War Of The Worlds
... Spielberg's newest ...

I saw "War Of The Worlds" yesterday. As you may have guessed while looking at my "top40 movies of all time", I'm quite the Spielberg-fan. Still, I approached this film with the same reservations as every other film should be approached. Don't be a shallow fanboy, by liking a movie only because your favourite director made it.

The movie is based on H.G. Well's classic book, so no use arguing about the story.

The acting
Tom Cruise is mostly excellent, Dakota Fanning is destined for greater things. Please, agents, don't suck the innocence out of her yet - Dakota, stay away from drugs and obscure parties and your future is drop dead certain! Keep a shelve or two ready for the awards! Tim Robbins is always great, but I didn't like him here. Too creepy for my tastes. But hey, it's a creepy character he's playing, so thumbs up for Tim! Justin Chatwin is very convincing. Really, great performances by everybody.

The special effects
I don't need them to enjoy a movie. I prefer a character-focused feature instead of a cgi-bonanza. That's why Star Wars - Episode IV is so much better than Episode III. I know, my point is getting tiresome, but it's true. At least, I believe it's true.

The scene in the basement is vintage Spielberg : there's actually nothing creepy and still I almost wet my pants. Granted, I drank a liter of water and really had to go to the loo, but the scene is incredibly scary too!

The ending may be a bit Deus Ex Machina to jerk some tears, but I didn't mind : after all, it IS a Spielberg-movie and few of them end bad.

The music
I didn't hear remarkable tunes from John Williams, so no bad or good words about the soundtrack. Although, it's not a good sign I didn't notice them, is it? Maybe the music's not one of Williams's best?

In short, the best movie of 2005 so far. Spielberg in excellent form. I have no complaints about the acting, the pace, the thrills or the kills. "War Of The Worlds" ushers production excellence, which is all the more amazing considering he only took seven months to complete!

What other director can deliver a major blockbuster that could have been the same summerpulp you always get within such a short timespan? The answer : nobody. That is something only Spielberg can.

Julian De Backer, 5 July 2005