I love to go to the cinema. It's safe to say that I'm pretty indiscriminate in my choice of films. I'm as likely to go and see something at one of Seattles many fringe cinemas as I am the latest blockbuster. This week I saw the latest blockbuster by which I mean War of the Worlds (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0407304/). After having read the Wired (http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/13.06/war.html) article about it I figured that, from a technology interest point of view alone, it would be worth seeing. I mean, they shot it in 72 days and used all sorts of new whizz bang technology to pre-visulaize the special effects on site rather than once they'd done principle photography.
I've done the War of the Worlds thing many times over. I've read the book. Seen the 50s movie. Listened to the Jeff Wayne musical version. I've never heard the Orson Welles radio version but 3 out of 4 ain't bad.
What did I think about the new movie? I don't know. It's a Hollywood movie and to make it a Hollywood story they've added some elements to make it digestible but in doing so, I think the whole point of the story got lost. To me - and you're free to disagree - War of the Worlds is a cautionary tale about industrialization and over reliance on technology. And I didn't really feel that point hit home hard enough. The main characters never really felt like they risked being crushed like ants. I didn't really get the feeling that the world was ending and the human race was being exterminated as I had from reading the book/watching the movie/listening to the musical. And hence ultimately, when man is saved, the relief and re-oinforcement of what I see as the core story was missing. Aside from that, I thought the "journey of discovery" of Tom Cruise's character was a little unnecessary and frankly the last scene - I won't spoil it - was so riddled with improbable co-incidences and unlikely realities that it stuck hard in my throat.
Still, it's about everything I had expected. I did *love* the noise the tripods made <WANG>.