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*** Official WAR OF THE WORLDS Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Fred Bang, Jun 27, 2005.

  1. Jefferson Morris

    Jefferson Morris Supporting Actor

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    I didn't say it was the right thing to do from a moral standpoint. But Roy Neary's ambivalence towards his (nagging) wife and (bratty) kids is part of what fuels Close Encounters and gives it its uniqueness. Upon reflection, Neary is a complex, ambiguous figure. Should we really feel happy for him when he walks up the ramp into the mothership?

    I just don't think Spielberg is willing to present characters with this level of ambiguity anymore. Perhaps he never was - Close Encounters is likely to remain an anomaly from that standpoint. It's also likely to remain his masterpiece, in my eyes.

    --Jefferson Morris
     
  2. Chris Atkins

    Chris Atkins Producer

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    I see where you are coming from. I guess I'm happy with having films from him that explore ambigious characters (though I must point out I don't view ambiguity as all that complex or interesting in and of itself) and more stark characters that "do the right thing" so to speak.
     
  3. DavidPla

    DavidPla Cinematographer

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    I agree. But I think that once he had a family, he doesn't identify with what he would do when he was younger. I think his quote is not to say that if he got the chance, he'd change it all. What he was saying was that Roy was what he would do at 30 but now that he's had a family and lived longer he no longer understands the choice that Roy made by leaving his family, which is why in "War of the Worlds", by the end of the film Tom Cruise changed from being self-centered, to trying to protect his kids at all cost. Maybe it was to show Spielberg's evolution in himself. He was like the Tom Cruise character at the beginning of the film at one point, but by the end it's no longer about himself but family that is the most important.
     
  4. JoshB

    JoshB Supporting Actor

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    According to the word going around, WOTW made $21.7 million in its opening day. Compared to how hyped Batman was and what that made and given Cruises rep as of late, I think this is good news and a sign people will make this film a success.
     
  5. Tino

    Tino Executive Producer
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    That wasn't the Robbin's character.
     
  6. Jefferson Morris

    Jefferson Morris Supporting Actor

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    I actually agree with you there. I don't think that "ambiguity" is an absolute good, any more than it's an absolute good when a story is "dark." These qualities sometimes tend to be overpraised, particularly by Internet fanboys.

    I should point out that my favorite film of last year was The Incredibles, which joyfully and creatively celebrates the nuclear family in a thoroughly non-ambiguous fashion. So I'm not a total cynic.

    I guess my main problem with the family "arc" of WotW is that it offered no real surprises. As soon as I heard, months ago, that Cruise's character was supposed to be a "deadbeat Dad," I knew that by the end of the film he'd be at least partially reformed in his own eyes, the eyes of his family, and the eyes of kids. And lo and behold, like clockwork, there it was.

    --Jefferson Morris
     
  7. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

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    i just posted a review in the other thread and said there wasn't anything in the movie i personally would have changed (in other words i loved it)- but i do have to admit that Robbie showing up at the end and the complete non destruction of the gradparents home (area) were a little too 'neat' and clean.
    still i was greatly surprised how non-cloying much of the rest of the film was, given some other Spielbergian propensities, and that fact combined with just such an edge of your seat experience on the whole, made me more willing to forgive the little last minute mis step.


    i loved Batman and greatly appreciate the studio making it, but i have to admit that WOTW hit me just a bit harder and with more overall satisfaction.

    as to how they could remain hidden for so long - i can come up with two (excuses)
    1) they were considerably deeper than anything we would be able to bore to
    or
    2) maybe they were found (area 51, etc)

    not a point i had a big problem with
     
  8. Jefferson Morris

    Jefferson Morris Supporting Actor

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    I see what you're getting at, but it's a story that Spielberg has told before - in Hook, Jurassic Park, and (more obliquely) Schindler's List.

    Actually, I never really bought Cruise as being that poor of a Dad to begin with. His quick thinking saves his childrens' lives several times by the film's midpoint. If anything he's just an inexperienced Dad. His wife has upgraded to a more affluent beau, presumably more in line with the expectations of her well-to-do Boston family.

    His "redemption" is not so much in his own eyes as in the eyes of his kids, who learn that given a chance, their Dad really can come through for them.

