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War of the Worlds...

Everyone needs a good dose of sleep deprivation now and then. I have decided to try to stay up every Saturday from now on. It’s very cathartic. I am currently at Mom’s. I am house-sitting. I was supposed to be cat-sitting, as well, but I suspect that my parents broke down and took the kitty with them. As I can’t get hold of Mom because she’s somewhere outside the Sprint service area, I really rather hope they have the cat. Because he’s not here.

Spent this morning importing yet more CDs onto my laptop. I currently have nearly two days of solid music. I haven’t yet seen any signs of stress on my hard drive, but then I haven’t tried to multi-task much lately. We’ll see what happens when I transfer my current batch of photos from the camera.

Went and saw War of the Worlds this afternoon. I was aiming for the morning show, but I was slower than usual getting going. I shot for the 2:30 show and spent some time before and after wandering around downtown.

Okay, when did Steven Spielburg get so damn cynical? Going from E.T to this was rather jolting. It is a very dark movie all around. The main protagonist is very, very flawed. There is a lot of violence. I spent the majority of the movie trying to decide which was worse: the aliens or the depths to which human nature would sink. I still don’t know. I find myself wondering if I’d ever want to find out. Tom Cruise’s character is arguably not so much of a hero as a survivor. Yeah, his actions have a certain validity because he’s protecting his children, but they’re still really disturbing. That he continues to survive is due more to luck than anything he does.

He’s your typical male (ooh, and I know that will come back to bite me). Take the opening scenario: Lightning hits the same exact place in your town over and over. You stand outside and watch the 26 consecutive strikes. You leave your children behind to venture to where the lightning struck. The ground starts shaking. You stand and watch. Huge cracks start appearing in the ground, followed by a giant sinkhole. You stand and watch. While buildings collapse around you, a giant metal tentacle emerges from the ground. You still stand and watch. The tentacle ends up being attached to an even bigger “tripod” walker, which starts vaporizing people left and right. Only now do you turn and run.

This is very much a suspense movie. I could even call it a horror movie. The aliens are not so much characters as they are a power. There is no attempt to personify them, no explanation given as to why they would want to invest a million years planning to attack the Earth in such an inefficient, if dramatic, manner. But, as they aren’t really characters, that didn’t really bug me. There are a couple of scenes that got to me, probably because Spielburg tells a lot of the story from the point of view of the ever-adorable, surprisingly talented Dakota Fanning. The bodies in the river creeped me out big-time. And the horribly beautiful scene of a literally blood-drenched landscape worked so well. The score was typical Williams, though again, darker. There was a noticeable lack of any sort of noble, heroic motif.

My only major gripe is with the plot itself. Specifically, the ending. Cruise’s character’s revelation of the alien’s weakness was lost in an unfortunate loud explosion. And it just doesn’t make enough sense to be believable. Having not read the book or heard the broadcasts, I don’t know if that is a problem inherent in the original plot or just a bad case of I-need-an-ending. I don’t even know if you could call it an ending. There is no uplifting team effort like in Independence Day. They don’t get to fly away off the island in a deus-ex Jurassic Park helicopter. The entire planet has been ravaged. I can safely assume huge casualties. Despite the title, it hasn’t been so much a war as an extermination. None of the characters come away with anything to show for their brutal experiences. There is no ideal that has not been trampled in the name of pure, primal survival. Human nature is portrayed here in all its jaded, selfish glory. I think, in the end, that scared me more than any alien ever could.

I should point out that I tend to get really thinky when I haven’t slept for a day. Ciao.

*edit - I can't believe I thought "thinky" was a word. Heh. Thought thinky.

*edit the second - I can't believe I find that last part amusing.


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Jul. 11th, 2005 01:45 am (UTC)
I have a good word for you.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )



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