Ever Changing Portents of Fear

Jul 4, 23:44 by IROSF
This thread open for discussion of MaryAnn Johanson's criticism of Spielberg's War of the Worlds.

The article itself can be found here.
Jul 5, 17:20 by James Morrison
A very good review of a film I found surprisingly effective, given how much I loathe Tom Cruise. In talking about the change to Wells's story that puts the alien war machines 'already here', however, I think Ms Johanson ignores one of the film's main defects. Why have the tripods been buried so long? What was the point of it, technologically or plot-wise, other than to match the unsettling tagline of the movie? And wouldn't creatures capable of that have considered the bacterial menace - after all, planting tripods millions of years before the actual invasion does suggest a race capable of taking the long view. Still, as I said, a film far better than it had any right to be.
Jul 9, 08:13 by Adrian Simmons
Well, crap! I wish I had read this article before posting my response to the HG Wells biography.

To repeat, I've often wondered why the black smoke wasn't used in the movies. As I mentioned, I think it makes it simply too horrible. And, I also think that with our fears of WMD (which include poisons and chemical weapons) that perhaps it would have hit too many buttons at once. Or maybe, unlike WElls, Spielberg is willing to dredge up the images of the past, but not predict those of the future.

Wells meant for the images of his book to be horrific, to show what war had become- the mechanized slaughter of human beings. And poison gas paints with a broad brush of destruction.

A few quick notes about the recent movie- everyone talks about how these things have been here for millions of years, but wasn't that the line used by a decidely crazy person? Tim Robbin's whacked-out survivalist? I think one of the things Spielberg was going after here was how frightening it is to be confronted with our own ignorance. As far as I know, there was definative expliantion for where and how the walkers got there. I mean, come on, if they can 'ride lighting' down, who is to say they didn't build the entire structure, underground, at the time of the invasion, via stuff coming down on the lighting. Plug and play!

Also, re: Tom Cruise, I have trouble watching any of his movies and not seeing Tom Cruise instead of the character he plays. But I think he transcended that in this movie. Tom became Ray about the time he stole the van, and he stayed that way. In my opinion.
   

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