle Pope
07-02-2005, 10:31 PM
Saw it this afternoon & loved it. I pretty much agree with the other high points raised here.

One nice touch was how the aliens seemed clever (more than just technologically advanced):

The long shots of the Tripods hearding people around. Related to this, the whole ambush of the ferry. The way the Tripods just waited, causing the mob to panic and rush the ferry, allowing the machine in the river to flip it & catching the people as they flounder in the water. Much more efficient than chasing people through ruins.

As for the ending:
They should have left the son's fate unknown - assumed dead - rather than the typical feel-good bit. Having said that, I was half-expecting to see Cruise & his wife join up at the end and have the 'family brought back together through hardship' cliche.

Anyone else love to see a novel set 6 months after an event like this and its effect on the world?

Zebra
07-02-2005, 10:51 PM
Both children were annoying. What was the point of the conversation about the splinter in Dakota's finger? I thought it was to show her as being tough for her age - except she spent the rest of the movie whining and screaming.



Don't you get it?


Think about it.


What did she say about her hand and the splinter. That when her body was ready it would push it out.

That's what the Earth did to the aliens. The thing about her hand is just a really short version of the film. It's called foreshadowing. If you'd like to learn more about foreshowding, you can read about it in your local library.

FatBaldGuy
07-02-2005, 11:03 PM
I just saw it this afternoon and I hated it. Yes, the special effects were good, and Cruise did a credible job with the script he had to work with, but overall the plot was really lame.

I have to admit I haven't read the book, or seen any of the earlier versions, and I probably won't after seeing this thing.

Generally, the movie reminded me a lot of Independence Day, but instead of the best and the brightest trying to figure out how to take out these invaders we have the Army with a few tanks & guns and everybody else panics.

And don't even get me started about the lame cop-out ending. You'd think that an advanced civilization that has spent thousands or millions of years plotting how to take over a planet would analyze all of the indigenous life forms, and not just the humans.

I have to agree with some of the other posters that there must be two versions of this movie, because obviously most of you did not see the same one I did.

RikWriter
07-03-2005, 12:09 AM
And don't even get me started about the lame cop-out ending. You'd think that an advanced civilization that has spent thousands or millions of years plotting how to take over a planet would analyze all of the indigenous life forms, and not just the humans.


Blame HG Wells. :rolleyes:

Saw it again, with my wife this time, this evening. Still liked it a lot.

BlackKnight
07-03-2005, 02:15 AM
That when her body was ready it would push it out. That's what the Earth did to the aliens.
An alien invasion is much more like a viral infection (fittingly) than it is like a splinter.

If they'd wanted foreshadowing, why not have a character suffering from a cold or flu, but then get over it at some point in the film? This would tie in much, much better with the ending of the movie than does a splinter. A splinter isn't killed or destroyed; it's pushed out. The aliens are not pushed out; they are destroyed. By a virus or bacteria that humans can survive because they've evolved to deal with it.

I'll see if I can find any books at the local library about poorly thought out foreshadowing in films.

chique
07-03-2005, 07:48 AM
...and bought a ticket to Bewitched to get in the door....Ooooh, that's evil. I like that. :D

enipla
07-03-2005, 08:05 AM
I have to agree with some of the other posters that there must be two versions of this movie, because obviously most of you did not see the same one I did.

Well, I guess I'm going to have to see it again. I'll wait for DVD though.

The only two movies I have ever fallen asleep in where this and Godzilla. I just dozed off a couple of times.

My Wife, who loves action movies, end of the world type movies, was not impressed with the movie either. She thought it was OK.

I really, really wanted to love this movie. Guess I had my hopes up too high, and was a bit tired.

msmith537
07-03-2005, 08:45 AM
Generally, the movie reminded me a lot of Independence Day, but instead of the best and the brightest trying to figure out how to take out these invaders we have the Army with a few tanks & guns and everybody else panics.


Independence Day is essentially a remake of War of the Worlds. I've never read the book, but it follows the exact same structure as the 1950s movie. The only difference is that it's a computer virus that takes them out.

Speilberg specifically said he was telling the story form the point of view of one guy and his family, not a bunch of ivory tower eggheads directing the action from some war room under a mountain.

Zebra
07-03-2005, 09:45 AM
And don't even get me started about the lame cop-out ending. You'd think that an advanced civilization that has spent thousands or millions of years plotting how to take over a planet would analyze all of the indigenous life forms, and not just the humans.


When we first went to the moon, NASA was pretty worried about germs. They took precautions but you know what? There is no way they were 100% sure about those precautions. The aliens may have taken their own precautions but they weren't enough. (plus, that's how it works in War of the Worlds)

teela brown
07-03-2005, 10:18 AM
The movie stays pretty true to the book in spirit, and remember WOTW was written in 1898. The final denouement seems abrupt and obvious to us, but at time of writing, pathology was a very new science. The Martians in the story were dumbkopfs about disease because we were too at that time. Wells wrote that the Martians had eliminated germs and disease millenia ago (ha, ha), and neglected to take into account that Earth might have microbes that could affect them.

The 1898 writing date also is a defense againt accusations that this is a thin plot. It's one of the very first science fiction stories ever written - of course it seems simple to us. IMO, the simplicity is a good thing. It's not about wars and presidents and computer geeks and international politics and 'droids and dancing bar critters. It's about pure and simple destruction and survival and the unintelligible actions of aliens. I loved it.

My favorite bit - the huge bass note that the tripods played to signal each other. Not quite like the howling or hooting in the book, but extremely impressive.

BTW, I must have missed in the movie where the tripods were shown to have shields. I thought the presence of the crows flying around the hoods indicated that there were dead aliens inside attracting scavengers, as in the book.

athelas
07-03-2005, 12:06 PM
By the way, I don't think that the son was just trying to see some 'sploshuns. From what I saw, he was more of a misguided (idiotic) idealist, trying to help in whatever way possible. Notice when he climbed up to where people were hanging off the side the ferry, hauling them in? 'Course, he was bound to be - should have been - killed, but I can almost sympathize.

HubZilla
07-03-2005, 01:35 PM
I read Ebert's review (http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050628/REVIEWS/50606007)

Three legs are inherently not stable, as Ray demonstrates when he damages one leg of a giant tripod, and it falls helplessly to the ground.

I didn't see this scene in the movie. Was it cut from the version Ebert saw?

Archergal
07-03-2005, 01:36 PM
BTW, I must have missed in the movie where the tripods were shown to have shields. I thought the presence of the crows flying around the hoods indicated that there were dead aliens inside attracting scavengers, as in the book.

There were a couple of scenes in the movie where you could see the shells and stuff thrown at them exploding x meters away from the tripods themselves. It was very close in effect to the way they showed the Martian shields in the 1953 movie. And I think one of the soldiers they met mentioned shields.

Having said that, I think the presence of crows=dead/dying Martians makes lots more sense.

alphaboi867
07-03-2005, 02:00 PM
I absolutely fucking love this movie. Pure summer blockbuster of the highest caliber.

One question that has bothered me since seeing the film, however, and maybe some of you Dopers can answer it for me:
After the EMP hits, everything that runs on electricity is fried, right? So how the hell does that one guy have a working camcorder as the tripod is emerging from the ground?

Perhaps he was just outside the effected area when the pulse went off? The bigger question is how did those journalists video tape the lightening strikes and not have the EMP fry the camera since it had to be close to it.

ouryL
07-03-2005, 03:14 PM
I thought it was mostly crap. I'm surprised that it's getting so many glowing reviews here. The special effects are decent (although not spectacular in this day and age), but the rest leaves much to be desired.

First off, I don't buy Tom Cruise as a blue collar worker. The movie would have been markedly better with a no-name Joe Shmoe as the lead. Especially if he was slightly overweight and didn't look like a movie star. (I understand why they cast Cruise, of course.)

Both children were annoying. What was the point of the conversation about the splinter in Dakota's finger? I thought it was to show her as being tough for her age - except she spent the rest of the movie whining and screaming. And the son steals his dad's car? I would have called the cops right away on the little bastard. Why the hell does he even want these wretched spawn at his house?

At least Dakota's character wasn't actively trying to get killed, like the son. What the hell was his problem? After he stole my car and gave me that kind of attitude, I would have let him run away with the army. Note to Hollywood: Not all teenage males are sullen, angsty pricks who act irrationally all the time and think they're invincible. Really.

Come to think of it, Tom could have saved countless lives just by rolling down his window as he drove past the damaged cars and yelling, "Check the solenoids!" (At least, I believe that's the name of the part he told the mechanic to check. I don't know car parts.) While it doesn't take long for this knowledge to become obsolete, there were plenty of times in the beginning of the film for it to have been useful to somebody.

Unsympathetic characters aside, there were too many implausable moments for me to take the film very seriously. For example, a plane crashes into your house, but your minivan not only survives completely intact, but doesn't get a single flat tire driving over piles of broken glass and metal? (In my mind during the movie: "But it got a five-star safety rating!")

The heat rays looked cartoony and seemed remarkably inefficient. They only lasted for a second or two at a time, then stopped, then fired again. Why not a sustained barrage? Why not use poison gas? For that matter, why not just drop some bombs (or even very large rocks) from orbit onto all major cities? How the hell did these giant machines get buried underground and avoid detection for possibly thousands of years? Why are people standing around watching it come out of the ground instead of running? I fet no sympathy as the first wave were cut down. In my book, if there's a gaping, growing hole in the middle of the street, you should go somewhere else immediately.

The tripods, while realistic, didn't impress me much. They just looked uninspired, artistically. Of course, we didn't get many good close up shots of them, and when we did all we really saw were giant headlights. They were neither dark and graceful, nor lumbering and menacing. (Not to mention that when we first see a shield glow as it stops missiles, it clearly is not protecting the legs of the tripod. Later, a tripod appears to have its legs shielded, but that first time I couldn't help but think, "Use your harpoons and tow-cables; go for the legs!")

Speaking of the shields, why do the shields go down? Sure, the controllers of the tripods get sick, but why would that make them lower their shields (or wonder in circles aimlessly)? Is there a thirty minute cool-down before they can use them again or something? Did they leave them on overnight and now the battery's dead?

Also, why doesn't the snake-like sensor arm have a heat sensor? Or at least a microphone that doesn't suck? It should have easily been able to detect the presense of Cruise, Dakota, and crazy shotgun guy. Heck, if it had even been able to look down it would have found them easily behind the mirror.

Alright, now that I've had my little rant, I'll say what I liked about the movie.
I liked the train. It was an unexpected bit of creepiness.
I also liked how they lost the minivan. Very tense.
I also like how somebody else paid for my ticket.

The movie suffers because we all saw ID4, which is the movie that made SS not make this movie years ago. But I have to admit liked the Tim Robbins bit.

ouryL
07-03-2005, 03:22 PM
The movie suffers because we all saw ID4, which is the movie that made SS not make this movie years ago. But I have to admit liked the Tim Robbins bit.

Of course, I wish it had been Tim R. who had killed Tom C. instead, because he was the one being hysterical.

nivlac
07-03-2005, 03:37 PM
I thought the first half sucked. People were calm when they should have been running their asses off and people were hysterical to the point you wanna shoot them.
I agree. How does it make sense that people are just standing around when a monstrosity comes out of the ground? I actually thought they deserved to be stomped or zapped. Ditto for the Tom Cruise character. Obviously a not-too-bright guy who only starts running when all hell breaks loose. And that daughter of his ... she screamed so much that I almost wished that one of those aliens just takes her away for good! So you can see that I didn't think all that highly of the movie. The special effects were good, but the characterizations of the characters strained credibility. And then to top it off, Robbie somehow survived the explosive mayhem in which he was smack dab in the middle of. For what purpose? Obviously to give the movie a happy family ending. The best part of the movie was the opening and closing narration by Morgan Freeman, who's truly a class act in any movie he's in.

SmackFu
07-03-2005, 05:07 PM
My little brush with Hollywood: The building that the tripod crashed into at the very end, in the "Boston suburbs" is right down the street from my apartment in CT. See? (http://www.flickr.com/photos/smackfu/23342060/) It's an old Crompton plant that's been closed for a few years, and the movie crew came in just before Christmas to film for a couple of days. Actually that whole scene was filmed on location, including the tunnel (which goes under Metro North tracks).

And I thought the movie was great. It actually scared me, which very few do.

RikWriter
07-03-2005, 05:19 PM
Of course, I wish it had been Tim R. who had killed Tom C. instead, because he was the one being hysterical.


Actually, from a gut reaction, I am happy it happened the way it did.

Larry Mudd
07-03-2005, 06:32 PM
The movie suffers because we all saw ID4, which is the movie that made SS not make this movie years ago.How does War of the Worlds suffer by the preexistence of Independence Day?

Maybe my recollection of the relative merits of ID4 is faulty, because at no point in the last decade have I felt even the slightest desire to screen it again. Mostly what I remember about it is feeling alternately bored and insulted.

War of the Worlds, on the other hand, I'm going to see again tonight.

YPOD
07-03-2005, 07:39 PM
My two bits:

See it - it was worth the $9.50, but not the $4.50 coke.

Dakota did a real good job of looking scared. Maybe she thought TC was going to start talking to her about Scientology and/or Katie Holmes.

The tripod coming over the hill, looking down the street at the ferry was my favorite scene.

The segment in the basement with Tim Robbins as the Artilleryman/Curate was very good (except for too much of TR's babbling) and a nice upgrade from the earlier movie. But why did Spielberg have to end that segment the way he did? It was not necessary.

Big headed aliens, with big eyes, were part of HG Wells. (His Martians were mostly brains). Wells also gave them tentacles (eight, I believe) to use as legs and feet. I guess Spielberg felt that would look too old fashioned.

If anyone had seen the earlier movie, or had read the book, the images of the protozoa would have been foreshadowing with a sledgehammer.

Speaking of foreshadowing - forget the splinter - what happened to that piece of metal Cruise put in his pocket at the beginning?

