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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good modern taken on a well known story
Initially I was quite cautious about this film, whilst I respect Tom Cruise I'm not a huge fan in general. I was also worried that the CGI SFX would take precedence over the story, and it might not work set in a modern day environment (the novel was published around 1898) Don't expect a line for line faithful reproduction of the book (neither was the 1953 film), but it...
Published 8 months ago by Mr Baz

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3.0 out of 5 stars See the Stephen Spielberg standard signature clouds
"No one would have believed, in the last years of the 19th century, that this world was being watched keenly and closely by an intelligence greater than man's and yet as mortal as his own..." H. G. Wells

The actual HG Wells story is more closely aligned with Nevil Shute's book "On the Beach." A man realizing this is possibly the end of the world observes how...
Published on 23 May 2010 by bernie


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good modern taken on a well known story, 3 July 2014
By 
Mr Baz - See all my reviews
(#1 REVIEWER)    (No. 1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)   
Initially I was quite cautious about this film, whilst I respect Tom Cruise I'm not a huge fan in general. I was also worried that the CGI SFX would take precedence over the story, and it might not work set in a modern day environment (the novel was published around 1898) Don't expect a line for line faithful reproduction of the book (neither was the 1953 film), but it does follow the general story effectively.

Fortunately the film is good, and the performances of the cast are solid on every level. Cruise does a decent job as Ray Ferrier the divorced Dad who take his two children for the weekend when the invasion begins. We get just about the ideal narrator in the form of Morgan Freeman. Supporting cast has Dakota Fanning playing daughter Rachel Ferrier, it's nice to see Tim Robbins as Harlan Ogilvy the insane man whom the Ferriers end up hiding out with. No complaints with any of the cast strong all round.

Steven Spielberg provides strong direction, no doubt his experience pays off, and this time he's resisted the urge to tone things down too much. It's not super violent by any means, but the invasion itself and subsequent destruction of people and buildings can't be avoided due to the story.

SFX are excellent with some good camera work and the tripods are convincing in their appearance. Some of the lasers turning people into dust is very well done and the film is visually strong. One of the reasons it works for me is the screenplay and script holds up well, it would be easy to slip into ho hum acting and dialogue, trying to distract the audience with gloss and shine but lacking depth. Thankfully that's been avoided here the CGI adds to the film rather than propping it up. John Williams provides the soundtrack another pair of safe experienced hands.

H.G. Wells has provided the backbone story which is clever and satisfying in the conclusion. The invasion by the aliens is overpowering and devastating, just like the novel. The humans are seemingly at the mercy of the invaders their technology unable to even slow down the attacks, but they have overlooked something very simple which ultimately will wield the most powerful blow.

I'm a huge fan of the book, it's a well deserved Science Fiction masterpiece by a forward thinking author. Both films do take some liberties with the conversion to screen, however I think both are also deserving of a viewing. I enjoyed the film (as I do the older film) in their own right.

A solid view for sci-fi fans, and a good family film.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars blu ray IS better than the DVD and here's why :, 25 Nov. 2012
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Ok so some people did not understand the way this film was shot. It was SUPPOSED to be grainy and gritty. The film I will not review apart from to say I think its superb and a very different take on the story with the focus on the personal human desperation and emotions with the acting being top notch. The blu ray version offers one thing above the DVD in spades ( as they usually do ) and that is colour saturation and depth. The DVD has washed out colours and a rather 2D feel, the HD version gives a greater depth of field in many shots and hence is well worth the purchase. The HD audio is also obviously much better than the DVD audio if you have a half decent home cinema amp. I really do not understand those who rate down a movie because its not like something else ( ie the previous version of the movie or the book ) , this stands on its own and Tom Cruise ( who has been ordinary in many movies of late ) is brilliant. RECOMMENDED.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intense....,, 17 Aug. 2012
I don't understand why so many people hated this film.....I loved it. It was full of stunning action and effects that I couldn't believe it. I watched this film a few days ago on Telivision and I was very impressed and have resently ordered this film from amazon as I really want to watch it again. The first time I watched this film was on one Christmas eve and I can remember being terrified because of how intense it was but watching it again I wasn't scared but I still loved it so much. I thought that everything was good about this film and I especially liked the effects as they were very realistic and I was stunned by how good they were. I can remember being terrified of the way people got zapped because there was a grey dust and the dead peoples' clothes floating in the air! It was a great film although I don't think that everyone would enjoy it as it's about aliens invading the earth and some people might not be interested. In the remaining paragraphs I will be telling you everything about this film. Enjoy....!

