Tuesday, July 25, 2006

War of the Worlds


So I saw the Stephen Spielberg version of War of the Worlds the other day. I didn' t like it much. Probably I'm just a crochety old man. The special effects were fine, but I was bothered by the script. Here's an example. In the beginning of the movie, when the tripods start to emerge from underground, Tom Cruise goes to the edge of one of the holes and picks up a piece of the asphalt from the street. Someone says, "Is it hot?" and Tom says, "No, it's cold as ice." Then he sticks it in the pocket of his jacket. I thought, "A clue!" And I waited for the rest of the movie for him to pull out that piece of asphalt and explain why it was cold, not hot, and why that was an important plot point. Guess what? It was never mentioned again. Somehow that kind of sums up the whole script for me.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey, Bill. How did Cruise's son live through that hilltop full of flames when he insisted on staying with the military while they were fighting the aliens?

Bill said...

Yeah, that really bothered me. And he even beat Cruise to Boston. Bah.

Carl V. said...

I wasn't very impressed with the film either and I'm young...ish, so it doesn't have anything to do with being crotchety.

Todd Mason said...

Oh, one can be young and crotchedy, as I was, and middle-aged and crotchedy, as I am. I've never, since mildly enjoying JAWS and DUEL as a kid (and thinking his contribution to the NIGHT GALLERY pilot film pretty awful, also as a kid), been impressed with the works of Spielberg I've seen, which often seem clumsy to me (and childishly misogynist, which has gotten me into one Looong listserv argument), even if not usually quite as sloppy as WAR apparently was, by your testimony here. I'm just as happy to avoid them these days, much as I'm pretty certain I'll avoid the new Oliver Stone, given his track record of handling fascinating subjects as foolishly as is possible in most instances (the qualified success of SALVADOR and HEAVEN AND EARTH had held out some promise that if he ever pulled his head out he might achieve something better)(and writing of misogyny, more arrested late-adolescent in this case).

Bill said...

I avoided War in the theater, but I got sucked in when it came on the tube. I still remember the George Pal version with affection, probably because I haven't seen it in many, many years.

Cap'n Bob Napier said...

Anyone who voluntarily sits through a movie featuring that egregious couch-jumping dwarf should expect to be disappointed. Sorry,old chum, but I've been preaching against him for years.

Bill said...

And you were right!

Juri said...

Hey, the dwarf is very, very good in Mann's COLLATERAL! (Which is quite rare in his oeuvre, admittedly.)

Haven't seen Spielberg's WAR, and don't likely intend to, unless it's on tube here. I have great liking for DUEL, though, and have always thought Spielberg took some wildly wrong routes. I also happen to like JAWS. Haven't seen the Goldie Hawn flick, what's it called? Some say it's good. But from E.T. and others, it's pretty much downhill. With the exception of SCHINDLER'S LIST, which I also like, even though there are some moments that are too clumsy and sentimental. Have talked about this with Todd in several times.

Juri said...

SUGARLAND EXPRESS.

Jeff Meyerson said...

Bill, Jackie didn't even make it as far as the chunk o'concrete, and I made it as far as The Cap'n.

And yes, Tommy was good in Collateral, but then he was playing a sociopath probably not unlike himself.