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War of the Waste of The Worlds

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  • War of the Waste of The Worlds

    OK, I just got Hines' WOTW DVD...
    Dammit! I so wanted to like this film. It's just so close...and yet misses by cosmically significant distances, like a passing bolide! Jesus, did nobody watch the rushes at an earlier stage and say: 'Bloody hell, Tim: your leading man talks like he's had a coat-stand rammed up his jacksy!' I mean, if he went anywhere near Woking talking like that - he'd probably get stabbed! Maybury Hil my arse. They don't say 'awnge' when they mean 'orange' in Surrey, and they certainly didn't 107 years ago. If one is going to fake up a nineteenth century setting for the piece (which is extremely laudable and should have been done years ago) and spend not inconsiderable numbers of pounds on CGI and some very nice effects and cinematic ideas, at least get some actors that sound half-decent. Ogilvy is used from the word go as a pure expositionary tool: it seems Hines decided that none of Wells' novel needed any editing. At all. Visually pleasing and quite haunting scenes are totally crapped up by the mincing quavering of the narrator or one of the other muppets (occasional exceptions). Great martians, nice settings, peculiarly bad and mutable moustache.
    What a tragedy! As I said, so near and yet so far! I'm really very saddened, as the poor folk involved did try. Just needed a few points sorted out earlier. It could have been a classic. Oh, well...there's always Jeff Wayne.
    Note to Hines: Please ring me (or anyone else in South-East England) next time you want to make a Wells movie- BEFORE you release it...

    Comments, dear correspondents?

  • #2
    Well, I haven't seen this version of WotW (nor the Speilberg/Cruise either for that matter) but I can't say I'm surprised by your review. It seems whenever anyone says 'we're making the film of this book and it's going to be incredibly faithful to the original' it invariably turns out to be less impressive than one might wish for. It was the same with The Time Machine that Wells' great-grandson Simon Wells directed iirc.
    _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
    _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
    _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
    _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."

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    • #3
      Wasn't it just.
      For some obscure but highly entertaining reason in Hines' WOTW, half the actors manage to speak English as if they are French. Must be the embouchure. Also, the really rather horrific and effective Heat-Ray is slightly spoiled by the remarkable animation of the skeletons wot form the residue of the recently-incinerated folk: they continue to writhe and squirm long after their musculotendinous (or even ligamentous) attachments 'ave been well and truly burnt orf. Doubtless this is horrific licence, or an attempt to portray the contorting power of the heat. Unfortunately, it's rather funny. :roll:

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      • #4
        Well I won't be in any hurry to watch it then....

        Have you seen the Spielberg / Cruise version yet? Barring a couple of small niggles its actually ok.
        Batman: It's a low neighborhood, full of rumpots. They're used to curious sights, which they attribute to alcoholic delusions.

        Robin: Gosh, drink is sure a filthy thing, isn't it? I'd rather be dead than unable to trust my own eyes!

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        • #5
          Originally posted by devilchicken
          ...Have you seen the Spielberg / Cruise version yet? Barring a couple of small niggles its actually ok.
          Barring a couple of large niggles it's actually pretty not bad.

          Ciao,
          Ant

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          • #6
            Perdix, it ain't to sin to take off your skin and dance around in your bones. Did you get my message, London ? Are you there ?

            Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
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            Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


            Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
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            • #7
              That's very true.
              Dang! No I didn't! What is happening?

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              • #8
                As I suspected...it takes me forty minutes less to read the darn book than it does to watch the film... :lol:

                No, listen, right. IF you can suspend the shock at the desperate acting (which MUST surely be under forcible direction, as 'tis quite remarkably uniform: only the mental reverend approaches a degree of competence) and the truly remarkable accents, then this is rather a fun romp. I'll watch it again, after all.
                BAD points: frightful dialogue - Mr Hines appears to think that every spoken sentence in HG's book had to be reproduced; be it never so banal or inappropriate to the action (which at least echoes some of HG's literary weaknesses, or traits, to be kinder); appalling (non-existent?)editing and continuity: again one wonders if the latter was deliberate, but some scenes are ludicrously drawn out, whilst others, including the climactic 'death of the Martians', pop up as an almost incidental piece (perhaps the money was running out?). Most buggered-up sequence: The Thunder Child bit. Check out the expressions (twice!!!).
                GOOD points: superb dream-like style which is actually enhanced by the slightly-clunky-in-parts CGI (ie, the distant horses and figures); brilliant martians and their machines, very compelling and watchable; generally very nice lighting and printing effects which, despite being obviously 'cheap', work very well in the filmic context; obvious (but excessive) attention to the detail of the source text (cuts both ways, mind: Rowling take note! Film is NOT THE SAME MEDIUM as literature); general fun.
                FAVOURITE PARTS: Narrator's organic 'tache (well, he does go through the mill a bit); all the accents (the artilleryman makes Dick Van Dyke sound like Alf Garnet! Hopefully non-British audiences can elide this aspect, although I encourage Stateside corresondents to find the speech-coach for this film [and for Winona Ryder in Dracula; they are doubtless one and the same]: SEEK & DESTROY before they do more linguistic harm to our poor diphthongs!); pronouncing 'Harwich' as 'Harwick' (where dat?): the reverend - he's completely right and barking feeble!; lovely red weed (I've got some in a hanging basket, I think); everyone's tortured expressions on EVERY POSSIBLE OCCASSION! (Best: Narrator's 'Matey-out-of-''On The Buses''' face when he finds his wife is not dead, after all); the randomly-arranged assortment of British architecture from 17th Century to about 1935 scattered liberally across the grass-covered vales of Surrey (which actually seems to be the laudably genuine location of the 'live (ahem!) action'); the apparent concept that Weybridge in the 19th C resembled Regent's Street or Fifth Avenue; hearing that Leatherhead was utterly destroyed together with everyone in it with no provacation at all, which is frankly quite understandable, forgiveable, and really ought to be encouraged should bellicose Martians ever land near it. Just go and look. And Woking, too.

                So, all in all, well worth the money! Really! Just pretend it's all animated and you'll enjoy it no end!

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                • #9
                  Oh! And terribly macabre black humour, but the poor bird who gets squished by a Martian's foot quite early on must have had severe polycythaemia, or drunk gallons of cranberry smoothie in the preceding few minutes: she managed to produce about seventy litres more blood than an ordinary splatted person could manage. Poor sausage.

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                  • #10
                    Um, yes: bit hypocritical of me to moan about animated skeletons, p'raps. :D

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                    • #11
                      ...and if The Artilleryman saluted like that, he'd get Jankers for a month of Sundays... :lol:

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