Neil Middlemiss

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Steven Spielberg and Tom Cruise’s take on the classic War of the Worlds tale has always been a favorite of mine. This is a refreshing adaptation, taking the core of the story and framing it through a broken family dynamic with top of the line production and visual effects, and delivers a number of superbly crafted ‘set pieces’ that showcase all of the very best this film has to offer. Paramount’s release of three Tom Cruise films, Top Gun, Days of Thunder and War of the Worlds, have all looked spectacular in 4K, but War of the Worlds comes out on top with perfect audio and video. This is a brilliant release.



War of the Worlds (2005)



Released: 29 Jun 2005
Rated: PG-13
Runtime: 116 min




Director: Steven Spielberg
Genre: Adventure, Sci-Fi, Thriller



Cast: Tom Cruise, Dakota Fanning, Miranda Otto, Justin Chatwin
Writer(s): Josh Friedman...
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Tino

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Great review Neil. Mine should be coming today. Can’t believe some here think the BD is better.
 

Johnny Angell

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Great review Neil. I like it when a reviewer agrees with me. It shows how intelligent they are. ;) Seriously, you very right on when commenting on Tom Cruise. He’s very good here and very believable. I hate it when people say they can’t believe Tom as a working Joe. Sheesh!

Mine has arrived today and I will be watching it tonight.
 

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Ugh, this is on serious backorder at Amazon, so who knows when I'll get mine. I'm one of those who thought this film was pretty darned good.
 
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Colin Jacobson

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Ugh, this is on serious backorder at Amazon, so who knows when I'll get mine. I'm one of those who thought this film was pretty darned good.
I liked the 2005 "WotW" a lot - it's probably my favorite Spielberg since "Jurassic Park".

It's a strong product of the fairly immediate post-9/11 era, and 15 years later, those parallels can feel a little too on the nose.

Still, for those of us who lived through 9/11, those hints add a sense of realistic dread, and Spielberg's much more willing to "go dark" than usual...
 
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Johnny Angell

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Ugh, this is on serious backorder at Amazon, so who knows when I'll get mine. I'm one of those who thought this film was pretty darned good.
And so am I. It’s a very good film. Just finished watching it. Damn this disc has done justice to movie. Great image with grain that doesn’t overwhelm and the Atmos sound is wonderful. Tom Cruse just nails his role. The scene where he discovers he didn’t know his daughter won a medal and doesn’t know any lullabies to sing to her. You can see how badly he feels. So he comes up with a lullaby, Little Deuce Coop, a very moving moment.

I also remembered why there were times in the past, when I didn’t want to watch the film. I’m not a huge fan of post-apopolyptic movies and this is one and makes be believe it is really happening.

If you like this film, buy this disc.
 
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Johnny Angell

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I liked the 2005 "WotW" a lot - it's probably my favorite Spielberg since "Jurassic Park".

It's a strong product of the fairly immediate post-9/11 era, and 15 years later, those parallels can feel a little too on the nose.

Still, for those of us who lived through 9/11, those hints add a sense of realistic dread, and Spielberg's much more willing to "go dark" than usual...
Yeah, this is a dark movie, much more than the 53’ version. Strange how that can be, since both are about the possible annilation of man.
 

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Yeah, this is a dark movie, much more than the 53’ version. Strange how that can be, since both are about the possible annilation of man.
Even stranger given Spielberg's usual refusal to "go dark"! There's not a total absence of the usual schmaltz/sentimentality in "WotW", but it's much more devoid of that tone than maybe any other Spielberg movie I can imagine...
 

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I love both versions but this is the one I can watch more often. Tom Cruise, who I really respect as an actor (despite his zany beliefs), is in top form here and the direction is taut and terrific. Maybe I'll pass the Blu ray on down the family.
 

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I’ve read a few pro online reviews for this disc, and all of them have been highly enthusiastic and maximum-star. But after watching it yesterday, I must confess to being less than dazzled. It’s very good, but I didn’t experience the wow factor that those reviews led me to expect. Perhaps my opinion will change, but right now I wouldn’t rank it among my top tier of UHD experiences. Some of that could be due to the way the film was shot, but it seems that factor should filter through in the reviews as well, as it has with previous catalog releases.

I’m saying 4/5, and certainly no better than 4.5/5
Equipment used: LG 65” 4K OLED, and OPPO UDP-205
 
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Tino

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I’ve read a few pro online reviews for this disc, and all of them have been highly enthusiastic and maximum-star. But after watching it yesterday, I must confess to being less than dazzled. It’s very good, but I didn’t experience the wow factor that those reviews led me to expect. Perhaps my opinion will change, but right now I wouldn’t rank it among my top tier of UHD experiences. Some of that could be due to the way the film was shot, but it seems that factor should filter through in the reviews as well, as it has with previous catalog releases.

