Never before in the history of the world had such a mass of human beings moved and suffered together. The legendary hosts of Goths and Huns, the hugest armies Asia has ever seen, would have been but a drop in that current. And this was no disciplined march; it was a stampede--a stampede gigantic and terrible--without order and without a goal, six million people unarmed and unprovisioned, driving headlong. It was the beginning of the rout of civilisation, of the massacre of mankind.
It was directed by Spielberg; it was always that kind of movie. He does a lot of things amazingly well, but he just can't resist those big sappy moments.
Mostly, I just want someone to make a truly faithful PERIOD movie of War of the Worlds. Part of what is so scary in the book is how completely and utterly screwed the earthlings are by the technology that the martians possess. In 1898 we were two steps up from neanderthals - before flight, before relativity, before Penicillin. We had coal-fired ironsided ships, and telephones, sort of. Against giant prehensile robots.
I remember being repulsed by War of the Worlds when I saw it in the theater: it felt like the movie invoked the horrors of 9/11 with no accompanying message to go with it - it felt exploitative of the tragedy, using it to trigger our horror synapses in a crass way. Don't put 9/11 imagery in your slick Hollywood entertainment unless you have a damn good reason to, I thought.
People being vaporized into crematory dust did it for me. Horrible.
One common criticism I never got was that David’s final day with his simulated mom was supposed to be heartwarming, Spielbergian uplift. To me it’s a final punch in the gut – at best you’re glad the kid is in his own happy place as they euthanize him.
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