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Page # 1773

zz25| War of the Worlds
ID:
2005
Comments:
Director: Steven Spielberg
Screenplay: David Koepp, Josh Friedman, H.G. Wells
Producer: Kathleen Kennedy, Damian Collier, Paula Wagner, Colin Wilson
Cast: Tom Cruise, Justin Chatwin, Tim Robbins, Dakota Fanning, Miranda Otto
Genre: Action & Adventure

Running Time: 117
Aspect Ratio:  1.85:1 (NTSC )
Sound: Dolby
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French, Portuguese
Features:
AC-3

DTS Surround Sound
Dubbed

Studio:  Dreamworks Video DVD Region:  1 PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
DVD Release:  Jun 2010 Discs:  1 (Blu-ray) [$24.99]
Purchase: 
Reviews:  Despite super effects, a huge budget, and the cinematic pedigree of alien-happy Steven Spielberg, this take on H.G. Wells's novel is basically a horror film packaged as a sci-fi thrill ride. Instead of a mad slasher, however, Spielberg (along with writers Josh Friedman & David Koepp) utilizes aliens hell-bent on quickly destroying humanity, and the terrifying results that prey upon adult fears, especially in the post-9/11 world. The realistic results could be a new genre, the grim popcorn thriller; often you feel like you're watching Schindler's List more than Spielberg's other thrill-machine movies (Jaws, Jurassic Park). The film centers on Ray Ferrier, a divorced father (Tom Cruise, oh so comfortable) who witnesses one giant craft destroy his New Jersey town and soon is on the road with his teen son (Justin Chatwin) and preteen daughter (Dakota Fanning) in tow, trying to keep ahead of the invasion. The film is, of course, impeccably designed and produced by Spielberg's usual crew of A-class talent. The aliens are genuinely scary, even when the film--like the novel--spends a good chunk of time in a basement. Readers of the book (or viewers of the deft 1953 adaptation) will note the variation of whom and how the aliens come to Earth, which poses some logistical problems. The film opens and closes with narration from the novel read by Morgan Freeman, but Spielberg could have adapted Orson Welles's words from the famous Halloween Eve 1938 radio broadcast: "We couldn't soap all your windows and steal all your garden gates by tomorrow night, so we did the best next thing: we annihilated the world." --Doug Thomas

NOTE FROM KEVIN

Almost the last scene in the film, the mother -- Cruise is the father but they are divorced -- spends time at her parents house. The parents are the stars of the 1953 version. Spielberg does things upright.


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