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Awake In The Dark
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Old July 7th, 2005, 12:23 AM   #31
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Here is my input, short and sweet:

(out of ten)

Plot: 1 - Utterly stupid. After the movie was over, I was sitting in disbelief as to how they could pass that off as and ending/movie

Graphics/Effects: 9 - Really good overall filming and stuff, I was impressed by it.

Yeah and that is my 2 cents. Oh yeah, one other thing. When they were in the minivan driving throught the huge crowd of people at night, did anyone else think that looked a whole lot like the scene from Dawn of the Dead? I thought they looked almost the same, it was kinda like a deja vu.
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Old July 7th, 2005, 12:28 AM   #32
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A "real EMP" is an event caused by a high altitude nuclear explosion, not a missle whizzing by or a lightning strike. EMP events due the latter are fiction.

Slight technical correction here...there are now missles that generate an EMP like effect that are subnuclear conventional missles...but everything you said about EMP's in general is correct...and EMP's primary effects are on more sensitive things like computers and other semiconductor devices. But nonetheless newer cars with computers would fry their internal electronics (and that wouldn't generate too much smoke...no more than frying an IC chip --something I have alot of experiencing doing). Older model cars would survive, and definately solenoids would not be affected by any EMP unless it was on the magnitude of something that would actually be harmful to humans.
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Old July 7th, 2005, 01:44 AM   #33
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I don't want to start a whole EMP debate, but let's just clear up the EMP thing.

EMP stands for electromagnetic pulse. EMPs were around long before nuclear weapons. Lots of things generate EMPs. Nuclear explosions just generate really powerful ones. That's why "EMP" has become associated with nuclear devices.

Pressing the button of a doorbell generates an EMP, just a very tiny one. So the idea of an advanced alien race having a weapon that generates a destructive EMP without a nuclear explosion is plausible, certainly in the context of a science fiction movie.
But even if we accept that, the idea of an EMP frying a starter but not damaging a camcorder goes against even science-fiction physics.

But hey, it's a MOVIE!
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Old July 9th, 2005, 02:07 AM   #34
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Saw the movie yesterdag night, my opinion:

SPOILERS

Very good, really. I thought the dramatic sequences were very good, like the one in the basement where Tom Cruise is in tears and realises he even doesn't know a song for his daughter.
I thought the murder on Tim Robbins was very approperiate to the story.
Acting was very good, special fx too, suspense too, all things that can be expected from a Spielberg movie.
I hadn't much problems with the abdrupt ending, but I thought it would have been better story-wise if the son really had died. More realistic.

And about the wholes in the plots: like Dan said, it's a movie, and I enjoyed it.
Many people thought the movie needed more action and less drama. Some even didn't like it that Tom Cruise wasn't a hero who fought back against the aliens, really I read that on boards.
I think that was one of the stronges points of the movie: the main character is as helpless as all the rest.

END OF SPOILERS
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Old July 9th, 2005, 11:19 PM   #35
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The hero has a more muted arc. His arc was 1) Ensuring that his family survived 2) Going from being a bystander to an actor 3) Redeeming himself as a father 4) Witnessing the end of the crisis.

I'm glad that he didn't do anything outrageous like hop into a tank or jet. Even using the grenades was probably too much. He was basically in the shoes of the vast majority of people.
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Old July 10th, 2005, 01:03 PM   #36
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I saw a couple nights ago. I thought it was pretty good.

I liked the feeling of terror that came from focusing entirely on Cruise and his estranged family. I've seen enough of the ID4 battle-o-rama and seeing another take on the invasion story was good. Cruise is actually a good actor in the right project with the right director, it seems, and Dakota Fanning, the Hollywood child in danger du jour, was very good. I wanted to pick her up and protect her as soon as I dodged the killing machines.

It felt really good from the moment the people started running in panic when the tripods started vapourizing people. I thought the scene with Cruise and the survivalist could have been trimmed, though when Cruise actually makes his decision on what to do with him it was done very nicely and had plenty of weight.

I love the feeling of scale when we see the awesome tripods stalking through the city, raining death down on the puny humans. Especially when they attack the ferry. Again that comes from focusing on the people on the ground. Again, I've seen enough of the "gravity of the situation from the White House" type scenes from the various global disaster / invasion films. It's refreshing to see the view from the ground.

Nice shout outs to the George Pal version.
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Old July 10th, 2005, 02:03 PM   #37
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Just saw it last night and I'll make my critique.

Plot----about a Ĺ to 1, how can you let a plot go that undeveloped?