Nuking us or using the death rays from space might have been more effective, but the movie would have been over after Morgan Freemans opening narration - quotes from the novel. Those opening lines must be some of the greatest lines ever written in science fiction.

Given the state of communications and the speed with which the Martians hit, how did the Army and National Guard get to deploy so well?

I don't know about you guys, but I am getting tired with aliens having shields. In the original book, there were a couple of incidents when humans did bring down some of the tripods. We were still going to lose, but at least we got some of them.

A couple of posts mentioned the red menance undercurrents of the earlier movie. I could see that in the Invasion of the Body Snatchers, but not in the WOTWI. What am I missing?

My suspicion about the buried tripods - Spielberg wanted them to be the size he showed - bringing them to earth would have required an enormous ship too much like ID4 for comfort. So he buried them and sent down the aliens.

In the basket scene? What does the writing of the side of the tripod say? Maximum occupancy 44 adults? Stay clear of exhaust? Next oil change at 33,000 miles?

Battle Pope
07-03-2005, 09:02 PM
Speaking of foreshadowing - forget the splinter - what happened to that piece of metal Cruise put in his pocket at the beginning?

I noticed that as well, but pretty much forgot when the tripods started moving.

Given the state of communications and the speed with which the Martians hit, how did the Army and National Guard get to deploy so well?

My guess would be that they were put on standby when wierd things started happening on the other side of the world. There was at least a night between the news item on the Ukraine (?) and the storms in the US. Presumably the US govt. knew something was going on.

I don't know about you guys, but I am getting tired with aliens having shields. In the original book, there were a couple of incidents when humans did bring down some of the tripods. We were still going to lose, but at least we got some of them.

Given that it took an infanty platoon with some anti-tank weapons to knock out a tripod, without shields all you'd need is a few A-10's & the invasion would have been over. I would have liked shields, but ones that could be defeated only by massive amounts of firepower. The aliens using 'black smoke' would have been good as well.

RickJay
07-03-2005, 09:58 PM
I agree. How does it make sense that people are just standing around when a monstrosity comes out of the ground?
I'm just shocked that anyone would even ask this question. Do you REALLY doubt this would draw a crowd?

If you don't believe me, just Google up some tapes of people watching tidal waves or tsunamis, standing there oohing and aahing as waves of crushing death come roaring towards them.

I thought the various scenes of mob behaviour in the film were just brilliant. There was nothing whatsoever unrealistic about the way crowds of people behaved in "War of the Worlds." Mobs can be amazingly stupid.

Zebra
07-03-2005, 11:07 PM
Speaking of foreshadowing - forget the splinter - what happened to that piece of metal Cruise put in his pocket at the beginning?




What piece of metal? You're not talking about the gun are you?

Jet Jaguar
07-03-2005, 11:11 PM
Today my wife and I saw the movie today. However, it was too scary for my wife so we left in the middle. Can someone give me a brief synopsis from that point to the ending? We left during the scene when they were hiding in the cellar with Tim Robbins and that tentacle eye thing was looking around down there.

From this thread it sounds like they stuck to the original book about what killed the aliens. I feared that Spielberg would have Tom Cruise somehow figure out their weakness and relay this information to the military to use to defeat them. I'm pleased this is not the case.

Also being a Spielberg film, I suspect that in the end

They make it to Boston and find the ex-wife and her family unharmed. There is some sort of celebration/reconciliation with Cruise and the ex-family. Oh, and it turns out the son survived after all.


Which sounds like that's exactly what happened. Am I correct?

El_Kabong
07-03-2005, 11:32 PM
Also being a Spielberg film, I suspect that in the end...

Jet Jaguar, you nailed it exactly. A bit exasperating, really, but at least the director didn't drag that part of it out for twenty minutes.

Zebra
07-03-2005, 11:53 PM
Jet Jag After the eye goes away some aliens come down into the basement. There is a terriffic scene where Tim want's to use the shotgun and Tom doesn't want him two. They have a silent fight for the gun as the creatures poke around the basement and one even takes a drink of water from a hose. Then a few hours later the machines are making a new noise. Tom looks out and he sees a tripod hold a man on the ground and then harpoons him and you see it suck the blood up and then Tom notices a fine red mist. This mist has something to do with these red vines coming into the basement. Tim Robbins sees this and freaks. He goes to the deepart of the celler and whiler screaming "Not MY BLOOD" over and over he tries to start to tunnel to NYC, Tom tried to get him to calm down but it doesn't work. Then he puts a blindfold on Dakota and tells her to sing Hushabye mountain and not to do anything no matter what she hears. She does this and the camera stays on her as Tom goes in tht room with Tim. We hear a fight but then a little latter, Tom comes out and Dakota goes and sits on his lap.

Suddenly another camera appears and as Dakota panics and runs, Tom hacks this one up with an ax. Then he reailzes that Rachel is gone and he runs up to find her. He has to step through many of the red vines witch are everywhere. A Tripod sees him and tries to capture him. He jumps in vehicials and ends up in a Hummer. Then Rachel gets picked up by a tripod. Tom finds a belt with gernades on it and he goes out and gets himself pickedup. The tripods deposit people into two large baskets. Then some icky anus? Vagina? opens up and a tentacle comes out and grabs someone in the basket and sucks them inside. Kind of like watching one of those miracle of birth movies running backwards.
The try to grab Tom but suddenly people in the basket decide to fight back The grab hold of Tom and have tug-a-war and pull Tom out. Tom comes out with the grenade pins but no grenades. Kablooie! the tripod comes down and the people escape.

Tom and Dakota/Rachel get to Boston finally. There is a strong military presance in Boston and they are being guied as to where to go. They then see a tripod leaning against a building and it is obviously deactivated. Tom asks and a soldier explanes that it was just acing funny and walking in circles and then it fell. Another tripod appears and it looks drunk. Tom notices that crows are sitting on the top of the tripod. He points out how the shields must be down so the army pulls up some guys with Anti-tank weapons and after several shots the bring it down.

Then Tom and Dakota walk down a street that other than the fact that there are no people her it seems untouched by the war.Then at the end of the street Mirando Otto steps out on ehr poarch followed by her parents. (played by the main stars of the '50s movie) Miranda mouths the words 'Thank you" and then the son appears out of the house and comes out and gives his dad a big hug.

The End


If I was Tom, I'd be like, Ummmm Thank You, isn't going to cut it. I didn't get anal probed because I WAS THE ANAL PROBE! So, you're coming out here to the street and giving me head.

middleman
07-04-2005, 08:40 AM
I am pretty surprised by the postive reviews and the seemingly positive consensus of the Doper thread.

I have walked out of better films than this!

This has to be in the "Bottom Ten" films I've seen at the theater! (Joining The Avengers, Spawn, and Spielberg's Jurassic Park 2.)

The next day, TNT was offering an unedited version of Saving Private Ryan and I was just amazed that the same man did both pictures.

At no time was I enthralled, drawn to the characters, or otherwise compelled.

I wasn't even wowed by the effects!

Ironically, it wasn't Cruise that bothered me. Despite his recent behavior, he was still acceptable as the typical Tom Cruise character (though I did notice his height more).

Dakota Fanning again proved that she is an incredible little actress. The one bright spot in an otherwise unwatchable film.

Other than that, I couldn't really find one thing to latch onto and say that this was anything but a terrible waste of time. I simply can't understand how so many people think this is a worthwhile product; People whose tastes I admire seem to like it. Dopers, who I KNOW I admire, seem to like it. I don't get it! I'm inclined to ape Tim Robbins over the top performance and suggest it is an alien plot a million years in the hatching! "Not my DVD COLLECTION!" I want to scream as I burrow deeper into the cellar. I just thought that the whole thing was a big waste of time.

In short, I was rooting for a decisive alien victory.




Sorry to be so negative, but I really hated this movie!

RikWriter
07-04-2005, 09:58 AM
I am pretty surprised by the postive reviews and the seemingly positive consensus of the Doper thread.


Why? Never been in the minority on anything before?

RikWriter
07-04-2005, 10:00 AM
I am pretty surprised by the postive reviews and the seemingly positive consensus of the Doper thread.


Why? Never been in the minority on anything before?

Amended to add: I don't mean to be flip or in any way offending with this remark, I'm serious...I am in the minority on my views on many artists, songs and movies. It never surprises me, as I don't even care what the mainstream thinks on most things. In fact, I am more surprised when I am in step with the mainstream than the reverse.

Dob
07-04-2005, 10:54 AM
Okay, I saw this last night, and I had a few thoughts on the matter: (some spolier stuff ahead)


1. I hated, truly good and hated, the son. He ruined much of the movie, and no freakin way does a 15yr old runing into a war zone make it out and back to boston. would have been better if he died a burning a painful death.

2. Tom Cruise and Dakota are great together, good chemistry I thought.

3. Scenes with the aliens were well done I thought, and didnt look/feel to cgi to me.

4. If the aliens buried the "tripods" here thousands of years ago, why didnt they die back then?

5. I didnt like how the aliens, in the basement, seemed amazed by a mirror and a bike tire. What, they dont have reflective surfaces on the alien planet? They never seen a freakin wheel? the whole thing seemed silly.

Overall I did like the movie, it just wasnt the "oh my God that was great stuff" movie I was hoping for. Still good tho.

middleman
07-04-2005, 11:13 AM
Why? Never been in the minority on anything before?

Amended to add: I don't mean to be flip or in any way offending with this remark, I'm serious...I am in the minority on my views on many artists, songs and movies. It never surprises me, as I don't even care what the mainstream thinks on most things. In fact, I am more surprised when I am in step with the mainstream than the reverse.

I am never surprised when the masses (mainstream) like something that I hate. I was just surprised the critic and Doper consensus differed so strongly from my opinion on the film.

I'm content to be alone on my island on movies. Hell, I think I am the only person in the world who thought Star Trek 5 was a fine film.

I was just surprised that the opinions on this film didn't slant more towards the negative.

Stephe96
07-04-2005, 11:21 AM
I agree. How does it make sense that people are just standing around when a monstrosity comes out of the ground? I actually thought they deserved to be stomped or zappedn.


I don't know about this. I've seen plenty of footage of idiots standing around watching monster waves just before they are all swept out to sea. And how 'bout all the New Yorkers who simply stopped and stared up at the WTC in flames (when for all anyone knew the country was under attack), and then ran like crazy when they started collapsing?

I tend to think that seeing a gigantic spaceship emerge from the ground would grab a lot of people's attention, causing them to simply stare at the thing.

Raygun99
07-04-2005, 11:42 AM
5. I didnt like how the aliens, in the basement, seemed amazed by a mirror and a bike tire. What, they dont have reflective surfaces on the alien planet? They never seen a freakin wheel? the whole thing seemed silly.

I didn't take this as amazment at all. These were alien soldiers doing recon, checking out the surroundings. One idly spins a wheel on a human artifact which it's probably never seen before, which then falls down and startles it -- pretty natural reaction. The bit with the mirror was a sensor -- and the alien operating it realizes something is off and manoeuvers the sensor to check behind it. All the mirror did was buy them time to hide.

RikWriter
07-04-2005, 11:44 AM
Hell, I think I am the only person in the world who thought Star Trek 5 was a fine film.


Umm....yes, you are. :D

Clark K
07-04-2005, 12:13 PM
I think it's a mistake to dismiss this movie as simply a blow-things-up summer popcorn movie. Clearly, the 9-11 terrorist attacks helped shape the movie, and the destruction portrayed in the movie resonates more strongly with us because of what the country has endured.

I won't go so far as to say it's a parable (or allegory? I'm not sure of the difference) for 9-11, but the references are there:

- the images of people running down city streets to escape death, covered in gray ash.
- the hand-made signs of people looking for lost loved ones.
- the idea that "they" are already among us, waiting to strike.
- the impotence of the military trying to attack an enemy it cannot touch.
- the clothes falling from the sky, like people jumping from the World Trade Center.

If Spielberg had changed the last five minutes, I'd give the movie an A-plus. Even with the cop-out, I thought it was tense, enthralling and emotionally powerful.

Larry Mudd
07-04-2005, 12:15 PM
And how 'bout all the New Yorkers who simply stopped and stared up at the WTC in flames (when for all anyone knew the country was under attack), and then ran like crazy when they started collapsing? Ooh look! A segue!

I went to go see War of the Worlds again last night with a buddy, and afterwards mentioned that I thought it was odd that no-one seems to be mentioning the fairly frequent use of September 11th imagery, (which IMO made the movie much more affecting,) such as folks standing around transfixed, looking up at the first tripod, taking pictures, etc, and only fleeing when the shit hits the fan, covered head-to-toe in grey ash -- incongruous items drifting out of the sky, not documents but clothing -- endless walls of desperate "missing" posters -- cattle-like evacuations of massive crowds down what would ordinarily be heavily trafficked streets, the stunned shock of parents who need to reassure their children and "explain" something that is so enormous and horrifying that they can't process it themselves, etc.. I think all of these things added gravitas and authenticity that has never been present in an "alien invasion" movie before. "I recognize that -- that's a fucking catastrophe."

Anyway, my buddy says these are all elements you'd expect in any disaster movie. I can't think of any examples, though.

*previews*

Aww, crap. :D

msmith537
07-04-2005, 12:33 PM
Hell, I think I am the only person in the world who thought Star Trek 5 was a fine film.



And with that one sentance, your credibility for critiquing movies evaporates.

Zebra
07-04-2005, 03:35 PM
One little nit pick I have of the film is about the clothes. While that was a cool image it did make me wonder if people in Jersey just don't wear underware.

BlackKnight
07-04-2005, 10:15 PM
I've seen plenty of footage of idiots standing around watching monster waves just before they are all swept out to sea. And how 'bout all the New Yorkers who simply stopped and stared up at the WTC in flames (when for all anyone knew the country was under attack), and then ran like crazy when they started collapsing?
How many of these people were less than a yard away from the wave / WTC?

People of course will try to watch from a distance. But when the tripod was coming out of the ground, people were less than two feet away from a growing hole in the middle of the street!

middleman
07-05-2005, 08:18 AM
Umm....yes, you are. :D

And with that one sentance, your credibility for critiquing movies evaporates.

