Saturday, July 9, 2005

Film Review: War of the Worlds

Watched War of the Worlds last night. The crowd was very rowdy. We had a bunch of 15 to 18 year old kids in the theater. All of were noisy. It was good natured though. No sign of any panic.

Well the King Kong trailer was out. Can't wait. It looks good. I totally forgot that it would be out this year. So when Jack Black met Adrien Brody and Naomi Watts in the first sequence of the trailer, I thought it was just a remake of a 30s Hollywood film - which it was, but not as I expected at first! The effects looks set to beat the hell out of Lord of the Rings.

War of the Worlds was presented to us in typical 1.85:1 widescreen which was a little disappointing. I don't know why Spielberg loves this aspect ratio. A 2.35:1 would have been great for this film.

I won't bore you with the details apart from my thoughts on some of the finer points of the film. The plot is pretty simple - if you have read the book then you would know. The only differences are the location and time.

Which is a huge difference! Personally I would rather the film took place at Victorian London or New York. Watching destruction reign on a modern city isn't all new. Independence Day has done that and to a lesser degree (minus aliens) The World after Tomorrow.

And that little kid (Dakota Fanning) was absolutely annoying. At times I wanted to shout at the screen! You know how kids shouldn't make noise in the theater. And now we have a leading kid who is screaming all the time on the large canvas. Why do all these Hollywood films have to feature a kid with psychological problem?

The whole Tim Robbins sequence wasn't necessary but he did great playing the psychotic Harlan Ogilvy. Tom Cruise is the same old boring stuff. I can't even remember his screen name. His presence is that huge which for marketing purposes is a good idea.

Special effects was amazing. It was pretty darn good and looks 'realistic'. The scale was devastating, it almost felt like being in a Half-Life 2 computer game (not the other way around).

The ending was disappointing, but for those who read the book - it was expected. In a way I am glad they didn't try to rewrite a gung-ho ending with an American president flying a fighter jet and a computer nerd inserting a virus into the mothership's mainframe.

I can see why there were a lot of huge uproar by 'peace loving conservative media' in the UK over the 12A rating (under 12 may watch if accompanied by an adult). But it isn't a big deal. Yes it was intense, it was violent and we see loads of dead humans, but come on, chavs in UK has seen more real violence than this. The whole shenanigan was a load of bollocks on par with the uproar that greeted Doctor Who and Jerry Springer Opera.


Anonymous said...

I didn't really enjoy it much. Tom Cruise was hunky but that's all.

Anonymous said...

Just watched it in KL. I think this is one of the best films to come out this year!