    I should point out another early "ambiguous" family-related story from Spielberg - his great film The Sugarland Express. In that movie, two goodhearted but rather brainless characters go on the lamb and break every law in the book in a desperate, hopeless attempt to reclaim their infant son. Is this an act of selflessness, or base selfishness, as they attempt to rip the child from his well-off adopted parents and drag him into an uncertain, dangerous future?

    Again, this is a film that Spielberg wouldn't make anymore. But is that because he's "maturing" as a person, or just becoming more conservative in his choices of theme and subject matter?

    --Jefferson Morris
     
  9. TheBat

    TheBat Producer

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    a teenager know more about getting home then an 8 year old.. it didn;t bother me that he was able to find home on his own unlike the daughter.. where she would need protection from a parent to get her home safety.

    JACOB
     
  10. Tim Glover

    Tim Glover Lead Actor

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    Sci-fi poll on MSN. Thought readers of this sci-fi movie thread might find it interesting.

    http://encarta.msn.com/encnet/featur...D=168&GT1=6657

    I read this discussion thread over lunch. The more I read and thought about it the more I was remembering negatives about the film. And yet I gave it 9/10. Still a very good-maybe near great-film but the negatives were jarring. Especially Tim Robbins.

    Here's some of what I posted in the review thread.



    Certainly, WOTW works on alot of different levels. One way, and it surprised me was how scary and frightening it was. I mean, I was really terrified at times-as were the people I was with and the audience. The amount of horror and display of that was a good move by Spielberg. Effective.

    The dead beat father story works too. I had my doubts since the premise is predictable. But to the actor's credit, it works and is believable and touching. The young girl, who has gobs of screen presence, is terrific. Cruise is great as usual. Even understated at times. This was not a film about Cruise being a big time save the day hero (except for one moment or 2) this was about a man doing what was necessary-realizing what was really important; then making decisions based on that. It works.

    The action was indeed incredible. There's probalby not a better director around to do this. There are some steals from Minority Report but thats ok.

    The ending was too wrapped up and happy since there was so much devastation. Part of what worked so well was Ray thinking that he did let his son go. And then forced to making sure whatever happens he would protect his daughter.


    BTW, the bass was incredible . This will be the new champ for subwoofers. Not only loud bass, but deeeeeeeep- chair moving bass.
     
  11. Alex S

    Alex S Second Unit

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    I saw it last night.
    I thought it was good but not great.
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] / [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Cons:
    I'm not a big Tom Cruise fan. Everytime he was on screen I saw Tom Cruise not the character he is playing. I think Spielberg should have cast a lesser know actor.

    I didn't like the Tim Robbins scenes at all. They could have skipped it as far as I'm concerned.
    Obvioiusly Ray thought he wasn't playing with a full deck and didn't want him around his daughter.
    Why did Ray stay there so long ?

    I was expecting the Aliens to look more realistic and their ships (tri-pods) to look better.

    Abrupt ending.


    Pros:
    Non-stop suspense.
    Great special effects.
     
  12. Quentin

    Quentin Cinematographer

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    Great to see Seth posting in movie discussions! I have someone to feed off of...



    Exactly. Who cares? Why explain how they get to earth? Buried? Man, that is LAME. It is also impossible in today's world. What was he thinking? How they get here just doesn't matter. They got here, they are kicking our ass...that's it! The film is about surviving it.

    Still...I love the first 45 minutes...and enjoy the rest of the film a lot until the end. Good stuff.
     
  13. Chuck Mayer

    Chuck Mayer Lead Actor

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    On the Ray Ferrier character...the beginning of the film is structured to show exactly what type of father Ray is. Miranda Otto's ex didn't bigger, better deal him...he was immature and juvenile, and she probably got exhausted taking care of him AND the kids. They shared the one nice scene before she left, so the element of their break-up was clearly ON HIM. He loves cars, he loves his free time, and he's still a juvenile. That's Ray Ferrier, and his life affords him that. But that all changes when the invasion/extermination begins. While a bad father, he still loves his children, and wants them to be safe. As options are stripped away, his responsibilities become clearer. I'm a new dad, and this worked extremely well for me. In the end, it was simply about the lives of his children. And when forced to choose which one, he simply chose the one who needed him more.

    For any of my gripes (well covered by others), the dramatic arc of Cruise's character was excellent. And excellently portrayed.

