Skip to comments.War of the Worlds: Spielberg and H.G. Wells on Occupations, Empires, and "Current Relevance"
Posted on 07/13/2005 7:36:21 PM PDT by CaptIsaacDavis
NOTE: This is a vastly expanded and updated version of a prior review from this group, which includes a host of quotes from those behind the film. It came via the groups e-mail list, where the site itself appears to be down for the moment.
WAR OF THE WORLDS: Steven Spielberg and H.G. Wells on Occupations, Empires, and "Current Relevance"
Updated Final, SPOILERS New Republican Archive. Movie Reviews. July 11, 2005. (Contact: email@example.com).
War of the Worlds is not only a tense portrayal of the terror and horror of war, particularly for those on the losing side of a modern one, but also a deeply political film. Director Steven Spielberg has gone to great lengths to "spin" this classic story into a peculiar attack on American "empire" and Western "occupations" of Moslem countries (one that foreign audiences will see clearly as an anti-Iraq war propaganda exercise). Indeed, the political rhetoric comes fast and furious with the tales narrator, Morgan Freeman, introducing the film as a story about "empire."
Spielberg gave an interview reported in Latino Review in which he explicitly drew a parallel between what he brought to the screen and a post-9/11 world: "I think, in the shadow of 9/11, there is a little relevance with how we are all so unsettled in our feelings about our collective futures. And that's why I think, when I reconsidered War of the Worlds, post 9/11, it began to make more sense to me, that it could be a tremendous emotional story as well as very entertaining one, and have some kind of current relevance." http://www.latinoreview.com/films_2005/paramount/wotw/setvisit.html Tom Cruise stated in that same interview that "War of the Worlds was always a book that I really enjoyed and I felt that the story could be relevant."
Relevant to what? Cruise keeps mum. However, there are in this film clear and explicit allegories to a Western "occupation" of a Moslem country (hinting at an Iraq allegory, but discretely so). The lead screenwriter that Spielberg worked with on this film, David Koepp, has indicated that an Iraq allegory and H.G. Wells take on imperialism and occupations influenced the development of the screenplay for this film. Koepp is even reported to have told a Canadian horror culture magazine called Rue Morgue (http://www.rue-morgue.com/) that the aliens represent Americans and Ray, et. al., are representations of Iraqi refugees (as claimed at conservative film review site http://www.libertyfilmfestival.com/libertas/index.php?p=527)! Ah, but of course...we should have known this was coming after observing that "Theyre Already Here" is the movies tag line.
Koepp is also quoted in USA Today Weekend magazine (June 19, 2005) saying the relevance of the film:"could be straight 9/11 paranoia. Or it could be about how U.S. military interventionism abroad is doomed by insurgency, just the way an alien invasion might be." The cause of this war of the "worlds"? A war over resources. Koepp tells MSNBC/Newsweek:"I think the whole war is about water...their planet ran out. Wars tend to be fought over very elemental things: water, land, oil." http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8271974/site/newsweek/page/2/. Many filmgoers also tend to be parochial and forget that modern Hollywood flicks are also about reaching foreign audiences. Koepp told the Chicago Sun-Times that "In other parts of the world, the new movie will be fear of American invasion. It will be clearly about the Iraq war for them." (http://www.suntimes.com/output/pearlman/sho-sunday-war26a.html). Thus, while Spielberg says (in that same Sun-Times interview) that Americans will see the refugees as "that image of everyone fleeing from Manhattan across the bridge after the Sept. 11 attack," Koepp indicates that foreign audiences will see Iraqis.
