Thursday, June 30, 2005

"Schindler's List" meets the Martians

Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds, the flipside of Close Encounters of the Third Kind and ET, wasn’t something I was especially looking forward to. The trailers looked like outtakes from Earthquake (in “sensurround”!) and I was horribly disappointed a few years ago by the failure of Independence Day to recapture the great 1950s alien-invasion movies (including George Pal’s 1953 classic War of the Worlds).

But Spielberg’s War of the Worlds is jaw-droppingly great. I was not prepared.

I’m just going to note a few things, and then I’m done. If you’ve seen the film already, you’ll know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t seen it yet, you’ll understand later.

Here we go...

  • Tom Cruise staring into a mirror, then frantically rinsing ash from his face.
  • The “reveal” of the first Martian tripod.
  • The river scene. Oh, God, the river scene.
  • Clothes fluttering through the sky and down city streets.
  • Tom Cruise dealing with the Tim Robbins “situation.” Unforgettable.
  • Spielberg’s done nothing to diminish the greatness of George Pal’s 50-year-old War of the Worlds. In fact, he nods affectionately to it several times.
  • Morgan Freeman’s the man.
  • Little Dakota Fanning needs to get an Oscar.

See the movie for yourself. (But leave the kiddies at home. No kidding.)

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At 4:52 PM, Blogger Kevin Carson said...

I'm tempted to see it, except for one thing: Tom Cruise. I really, really, really hate him. The sight of that obnoxious shit-eating grin would make it impossible for me to suspend disbelief long enough to enjoy the movie.

When he told Lauer "I know the history of psychiatry--you don't," Lauer should have responded: "Well, I know the history of Scientology. It's a cult started by L. Ron Hubbard as a joke, to see how many gullible rich people he could take in."


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