Skip to comments.SCHLUSSEL: "War of Worlds" Spielberg-esque Message: Don't Fight Terror
Posted on 06/28/2005 10:32:17 AM PDT by Cool Chick
"War of the Worlds" Spielberg-esque Message: Don't Fight Terror
By Debbie Schlussel
I'm violating Steven Spielberg's review policy for "War of the Worlds" and telling you what I think ahead of tomorrow's scheduled release date. I saw the movie at a press screening, last night, and was disturbed by the message: Don't fight terror, and everything will work out. (Security was literally tighter than that for going to the White House to meet the President. No purses allowed. Three wandings by security.)
It's bad enough that Steven Spielberg is adding "balance" and factual inaccuracy to the story of the Israeli Mossad's efforts to assassinate terrorists who killed Israeli Olympic athletes--in his upcoming film, "Vengeance" (I've detailed that here). It's bad enough that his message in "Vengeance" is that fighting terrorists and killing them is bad and doesn't work. But his similar message in "War of the Worlds" is arguably worse--because the movie, with fantastic special effects, is likely to be one of his bigger hits.
Spielberg said "War of the Worlds" is a parallel for 9/11 and serves as a "prism" through which to view 9/11, the War on Terror, and our presence in Iraq. The movie makes that very clear. People running from exploding and falling buildings, walls and kiosks covered with "missing" signs and pictures for those looking for lost relatives, people giving blood -- these are all 9/11 references.
But the message is: Don't fight terrorism. It will miraculously go away if you leave it alone and it breaths our air and culture. Puh-leeze. I'm sure Roger Ebert will just love it.
(Excerpt) Read more at debbieschlussel.com ...
Hate to say this, but it's just being true to the book in this case.
What an insipid statement. One can only conclude that he never read the book by H. G. Wells.
I do believe, though, that there was some thanks in the book to someone named... Gad? Ged?
Oh yeah... God.
My thought exactly. As Wells had it, we're useless against Them -- but Mother Nature isn't.
He was a splendidly imaginative writer.
(Denny Crane: "Sometimes you can only look for answers from God and failing that... and Fox News".)
Is there anything in the book about insurgencies making it so that occupation will never work? That's a quote from the movie, according to Schlussel. Read her whole column. Very interesting.
That's pretty much how Hitler was defeated, right? No need to actually read a history book or view the History Channel. Spielberg has the answers regarding human nature. Or at least some nice production values. And it is nice to be nice.
There is mention of humans going underground and fighting with whatever means they have, including a guerilla-style warfare, If I recall correctly.
For a significant part of the movie, Ray Ferrier (Tom Cruise) and his daughter are holed up in an old basement with Ogilvy (Tim Robbins). Robbins' character wants to fight the outer-space invaders or at least die trying. Ray doesn't want to. He just wants to be silent and wait it out. Because he and Ogilvy are at odds over the strategy to fight the alien terrorists, Ray murders Ogilvy. And magically, the invaders eventually die and go away at the end of the film because, as narrator Morgan Freeman says, they could not handle the bad things in our air, our environment, our culture. Our "spirit" won out over them.
I will have to see the movie myself, but her description makes it sound like that is not the case in this movie, that there is no underground warfare because Cruise kills the Robbins character who wants to do that.
I believe the original premise of the book was that no matter how powerful we think we are, there's always going to be someone bigger. His ultimate irony was that the bigger, stronger, smarter enemy was brought down by the smallest among us.
Anyone see Lord of the Rings?
Yep. Methinks the reviewer doth protest too much.
(Denny Crane: "Sometimes you can only look for answers from God and failing that... and Fox News".)
As I said, it's been a while since I read the book so I cannot say with any certainty how accurate that is. Much as I hate to admit it, I will probably go to see just so I can make my own assessment.
Great, sounds like another hollywood blockbuster film I won`t/don`t want to see. One day maybe they will get me back, but if they keep pumping out these horrid , agenda laden films, I will keep my money and stay away.
Sadly, there are number of people out there who call themselves Americans who believe that we should take whatever comes without complaining or fighting back, simply because "we brought it on ourselves, and this is our payback."
So what they are saying is if we kill Tim Robbins the aliens will all die. I can live with that.
But the last 20-30 minutes were a disaster. I'm assuming this is the part that Debbie is talking about.
I can't wait for this one, supposed to be very good and intense. The political handwringing by Debbie here is laughable. Get a grip lady.
