War of the (lack of) Words

I've just seen War of the Worlds. I can't say that I enjoyed it. I felt the movie was trying to portray Tom Cruise as something he wasn't (or wasn't capable of playing that character). I also think a script that involves one character having more than one “line” of screaming is just needing a new script writer. And the ending. I mean, what is up with that? Well that seemed to make an unbelievable movie into a total farce.

I read a comment over at ModFab about the movie, and I have to say that I agree (in most part) with the comments about the actual movie. I can't say that I had the same feelings about New York that ModFab had, but I can see where that might cause some concerns to others.

I was reflecting to a friend of mine about how terrifying this must have been when it was first broadcast on radio in 1938. The family sitting around the HMV (or whatever was the standard at the time), listening to what must have seemed the most frightening episode of their lives. An invasion from Mars. I found a website that has a clipping from The New York Times dated October 31, 1938 with the headline “Radio Listeners in Panic, Taking War Drama as Fact.” People really believed this was happening. The imagination – when provided with the right input – can be highly effective. It's one of the reasons that thrillers effect me so much. A good Hitchcock film doesn't need to show you anything, because it's projects just the right amount of possibility for your brain to be able to “complete the picture.”

Of course, today we no longer need our imagination, as the movies do all the thinking for us. In fact, this movie leaves too many questions unanswered. Why did they fertlize the way they did? Why attack one way, and then farm another? How did the son get to Boston after surviving what seemed like a phenomenal explosion? Does Tom Cruise wax or shave? All important questions, just left dangling.

When searching for the original script, I found this other link that had this quote in it:

In a prescient column, in the New York Tribune, Dorothy Thompson foresaw that the broadcast revealed the way politicians could use the power of mass communications to create theatrical illusions, to manipulate the public.

I can't ever imagining that happening.