C'mon! When Spock says to Sybok, "My place is with the Captain".... a tear forms.


My enjoyment of this film "runs deep. Share it with me!"

RikWriter
07-05-2005, 09:57 AM
C'mon! When Spock says to Sybok, "My place is with the Captain".... a tear forms.


I had many tears form while watching that movie. Unfortunately, they weren't tears of appreciation, they were tears from mocking laughter.

mack
07-05-2005, 10:10 AM
What piece of metal? You're not talking about the gun are you?
When the crowd first came up to the hole in the street Ray (Cruise) picked up a piece of metal. Someone asked "Is it hot?" and Ray said "No. It's freezing" or something to that effect.

Zebra
07-05-2005, 10:13 AM
OH, I thought that was a chunk of asphalt that got 'burned' by the 'lighting'. That's why he was suprised it was cold and not hot.

My guess is that he dropped it.

Rashak Mani
07-05-2005, 03:19 PM
Anyone else was kind of rooting for the son and daughter to get fried too ? They were SOOOO annoying ! The boy especially was deserving to get blasted... so pathetic.

Take the kids out and I'd give the movie an 8 instead of 7 in the IMDB...

Spielberg likes this sappy shit too much. Gets tiresome.

Little Bird
07-05-2005, 04:15 PM
Generally, the movie reminded me a lot of Independence Day, but instead of the best and the brightest trying to figure out how to take out these invaders we have the Army with a few tanks & guns and everybody else panics.

And don't even get me started about the lame cop-out ending. You'd think that an advanced civilization that has spent thousands or millions of years plotting how to take over a planet would analyze all of the indigenous life forms, and not just the humans.*Urk* *blink* *blink* *twitch*
You do realize that this movie was based on a book. And that Independence Day was also loosely based on the same book? Remember how they use a virus to kill the aliens at the end...?
I agree. How does it make sense that people are just standing around when a monstrosity comes out of the ground?Remember the tsunami at Christmas? How many stories did you hear about people just walking out into the low tide to get a better look? I know I saw a few vacation videos taken of the tsunami on the news. The audio was less like "Crap! Run Run!" and more like "Dang, would you look at that? Let's move in for a better look." People are naturally curious, when presented with a weird occurance in broad daylight they're likely to stand around and look at it.

Upon further reading, I notice RickJay and Stephe96 have already said what I said. Well phooy, it deserves repeating.

Catcher
07-05-2005, 05:27 PM
I had high hopes for this movie. The movie met them very well--up until the ending. The great setup and suspense and carnage and mystery kept me breath-bated for some spectacular finish with surprises and revelations about the TRUE reason why the aliens even attacked in the first place and their relationship to humans and why they need our blood and all that good stuff.

But, all I got was the seriously lame "They got sick and died. The end." I think these occasions call for those deviations from the source material purists hate so much.

One more thing. I don't understand why the aliens couldn't have just taken over the planet a million years ago when they were burying their machines. They were here already and there was nothing to challenge them. Why wait for humans to show up at all? Just to kill them with million-year-old technology and hear them scream? They couldn't be that sadistic.

RikWriter
07-05-2005, 07:32 PM
I had high hopes for this movie. The movie met them very well--up until the ending. The great setup and suspense and carnage and mystery kept me breath-bated for some spectacular finish with surprises and revelations about the TRUE reason why the aliens even attacked in the first place and their relationship to humans and why they need our blood and all that good stuff.

But, all I got was the seriously lame "They got sick and died. The end." I think these occasions call for those deviations from the source material purists hate so much.

One more thing. I don't understand why the aliens couldn't have just taken over the planet a million years ago when they were burying their machines. They were here already and there was nothing to challenge them. Why wait for humans to show up at all? Just to kill them with million-year-old technology and hear them scream? They couldn't be that sadistic.


First of all, there was no official declaration they had been there for a million years...that was just a couple people speculating.
Second...think about it this way. You see a habitable planet a few light years away. Not unique by any means, but handy. Right now, you aren't ready nor do you need to colonize it but it's there and your species thinks long term. So you send out some cheap-to-make (for you) tripods and bury them in the ground, just in case you want to move in sometime in the future.
Time passes, your planet gets overcrowded or gets too polluted to live on or something. You could just live in space, but perhaps there are psychological reasons why that's not acceptable. So you zap some pilots into those handy tripods and get to work.
OR
Perhaps they simply wanted to wait until we had mined all the useful material, or a good portion of it, in the world, so it would be easier to steal from us after they killed us.

Baine
07-05-2005, 08:22 PM
Maybe when the tripods were first designed, the aliens had not yet figured out a way to send a living creature through space, so they sent the tripods alone which would bury themselves. Then, when technology had advanced enough the aliens could send themselves through space to pilot the tripods.

Catcher
07-05-2005, 08:24 PM
First of all, there was no official declaration they had been there for a million years...that was just a couple people speculating.

It'll be really cool if someone has an alternate theory about where the tripods came from. Maybe I'll rest more at ease.


Second...think about it this way. You see a habitable planet a few light years away. Not unique by any means, but handy. Right now, you aren't ready nor do you need to colonize it but it's there and your species thinks long term. So you send out some cheap-to-make (for you) tripods and bury them in the ground, just in case you want to move in sometime in the future.
Time passes, your planet gets overcrowded or gets too polluted to live on or something. You could just live in space, but perhaps there are psychological reasons why that's not acceptable. So you zap some pilots into those handy tripods and get to work.

I imagine a hospitable planet would indeed be something very unique and should be top priority for an advanced civilization. If they were thinking long-term, they should have dispatched fully equipped settlers as quickly as possible to stake their claim before intelligent life develops, or another civilization somewhere finds it. A few cheap tripods do not seem adequate to guard such a valuable discovery. They can save a whole lot of trouble by just coming here early and avoid the whole surveillance and plotting. Whether the aliens need to colonize immediately or not, it would be far easier, safer, and cheaper to do it now than later.


Perhaps they simply wanted to wait until we had mined all the useful material, or a good portion of it, in the world, so it would be easier to steal from us after they killed us.

But at the same time, the native species would be depleting other valuable, non-renewable resources whlie they wait. And mining does not seem like an important factor at all when deciding when to take over a planet. It should be cake for them to dig stuff up if they've mastered space travel and death rays.

Zebra
07-05-2005, 09:38 PM
The thing is that we can't understand them. We can't talk, we can't read their writing. We have no idea WTF is going on here.

So how are you going to have any explaination as to the whys and hows of what the aliens were doing? You can't. You just can't. It's like a tornado that destroys your next door neighbors house and they only problem with your house is that your neighbors stuff is all over your yard.

meara
07-05-2005, 10:41 PM
One more thing. I don't understand why the aliens couldn't have just taken over the planet a million years ago when they were burying their machines. They were here already and there was nothing to challenge them. Why wait for humans to show up at all? Just to kill them with million-year-old technology and hear them scream?

Think of it like any other construction project. They got the go-ahead, tore up the planet, planted all the machines, and then got caught up in a million years of budget freezes, zoning hearings and other assorted red tape. :)

RikWriter
07-06-2005, 06:26 AM
I imagine a hospitable planet would indeed be something very unique and should be top priority for an advanced civilization.

And you know this HOW exactly? You should contact NASA since they would kill to have that sort of certainty...
:rolleyes:

ExTank
07-06-2005, 06:58 AM
This was slightly hit-or-miss with me. The bad bits have been nailed by [b]BlackKnight[/i] well enough for me.

Dakota Fanning's screaming was a bity annoying, but what would you expect a 10 y/o girl to do in such circumstances? Actually, if she went fugue, or into total denial (and sang and acted happy), that would've been creepy.

I took the "They've been here for millions of years" as the hyperbolic ravings of a mentally unstable ignoramus.

How the son survived a firestorm that engulfed an entire battalion is beyond me.

The birds and the tripods: at the ferry scene, when Rachael sees the birds flocking towards the tripods, I assumed some form of "strong electromagnetic field" emanating from their shields, or other machinery, screwing with the bird's homing instincts.

Disturbing (in a good way!) bits:

Mob violence,

As Ray flees the first tripod, the close-up of the woman vaporizing,

Great Flaming Train o' Death,

War Tubas of the Gods (I thought it was part of the soundtrack at first),

Creeping Red vines; I was thinking "arteries"

As far as why the "sick" tripod's shields were down: sick and delirious alien driver accidentally hits the "SHIELDS" button, either believing it's a Vicks Formula 44D dispenser (alien equivalent thereof), or mistakenly thinking in it's fever-haze that he's actually turning the shield "ON."

As far as why the aliens got sick and died in the first place: in recorded human history, brilliant military strategists have been brought down by bigger details than "microbial infections." Just because the aliens are technologically advanced doesn't make their IQ any higher than ours, and the smallest of details can easily be overlooked.

TwoTrouts
07-06-2005, 08:15 AM
As far as why the aliens got sick and died in the first place: in recorded human history, brilliant military strategists have been brought down by bigger details than "microbial infections." Just because the aliens are technologically advanced doesn't make their IQ any higher than ours, and the smallest of details can easily be overlooked.

I like this ending. It was a very powerful way to end H.G. Wells' story, quite original for its time. This invasion was the last desperate act of an alien race whose planet was dying. They had taken as many precautions as they could, maybe even developing immunization for the plethora of diseases that plague man. Yet, because their biology was so different, it may be that another form of disease got them -- maybe it was the birds after all.

Happy Scrappy Hero Pup
07-06-2005, 09:01 AM
Re: Tripods and pilots:


Wherever they are from is so far away that the pilots would age and die before they got there. So they fired the tripods conventionally, then, once they hit, the pilots came at the speed of light, which was still long enough for human civilization to have developed. Cuz it's far, ya know.

LonesomePolecat
07-06-2005, 09:57 AM
It's extremely invasive, and chokes out all native flora as it quickly and easily takes over the landscape. Then it just as quickly dies off.
Sort of like Wal-Mart ...

Archergal
07-06-2005, 10:17 AM
Sort of like Wal-Mart ...

Except for they dying off part.

Larry Mudd
07-06-2005, 01:15 PM
It'll be really cool if someone has an alternate theory about where the tripods came from. Maybe I'll rest more at ease.I'll bite.

Let's say they arrived with the lightning. The reporter confidently declares that it's just the pilots "riding the lightning" down to the tripods, based on a few frames of NTSC video. WTF does she know?

The aliens have some kind of c-razy technology that they've developed for interstellar conquest. What's the single most daunting problem they face? Getting thousands and thousands of tons of invasion hardware out of the gravity well of their own planet and to the target planet.

They avoid this problem by sending mechanical "seeds." The tripods didn't appear to have any terran-like tunnelling gear. How'd they get through all that rock? Where did the displaced material go?

I suggest that the aliens sent the smallest possible machines that were equipped with advanced tech that allowed them to self-assemble into the tripods, drawing raw material and energy for the process from the Earth itself. This would explain how they got out without months of excavation crews, and possibly also why the earth around the site was freezing cold.

That, or a wizard did it.

----

And Canadians have found the Wal*Martians' fatal weakness -- collective bargaining. You get unionized workers into one of those behemoths and it's like it was never there. :)

Archergal
07-06-2005, 01:23 PM
Larry Mudd, I like the way you think. Except that they would have to assemble that stuff by magic for it to work in the time frame show in the movie, I think you've got a good idea.

But wait -- this is a Hollywood science fiction movie. Why are we looking for logic and believability??? <smacks forehead>

rjung
07-06-2005, 02:42 PM
Saw the movie this weekend, but I'm too lazy to re-read the entire thread, so pardon any repeating of previous points...

I went into this movie "cold" -- didn't know anything about it other than it was a remake of the Wells' play. I was expecting a sci-fi action movie, but WOTW seemed more like a horror flick to me. Pity, since I don't care for horror.

My suspension of disbelief got derailed when Tom Cruise and the kids left his ex-wife's house and continued driving to Boston. It made no sense whatsoever for them to leave -- they had shelter, they were in a relatively overlooked area, they had a working vehicle. They could have easily hunkered down for the interm, emerging at night to forage, but they wanted to move on instead. Why? "Because then Spielberg could show us the other nifty scenes in the flick," duh. :smack: Other moments of stupidity, such as everyone going for the brightly lit and highly visible ferry (read: target) and the aliens come a-knockin' like Amway salesmen, just reinforced the contrived nature of the film.

Yeah, it was a fun popcorn spooky fright-fest, but realizing that the story was just an excuse to roll out the various set-pieces ruined it for me. In the end, I wish I had seen Batman Begins instead.

brownie55
07-06-2005, 03:31 PM
I, too, am of the two movies persuasion. I mean the movie I saw had the same actors and director, the same title, the same events as the one being praised here. How come the one I saw sucked so bad? There were some good scenes, the train and the bodies in the river were excellent for really setting the scene, but the rest... Since other have done it, open spoilers follow:



I think the funniest part was the sphincter that SS stole from Evolution, how lame is it to steal from a movie that bad?

The tripods could not be hurt because of the shields, but the shields go down when the the driver dies? Odd, that.

The purpose of the tripods was to harvest humans. While it may be true to the original story to have them drained individually, it sure is inefficent. And in the one sceen we see the guy drained on the ground (so Tom can get a look), but later they are sucked into the tripod, for apparently the same purpose.

Where did the drivers come from? They rode the lightning Down but from what? Was that an intergalactic transporter we saw?

Not only was the 9/11 imagery pervasive, it was sure manipulative, too. SS is the master of manipulation, and I guess it's OK if you go for it, but it struck me as very heavy handed.

Other have addressed the behavior of the kids and the oh so sappy ending, as well as the miracle tires on the van, and the stupid decision to push toward Boston. Those comments were "spot on" as they say where the original was written.

Speaking of the original, it was noted that this telling was true to the 1898 original. I would have been much more accepting of the paper thin plot had the movie been set then. But it was made as a 2005 movie, and it needed 2005 sensibilities to be addressed to work. Additionally, to accept the ending is to accept that humanity will never be able to colonize another planet.

