Movies => Bad Movies => Topic started by: Yaddo 42 on June 17, 2005, 01:56:12 PM

Title: The Other "War of the Worlds" for 2005
Post by: Yaddo 42 on June 17, 2005, 01:56:12 PM
Has anyone seen the Pendragon Pictures adaption of "War of the Worlds" that was mentioned on this board and others a while back? I picked this up last week at Wally World for $8.42, have only watched parts of it. Rough going for all the worst reasons.

Well, it seems to be a fairly direct adaption of the original Wells novel, although people more familiar with the book than I am pointed out the changes in comments on Amazon when I looked it up. If the guy I called "the other fan boy" still worked with me I'd ask him about it since he was quite familiar with the book, the radio play, the 1953 film, the TV series from the 80s, and even the muscial concept album version. He was kind of my expert on "War of the Worlds".

The film is THREE hours long (I thought the running time on the case was a misprint when I bought it), huge chunks of which seem to be pointless reaction shots of the cast members. The effects are terrible, and make the early CGI of "The Last Starfighter" look cutting edge (the cow must be seen to not be believed). A shot of BIg Ben being destroyed and top falling on to a bridge is all CGI, and the look of that scene might make for a decent animated adaption of the story, but nothing in that shot matches with anything in the rest of the film. The "Thunder Child" scene with a battle agianst the tripods is bad all the way around: the CGI, the editing , those damn reaction shots,  

Also many scenes have weird tints to them, this seems to be a deliberate attempts to create a quaint mood or atmosphere, it fails. There is much use of actors superimposed over backgrounds rather than location shots or sets, kind of a poor man's version of the greenscreen techniques used in "Sky Captain" or "Sin City".  Maybe it was another style choice but the prespective of actor to background just draws attention to how badly this is do.

I may try to break the film into three one hour segements and watch the whole thing, because my attempts to watch it so far have been for naught. This looks like a real endurance test, maybe even worthy of giving the later "Billy Jack" films a run for their money.

I figured this was a quickie cash in on the Spielberg movie, or someone with more money and ambition than talent chasing a dream, so I wasn't expecting a perfect film, but the director Timothy Hines has Ed Wood/Al Adamson/Uwe Boll/Ted V. Mikels/Ray Dennis Steckler All Time Hack Director potential. A look around the Pendragon website reveals he has made other films and has several others in the pipeline. Has anyone seen them?

I'd say it's worth the price if you see it for sale, just to find out how wrongheaded someone can be.

Title: Re: The Other "War of the Worlds" for 2005
Post by: Fearless Freep on June 17, 2005, 02:28:12 PM
I find all that really amusing because I remember when people here first found out about this one and the Spielberg/Cruise one and the talk seemed to be how the Cruise one was just going to be an effects laden Hollywood mess and this one would be better and closer to the book

Title: Re: The Other "War of the Worlds" for 2005
Post by: Yaddo 42 on June 17, 2005, 02:45:23 PM
It apparently is closer to the book, but that doesn't help. I think I was even one of those who was hoping it would prove to be a good faithful adaption. I'd say that came back to bite me here.

When I watched the first part, it came across like some low budget TV movie adaption or miniseries for, say the Hallmark Channel or British TV. It just goes downhill from there -- it has to be seen.

Title: Re: The Other "War of the Worlds" for 2005
Post by: dean on June 18, 2005, 12:40:35 AM

Wasn't this the one they were making'in secret' under another name, but with the permission of Well's estate, and when Speilberg made his big news, they sort of jumped up and said 'we started ours first!!'?

Anyway, from the screenshots I saw I haven't really had high hopes for the 'other' War of the Worlds, in terms of aesthetics.  But I'd probably rent it anyway, since I am also obsessed with War of the Worlds.

Title: Re: The Other "War of the Worlds" for 2005
Post by: Yaddo 42 on June 18, 2005, 02:57:05 PM
I remember reading that, but from the negative comments on Amazon, it seems that the film was started several years ago and went into limbo for a time. Not sure if that means it was started and then production was stopped, if it was finished (or mostly finished) and then was put on the shelf, or if say rights and permissions were secured and it was then rushed into production once interest in the Spielberg version began (call that "the Corman method" if you want).

I read all the comments posted at the time (roughly 21) but several mentioned that they were reposting since many original negative comments seem to have been removed They were accusing Amazon of responding to requests from the film's owners due to the overwhelming negative take on the film. The only really positive reviews there looked like plants usually prefaced with "I'm not connected with the producers of this film and I swear I'm not a plant....", so they spent almost as much time defending themselves as they did praising the movie.

Title: Re: The Other
Post by: trekgeezer on June 19, 2005, 05:40:50 PM
Actually Timothy Hines, who I believe is Pendragon, started to make one similar to the one Spielberg made except set in Seattle. It would have been set in the current time. After the 9/11 attack they put it on hold and then after word of the Spielberg version came out, they changed to the time period of the novel.

I'm really disgusted over this turning out to be crap. They reportly had $43 million to spend, so they could have made a pretty decent film for that much. I've heard it looks like it contains every piece of film they shot .

Foywonder's review is over on the SciFilm board and he couldn't sit through the whole three hours at one sitting.  

I heard it went for like $8 at Walmart and some people were p**sed that they couldn't get their money back.

To tell how bad it is someone claims to have seen a Lego man in one scene.

By the way there is another version coming out June 28 on dvd starring C. Thomas Howell. It is also set in the modern day. It is also titled "H.G. Wells War of the Worlds". Watch the treiler here ( If you watch it all the way to the end you will see a title screen (the one with actors listed) and you can see that it originally was named INVASION.

Post Edited (06-20-05 07:16)