The War of the Worlds (2005)

“Summer of Film #23 of 100”:
If people in the future ask, “Who was Steven Spielberg?” the answer is this: He is the man who made Jurassic Park and Schindler’s List in the same year. And maybe after this year, you will be able to say he’s the guy who made The War of the Worlds and Vengeance (or the Untitled 1972 Munich Olympics Project) in the same year. But that remains to be seen.

My point, however, is that tWotW is Spielberg in Jurassic Park mode; where he draws you in with the spectacle and then takes you for a ride. The movie succeeds and fails in all the same places JP did. The awesome visuals, the throwbacks to classic pulp and horror, the idea that if you are going to show me aliens then show them on a scale that has never been shown before so that forever when people watch alien-invasion movies they can say “yeah, that’s just like that Spielberg movie’.

And while I enjoy movies like this, you know that all of this is just hand-waving, just a magician’s sleight-of-hand while he’s preparing the real trick, the movie people will really be talking about in a hundred years. And that may very well be this December’s Vengeance (or whatever else he ends up calling it).


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