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 Post subject: Spielberg's 'War' of fear-filled flamboyance
PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2005 11:10 am 
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Martian War Lord

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By Subhash K Jha, Indo-Asian News Service


Film: War of the Worlds; Starring: Tom Cruise, Dakota Fanning, Tim Robbins; Director: Steven Spielberg

Thank god H.G. Wells isn't around any more. He would've certainly felt threatened by Spielberg's war of flamboyance.

"War of the Worlds" unleashes a fury and fiesta of fear-filled flamboyance. It is almost like watching a supermarket of scares where cheap thrills aren't at all scarce.

The trick of Spielberg doing an apocalyptic movie is to make the pyrotechnics more advanced in their vision than what we have seen so far in the biggest Hollywood disaster movies.

Unlike, say, "The Attack Of The 50-Foot Woman", "Armageddon" or "King Kong" where humanity ran scared in a direction opposite to the threatening presence, in "War of the Worlds" Tom Cruise and his little daughter (played brilliantly by Dakota Fanning) have nowhere to run to.

For starters, Spielberg makes the father-daughter pair a victim of unknown terror. Mid-way when machines from outer space are shown on screen the narrative loses both enigma and terror.

And the way the tussle ends suddenly with soldiers blowing the machine into smithereens! Really, now... If only the wars that we fight with both the demons within and outside were that easy to vanquish!

Still, it is interesting to see how Spielberg defines and redefines the disaster epic.

While he approaches the material with a vision that is distinctly old-fashioned, he somehow misses out on creating emotions beyond the preen-and-pout. The sequence where Cruise and his daughter are separated from his brother amidst the brouhaha of mass destruction is so flat you wonder what happened to the epic filmmaker who made us weep at his vision of Nazi atrocities in "Schindler's List".

Perhaps Spielberg meant this work to be slight... and, if one may say so, somewhat silly. There is nothing here to grip our senses or make us want to embrace the characters and protect them from the disaster that they encounter so blatantly.

There are strange jumps in emotion. One minute you see Cruise's daughter shrieking hysterically in the car. The next minute there is a funny what-shall-we-eat sequence in Dakota Fanning's foster mother's home.

Spielberg lightens the load at the cost of the narrative's emotional graph.

You look at the film as a veritable playground of disaster. You don't really get involved with the characters or their predicament. But you do keep watching just to see where the tale takes the rather unlikely father-daughter pair.

Oh yes, daughter Dakota Fanning gives a far more compelling account of a disaster-distressed civilian than father Cruise, who looks a bit too spick-and-span to be calamity-struck. Watch out for the gifted Tim Robbins as an undercover refugee who provides shelter to the father-daughter pair.


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Lee
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http://www.eveofthewar.co.uk
"The War Of The Worlds Website"

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2005 11:36 am 
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Martian War Lord

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A bad review, huh?


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2005 1:41 pm 
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Quote:
For starters, Spielberg makes the father-daughter pair a victim of unknown terror. Mid-way when machines from outer space are shown on screen the narrative loses both enigma and terror.

And the way the tussle ends suddenly with soldiers blowing the machine into smithereens! Really, now... If only the wars that we fight with both the demons within and outside were that easy to vanquish!

Did this moron even WATCH the movie?

Didn't he clearly see the news reports at the begining that say that the mysterious "storms" are already happening in places like Europe and Asia? Doesn't he see the footage of the news reporters which CLEARLY shows MORE THAN ONE MACHINE in a single shot!? Didn't he hear Morgan Freeman telling us how the Martians died, and how it had nothing to do with anything humans had to offer!?! Did he notice that we're given a nice clear view of of a tripod mere minutes into the film at the intersection scene!?!?

I wouldn't be surprised to learn that this article had been randomly written by the infamous 'monkey chained to a typewriter', or as some kind of pathetic joke like so many Fake Reviews (Most of which actualy manage to be funny) because it's hard to believe that anyone could be that stupid and still be able to operate a keyboard.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2005 2:02 pm 
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Martian War Lord

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Like I said, a review of a BAD watcher!


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2005 6:16 pm 
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an unnecessarily harsh review, and one of a person who I think was determined to dislike the movie for whatever reason. It's easy to pick on the ending because, well, the ending is poor but that review is otherwise loaded with bias. For instance the reviewer calls the scene where Robbie leaves "flat", to be fair it as a bit one dimensional compared to Speilberg's Schindlers List as noted in the review but then again theyre hardly similar films are they? However you only find a scene flat if you are determined not to be taken in by it. You could call the ending of The Green Mile flat if you sat there throughout resolute in your determination not to enjoy or indulge what youre watching. My own reaction to Robbie's departure was relief personally because I couldn't stand him but at least I had a reaction to it because I had taken the time to give the movie a chance to entertain me.