Before trying to decipher the "back story" to this film further, lets start from the beginning with the screenwriters own take, that is, before Spielberg, and perhaps others unknown (like editors), left their own imprints on the final cut. Koepp is quoted in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (JSOnline):"its primary virtue...is that it's about vast global events seen from the periphery by a civilian...What is it like when war comes to your home?...Wells was an anti-imperialist . . . and he made the British the invaded instead of the invaders to sort of hide his metaphor. The British were . . . fighting a lot of wars in a lot of foreign lands and were being done in by local insurgencies and exotic diseases. I think he was making the point that you can't go around occupying faraway lands...the 1953 movie was very much about the Cold War and the fear that the commies are coming to get us....The Iraq peril didn't even occur to me until halfway through the first draft." (underlines added for emphasis). See http://www.jsonline.com/onwisconsin/movies/may05/322924.asp. Producer Kathleen Kennedy was also direct in an interview with Latino Review:"the whole superpower issue going on in politics today, there is a kind of relevancy...This is similar to what people around the world are reacting to today..." See http://www.latinoreview.com/films_2005/paramount/wotw/setvisit-prt2.html
Political propaganda masquerading as science fiction "entertainment." What else should we expect from a film directed by Spielberg and co-starring Tim Robbins? Indeed, we should expect nothing less from a movie version of a book written in 1898 by H.G. Wells, who was an infamous socialist (briefly Fabian Socialist), hung out with Lenin, but rejected Stalinism, actively pushed for a single world government (new world order), and, in his "non-fiction" works was an extremist in his hostility to the Catholic Church (and other Christian churches still following key tenets of original Catholic doctrine), and in particular all aspiring heirs to the Holy Roman Empire (Western Christian empires). Wells original critiques of empire and class warfare themes were set aside for the famous Americanized film version of 1953. That film appeared at the height of the Cold War, and in an era when review/classification boards in many cities and towns were ready to pounce on anti-Christian and Marxist propaganda. Little wonder that the tale was re-imagined to distance itself from Wells anti-Catholic writings by eliminating the tripod legs (except for a faint electromagnetic signature), showing a priest engage in a saintly act to stop the war, having crowds of people singing "Amen," and portraying a church as the sanctuary that saves two main characters. Spielberg has dropped most of the Cold War and positive Christian imagery seen in the 1953 film in favor of reviving some of the original underlying themes and messages. We shall explore here if Spielberg is also reviving, in this age of the International Criminal Court (something Wells would have welcomed) and both environmentalist and "globalist" activism, Wells advocacy of a world government, attacks on nativism and conservative politics in general, and even Wells critique of Christianity.
How left-wing is this film, really? Tom Cruises character is clearly a representation of a working class guy from urbanized New Jersey (Newark?). Cruise, in the character of "Ray," actually manages to pull off "average Joe" after a few scenes, but the class rhetoric is thick ("I work for a living" grumbles Ray at one point). He has an early scene in which he jokes he cant meet the rich-kid demands of his children, including a son in prep school, who now live in comparative luxury with "Tim" and his rich ex-wife ([in a related critique of social values in this age of "empire"]). While examining "Tims" new SUV, Ray is seen ribbing him that it is really "safe." This was not so much a rip on SUVs (or was it?), but the start of a continuing theme in the film about how the rich, and in particular "Tim" and his ex-wife, who have a McMansion up the Hudson, want to ensure or believe that "nothing bad happens" to them. The latter is a close paraphrase of Rays comments to his daughter Rachel when they are at the table in "Tims" mansion, whereupon he calms her down by telling her it is "safe" in the neighborhood because nothing bad ever happens there. In the end, the house is not hit by aliens, but suffers the collateral damage of a plane falling on top of it. The class rhetoric of the film doesnt become wholly transparent until, after witnessing the full impact of the war on the nation, we see Tom Cruise walking with co-star Dakota Fanning ("Rachel") towards a fancy townhouse of Boston. It just so happens to be the only neighborhood that wasnt destroyed, even though it is right in the middle of an almost completely wiped out Boston shown in the final sequences. The wealthy elites got to "safely" sit it out. Even Tims "safe" SUV looks like it made it through (left side of the screen), while the whole world collapsed around them, and Ray and others had to walk through Hell (complete with alien blood-soaked weeds, rivers of blood, and valleys of death). In the end, Ray delivers Rachel, but actually has to stand outside and is not invited in (his son comes to him). The only benefit to Ray was that the war itself eliminated the corruptions of money and selfishness in his relationship with his children. It was Wells intent, reflected in this latest film as well, to illustrate that the costs of wars of empire and occupations are the burden of the working class whose blood litters the soil of empires and fuels their spread of influence (like weeds).
