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The War of the Worlds

(The War of the Worlds)

April 26, 2005

Hard to believe that this is the first review to be submitted, but...
This is a 1950s classic, offering what was, for its time, state-of-the-art special effects. It's reasonably faithful to H. G. Wells, notwithstanding the transition from Victorian England to present-day (1950s) America. The Martians come, they conquer, they can't be stopped, and then they die of infection from terrestrial microorganisms. The characters are fairly hokey -- brilliant and resourceful scientist, lady-in-distress, stalwart soldiers, a pious clergyman, blah blah blah. The film Martians are more modern than Wells' Martians, whose fighting machines were walking tripods equipped only with a heat ray rather than floating contraptions with a heat ray and a disintegrator, and which possessed nothing like the shield that protected the film's fighting machines from all weaponry. Still, regardless of cinematic excesses and shortcomings, it remains an exciting and oddly timeless adventure.

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