Now that you’ve seen it (assuming you have), what did you think of Spielberg’s remake? The reviews tend to be mixed, leaning towards positive, but here’s why I liked it:
- The invaders. The moment I saw what those death rays do to people, I knew these aliens weren’t fucking around. This is the Spielberg we haven’t seen in years, and it’s a welcome return. These are not cutesy, cuddly aliens who want to be our friends, these are aliens who want us dead. Actually, let me clarify: the aliens themselves aren’t particularly scary…it’s those giant machines they stomp around in that really gave me the willies. Not since “Jurassic Park” have I felt so intimidated by a movie monster!
- Thrilling mayhem and destruction. This movie has some deeee-licious special effects, some of the most realistic I’ve ever seen. It’s big, loud, in your face, and all around you…the electrical storm was scary too, even when it wasn’t on-screen. Tom Cruise looked genuinely freaked out. This kind of destruction reminded me of certain scenes in “Independence Day”…you know, before it got silly.
- The aliens remain a mystery. There was no attempt to “understand” them or their motives…the movie simply doesn’t have time, and frankly I’m happy with that because somehow it’s scarier that way. We don’t identify with them at all, we just know they’re out to kill us. The audience doesn’t always have to know why things happen, or have every loose end neatly tied up and exlpained away, which is unfortunately how most movies end.
- Emphasis on the crisis, not deep character development. This is actually one of the main criticisms that the reviews tend to have…they say the movie is all action and we don’t really get to know the characters too well. Well, duh! Aliens want to destroy us. They’re going to blow up our cities and vaporize us as we flee. That’s it. This isn’t a character-driven movie, it’s about urgency and survival. Usually this is not a good thing…but here, I think it works fine. We learn only the basics: Tom Cruise’s character is self-obsessed prick, his daughter is another child actor who’s been told to talk and act like a 30-year-old (why do they make children in scary movies act this way?), and his son hates him. And to be honest, I didn’t care enough about the characters to be bothered by it. Yeah, by the end of the movie they love & respect each other more, but who cares?
Anyway, that’s my little review. I don’t write them often because I’m not very good at it, but oh well! Go see this in the theaters, it will be far more impressive than waiting for it on DVD and watching it on your little T.V. screen. 🙂