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War of the Worlds (2005)

R | | Horror, Sci-Fi | Video 28 June 2005
A determined meteorologist must embark on a nationwide journey to find his son during a massive alien invasion that's goal is to exterminate the human race.

Director:

David Michael Latt

Writers:

H.G. Wells (novel), David Michael Latt | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
C. Thomas Howell ... George Herbert
Rhett Giles ... Pastor Victor
Andrew Lauer ... Sgt. Kerry Williams (as Andy Lauer)
Tinarie van Wyk Loots ... Felicity Herbert
Jake Busey ... Lt. Samuelson (as William Busey)
Dashiell Howell Dashiell Howell ... Alex Herbert (as Dash Howell)
Peter Greene ... Matt Herbert
Kim Little ... Rebecca
Edward DeRuiter ... Max (as Ed Deruiter)
Meredith Laine ... Audrey
Matthew Jaeger ... Jared
Cayman Mitchell Cayman Mitchell ... Jake
Luis de Amechazurra ... Bill
Gary Robbins Gary Robbins ... Jules
Bernadette Perez ... Elaine
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Storyline

The story tells of a man named George Herbert who is separated from his wife and child when a Martian invasion begins. He tries to make his way to Washington, D.C. to reunite with them as the world is torn apart. But civilization is laid to ruin when a race of super aliens ultimately invades Earth! Written by Anthony Pereyra {hypersonic91@yahoo.com}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Invasion Has Already Begun.

Genres:

Horror | Sci-Fi

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sci-fi violence/gore, language and brief nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was the first of many Asylum Studio "mockbuster" rip-off films that cash in on more popular movies, though this film did not start off that way. The script was originally written in 1997 by Carlos De Los Rios. Titled The Invasion, the film was to be a modern-day loose adaptation of H.G. Wells's War Of The Worlds, featuring two brothers (one a scientist and the other a solider) going on a cross-country quest to find their families amidst a full-scale alien invasion. The script interested many big studios and the two brothers were to be played by C. Thomas Howell and Tom Cruise, but the project fell through due to budgetary concerns. Years later, De Los Rios took his script to The Asylum and planned to make it there, but when they heard that Spielberg was working on his own version of War Of The Worlds with Cruise in the lead, the creators felt discouraged and decided to retool the script to cash in on his project. Director David Michael Latt said in an interview "We were doing it first...I think they knew about [the production] and never cared to reach out to us, so this was our way of giving them the middle finger." When the cash-in marketing proved to be a huge success, The Asylum started intentionally making more mockbusters and knock-offs as and used this film as a business model. Other elements, such as the musical score and effects created specifically for this movie, would go onto be recycled in countless Asylum productions. See more »

Goofs

The army sgt is wearing Marine Corps sergeant chevrons and there is no unit patch or name tape on his uniform as there should be. See more »

Quotes

George Herbert: I'm just here to find out if there were any survivors in D.C.
Lt. Samuelson: No survivors. Everything's been wiped out. President, senators, generals, even the little fucking dish boy at the Denny's down at the Mall. Gone.
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Crazy Credits

No aliens were hurt during the production of this screenplay. In the case of an actual alien attack, please refer to the duck-and-cover method, which is on page 72 of your manual. See more »

Connections

Version of The War of the Worlds (1953) See more »

User Reviews

Characters in the key of cliché
28 July 2005 | by jaywolfenstienSee all my reviews

The problem with disaster movies is the fact you always have at least one scene where a character loses it. A scene where they spout how they question what they used to believe in, how they've lost faith, and show them on the brink of giving up (if you're a side character you do give up and die.) It's the scene that's supposed to pass as deep because it talks about issues and beliefs (maybe religion), where a character bleeds their soul in front of the camera. This rendition of War of the Worlds is scene after scene after scene of people I never cared about talking the cliché talk I've seen in other (better) movies.

But through all of its dialogue heavy confessionals, it never resonates as coming from real characters with real fears and concerns. It's the archetype priest (sorry, pastor) whose faith is challenged; the archetype rabid military commander who practically foams at the mouth with his battle obsession; the archetype everyman average Joe astronomer who lives to see the happy ending.

"Scientists win every war" the commander spouts, a valid point worthy of being explored (like many points in the film, I might add), but less than a minute later the film throws it away completely. I guess an elaboration is too much to ask. So we wind up with a series of vague statements that are supposed to pass as character development and provocative themes. It's just amazing that for all its talk the movie barely matches the depths of a Michael Bay action film.

All of the dialogue the characters are forced to recite lacks any real sense of valid observation regarding the real world. Nowhere are the details of everyday life that convince me that these characters genuinely reached this point in their lives, that they came to these conclusions on their own. It all comes across as undeveloped words for unexplored ideas that a writer rushed into a screenplay and into their mouths. It offers nothing more than surface level observations about society, organized religion, governments, the military. For the price you'd pay for the rental, you can probably get a more provocative conversation going over a 1.A.M. meal at Denny's with the regulars.

Unfortunately, a low-budget independent film can't really afford to lose the audience on a plot and character level since they can't afford to give an ambitious project like War of the Worlds the epic scope the effects require. The imagination of HG Wells has proved difficult to recreate on the silver screen, and films based on his novels have a tendency of pushing the boundaries of special effects. It's no surprise this movie cannot compete with ILM's spectacular display of destruction in Spielberg's version. The film just does fine with static shots of the aftermath, featuring nicely done composite shots that have a nice old-school matte painting vibe. The more dynamic effects (the aliens, the war machines), unfortunately, clearly show the budgetary limitations.

But, you know, it's not the lesser quality of the special effects that bothered me . . . it's the changes made to the design of the war machines. The War Machines resembled giant mechanical crabs, which I have to say is the most offensive design to cross a fan of the novel. At least the 1953 movie made an effort to make the War machines look other worldly – they would seemingly float and hover as they brought their destruction from city to city – and there was a fleeting reference to the tripod nature of them. The charm of the tripod design is the fact that it is alien to earth. Most creatures have an even number of legs: we walk on two legs, dogs and cats walk on four legs, arachnids walk on eight legs – what walks on three legs? A six-legged war machine lowers the Wells vision to cheesy monster movie featuring a giant insect.

Lastly the editing bothered me with its lazy fade-to-black transitions between scenes that I already felt had no sense of timing or rhythm and just dragged on. It just felt uninspired, monotonous, and redundant. It was like reading a story that used only simple sentences that never rose above "subject-verb-period" complexity. Editing is an opportunity to accentuate the on screen events, and provide an addition level of narrative depth through juxtaposition of images (which a novel of Wells' caliber requires). But in this movie adaptation, the editing is as interesting as watching a slide show in power point. Fade to black, and fade out with this review.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 June 2005 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

H.G. Wells' War of the Worlds See more »

Filming Locations:

Agua Dulce, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

The Asylum See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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