(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…
Orson Welles' radio broadcast caused some people to panic.
Cutest little cutie-pie Martians you EVER did see!
The religious angle makes it a bit dated, I think, but this is a well produced and exciting film. It's well shot, and has what were remarkable special effects for its day.
I really like the use of lighting in the film. It's used both to feel alien, and to create tension and terror quite well.
My capsule review from TCM Film Fest: www.flickchart.com/blog/ranking-the-tcm-film-festival-days-3-4/
Here's how I reranked it on my Flickchart (was #2218 before):
The War of the Worlds > Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
The War of the Worlds < Rango
The War of the Worlds < The Music Man
The War of the Worlds < The Terminator
The War of the Worlds < Beggars of Life
The War of the Worlds < In the Aleutians
The War of the Worlds > The Wages of Fear
The War of the Worlds > Scoop
The War of the Worlds > Top Five
The War of the Worlds > Annabelle Serpentine Dance
The War of the Worlds > Pitch Perfect
The War of the Worlds > A House Divided (1913)
Final #1757 out of 3626 (52%)
Why was there so much religion and so little cinema in this? Also so many of the scenes were out of focus (and it's generally an ugly film). Terrible.
Some parts of The War of the Worlds are so bad they're good, and then there are some parts that are legitimately good. It's never boring, and it's certainly better, and thematically richer, than Spielberg's remake.
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.
The 2016 (2nd) edition of the list. You can see the original and more info here.
With a list of…
The first 1012 films are from The 1,000 Greatest Films list, and maintain the original order. The films that follow…