War of the Worlds

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by thxdave, Apr 20, 2005.

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  1. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host

    As far as I know (which is a bit, thanks to a friend at Paramount) this movie WAS shot in 3-D, just not released that way, same like INVADERS FROM MARS.
     
  2. pjaizz

    pjaizz Active Member

    Location:
    Washington, DC
    I have to dissent and say War of the Worlds ('50's) was pretty bad. I didn't get that sense of wonder that The Time Machine had. The effects just didn't look that good to me. I haven't seen it in sometime, so it might be time to look at it again...
     
  3. The Wanderer

    The Wanderer Forum Resident

    Location:
    NYC
    I'm looking forward to the new WOTW and the re-release of the 1953 version DVD upgrade. I've never heard that it was filmed in 3-D, but it would be interesting to see. A week or so ago, I saw "House of Wax" on TCM and you could actually see some of the 3-D camera set-ups in the 2-D screening. Very interesting to watch with that in mind. In the George Pal version, I can just picture the first battle scene in 3-D - it would be fantastic, with those Martian ships hovering and firing.
     
  4. thxdave

    thxdave Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Florida
    Do you have a link for the reissue DVD release? Thanks.
     
  5. Anthology123

    Anthology123 Forum Resident

    50's WOTW seems a bit dated in some parts, like the flying wing, the dance social, the downtown evacuation scenes, but it does have its moments. I always liked the scene when the 2 stars (Gene Barry and Anne Robinson) are in a small house and all the crafts are crashing down and surrounding the house.
     
  6. RDK

    RDK Active Member

    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    The '53 version of WOTW is one of my favorite SF movies - a classic! Probably Pal's finest accomplishment.
     
  7. fjhuerta

    fjhuerta New Member

    Location:
    México City
    Couldn't have said it better myself. I sometimes wonder why people still look up to people like Lucas and Spielberg, when their latest movies have disappointed so much. :confused:
     
  8. vinyl anachronist

    vinyl anachronist Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Central New York
    I'm kind of surprised with the anti-Spielberg sentiments, that he's in some sort of creative slump. I think he's done some excellent work recently, especially "Minority Report," which is one of the smartest and most intriguing films I've seen in a while. "Catch Me If You Can," while in a lighter vein, certainly boasts an incredible production design, not to mention a fascinating performance by Leonardo DiCaprio. Sure, "The Terminal" was a bit of a dud, but it was still much better than "Hook" or "1941."
     
  9. R. Cat Conrad

    R. Cat Conrad While the moderators jest... Well, you know

    Location:
    D/FW Metroplex
    Sorry, but I must respectfully differ with you on Minority Report. I find this to be one of the sloppiest, continuity challenged, plot-hole riddled flicks Spielberg has ever Directed. OTOH, the care with which Spielberg filmed Brian Aldiss' AI-Artificial Intelligence (i.e., as a memorial to the late Stanley Kubrick) & Catch Me If You Can outshines what could've & should've been an excellent envisioning of Phillip K. Dick's short story. IMHO, it was a missed opportunity.

    The biggest failing of Spielberg, as I see it, is his tendency toward sloppiness in an effort to achieve maximum suspense. It frequently leads him headlong into the hazardous terrain of plausibility problems and continuity gaffs which stand out like a sore thumb on successive viewings. Fortunately, he doesn't always yield to such sloppy inclinations, especially on projects which are close to his heart such as Schindler's List, for instance, but the very fact that he has such lapses doesn't speak well of his passion for his craft. For that, I suppose, one must look to other Directors.

    All this said, I still admire Steven Spielberg's films in general; as a director capable of wringing emotion out of his audience he's certainly among the best any studio ever granted the opportunity to yell "action!"

    :cheers:
    Cat
     
  10. Steve D.

    Steve D. Well-Known Member

    Hey Steve,
    I don't usually disagree with you, but several years ago I had the pleasure of meeting with Paramount art director Al Nozaki at his home. Nozaki was the designer and construction supervisor of the Martian war machines used in the 1953 WOTW production. We touched on the use of the 3-D process. He stated that producer George Pal fought for 3-D but Paramount executives held their ground and said no. However, the film was shot in 3 strip Techchnolor and released in a process caled "Panoramic screen." This process crops the normal aspect raio of 1.33:1 to 1.47:1 making a wider screen image. The soundtrack was also recorded on Western Electric's new Multi-track Magnetic Stereophonic Sound System. Only a handful of theaters were able to present the film in stereo. Nozaki was also kind enough to give me several original pre-production sketches of the war machines as well as several back stage photos of the finished machines. The most difinitive account of the making of the 1952 (Feb. '53 release) of WOTW can be found in the magazine CINEFANTASTIQUE vol. 5 no. 4.Many pages of production info and notes and behind the scenes photos.

    -Steve D.
     