Firstly, I will be telling you about the effects of this film. I really loved the effects in this film. They were very realistic and I think would scare many people. When the people get zapped, they explode into a clowd of dust with there clothes floating in the air. I can remember being terrified of this film when I first watched this and I think that the mane reason for this was because of how realistic the effects were. This would have to be one of my favourite Sci-fi films of all time. I just loved it so flipping much and I can't understand why so many people gave it 1 star; unbelieveable!

Also, I really liked the acting for this film. Tom Cruise was stunning in it and I think that he is the mane reason why the film workes. He is very realistic in it and I thought that he was just incredible and is deffinately one of the greatest actors of all time. I also liked everyone else who starred in this film but for me Tom Cruise stood out.

So to conclude, I really liked this film and it was very exciting and intense. I was on the edge of my seat for the whole film and I didn't want it to finish. I honestly can not believe why so many people have given this film one star because I thought that it was amazing! I can't wait to watch this film again.

By 11 year old, The Demon.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly good, 6 July 2013
By 
robert stirling (tarn,s.w.france) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Unusual to see Tom Cruise playing an "ordinary" guy,compleate with generation-gap issues with his children.He excelled in the role,bringing a vulnerability to his performance not often seen as he is mostly cast as the tough-guy action hero.
The film has all the superb special effects and cgi"s you would expect from a Spielberg production: he uses the tools that are available to a film-maker to optimium effect.
An enthralling version of H.G.Wells classic sci-fi novel.
P.S. It was clever of Speilberg to include in a walk-on part two of the original stars from the 50"s versionWar Of The Worlds - Dvd [1953].
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4.0 out of 5 stars Ulla!, 17 July 2012
By 
Mrs. P. BROOKSBANK (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
The War of the Worlds is probably my favourite book, I first read it when I was at school in the 1960's and could not put it down. I have always liked the turn of the century setting in Victorian England and remember getting an old map and looking at the places where the action was supposed to take place. I latter came to appreciate the various plot devices. I like this story so much that I was even willing to forgive the change of location for the 1950"s movie and although the Martians didn't walk they where still other worldly. The Tom Cruise film is not all bad and I have read that Steven Spielberg read this book at college and he wanted to do it justice. With the terrorist attack on the twin towers he didn't want to show scenes of the martians destroying america. This is fully understandable, but we don't see half as much of the martians as we should and this for me and many others is a major drawback with the film. Distance, supposed news reel shots are no substitute to seeing the colossal fighting machine striding across the land. Also they should have come to earth as in the book, its a film its not real, so why worry about people saying we would have known if there really was martians living on Mars. There is much to like about this film though, the suspense builds and the noises that the machines make add to this. Watch this film for what it is' a reasonably good modern rendition of the H G Wells classic. I have just bought a facsimile of the original book with illustrations published in 1906, superb. It encapsulate the strange otherworldliness of the Martians that is hard to recreate in a world that has seen many science fiction films. I suppose until someone makes a good quality film thats close to the original than that will have to do. The Lord of the rings was almost true to the book, why not the War of the Worlds?
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3.0 out of 5 stars See the Stephen Spielberg standard signature clouds, 23 May 2010
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: War of the Worlds (2005) [US Import] [DVD] [Region 1] [NTSC] (DVD)
"No one would have believed, in the last years of the 19th century, that this world was being watched keenly and closely by an intelligence greater than man's and yet as mortal as his own..." H. G. Wells

The actual HG Wells story is more closely aligned with Nevil Shute's book "On the Beach." A man realizing this is possibly the end of the world observes how other people handle the possibility that this is the end of the world. There is no family conflict with nerdy kids.

The 1953 version of this film also included a love interest that was not in the original story. This later version contains several attempts for us to negotiate with the aliens and or understand from the aliens' point of view what was going on.

This latest rendition is more a family feud meets the aliens. It was not all bad; there were attempts to keep some of the original story and included some of the designs from the 1954 film. We are also treated to a bloodsucking scene reminiscent of the original story. Of course Stephen Spielberg didn't want to copy the book or the original movie so the aliens pop up instead of fly down, six of one half dozen of another.

The graphics were fairly decent and did not look like the cheat CGI that you usually see on quick movies. The background music stayed in the background where it belongs.

This is not the easiest presentation to rank as for people that like bloodsucking fast action nerdy kids stories this could be a five star out of five stars; however for anybody seeking any kind of depth or relationship to the original story or relationship to the original movie this is more of a two star Phil. Therefore, you will understand when I give it three stars for watch ability and standing on its own merit.

