Monday, July 11, 2005


I liked Spielberg's War of the Worlds remake ok. It continues the surprisingly dark line of sci-fi films he's made of late (A.I. and Minority Report), and the film is infinitely superior to the lame Independence Day, my last great hope for wholesale cinematic destruction. I've always had a love-hate relationship with Stephen: he makes entertaining action sequences like nobody else (Raiders of the Lost Ark, Jaws), but his films are typically adolescent in tone, and the characters and dialogue until his most recent work can be painfully bad (let's face it: ET is simply Benji from outer space). Jurassic Park had great tense moments--the T-Rex and the upturned Jeep? Excellent. But you have to wade through goofy acting to get there.

In particular, Spielberg's films feature bratty kids that one wishes would die, but they never do. War of the Worlds is no exception. Tom Cruise's character should let those self-righteous upper-crusters fry. In fact (SPOILER ALERT) Spielberg could have done parents everywhere a great favor when the bratty little daughter starts screaming as Cruise tries to rescue her, if Cruise had kicked her out of the minivan and allowed her to get vaporized by the tripods instead of indulging her.

Of course I say this as someone who intends never to be a parent.

The absolute best thing about War of the Worlds? The vivid memory of being scared shitless at age 7 or 8 watching the original on TV.