An early scene showing Ray working as a loading dock seemed contrived towards the same end, that is, until one sees the tripod machines and considers that Tom Cruises character was just shown driving a huge rig like that. Does this mean that the invaders driving those rigs are evil mirror images (distorted by social Darwinism) of the hero Ray (that is, anti-working class)? The "alien" tripods are shaped like the aliens themselves (three-legged), and with a tricorner head (and triangular command pods). When viewed in the context of Dakota Fannings character talking about her body pushing out a splinter in due time, like the tripods emerging from the ground, it becomes clear very quickly that the viewer is being asked to consider that the tripods are a painful part of nature and history, much like the empires and viruses we "earned the right" to live with through a billion deaths (reads Freeman at the end). That is, the aliens are an extension of our history and something that is presently inside us, or inside our territory/nation.
The "aliens" force viewers to face the horror and terror of what a war between "men and maggots" (of the technologically superior vs. the occupied) feels like. That is, we are seemingly asked to consider what it must have felt like for those in Tasmania in the 19th century (in Wells original book), Algeria under French "occupation" (an explicit allegory in this film), or Iraq in 1991-2005 (current relevance) in hiding from new technologies of war, with much of the wars duration spent peering out through small slits in basements and bunkers. There is even a scene in a bombed out house with Tim Robbins (in a character similar to Wells astronomer named Ogilvy) desperately trying to dig a spider-hole like the one Saddam Hussein was found in all the while proclaiming that "occupations" always fail. Actually, hes "dead set on" being wrong about that last claim, but thats a history lesson for another time and place.
Herbert George Wells views on Catholicism and Christian doctrine rear their ugly heads in this film literally, in the form of a tripod that Cruise gets to watch coming up from a street right next to, and partially underneath, a Lutheran Church. The lightning strikes first appear in Rays neighborhood in a storm with a curious portrayal of a worm hole or some such thing, only with a cross in the middle. Perhaps this is supposed to be an allegory for the vision in 312 A.D. that Constantine the Great saw before adopting Christianity (In Hoc Signo Vinces) and setting the West on the path of constructing a series of Westernized Christian "empires" (or so H.G. Wells once argued explicitly in various works and radical critics of American "empire" today also claim [as they call us "crusaders"]). While approaching the site of lightning strikes, Cruises character is approached by a local, cited in the credits as a "conspiracy debunker," who immediately says (to paraphrase from recollection):"God is pissed off at this neighborhood." Gee whiz, what happens next is that the machine comes up from the ground at the corner of "Merchant" (the aliens must be good little capitalists, after all [how does that saying go?: it never hurts to be too thin, too tall, or too rich?]) and "Wilson" streets, and topples the steeple of a Christian Church. In the 1953 film, a church was the salvation of certain characters. In this adaptation, the aliens appear transformed into symbols OF the church and Western imperial impulses: rising up from the buried roots upon which modern Christianity was founded (like some Roman imperial relic coming back to life). Whether Spielberg and the screenwriter really understood all of Wells allegories in the original book, and sought to translate them here, is an open question. Nevertheless, for those viewers familiar with Wells works, the net result is a co-mingling of themes. It gets a lot worse...
