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War of the Worlds (2005)
USA / English
"They're already here. "
As Earth is invaded by alien tripod fighting machines, one family fights for survival.
Tom Cruise Ray Ferrier
Dakota Fanning Rachel Ferrier
Miranda Otto Mary Ann
Justin Chatwin Robbie
Tim Robbins Harlan Ogilvy
Rick Gonzalez Vincent
Yul Vazquez Julio (as Yul Vázquez)
Lenny Venito Manny the Mechanic
Lisa Ann Walter Bartender
Ann Robinson Grandmother
Gene Barry Grandfather
David Alan Basche Tim
Roz Abrams Herself
Michael Brownlee TV Reporter, Osaka
Camillia Sanes News Producer
Director: Steven Spielberg
Producer: Kathleen Kennedy,Colin Wilson
Writer: Josh Friedman,David Koepp
Spilberg's "eye" of terror.
James Cameron and Stephen Spielberg famously ushered forward the CGI revolution in the early 90's with films like Terminator 2 and Jurassic Park. They set a trend, and since the late 90's we've been hit with one CGI adventure movie after the other.

But Spielberg had his fun with his CGI dinosaurs, and soon moved on. While lesser directors scrambled onto the CGI bandwagon, churning out soulless nonsense like RESIDENT EVIL and TOMB RAIDER, Spielberg changed gears and directed Saving Private Ryan, Minority Report, The Terminal, AI etc. Argue about the quality of those movies all you want, but what I'm trying to get at is that this guy tries his best to stay ahead of the game. Ahead of the trends.

Saving Private Ryan broke new ground. I think it's a flawed film, but nevertheless, it now serves as a template for all future war movies. Loot at Black Hawk Down, can you imagine it shot with the static feel of, say, Platoon?

So here we have War of the Worlds, and again we see Spielberg developing a new "eye". And that is what fascinates me most about this film. The camera stays fixed on Cruise and his family. We catch fleeting glimpses of the alien invaders and their war machines. The destruction and special effects whir by in the background, ominous and looming but never dominating the screen.

Spielberg's camera is always running away, afraid to look at the destruction, panning away from the effects, terrified! And what's terrific is that this new "eye" suits the story.

I suppose it was only a matter of time before a director decided to consciously play down special effects for dramatic purposes. Of course this filming style is not new. But no other movie has ever used this technique from start to finish with such intensity.

Aisde from this "eye", the movie is actually pretty standard. Instead of children hiding from Raptors in cupboards, we have Cruise hiding from invaders in basements. Spielberg handles the tension well, but its all stuff you've seen him and others do before.

As for the "review" lock-down, I personally don't think it's warranted. I don't see what Paramount is trying to suppress. I haven't given any spoilers away in this review, but that's basically because the film had no major spoilers for me to reveal! There are some twists but the abrupt ending isn't earth-shattering.

Regardless, I suspect within the next few years, everybody will be copying the style of this film. It will be interesting to see how Spielberg chooses to shoot his next movie.


Seen it:Ja
Nr of disks/tapes:1
Storage device:Divx 4
Imdb rating: 6.6
Musician: John Williams
Running time: 116 min
Everything else:
Last modified: 2007-07-19 20:27:3