This would have been the first movie I ever walked out of had I not caught it with my brother-in-law, who drove.

Jayrot
07-06-2005, 04:30 PM
I'll bite.

And Canadians have found the Wal*Martians' fatal weakness -- collective bargaining. You get unionized workers into one of those behemoths and it's like it was never there. :)

"It is a time of uncertainty. The
empire's ambiguous tariff statutes
mandate close reexamination of
galactic import quotas. Interim
Princess Agoomba has co-chaired
a subcommittee to draft amendments
to existing trade policies

Meanwhile, regulatory agencies
are being heavily lobbied by a
consortium of mercantile interest
groups and their suppliers to
streamline loading restrictions for
class C cargo vessels. The shipping..."

Lightnin'
07-06-2005, 06:14 PM
I tend to lean towards the "tripod seeds" theory myself. There are simply too many ways a buried machine, even one buried thousands of feet down, could've been found before it could've been activated. Nanotech sounds like a good solution- the lightning was some sort of tunnelling effect, or a power beam, and the pod was a nanotech seed.

Also, I got really excited when we saw the red vines dying in Boston... because it was on a statue. A statue made of copper. I thought, "Hey! They're changing the ending! It's COPPER that's poisonous to the aliens!" A shame I was wrong. While the book's ending is a good ending... in the movie, it just seemed anticlimactic.

About halfway through the movie, Mrs. Lightin' leaned over and said, "Can't the whole family just DIE already?"

Not a great movie. I don't want my money back, 'cause the tripods sure were purty... but I have no desire to see it again.

RikWriter
07-06-2005, 08:41 PM
My suspension of disbelief got derailed when Tom Cruise and the kids left his ex-wife's house and continued driving to Boston. It made no sense whatsoever for them to leave -- they had shelter, they were in a relatively overlooked area, they had a working vehicle. They could have easily hunkered down for the interm, emerging at night to forage, but they wanted to move on instead. Why?

Ummm...because a fucking JETLINER had just crashed into the neighborhood and demolished the whole fucking house? Did you forget that part? And just before the news crew left, they heard the foghorn of one of the tripods approaching. Did you hit the bathroom in the middle of the scene or something?

MacTech
07-06-2005, 10:43 PM
About halfway through the movie, Mrs. Lightin' leaned over and said, "Can't the whole family just DIE already?".
Sounds like the Mrs. is a wise woman indeed, i was thinking the same thing throughout the film, it would make it a much *stronger* (and darker) film if it would've slowly killed off the main characters....

i'm so sick and tired of this frelling "happy ending" crap, talk about pandering to the lowest common denominator, this is a *disaster* movie ferchrissakes, it shouldn't have a reset-buton happy ending, it strains the credibility of the film....

here's how i'd rewrite key scenes in the film...

start off by having the son join up with the army as it drives past their parked minivan, and hear nothing more about him for the rest of the movie...

the daughter gets slurped up by the tripod sensor thingy in Crazy Shotgun Guy's basement after she screams, stupidly revealing their position, we don't hear from her again....

Cruise can either get shot by CSG, or sucked into the Sphincter of Doom with the grenades, tripod go BOOM, Cruise dies a warrior's death in battle and therefore is allowed to join his fellow warriors, the Honored Dead, in Sto-Vo-Kor (oops, sorry, my Klingon is showing....)

once the Cruise-Crew ;) is gone, switch to the Boston family listening to the reports on the news, intersposed with final battle footage/mopup/aftermath, perhaps a short funeral scene to bring closure to the family (as a stinger after the credits perhaps?)

this would reinforce the whole "no happy ending/reset button" plotline and make the film far stronger, it takes guts to kill off established characters the audience identifies with, the feel-good ending ruined the film for me....

that said, the film wasn't totally dissapointing, it was a decent, mindless, "turn your brain off and enjoy" film, up until the "hollywood" ending

Silentgoldfish
07-06-2005, 11:27 PM
Ummm...because a fucking JETLINER had just crashed into the neighborhood and demolished the whole fucking house? Did you forget that part? And just before the news crew left, they heard the foghorn of one of the tripods approaching. Did you hit the bathroom in the middle of the scene or something?

You get very emotional when people disagree with you about movies. You do know that movies don't love you back, right?

Larry Mudd
07-07-2005, 02:45 AM
Except that they would have to assemble that stuff by magic for it to work in the time frame show in the movie, I think you've got a good idea.Don't make me bust out Clarke's third law on ya. :p

RikWriter
07-07-2005, 06:40 AM
You get very emotional when people disagree with you about movies. You do know that movies don't love you back, right?


And you get very snarkish. So much so that you assume I am emotional and in what way.

nivlac
07-07-2005, 02:47 PM
How many of these people were less than a yard away from the wave / WTC?

People of course will try to watch from a distance. But when the tripod was coming out of the ground, people were less than two feet away from a growing hole in the middle of the street!
Precisely the point I was making before. Sure, people stare at weird or incredible things, but not if there's clear and imminent danger. The 100+ foot monstrosity with tentacles that erupted from the ground can only be interpreted as "not good". People who were staring at the burning 9-11 towers (at least the first one) had no idea that they were going to collapse, and people who stood and watched the tsunami come in had no idea of the danger they were in until it was too late. So I don't think that the mob behavior at the initial appearance of the tripods was realistic. Their behavior later when the danger was obvious was believable, as was their behavavior when they jumped on Cruise when he stupidly tried to drive through the crowd. But who says movies need to be completely realistic; sometimes credibility is stretched for dramatic effect. And that's what Spielberg did at times.

rjung
07-07-2005, 03:16 PM
Ummm...because a fucking JETLINER had just crashed into the neighborhood and demolished the whole fucking house? Did you forget that part?
Considering their basement survived the crash intact, I would think it'd make a great place to hide. Who's going to expect survivors under a wrecked airliner?

And just before the news crew left, they heard the foghorn of one of the tripods approaching.
I don't remember that part; I think the lack of concern from Tom Cruise in that scene didn't help any.

I still think the "keep moving towards Boston" plan made no sense. Unless you've got a Big-Ass Anti-Tripod MegaNukeTM cannon in your back pocket, the smart thing to do would be to stay hidden and hunkered down.

You get very emotional when people disagree with you about movies.
You should see him on politics. ;)

Izzybella
07-07-2005, 03:37 PM
I'm about to demonstrate the shallowness and materialism of me, but I was jarred out of it right at the beginning when Ray is tapping his watch--close up of watch--and it's a damn Omega. I'm sorry but I find it highly doubtful he'd have a 9K to 20K watch (estimate--I don't really remember which particular model it was). Wasn't he complaining about his lack of money at one point? The way his character is written it doesn't ring true that he'd have *that* watch. Maybe an Armitron or a Timex. I can see him spending a whole bunch of money on an engine, but not a watch. Maybe it was a gift from a loved one. Who knows. But it kind of bugged me. It seemed out of character.

Geez, I'm shallow.

El_Kabong
07-07-2005, 04:42 PM
I still think the "keep moving towards Boston" plan made no sense. Unless you've got a Big-Ass Anti-Tripod MegaNukeTM cannon in your back pocket, the smart thing to do would be to stay hidden and hunkered down.

Well, Cruise's poor decision-making was the whole point, I thought. Some of the characters make idiotic decisions simply because they don't have the slightest clue what to do in the face of aliens laying waste to everything in sight, and I thought this aspect of the film rang true.

In the Cruise character's case, he has no idea how to adopt a survivalist mode, and although he's not so cold as to abandon his kids outright, pretty much his only instincts are to get them back to their Mom so that he doesn't have to deal with them (there is an exchange of dialogue that states this explicitly) while he, presumably, runs away as fast as he can.

Bytegeist
07-07-2005, 04:45 PM
Great thread. And hey — a pretty good movie too.

Saw the movie a few days ago with the wife, and it's still fairly fresh in my memory. Fresh enough that I think I can dispute some of the "goofs" and "trivia" listed on the film's IMDB (http://imdb.com/title/tt0407304/goofs) pages (http://imdb.com/title/tt0407304/trivia) — but which I hope people here will help confirm or deny...


Revealing mistakes: When Ray throws the peanut-butter sandwich at the window inside the house, the peanut-butter sticks to the window with the bread still attached. However, when it is shown from the outside of the house, it is stuck on the outside of the window, as you can see the bread over the peanut butter, sliding down the outside of the window.

I don't think that's what we saw, but I'm not sure. I think, from the outside shot, we see the peanut butter side of the bread as it slides down the inside surface of the window. Does anyone remember better?


The voice heard at the beginning and in the end of the movie is the original recording by Orson Welles for his radio version of "War of the Worlds"

As others have pointed out, that's Morgan Freeman talking. He's also listed in the credits (at the IMDB, no less!) as the narrator.


The lullaby is "Hushabye Mountain" from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968).

Don't think so. It's "Little Deuce Coup" by the Beach Boys.

So ... am I right?

Zebra
07-07-2005, 05:09 PM
Tom sings Duece Coup but later Dakota sings Hushabye Mountain as Tom goes after Tim Robbins.

Zebra
07-07-2005, 05:12 PM
As to the "Why go to Boston" question, remember that Dakota wanted her mom. They could have put a more sympathetic twist to Tom and have his motivation be that he still loved his ex and he had to find her but really he just wanted to take Dakota back to her mom. I though he should have said at the end "I thought you were going to pick up the kids on Sunday night! Where the hell have you been!"

Catcher
07-07-2005, 05:25 PM
And you know this HOW exactly? You should contact NASA since they would kill to have that sort of certainty...
:rolleyes:
I didn't say I know this. I'm speculating, and trying to have fun doing so without having snide smilies and sarcasm thrown my way.

A planet seems rather important to a civilization. It has all the goodies we've all come to love--stuff like life support, for one. If I realize my planet's deteriorating and overcrowding is becoming an issue, and I should happen to find a nice blue one over yonder unoccupied by any intelligent lifeforms, I would sure as hell get there fast. Even if my planet's not yet that bad, I know I would eventually need one in the future. And it's hard to turn down all that free resources and real estate.

And oh, remotely assembling nanobots are AWESOME. And Baine's theory about sending the mechanical parts before the pilots because of technological limitations makes sense too.

Bomzaway
07-07-2005, 05:25 PM
The 100+ foot monstrosity with tentacles that erupted from the ground can only be interpreted as "not good".


Yes, they should have been able to tell that these alien spacecraft were bad because of the ominous music. :rolleyes:

Just like that lady should have got out of the water when the "Da Dum"s started playing during the opening scene of Jaws.

Bomzaway
07-07-2005, 05:28 PM
I don't think that's what we saw, but I'm not sure. I think, from the outside shot, we see the peanut butter side of the bread as it slides down the inside surface of the window. Does anyone remember better?


That shot is actually a reflection from the inside of the house. There is no goof here, although the shot is confusing so the mistake is understandable.

Bomzaway
07-07-2005, 05:33 PM
I'm about to demonstrate the shallowness and materialism of me, but I was jarred out of it right at the beginning when Ray is tapping his watch--close up of watch--and it's a damn Omega. I'm sorry but I find it highly doubtful he'd have a 9K to 20K watch (estimate--I don't really remember which particular model it was). Wasn't he complaining about his lack of money at one point? The way his character is written it doesn't ring true that he'd have *that* watch. Maybe an Armitron or a Timex. I can see him spending a whole bunch of money on an engine, but not a watch. Maybe it was a gift from a loved one. Who knows. But it kind of bugged me. It seemed out of character.

Geez, I'm shallow.


You caught that too? A good friend of mine (who is also shallow :D ), noticed the expensive watch immediately. That said, the car Cruise's character was driving is a collectors item and pretty expensive too. I think it was a '68 or '69 Mustang GT350 KR or GT500 KR (maybe an H instead of a KR), which is a sweet and pricey ride.

jimpatro
07-07-2005, 06:35 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Case Sensitive
The chances of anything coming from Mars are

Spoiler:
a million to one.

Stryfe
Spoiler:
but still they come

Your Jeff Wayne allusions weren't lost on me guys "Ullaaa!!"

Mostly liked it. Got my butt kicked emotionally. Liked Cruise's character being a non-super hero/regular guy just trying to cope with a ridiculous turn in reality.

So did anyone else roll their eyes over the peanut butter scene? Or is it a New England thing to completely empty out the fridge and cupboards when you go away for the weekend?

Battle Pope
07-07-2005, 06:41 PM
So did anyone else roll their eyes over the peanut butter scene? Or is it a New England thing to completely empty out the fridge and cupboards when you go away for the weekend?

I was wondering about that as well - Why didn't they just raid the 'fridge for food?

It was nice of Toms' ex to leave half a loaf of bread sitting out for them.

meara
07-07-2005, 06:48 PM
I think Ray's quest to reach Boston was quite realistic and understandable.

My first impulse in a major catastrophe would be to find and stick with my husband. After that, I'd want both of us to connect up with my parents, brothers, relatives, etc. When the world is falling around you, being surrounded by familiar faces (especially of those who love you) is a very powerful thing. I wouldn't want to be the only survivor, wandering around with a handful of strangers in a devestated world.

Furthermore, the longer Ray had waited to try to find his ex and her family, the harder it would have become.

Of course, there are still plenty of other unrealistic reactions and plot devices to nit pick. :)

Larry Mudd
07-07-2005, 07:28 PM
So did anyone else roll their eyes over the peanut butter scene? Or is it a New England thing to completely empty out the fridge and cupboards when you go away for the weekend?Ray doesn't do the food prep thing. He's clueless. His kitchen is where he keeps a spare V8. His ability to feed his children stops at "order something," and he probably intuited that nobody was going to answer at the local brick oven pizza place. He gets as far as bread + peanut butter = food, and that only served to illustrate that he has no idea his daughter has food allergies.

Nobody was going to starve -- it was just about the light dawning on Ray that he's been The World's Most Craptacular Dad. Later, when Rachel needs comforting, he realizes he doesn't know any traditional lullabies. His ex-wife was basically a single parent before they split up.

