(Working on organizing it by similar aesthetic.)
The War of the Worlds
Amazing! terrifying! The most savage spectacle of all time!
H.G. Well's classic novel is brought to life is this tale of alien invasion. The residents of a small town are excited when a flaming meteor lands in the hills. Their joy is tempered some what when they discover it has passengers who are not very friendly. The movie itself is understood better when you consider it was made at the height of the Cold War - just replace Martian with Russian.
Hokey wisdoms. Tourism shifts to war and desolation. Every seam is visible but all of it tells a story. A delirious mix of craft and horror, viewing the alien truth alongside a gee-whiz mentality. Don't raise and wave your white flag. It won't work. Run instead.
There is a remarkable streak of bleakness running through Byron Haskin's "The War of the Worlds." Beginning with news reel footage of past wars before showcasing the invasion of Earth by extraterrestrial forces, the film heaps destruction upon humankind with little rest until the film's climax. It is a downcast war film, as serious as any that might portray nonfiction conflicts, that offers a gripping story of a world with little hope for survival.
Based on H.G. Wells' novel, "The War of the Worlds" follows the characters involved with the struggle against the invaders on the ground. There is little character-based drama, the film, instead, focusing almost solely on the effects of the Martian invasion. The story offers destruction, failed…
Performances : 3/10
Story : 3/10
Production : 4/10
Overall : 3.33/10
You know, everyone crawls up Hollywood's ass when they make an unnecessary reboot or sequel of a film. Nobody says anything though when they get it right. They got it right when they did the Tom Cruise remake of this, because this version was painful to watch.
At one point in the film, while the main characters prepare to launch an attack on their unsuspecting foe, a voice comes over the loudspeaker giving the following official fucking warning :
"Attention please. Four minutes 'til bomb time"
Fucking really!? It's moments like that, along with horrible dialogue and honestly atrocious lighting that make The War of the Worlds come off as a film that has no idea, thematically, where it wants to go.
It hurts me to say this but skip this garbage and go see the remake. At least Tim Robbins is in it.
Most of the sci-fi film from the early and mid 1950’s have a Cold War subtext to them. I found WAR OF THE WORLDS surprisingly void of this metaphorical complexity.
The film opens with a voice over describing the first and second world wars, and how the entire planet was occupied in the war efforts. We then move on to a quite California town. The residence see what they believe is a meteor crash landing in the hills. We soon find out it is one of a planet wide alien space craft invasion. These aliens seem to only have destruction on their minds. Despite the U.S. and other countries military best efforts they are unable to even put a dent…
I just want to play Simon with their faces
George Pal's lavish Technicolor rendering of the HG Wells story is one of the earliest examples of big-budget sci-fi cinema, a landmark film that was instrumental in helping the genre escape from the cheap Saturday matinee form.
The story begins with a distinctly comic tone as it establishes characters and setting, then gets serious and downright scary in a hurry ... even today, the depiction of the Martian machines laying waste to the planet still packs quite a punch. The main attraction is the briskly-moving story with its edge-of-the-seat tension and exciting action, all of which was supported by beautiful special effects. Some liberties were taken with the story (in spite of the modern setting, the 2005 remake is closer…
I can't even give this a fresh rating. It's not offensively bad or anything, it's just making me realize how great the Spielberg version is from a dramatic standpoint.
TCM Festival 2016: Seeing a detailed presentation about the special effects process before watching the movie definitely helped me appreciate the production more, especially when it was dragged down by the stilted lead performances. There are some admirably bleak sequences of humanity's despair in the face of an unstoppable enemy, although they're balanced out by plenty of hokey character interactions. The effects work looks a bit cheesy now, but much of it is surprisingly still effective.
I caught a wonderful presentation of this film at TCM Film Fest, with an introduction by Craig Barron and Ben Burtt, illustrating how some of the visual and audio effects were created. The movie itself, I am somewhat ashamed to admit, I did not even know was in color -- and what color! This is some vibrant Technicolor, which really lets the classic special effects boast for their creators. It's funny, all of the things the characters go through (and the order in which they go through them), only for a deus ex machina ending. It isn't the storytelling of today, that's for sure. But that doesn't really matter; it was an awesome experience. And when the exchange that is prominently featured in Joe Dante's Explorers happened, it was like greeting an old friend.
SAW: at the TCL Chinese Multiplex (TCM Classic Film Festival)
This is an adaptation of the HG Wells novel that has aliens from Mars coming down to Earth and starts a violent invasion. First the positives, the special effects of this is quite excellent. Some elements are even excellent even by today's standards. They're probably the only reason to watch the film. The characters are pretty thin and the screenplay is rather poor. Even Roland Emmerich has done better work, I'm surprised to say. But as students of film, the special effects used in this one makes it worth a least a watch.
A studly, stoic scientist (Gene Barry) and a wimpy, screaming librarian (Ann Morrison) witness an invasion of Earth by Mars. Loose adaptation of H.G. Wells' classic novel doesn't hold up to childhood memories: silly dialogue, bland characters, stolid direction. Only the Oscar-winning visual effects still impress.
The residents of a small town in the hills have their lives upended after the Martians who land in the mountains turn out to be far from friendly. Out of the 1953 Classic Sci-Fi/Fantasy Quintuple Feature I watched ("The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T," "Invaders from Mars," "The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms," "It Came from Outer Space," and this) I was pretty floored to find out that this film is the least of them all. It almost touches on being what I would label a bad film.
If it weren't for the awesome color and excellent effects, this film would be truly terrible. The beams, colors, flashes, and everything else the tech wizards behind the film did to make the…
Fun Classic Alien Sci-Fi
War of the Worlds (1953) is a fun classic to watch. Martians are taking over planet Earth - for what real reason is left a mystery. Maybe for the clean water, rain, cloud cover (which the aliens prefer) etc...
The film is fun but left the viewer with quite a few questions: How do they eat? What is their "air" like (what do they breathe)? How primitive of a creature are they - what could they be likened to on earth? Did they in fact have a two or three brains as speculated in the beginning of the film? etc....
If you just take the film as a "fun" sci-fi film then you are sure to enjoy this movie. Crazy looking aliens, strange ships, shoot-them-up action, building blowing up - those type of things make this film fun to watch.
Dynamic camerawork from the underrated director Byron Haskin, coupled with the era's ultra-saturated Technicolor, makes for quite an eye-popping experience. It's a shame, then, that the central characters are so dull, between the demurely blank heroine and a broad-shouldered, bass-voiced hero who's about as convincing a scientist as was Denise Richards. Cipher-like protagonists aren't usually a problem in this genre, except that the monsters here are also so impersonal, never emerging from their flying saucers but once. Beyond a great, catchily alliterative title, Wells's original novel isn't nearly as well-suited to adaptation as his TIME TRAVELER or INVISIBLE MAN; with its passive central character merely a witness to the story's events, the book depends on the premise of alien invasion being absolutely novel. It took all of Steven Spielberg's most hackneyed tricks to give his (otherwise totally redundant) remake into a very satisfying summer blockbuster.
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