The tripod itself was a symbol of what Wells argued was the primary fault in Catholicism the adoption of the doctrine of the Trinity. This was a theme he was infamous for debating publicly, and addressing in God the Invisible King (1917) and his Outline of History (1920). It was not a trivial pursuit for Wells. Wells take on faith was that God is an "Invisible King," whereby personal redemption or salvation with the help of any Church was not in the cards so why bother? It was all in Gods "hidden" hands, and in particular via Darwinian natural selection and social Darwinism (a theme central to Wells original War of the Worlds, where the aliens themselves are scrawny and come to represent what will become of man after eons of technological supremacy). Thus, the "tripod" is not some random "choice" for the aliens it is a loud and booming critique of Christianity and the Holy Trinity. Wells, the ardent socialist, later published a non-fiction work purporting Catholic roots and parallels for modern totalitarian nightmares called "The Holy Terror" (1939). H.G. Wells: "The idea of stamping out all controversy and division, stamping out of all thought, by imposing one dogmatic creed upon all believers, is an altogether autocratic idea." "A second great autocrat who presently contributed to the stamping upon Catholic Christianity of a distinctly authoritative character was Theodosius I. (Theodosius the Great (379-395). He forbade the unorthodox [non-Nicaeans] to hold meetings, and handed over all Churches to the Trinitarians" H. G. Wells, Outline of History, 1920 Edition. So who is doing the "stamping" in this film? That is the central point of inquiry that viewers of this film are asked to ponder by "Ray," when he fumbled to explain what was going on to his son and daughter during the vehicle escape sequence. It was a discussion about "terrorists" and "Europe," in which the sons first instinct is to ask if it is an attack from Europe, not al-Qaeda or Iraq (that is, hes either an unusually ignorant preppy, who had just claimed in a fight with Ray that he had done the work for a paper on the French occupation of Algeria, or the line was an allegory fitting the aliens-as-Westernized-evangelizing-imperialists theme of Wells).
Here, in War of the Worlds, the theme is one of superpowers being utterly powerless in the face of social Darwinism and what Wells called Gods hidden hands. Those hands come in the form of a superior race of tripods (with "legs" that operate like their three-fingered hands), both living and machine, that have been here on Earth long before man ever built a road (to bury the machines a "million years" ago says Tim Robbins character). They are a "natural" power that can wipe out the greatest power and nation-state on earth in a couple of days. Hence, the U.S.A. seems to bear the brunt of the attacks in this film. Talk about what is going on in other parts of the world is largely speculative and contradictory, as shown in the march to the ferry sequence. However, contemporary political "relevance" is not speculative, even in that battle. The crowds at the landing dock face a curious negative of Spielbergs Saving Private Ryan beach landing scene. The people are leaving, not landing, to the tune of "If I Ruled the World..." They soon find out what happens when the world reacts to such ambition.
Spielberg seems to be driving at a point here -- about American empire. First, the film is released on a July 4 weekend, has Ray living in a row house with flags flying everywhere, portrays Ray exclaiming that the lightning is like a July 4 fireworks show an explicit allegory for the aliens as American imperialists theme, has real U.S. military troops and equipment as extras in some spectacular battle sequences, and then ends in Boston around a statue of a Minuteman (not a real one, but one tailor-made for the film). The most important scene is the one involving the statue, covered in dying red weeds, which is the films climax, since it appears right next to the first fallen tripod. Cruises character tears away part of the dead weed strangling the statue and crushes it in a scene framed with the Minuteman statue behind him, while he proclaims that "Its dying."
What is "It," and who are "they?" "It" is a representation of a purported American drive for "empire." THEY are presumed destroyers in nature, part of Gods plan (but who face Gods wrath in a Darwinian turn of events at the end of the film), the spreaders of influence fueled by the spilled blood of man, technologically superior, but utterly without morality (showing no mercy or remorse as the aliens in one scene become curious about the photo of a woman in a bombed out house, that is, a photo of someone they recognized as having just drank the blood of or sprayed like fertilizer in a "war of extermination"). Perhaps "they" are evangelizing (booming) Christian American imperialists (applying Wells original allegories and socialist language about our Iraq adventure) on a crusade to "occupy" a Moslem land (like France in Algeria), but who have triggered a natural reaction in the form of devastation and chaos that mirrors the War on Terror (a standard radical Left-wing explanation of 9/11). Indeed, the reaction, like a rash of splinters, comes in the form of an attack in which Cruise is covered with ash and soot, much like survivors of 9/11 in New York City, followed by another near-miss on "Tims" house by a crashed airliner (like numerous other terrorist attacks), and then a burning train (recalling the terrorist attack in Spain?). Dakota Fanning, who deserves an Oscar for her performance (she carried this film), even asks in one scene:"Is it the terrorists?" Ray then explains, via an exchange with his son on the highway, that these terrorists are not from "Europe," but rather someplace else. That scene practically taunts the viewer into trying to figure out whos driving the "God damned things," and where they come from in terms of "current relevance." Just in case the viewer missed the solicitation it was repeated by a character representing a member of a New York TV film crew, who ends up showing Ray how the "aliens" come down in lightning (perhaps an allegory for Mjolnir/Thors Hammer, the widely used socialist symbol adopted by the Nazis as the sigrune, etc.).
