So, today I got my hands on another outdated movie: Spielberg’s War of the Worlds. He usually does a good movie, so I thought maybe a remake by him would be done right. Nope. Nope Nope Nope.
Where to start… the coolest thing about the movie was the microbe zoom out, and quoting the book at the beginning and the end. In fact, if you decide to watch this movie, just roll the first 30 seconds and last 30 seconds, and skip all the stuff in the middle.
I was going to compare it to the classic movie, but the original movie would be so far superior on all counts, I decided that would be a blood bath (yes, that is a reference).
The lead character is a cocky, shallow dad who, although he loves his kids, he only loves them when other people take care of them. Gee, that is endearing. I really want to see him live? And he’s a father of two spoiled brats who have no respect for parental authority and see fit to whine and say nasty things every 15 seconds. Aren’t they a great retelling of what’s jacked up in today’s youth? Sure… let’s endorse it further with the Hollywood label that says “you can treat your parents like crap because it will be OK in the end.” Lame.
So, the aliens start their attack. The EMP pulse is clever. But then there has to be something NEW, so uh, the attack vehicles come out of the ground. Yeah, that is the ticket. They were buried here a million years ago and have never:
- Decomposed at all – they all work like brand new
- Surfaced as the earth has shifted position over the last million years
- Shown up on any of the geo-imaging that folks use to find minerals and oil
OK, let’s pretend I buy that… then the aliens use lighting to beam the aliens into the underground attack ships. Really, is that really supposed to be cool? Especially since the lightning went all over the place, and it took something like 26 strikes for them to get the one alien into the first attack tripod? 26 times… one for every letter of the alphabet. I could see the aliens now,”Freeble!! You’d better get this right, we are up to attempt Z and there’s no more letters left!!”
I guess it DOES make sense they sent Freeble the alien to our lead character’s town. I mean that town wasn’t an important city like New York, or Singapore… maybe he was new. Cut the dude-alien some slack.
So then the chaos ensues. The aliens begin taking over the planet. Cool, that’s kinda how the story is SUPPOSED to go. At least they got that part right. But yet again, we have a character that doesn’t communicate. The Dad can’t come home and say,”Hey kids… listen there is some freaky shit going down, people are dying left and right by the hundreds. If you want to live you do exactly as I say.”
No no, can’t have that. He’s all trying to hide the alien invasion from his children to protect them. Let’s just say that again, because I laugh every time: He’s all trying to hide the alien invasion from his children to protect them. I think that’s part of why our children are so jacked up today! They are protected so much and allowed to play and goof off – by the time they need to settle down, focus and work, they are resentful and scatter-brained. That’s just great. Let’s endorse that pattern in this movie, too.
Now, the “angel” of this movie is Rachel. The prima donna who has to have her hummus, has self-professed back problems that preclude her from sleeping in the basement during an alien invasion, and feels free to scream her lungs out whenever she doesn’t get her way. But that’s OK, because older brother knows the super lame technique to calm her down… lie to her some more. Yes, pretty much everyone is lying to Rachel the whole movie, and they keeping cutting to close-ups of her innocent blue eyes, and she keeps seeing everything she isn’t supposed to and will be fucked up for life. Poor Rachel. So we lose huge sweeping time for kick ass alien carnage so that we can understand the complex relationship between prima donna and reality which has been warped by bad parenting on both sides. Thanks for that. Really, shoulda stuck to the carnage.
Is the movie over yet? No. There is the oldest son, who’s name I forget because I am trying to move on. He’s a typical arrogant, know-best, wins-battles-and-loses-wars type like his dad. They are a great combo of big loser and mini loser. So, what they try and weave into his character is that we wants to take action – wants to be in the thick of things, and of course dad has to learn that when your 15-year-old wants to bum-rush the alien tripods…sometimes you just have to let him go. “But dad, I just have to put a gun to my head and blow my brains out…it’s just something I gotta do, OK?” And of course, Hollywood parenting kicks in and this is just something parents have to let their children do. Gotta love it.
Then, all of the sudden, the movie goes all “Terminator 4″ – the aliens decide they aren’t just going to kill people, they are going to start harvesting them. Why do movies do this… change the rules mid stream? It’s stupid. Was this in the book? Maybe someone who read the book can help me figure this out… but see, they do it so they can have Rachel get captured by the aliens but not killed, see? I once had a childhood friend yelp,”How obviously mechanical!” Yes…that friend is gone now, but his legacy remains in full force here.
As soon as the aliens start doing the capture thing, I should have just pressed the stop button. This wasn’t Spielberg – it had to be someone borrowing his label. Anyway, now the aliens are capturing people and grinding them up into planet-fertilizer to be sprayed on everything… which apparently turns into red veiny stuff and helps with alien indigestion or something.
Oh, and of course we are granted a face-to-face visit with the aliens. They come down with their little doe eyes looking so cute and innocent. WTF? They are all rummaging around and looking at bikes and pictures… such a cute little endearing moment. Wait a dun-darned second. These aliens are here to kill EVERYTHING. They aren’t going to come for a visit and stroll down memory lane – if they cared, they wouldn’t be KILLING EVERYTHING. Fake. Fake Fake Fake!
Finally, and I can’t tell you how happy I was when this happened, the aliens started to die off randomly. This is true to the story – so we all knew it was going to happen. But see, unlike when the original story came out, our technology has advanced. Unlike when the original story came out, these aliens supposedly had studied us for 1 MILLION years.
Think about it:
- If they have the technology to invent materials that don’t biodegrade EVER, weapons systems that can lay dormant for a million years and still function like brand new
- If they have the technology to traverse interplanetary space (and likely intergalactic space) and beam pilots using lightning as the transport
- If they can invent shields that are impervious to all modern weaponry
I am supposed to believe with all that particle and polymer and physics mastery, and all that time to analyze us, that they never figured out about microbes? They never learned about “wash your hands after going to the bathroom?” Come ON, that is stupid. Didn’t they watch any other of our movies, tap our television and health systems data? No really, that’s plain stupid. Aliens that smart would never be that stupid.
I’ve said too much. I haven’t said enough. That’s me in the corner… wait a sec, I know that one.