Ray's character arc is all about him facing up to what being a father is about. Before the shit hits the fan, he takes it for granted that his kids should love and respect him, and really hasn't looked at the ways that he's failed to deliver on his part of the deal.

It's a good thing that aliens nearly exterminated the entire human race, because it brought home how important his kids were to him, and how selfish he'd been, and gave him an opportunity to redeem himself. Crunch time, and he came through.

Maybe it's a bit trite, but it's alright by me.

a35362
07-09-2005, 05:26 PM
Just saw it today. Well...I...well, that was a hell of a ride!

What is the "running time" of the story? It starts on the Fourth of July or thereabouts (Ray has to work on the Fourth?) and they arrive in Boston when autumn leaves litter the streets, after what seems like four or five endless days and nights. Did they end up walking through New England?

The ending seemed a bit flat: they never explain how Robbie got there, where the aliens came from, just bam! good to be home. But then you'd be too exhausted to talk much at first anyway, and the movie tells only what they experienced.

That Spielberg fella is just a master at telling "We're in Big Trouble" and "Your Child Is in Danger" stories, isn't he?

Terrifel
07-10-2005, 03:04 PM
Well, I finally got dragged off to see this one last night. One thing that War of the Worlds gets right is the fact that otherwise sane people can do extremely stupid things when group mentality takes over. This principle often applies when friends try to decide on what weekend movie they want to see. "Gee, it doesn't seem like we can all agree on a film, so why don't we all just go see the summer blockbuster from the actor/director team responsible for Minority Report?" And before I knew what was happening, we were all running toward the tripods.

Perhaps I was just in a bad mood, but this struck me as a really, really not good movie. There were maybe two or three scenes that caught my interest, none of which had anything to do with the characters or the plot. The rest of the movie was just a two hour rehash of stuff that Spielberg and other directors have done better in other movies, and that Cruise has done equally well in every other movie he's been in.

Plotwise, it's hard to go wrong with H.G. Wells' classic; it's the 500-pound silverback of Science Fiction as Social Metaphor, and it will continue to resonate for as long as powerful nations threaten the weak. I'm interested to learn from this thread that Spielberg had evidently planned a version of WOTW long in advance of the World Trade Center attacks, which may explain its somewhat schizophrenic take on current events. As others have pointed out, there's a surfeit of images blatantly lifted from that tragedy--and I have to give Spielberg credit for having the decency and restraint to not include a scene where someone falls from a great height with a Wilhelm scream. On the other hand, I wonder when Spielberg first realized that he was actually going to wind up producing a timely allegory on the Iraqi resistance. "Tom, you'll be playing a civilian whose nation is overrun by an overwhelming military force, and who realizes at the end of the movie that the only way to save your family is by a suicide action. You strap a bunch of grenades to your body in order to destroy an armored vehicle. This happens just before the invading troops are eliminated by germ warfare."

Thoughts:

*I was amazed at how convincing Tom Cruise was as a blue-collar, fortyish divorced father of two. Ha, ha! I kid, of course; he's horribly miscast and distracting here. I remember a stand up comic, on Evening at the Improv I think, who made a joke about Cruise: "I liked the movie where he played the cocky young guy." And that was probably fifteen years ago!

*Is the invasion of Earth not a compelling enough plot by itself? Must we also endure Tom Cruise's personal journey from self-centered prick to slightly less self-centered prick? Would this movie have suffered greatly if Tom's family were semi-functional to begin with? Of course, this would have required Tom Cruise to act in a compassionate, non-pricklike manner from the get-go, so I'm guessing the answer is "No."

*"Hi! I'm a V-8 engine block. I don't have any lines in this film, but watch for the scene in the Extended DVD Release where Tom Cruise quickly examines me and thereby intuits how to repair a vehicle damaged by Martian EMP." The part of the V-8 engine block was played by Christopher Lee.

*Word on the street is that TiVO is really cool to have!

*In a disaster, people often exhibit strange behavior. This does not mean that all strange behavior is equally plausible. Inside a burning building, it makes sense that people are going to stampede headlong toward the exits, and it's implausible that they will stand around oohing as the walls around them burst into flame. If people are outside a burning building and don't percieve themselves to be in direct danger, it makes sense that they will stand around and gawk. If a forty foot tall battle tripod erupts from the street directly in front of them, I have to think that the 'headlong stampede' reflex is probably going to trump the 'gawk' reflex for most people.

*Did anyone else notice that when the tripod came out of the ground, it was making a vacuum cleaner noise? I'd guess it was an old-style Electrolux canister sweeper. Warning: This movie may be too intense for some housecats.

*To all those in the theater with me last night: I apologize for busting out laughing when the tripod did its big moaning noise. I suddenly flashed on Finding Nemo, and imagined Tom Cruise saying to the other bystanders, "Oh...it's okay, I speak Martian. "HeeEELLooo triiIIiipooodd, pleeEEaassse doooOOOnn't kIIiiilll uuuussss...."

*Going back to the "implausible behavior" element, I was impressed by the complete and total unflappability of the neighborhood mechanic in the face of alien invasion. "Oh, thanks for the helpful hint about the solenoid, Tom! She started right up! Say, did you notice that giant war tripod erupting from the street and vaporizing people a few minutes ago? What was that all about, eh? Say, I can't let you take that truck, you crazy knuckleknob! Stop your fooling." One could excuse this bizarre behavior (and all the rest of the acting in the movie, I guess) by chalking it up to emotional overload, but it looked more to me like the symptoms of Green Screen Ennui.

*"Is it the terrorists?" Okay, this is where I officially began to invite this movie to bite me. Yes, Mr. Spielberg, I get it that you're riffing on 9/11 tropes here, you've made that very clear already. However, I frankly doubt that even the most media-saturated ten-year old would look at a giant space tripod shooting death rays and assume terrorists were to blame. I can't even imagine the most extreme right-wing pundits leaping to this conclusion. I recall somebody else in another thread pointing out that in most zombie movies, none of the characters has seemingly ever seen a zombie movie. This movie goes them one better, and proposes a parallel Earth without any science fiction at all, where "a terrorist attack" seems like the most intuitively plausible explanation for huge invading machines with laser beams.

*So, the Cruise family (I know they all called each other by name repeatedly, but I still don't register the characters as anything but Tom Cruise, Evil Clark, and Drew Barrymore circa 1982) arrives at the ex's house to find them already gone. Even though the power is still running, don't waste time turning on the television set or radio to find out what's going on! In affluent neighborhoods such as this one, there is always a newsvan parked on the road in the morning to provide fresh newsclips and play-by-play commentary on current events.

*In the event of total worldwide catastrophe, it's reassuring to know that it will still be possible to drive from New York City to within comfortable walking distance of Boston without encountering any traffic blockages, as all motorists instinctively guide their vehicles to the road shoulder when EMP shuts down the power steering and brakes.

*The train scene was one of the very few bits in the movie that I actually found compelling. It was eerie, haunting, and emotionally evocative. Unfortunately it was also depressingly similar to the 'flaming stampede' scene from Tim Burton's crapfest Mars Attacks. Damn you for reminding me of that movie again, Spielberg.

*When herding evacuees onto a dangerously exposed ferryboat, always play the most nostalgically bittersweet music possible over the public address system. This creates a more relaxed, hope-free atmosphere for the refugees.

*So, the aliens have come to Earth to harvest rutabaga. I always knew there was something horribly wrong about that vegetable.

*Tim Robbins: Why are you on the screen for so long? Are you trying to prove that you can act even more annoying and unappealing than Tom Cruise? Please stop. What is the point of your character, other than to play the chicken to Tom Cruise's Hawkeye Pierce?

*Note to aliens: when an Earth primate attacks your tripod with a handheld explosive powerful enough to activate your defensive shields, perhaps the best course of action is not to immediately mix him in with the captives that you're bringing inside. Seeing as how you've also got those death rays and all. Just a thought. Boy, that was a lucky break for Tom, wasn't it? All those nameless extras being disintegrated willy-nilly (while running away) throughout the entire film, yet Tom Cruise tosses a grenade at one of the tripods, all by his lonesome, and isn't instantly obliterated. Obviously his fighting spirit impressed the aliens' sense of Klingon honor.

*Note to Spielberg: So, you decided to crib the 'alien death scene' from the George Pal film, complete with drooping three-fingered hand. That's fine, go for it. One little suggestion, though: this scene might have had just a tiny bit more dramatic impact if you hadn't already given us a good, long look at the aliens about twenty minutes ago! If I recall the earlier movie correctly, the death scene was the first and only time we actually saw the invaders in the flesh, which is what made it such a powerful moment, which is probably what inspired you to repeat it in your film. Why, then, did you completely undercut it by having CGI aliens frolicking about in the basement earlier, especially when that scene immediately followed another basement chase with the tentacle, and was therefore completely pointless and redundant? Was this scene added in post-production after audiences at test screenings in Obviousville, MI expressed disappointment at not seeing a prolonged scene with actual big-eyed aliens?

*Oh, wow. After that gut-wrenching, emotionally gripping farewell on the hilltop,
Evil Clark survived after all! And made it to Boston on his own, just like the Incredible Journey. It's almost unbelievable, what with the entire hilltop being vaporized into flames, and all the soldiers and vehicles melting and exploding and what not. He must have dodged to one side at the last second.

*"Hi, I'm Morgan Freeman. I don't appear in this movie, but I do provide the omniscient framing narration awkwardly paraphrased from Wells. Meanwhile, please enjoy the performances of the many, many other talented black actors in this film."

In summary... Ick. There were one or two good bits--I enjoyed the pleasingly Romeroesque ambiguity about the aliens' motivations and origins--but mostly, ick. I'd like to be more positive by citing the admittedly impressive CGI effects, but in a Spielberg movie where the world is invaded, I was frankly expecting more than just 'impressive.' I was expecting superlative effects used in an original manner, and instead I got warmed-over ID4.

Between this movie and the Lucas prequels, never have I been less hopeful about the prospect of a fourth Indiana Jones film. I desperately want to be proven wrong, but honestly I suspect the series would be better left in peace at this point.

So. My two cents, a day late and a dollar short. Which I think means that I still owe all of you ninety-eight cents, somehow... Sorry about that.

MovieMogul
07-10-2005, 03:20 PM
*"Is it the terrorists?" Okay, this is where I officially began to invite this movie to bite me. Yes, Mr. Spielberg, I get it that you're riffing on 9/11 tropes here, you've made that very clear already. However, I frankly doubt that even the most media-saturated ten-year old would look at a giant space tripod shooting death rays and assume terrorists were to blame.She didn't see the tripods. The kids stayed in the house away from where the tripod emerged. Then Tom rushes in in a panic, covered with dust, tells everyone to assemble, and then grabs the car, pushing her in the back seat and telling her to duck. When she said the line, all she had seen was the lightning and the panic in the streets (as well as hearing terrible noises).
Even though the power is still running, don't waste time turning on the television set or radio to find out what's going on!They had a radio in the car. If they weren't getting any info there, the odds the TV was working might be somewhat low. If I recall the earlier movie correctly, the death scene was the first and only time we actually saw the invaders in the flesh, which is what made it such a powerful moment, which is probably what inspired you to repeat it in your film. You recall incorrectly. We don't get as good a look at the aliens in the Pal film as we do in Spielberg's, but we (and the couple in hiding) do catch a glimpse before the final scene.

Terrifel
07-10-2005, 03:29 PM
She didn't see the tripods. The kids stayed in the house away from where the tripod emerged. Then Tom rushes in in a panic, covered with dust, tells everyone to assemble, and then grabs the car, pushing her in the back seat and telling her to duck. When she said the line, all she had seen was the lightning and the panic in the streets (as well as hearing terrible noises).Admittedly I had a hard time figuring out where things were in relationship to each other in the neighborhood scenes, but it seemed to me that the point where the tripod emerged was within a direct line of sight to Tom's back porch--where they watched the multiple lightning strikes earlier, in other words. So if Drew and Clark somehow managed to miss the giant tripod come out of the ground, it would mean that they never bothered to look back at the spot where all the lightning hit, which I think would qualify as 'implausible behavior.'You recall incorrectly. We don't get as good a look at the aliens in the Pal film as we do in Spielberg's, but we (and the couple in hiding) do catch a glimpse before the final scene.I must admit, if this movie did anything for me, it's made me hungry to watch the George Pal version again. I did enjoy the way the tripod design in this movie referenced the hovering death machines in the earlier film.

DocCathode
07-11-2005, 12:25 PM
*"Hi! I'm a V-8 engine block. I don't have any lines in this film, but watch for the scene in the Extended DVD Release where Tom Cruise quickly examines me and thereby intuits how to repair a vehicle damaged by Martian EMP." The part of the V-8 engine block was played by Christopher Lee.


*Note to Spielberg: So, you decided to crib the 'alien death scene' from the George Pal film, complete with drooping three-fingered hand. That's fine, go for it. One little suggestion, though: this scene might have had just a tiny bit more dramatic impact if you hadn't already given us a good, long look at the aliens about twenty minutes ago! If I recall the earlier movie correctly, the death scene was the first and only time we actually saw the invaders in the flesh.

You do not recall correctly. Pal's film also showed us an alien during the basement scene. At first, we only glimpse something thin and oddly shaped scuttling quickly through shadows. However, we do get a shot of an alien that lasts for just a few heartbeats. It's long enough for the viewer to react with 'What am I looking at? Oh, it's a Martian. Oh, that's creepy.' Pal has said that he knew he had to show the Martians so that the audience wouldn't feel cheated. But that he was careful not to show them long enough for people to analyze the puppet and decide it looked cheezy.