    I'm glad that Spielberg has lived his life. That the man could give us CET3K, Jaws, and Schindler's List. He could not make CE now, but could not have made WotW or SL then. It's a maturation, and I am quite grateful to have been alive to watch him grow and change as a filmmaker.

    Hollywood is much better for having that man with that much power and influence and restraint.

    Take care,
    Chuck
     
  14. sheldon M.

    sheldon M. Stunt Coordinator

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    The 50's version was better. This version, considering what can be done with special effects today, was only fair. I'm hearing a lot of people rave about the sound but IMHO those Foghorns don't compare to the creepy, unforgettable sounds in the original. People have said there was nonstop terror thru the first 100 minutes they must have seen another movie. There were all kinds of stops to the terror and too many of them involved the wiseass son who needed to be slapped for all his whining. I will the say that many critics were wrong about the ending I thought it suited the film fine and was true to the original version. The "red vines" thing was kinda weird but any SF fan could recognize they were terraforming the Earth using ground up humans as fertilizer.

    The boat scene was kinda dumb too 'cause why would people be in such a huge panic to get on a slow moving ferryboat that you know is gonna be target#1 of the Tripods?? Anyway on it's own it was fun it just coulda been much better. The first was a classic-this is just a remake-nothing more.
     
  15. Bill Huelbig

    Bill Huelbig Second Unit

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    Not quite the sounds that H.G. Wells wrote about, but the war machines do create a terrifying, ear-splitting roar that sounds like the voice of doom (and it was, for many of the people onscreen). The lack of the "ulla" notwithstanding, and not counting the Tom Cruise character and his family, this version is quite faithful to the novel in many ways. The war machines look almost exactly the way Wells described them in 1898.
     
  16. Tim Glover

    Tim Glover Lead Actor

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    I'm not a new dad, but I too connected with Ray. The dramatic arc of Ray was brilliantly portrayed.

    Regarding the score, many here are saying how good it was. I guess I was too scared at times or entrenched because I never really noticed it. [​IMG]

    Need to see it again.
     
  17. Alex Spindler

    Alex Spindler Producer

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    I actually thought the score got obtrusive, especially down in the cellar.
     
  18. Chuck C

    Chuck C Cinematographer

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    because of the ignorant notion that the aliens attack only on land
     
  19. Tim Glover

    Tim Glover Lead Actor

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    I feel stupid barely even noticing it. [​IMG] Of course I was chomping on a very large tub of popcorn. And again, the bass was incredible loud and deep.

    This may cause us to replace old subs.
     
  20. BrandonJF

    BrandonJF Second Unit

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    While my problems pretty much deal with a few things in the final act, I was hard pressed to notice an arc for anyone.

    Ray's son nailed it on the head when he told his father that he only wanted to get to Boston to dump them with his mother so that he could go back to taking care of himself. I never saw anything in the movie to make me think that changed. Ray didn't refute it and it made perfect sense to me (unlike the "happy" ending).

    Sure, it's obvious Ray didn't want his kids to die and would gladly give up his life to protect them, but I would imagine he would've done that in the beginning of the film unless his character just hated his kids (which I don't believe).

    I think the only thing that changed for Ray were his circumstances. He may be closer with his kids now because there aren't a whole lot of people left and they did go through a traumatic even together. Plus, his ex-wife possibly has the one street on the planet that looks exactly like it did pre-attack, so I'd be upping the visitation if I were him. But, did he actually go through an arc? Or did he just go through an event?

    I think there really needed to be some kind of moment of understanding between Ray and his son in order for that ending to be earned. As it was, the son laid it out there, Ray stared at him, and that was it. Well, until the son miraculously appeared in the all-too-tidy ending and ran to give Ray a hug. Not sure what changed between his "you only care about yourself" speech and the end of the movie...

    I think the movie did more right than wrong, and most of it was just amazing, but I don't feel like they had a decent final act and the Tim Robbins sequence was just too long. I had a couple of nitpicks beyond that, but still well done overall.

    Did anyone else out there that was feeling letdown with the ending start thinking Ray did get sucked up into that tripod and everything in the film after that point was a lucid dream while checking to see if the sky looked at all vanilla-like? I was half expecting the last shot to be of some Cruise fertilizer getting shot out of the pod as the pod explodes.
     

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