Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!
War of the Worlds
They're already here.
The extraordinary battle for the future of humankind through the eyes of one American family fighting to survive it. Ray Ferrier is a divorced dockworker and less-than-perfect father. Soon after his ex-wife and her new husband drop of his teenage son Robbie and young daughter Rachel for a rare weekend visit, a strange and powerful lightning storm touches down.
When 9/11 happened, I was in middle school. I was 13. When the first plane hit, I was just getting settled into second period. At about 9:15, the principal turned on the speaker and delivered the news. But we didn't hear about the planes, because at that point, there wasn't enough information to know about the planes in the first place. All we heard were the buzzwords: "Terrorists" "Attack" "Explosion" So the school was to be evacuated for safety precautions, of course.
It was one of the scariest moments of my life. I saw no explosions that day. I didn't see any death. I just saw the people in my life and strangers completely freaking out, and it wasn't until…
Surprisingly dark and twisted so unlike your typical Steven Spielberg film and I love it! Spectacular Special Effects! As far as acting goes the young upstart Dakota Fanning stole the show!
I could have done without the whole bad dad, teenage angst thang but other than that I truly enjoyed the film and it has become my favorite film adaptation of H.G. Well's Novel!
ONE OR TWO SPOILERS
This project hasn't been going so well so far, but this was a fair bit better even though I wasn't expecting it to be.
I do count myself as a sizeable Steven Spielberg fan even though, before this, I hadn't seen anything he'd made since the excellent Catch Me If You Can. I guess I've always been slightly reluctant to visit his later films because I was worried I would always come into them with the expectation that they would be as amazing as his earlier classics. But I actually came into this with no expectation at all, so maybe I'm ready to tackle them after all!
The apocalypse has never been so dull.
Tom Cruise, as always, shows off his excellent running form. Dakota Fanning screams and cries a lot and is generally obnoxious. Whoever played the teenage son gives a devastating, riveting performance as a one-note angsty butthead who at first is all "I don't like you, Dad" but then is all "Actually yeah I do." That's his entire character arc.
Also featuring some of the dumbest looking aliens ever put to screen and a plot that has less meat than a Buddhist monk's bowel movement, WAR OF THE WORLDS is headache levels of boring. It's supposed to be a grand spectacle but ends up being a grand spectASSle.
oh my god that was horrible
[Originally published on Nerve.com]
A decade or so from now, when academics start publishing scholarly tomes with titles like "The Anxiety of Insurgence: Hollywood Responds to 9/11," Steven Spielberg's unsparing adaptation of War of the Worlds is guaranteed a meaty chapter all its own. No doubt aware that images of people running in terror from collapsing buildings now carry unavoidable topical baggage, Spielberg, with the help of screenwriters Josh Friedman and David Koepp, has refashioned H.G. Wells' classic tale of interplanetary invasion into a unnervingly cathartic simulacrum of that Tuesday morning's apocalyptic confusion and horror. The references fly fast and furious and sans subtlety: onlookers covered in ash, walls papered with handmade MISSING flyers, mountains of rubble dotted with…
Tom Cruise is a terrible father who doesn't know why his son prefers his stepfather or what his daughter is allergic to. We don't quite know what he's been doing instead of fathering, but - because it's Tom Cruise, and because everyone in his industrialised neighbourhood seems to know him - we can make a pretty reasoned guess.
He's separated from his wife Miranda Otto (blink and you'll miss her) and doesn't do grocery shopping. His daughter, a Drew-Barrymore-from-ET-lookalike, loves him anyway, the way young kids who don't know any better often do. His teenage son is less forgiving and harder to access.
But none of the above matters or is any reason to see the film. The movie works…
Spielberg takes our mind directly back to the invasion of terrorists during 9/11. Watching this film, you get a strange feeling of nostalgia. Although the belief of aliens is still a bit far-fetched the filming was brilliant! The aliens somewhat play the role of the terrorist in this film. The terror of the lighting hit and the invasion is captivating in a guilty sense. Despite the feeling of despair, you can not turn away from the scenes. Immediately you form empathy for Cruises character, worried whether or not he will make it out.
At the beginning, when Cruise's character talks to his boss, Spielberg frames this tracking shot in such an unusual way. Shot from a low angle, he blocks the characters with moving trucks, aligning their massive tires with the characters, as if they were being repeatedly run over. I'm not going to try to say something smart about this, out of a fear of sounding stupid, but it's in the very least foreboding, which makes sense, cause shit gets real real soon after.
