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Are You Ready For War Of The Worlds

Apr 27, 2008
Mankind has been fascinated with the concept of life existing on other worlds for hundreds of years. Incidents such as the Roswell phenomenon have done nothing but further inspire this fascination in the extraterrestrial.

The concept of life on other worlds has held people's imagination largely due to the question of what if we were to be visited by people from one of those places to be inhabited. Perhaps the first book to ever speculate what could transpire given that situation was The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells. The War of the Worlds is considered the first example of the invasion subgenre of science fiction.

The story revolves around London in the 1800s as the earth finds itself invade by hostile Martians who seek to make the earth their own home. As the war rages on, with devastating results for us Earthlings, a man tries to make it to his wife and safety.

The story proved to be so popular that it captivated its audience. In 1938, Orson Welles of the Mercury Theatre radio program produced a radio show which had sent everyone who had heard it into frenzy due to the fact that it was broadcast as though it was an actual news broadcast.

The program, while having catastrophic results, proved to be quite popular amongst listeners who had kept their wits. The show was even annually broadcasted in some towns on Halloween night as a tradition. It was then, in 1953, that a motion picture was produced that modernized the story to reflect Cold War fears of the American populace. Then, in 2005, Academy Award winning Director Steven Spielberg announced that he would direct his own version of the science fiction classic.

In the 2005 retelling, we focus on Ray Ferrier (played by Tom Cruise), a self-absorbed dock worker who has to care for his two children Robbie (Justin Chatwin) and Rachel (Dakota Fanning) while their mother and step-father are out of town.

This is complicated when the earth is invaded by aliens from an unnamed planet. Ray, who has no respect from his children, seeks to take them across the country in an effort to reunite them with their mother and step-father so that they can be safe from the invaders.

The film is effective in its attempts to show how the world would be affected by such an invasion with some strong imagery use to evoke memories of the images of 9/11.

The movie features strong acting, with Cruise doing a different kind of character than his usually confident, action hero oriented characters. Good performances also come from Chatwin and Fanning as they both realistically interact as siblings.
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