The War of the Worlds (Penguin Classics)
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3.0 out of 5 stars It's OK - But Another Modern Day Setting....., 27 May 2008
By 
Adam Jackson (Stoke On Trent , England) - See all my reviews
This isn't one of Spielberg's classics & is an opportunity missed to present the 1898 novel as it was originally written by Wells. The 1953 movie had financial/technological constraints that necessitated it's(then) modern day, American setting but come on, Spielberg hardly needed to raid the piggy bank!!! So why set it in 2005 America?? Look no further than 9/11 for this as it is VERY edgy & pessimistic. A noble cause admittedly.
Basically the only things retained are the gigantic Tripods which I have to admit are probably the most photo realistic CG creations yet seen & also the story's biological salvation. Otherwise it's a Tom Cruise movie. Seriously, Cruise over dominates the movie, his features in 99.9% of every frame!! All this when you really want to see the annihilation of our cosy little world!
This is half the problem, Spielberg goes for a less is more approach, obviously keen to avoid comparisons with 1996 popcorn sci fi, Independence Day. It has to be stressed that the two films are completeley different with ID having far more OTT alien action & WOTW at least, offering us better acting & production values, especially cinematography & visual FX.
The aliens themselves ( It's NEVER explicitly stated that they are from Mars) are well executed in their brief onscreen appearance but are not faithful to the gelatinous cephalopods of Wells's vision. A little bit similiar to ID actually - although much better realised. And vicious, cunning creatures they are too with an appetite for human blood!
I will say that the first wave of the alien attack is absoluteley incredible in its spectacle & ruthlessness as buildings, cars & people are vaporised by the deadly, alien death rays. Prior to this, the tension is built up unbearably as it's revealed that it's not going to be just another day...
Vintage Spielberg! Somehow, the following setpieces while still decent, fail to recapture this intensity. But the tripods with their lethal weapons, probing tentacles and the chilling noise that they make are damned, damned cool! And genuineley scary...
I think what dissapoints most is that this an ok/good movie with some serious talent onboard, with AMAZING CGI (that never even looks CG) that could have been a real, out & out classic. It's very unlikely that any major studio will ever greenlight another big budget movie that does justice to the source in setting it in early 20th Century England :-(
We have to look to Jeff Wayne's upcoming fully CGI feature to realise this. Until then check out the 1978 album, the Live musical DVD of the same album or the really entertaining 1953 War Of the Worlds movie (Loads of US Army v Martian Warship action & great FX for the '50s).
Oh yes, I forgot, Morgan Freeman narrates the movie's opening/closing scenes. I like Freeman a lot and he's ok here, but not a patch on Richard Burton's definitive 1978 narrative!
.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A good movie, but could have been MUCH better, 23 Aug. 2012
It's a good movie. I remember the first time I saw it. I was 13, went after school in the dark to see it with my friends.

It was amazing in the Cinema, and the special effects were fantastic for the time, and still fantastic now.

However, I feel that they sold this idea short, It could have been a lot better. The movie started extremely well. Very intense, great action, It felt like It would build up to something fantastic. However, It sort of eases off towards the end. I felt like the start was great, the middle was good, and the ending lacked that satisfaction you want to feel when seeing this sort of movie.

The idea was great. In a way, It was fantastic writing, but the movie wasn't quite executed the way I wanted It to be.

The main negative for me, was the actor playing the role of the teenage guy, and Dekota Fanning. They were both incredibly annoying, and their performances were below average. I know they were only kids, but still, not very impressed.

This movie had the makings of a blockbuster. It could have been one of the greats. It had that epic feeling about it at times, and the ideas that they had were fantastic, but they just couldn't get it right.

I'd rate it 6/10. I wouldn't buy the DVD, If it costs that much, but It's worth it on a cheap buy or rent. Entertaining, amazing action scenes.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars war of the worlds, 22 Oct. 2012
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The sound quality on blue-ray is amazing, not a great picture quality but this is how it was filmed / intended, overall a great movie, def get the blue-ray version
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3.0 out of 5 stars Fun, but not a classic, 8 Aug. 2013
By 
M. Brookes - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I have to say that I enjoyed it this time more than the first time I watched it. It's still true that it pales in comparison to the book and isn't as much fun as Jeff Wayne's musical (which is great fun live), but as a film in its own right it was quite entertaining.

The film follows a similar path to the book, only set in modern America rather than Imperial era Britain. The parallels are the same. What the film does bring is some excellent set-pieces. It has a number of issues, but when watched as a purely visual experience it smoothes most of the problems over. Strangely Tom Cruise annoyed me the first time I watched it, but this time he suited the role he played. The little girl is an odd one, she acts well, but she always seems much older than she is, which sometimes makes me feel I'm watching a miniature adult.

As I say the visuals are pretty good, a few shots look a little wonky, but for the most part it's all good stuff. Although the addition of the battle with the Thunderchild would have been awesome, alas you only get some tanks and apache gunships, but the helplessness of the battle is well portrayed.

All in all, it's far from a great film, but it's not a bad one either.
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War of the Worlds (2005) [US Import]  [DVD] [Region 1] [NTSC]
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