So who or what is dying? A left-wing cinematic and Sci-Fi vision of American empire is dying. Perhaps it is the same empire that former President Martin Van Buren slowed the spread of by blocking the annexation of Texas. In the opening "torch" sequence, Cruise is seen standing in front of a street named "Van Buren," which is likely named after the famous New Yorker and President (1836-1840) Martin Van Buren. So why then is there a street named for him in New Jersey (the sign post is carefully framed in one picture, and very large -- so we dont miss the point)? In our history, it was the advocates of an American empire, Manifest Destiny, and a future war with Mexico, who wanted none of that. So...the aliens end up blasting through Van Buren street in the following sequences. Coincidence? Maybe, but then it is reasonable to expect that those behind the film might throw in a parallel with 19th century American empire, in an ode to Wells original work. Indeed, it seems more than coincidental that the aliens come up at the corner of Merchant and Wilson streets, right under the church and a store next to it that looked (in a shot lasting seconds, so dont quote me) like it was named "Alamo." "Wilson," of course, probably refers to President Woodrow Wilson, who approved the interventions into Mexico and Haiti, and is the architect of our countrys 20th century drift from exceptionalism and isolation into global interventionism under the pretext of spreading "democracy."
Thus, Wells might see in this film a representation of a technologically superior American empire, headed today by an evangelizing zealot, spreading its weeds, tentacles, and empire to the loud boom and chorus of our own modern utopian dogma -- "democracy." Indeed, this is a common criticism of the Bush Administration from the radical Left. Some, like Mr. New World Order himself, Mikhail Gorbachev, came out of his posh digs at the Presidio in 2003, to declare that the U.S. is no longer a "democracy" because it disregards "global public opinion" (in going to war in Iraq). That is, for many anti-Americans in Eurasia, and our native Left, the presidents talk of spreading "democracy" to the Middle East is seen as a booming and irritating dogma masking autocratic and imperial hands. In fact, the film shows the aliens coming down in what a Russian or Chinese anti-American sees as the pincers (and presumed "pinnacle") of our pan-Western "democratic" empire the Ukraine in Europe and Japan in Asia. Wasnt that the Ukraine that received the first lightning strikes, that is, the latest nation to turn Westward, away from Russias grasp, and towards America for "democracy?"
H.G. Wells wrote about often, in more than just World of the Worlds, that it is at the very moment of an animals or empires complete supremacy that Darwinian nature, Gods hidden hand, finds a way to ensure its complete overthrow. Rome, Britain, the Soviet Union, and many other empires have experienced such a fate. The same thing could happen to our "empire," or is about to happen to our "empire" as a result of the occupation of Iraq, is the apparent message of "relevance" of this film. That is, the work appears to be a warning about the Darwinian consequences of an imperial impulse causing a reaction by all of Gods creatures usually in ways quite unexpected by those ruling the empire at its pinnacle.
War of the Worlds has been broadcast and told in many variations, often in a very timely and prescient manner: from 1938s radio broadcast on the eve of World War II to the 1953 Cold War version for the theaters. What then could possibly match the same generalized foreboding, fear, and terror as concern about British colonial armies, Nazis and Communists? And involve "occupation" and resistance to imperialism, like the Algerians? 9/11? Hardly. No one fears "occupations" by al-Qaeda. So what then is the post-9/11 "relevance?" Iraq.
Here, in this version, the "evil" ("Devil is coming" reads one sign in the walk to the ferry sequence) is a Sci-Fi spawn of American empire. Spielbergs explicit allegory is France trying to civilize Algeria. In this film, Cruises character has a son with a school report due on the French "occupation" of Algeria, which they mention over and over. We got the point already! Yes, our war in Iraq is like Frances attempt to subdue Algeria, and they failed. We know that. So what does that have to do with aliens, and me spending bucks to be entertained rather than lectured to?
