Movie Review: War of the Worlds

Tonight Corbin spent the night with Oma & Opa, so Jenn and I had a date night. It was quite the date night we had hoped for because we couldn't get reservations at Mitchel's for dinner, and the movie started at either 7:30 or 10:30, so our options were reduced. We went straight for the 7:30 showing and made popcorn and frozen coke our dinner.

Before I get into the movie, what is going on at the theaters these days? $9.00 for tickets?!?! Fortunately for us, we had a free pass we received as a Christmas gift, and it proved to be a good investment as tickets were $8.25 at the time it was purchased. Then inside we had a 10 minute wait to get our large popcorn and large frozen coke ($10.50). The popcorn was stale and full of those tiny pulverized pieces from the bottom of the popper. When we find our seats, we greated with a rolling set of commercials for coke, diet coke, television shows, and reminders to turn off our cell phones. When the lights dim we get our standard 15 minute roll of previews. Normally I don't mind these, as they are usually previews for movies coming out next year, but in this case they were for movies currently in theaters (Stealth, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory). Are we entertainment consumers such mindless sheep that we don't notice what a bad deal we're getting at the theaters? For the same $30 the two of us spent, we could have rented several movies at $4 each (or bought one for around $20), popped up a couple of bags of $0.50 popcorn, and enjoyed the movie in front of our state of the art widescreen television and dolby digital 5.1 surround sound system. And at home, we have the freedom to pause, rewind, take a bathroom break, or anything else we want.

But I digress. We caught a showing of War of the Worlds after discussing what we should see. Evidently, Hollywood is running short on writers because there seem to be a lot of remakes, sequels, and adaptations in the theaters now. Several folks had told us they liked War of the Worlds, so we settled on that one. Neither of us was all that impressed. The movie had excellent effects, and the mood of the film was tense throughout. Unfortunately, the atmosphere was all it really had going for it. I already knew the story, so I went in knowing the plot line and the ending, but I still hoped that this would be an interesting retelling. I didn't get what I was hoping for. The plot of the movie is outlined in the 5 minutes of intro and outro speech by Morgan Freeman (who never appears in the film). The rest is a cookie cutter sci-fi / action film that really could have been used in any movie. It was almost like Spielberg and company were doing a technical demonstration, and not really making a movie. The ending of the film is what really clinched it as a disappointment. It's almost like they said, okay, we've made our demo, let's wrap this up and go home.

Needless to say, we aren't recommending this to anyone.


Jade Mason