I dont think its the best film ever made, but I don't think that review is all that either :D


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2005 6:31 pm 
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Martian War Lord

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The film had good points, like the Tripod actions...


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2005 11:38 pm 
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oever532 wrote:
The film had good points, like the Tripod actions...


yeah but it had very severe flaws too


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2005 8:00 am 
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Martian War Lord

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Such as the moments in the house with Ogilvy?


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2005 7:51 pm 
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no, the ruined house was good. I was thinking more of Tom Cruise literally singlehandedly destroying a tripod and the american military heroically saving the day at the end, among other things.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2005 7:57 pm 
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:roll: Yes, they "Herroicaly save the day" from a helpless tipod whose crew is so crippled by disease that the damn thing is staggering arround the ruins of Boston like an Irishman! They were so out of it that couldn't even bring the shields up, if anything all those soilders did was give it a bit of a firm tap to the side.

You could even draw this scene out as a critique of the US military's tendancy to use brute force without discrimination. (Though that is quite a stretch)


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2005 8:09 pm 
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that would be a little more than a stretch especially considering Speilberg was adament to have had no such aims.

If the army weren't saving the day, what were they doing? they won in the end and blew up a tripod doing it. It made the scene about a human victory rather than deliverance. The reason the aliens were dying wasnt even made clear till after the scene in Morgan Freeman's voiceover.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2005 8:32 am 
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Martian War Lord

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No two ways about it that sequence sucks big time. Its confusing. Lots of people have asked me what actually happens at the end.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2005 9:37 am 
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Martian War Lord

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What was your answer on that question, Loz? :-s


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Last edited by oever532 on Sun Jul 31, 2005 9:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2005 6:13 pm 
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Martian War Lord

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That they die of a lack of imunity to out Earthly Bacteria. That they only got to blow one up at the end because its sheilds were down. Probably because the occupant was delirious and swithched them off.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2005 8:42 am 
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Martian War Lord

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Thanks for the answer. Will that help them out?


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2005 11:58 am 
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Martian War Lord

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well, they understood what happened. But they didn't like it. They wanted humans to prevail through our indomitable spirit and quick whittedness.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2005 1:11 pm 
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Martian War Lord

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So they wanted to have the Humans with their weapons win and not the bacteria?


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2005 3:40 pm 
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Martian War Lord

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Yes. :(


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2005 6:10 pm 
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Martian War Lord

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Such bad losers! What if there REALLY were foes who had resistance against all known weaponry, wth only the germs to fix the job?


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2005 9:49 pm 
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oever532 wrote:
Such bad losers! What if there REALLY were foes who had resistance against all known weaponry, wth only the germs to fix the job?


now to be honest, id be a bad loser if humanity were ACTUALLY defeated by invincible aliens who wanted my blood for a gardening product.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2005 8:00 am 
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Martian War Lord

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I'd prefer being incinerated than being drained! I'm very fond carrying my own blood you know, and I will not allow someone to take it away from me! :a093:


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2005 11:44 pm 
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Actually, if germs can kill the aliens, then technically speaking, the aliens CAN be killed by human weaponry, as all the major powers have had biological warfare programs going on at one time or another. Heck, as far back as World War II, the US, Britain, Soviet Russia, and Japan all had germ weapon programs going on. (Japan used them against the Chinese, Churchill kept pushing for an opportunity to use Britain's germs against the Third Reich, and there is evidence now that a plague among German troops on the Russian Front was really manmade.)

Of course, the overly-sensitive Hollywood types would probably rather the human race be exterminated than win using "dirty" weapons. Since the liberals there are so anti-American, and Spielburg was supposedly inspired to modify the story line by the events of 9/11, I suppose we ought to be grateful that he didn't have the Martians destroyed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, hidden away from those nasty Americans until Humanity REALLY needed them.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2005 8:45 am 
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Martian War Lord

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Those are good arguments as far as I'm concerned...


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2005 8:50 am 
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Martian War Lord

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they tried that in the 53 film, but it failed due to the rioting.
they had martian blood which they could use to generate a germ that was only lethal to martians. the one we have could cause the same problem as in stephen kings the stand or omega man.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2005 8:52 am 
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The Stand is my mother's favorite Stephen King book.


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