A number of conservative film critics "got" this film, and have written biting critiques of it ever since. That is, except for neo-"conservative" Bill OReilly, who published a review of this film that tried to "spin" it as a rousing battle against alien al-Qaeda (a simplistic interpretation that ignores countless other allegories in the work). Spielberg, in the LR interview cited above, rejected the sort of gung-ho patriotic analysis that OReilly offered, and called it a "documentary" of all things:"It's not a wonderful kind of gung-ho...it's not Starship Troopers and it's certainly not Independence Day, you know? We take it much more seriously than that. The film is ultra-realistic, as ultra-realistic as I've ever attempted to make a movie, in terms of its documentary style." So, when we see Tim Robbins exclaiming how occupations always fail, is this "documentary" supposed to be informing us of what its like to be on the receiving end of the wars in Iraq (with left-wing propaganda in our world purporting that it is on the level of an "extermination")?
Who really saves the day? In Wells 1898 version it is the littlest creatures of this Earth, the allegorical anti-imperialists (using his socialist lingo), working class, and others under the boot of "empire." In Spielbergs version, the anti-imperialists are hardy revolutionaries coming up from the underground, from under houses and Tim Robbins "subway," or underground railroad, for "resistance." Indeed, Cruise ends up taking a machine out after he finally gets the guts to emerge like a revolutionary splinter and then fight back for his daughter. The "resistance" in this film is comprised of the heirs to the spirit of modern anti-imperial "insurgents," and purportedly the Minuteman statue breaking free of the strangling grasp of the red weed. It is an anti-imperialist, left-wing (motivated by certain views on class and religion), pro-environmentalist "patriotism" motivating the resistance. They are breaking free to control their own blood, and not have it sacrificed for some imperial "Holy Terror" (applying Wells life-long argument) and environmentally destructive force.
The film ends with what appears to be a geographically impossible shot of a tree with a small green bud filled with our naturalist "allies" in the counter-attack against environmental destroyers -- the viruses (and the birds who spread them, like the flu, to the aliens and red weeds they feast on). Residents of Boston may have noticed that the final sequence, which shows the former Fleet Center and Bunker Hill Bridge in the distance, has a vantage point comparable to that of the top of the Bunker Hill Monument. That is, it is the view of patriots who held the line and delivered a stunning blow to the British empire and, here, its allegorical heirs.
Only this time, the anti-imperialists are out-matched. The great power of our nation is not enough. Even the intense desire of the son in this picture to "get back at them" is pointless. They cannot win the war alone. Any nation and "great" power is utterly trivial against "It." The "resistance" only gains traction with a globalization of the struggle. It is environmental allies (birds and viruses), Wells representation of the costs of diseases for imperialists (malaria, etc.), but also all of Gods "little" creatures that is, every man who has not "died in vain" [says the announcer at the end] in the face of holy terrors and imperial ambitions.
With all that having been said, this film was not entertaining in the least. It was realistic enough to give nightmares to small kids and fits of apoplexy to adults sick and tired of Left-wing propaganda as "back stories" to Hollywood spectacles. I suppose if one just ignored the symbolism and allegories, it might seem like an "enjoyable" ride -- through Hell.
I dunno man. Its just not a very good movie is all.
Thats a lot reading into it if you ask me. I dont give spielberg that much credit. He is not that smart.
They banged this movie together as fast as they could.
Now Batman Begins. That is a conservative tough on terrorism movie.
I rather liked the movie.
Wells sadly was a socialist, but a fantastic writer. Only Jules Vernes is as great a sci fi writer.
Have you noticed that reviewers almost universally identify the George Pal movie as Cold Was era in a dismissive manner. Yet they praise Spielberg's anti war statement in this one. It must be that a film's quality is determined by the political message the film sends. The Pal film is clearly superior even with its 50 year old FX.
Thats funny, my wife is a raging liberal and she loved Batman Begins for its percieved leftist symbolism---Thomas Wayne's charity, Ras Agul attacking the economy of Gotham, etc.
I pointed out that a guy kicking ass in a bat suit isn't exactly addressing "root causes."