  11. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden MichiGort Staff

    Location:
    Livonia, MI
    I enjoyed Minority Report, but it bugs me how almost every Hollywood adaptation of Phillip K. Dick feels they need to tinker with the fatalistic endings of his stories. Most of Dick's stories were carefully constructed so as to have endings that are somewhat surprising on the surface, but almost mathematically inevitable/perfect when you think about them. Changing the ending actually weakens the premise and theme as much as it would in an O. Henry story. In that sense, perhaps the best Phillip K. Dick film ever made was Terry Gilliam's "12 Monkeys", which wasn't based on a Dick story at all. ;)

    Regards,
     
  12. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host

    Steve,

    I'll defer to your expertise. My Paramount guy was pretty excited about two reels of 3D WAR OF THE WORDS that they found in the vault though. It could just have been a pre-production test reel (left eye, right eye) however..
     
  13. vinyl anachronist

    vinyl anachronist Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Central New York
    I'd like to hear some of the continuity and plot problems. I'm not usually the type of person who gets into a huff over a simple continuity error like some of my friends in the film business. I knew one girl who trashed Howards' End because the buttons on some of the dresses hadn't been invented until about twenty years after the movie's time period. I never thought to follow all of Minority Report's plot lines to their logical end, but I found it to initiate thoughts long after the movie was over.

    Personally, I think Spielberg's greatest flaw is that he seldom chooses material that matches his directorial prowess anymore. He has had ups and downs before. Also, it seems that Spielberg's best work seems to come in years where he releases more than one movie (Schindler's List and Jurassic Park, Minority Report and Catch Me If You Can).
     
  14. R. Cat Conrad

    R. Cat Conrad While the moderators jest... Well, you know

    Location:
    D/FW Metroplex
    I don't quite know where to begin (i.e., there are so many logic gaps and gaffs), but perhaps if you read some of the letters in the LOCUS Online debate from 2002 the sloppiness may become more apparent to you in retrospect. Check here:

    http://www.locusmag.com/2002/Features/Letters07.html

    I don't have the tendency to get into a huff either or at least I don't perceive myself in that manner, but I do get frustrated with shoddy filmmaking when I feel that my intelligence is being insulted (i.e., for example, when Tom Cruise is carrying his unrefrigerated eyeballs around in a baggie which he then uses to gain entrance to a highly secure institution which hasn't even bothered to change his security clearance prior to the retinal scan).

    I would agree in the first instance, but not the latter one (i.e., both Schindler's List and Jurassic Park are excellent in spite of the fact that Jurassic Park has it's share of continuity problems which push the envelope logic-wise; OTOH, Catch Me If You Can, while not exactly an FX blockbuster, is a far better crafted film than Minority Report in every aspect). In my estimation AI-Artificial Intelligence is the greater Spielberg effort and will one day be seen as a timeless classic of the SF genre, while Minority Report is enjoyed primarily as popcorn fare and viewed as a somewhat campy half-hearted effort by the master filmmaker.

    The bottom line: Minority Report's worst problems stem from the screenplay's flawed logic and the groanworthy slapstick humor which Spielberg gravitated toward as a tension reliever. His intentions may have been correct, but this approach was ill suited to the weighty subject matter in Phillip K. Dick's short story. I'm not saying that Minority Report fails completely, but the film's inconsistencies strain credulity almost as much as screenplay strains to be clever.

    :cheers:
    Cat
     
  15. Drew

    Drew Forum Resident

    Location:
    Columbus, OH
    I liked AI with the exception of the little section at the end where the little boy android finally gets to spend the day with his "mother". Supposedly Kubrick and Speilberg never discussed and ending to the movie. Talk about straining to write a happy ending.

    I read an interview with Speilberg where he said if he remade "Close Encounters" he wouldn't have Richard Dreyfuss character leave with the space aliens. Guess he would've made that a happier ending, too.
     
  16. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden MichiGort Staff

    Location:
    Livonia, MI
    That ending of AI was very close to what was planned all along through Kubrick's various drafts. It is neither strained nor paticularly happy, IMHO, but YMMV. :)

    Regards,
     
  17. Mike F

    Mike F Victim of Changes

    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    I had read some PKD but not Minority Report and went in blind regarding the story/plot. This includes changing channels everytime the commercial showed, trying to squeeze in the best of the movie including the conclusion, or so I feared as that is the norm.

    I enjoyed Minority Report's visuals very much, which would be expected as style seem to have become the raison d'être for making these movies. I liked the premise and enjoyed the film very much until a sequence of false endings arrived and thought gee will Spielberg be unable to allow an ambiguous or bummer ending. What did the test audience dictate? :rolleyes: And sure enough all was well in the end.