Visual Effects---8 to 9, Hey, itís Steven Spielberg

Acting---Enough to sustain the plot, after all there was none. Anyone of thousands of people could have played any of the roles.

Interesting quote form IMDB---ďAccording to an interview with Miranda Otto, she originally turned down the part offered by Spielberg as she was newly pregnant. However, Spielberg wanted her to play the part and changed the script to incorporate her pregnancy into the role.Ē

My question---WHY?!?! She did nothing in the movie. He must have wanted to give her a big paycheck is guess!

Donít misunderstand me, I am a huge special effects fan. But, I think that the ability to do fantastic special effects has caused those who use them to neglect the rest of the movie. Just think what this movie could have been with a fully and artistically developed plot and characters.

Yes, the EMP, or whatever, how unrealistic. It only takes out starter Solenoids! Even if----all of the manual transmission cars could have been push started. He has a full V8 Ford engine, about 550 lbs, in his kitchen, which if I recall was upstairs from the ground floor.

I have a suggestion for a new film crew position---reality advisor! You know, like they have advisors in police shows! How hard would that job be? The problem being that those who are making the movies now, are so separated from everyday reality, that they are unable to see these simple errors.

One last thing as far as bad plot lines, where would you be taking your daughter during the ferry scene:

A. Scattering out into the country side to hide where the enemy is not.

B. Boarding a big ferry with hundreds of other people making lots of noise and commotion, going to no where different and on the biggest target in the area, with tri-pods heading right for it?

As Homer would say---DUH!

Yes, I did enjoy the movie to a certain degree, and it is a Spielberg movie, therefore all will go to see it. But, how much better could it have been?
It is not a matter of paying for the ticket, but it's the let down from anticipating a great Spielberg movie, and then seeing this.

Mike
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Old July 10th, 2005, 02:24 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Teutsch
One last thing as far as bad plot lines, where would you be taking your daughter during the ferry scene:

A. Scattering out into the country side to hide where the enemy is not.

B. Boarding a big ferry with hundreds of other people making lots of noise and commotion, going to no where different and on the biggest target in the area, with tri-pods heading right for it?

As Homer would say---DUH!
As I recall, Cruise and his family got onto the ferry only before the tripods showed up. After that they were swept along. As for scattering out into the countryside, they did that after the ferry and were stuck and isolated in a farmhouse that was visited more than a couple times by the tripods. So either you are hunted individually or you are with a crowd of large targets.

I think a lot of what you say is probably common sense to someone who has seen a lot of movies and science fiction. Kind of like how we all groan at horror films where the sexy teenagers take refuge in scary buildings. It's interesting to think how trained we are by movies. Is it common sense or 'movie common sense'?

If it happened in real life, would we still try to congregate where other people are fleeing or take off on our own? I suspect most people would still seek refuge with their own kind in the hope that the 'government' had an answer. I think Cruise is thinking the latter.

And he still has to get across the river to reunite his family, remember. Maybe he could find another way across like a boat or something. Maybe he is still panic stricken. Remember, he thought he was fleeing in a direction most people wouldn't be but it only turned out that hundreds of other people were thinking the same thing.
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Old July 10th, 2005, 03:10 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith Loh
As I recall, Cruise and his family got onto the ferry only before the tripods showed up. After that they were swept along. As for scattering out into the countryside, they did that after the ferry and were stuck and isolated in a farmhouse that was visited more than a couple times by the tripods. So either you are hunted individually or you are with a crowd of large targets.
The tripods came before the ferry left. The only reason they were hunted individually, is that it was Tom Cruise.

[/QUOTE] If it happened in real life, would we still try to congregate where other people are fleeing or take off on our own? I suspect most people would still seek refuge with their own kind in the hope that the 'government' had an answer. I think Cruise is thinking the latter. [/QUOTE]

I don't think that we would be heading for our local national guard headquarters. If you are affraid of a nuclear attack, would you head for New York, NY, or Boise, Idaho.

[/QUOTE] And he still has to get across the river to reunite his family, remember. Maybe he could find another way across like a boat or something. Maybe he is still panic stricken. Remember, he thought he was fleeing in a direction most people wouldn't be but it only turned out that hundreds of other people were thinking the same thing. [/QUOTE]

Reuniting the family is only feasible after the enemy is defeated. Before that not even a consideration.

But, I'm glad you are taking the time to develop the plot for us. I just wish Mr. Spielberg would have done it on screen. Still think that it left much to be desired. Just my humble opinion, but if Spielberg would have worked on the plot a little more, the posts here would be much different. He may make big money, but this is not a classic movie.