Terrifel
07-11-2005, 03:19 PM
You do not recall correctly. Pal's film also showed us an alien during the basement scene. At first, we only glimpse something thin and oddly shaped scuttling quickly through shadows. However, we do get a shot of an alien that lasts for just a few heartbeats. It's long enough for the viewer to react with 'What am I looking at? Oh, it's a Martian. Oh, that's creepy.' Pal has said that he knew he had to show the Martians so that the audience wouldn't feel cheated. But that he was careful not to show them long enough for people to analyze the puppet and decide it looked cheezy.So, I'm getting the sense that I don't recall correctly, then. As I tried to imply earlier, it's been a dog's age since I've seen Pal's film. Even so, I still think Spielberg gave us way too long and close a look at his CGI Martians, particularly since: (A) they really weren't outstandingly convincing or scary-looking as CGI critters go, and (B) the scene immediately followed another chase-through-the-basement scene with the tentaclescope gadget, so it seemed intensely redundant to me. I'd say Pal made the right decision by keeping the aliens hidden for the most part. Spielberg's movie is big and loud enough in other respects that he could have been a bit more subtle with the aliens proper. Whether puppets or CGI, these sorts of monsters are much less scary when you have the luxury to examine them at leisure.

I note also that you quoted my sarcastic swipe at the engine block prop without comment. Now I'm worried that my memory was faulty on that point as well. Did the engine actually have a line?

DocCathode
07-11-2005, 03:39 PM
I note also that you quoted my sarcastic swipe at the engine block prop without comment. Now I'm worried that my memory was faulty on that point as well. Did the engine actually have a line?

Huh. I wonder where my comment went.

I'd pay to see Christopher Lee as an engine block "I hunger boy. Feed me super premium or you shall feel my wrath- my terrible wrath."

Terrifel
07-11-2005, 04:00 PM
Huh. I wonder where my comment went.

I'd pay to see Christopher Lee as an engine block "I hunger boy. Feed me super premium or you shall feel my wrath- my terrible wrath."
:D I agree, it would have been a much different movie--Tom Cruise and his demonic engine block, on the road, like Hope and Crosby. They fight tripods!

Thanks for reposting. I certainly emphasize; with my crap dial-up connection, I've had entire posts vanish off into the ether. Lately I try to make sure that I have a backup copy saved before I try to post, but weirdness still manages to creep in. In my reply to ArchiveGuy above, somehow my responses to points one and three went through, while point two was eaten right out of the middle. Or perhaps it was merely rejected by the thread, like a splinter. I suppose if nothing else, I have Spielberg's movie to thank for the knowledge that, if I ever have a jagged shard of wood painfully embedded in my flesh, I don't have to worry about removing or treating it in any fashion.

randwill
07-12-2005, 01:36 PM
Ya' know, the alien machines in the 1953 George Pal movie still look 'futuristic' today. While the machines in the 2005 Speilberg movie look like they came from the sci-fi pulp magazines of the Forties.

Cool, huh?

Bomzaway
07-13-2005, 11:41 AM
What is the "running time" of the story? It starts on the Fourth of July or thereabouts (Ray has to work on the Fourth?) and they arrive in Boston when autumn leaves litter the streets, after what seems like four or five endless days and nights. Did they end up walking through New England?

It doesn't start on the 4th. You may have been confused by a couple of things:

His foreman says, "I need a fourth at 12." Which means he needs a fourth crane operator at noon.

And during the lightning Cruise says, "It's just like the 4th of July." to Dakota in a weak attempt to allay her fears about the lightning.


If you recall, during the storm Cruise comments on how weird it is and says, "The wind is blowing towards the storm". At which point autumn leaves are shown blowing in abundance towards the storm. Also, the son had a school report due, which would not have happened if it were summer time.

a35362
07-13-2005, 01:40 PM
Oh, okay. Good points. But when Ray runs outside after the lightning to look at the crater, why does every house on the block have a flag on display? I think that and Ray's "Fourth of July" comment were what put it in my mind. That and, come to think of it, that so many people were available to go with him. Somehow I thought that they'd all be at work somewhere else if it weren't a holiday. But you're right about the bare trees.

interface2x
07-13-2005, 06:00 PM
I assumed no one was working because it was a weekend. Robby had a school report due on Monday and his mom said she wanted Ray to make sure it was done when he got home on Sunday.

DrFidelius
07-13-2005, 07:28 PM
Oh, okay. Good points. But when Ray runs outside after the lightning to look at the crater, why does every house on the block have a flag on display? I think that and Ray's "Fourth of July" comment were what put it in my mind. That and, come to think of it, that so many people were available to go with him. Somehow I thought that they'd all be at work somewhere else if it weren't a holiday. But you're right about the bare trees.

Maybe it was Veteran's Day.

A mid-November setting would match both the fallen leaves and the temperatures.

Rocketeer
07-14-2005, 08:33 AM
I personally was surprised, and pleased, at how closely the movie followed the book--and given that it was following the book, I was able to forgive any plot wonkiness

I would sure have liked to see a Thunder Child equivalent, though..

You've got to set alien invasion movies in the autumn; it's the season of death and decay.

Rilchiam
07-27-2005, 12:42 AM
*"Is it the terrorists?" Okay, this is where I officially began to invite this movie to bite me. Yes, Mr. Spielberg, I get it that you're riffing on 9/11 tropes here, you've made that very clear already. However, I frankly doubt that even the most media-saturated ten-year old would look at a giant space tripod shooting death rays and assume terrorists were to blame. I can't even imagine the most extreme right-wing pundits leaping to this conclusion.

Kids pick up on things. It's always been that way; nothing to do with media saturation or right-wing punditry. A ten y/o doesn't have to sit and watch the news, or sit and listen to every word of an adult conversation to know that The Terrorists are Mean, Scary People who do Mean, Scary Things. In my day, the boogeymen were The Russians. We didn't know how the USSR's government was different from ours, or why they were at odds with us, we just knew, by osmosis, that they didn't like us, and someday, someone might Push the Red Button.

Likewise, 10 y/os today don't understand Al-Queda's politics, but they have pieced together the bits of info that have filtered down to them. Rachel didn't have to see the tripods to think "terrorist"; she just knew something was not right, and jumped to the conclusion that she had been conditioned towards. And if she did see the tripods before she said that, well, that wouldn't be a reasonable assumption for an adult, but for someone who was six years old when planes flew into buildings and made them fall down, "terrorist" is the default assumption for anything scary, unexpected and inexplicable. The line was realistic, not agenda-driven.

Other than that, I don't have much to add, except this: I wonder why Ogilvy's line about extermination was changed to reference maggots instead of ants. Reason I say that is, the ferry scene made me think of an ant colony under attack. A bunch of tiny little creatures, scrambling for survival. Just like ants, some of them fell by the wayside before the exterminator even struck. And just like ants, if any were to survive, it would be by sheer luck.

StaberindeMk2
07-27-2005, 08:05 AM
I thought this movie was excellent even with its flaws and so I'm going to try and answer a few of Terrifel's points.


Terrifel

*I was amazed at how convincing Tom Cruise was as a blue-collar, fortyish divorced father of two. Ha, ha! I kid, of course; he's horribly miscast and distracting here.

I'm not sure where all this current Tom Cruise hatred is coming from (I am aware that he's said some stupid things in an interview but not what they were)) and I've always liked him as an actor but I thought he did a perfectly fine job as an ordainary man caught up in incredibly weird events. I like the fact that on more than one occasion we see the main character running and hiding like a wuss with no over the top heroics (cowering under the table during the lightning storm for instance)

*Is the invasion of Earth not a compelling enough plot by itself? Must we also endure Tom Cruise's personal journey from self-centered prick to slightly less self-centered prick? Would this movie have suffered greatly if Tom's family were semi-functional to begin with? Of course, this would have required Tom Cruise to act in a compassionate, non-pricklike manner from the get-go, so I'm guessing the answer is "No."

Spielberg stated that his intention was to create a film showing one ordainary families experience of an alien invasion and in that I think he succeeded admirably. OK so it was a family that was more than a bit dysfunctional but that leaves more to build around.

*"Hi! I'm a V-8 engine block. I don't have any lines in this film, but watch for the scene in the Extended DVD Release where Tom Cruise quickly examines me and thereby intuits how to repair a vehicle damaged by Martian EMP." The part of the V-8 engine block was played by Christopher Lee.

Now you're just being pedantic, the engine block was to show that the Cruise character works on car engines as a sideline to his main job and how he knew that it might be the solenoid that may be the problem.

*Word on the street is that TiVO is really cool to have!

Ad placement in films is fucking annoying, definitely.

*In a disaster, people often exhibit strange behavior. This does not mean that all strange behavior is equally plausible. Inside a burning building, it makes sense that people are going to stampede headlong toward the exits, and it's implausible that they will stand around oohing as the walls around them burst into flame. If people are outside a burning building and don't percieve themselves to be in direct danger, it makes sense that they will stand around and gawk. If a forty foot tall battle tripod erupts from the street directly in front of them, I have to think that the 'headlong stampede' reflex is probably going to trump the 'gawk' reflex for most people.

Well as forty-foot tall battle robots erupting from the ground has never happened we don't know what peoples reaction would be. Granted, when the Obvious Weapons of Doom began unfolding I'd have been off and around the corner as fast as my legs could carry me. I thought that whole episode was the best scene in the movie myself.
In weird circumstances people do weird things, in your burning building scenario it quite often occurs that people do wait around until its almost too late and then all stampede for the one exit (because in a panic people often automatically default to heading for the way they came in and not an obvious exit nearby)

*Did anyone else notice that when the tripod came out of the ground, it was making a vacuum cleaner noise? I'd guess it was an old-style Electrolux canister sweeper. Warning: This movie may be too intense for some housecats.

It was almost too intense for me but then I've never had a problem with suspending disbelief in order to enjoy a movie. As long as its well-made which WotW is.

*Going back to the "implausible behavior" element, I was impressed by the complete and total unflappability of the neighborhood mechanic in the face of alien invasion. "Oh, thanks for the helpful hint about the solenoid, Tom! She started right up! Say, did you notice that giant war tripod erupting from the street and vaporizing people a few minutes ago? What was that all about, eh? Say, I can't let you take that truck, you crazy knuckleknob! Stop your fooling." One could excuse this bizarre behavior (and all the rest of the acting in the movie, I guess) by chalking it up to emotional overload, but it looked more to me like the symptoms of Green Screen Ennui.

I thought that was a bit weird myself but explained it to myself that he was working inside his garage and didn't hear or see the devastation and panicked people. Which is plausible if you've ever worked inside a mechanics garage.

*"Is it the terrorists?" Okay, this is where I officially began to invite this movie to bite me. Yes, Mr. Spielberg, I get it that you're riffing on 9/11 tropes here, you've made that very clear already. However, I frankly doubt that even the most media-saturated ten-year old would look at a giant space tripod shooting death rays and assume terrorists were to blame. I can't even imagine the most extreme right-wing pundits leaping to this conclusion. I recall somebody else in another thread pointing out that in most zombie movies, none of the characters has seemingly ever seen a zombie movie. This movie goes them one better, and proposes a parallel Earth without any science fiction at all, where "a terrorist attack" seems like the most intuitively plausible explanation for huge invading machines with laser beams.

The daughter and son didn't see the tripods, all they may have been aware of was screaming and explosions with their dad arriving back in a state of shock. Why wouldn't they have leaped to the conclusion that it was a terrorist attack?

*So, the Cruise family (I know they all called each other by name repeatedly, but I still don't register the characters as anything but Tom Cruise, Evil Clark, and Drew Barrymore circa 1982) arrives at the ex's house to find them already gone. Even though the power is still running, don't waste time turning on the television set or radio to find out what's going on! In affluent neighborhoods such as this one, there is always a newsvan parked on the road in the morning to provide fresh newsclips and play-by-play commentary on current events.

They'd already tried to get news on the car radio which didn't work.

*In the event of total worldwide catastrophe, it's reassuring to know that it will still be possible to drive from New York City to within comfortable walking distance of Boston without encountering any traffic blockages, as all motorists instinctively guide their vehicles to the road shoulder when EMP shuts down the power steering and brakes.

I found this hard to swallow as well.

*When herding evacuees onto a dangerously exposed ferryboat, always play the most nostalgically bittersweet music possible over the public address system. This creates a more relaxed, hope-free atmosphere for the refugees.

Going for the ferry or, Obvious Sitting Target, was a stupid thing for the characters to do in the first place.

*Tim Robbins: Why are you on the screen for so long? Are you trying to prove that you can act even more annoying and unappealing than Tom Cruise? Please stop. What is the point of your character, other than to play the chicken to Tom Cruise's Hawkeye Pierce?

The scene in the basement dragged on for far too long but it did have a shockingly satisfying resolution when Cruise decides that he'll have to be dealt with. Again, one of the best scenes in the movie.

*Note to aliens: when an Earth primate attacks your tripod with a handheld explosive powerful enough to activate your defensive shields, perhaps the best course of action is not to immediately mix him in with the captives that you're bringing inside. Seeing as how you've also got those death rays and all. Just a thought. Boy, that was a lucky break for Tom, wasn't it? All those nameless extras being disintegrated willy-nilly (while running away) throughout the entire film, yet Tom Cruise tosses a grenade at one of the tripods, all by his lonesome, and isn't instantly obliterated. Obviously his fighting spirit impressed the aliens' sense of Klingon honor.

Either that or the first wave of armed Battle Tripods was followed by second wave of unarmed Harvesting Tripods, they did seem to be much smaller after all.

*Note to Spielberg: So, you decided to crib the 'alien death scene' from the George Pal film, complete with drooping three-fingered hand. That's fine, go for it. One little suggestion, though: this scene might have had just a tiny bit more dramatic impact if you hadn't already given us a good, long look at the aliens about twenty minutes ago! If I recall the earlier movie correctly, the death scene was the first and only time we actually saw the invaders in the flesh, which is what made it such a powerful moment, which is probably what inspired you to repeat it in your film. Why, then, did you completely undercut it by having CGI aliens frolicking about in the basement earlier, especially when that scene immediately followed another basement chase with the tentacle, and was therefore completely pointless and redundant? Was this scene added in post-production after audiences at test screenings in Obviousville, MI expressed disappointment at not seeing a prolonged scene with actual big-eyed aliens?

