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What do you guys think is so far the best interpretation of the Tripod from WOTW? I like the Spielberg version myself but what do you guys think?
 

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Trekfreak said:
What do you guys think is so far the best interpretation of the Tripod from WOTW? I like the Spielberg version myself but what do you guys think?
I would agree with you on the ship design but sadly this was one of In my opinion Speilberg's worst interpretation of a great book. The best part was the ships and Morgan Freeman's narrative at the films beginning and end. I also loved the 1953 version as well.
 

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Agreed. Great fighting machines in that film.
Terrible movie adaption.
Even as far off from the book as the '53 version was, it is vastly superior to the Spielberg effort as a film product. I fear it will be decades before a proper film adaption of the book gets made now.
 

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My fave is also the Jeff Wayne version which, coincidentally, is very close to the tripod kit released by Comet many years back.

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
SPINDRIFT62 said:
I would agree with you on the ship design but sadly this was one of In my opinion Speilberg's worst interpretation of a great book. The best part was the ships and Morgan Freeman's narrative at the films beginning and end. I also loved the 1953 version as well.
I have to agree with you on that. I think it would have been a much better film if we heard Freeman narrate through the whole film. Basically give the viewer a sense of what's happening in the world while Cruise and his kids are running for dear life.
If you ask me they should have killed off that little pr*ck son of Cruise's. But seriously, I like the design of the tripods. The design gave them such a life to them.
 

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The one other thing that bothered me was the creators should have stayed to the book as to the arrival of the ships, thats what made the drama in the 1953 movie spine tingling. Forgive me but to bury them for whatever amount of years is just a major DOH a Homer Simpson would say :tongue: During the industrial revolution you would have thought at least one of the ships might have been unearthed DOH :confused:
 

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Arronax said:
My fave is also the Jeff Wayne version which, coincidentally, is very close to the tripod kit released by Comet many years back.

Jim
This is not a coincidence, Comet is producing the model as a licensed kit - so it IS the Jeff-Wayne version.

My favourite Tripod, by the way.
 

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I frankly don't understand this trashing of the Spielberg movie. Here's a major motion picture, made by one of our top directors and starring one of the biggest stars in the world, made with skill and state of the art special effects, and having a script that is actually faithful (if updated) to the source material. And all I see are these silly complaints. There should have had Morgan Freeman's narration thoughtout the movie? No. The movie is told from the Tom Cruise's character's point of view, so we should only know what he knows. They should have kept the cylinder landings? Did you see the size of the tripods? How would that have played? Cruise stands on the lip of a giant crater. "Look, there's something happening three miles away."

The movie's major weaknesses actually come from following the book too closely, which frankly, is not very strong source material for a dramatic presentation.

I get the feeling that the Spielberg and company's major mistake was not making this movie fifty years ago. Some people's attitude seems to be that all good science fiction movies were made in the '50s and '60s, and all of them were good, no matter how poorly they were made.
 

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Not silly.
Simply not enjoyable to me on many levels.

Nearly all big budget movies have great FX. I am not impressed with that anymore. They all can do them now.

Buried machines? (I still think this was some veiled scientology symbology)
whiny kids?
Dysfunctional family crap?
Kooky Kroose?
Goofy ending?
Heat ray that only vaporizes human flesh?
Strange mixture of book characters into a weird paranoid Tim Robbins character?
Admitted political slant from the writer of the film that the aliens represent the US military? So he admits manipulating classic literature for modern political purpose. Thanks. sigh.
Where was the Thunderchild battle? Insulting to leave this out in this day and age of FX. In the book the military takes down a mighty Tripod in that major battle in the book. Totally omitted. In fact major battles were on purpose kept from view.

Annoying tease of Cruise using the heavy equipment at the start of the film, this gave me expectations that he may actually pilot a captured tripod later. Nope. Fake out.

Spielberg rushed that film out in record time and it shows.
Big star, big director, big money, big egos.
It will have little legacy beyond the DVD rental period.
Unlike the '53 version and clearly unlike the book itself.

The whole thing played out like a migraine headache.
Only the machine designs were worth my time.
In fact only the stuff inspired from the book do I give appreciation for.
Using tripods, feeding off humans, they communicate with sounds, red weed.

The worst thing to me is this, now it has been done big budget. It will be a long time before anyone goes near it again so any chance of doing it right is dashed for a long time.
 

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CessnaDriver said:
Admitted political slant from the writer of the film that the aliens represent the US military? So he admits manipulating classic literature for modern political purpose. Thanks. sigh.
This is actually very true to the book. The book essentially shows England, at the height of its imperial power, what it is like to be conquered by a technologically superior power. And what in the movie do you find politically offensive? What the writer says was his intent is irrelevant. We can only deal with the text.
 

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Apples and oranges. 19th century imperial England cannot be mapped onto 21st century democratic United States.

Screenwriter David Koepp says,

"Certainly, there are a lot of political undertones and overtones. The political tones of this movie will emerge for themselves. In the '50s, 'War of the Worlds' was, 'My God, the commies are coming to get us.' Now it's about fear of terrorism. In other parts of the world, the new movie will be fear of American invasion. It will be clearly about the Iraq war for them,"......

. "It could be straight 9/11 paranoia. Or it could be about how U.S. military interventionism abroad is doomed by insurgency, just the way an alien invasion might be."


And the film does preach this briefly by Tim Robbins character. So it was not a subtle thing. They actually express it in the film at one point.


As for what Wells was trying to get across.
The argument that the book is far more a statement on evolution, that humanity was being replaced by a dominate species is more likely in my mind. Nothing particularly judging imperialistic england at the time.
He spent considerable time in the book describing why the martians were as they are, adapted to a martian environment physically. And of course what finally kills them is very survival of the fittest.

