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Movie Review: War of the Worlds

Alternate Title: We are Doomed

Story: When we Earthlings least expected it most (we were too busy looking for our own Earthbound terrorists) they came from outer space and vaporized, destroyed and generally scared the pants off of us. This is GREAT summer entertainment.

I was a HUGE fan of the original 1953 film. Even as a teeny weeny little movie goer I was a fan. My sister and I were spooked by the original War of the Worlds for decades.

This Steven Spielberg production (based on HG Wells' 1898 novel) delivers lots of visual treats. There are spectacular tripod monsters and scary imagery. The special effects are laudable, the editing is terrific, the cinematography boffo and even the music is right on the money.

The flaws are forgivable (including the sappy ending). The story remains essentially true to form except that the emphasis is on one family (with many problems). This works well because the action is really what this film is about. Do I care about this family? Well, sort of - but I was more interested in the aliens and the destruction.

We also get the requisite mob mentality, survivalist loony, brave souls, lost souls, filial dysfunction and healing ala Speilberg.

Have some summer fun and go meet the aliens.

Acting: The Tripods were terrific. Tom Cruise did not have a great stretch in this film. He does what he does best. He runs, he is intense and he survives. Dakota Fanning (this little girl needs a rest) is fine but does little but squeal and get teary eyed. Tim Robbins as the loony survivalist does not work at all. Justin Chatwin as the 16 year old kid does a fine job. Morgan Freeman, as the requisite narrator who explains what the heck is going on at the beginning and the end of the film is, well, Morgan Freeman.

Predilection: I like big summer films and also like science fiction.

Food: Peanut butter was a big part of a scene .Other than that there really was not too much time to eat when being chased by monsters.

Soundtrack: John Williams does a fine job.

Opening Titles: None. But please stay through the credits. There are some riotous credits including 'well-informed man' and ill-informed man'.

Visual Art: The blue collar home is represented well.

Theater Audience: I went to a 9:15 AM showing. There were five other folks with me .I would be happy if there were films shown at 7AM.

Sappy Factor: The ending was sappy.

Squirm Scale: I did not think it was squirmy, but some of the visuals might disturb the sensitive (but it does have a PG-13).

Drift Factor: Did not drift at all.

Predictability Level: High

Tissue Usage:0

Oscar Worthy: No

Nit Picking: It was summer fun - it gets a pass.

Big Screen or Rental: Big screen for sure. These are my favorite Spielberg films: Catch Me If You Can, Saving Private Ryan, Amistad, Schindler's List, Jurassic Park,Hook,Empire of the Sun,The Color Purple, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and of course, Jaws

Length: Two hours