War of the Worlds……frighteningly entertaining

This afternoon we saw the much hyped, and well deserved I might add, Steven Spielberg/Tom Cruise soon to be mega blockbuster.

Spielberg who as a young filmmaker hung in the shadows of fellow prodigy George Lucas, proves once again that his one time inferiority to Lucas is completely a distant memory from a galaxy long long ago. Oh, no doubting the visionary technical mind of Lucas with his eye candy effects, but Spielberg once again flexes his diversified storytelling muscle to bring this summer’s movie going crowd a seat gripping thrill ride! You see, it’s not just about the special effects which are mind numbingly real and will cause your mouth to gape open with a “what the heck is that” expression. It’s also about his complete cinematic genius that brings together all of the superb ingredients of a great film, from the casting of Tom Cruise to the not quite cameo appearance of a brilliant Tim Robbins performance.
Without giving too much away, I like the pacing of the film which at times reminded me of his earlier Jurassic Park thrillers. (I didn’t expect to be creeped out as much as I was.) Cruise’s “daughter” played by Dakota Fanning stole the show much of the two hours and in the process resurrected the “scream” that highlighted the great horror films of the past. I would not classify this as a horror film, of course, but there were some horrifying images, especially in the manner in which earthlings are..never mind, won’t give too much more away. Unlike Madagascar, this is definitely worth a theatre trip, and would be worth a 2nd one for me. I wouldn’t call the Sci-fi images of this film “shocking” as Independence Day once achieved because the effects of today, and particularly from Spielberg’s Dreamworks lab, are of no great surprise, but this flick does have the perfect balance of technical wizardry, emotional highs and lows, and of course a tantalizing sub plot. As far as the ending? Go see the movie this weekend, and then we can talk more about it later. I give War of the Worlds, 4 1/2 notes out of 5.

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