Speaking of the Martians in the book he writes....

"And before we judge them too harshly, we must remember what ruthless and utter destruction our own species has wrought, not only upon animals, such as the vanished bison and the dodo, but upon its own inferior races. The Tasmanians, in spite of their human likeness, were entirely swept out of existence in a war of extermination waged by European immigrants, in the space of fifty years. Are we such apostles of mercy as to complain if the Martians warred in the same spirit?"
 

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CessnaDriver said:
Screenwriter David Koepp says,

"Certainly, there are a lot of political undertones and overtones. The political tones of this movie will emerge for themselves. In the '50s, 'War of the Worlds' was, 'My God, the commies are coming to get us.' Now it's about fear of terrorism. In other parts of the world, the new movie will be fear of American invasion. It will be clearly about the Iraq war for them,"......

. "It could be straight 9/11 paranoia. Or it could be about how U.S. military interventionism abroad is doomed by insurgency, just the way an alien invasion might be."
In other words, the movie is about our general fear of being attacked by a powerful outside invader. In America, it is a fear of terrorism, in other countries it is a fear of being invaded by America. It's the same thing as people claiming that INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS was either an anti-communism or an anti-MacCarthyism allegory. It is about our fear of losing our individuality to a powerful, outside force, so it is about both.

If science fiction has any value, it is in its ability to make us look at an issue from a different perspective by removing the specifics of the issue. This is what I meant about it being faithful to the book. It takes an issue and forces us to look at the other side.

CessnaDriver said:
Speaking of the Martians in the book he writes....

"And before we judge them too harshly, we must remember what ruthless and utter destruction our own species has wrought, not only upon animals, such as the vanished bison and the dodo, but upon its own inferior races. The Tasmanians, in spite of their human likeness, were entirely swept out of existence in a war of extermination waged by European immigrants, in the space of fifty years. Are we such apostles of mercy as to complain if the Martians warred in the same spirit?"
Which is exactly my point. He is saying, if you think what the Martians are doing is so terrible, what do you think we've been doing for centuries?
 

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I personally think it would have been really good story telling if the makers of the film did a prehistory ala Stargate of how the Aliens buried their ships or at least show the ship over earth depositing their aliens instead of being so vague like the film did, just my opinion.
 

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SPINDRIFT62 said:
I personally think it would have been really good story telling if the makers of the film did a prehistory ala Stargate of how the Aliens buried their ships or at least show the ship over earth depositing their aliens instead of being so vague like the film did, just my opinion.
One of the strengths of the movie is that it stubbornly and uncompromisingly tells the story from the first person point of view of the Cruise character, with the Morgan Freeman narration filling in a little exposition that would have been learned after the fact. Adding a prehistoric prologue would have weakened the film.

I also find it strange that everyone seems to accept what the Tim Robbins character says at face value. He doesn't seem to be the most reliable source of information.
 

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Bottom line.

I did not like it for the reasons given. I cant change that.

I like Spielbergs older stuff. My god Close Encounters and Raiders were amazing.

There simply was nothing special at all about his WOTW. It was just like most of the Hollywood tripe that Hollywood pumps out and Spielbergs work has become so signature now that it is terrible cliche. Emoting childrens reactions to every event, dysfuncional family. etc.

The fighting machines were great. That's about it.
Everything else was half baked filler for a summer flick for the masses.
Very little at all intellectually there and salted with a little Hollywood standard issue libearalism.

Just not what I call enjoyable.
 

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CessnaDriver said:
Bottom line.

I did not like it for the reasons given. I cant change that.

I like Spielbergs older stuff. My god Close Encounters and Raiders were amazing.

There simply was nothing special at all about his WOTW. It was just like most of the Hollywood tripe that Hollywood pumps out and Spielbergs work has become so signature now that it is terrible cliche. Emoting childrens reactions to every event, dysfuncional family. etc.

The fighting machines were great. That's about it.
Everything else was half baked filler for a summer flick for the masses.
Very little at all intellectually there and salted with a little Hollywood standard issue libearalism.

Just not what I call enjoyable.
Actually, we're probably not that far apart. I don't think this is one of Spielberg's strongest movies (CLOSE ENCOUNTERS is my personal favorite), but I'm just a little tired of it being criticized for completely irrelevent things. And looking at mediocre movies from the past through rose-colored glasses.

As far as Spielberg's style becoming cliche, I think that was much more true around the time of HOOK and ALWAYS. He's been making some very atypical stuff lately. (I think you'd be hard-pressed to identify MUNICH as a Spielberg movie on content alone.) No matter what you think about his attitude and some his approaches to the material, he still remains one of the best craftsmen working in Hollywood today.

And I'm not sure what you mean by the "Hollywood standard issue liberalism." If you're talking about that David Koepp quote, he appears to be clearly saying that the movie doesn't have a political agenda, and people will read what they want into it based on their personal experiences.

And I still don't understand the "dysfunctional family" criticism. (And you certainly aren't the only person citing that.) Why is a bad father coming to the defense of his family in a crisis not a valid storyline? Especially considering Wells didn't bother to supply a workable story in his book. Yes, Spielberg keeps returning to that theme, but Hitchcock kept making movies about an innocent man on the run, Scorcese keeps making movies about salvation through suffering, Kubrick kept making movies about the dehumanizing effect of technology and society. I can't criticize you if you're not interested in their particular obsessions, but artists (even pop artists) have every right to pursue their interests as they see fit.
 
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