Ray Ferrier is a divorced dockworker and less-than-perfect father. Soon after his ex-wife and her new husband drop off his teenage son and young daughter for a rare weekend visit, a strange and powerful lightning storm touches down.
Although I seem to have had higher expectations than I thought, the movie is super entertaining.
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There are moments in this movie where the great movie it could've been peek out... They're fleeting, here, but they're worth savoring, and they happen often enough to make it worth your while.
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True to its essence, the characters remain on the same line and manage to entertain the viewer, each highlighting their own distinctive qualities or touches.
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By all technical aspects this movie is perfect. The CGI, Sony's design, and music are all top notch. By far the best part about this movie is the masterful direction by Steven Spielberg. So many moments in this movie are edge of your seat suspenseful or even terrifying. The characters as well are pretty good as well. They aren't amazing, but they're likeable enough and very well acted. The weakest element of this movie is the plot and story telling. The movie kinda feels like it went on for longer than they need to. The ending is a twist that could have been pulled at essentially any time within the 3rd act. The 3rd act is just a collection of scenes that are trying to be entertaining with no clear path. Some of these scenes work and some of them don't, but it all comes to a satisfying ending. There are also a few plot holes such as the aliens giving of an EMP which disables all technology, but a few minutes later people are filming the Tripods (the aliens) with camcorders. Also there is a character that goes to a place that afterwards is almost immediately completely torched in fire when the character is still there, but he comes back fine at the end. Also some of the alien's abilities go unexplained and are kind of unclear. The other thing this movie does extremely well is capturing the hopeless feeling of an apocalypse. It made me feel sad but I was still enjoying myself because the occasional action scenes were absolutely breathtaking. Overall, I'll give War if the Worlds an 84%.
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As Earth is invaded by alien tripod fighting machines, one family fights for survival. War of the Worlds is definitely not as good as some other movies of Steven Spielberg but it works thanks to a terrific perfomance by Tom Cruise but also outstanding special effects and lots of suspense that builts quite well. The kids were a bit annoying i'll admit that but they weren't also completely awful especially Dakota Fanning. It's different from it's source material from what i know but it's still pretty good plus Tim Robbins also did a very good job as well. (8/10)
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First; this isn't a rethinking (a word I'm totally sick of) of the original
film, nor is it a true adaptation (even updated) of the classic novel. What it
is, honestly, is a post 9/11 mish-mosh that plays on peoples fears as well
as lifting the best parts from the book and the 1953 film, while adding a
silly and contrived sub-plot.So where do we start? Like this: The Good: The SFX was spectacular. The scenes of destruction were absolutely beautiful. The War machines were awesome (and a bit of a nod to the old Classics Illustrated version); the aliens were somewhat original, but reminded me of the creatures from ID4 for some reason, and they had the hands of the Martians from the 1953 version. One of the end scenes is an homage to the end of the original film.Other good: The ferry being flipped by the Tripod as it crosses the Hudson was right out of the novel. Of course in the Novel the
Steamram, Thunderchild destroys that Tripod by ramming it. Also earlier in the
book artillery fire destroys a Martian capsule before they can build their tripod. (See the bad for more on
this).The Bad: David Koepp and Steven Spielberg should be ashamed of themselves
for allowing this crappy story to see daylight. The 9/11 references are way too
plentiful. As someone who watched it unfold from my home and had to wash the
ash of the burning Towers off my car, I found this irresponsible and unnecessary. Can't one simply make a great SF movie (see original War of the Worlds for an example) without beating the audience over the head with symbolism reminding us of a real event? Another thing, the whole Tom Cruise as divorced dad was so damned contrived as to be silly. What, a single person isn't going to want to survive this kind of horror as much as a married person? Also the kids had no personality. The son was a bland, anti-Dad kind of guy, all Dakota Fanning did was stare and scream. This whole aspect of the plot just bored me. If Koepp was adapting/updating the book, then why did the aliens have shields, ala the 1953 version? In the book the Tripods are tough, but 19th century weapons bring two down. Also the scene where Gene Barry chops off one of the aliens spy devices (on a long neck) is lifted for this film. Hey dudes, that didn't happen in the book, ok? Finally, if these aliens had been here for millions of years, having planted their war machines, why the hell didn't they think to test our air and water? Yes, the ending is right out of the book with the aliens dying of Terran bacteria, but it makes no sense. In the original film and book, there was no preparation time, the aliens landed and started blasting us out of existence. So these aliens, who have some kind of
Transporter technology, didn't have the brains to check things out first? Were these cousins to the morons from Signs, who came to a planet 70 percent water (which they were ALLERGIC to) so they could die?The Ugly; At the beginning, when the aliens are riding lightning down to
Earth, all electrical power shuts off. How was this one guy able to freaking
take pictures with his camcorder? Also, can someone explain the physics of a
heat ray that dissolves human beings but doesn't destroy their clothing? This
was a very heavy handed parallel to the deaths on 9/11, which was unnecessary. A further point, Cruises son goes to watch the military take on the aliens,
the entire brigade is wiped out - yet his son survives to make it to an
untouched (mostly Boston). In fact at the very laughable end, Cruise and his
daughter make it to Boston, see the machines start to topple and fall. Cruise
notices birds sitting on the one machine (another homage to the book, where the astronomer sees the birds feeding on the dead Martians), yet trained military
men don't? He notices the shield is down? And when he gets to his ex-wife's
parents home, the block is untouched. Looks like a Sunday morning. And his son
is there, it looks like they've all been wakened from breakfast! (And this isn't Boston, its Carroll Gardens, in Brooklyn, New York. A total nitpick, but they spent 100 million plus and couldn't afford to film in Boston?). This was just a silly excuse for a 'message' film, that failed to give me any message at all, other than Steven Spielberg shouldn't be allowed to do SF. A.I. stunk, Minority Report was a joke and if I never see this again, well I'll be pretty damn content. The original film was much better and probably had 1/100th of the budget. The difference is the original film and book both entertain without beating a reader/watcher over the head, while this ham-handed mistake of a film doesn't.
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Cant even get 30 minutes in before "OMFG WHY IT IS SO LOUD!" to 5 minutes late "WTF DID THEY SAY?"(better pause rewind and turn the volume up), and "OMFG ITS LOUD AF AGAIN!". Seriously I had a decent memory of seeing this in the theater but trying to watch it at home its ridiculous. Other than that its trying to cram in some family story that you don't really have enough time to care about despite how good looking the actors are. Don't forget dad's dumb, and the little girl knows more than everyone else except when it comes to mechanics. Really hope the famiy turns out okay but to be honest I'd prefer more shots of the aliens and their technology. Just need to have the remote handy to turn it the volume down by 75% the next time they have a quiet talk again.