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3.3 out of 5 stars427
3.3 out of 5 stars
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The film has since it's release attracted mixed reviews many 'slate it' some love it,....myself, I
love special-effect spectacles and watch films to be entertained, this 'Steven Spielberg' offering
does just that, a story of blind panic and intense fear......what if ?
'Ray Ferrier' (Tom Cruise) a dock worker lives on his own these days, every so often he has his
two children over to stay, 'Robbie' (Justin Chatwin) who doesn't really want to be there, and 10
year-old 'Rachel' (Dakota Fanning)
A strange phenomenon occurs in the sky's that is totally unexplainable, lightning strikes (lightning
never strikes in the same place 'Ray' tells his Daughter....til' now that is) power fails, holes are
appearing in the ground, a loud rumble causes earthquake like conditions.
Panic quickly sets in, people are running around like headless chickens but have no escape from
what is happening, buildings and fly-overs are collapsing, all of a sudden, giant machines surface,
the 'World' is under attack.
'Ray's' priority has to be his 'Kids' as the machines begin to exterminate all human life seemingly
and destroy structures.
There's only one thing to do - 'run' - 'Ray' sets off with his children in an attempt to find a safe haven,
however they will soon discover a place of safety doesn't exist as the 'invaders' broaden their assault.
The temporary safety they thought for a short while they had found is quickly no longer so, a plane
has been brought down in their location leaving devastation in it's wake.
Widespread demolition is happening at the 'will' of the machines, where had they come from, is it really
possible they had been planted below ground century's ago awaiting the return of their creatures.
'Ray' and his children have to fight their way through the fleeing hoards as they seek a safe haven, but
the situation is becoming increasingly more desperate for them.
Young 'Rachel' is terrified by the sights that are confronting her -.'Robbie' is desperate to join the military's
fight back.
Things are beginning to turn far more sinister as it becomes clear what the 'Aliens' need those they capture
The three are separated as 'Ray' now with just 'Rachel' in tow continue to battle for survival...
What on Earth will stop the 'Aliens' and their Machines from enforcing their intent upon the planet ?
Will 'Ray' and Daughter 'Rachel' ever re-unite with 'Robbie' or has he become a casualty of War ?
The film brings futuristic writer 'H,G.Wells' late 19th century story to life.
I believe with the special-effects harboured in this version would have received the writers approval.
I like to re-visit films such as this now and again because of the visual impact they bring to the screen.
* Revisiting the invasion.
* Steven Spielberg and the original 'War of the Worlds'
* Characters - The family unit.
* The 'H.G.Wells' Legacy.
* Previsualisation.
* Designing the Enemy. 'Tripods' and 'Aliens'
* Production Diaries.
* Scoring - War of the Worlds.
* We are not Alone.
* Galleries.
* Theatrical Teaser Trailers,.
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on 17 November 2013
Ray Ferrier is a divorced dockworker and less-than-perfect father. When his ex-wife and her new husband drop off his son Robbie and young daughter Rachel for a rare weekend visit, a strange and powerful lightning storm suddenly touches down.

What follows is the battle for the future of humankind through the eyes of one American family fighting to survive it in......

Easily the best summer film of 2005, its one of Cruises last memorable blockbusters, and its a blast from start to finish. What really sets the mood for the film is Freemans phenomenal narration at the beginning of the movie, it makes the hair on the back of your neck stand when he says 'slowly, but surely'.

Spielberg again puts the emphasis on the nuclear family, and the attack is the turning point or Ray and his children. Its clear from the beginning that Ray is estranged form his children, and that he may be the most immature of the three, but he soon becomes the mature one, making sure they are staying together and avoiding any terror or aftermath as they progress.

The visuals are spectacular, from the initial attack, to the amazing Tripod scene after the boat attack. The Tim Robbins scene is bizarre and takes you away from the film, but Spielberg amps it up with the probe investigating.

Its a great movie by Spielberg, very dark compared to his usual summer fare, but despite some flaws, and blatant references to 9/11, it still holds up well eight years later.
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on 4 October 2015
A very underrated film that is not only a fantastic adventure full of drama, tension, thrill and scary moments, but a deep analysis of human nature, whose dark side, when it comes to survival and danger, often prevail on the values of civilization.
War of the worlds is not about fighting against Aliens, but against ourselves.
And despite Spielberg's reputation as being a mainstream reassuring director, here he recall the audience that he was the same guy who made some of the darkest and most unsettling films of the seventies, so no wonder that this film, almost down to the end, it's a kind of constant descent to hell (you can tell it by many scenes, from all the Tim Robbins sequence in the basement, to the struggle to get hold of the car, etc...).
But it's also a thrilling and action-packed drama, with a fantastic first part where you are slowly introduced in the characters life and settings, and suddenly thrown into an adrenalinic and wonderful escape sequence on a car (where Spielberg manages to make the camera flow around it, and then enter the vehicle like there were no physical barriers for his cinema) and then along a dramatic path to survival.
All in all, it is a dark fairy tale (see the impressing scene when with the blood-cover landscape) with not much hope and trust in humanity, but only in chance and nature (see the resolution of the story), beautifully painted by SPileberg and his director of photography, and presented on an excellent hd transfer on this very good blu ray
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War of the Worlds is not among Spielberg's very best work and it does suffer initially from a necessarily bland opening and Cruise's unbelievability as a working Joe, but it does go to far darker places than you'd expect from a Summer blockbuster: whereas in the novel the hero causes the death of the curate hiding with him by accident, Spielberg goes much further here in a scene that makes surprisingly chilling use of Hushabye Mountain. The scenes of destruction are genuinely apocalyptic, with the chaos unravelled in surprisingly long and ambitious takes that don't draw excessive attention to their technique. Spielberg offers some nice emotional touches, not least the look of pride on Cruise's face as his son helps people struggling onto the ferry (not overplayed or highlighted, just there) and even pulls off the ending, always a problem but here solved by visually referencing The Searchers (although I could have done without Gene Barry and Anne Robinson's clumsy cameo or Morgan Freeman's lacklustre narration).

For all its many changes from the novel, this succeeds surprisingly well as an adapatation (Wells himself felt the novel out of date by the time the various proposed earlier film versions from silent cinema through to the 40s were proposed): it may not have quite the 50s Technicolor appeal of George Pal's classic version nor anywhere near as iconic alien hardware, but it's got more than enough going for it to stand on its own three tripods.
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on 21 December 2015
the only thing going for this film is that the original wasn't that great either
given that leg-up, the producers, directors and writers still fail to deliver something memorable
lacking imagination and relevance in additional sub-plots, it waffles through to no great purpose or end
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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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on 25 November 2012
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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on 21 March 2012
I purchase Blu-ray's because I want a picture better than VHS, DVD or HDTV.
Not with this disaster. This is no better than VHS. It is a grainy mess.
I was expecting Steven Spielberg would demand a good quality transfer of any of his work.
He obviously can't be bothered.
Just look what Ridley Scott did with Blade Runner. He wanted the best for his creation and WOW, what a result.
Whoever allowed this for release should be fired.
I wish I had read the reviews before buying, and watched it on the TV instead.
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on 22 October 2012
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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on 17 July 2012
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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