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War of the Worlds


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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

What are everyone’s plans for catching this? I'm popping into London this Thursday and catch a 10am or 12:45 showing. I've yet to pick up the score which is unusual for me not to get it upon release day, but will grab that on Thursday too since HMVs summer sale has begun and I'll be raiding the cheap CDs I am sure.

 

Daniel

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A friend of mine saw it yesterday and liked it a lot.

 

 

I wonder what the reviewer meant when he says "Foregoing the widescreen format"...

 

I would imagine it means Spielberg and Kamiski shot it flat with spherical lenses at 1.85:1. I'm thrilled to hear from Kaminski in a recent interview that they didn't do a digital intermediate for this.

 

Daniel

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For a $135 million special effects epic, it's striking how grungy and ordinary it looks. Foregoing the widescreen format, desaturating the colors and focusing on nondescript working-class neighborhoods, Spielberg and cinematographer Janusz KaminskiJanusz Kaminski employ a raw, inelegant visual style to disguise the film's extraordinary stylistic sophistication and make seamless the interlacing of real and computerized action.

 

 

I'm thrilled to hear this. One of my biggest pet peaves with CGI is how unrealistic it looks. Take all the new Starwars films for example. Everything looks too freakin clean and shiny because it is all CGI. I really hope WOTW gets it right because IMO not very many movies (if any) have.

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I'm thrilled to hear this. One of my biggest pet peaves with CGI is how unrealistic it looks.

 

A friend and I were discussing just this very evening that Spielberg seems to have some kind of secret handshake with ILM when it comes to getting the best out of its staff.

 

They always seem to go the extra mile for him, and Spielberg himself is smart in knowing how to use effects and what should be done practically and what should be done in post. Janusz Kaminski also seems to light for visual effects incredibly well adding to that small group of key crewmembers that help in making Spielberg films look so seamless.

 

Very few filmmakers today understand the choices available to them, and are so frequently incapable of distinguishing between a choice that’s right for the film, and one that is wrong. It’s true of many directors, cinematographers, effects supervisors and so on….People can say all they like about the films themselves, but the craft of Spielberg’s are damn near impeccable for the type of films he makes.

 

Daniel

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I have to admit I came away from the film this morning underwhelmed , neither loving nor hating it. Yet , I was certainly still able to appreciate the fact Spielberg’s skill saved such a bland screenplay from utter tedium in managing to deliver a few magnificently staged scenes of a tension level he’s not really hit since Jurassic Park.

 

I like the fact it focuses more on the characters than mass destruction, I just wish they didn’t have to be such run of the mill cliches of characters. David Koepp continues to drive me mad with such contrived characterisations (though nothing as bad as his Spider-Man script) the worst example being spelling out to the viewer that Cruise’s character is a jerk. Morgan Freeman’s narration might as well have continued over the scene going “Look what a jerk he is. See, he wont help his pregnant ex-wife with a heavy bag! Oooh doesn’t this make you mad? Now do you see what a prick he is? My oh my”

 

That’s the worst that kind of thing got in fairness, the rest is the miraculous movie luck such as Cruise managing to obtain the only road worthy vehicle after the storm which works thanks to a minor off the cuff suggestion he makes to a mechanic early in the movie. Save one TV crew and the entire army, no other car in the entire state seems to work but his, but it really got pretty sloppy when;

 

 

…overnight his car manages to sit safely amongst the remnants of a 747 plane crash which has wrecked every house (including the one they hide in) and vehicle in the street. Phew!

 

 

The music is great, the cinematography and production design all great, and again there are some exceptionally well staged scenes;

 

 

I really like everything surrounding their arrival in the car before they reach the ferry dock. It’s a very claustrophobic scene where the threat is not alien at all, but human.

 

The way the aliens dispense of living things, namely people, in the film is also pretty stark and exciting, and visually something we’ve not really seen before.

 

There’s a great scene in a basement where a tripod eye is trying to seek out Cruise, Fanning and Tim Robins’ characters. It reminded me of the raptors in the kitchen with Lex and Tim at the end of Jurassic Park.

 

 

I’m not really in any hurry to see this one again, or to add the film to my collection at home anytime in the very near future (I can see buying it in HD, but not sooner). What I found there was to like in the film, I liked a lot. Elsewhere things just felt rushed and rather shallow.

 

Daniel

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Daniel,

That seems to jive with what I read from a review from Peter A at HTT. He loved the first 45 minutes but said it went downhill from there. I'll catch it sometime soon I'm sure but I wasn't expecting much to be honest. The closer the release got the more cautious I was towards it. THe opposite was true of Batman Begins.

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My mini review:

 

Great fucking movie until you meet the Tim Robbins character, which is sad because Tim does a great job with the character the story just takes a huge nose dive from that point on.

 

Pros: Sound, Special effects, Tripod design(even if they stole it from HL2), Sound, First part of the movie, Sound, Dakota Fanning,

Tom Cruise getting swallowed by what looked to be a giant butt hole

, and finally Sound

 

Cons: The last half of the movie

 

I think the DVD of this movie will be the new SVS show off DVD if the DTS transfers home like I heard it tonight.

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