War of the Worlds

1953, Paramount Pictures

Over 60 years later, War of the Worlds still manages to impress, even with its dated acting and stilted dialog. A tight script, professional production, and Academy Award-winning special effects—not to mention fine direction, editing and sound design—make this a textbook example of how to do it right. And I still can't get over how way-ahead-of-their-time the space ships look! Better, still, than many current-day designs, which tend to resemble today's cars (which I think are fugly).

       

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WOW

War of the Worlds

2002, Amblin Entertainment et al

I'm sorry, but all Steven Spielberg accomplished with this ill-conceived remake is tarnish the original's fine legacy, and casting egotistical loon Tom Cruise didn't help matters. If we're not supposedly being impressed by Cruise's "look at me, I'm acting!" antics, we're being awed by a glut of deafening, oh-wow special effects. Meanwhile, Spielberg completely misses an opportunity to do more interesting things with the aliens. Oh, and the ending sucked.

 

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