Batman Begins rocked. It is true to the comic. It is a bit condensed for films sake but it is the Dark Knight up there for the first time ever. Only the animated Mask of the Phantasm came close before. It is serious, dark, realistic, and I say again. Conservative.
The parallels with the war on terror are there. Hollywood has made precious few films about the war on terror, I cant think of a any right now. Contrast that with WWII when so many war films came out in support of victory.
Writers learned to mask their messages during mcarthyism, using say aliens or other sci fi stories to hide meanings. Paranoia for instance on a few twilight zone episodes are a good example.
I think that this film may have been similar. Hollywood has a new Mcarthyism. No one must make films supportive of the war on terror. Batman Begins is about resolve against evil.
Even the new bat symbol somewhat resembles the American eagle symbol we all know with the wings oustretched. Does Batman respresent a post 9-11 America in the war on terror?
The Batmobile? Before its painted black it is a desert camoflaged military vehicle you would expect to see American troops using today.
The Joker card at the end? ....reminds us of the Deck of 52 in Iraq.
The whole theme of confronting fear. Fear is the greatest tool that terrorist use.
Ra's al Ghul wishing to destroy and punish those that are not worthy in his eyes of saving?... Al Qaeda
Batman must keep his resolve, he must learn to maintain his morality even though he must come very close to crossing the line at times.
Bruce Wayne learns to pick himself up again after terrible losses, and never give up!
And going out on a limb here, the love interest in the film,(the only real non-comic character by the way) says when Batman is no longer needed, she can be with him again. Jeez, does she represent the countries like France? when teh war on terror is over, when we have saved the world again that the world community will get along again better? I know, just thinking out loud here, just food for thought. Only the writers know if any of this is intentional or accidental.
Gee, my eleven-year-old son and I just got back from WoW and we both enjoyed it. I didn't really sense any deep symbolism, but I guess I'm just the obtuse type. I don't have the mind to see things like that in other than a simplistic way. It's hard to imagine wasting that much verbiage on a silly movie.
I'm also amazed that the reviewer, whoever he is, thought that Tim's house was a mansion, or that the ex-wife's parents lived in a "fancy" Boston townhouse.
Spielberg has become a caricature of himself. He's nothing but a blowhad, elitist, liberal pinhead.
For goodness sakes he airbrushed out the guns held by goverment agents in his E.T. movie when he "re" released it on DVD.
His movies are increasingly boring and irrelavent and, even worse, not worth watching. Between Lucas and Spielberg the advertising business probably gets 95% of their revenue since hype is the majority of their movies.
No, you weren't. These articles trying to read all these sinister political themes into the movie are a hoot and say more about the authors than the movie. There really aren't any unless you count one comment from a lunatic about occupations failing in the long run, which is actually pretty accurate from a historical standpoint.
Of those you mentioned, I found 'AI' to be an artificial mess and boring. Ditto 'Minority Report' (what was with the old sandwich in the fridge? ridiculous script writing).
But I enjoyed 'Catch Me' if only for the time period, Christopher Walken and the fact it was based on the true story of Abagnale whom I have heard of and new he worked in bank securities.
I'll wait for WOTW on DVD even though I'm not a Cruise or Robbins fan.
Movie taste are fickle to the viewer.
A lot of people found A.I. boring but there wasn't a frame of that film that wasn't directed by an artist.
Obtuse is right -- judging NYC metro and Boston housing by the standards of other markets. The writer said "Mc"mansion (as in hold the fourth bathroom and sixth bedroom) in some town north of the GWB (West of the Hudson) in NJ or NY (a typical Soccer Mom ghetto type construction up here in the Northeast). They go for $1-2MM these days in that part of the NYC commuter suburbs. That townhouse was one they owned all of, and not some condo in (they are shown opening up the door to the entire building like they owned it all). A comparable goes for $12.5MM. http://www.curbed.com/archives/2005/06/14/on_the_boston_market_beacon_hill_townhouse.php.
That dump "Ray" lived in was likely a rental at $1000-1200 a month or goes for $250K in Newark (and living in a Hispanic ghetto judging by all the Spanish language signs).
Maybe not "fancy" by mid-Atlantic or Western standards, but the point was clear...