The aliens were weak and we'd have been better off not seeing them at all. The quick glimpse of something weird in George Pal's version was a lot creepier than Speilbergs use of them.

*Oh, wow. After that gut-wrenching, emotionally gripping farewell on the hilltop,
Evil Clark survived after all! And made it to Boston on his own, just like the Incredible Journey. It's almost unbelievable, what with the entire hilltop being vaporized into flames, and all the soldiers and vehicles melting and exploding and what not. He must have dodged to one side at the last second.

A very stretched happy ending but at least Spielberg didn't kill off the new boyfriend so they could once again have a happy family unit.

*"Hi, I'm Morgan Freeman. I don't appear in this movie, but I do provide the omniscient framing narration awkwardly paraphrased from Wells. Meanwhile, please enjoy the performances of the many, many other talented black actors in this film."

Again you're being pedantic, would you rather have that than have a black actor forcibly placed in the movie in order to have the Token Black?

In summary... Ick. There were one or two good bits--I enjoyed the pleasingly Romeroesque ambiguity about the aliens' motivations and origins--but mostly, ick. I'd like to be more positive by citing the admittedly impressive CGI effects, but in a Spielberg movie where the world is invaded, I was frankly expecting more than just 'impressive.' I was expecting superlative effects used in an original manner, and instead I got warmed-over ID4.

It was a completely different film to ID4, I don't know how you can even compare them except to say they're both about alien invasions of earth. I enjoyed ID4 for what it was as well, a light and fun summer blockbuster.

NDP
07-27-2005, 01:49 PM
I saw this movie last weekend and thought it was better than I expected it would be. The "Earth-invaded-by-aliens" plotline has been done to death (especially during the last ten years with Independence Day, Mars Attacks, and Signs). When you further consider that "War of the Worlds" itself has already been the subject to such memorable adaptations like Orson Welles' 1938 radio play and the 1953 George Pal version, it would have been difficult for even a talented director like Spielberg to prevent this version from turning into a tired retread. Fortunately, for the most part, he succeeded in putting an interesting spin on the material.

I have some comments and questions. I've noticed some posters wondered at the logic of the aliens burying their tripods in the ground and then waiting thousands (or millions) of years to come back. To me, it was because they were raising crops (i.e., us). Spielberg seemed to be drawing on Charles Fort's quote about the the Earth being a farm and we being someone else's property. They were waiting for the human population of Earth to grow to a certain point before they came back and "harvested" it. I could be wrong but I noticed the aliens seemed more interested in humans than other species as a source of the blood they wanted.

One thing I wondered about is whether the aliens were using human blood for food or fuel. If it was the latter, it would've been a very obvious "blood=oil" metaphor. It also would've made sense in the context of the aliens' long wait for the human population to expand since more humans=more human blood=more fuel for their machines.

Also, when it was revealed how the aliens were after human blood, did anybody who was familiar with the source material think the movie was going to have the aliens be felled by AIDS or some other blood-related illness? That would've been crass, insensitive, and in bad taste but it would've put a contemporary spin on the original ending by Welles.

clairobscur
07-28-2005, 08:31 PM
I don't know about this. I've seen plenty of footage of idiots standing around watching monster waves just before they are all swept out to sea. .

Forget about footages, I've seen people doing the same with my own eyes, though they missed the Darwin's award by surviving. I was visiting a coast spot called "hell's hole" for its particularily impressive and violent wawes crashing in a large crack in a granite cliff. Group of morons showed up. Began some acrobatics above the cliff on steep and wet rock to climb down and have a closer look. Told them not to do so. To no avail. Pointed at them that the high tide was coming. To no avail. They found a perfect spot on a rock to observe from close distance, sat down, pulled out food and wine bottles for a lovely picnic, and surprise! They're in quick order surrounded by the raging waters and cut from the top of the cliff. Called the police from the nearest village (no cell phone at this time) to come and rescue them. Fortunately, the tide wasn't high enough to submerge their rock. I had however some sadistic pleasure in knowing later that they however spent several night hours drenched on their fucking observation spot, with a really, really close look at the wawes.





Oh, yes, the movie. I'm not a fan of action movie, usually, but I'm going to say I found this one impressive. Like many others, the train scene made me :eek: . Acting? I didn't noticed much acting in the movie, actually. The little girl was great, though.


I liked the fact that the main character (except once, but that's OK) was mostly scared all the time, and didn't act heroic, as I expected (nor did he found out the alien weakness and saved the world, as I feared), leaving this part for various other characters (his son helping people to climb on the boat, the soldiers and the crowd trying to rescue him in the cage, while usually crowd *never* spontaneously react and do something useful in most hollywood movie, and just wait for the hero to save their day, the militaries, and even, in his foolish way, the other guy in the basement who wanted to *do something* and take down at least one of the fuckers. I think that making TC a non-hero added a lot to the scariness of the whole situation.


I also liked a lot the fact that the movie concentrated on this small group and they (and we) weren't told what was happening exactly except for what they could see (no war room, no scared TV anchorman, no following of the reaction and fate of a dozen of other characters), despite SS showing the variety of reactions from characters appearing briefly and dissapearing immediatly (the guy with the gun stealing the car, the couple trying to save the small girl, etc...).

The suspension of disbelief worked for me (which is rare in Sci-Fi movies), so I wasn't annoyed much by the implausibility of the plot.


A couple things I didn't like, though :

-The movie was too sanitized. Nothing even remotely gory was ever shown (for instance, TM tells to his daughter not to look, but actually, there's nothing to look at. The plane is empty, there aren't any bodies around). Every death is "clean" (vaporization) or hidden (the blood sucking). I'm not a lover of gore, but my only "suspension of suspension of disbelief" came from these permanently sanitized scenes.

-The fact that the son made it. I hated the director for this cheap trick. It removed a lot from the drama. Fucking, fucking mandatory happy ends. It did not belong here.



Anyway, I would say the movie gave me (and left me with) a strong feeling of doom. Nothing, absolutely nothing can be done, everything collapses, and you just can run (or just walk) for your life (in the best case). No successful hero, no hope, nothing. I don't remember any movie previously that gave me the same feeling (including some "end of the world due to nuclear war" movies) . I think this feeling is the main reason why I liked the movie and was, to my surprise, impressed. And also somewhat depressed immediatly after I left the theater.

clairobscur
07-28-2005, 08:47 PM
A very stretched happy ending but at least Spielberg didn't kill off the new boyfriend so they could once again have a happy family unit.
.


I'm thankful at least for that.

By the way, except for the long-expected hug by his son, TC character doesn't receive that much praise and thanks . His daughter runs to mom, and the happy reunited family actually include kids, former wife, former wife's boyfriend and parents in law at the exclusion of Cruise who is left alone standing in the street.

clairobscur
07-28-2005, 09:06 PM
. Spielberg's movie is big and loud enough in other respects that he could have been a bit more subtle with the aliens proper. Whether puppets or CGI, these sorts of monsters are much less scary when you have the luxury to examine them at leisure.



I don't think should have looked scarier. That's their technology which is scary. They looked like they were taking some leisure time to satisfy their curiosity between two extermination missions, after a close examination by the tentacleye to make sure the place was safe. Somehow, it seemed to me that they not being very scarry actually added to the horror of the overall situation. Let's exterminate everybody, let's make sure there's really nobody left because we're not going to put our precious tentacles at risk, then let's just have a casual look at this weird stuff. Oh! we're called back for some more extermination. Well, I guess we just have to go.

All this while the characters are paralyzed by terror. The contrast was excellent, IMO.

clairobscur
07-28-2005, 09:15 PM
By the way, ' surprised by the descriptions of TC's character as a "self-centered prick". It never appeared to me as such, nor at the begining nor at the end, and I found the character rather likeable, and even somewhat pathetic at the beginning of the movie.

clairobscur
07-28-2005, 09:25 PM
I think Ray's quest to reach Boston was quite realistic and understandable.




That's one of the things I found the weirdest, personnally. I would have tried to go away from the crowds, the cities, etc... and certainly not came anywhere close to a river crossing packed with panicked people. In order to achieve what? Bring back my daughter to her probably already vaporized mother before the end of the week-end?

TC character lost me on this one. He had no clue what to do or where to go, as often mentionned by his own children (making him once again pathetic), so I assume the idea is that he's coming back to the only place he can think of : his ex place. All in all, he seems to somehow believe the BS he's serving to his kids : we'll go to mom's place, and everything will be fine and safe again then.

clairobscur
07-28-2005, 09:42 PM
pretty much his only instincts are to get them back to their Mom so that he doesn't have to deal with them (there is an exchange of dialogue that states this explicitly) while he, presumably, runs away as fast as he can.


I didn't perceive this this way at all. His main instinct sems to protect the kids from any harm (including looking at awful stuff) and he goes to great lenghts to do so. So, I can't think of him as a selfish guy who just want to get rid of them and run from his life. Despite the accusation being made by one of the kids (yet another strike at his battered down ego).

Actually, I perceived him as feeling he is an unadequate (and not much loved) father from the beginning to the end, in ordinary times as in the middle of a world-shattering event. So, he brings back the kids to mom, as they themselves want, because in his mind she'll presumably be more able than him to take care of them.

clairobscur
07-28-2005, 10:08 PM
Also, I got really excited when we saw the red vines dying in Boston... because it was on a statue. A statue made of copper. .


Oh! I've got a question about this statue. I wondered while watching the movie whether or not it was an actually existing and well-know statue, and whether or not it would ring some bell or would have some symbolical meaning for the american audience.

Tixenfleaz
07-28-2005, 10:09 PM
I don't know about this. I've seen plenty of footage of idiots standing around watching monster waves just before they are all swept out to sea. And how 'bout all the New Yorkers who simply stopped and stared up at the WTC in flames (when for all anyone knew the country was under attack), and then ran like crazy when they started collapsing?

Preach, brother.

As a long time firefighter, I've decided that there are three types of people in this world.

Give me a burning gasoline tanker and a thousand civilians, for example. Five hundred of them would get the hell out town without looking back. Four hundred would run to an apparently safe distance and then turn and watch. The remaining hundred would stand within 50 yards of the conflagration, grinning and slapping each other on the back. The best I can figure is that there are a small minority of people who are utterly unconvinced of their own mortality. Whatever plot holes the movie has, I have no problem believing that a small core of idiots would stand around and watch an alien death machine rise out of the ground.

Terrifel
07-29-2005, 12:10 AM
I thought this movie was excellent even with its flaws and so I'm going to try and answer a few of Terrifel's points.Dang, looks like you did a fair job of addressing the lion's share of them. I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed the movie.


I'm not sure where all this current Tom Cruise hatred is coming from Me either, honestly. I've disliked the guy for years, just on the basis of his performances. That said, I don't know why after all this time the rest of the world would decide not to tolerate him now all of a sudden.

I guess if you're comfortable with the one character he always seems to play, then he's a fairly safe investment of your movie dollars. He is to 'cocky and sneering' what Christopher Walken is to 'tightly wound,' or what Jimmy Stewart was to 'amiable,' pretty much. He's a known quantity. When he strays too far from his home territory, as I sensed he was trying to do in The Last Samurai, he just seems sulky and lost. I did enjoy his performance in Legend though.

*"Hi! I'm a V-8 engine block. I don't have any lines in this film, but watch for the scene in the Extended DVD Release where Tom Cruise quickly examines me and thereby intuits how to repair a vehicle damaged by Martian EMP." The part of the V-8 engine block was played by Christopher Lee.

Now you're just being pedantic, the engine block was to show that the Cruise character works on car engines as a sideline to his main job and how he knew that it might be the solenoid that may be the problem.
Oh, no doubt; I just meant to suggest that there were probably a million different ways to present that information more subtly, other than having the engine block sitting right in the middle of his living room for no apparent reason. (Why? He has a basement and garage; is it really plausible that he'd drag the block up a flight of stairs in order to work on it?) If it was so important that the audience understand that Tom knows how to repair cars, why not have the character work at the garage in the first place, rather than the peculiarly non-sequitur job as a crane operator?

And I actually wasn't kidding, I would not be surprised at all if there were in fact a scene revolving around the engine block that was filmed and then cut from the theatrical release because of time constraints. It just seems like too intrusive a prop to have sitting there for no purpose. I doubt Christopher Lee will be involved in such a scene, although it would be cool if he were.

*So, the Cruise family (I know they all called each other by name repeatedly, but I still don't register the characters as anything but Tom Cruise, Evil Clark, and Drew Barrymore circa 1982) arrives at the ex's house to find them already gone. Even though the power is still running, don't waste time turning on the television set or radio to find out what's going on! In affluent neighborhoods such as this one, there is always a newsvan parked on the road in the morning to provide fresh newsclips and play-by-play commentary on current events.

They'd already tried to get news on the car radio which didn't work.
Even so, I think they'd still give it a shot at least. I would, anyway. But my main objection is the way this situation was presented. If there's no information available on the TV or radio, fine. I can easily accept that. But then, the next morning, to have a news van parked right out in front of the house, complete with newspeople eager to cue up relevant news clips and explain just exactly what was being seen on screen... I submit that this is implausible. It would have made much more sense, and been infinitely more dramatic, to have the Cruise family turn on the TV and see these broadcasts as they were happening, hear the panic of the news services and authorities, and watch the channels drop off the air one by one. Since Spielberg was going to be evoking 9/11, I think it would have been more effective to go that route, since this is in fact how most people experienced the tragedy, through disjointed TV and radio reports. I would guess that very few people had a newscrew on their lawn feeding them updates.

*Oh, wow. After that gut-wrenching, emotionally gripping farewell on the hilltop,
Evil Clark survived after all! And made it to Boston on his own, just like the Incredible Journey. It's almost unbelievable, what with the entire hilltop being vaporized into flames, and all the soldiers and vehicles melting and exploding and what not. He must have dodged to one side at the last second.

A very stretched happy ending but at least Spielberg didn't kill off the new boyfriend so they could once again have a happy family unit.

