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War Of The Worlds 4K UHD Review

War

“War Of The Worlds” never quite lives up to its potential.

In this 2005 Steven Spielberg directed version of H.G. Well’s classic sci-fi novel, the NY set story revolves around a divorced father (Ray) who watches his 2 children (Rachel and Robbie) while his ex-wife visits her parents in Boston. Alas, this family visit turns out to be a nightmare as it occurs during a global alien invasion.

Under the direction of Spielberg, “War of the Worlds” was ripe with potential. Not only did it have a sizable budget behind it, but the story penned by David Koepp and Josh Friedman was bringing a more modern perspective to the story with its post 9/11 messages about fears and humanity coming together in a  time of crisis. Unfortunately, the film never pans out like you’d hope. For starters, the character work just doesn’t, well, work. The concept of a father learning to become a father in a time of crisis sounds fine on paper, but all of the characters feel underdeveloped and cliched in the final product. That’s no criticism on Tom Cruise who tries his best here, he just doesn’t have a ton to work with other than shepherding his two kids (played by Dakota Fanning and Justin Chatwin) around from location to location.

The rest of the script doesn’t fare much better with questionable character actions, the Harlan (played by an overacting Tim Robbins) sequence which brings the film to a screeching halt, the ending, etc.

“War of the Worlds” does have its moments. The aspect I appreciated most is the scale of this project. The big set pieces, the still impressive visual effects, and the sets are nothing short of extraordinary. The film is a real spectacle as it should be. Additionally, I appreciate that the man behind “E.T.” and “Close Encounters Of The Third Kind” took a different approach to aliens here. Yes, there’s still a happy ending, but there’s a more cynical look at humanity here at certain points which tended to be the more engaging parts of the film.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.78:1 2160p. How does it look? Paramount is crushing it with these 4K releases. This is but another fantastic upgrade. Hopefully, we will see more major catalogue titles soon.

Audio Track: Dolby Atmos. How does it sound? Honestly, this is the best part of this disc. It’s such a dynamic track all-around, but the Tripod sequences are especially phenomenal. 

Extras:
* Blu-ray copy
* Digital copy
* Theatrical teaser trailer for “War of the Worlds.”
* Costume design, production, behind the scenes and production sketches galleries.
* A featurette on the previsualization process.
* “Characters: The Family Unit”- Self-explanatory
* 4 production diaries
* “Designing The Enemy: Tripods and Aliens”- A featurette on the designs of the Tripods and aliens.
* “Scoring War of the Worlds”- A look at the sound design and the score by John Williams.
* “We Are Not Alone”- A very brief extra with Spielberg talking about his childhood and the universe.
* “Steven Spielberg And The Original War of the Worlds”- Spielberg talks about his homages to the original film.
* “The H.G. Wells Legacy”- A featurette on H.G. Wells and his surviving family.
* “Revisiting The Invasion”- Spielberg talks about the original film, alien invasion cinema, and his take on the classic.

 

May 20, 2020 - Posted by | 4K UHD Review | , , , , , , ,

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