I’m saying 4/5, and certainly no better than 4.5/5
Equipment used: LG 65” 4K OLED, and OPPO UDP-205
What were your issues with it? Was it the transfer? Sound? It’s 15 years old so it won’t look as good as today’s films. Does it accurately represent the way the film was shown in theaters? That’s what I’m looking for.
 
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Dave H

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The LFE was neutered on the UHD BD compared to the BD. The BD had some reference quality moments in regards to this.

PQ-wise, there is no comparison - the UHD is a big improvement.
 
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John Sparks

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I just watched this week on BD, don't think I'll get the UHD. Too many reviews (audio/video) all over the place.
 

Johnny Angell

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The LFE was neutered on the UHD BD compared to the BD. The BD had some reference quality moments in regards to this.

PQ-wise, there is no comparison - the UHD is a big improvement.
We will have to agree to disagree about the LFE. I found mine to be fantastic.
 

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We will have to agree to disagree about the LFE. I found mine to be fantastic.
It's been independently measured all over the place and is now old news...the BD has notably better LFE. It's not debatable.

Does the UHD BD sound good? Absolutely, but the BD was true reference and that pod ground scene was truly incredible on it. Missing that is a shame. Just listen to the BD and it will be evident on any good sub set-up. However, it has been brought to Mac Smith's (who helped create the new Atmos mix) attention on Twitter so we'll see if anything comes from it.
 

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Tino

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The same site’s review gave the audio 5 stars and called it reference.

Also said this about the pod scene.

As the first tripod emerges, the feel of spacial engagement, the up and down dynamics, the flying debris, the collapsing buildings, the screaming citizenry all add up to a treat for the ears. And, minus music, the scene's impact is only heightened with greater focus on elemental detail.

Debatable indeed. I’ll compare the two mixes tomorrow.
 

Johnny Angell

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It's been independently measured all over the place and is now old news...the BD has notably better LFE. It's not debatable.
Nothing like knowing it all, I guess.
 

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What were your issues with it? Was it the transfer? Sound? It’s 15 years old so it won’t look as good as today’s films. Does it accurately represent the way the film was shown in theaters? That’s what I’m looking for.
I'm not saying it's a poor quality disc, just that it's not a starkly memorable presentation, and that's probably related to the manner in which it was shot. I don't expect it to look like today's films, but I was hoping for a result that's striking, above and beyond the BD. Plenty other examples of older catalog titles on UHD have been more impressive. While it's not necessarily a fair comparison, I think the UHD of 'Saving Private Ryan' succeeds with impressing where this one doesn't. They seem to have roughly similar style and grain.

I know it's sacrilege for many, but I'm not terribly devoted to finer details of audio, so that's not part of my calculous. I'm not a member of the Woody Allen school of audio, but I've lost affection for all the variations of audio format and their corresponding hardware upgrades. I've had enough challenge and expense keeping up with the visual aspect. What's next, 15.1? Why not a 12-foot hoop speaker suspended over our heads? It's nice, but I think it's tedious and needless after a while. Too many films have never taken best advantage of 5.1. Just give me a solid, well recorded and mixed track.
 

Johnny Angell

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I'm not saying it's a poor quality disc, just that it's not a starkly memorable presentation, and that's probably related to the manner in which it was shot. I don't expect it to look like today's films, but I was hoping for a result that's striking, above and beyond the BD. Plenty other examples of older catalog titles on UHD have been more impressive. While it's not necessarily a fair comparison, I think the UHD of 'Saving Private Ryan' succeeds with impressing where this one doesn't. They seem to have roughly similar style and grain.

I know it's sacrilege for many, but I'm not terribly devoted to finer details of audio, so that's not part of my calculous. I'm not a member of the Woody Allen school of audio, but I've lost affection for all the variations of audio format and their corresponding hardware upgrades. I've had enough challenge and expense keeping up with the visual aspect. What's next, 15.1? Why not a 12-foot hoop speaker suspended over our heads? It's nice, but I think it's tedious and needless after a while. Too many films have never taken best advantage of 5.1. Just give me a solid, well recorded and mixed track.
Ok, there’s video and audio improvement for this disc. However you throw away the audio. I get it, audio just isn’t that important to you. Of course the audio is half of what makes this disc special.
 
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