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War of the Worlds (2005)
Great F/X, but a lame script
I would've had more respect for this movie, if it had been a completely new adaptation of the original novel, but instead it's a re-tread of the 1953 original George Pal film.
Spielberg blatantly rehashed several scenes, most notable is the alien camera looking through the farm house and someone hacking at the camera with an axe.
Surprisingly, the 1953 original had far more scenes of massive destruction in the cities, and a much more complex script. The subplot of the scientists and the military trying to find a way to defeat the Martians was much more interesting than Spielberg's re-hash.
Here's a few things that really bugged me about the remake. Why would the aliens bury the machines long before the cities were built? If they wanted to conquer the Earth, it would have been easier to do it before humans evolved and multiplied! If the aliens were invincible and needed us for our blood, then why did they disintegrate masses of people with their ray-guns? And the worst detail is, the aliens themselves being transported within the bolts of lightning, thru the ground and into the machines!?#@wtf! How absurd!
Frankly, I found long stretches of the remake to be boring and unnecessary, like going through the box of condiments and throwing the peanut butter sandwiches against the wall. The bread and peanut butter was the only real food they had. They're in a life & death struggle, and he just threw the food away. They had to write this stuff. Again, absurd!
The best scene in the original was the battle of the Martian machines against the American military forces. Some of the best special effects ever produced for a film of that era. The remake has such a battle hidden behind a hill, while Tom Cruise whines to his kids in an effort to get their cooperation. They saved a lot of money on f/x for that scene.
They spent over 130 million dollars for a weak remake and the special effects are the only redeemable value. The original 1953 movie only cost 2 million to make and it was a far better film.