    I'm just glad he wasn't 15 years older (sci-fi!) and had handed to him scripts like Chinatown, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Taxi Driver, etc. It's best he stays with morally simple children's movies, Jaws, Close Encounters. I think he was the ghost director of Rocky! ;)

    Ok I won't say another negative about Spielberg. :angel:
    He is superb at what he does best.
     
  18. antonkk

    antonkk Forum Resident

    Location:
    moscow
    I'm sorry if there is a newer thread on War of the Worlds (I didn't find it). I've just seen the movie - it opened today in Moscow and IMHO, it's crap. Sunk under it's own weight as they say. Tom Cruise is BAD, his acting skills simply lacking for the job. As for the kids -the brother (who doesn't look like his son one bit) is horrible and VERY annoying. The sister is very annoying too, but at least has a few good moments. Almost everything in the movie, especialy the pace, the way characters act and react is totally unbelievable (which is a huge blow for the movie shot from the perspective of a guy next door) and the ending is a mess. Quite a disaster for Spielberg I'm afraid. :thumbsdn:
     
  19. antonkk

    antonkk Forum Resident

    Location:
    moscow
    Gorts, please - I guess it's better to move my post to "Just seen
    the War of the Worlds" thread...
     
  20. vinyl anachronist

    vinyl anachronist Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Central New York
    I love the blurb on the Metacritic site, which says that this version of WOTW should benefit from having a real alien as its star!
     
  21. thegage

    thegage Forum Currency Nerd

    I don't think this is sloppiness at all, but in fact a very conscious choice. For example, with regard to Jaws, I believe Spielberg is on record saying that he knew that the air tank blowing up the shark was highly improbable (if not impossible), but knew that he "had the audience" at that point, and felt they were willing to go along with just about anything for the emotional release/reward. Sure, it doesn't hold up on multiple viewings, but from his artistic standpoint, that's not the point of how he made the movie the way he did. This is one of the reasons he says he doesn't do commentaries, because it ruins the filmwatching experience, and I would guess he would say the same thing about catching gaffes/continuity problems/plot holes after multiple viewings: I don't care, because that's not the way I meant the film to be seen/experienced.

    The main critical knock I've heard on WOTW so far is that it's "only a popcorn movie" with no depth--though a very good popcorn movie--or exploration of deeper issues. One critic complained because Spielberg didn't more overtly make and explore the connection between 9/11 and that fact that in WOTW people become terrorists. For me, that's typical critic BS; if they want that type of movie they should go out and make it themselves. I, for one, am looking forward to a very well done "popcorn movie."

    John K.
     
  22. LeeS

    LeeS Audio Research Fan

    Location:
    Atlanta
    I am concerned about this film based on the mixed reviews. In my opinion Spielberg has lost an ability to tell a story which was his greatest asset.
     
  23. Ron Stone

    Ron Stone Offending Member

    Location:
    Deep Maryland
    Speaking of Spielberg movies . . .

    I'm still suspicious that Matt Damon's title character in SAVING PRIVATE RYAN was supposed to have been at some point in the screenplay an undeserving jerk, or at least a reluctant fighter. To me, there seems to be residue of my hypothetical "bad" Ryan, most blatantly when the dying Tom Hanks character tells him, "You have to earn this."

    Earn what? I'm surprised Ryan didn't slap the dying Miller right then and there. The Ryan we watched refused to abandon his comrades at the French town despite the free ticket home, fought tooth and nail alongside Miller's Rangers, and improvised mortar rounds to kill as many Germans as anyone else -- not to mention a good chunk of his family dying elsewhere in the war. What could this Ryan not have earned?

    But if Ryan were a jerk, or at least an ordinary guy happy to seize a free pass out of harm's way, then as a reluctant (non-?) combatant he would have to "earn" the happy peacetime life denied Miller and the rest of the dead Americans.

    Also, the ongoing theme of tension between the squad's immediate mission (to save Ryan) and the greater mission (to win the war) would have been more explicit and consistent if Ryan were eager to get back home. Miller's battered squad would have been eager to follow the letter of the law -- return the PR trophy home safely -- much as they had asked Miller to circumvent a German machine gun nest earleir in the film. Miller would have reminded them again that the primary mission was to win the war.

    Their sacrifice at the French village would have been just as heroic, since they didn't have to do it, and Ryan's breakdown at the memorial, asking his wife if he had been a good man deserving of the awesome sacrifice commemorated around him, would have made more sense.

    Anyone else buy into this "hidden" Ryan?
     
  24. Squealy

    Squealy Forum Hall Of Fame

    Location:
    Vancouver
    I think the point was, nearly the entire squad died trying to find Ryan and send him back home, so Hanks wanted him to live a life that would be worthy of their sacrifice. It wasn't about Ryan's conduct in the war.
     
  25. Totti

    Totti New Member

    Location:
    Florida
    Rumor has it that Spielberg is working on a remake of 2001 a space odissey, starring Brad Pitt and Leonardo Dicaprio......NOT!!
     
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