måndag 8 juli 2013

War of the worlds the true story

War of the worlds the true story has a fun concept that easily could have dragged it to the bottom of bad movie hell, staging the "true" story of the Martian invasion of Earth in the early 1900:s. Claiming to contain actual, previously classified footage along with newly shot reenactments, WOTWTTS has the aura of a History channel documentary and it actually works reasonably well. We've seen/read/listened to the story before and it is actually a fairly close adaption of the original novel as I remember it with the exception of adding a long interview segment with the last living witness of the events. Earth is pummeled by strange cylinder from Mars that open up and bring forth death in the shape of giant tripods with deadly heat-rays that incinerate everything living. Classic stuff indeed.

The mixing of newly shot footage along with a ton of archival stuff (they threw in everything and the kitchen sink, we get some pretty recognizable clips from movies) with added heatrays and destruction never actually gels that well, it is fairly obvious what scenes are new. The filmmakers tried their best on a limited budget but degrading digital video so that it is supposed to look a hundred years old is a really hard thing to accomplish and I would go so far as to say that this is a fail. But, and here comes the money shot, it never matters. WOTWTTS is edited like everyone is on cocaine, breakneck is the understatement of the year. The screen is constantly filled with mayhem, destruction and those scrumptious tripods...

I make no secret that I am a big fan of Steven Spielbergs 2005 version. It has a couple of significant flaws such as an overschmaltzy story and Dakota fucking Fanning - the most annoying character ever in a movie but in return we get the tripods that are truly some of the most awesome scifimoviecreations ever. WOTWTTS damn near equals that movie on a budget that probably wouldn't pay for Tom Cruises coffee. Seriously, Timothy Hines and his crew has achieved near perfection in these scenes using only models and it works wonders, I just kept grinning like a six year old watching Godzilla for the first time.

Not everything works of course. Like I mentioned earlier, the "new" footage isn't integrated that well and the whole movie is based around the interview footage which is supposed to be shot in the sixties but just looks like what it is, new digital footage with some pretty halfassed fake degrading. A lot of the actors (most of the smaller roles) aren't particulary good and the english accents are most of the time just awful. But none of this really matters. Those tripods win me over.

Not a perfect movie by any means, WOTWTTS is a triumph in execution. It just works that well and although the first ten-fifteen minutes of the movie might be a bit hokey, as soon as you see the first Martian crawling out of the cylinder and their tentacles picking up puny humans to destroy, you are hooked. Maybe the movie really is awful? I don't know. I just know that I love those tripods.

You can buy this little gem here.

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