462 words on Films
While I was initially determined to not go and see War of the Worlds at all because of the strange marketing, the big budget, Tom Cruise…, I did come to read a few surprisingly good reviews after all and decided it would make relaxing viewing for a summer evening.
As this summer has it, things turned out to be a bit different: It wasn’t particularly summery and started raining on the way to the cinema (this time managing to arrive there at just the right time – late enough to only see a trailer or two before the film started). And then, with me being easily scared, it wasn’t all that relaxing either. The dark and scary atmosphere was built up really well and they way the film showed ordinary people turning into rather nasty ones in the face of the threat was depressingly impressive.
I guess loads of things have been said about the film already. In particular regarding the comparison to the terrorist threats man and dog are musing about these days. So I’m not going to repeat that. I quite liked the ending which was rather harsh and abrupt for Hollywood. We should see more of that. But still, the film should’ve been a few minutes shorter. The end was just a bit too happy.
Why and how exactly did Robbie, the son, manage to survive? I just don’t get it. I really thought we had a potentially strong moment there: While I couldn’t understand why exactly he wanted to be killed by the aliens, his father had to decide whether to convince his son or protect his daughter. The father rescues the daughter and sees a huge explosion where his son went a minute later… making Robbie’s death very quick and useless. While that was sad, it was also quite powerful… a power that vanished when inexplicably Robbie is at home and alive in the end.
Another thing I didn’t get – a thing which I don’t get in many science fiction stories – is why those über-intelligent aliens build machines that have just the same shortcomings as humans: they can only look in one direction and only see the light that also the human eye can see (heck even digital cameras can see infrared…), thus making it unnecessarily easy for humans to evade them.
And one more thing… right at the beginning of the film you see the planet Earth with the sun behind it. Then things move a little, so the light of the sun isn’t entirely hidden by the planet anymore but the sun remains pretty much behind Earth. At the same time we see the sun’s light wanders onto the front side of the Earth. Which differs from how I’d expect light to behave…
We saw this one a few weeks ago, as well. The ending is pretty much a straightforward quote of the H.G. Wells original, so no need to give the adaptors too much credit. :)
As far as big budget Hollywood movies go so far this summer, though, I’d have to give the nod to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which was pretty wonderful.
Uh, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory! I loved the book when I was little. I hope it’s not too much of (just) a kids’ film then…
Let’s see how long it’ll need to make it across the big pond. (That was quite cool with War of the Worlds, btw, which seems to have been released in all countries and languages on the same day).
Not having seen War Of The Worlds yet: how bad is the acting of Tom Cruise, and how good is the acting of Tim Robbins (I believe he’s in the movie?)? ;-)
Tom Cruise was good for his standards, i.e. tolerable. Tim Robbins was all right as well.
Ray (Dad): They’re not from around here.
Robbie (Son): You mean they’re, like, from Europe?
Ray: No, Robbie, they’re not from Europe.