This film was an uncomfortable watching experience for me. It was brilliantly done (except for the cartoonish aliens) but uncomfortable.
The destruction, while caused by an almost impossible thing, is all too familiar to terrorist attacks, particularly during 9/11, July 7, 2005 in London, and the IRA attacks during the 70s, 80s and 90s. Cars are blowing up, buildings are catching on fire, and the collapse of dust from the disintegration of a building that covered the town was eerily familiar to the collapse of the twin towers.
The aliens are the terrorists. We don't know their reasoning, we just know that they want to destroy us. Although I don't think that bacteria will destroy actual real-life non alien terrorists.
This is post-9/11 cinema at its finest, offering a commentary on the "us vs. them" ideology that has been sweeping American popular and political culture.
Is this the first 9/11 exploitation film? The first blockbuster B-movie (second, after Jurassic Park, which it mimics a few times)?
No Spielberg masterpiece here, but a satisfying monster/disaster/action/Americans-rule! thrill ride for sure.
Cruise seems inspired to enact out his Xenu Invades! fantasies for the cameras, and both Dakota Fanning and Tim Robbins are so strong with what they brought they almost steal the film from the special effects.
There's some dreadfulness here too, as any b-movie demands it. Needless narration bookends. The first 5 minutes are generic dreck that could be the opening to over a hundred other awful films. And there's the usual money saving mistake of faking a NY out of other locations (here it's Newark,…
The idea that Cruise's character is a sort-of absent father really adds to the interest of this film for me. I feared it would be something along the lines of "loving father keeps children safe throughout tragedy... happy ending." Good things happening to good people does have it's place, but not in an alien invasion film. The fact that Cruise is having almost as much trouble parenting as surviving an extraterrestrial attack makes the viewer interested in more than the aliens. An engaging dramatic element is created in which the viewer begins to become invested in Cruise's relationship with his children and hope for him to be able to help them survive and ultimately keep them.
The implausible nature of this entire movie is just repulsively cheap. There are some critical flaws in the entire concept of the alien invasion that just don't make sense, and I for one felt insulted by the very idea that this was a way to handle H.G. Well's story. Some fun action sequences make this film slightly watchable, but it feels like such a disappointingly half-baked presentation in comparison with Spielberg's other efforts like 3rd Encounters..
(2005년 7월 19일에 쓴 글을 2015년 4월 23일에 고침.)
스티븐 스필버그에게 '공포영화 감독'이라는 수식어가 붙는 경우는 드물다. 그러나 그는 어떤 공포영화 감독보다도 스크린 속 공포를 잘 다룬다. 동시에 그가 다루는 공포는 매우 정형화되어 있어 이제는 그 수법이 뻔히 보일 정도가 된 지 오래다. 그럼에도 <우주전쟁>의 도입부에서 벌어지는 외계인의 첫 습격 장면은 보는 이의 얼을 빼놓는다. 스필버그의 테러 묘사는 '공포를 다루는 법'이라는 가상 해설서의 황금 공식을 그대로 따르면서도, 이전에 볼 수 없었던 참신한 시각적 요소가 추가되어 매번 업그레이드되기 때문이다. 적어도 현시점에서 <우주전쟁>은 역대 최고의 재난영화이며, 시각적으로 가장 뛰어난 괴수영화이다.
스필버그 영화의 원점은 그가 유년기에 매료되었던 문화 요소들이다. 그가 오슨 웰즈의 라디오 드라마 대본 원본을 소유하고 있다는 사실로 알 수 있듯이, <우주전쟁> 역시 그가 지금까지 만들어 온 장르영화의 연속선 위에서 정확히 파악할…
When I compare Spielberg's War of the Worlds to other "destruction of NYC" films from the 2000's, it stands out as one of the best. But when I judge the film on its own merits, it's a little bit underwhelming.
One thing I loved about this movie is the way in which it was shot. Spielberg showcases the city in a way many NYC films struggle to do, and we got to see several beautiful pans of the city (I particularly love the shot in the beginning right after the ridiculous Morgan Freeman monologue where we see Cruise for the first time working in his little crane-like contraption).
Maybe it's just my own personal taste, but I feel like alien…
I'm posting this list earlier than normal as I'm not sure I'll be around much next week.
For the purposes…
'1000 Films to Change your Life' is a book with excerpts from many highly regarded critics, actors, directors and writers,…