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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Save it for video, 16 July 2005

Steven Spielberg owes me $7.50. I was looking forward to this movie. Spielberg? A summer special effects experience? Count me in. Now, I am sorely disappointed. I should have known something was up with the two-page spreads the studio took out all over the country to advertise this lemon--and ALL the Tom & Katie-not movie--publicity we all endured throughout the spring and early summer.

Roger Ebert was right. This movie gets two stars (actually, I'm closer to 1 star). Spielberg has lost the art of STORY-telling in lieu of HUGE, MASSIVE special effects--many of which give the viewer a sense of deja vu. We've seen SO many of them in other movies (think The Abyss, Signs, etc.) Actually, Signs gets it right--for subtle special effects and building suspense. Maybe Stevie ought to take some refresher lessons from M. Night Shyamalan.

I know sci-fi, and this, sir, was no sci-fi. This was a WEAK quasi-sci-fi flick: this was B-movie horror. WAY too much blood, not enough plot. Gee, kids hate dad, dad must try to save unlikable kids, dad and kids run, dad brings kids to ex-wife. All smiles at the end.

Not only the director, but the actors are to blame. Let's be candid folks, Tom Cruise has LIMITED range. Yes, he's an "athletic" actor, but his bug-eyed pout only goes so far. God knows, we want him to be good, but he's not. He's just always surrounded by BLOCKBUSTER special effects. And Dakota me, within 30 seconds of her ear-piercing hysterical scream, you WANT the aliens to kill this little bitch. Spielberg has relegated HER to bug-eyed screech...and nasty put-downs of her father.

Instead of a story and character development, Spielberg gives us LOUD special effects that, like I said, we've seen most of before. Did I mention it was LOUD? Between Fanning's SCREECHING and the extended basso profundo BURP of the "tripods," this is NOT a pleasant theater experience. Save it for video. You can control the volume, fast-forward, and/or mute Fanning's neuroses-ridden horror. Remember, save it for video. Save yourselves! And...note to Mr. Spielberg. PLEASE go and find your inner story-teller again and show us the REAL you.

25 out of 32 people found the following review useful:
A great afternoon romp, 22 September 2002

I just saw this movie, and all I can say is that many of the critics don't `get it'-this is a fun romp, especially because of the efforts of the extremely gifted actors in it. Sarandon as an "uptight" matron is a hoot. Hawn giggles a bit, but shows us a force of nature as well. And Geoffrey Rush's character is a wondrous "mess."

Basically, a best friends story, with a few twists and turns. Yes, I'd love to see more of a back story on how Vinnie becomes Lavinia and more of the Bangers' `history,' but for an afternoon of memories and joy, this is it.

I really appreciate the central question Bob Dolman seems to be asking.what happened to us? Kids, for those of us living before AIDS changed the sexual revolution and the greed of the '80s turned most of us into yuppies, we were `free-er.' Gee, it's a chick flick. The theatre was filled with women when I saw it, and they were all laughing at the jokes and sighing at common experiences. The Harry Plummer character? Just think about his reaction to Suzette's caring for her friend's child. The scene shows her `real' character, not just the `floozy.'

If you want great meaning and angst, rent a Bergman DVD; for a fun romp, SEE THIS MOVIE!