Best of luck Keith,


Mike
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Old July 10th, 2005, 09:44 PM   #40
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I don't think that we would be heading for our local national guard headquarters. If you are affraid of a nuclear attack, would you head for New York, NY, or Boise, Idaho.
Information is still sketchy, though and always is in times of crisis. No TV, no radio. In the George Pal version everyone thinks the nuclear option will work agains the Martians. In this version, they haven't resorted to it. People may assume that there is still safety with the government. Remember the scene where Cruise has to fight with his son to get away. Cruise knows that the army failed somewhere else but everyone else ran to 'watch the show' when they are near a battle. Someone who has been through a war would run in the other direction but these people don't know any better.

Quote:
Reuniting the family is only feasible after the enemy is defeated. Before that not even a consideration.
Cruise doesn't know the movements of the martians! He doesn't know if he is leading his family towards the invasion or away from it. In the absence of that information, he just has the direction to unite his family. He has the driving concern to make sure that his family is together and safe. Feasible or not, when you are a family man you want to take care of your own, even if the world is ending. In fact, if the world is ending, you probably want to die with your family, not scattered somewhere trying to eke out a few extra hours.

Quote:
But, I'm glad you are taking the time to develop the plot for us.
Developing the plot for you is not my concern. I just didn't find that much to complain about - nor do things always have to be spelled out. In wartime things are chaotic and stupid. People act irrationally in the moment, especially when there are driving emotions. How many people who have seen a tsunami now will run towards one to snap pictures? But earlier this year, many people stood and gawked when they should have been running as fast as they could in the opposite direction.
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Old July 10th, 2005, 10:04 PM   #41
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Speilberg only has so much to do with how his movies turn out, really, lets not forget that in speilberg's movies the editor plays a major role in how his movies turn out, how much character development there is how much action, how the scenes layout, speilberg himself admitted this in the documentary "the cutting edge"...

as for plot i have to say i see no other way it could go, tom is an idiot, and obviously his kids are more mature and smarter then he is, this was made clear very early in the movie, and he has to lead his kids to safety when all he knows about is his narrow world 'cars', like many of my friends that survied 911, a tragedy changes you but in no way gives you more intellect, so basically the movie follows this moron and his kids to his ex wife, his safe haven, the person with all the answers...not much more to it, its simple and allows the movie the move...

maybe the real problem was casting tom cruise, who many people just can't fathom as an idiot who can't even take care of his own kids after he saved the day in so many his movies...personally i would have cut Dakota Fanning, who clearly over acted in every scene and is just overall annoying, robbins is robbins, i would expct him to act that way in real life, he was great distraction from the aliens...

my favorite all time speilberg movie was jaws, i'm a huge fan and just came back from the 30 year anniversary fest at marthas vinyard, it was not much of fest, but speilberg's jaws changed the movie industry, war of the worlds did not, but it was a great interpretation of doom, i think hg wells would be proud of his effort...
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Old July 11th, 2005, 10:42 AM   #42
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This was a good place to cast ordinary or uknown actors, to related to us ordinary or unknown folks. We already know the story as it's a remake, but we needed a story within the story, and it failed to deliver. I was waiting for Tom to finally say "enough is enough" and pick up a bazooka, or by chance, happen to meet a secret society of folks whom knew this was coming, and were a little more prepared, and needed a front man to lead them. Maybe even a finding a dying scientist, cut off from his team, whom had a secret weapon, or knowledge about how to overcome the Tripods shields, and even the odds. Tom being the one man whom could be entrusted to deliver. I should have waited for the DVD.
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Old July 11th, 2005, 11:03 AM   #43
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One other thing. In addition to the engine block in the upstairs kitchen, and the EMS pulse issue. I'm finding it very hard that the aliens, advanced as they are, would not have anticipated the possiblity of disease in the environment. The fact these creatures were walking around in their birthday suits, without so much as a respirator, etc. is simply repeating the same mistake made in the original movie. We are a more educated audience. We no longer marvel at the concept of "aliens". It not just the FX alone that should be convincing. The very ending was akin to a boring 50's high-school instructional film. At least there was some film jitter evident, and I had to restrain myself from bursting out into laughter that my wife wouldn't understand.
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Old July 11th, 2005, 11:17 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by Mike Teutsch
Donít misunderstand me, I am a huge special effects fan. But, I think that the ability to do fantastic special effects has caused those who use them to neglect the rest of the movie. Just think what this movie could have been with a fully and artistically developed plot and characters.
No more so than has ever been true of any other type of film, be it a western or a musical. There have been, and always will be, directors who focus on the tools and tricks of the trade which they find interesting at the expense of other story components (though I state out front that that is not a problem with War of the Worlds - it has some slow moments, but what problems it does have don't come from spending too much time with the effects). Visual effects didn't create that problem and it doesn't solely perpetuate it. If we didn't have CG or motion control or stop motion, we'd have something else that people would claim the director spent all his time on instead of the story.

