Monday, June 9, 2014

Indy (and Arty) Flix: H.G. Wells' The War of The Worlds

Ugh.  Just ugh, really.  Today's film is H.G. Wells' The War of The Worlds, which is not to be confused with The Asylum's film or Steven Spielberg's (or the 1953 film) movie.  The Internet shorthand for this film is actually The Pendragon War of The Worlds film (after the Production Company who made it).  It is available in three different releases, so, naturally, the one I found is the longest version possible.  Just my luck!  The film's gimmick: telling the tale as true to the original Story as possible.  That is kind of noble, honestly, if a bit pretentious.  If you don't know, all of the film versions have changed the setting to America (mostly) and set them in the Present Day (of when they are made).  So, on that basis, I don't mind the idea behind it.  However, the film has ambitious scale and pretentious presentation...and almost no budget.  One source claims that the film had a budget of 'around $25 million.'  If that is the case, then this was the biggest Ponzi Scheme since Bernie Madoff!  If you look at this film and see more than $20,000 on-screen, then I really question your eyes.  To find out why this movie fails just so badly, read on...
After a ponderous mix of real footage and terrible CG models of London (which totally match!), we get our hero- a nameless Author- meeting his Scientist friend and observing a totally-real phenomenon.

This...this is just the beginning, folks.
It is also worth noting that our hero has a really fake and doofy mustache.  I say this because it will be the first and last thing you see when you watch any of his Scenes.  It is very, very distracting.

Oh and you'll love it more when you find out WHY he has a mustache.
A rock crashes and the Scientist finds it.  He is delayed when a man tries to lock him in his Barn, but he escapes.  So yeah, this movie was 3 hours long and could have used an Editor.
After a lot of stalling, we get a goofy-looking Martians come out and use their 'heat ray.  Just take a look at these effects as you remember that 'around $25 million' figure.
The film starts to really drag at this point- exactly when you think that it would pick it up.  There are just long sections without dialogue, without real action and of this guy running.  It.  just.  keeps.  going.
Since I haven't used this Pic in a while, here is a great summary of my feeling about an hour or so in...
Sparing you 90 minutes or so, I'll sum up the film for what you get.  First- terrible, terrible CG Effects.
Second- Terribly-goofy Reaction Shots to things happening- pretty much always the Martians attacking.

It is also worth noting here that the reason our Author has a mustache is because *sigh* his brother is the other Protagonist.  It is the same Actor, just sans fake mustache.  Ugh.
We also get the story's famous ending (why would they change that, after all?), now with no build-up whatsoever.  It just kind of ends.  The End.
Eegad, this is long!  It is way, way, WAY too long.  As I mentioned in the Intro, there are two other Cuts of the film out there in the nearly 10 years since it was made.  One of them is 2 hours and 15 minutes long, while another is 2 hours and 25 minutes.  My version- as mentioned- is 3 hours long.  You guys could cut up to 45 minutes, so what does that say about my Cut?  Look- I get it (to a certain degree).  You- Timothy Hines- had a vision of what your film would be like.  All of your stuff is just 'so great' and you need 'every Scene' to tell the Story properly.  You're wrong, of course.  The bottom line is this: you just didn't have the Budget, Talent and overall resources (Actors, Writers, etc) to make the film live up to its potential.  I don't fault you for *wanting* make the movie.  I do, however, fault you for making a 3 hour film that manages to be both laughably-bad and boring.  The worst news: he did a Remake of it in 2013!  Any thoughts, World?
Up next, I wrap up my Project Terrible Films with a depressing Time-Travel movie.  I don't know why I want to Find this Cody person, but whatever.  Stay tuned...

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