Monday, 22 February 2016

War of the Worlds (2005) Review

War of the Worlds

Release Date: 29th June 2005 - Australia

Production Companies
Paramount Pictures
DreamWorks Pictures 
Amblin Entertainment
Cruise/Wagner Productions

Paramount Pictures Australia 

Genre: Sci-Fi

Rating: M

Runtime: 116 minutes

Budget: $132,000,000

Box Office Gross: $591,745,540

Plot Summary 
Ray Ferrier is a dockworker 
living in New Jersey, 
divorced from his first 
wife Mary Ann and 
estranged from his two 
children Rachel and 
Robbie, of whom he has 
custody on weekends. 
On one such visitation, 
looking after the kids 
becomes a little more 
difficult when, after a 
series of strange lighting 
storms hit his neighbour-
hood, Ray discovers 
that a fleet of death-ray 
robotic spaceships have 
emerged nearby, part 
of the first wave of an 
all-out alien invasion of 
the Earth. Transporting 
his children from New 
York to Boston in an 
attempt to find safety 
at Mary Ann's parents' 
house, Ray must learn 
to become the protector 
and provider he never 
was in marriage.

Tom Cruise - Ray Ferrier
Dakota Fanning - Rachel Ferrier
Miranda Otto - Mary Ann
Justin Chatwin - Robbie 
Tim Robbins - Harlan Oglivy
Yul Vazquez - Julio
Lenny Venito - Manny the Mechanic
Ann Robinson - Grandmother
Gene Barry - Grandfather
David Alan Basche - Tim
Morgan Freeman - Narrator

Director - Steven Spielberg 
Based on Novel "The War of 
the Worlds" - H.G. Wells
Screenplay - Josh Friedman 
and David Koepp
Executive Producers - Damian Collier and Paula Wagner
Producers - Kathleen Kennedy and Colin Wilson
Production Designer - Rick Carter
Costume Designer - Joanna Johnston
Cinematography - Janusz Kaminski
Special Effects Supervisors - David Blitstein and Gintar Repecka
Special Effects Coordinator - Daniel Sudick
Senior Visual Effects Supervisor - Dennis Muren
Visual Effects Supervisor - Ricardo Ramos
Visual Effects Supervisor: ILM - Pablo Helman
Additional Visual Effects Supervisors - Edward Hirsh and Kim Liberi
Creature Designer: ILM - Ryan Church
Animation Supervisor: ILM - Randy Dutra
Film Editor - Michael Kahn
Music - John Williams


2006 Academy Awards

Best Sound Mixing - Andy Nelson, Anna Behlmer
and Ron Judkins (Nominated)
Best Sound Editing - Richard King (Nominated)
Best Visual Effects - Dennis Muren, Pablo Helman,
Randy Dutra and Daniel Sudick (Nominated)

If anyone thought of a movie that was based on a novel by the original master of science-fiction H.G. Wells, most people would choose THE WAR OF THE WORLDS, a story so compelling that it was adapted into two films in the far superior 1953 classic and the modern 2005 remake. Before this new interpretation, I had already seen the original and one observation I would note is the vast difference with its special effects which have gotten so dated since CGI wasn't invented until the late 70s. In the version that is directed by Steven Spielberg who was known to have produced Hollywood's cinematic treasures, it probably wasn't his best movie to begin with. He probably did a good job in delivering the suspense and drama that makes CLOSE ENCOUNTERS and E.T. (click here) look dark in comparison. The film is nowhere as unique when it reaches to the rushed ending that comes with a bad reveal that rivals the cheap twist scene out of SIGNS by M. Night Shyamalan. 

The lead and supporting actors that've followed through Spielberg's rustic direction aside from Morgan Freeman's narration is young Dakota Fanning, Tim Robbins and Tom Cruise who were not taking their acting too seriously. Dakota needs to do less screaming as it becomes annoying after a while and Tom just went cruise control in this picture. Only the visuals were the standout of this movie as it was poorly written and mass produced.

It was never the best remake nor does it quite catch the suspension of disbelief seen on the original interpretation. It's probably best that I re-watch the 50s classic than to rediscover the horrors of this mind-numbing epic fail.

Star rating: (4/10) Below Average

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