Jack Hall, paleoclimatologist, must make a daring trek from Washington, D.C. to New York City, to reach his son, trapped in the cross-hairs of a sudden international storm which plunges the planet into a new Ice Age.
Ray Ferrier (Cruise) is a divorced dockworker and less-than-perfect father. When his ex-wife and her new husband drop off his teenage son Robbie and young daughter Rachel for a rare weekend visit, a strange and powerful lightning storm suddenly touches down. What follows is the extraordinary battle for the future of humankind through the eyes of one American family fighting to survive it in this contemporary retelling of H.G. Wells seminal classic sci-fi thriller. Written by
Tom Cruise personally gave one of the extras on-set (Dustin Ardine) career advice in-between takes. See more »
When they arrived at Tim's house, Ray tries to fix some peanut sandwiches. He grabs and empties a sleeve of bread package on the kitchen counter. Next shot reveals only 7 slices of bread on the counter, it was obviously more than 7 in the bag, in the previous shot. In fact, if you can freeze the frame at the right moment, you can count at least 9-10 slices of bread while Ray's dumping them on the table, and you can also see that he spares none in the bag. Again, in the following shot, you can see the package of bread neatly folded and containing several slices of bread. See more »
No one would have believed in the early years of the 21st century that our world was being watched by intelligences greater than our own; that as men busied themselves about their various concerns, *they* observed and studied, the way a man with a microscope might scrutinize the creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water. With infinite complacency, men went to and fro about the globe, confident of our empire over this world. Yet across the gulf of space, intellects vast ...
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There are no opening credits after the title is shown. See more »
A good take on the Wells story. Better than the 1953 classic in some ways
First - a quick rebuttal: The peanut butter sandwich which seemed to
stick to the window impossibly. This was a very visually interesting
scene. In fact, the scene was shot from inside the house, and Cruise
was shot in reflection against the window - so there is no problem here
other than the reviewer not thinking what they were seeing through.
Now on to the review...
This film follows Tom Cruise - playing a not-very-adult divorced father
and his two kids through the Wellsian version of The War of the
Worlds. Despite the fact that the film focuses exclusively on the
harrowing experiences of this somewhat dysfunctional family, in a very
basic way it preserves the elements of the original novel. As with
Wells' book, a science savvy viewer will pick up on the biological
plausibility of the main plot and realize the brilliance of Wells
original points. Scientifically educated viewers will also recognize
the geological impossibility of it. Neither of these facts should
detract from the entertainment value of this interesting and exciting
film. After all, it is a testament to Wells' genius that a novel
written nearly 100 years ago still holds our attention today, and is
still regarded as an intelligent take on improbable events.
An alien species, about which nothing is really known, has been
planning to take over and terraform earth for millenia, or perhaps much
longer. Using unknown technology, they manage to emplace operatives in
enormous tripod machines equipped with horrendous weapons that
basically carbonize any life forms they take aim at. The tripods had
been implanted deep in the earth long before the advent of our species.
There simply is no stopping the invasion. Cruise, whose character is
not really built for heroism, digs deep into his soul to protect his
children as they attempt to make it to Boston to reunite with his
estranged wife and her new family.
Before I discuss the technical merits of the film, and the lavish
production values, I feel that I need to make a comment on Dakota
Fanning. Ms. Fanning gives one of the best performances I have ever
seen a sub-12 year old give in The War of the Worlds. She is a match
for Cruise, and actually manages to steal several scenes from him. The
acting in this film is uniformly good, but Fanning really stood out.
Spielberg and his team make seemingly impossible film visions come
alive in a uniquely well realized manner. War of the Worlds is one of
the most visually stunning films I have seen in a long time. Though I
would not call the special effects innovative, they are, more
importantly, convincing and never over-done. The nearly first person
story telling technique is both original and effective, and the
non-heroism of Cruise's character makes for a much more compelling plot
than I expected to see. There are indeed some problems with
believability, but let me ask - why would anybody go to this film
expecting something more realistic than a fairy tale?
Recommended for Wells fans, fans of the original 1953 adaptation, and
action sci-fi fans. Mildly recommended to the average cinema-goer.
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