It's brewing up something wicked out there right now. Yikes.
I saw "War of the Worlds" this afternoon. What is it with Steven Speilberg that he has to tie a little bow on the ends of his movies? Why does everything have to end happily, or be explained? "Saving Private Ryan" and "A.I." are two great American movies undone (to one degree or another) by their endings, and "War of the Worlds", unfortunately, is the same deal. A truly powerful, gripping film for its first hour, and even good through some wobbly bits in the middle, it folds its hand at the end. Speilberg flirts with making it a big summer box office FU to the current state of affairs in the world, and maybe the idea of a human insurgency - and human suicide bombers - was too bold, but then why even go there? Why drop bits about 'the terrorists' and 'occupations always fail' if you're weren't willing to follow through? As a fan of the book, the ending is fine; it was more fine a hundred years ago, I'm sure. Certain elements of it no longer make sense (I seriously doubt the aliens are that stupid) and it completely takes the air out of what had been to that point a great film.
I whole heartedly recommend seeing it, though. It has the best sound design of any film this year, Speilberg is great as always, the HOLY SHIT factor is high, and even Tom Cruise is tolerable in what's probably one of his better performances. On the bad side, WAY too little Miranda Otto ("It is a good look for you") and as hard as the film tries to be the anti-world disaster flick, I'm sick and tired of world events being presented through news broadcasts in a movie. It's called drama, people. So dramatize for crying out loud.