While there are undoubtedly director's who spend a lot of time on that sort of thing (like Mikcheal Bay and his 70 gagillion camera set ups - though his films also turn out they way they do because he likes that sort of thing, it's his sensiblity, and even if he had no money and one camera the character work and story would be pretty much the same), for the most part problems of character and story in films doesn't come from a director's preoccupation with something else (though it's easy to think that from watching a film, but what we see on screen doesn't really tell the story of what it took to put it on screen - a movie, even a bad movie, with a lot of effects does not de facto mean more thought was put into effects than story or whatnot, there's lots of reasons for that sort of thing, such as a director's personal sensibility, interferance from outside controlling parties, and sometimes things just don't work on screen like you thought they would - it's like the old Greek ideas about atoms and elements and matter without any actual knowledge of how the physical laws of nature really work, they guessed and most of their guesses sound good at the time based on what they observed, or thought they observed, but upon hindsight with a fuller knowledge of what is actually going on inside of elements and atoms, sound patently ridiculous), they are part of the ephemeral art of filmmaking. While in the middle of a creative project, it's really impossible to know what the final outcome is going to be. You have an idea of it of course, but you don't really know what it's going to be like until it's done, and by then it's too late to change it. A lot of it is guesswork and inspiration. You can spend all the time in the world on the character's and their story and dialogue and everything, and still have the movie turn out to be complete crap. Such is the nature of creating art.
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Old July 11th, 2005, 08:47 PM   #45
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one more thing about war of the worlds. i may have said it already but i found the zapping of the humans cheesy. i laughed so loud when they were doing it, i was the only one in the cinema =). people l00ked @me strange, but i know the concept behind it from the book (the aliens require water to survive, hence the beam microwaves the water in our body until it explodes, that's why the clothe is left). the point is, just as pal's verison was cheesy, i thought this verison was just as cheesy but people didn't catch that =). it's like when the mechanic is zapped in the rear view mirror. pretty funny schtick.

josh,
you mean like M Night's later films with supposed dialogues+char. development? heheheh just kidding. that's another thread altogether (for the record i loved The Village tremendously & think it's his most mature film).

as for the craft of filmmaking, what about david fincher? what about him? i think if he has total control, the final outcome of the film is pretty close to what he envisioned (except for alien3, which was so bad an experience that he never want to do anything with it ever again). look at the man's track record after a3:

# Benjamin Button (2006) (announced)
# Zodiac (2006) (pre-production)
# Panic Room (2002)
# Fight Club (1999)
# The Game (1997)
# Se7en (1995)

even the critically panned panic room was awesome and breathtaking in story/acting/scope. every single film he has done so far has been classics (despite what naysayers warn). without even seeing a film of zodiac and bb in the years to come, i already know that it'll be just as entertaining. track record is almost everything (note *almost*).

if that is true and we apply that to steven spielberg, you'll see that he hasn't strayed far. as good as his film catalogue is, he hasn't really changed all that much except that he has more $ to make film and in a position of great power. i think that power corrupts him and makes him reveal himself as someone who relies on tricks of the trade (from tricks of non-revelation of the truck driver in duel to the camera angle on the minivan) but as it happens lacks plot/story. look through all his films, there isn't one that has really strong and overwhelming story/plot, even his schindler&private ryan. this is a one trick (camera-based) man that has survived all this time by making smart business deals but hasn't grown artistically in terms of telling stories that have staying power. in another 100 years, 500 years will we remember spielberg? who knows? i certainly dunno. if i were to make a case for it, it'd be for his technical qualities like the first 20min of SPR or making us feel pity in Schlinder... but for staying power of story, he definitely can't match someone like Kurosawa. now there's someone that can consistently deliver humane stories.

we are already forgetting D.W. Griffith, who relied on technical tricks, of the years past. they say film is forever... but if the negative is never found (like so many veritable classics of film past) then how is that forever? =). i'm not saying Lord of the Rings or Star Wars will ever be lost... but Citizen Kane was almost lost =).

there, i said it, film isn't forever =).
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