Sunday, July 31, 2005

War of the Worlds 

Today H and I went to see War of the Worlds (she turned 17 on Thursday so we got together to see a film, talk and shop a bit).

It was definitely as good as the reviews have suggested - a non-stop rollercoaster and amazingly compelling, though I had to remind myself that I was being "Spielberged" at times because I found this film so absorbing that it really distressed me. As people have said, Dakota Fanning's performance is wonderfully convincing to the point of being traumatic at times, and all the cast perform brilliantly.

It's also remarkably faithful to the original classic by H. G. Wells, even given the changed time setting (and some character amalgamation and additional connection of events). There's even successful use of an opening and closing narration direct from the text (though I must admit to being programmed to expect the refrain from Jeff Wayne's concept album*).

This was an interesting entry in the current spate of post-apocalyptic films around, and a reminder of just how powerful this genre can be. It certainly wasn't optimistic about mankind, but did successfully portray the way a variety of people might react in dire circumstances with expert narrative dexterity.

All in all very entertaining, but also extremely dark and moderately depressing. Highly recommended for adventure/horror fans.

* Soon to be available as a 7 CD 30th Anniversary Collectors' Box Set.


Seven CDs?
That was one of the mose insightful reviews i've ever read.

Are you a religious man?
Actually, you make a point... For clarification, what I write on here is just my immediate impressions of a film or book or whatever, not proper reviews at all. This is only my Blog and I don't plan on working hard on "real" reviews for it.

I won't put that clarification every time I write about something though.

On religion - why do you ask "Are you a religious man?" not "Are you religious?" ? An interesting question, given that all the religious references were removed from this film of WotW :).

If you want to identify yourself as a real person, I might even answer it...
I just wish they'd had Orson's original narration at the begining & end instead of Morgan Freeman's (though he's a great actor) impersonation.

One of the things I always loved about the radio broadcast is that they mention my hometown (Basking Ridge, NJ) being blown up :)
Tony, that's a great idea! Morgan Freeman does do a good impersonation job and it's a nice tribute. Cute that your hometown got invaded - were they involved in the panic that happened at the time?

Another Orson Welle's narration I enjoy is on that Alan Parsons Project Tales of Mystery & Imagination remix (though I like the original version without as well, for different reasons).

Joe, yep, 7 CDs - where's Tom Cruise when you need him? ;)
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