"A cruel debate opponent" "Pagan blasphemer" "Reverse-iconoclast" "don't get pissed at him b/c he pwn yalls whiney asses"
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Miscellaneous meanderings and philosophical ramblings. The title from a spiral notebook I used to jot down my thoughts on religion and other matters some years ago. I like to write, think and express my views on various issues. Robust discussion is welcome.

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"Lan astaslem."
I will not submit. I will not surrender.
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Sunday, July 03, 2005

War of The Worlds - Robby must die

I saw War of The Worlds tonight. Overall, a pretty good movie. I liked how the special effects were not overused and therefore did not overwhelm the story. Spielberg also chose to focus on the experience of one family trying to survive such a tragedy. The more conventional route would have been to focus much more on the actual warfare and much larger explosions. A gutsy decision and it will be interesting to see how people react.

But, I must warn some who may find themselves enjoying the film, only to have it ruined by the narration at the end. For me it was enjoyable to hear, though to others, hearing God mentioned, may cause a coronary event. Apparently, Spielberg is confident enough to not shrink back from allowing such a "controversial" word to be uttered.

In all seriousness though, I do have a problem with the film, as some might be wondering due to the title of this post. To put it bluntly, Robby is the new Jar Jar Binks. At the end of the movie I was hoping he had died, as many people hoped Jar Jar would be killed.

In focusing on a troubled family, Spielberg brings in the typical teenage, all about me, character. He tries to redeem this walking bag of narcissism by having him perform a heroic act. Predictably, the father (Tom Cruise), witnesses this and we see a moment of admiration for his angst driven offspring. But this is completely ruined later.

Per the needs of the story, the boy must be separated from his father and younger sister. This is done in such a way as to make one really hope the boy ended up being killed. In leading up to the separation, it is made very clear, that Cruise's character has been a less than attentive father. He doesn't know his daugher is allergic to peanuts. He, somehow, is also not aware that his daughter has panic attacks and needs to perform a particular exercise to calm down. The son, knows and the son is also who the daughter runs to in time of danger. Even with his typical brooding attitude, the boy appears to have been a good sibling and picked up the slack where his father had failed.

But now the separation. In running from the brutal alien attack, the family is caught up in the fighting. Troops are rushing to the front line. The father tries to lead them away but Mr. Teen Narcissist must see what is going on. He is so caught up in his own desires, he forgets how much his sister depends on him. He doesn't even see that while his father struggles to convince him to follow, that another traumatized couple are trying to lure the daughter away. It was all about I have to see this, I have to see this. No thought whatsoever, of the danger in even delaying one's departure, or how a band of two would be more vulnerable than a group of three. Nope, just me me me. For being such a lousy father, it is a wonder that the kid didn't get knocked out by dad and dragged away.

I suppose one could say, the boy was in shock, traumatized and not thinking clearly. I don't buy it. It's not as if this happened suddenly. He had to walk quite a ways to the front line, all the while his sister is saying slow down.

So, be a brooding lump of narcissism, abandon your loving and dependent sister to a father you do not respect and that you know can't help her with the anxiety attacks. It's all ok, because the happy reunion will be there, as usual. Fortunately, there is much good in the movie despite this, and best of all the narration and that controversial God word are the final ending.
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