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Jul 10

Number 200: War of the Worlds (2005)

War of the Worlds is number 200 of our top 200 movies list.  The movie is directed by Steven Spielberg and stars Tom Cruise and Dakota Fanning.

War of the Worlds

Karen’s Review

I honestly enjoyed the movie War of the Worlds.  Going into it I was kind of thinking ‘oh yuck, this is going to be an action, shoot ‘em up boy movie’ but it turned out to actually have a pretty decent story line.

I don’t especially care for Tom Cruise in real life.  He seems pretty over the top and ‘out there’ with some of his views, but as an actor he is one of the best.  I also love watching Dakota Fanning.  They both played their characters very authentically.  I don’t know how Dakota can act completely scared out of her wits when you know at the time of filming she was probably in front of a green screen being chased by a beach ball or something.  They both ran the gambit of emotions and had me believing all the events that were happening to them.

I enjoyed the special effects.  The computer generated imagery flowed really well with the real life effects which always makes for a better movie experience.

I appreciated the cinematography of this film.  I am by no means a professional cinematographer or ‘camera woman’ but I always seem to notice in movies or TV shows when the camera angles are off or should be closer or further away etc.  Of course, how can you go wrong when Steven Spielberg is involved right?

The only thing I didn’t feel really fit with the movie was the teenage sons’ character.  The actor played the part well, but his character didn’t feel true to life.  In the early part of the movie he was really devoted to his little sister (Dakota Fanning) but closer the end he was ready to just abandon her and run off to join the military in a battle to the death with aliens.

There is a neat twist at the end and a life moral that really wrapped up the whole picture well.  I give War of the Worlds 3 ½ shells out of 5.
3 and a half shells

Kenny’s Review

Well, the directing was fine; of course what else would one expect by one of the greatest directors of all time.  I really liked how Spielberg used different angles to make the shot.  His use of using the car side mirrors to capture a scene is still has a great effect even though he has used it in some of his other films like Jurassic Park.  The CGI was well done even though the aliens had a similar appearance to those in Independence Day.

Overall, the acting was pretty good.  Tom Cruise did a decent job playing the deadbeat dad that finds himself in the position of going from not having any aptitude at being a good parent to being responsible for keeping his children safe from the aliens.  Dakota Fanning did an excellent job of playing a scared little girl that just wants to get home to her mom.  However,  I think the best acting done in the film was by Tim Robbins who played the crazy man with the plan to take down the aliens.

The main flaw in the movie was the son’s part.  His acting was not bad, but I think it was a little over the top with him trying to catch a ride with the military convoy and “having” to see the battle.  The majority of the teenagers that I have taught or been around play the bystander role very well.  So, I think that characters roll was a little uncharacteristic of a teenager.

Overall, I give the movie 3 shells out of 5 because the acting, directing, and graphics were all of good quality, but none of it was just outstanding.
3 shells

Photo via http://movies.yahoo.com/movie/1808412033/photo/555913

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1 comment

  1. Cecilia

    I didn’t care for this movie much but your comments make me want to watch it again. Love the shell’s very clever….

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