Sunday, July 03, 2005

It's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine..... 

Went to see "War of the Worlds" tonight with a friend. We picked a theatre that tends to be a little less crowded because it's near the edge of town. The theatre had lots of people but wasn't completely full, which is the way I like it.

I really enjoyed the movie, more than I was expecting to. Spielberg always does a good job of making you feel like you're with real people in the midst of something extraordinary. I mean, when this odd "thunderstorm" starts up, I would have been one of the curiosity seekers standing in my yard watching it approach. And, knowing me, like a tard, I'd probably end up struck by lightning because I'd be so fascinated.

When Tom Cruise leaves his house to find out what's going on, you feel like you're there on the street with him and his New Jersey neighbors. The chaos that ensues is actually very understandable, because no one knows what exactly is happening, so they have no idea what to do in response. When they scatter and run in blind panic, you really can't blame them.

The effects are spectacular in part because they're unpredictable. Tom Cruise's character manages to grab his kids and hop into the only working vehicle in his neighborhood (it works because someone replaced a burned out solenoid, which none of the other drivers thought to do). Like during any catastrophe, logic doesn't really factor much in the decisions made.....mainly people just react to the urge to get as far away from danger as quickly as possible. But because Tom's character is basically selfish at heart, all he can think to do is to dump off the kids at his ex-wife's house, even though she had very clearly told him she was going to Boston for the weekend.

There is one excellent jab at the media: at one point, Tom's character is standing near the wreckage of a crashed plane, and a reporter asks him if he had been a passenger. He says no, and she replies, "Too bad. That would have made a good story".

There is also a scene which exemplifies mob mentality perfectly. Driving a van into a city street full of people nearly ends in the main characters' demise because the vehicle symbolizes hope in the form of a means to escape the aliens. Frantic, panicked people will do just about anything to save themselves.

There is one scene I thought was funny. The young girl, too scared to sleep, asks her dad to sing her a lullaby to sleep. He doesn't know any lullabies, so he sings her the only song he can think of: "Little Deuce Coupe".

I would not recommend taking kids to this movie. "E.T" it ain't. There are people being vaporized, having the blood sucked out of them and other unpleasant sights. Not excessively gory, but the suggestion of people coming to a horrible end is definitely there.

Dan thinks he might want to see this. If he decides to go, I'll might see it again. It might not have quite the same jolt as the first viewing, but I bet I'd still like it.

One word of warning: if you have autoimmune fatigue, do NOT go see this movie if you are already tired, because it will WIPE YOU OUT. Honestly: I haven't been this much of a zombie after a movie since "Return of the King"'s Shelob scene. It's that much of a roller coaster ride. I didn't mind a bit, but let's just say it's a good thing I don't have any big plans for tomorrow.

She's my little deuce coupe, you don't know what I got.....

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