Wednesday, July 06, 2005

War of the Worlds

Hokae. Soh nhow itsch mah turn. Spoilers.

Anyway. I gather that I have watched the latest Spielberg spiel on a blistery noonday in a colourful cinema with a bunch of fellow group members, after, repeat, after, we had exhausted our SD Cards and batteries (and legs, too) running all over the island taking pictures of "random buildings" (Kevin) and (almost) eating at Swensens (Pohboi). I gather.

Spielberg. The name evokes nightmares of ravenous sharks and generic aliens with flat heads spouting cultural anecdotes. The story goes something like this. Spielberg, tired of making all those "goody-alien" flicks that he's so fond of decides to try his hand (again) at the art of erasing the bad taste of Independence Day. (What. I thought it was okay. I mean, it may be a cliche, but not to me because that was probably the first aliens-attack movie I'd watched in my life.) Tom Cruise plays this disenchanted crane-operator who always looks like he's almost chewing gum but ain't. He's got an estranged ex-wife and two kids who aren't so happy to get stuck with him, especially when the daughter's taste in food doesn't match the father's and they order out. And because the son has a prediliction for driving without lessons and a licence and turning up in the most unexpected of locations, like filthy but evidently quick on his legs in his mother's house in Boston after miraculously escaping a rather large explosion that leveled a small hillock.

Tom Cruise can't make sandwiches. Neither can he sing.

Anyway. War of the Worlds can be adequately summed up like this: Man gets kids dumped on him. Man meets aliens, man escapes with kids, man and kids hide in house, man comes out of house with kid and sees the aliens dead. End. I mean if Spielberg had concocted the story he'd be bashed and revered simultaneously. But the fact is that Mr. Wells did and that makes all the difference. He can't be touched. Bacteria. With aliens sporting vastly different physiologies its a wonder- oh wait, it was written in the time where the pioneers of aerial travel were still repairing bicycles. (sorry.)*mock sigh* 19th Century biologists.

Is this a review? Doesn't read like one. It reads like a rant which doesn't have a focus. Great. Now I'm reviewing myself. It could have something to do with the time and the fact that I don't really feel like writing stuff.

Direction. Well, Spielberg returns on an airjet and shows off his new camera moves, which include a very shaky pan to a fan and satisfied shots at mass carnage. During the more intimate scenes that don't have ubiquitous flying train carriages in it he brings up suspense to a high level, though those scenes tend to drag out for too long. And I'm not a fan of suspense. As usual Spielberg captures emotional angst and trauma very well. He has many scenes where he pits human desire for self-preservation and compassion very well, as well as impossible moral choices.

The other part of the cinematography involves such oddities like blue rays that turn people into dust and lots of explosions. It just gets repetitive after a while. Next.

I liked the characters. Believable, everyday characters with their own problems caught up in a situation that tests their wit and resolve and brings out the heroic qualities in them. At no point is Cruise acting like Rambo or the Terminator with constipation. Though he always projects halitosis, especially when everyone shrinks away from him like that. Acting was okay as well. But Dakota Fanning, the possible Petra, is a little irritating with her screams and impulsive claustrophobic fits. Eowyn is good too.

Well. Okay movie, starts well but ends flat, although its mostly because of HG Well's story. Insufficient sense of post-apocalyptic ethos. I mean, there are still houses. And the trumpet sounds emitted by the tripods are very good. Very ominous, spine-chilling. Cool.

Hokae. If I have given you spoilers, warn people.

EDIT: Qiao Zhi, war wounds consultant and noted strawberry-lover, has chosen to add a few comments to this review.

"Many fans have asked "Why the [censored] is the film's ending so bad?" Well, Qiao Zhi answers this question.

'"Well,uh, basically Wells got too engrossed with his work, and by the time he made the aliens virtually invincible he was like "shit shit i made them virtually invincible", but then he got a supposedly ingenious brainwave from a violent bout of sneezing which almost resulted in the accidental defenestration of his landlord, and so he put pen tp paper and that is how the storyline got so damn shitty. end.""

1 comment:

BS said...

That is one hell of a hilarious quote. Kudos to QZ for that. Haha. Well perhaps spielberg could have set it in the proper time setting, the 19th century, and it might not have looked so shitty after all... I mean governments could always have launched a chem/bio agent against the aliens right? Not capitulate helplessly...