Yeah, I admit that I didn't give Spielberg credit for this; after the family dynamics was set up in the first few minutes of the movie ("Hi! I'm Wealthier, More Successful, SUV-Driving Romantic Obstacle!"), I was totally expecting New Dad to bite it big time, probably by running out in front of a tripod trying to save his SUV or something.

*"Hi, I'm Morgan Freeman. I don't appear in this movie, but I do provide the omniscient framing narration awkwardly paraphrased from Wells. Meanwhile, please enjoy the performances of the many, many other talented black actors in this film."

Again you're being pedantic, would you rather have that than have a black actor forcibly placed in the movie in order to have the Token Black?Well, it's not as though Mr. Freeman has never found himself in such a situation (*cough*Robin Hood:Prince of Thieves*kaffkaff*). He's plainly one of Hollywood's go-to guys when you want to add some class and some ethnic diversity to your movie at the same time. That's why I found it just a bit peculiar that he was brought in to do the voice over narration, while the black man who I recall getting the most screen time in the movie was Weedy Street Guy from the first reel (the guy who informs us that the sun doesn't cause lightning).

I personally think Morgan Freeman is a very charismatic and talented actor, although admittedly he is to "dignified person of color" what Tom Cruise is to "cocky sneering guy." So I guess it's just a matter of taste.
It was a completely different film to ID4, I don't know how you can even compare them except to say they're both about alien invasions of earth. I enjoyed ID4 for what it was as well, a light and fun summer blockbuster.That's a big "except," in my opinion. They're both bloated summer films about alien invasions of Earth, where the aliens overwhelm humanity with superior weapons of war (alien invasions can be handled differently, as for example Invasion of the Body Snatchers), and none of the characters in either film has more than the bare mimimum amount of characterization, and I don't know if Independence Day's ending was intended to directly satirize Wells' original story, but it certainly came across that way. By comparing the two earlier, though, I just meant that the effects were at a roughly comparable level, used to similar effect. War of the Worlds had some big eye-candy scenes of destruction, but so did Independence Day, and I didn't percieve the former film to have any more spectacular effects than the latter.

I'm still thinking of Spielberg as the guy who gave us Jaws, Close Encounters and Raiders of the Lost Ark, so maybe it's my fault for having unreasonably high expectations. I need to start thinking of him as the guy responsible for A.I., Minority Report and The Terminal.

clairobscur
07-29-2005, 09:45 AM
I just meant to suggest that there were probably a million different ways to present that information more subtly, other than having the engine block sitting right in the middle of his living room for no apparent reason. (Why? He has a basement and garage; is it really plausible that he'd drag the block up a flight of stairs in order to work on it?)

Yes, it 's plausible. I've seen people doing just that. The point is that whatever they're working on his within close distance of their bed/fridge/whatever . Basically they change their living-room into a convenient workshop.




It just seems like too intrusive a prop to have sitting there for no purpose. I doubt Christopher Lee will be involved in such a scene, although it would be cool if he were.

The purpose could have been simply to show that TC place is a mess, and that maybe he isn't extremely resposible as a father, like for instance the epty fridge, the spoiled milk, te mess in his bedroom, etc...


But then, the next morning, to have a news van parked right out in front of the house, complete with newspeople eager to cue up relevant news clips and explain just exactly what was being seen on screen... I submit that this is implausible.

It is. Like most of the movie, actually. That's when supension of disbelief comes in handy.



It would have made much more sense, and been infinitely more dramatic, to have the Cruise family turn on the TV and see these broadcasts as they were happening, hear the panic of the news services and authorities, and watch the channels drop off the air one by one.

How many thousands of times did we see exactly that? I, for one am happy that they get rid of the mandatory panicked anchorman, for a change.

Besides, I think the fact the main characters are extremely poorly informed about what's going on, and by not very reliable sources add to the drama. Also, the essentially immediate lack of TVs and radio broadcast shows how bad the situation is.



Since Spielberg was going to be evoking 9/11, I think it would have been more effective to go that route, since this is in fact how most people experienced the tragedy, through disjointed TV and radio reports.

the comparison doesn't hold water. Not much was disrupted by the 9/11. What's happening in the movie is on a way, way larger scale. People on the 9/11 heard about the events on TV and radio because the society was still functionnal. In this movie, it has been completely disrupted everywhere in a matter of hours.


By the way, I think that there was indeed too much references to 9/11. And specifically hinted too much at people behaving in the same way they did on 9/11. There's too much of a difference in scale between these events to expect as much similarities. I doubt for instance that in such a mess people would be lining up to give blood or that you would see walls full of "missing" posters. Did you see this sort of things, on a significant scale, in a city under attack in a war zone? I'm not sure whether he really, really wanted to please the american public by using these references or whether he really, really couldn't think about more realistic references (it's not like there aren't many examples around the world of how people react when their city is completely devastated by an ennemy attack). I assume the former.



I'm still thinking of Spielberg as the guy who gave us Jaws,

I too remembered this movie. So, I was pleased to notice that WOTW wasn't early as bad as Jaws and its ridiculously sterotypical characters. I'm going to be killed for that, but I absolutely can't understand the hype about "Jaws" and his caring and responsible father, distracted scientist, hardened veteran, unconcerned irresponsable mayor only worrying about tourist-generated income and so on....

av8rmike
07-29-2005, 10:18 AM
I'm glad this thread was revived, because I just saw WotW Monday night and didn't want to be the one to resurrect it.
I can't remember where I heard it, but I recall Spielberg saying in a recent interview that for as good a movie as it turned out, he no longer likes the ending to Close Encounters, because the father
essentially abandons his family to fly off with the aliens, or whatever.
Did anyone else hear this statement? What's the likelihood Spielberg made WotW in this manner to "redeem" himself from the way he handled Close Encounters?

StaberindeMk2
07-29-2005, 08:17 PM
I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed the movie.

It does seem to be a real love it or hate it film, my friends are fairly evenly split on their opinion of it, for example.

I guess if you're comfortable with the one character he always seems to play, then he's a fairly safe investment of your movie dollars. He is to 'cocky and sneering' what Christopher Walken is to 'tightly wound,' or what Jimmy Stewart was to 'amiable,' pretty much. He's a known quantity. When he strays too far from his home territory, as I sensed he was trying to do in The Last Samurai, he just seems sulky and lost. I did enjoy his performance in Legend though.

I actually thought he did move quite far from his earlier 'cocky and sneering' persona in this movie, he might have been like that at the start but he spent the rest of the film one-inch from running around screaming and panicking like a little girl. :D

Oh, no doubt; I just meant to suggest that there were probably a million different ways to present that information more subtly, other than having the engine block sitting right in the middle of his living room for no apparent reason. (Why? He has a basement and garage; is it really plausible that he'd drag the block up a flight of stairs in order to work on it?) If it was so important that the audience understand that Tom knows how to repair cars, why not have the character work at the garage in the first place, rather than the peculiarly non-sequitur job as a crane operator?

I have an uncle who is a mechanic and it can be fairly hard to tell where his garage ends and his home begins so I had no problem accepting that the Cruise character would have an engine block in his living-room, as someone else says its basic laziness, instead of going to the engine-block, bring the engine-block to you.
Thats a good point about why not just make him a mechanic in the first place but I think as someone said earlier in this thread that Spielberg was trying to make a parrallel between the aliens sitting high up in their machine to do their work and the Cruise character/humanity doing the same. That we're not actually that different.

Even so, I think they'd still give it a shot at least. I would, anyway. But my main objection is the way this situation was presented. If there's no information available on the TV or radio, fine. I can easily accept that. But then, the next morning, to have a news van parked right out in front of the house, complete with newspeople eager to cue up relevant news clips and explain just exactly what was being seen on screen... I submit that this is implausible. It would have made much more sense, and been infinitely more dramatic, to have the Cruise family turn on the TV and see these broadcasts as they were happening, hear the panic of the news services and authorities, and watch the channels drop off the air one by one. Since Spielberg was going to be evoking 9/11, I think it would have been more effective to go that route, since this is in fact how most people experienced the tragedy, through disjointed TV and radio reports. I would guess that very few people had a newscrew on their lawn feeding them updates.

The news crew was a very big stretch but I think Spielberg felt he had to give some background info about the invasion to the viewers. Watching the news channels as they dropped out would indeed have been creepy but I think Spielberg viewed the 'panicking news-reporter' as a bit of a cliche and thats why he didn't use it. I have to say that the fragmented news-reports are one of the most chilling things about that old nuclear war film 'The Day After' and part of it that really sticks in my mind.

Well, it's not as though Mr. Freeman has never found himself in such a situation (*cough*Robin Hood:Prince of Thieves*kaffkaff*). He's plainly one of Hollywood's go-to guys when you want to add some class and some ethnic diversity to your movie at the same time. That's why I found it just a bit peculiar that he was brought in to do the voice over narration, while the black man who I recall getting the most screen time in the movie was Weedy Street Guy from the first reel (the guy who informs us that the sun doesn't cause lightning).

At least he didn't use James-Earl Jones... ;)

That's a big "except," in my opinion. They're both bloated summer films about alien invasions of Earth, where the aliens overwhelm humanity with superior weapons of war (alien invasions can be handled differently, as for example Invasion of the Body Snatchers), and none of the characters in either film has more than the bare mimimum amount of characterization, and I don't know if Independence Day's ending was intended to directly satirize Wells' original story, but it certainly came across that way. By comparing the two earlier, though, I just meant that the effects were at a roughly comparable level, used to similar effect. War of the Worlds had some big eye-candy scenes of destruction, but so did Independence Day, and I didn't percieve the former film to have any more spectacular effects than the latter.

As 'Alien Invasion' films they approach the subject from entirely different directions though, WotW is a small-scale claustrophobic, one ordinary man's experience of such an invasion and within that context I thought Spielberg succeeded admirably, I found the scene where he runs outside after his daughter and see's for the first time the effects the aliens have wrought on the landscape a truly apocalyptic image for example. Independence Day was the 'large-scale' depiction of a similar event which many different main characters, chisel-jawed hero's, military and political leaders, events shown on a global scale and an all round fun action film.

I enjoyed both but they really are vastly different movies.

RandMcnally
08-06-2005, 11:56 PM
I too was disappointed that the son survived, and not only because I didn't like him. I was actually rooting for his death.

Two scenes will stay in my mind, and they have both been mentioned already. The train scene for one. But mainly, the scene where they showed they wall plastered with homemade missing signs.

Except for the ending, I found this movie to be extremly realistic.

"I will not let my daughter die because of you."

Elendil's Heir
08-10-2005, 11:58 AM
Saw it last night, and was underwhelmed, all in all. The reviews and many fan descriptions had been highly positive, and it just didn't do it for me. Maybe my expectations were too high.

Good stuff: The 9-11 imagery wasn't overdone, I thought, but just about right. Dakota Fanning was damned good. Tripod emerging from the city street was frightening. Bodies floating downstream. Flaming train o' death zooming past. Mob violence over the van and getting on the ferry boat. Foreshadowing of aliens' fate with Dakota's comment about the splinter. Foreshadowing of tripods with Cruise up there moving shipping containers. Minuteman statue (symbolizing American common folk coming together to defeat an overwhelmingly strong opponent) with dying alien lichen. Miranda Otto.

Bad stuff: Cruise playing pretty much the same role again. Implausible explanations for how the tripods got underground (what, no one's ever dug one up before?). Conveniently open highways for Cruise's minivan to zoom through. Refugees walking around Boston street mere feet away from an Army squad about to attack a tripod. Teenage son survives to the end, creating yet another Happy Hollywood Ending. Not nearly enough Mirando Otto.

Did New Dad actually appear at the end? I only noticed Miranda, her parents and the teenage son.

I think Wells's concept of ultrapowerful aliens brought down by Earth microscopic critters has simply become too implausible to sustain the weight of the story's ending. They'd have protective suits, high-level vaccines or something, and wouldn't fall prey to our germs/bacteria/viruses, having studied us and our world as long as the opening narration posits.

Revtim
08-10-2005, 12:04 PM
Foreshadowing of aliens' fate with Dakota's comment about the splinter.What was that again? I don't recall it.

Elendil's Heir
08-10-2005, 12:14 PM
As was suggested in an earlier post (and with which I agree), there was a bit of foreshadowing when Dakota said her body would eventually eject the splinter in her hand, without having her dad (who looked pretty tired and strung out, at the time) poke at it. I took this to be a reference to the Earth's ecosphere (a body) ejecting the foreign irritant of the alien invaders (the splinter).

souroranges
08-10-2005, 01:41 PM
This may have already been discussed. But what I don't get is the huge crowd surrounding that crater from the lightning. Then the machine shoots out of the crater and... they step back an inch! They just watch the thing explode out of the ground like "oh, nothing's bad is gonna happen".

And when the buildings explode in that scene the crowd moves like 5 feet to the side... until a building next to it explodes. and this drags on forever!! JUST RUN, FOOLS, RUN!

StaberindeMk2
08-10-2005, 07:42 PM
Implausible explanations for how the tripods got underground (what, no one's ever dug one up before?).


It depends on how deeply they were buried, its only in a very few places that we've done much more than scratch the surface, most digging work would go down for a few hundred metres at the maximum.


Did New Dad actually appear at the end? I only noticed Miranda, her parents and the teenage son.


He did, at least we were spared that potential happy ending. ;)

Elendil's Heir
08-11-2005, 10:37 AM
Oh, and I, too, miss seeing the duel between a tripod and HMS (or I guess it would be USS) Thunderchild off the coast. That'd be 'way cool.

UncleRojelio
08-11-2005, 10:48 AM
Oh, and I, too, miss seeing the duel between a tripod and HMS (or I guess it would be USS) Thunderchild off the coast. That'd be 'way cool.

Better yet, the USS Abraham Lincoln and all her attendant ships and subs. Maybe even throw in the USS Missouri. With all the F-16, TLAMS and 2000lb shells flying around, that could have been awesome.

Damn, now I suppose I will have to read the book.

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