Strangely enough, for Tom Cruise this movie fits in the category of "non-fiction".
I'll trust a FReeper's interpretation of this movie before Ebert or any other critic.
WOAH! Robbins is in this movie?
That nails it. Not going.
So dangerous does Aaron come to view Moses (in this Spielbergian translation) that Aaron kills Moses. "Enough!" cries Aaron has he drives the lance through his brother.
And then -- magically -- Pharaoh dies and the Egyptians are filled with love for the Hebrews, so much that they open their treasury to the Tribe of Israel so as to esrablish plantations in the Land of Canaan.
What a bad dream Steven Spielberg is the naker of.
Not really. The steam ram, HMS Thunderchild got a pretty sympathetic treatment.
In LoTR Frodo prevails to Mt. Doom because of his desire to be rid of the ring, combined with the help from outside in the form of the new king of Gondor coming to challenge Sauron. (Of course even there he's unable to resist the lure of power and poor Smeagol has to take the dive). But Frodo has to go right into the heart of the enemy's power through danger and struggle and temptation.
That's a long long way from "do nothing, relax, and the problem will cure itself, man." That sort of approach was illustrated in LoTR (the movies, not the book) when Pip suggested they just give up and go home and leave everything for someone else to deal with. The closest JRRT himself gets to that is the bit in the Silmarillion where the 'Valar' call the Elves to Aman and abandon Middle-Earth in the first age (but really that sequence is more of a allegorical rejection of Deism IMO).
The 'nature will take care of what man cannot' is a theme in War of the Worlds, but don't extend it to Tolkein's work, please.
"Spielberg said "War of the Worlds" is a parallel for 9/11 and serves as a "prism" through which to view 9/11, the War on Terror, and our presence in Iraq."
So he's saying we should fight the Iraqi terrorists with germ warfare? Wow!
Which was a very similar theme in "Independence Day," where it was a "computer virus," not a virus, that kills the aliens.
Hmmm... so Ray kills someone who stands in his way, and yet remains passive against aliens? Yep, sounds like a Clinton liberal plot to me.
H.G. Wells was also one of the first male feminists. Brilliant, yet decidely kooky.
If you want on the list, FReepmail me. This IS a high-volume PING list...
Environmentalism takes a hit here, not President Bush. Jackasses wrote themselves into a quagmire again!
Wasn't he also an advocate of free love? Didn't any female feminists ever wonder why so many sex addicted males who don't want to commit to any one woman seem to be feminists and support things like abortion?
Yes I think I knew that but had forgotten. I always liked that film Malcolm McDowell was in, "Time After Time" which was pretty good where he played H.G. Wells.
Out of curiosity, have you actually seen the movie yet? She has, and I'm inclined to believe her that the movie will contain plenty of not-so-subtle political overtones that have little to do with the fictional novel. Spielberg is definitely a leftie, and it would be par for the course for Hollywood.
I have not seen the movie, and I have no doubt that contains a great many jabs at the politics of today. However, in order to maintain some credibility with complaints, it's important that we not overreact, but instead target those areas in which we know we have some valid complaint.
What I read in her column was, in large, a brief overview of my recollection of the book, but she was treating it as new material.
I like the original 'Time Machine'.
Yes much better.
the fact that Robbins is in it, playing a "let's beat 'em or die trying" tough-guy, gives me pause.
I might not see it.
counter: Cruise has impressed me recently (Last Samurai and Collateral), and that little girl rocked in Man On Fire.
Generally speaking, I am not all that interested in what a Scientologist has to say about war, peace, God, sci-fi or aliens.
That's pretty much how Aaron was portrayed in "Prince of Egypt." Wimpy, timid wuss. Also to pander to the feminists, Moses' wife Zipporah had a bigger role in the Exodus than Aaron, even though in the actual Bible she stayed home with the kids.
The chances of anything coming from Mars, are a million to one, they said.
Not likely. Her whole career depends on not getting a grip.
Don't fight terrorism. It will miraculously go away if you leave it alone when it breaths our air and culture
Gee you'd have thought that would have worked in France after the Nazis occupied it,I mean Germans are efficiency control freaks, the French unions take coffee breaks during their coffee breaks......
I guess Spielberg would have shot the French resistance huh.....but wasn't like Schindler a hero? Steven is confused methinks....I wonder is Steven a Zionist or anti Zionist, how come Israelis cture hasn't driven the Palestinians away