Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Grover's Mills, Population: YOU! - Discussion Thread for the October 2016 Monthly Marathon

In no way is this image a metaphor for megalomaniacs potentially overestimating the size of their own hands
Just in time for the coming cold and flu season, it's a new monthly marathon!  Let's get to it!  

They're adaptations and spinoffs of HG Wells' The War of The Worlds, and they are coming to heat ray our souls into oblivion!

This month, we're watching:

There will also be a lot of listening to the Jeff Wayne musical here in the Geekery, and perhaps even a re-reading of Volume 2 of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen!


  1. Settling in to 1953 WoW...
    - Seems odd the martains started their planetary analysis at Pluto and worked inwards, according to the intro. How would they feel about Pluto no longer being a planet?
    - Is that Mr. Haney in the crowd?
    - No impact crater or anything? That seems a bit of a stretch. But hey, I'm a purist when it comes to lethal meteorites.
    - I'm guessing this is supposed to be out in California or somewhere? I don't think they ever said, but that's how it feels.
    - I love how Dr. Forester mentions that his friends “flew home in my plane” and the girl doesn't even bat an eye.
    - Oh, it's ok. The girl's a science groupie. That just doesnt seem to happen these days
    - Not sure I get why the craft are encased in asteroids. That just seems strangely off. I mean the burning streak across the sky kind of defeats the need for camoflauge.
    - Cut to a barn dance? That's odd... Now a soda shoppe while the pod unscrews. Seems like it's trying to be an “I Was A Teenage Alien Invader” genre thing here.
    - Feels surprising how fast the military was called in. Seems like there would be more intermediary steps.
    - That is a metal drink of coffee, General.
    - Bit of a surprise that they went with the saucers rather than tripods. I suppose it'd be easier on the special effects team to have a static object. Or maybe flying saucers were all the rage then and they wanted to tap into that market somehow?
    - “It neutralizes mesons somehow. They're the atomic glue holding matter together. Cut across their lines of magnetic force and any object will simply cease to exist.” Just a quick analysis, Dr. Forrester, thanks.
    - This heat ray effect actually looks like it might be a pre-cursor to the Dalek's death ray
    - If Dr. Forrester is such a good scientist, how did he fly his plane into a tree?
    - So the doctor saves her from the Martians, says, “Hey, look, there's a farmhouse” and we cut to her cooking him breakfast. Oh, the 50s...
    - Half expected the good doctor to start slapping her around during her hysterical meltdown. Like that scene in Airplane.
    - Why did the martians wait til they ran out of the house to blow it up, instead of just doing that first?
    - Number of days to destroy the earth? “Same number of days it took to create it”... And all the scientists glare at her.
    - That's a big B-Wing Bomber. Was that even real in 1953?
    - Love the emphasis on THE A-BOMB.
    - Leave it to the SCIENTISTS. More emphasis. And more movies should go that route...
    - Riots in LA during the evacuation. I wonder if they just filmed regular traffic and expected it would look awful to the rest of the country.
    - The scenes in the church as the crowd is awaiting the machines are really the first ones to be affecting in any way.

  2. Kicking off 2005 WoW with R for movie night...
    - Love that opening narration, no matter how many yimes I hear it. And if you're not going to have it in an english accent, at least have Morgan Freeman do it
    - So crane operator Tom Cruise is about as far from the good Dr. Forrester as you can get. I wonder which one if any is closer to the orginal Wells source material.
    - There is a weird glare/glow/filter to the photography in this. It's pretty distracting.
    - The exwife is pregnant of course. Way to turn the action there. Took me the whole scene to recognize her as Eowyn though.
    - Been a long time since I saw it, but I feel like Signs did the preliminary new reports from around the world thing better.
    - Not sure how adding in the family drama humanizes the characters. I don't really want to spend the next two hours with this asshole son. I get stressed enough just watching Jess on Gilmore Girls for cryin' out loud.
    - TIVO... how quaint.
    - Not sure how I like this “lightning storm” rewrite either. Seems like a stretch and kinda pointless. Why mess with the classics? And disabling the cars just looks like a cheap budget way to get out of a traffic jam scene.
    - I feel like I should know where this is set. I wanna say, Staten Island?
    - The cops and crowd shaking from the rumbling ground remind me of the original Ghostbusters
    - I do love the tripod design here. They put a lot of thought into that, and it shows.
    - R: “How do those even freaking get down there? Oh, maybe they travel through lightning.. That would make sense.” Does it? Does it really?
    - I LOVE the heat ray sound effect.
    - How did they get this lull where he could go inside and pack. Was the tripod just walking away from his house?
    - “Is it the terrorists?” Very 2005 zeitgeist. Had to explain it to R
    - People screaming unintelligibly. That's always a good plan for troubled situations.
    - This whole sandwich set piece is kind of lame... smarmy Tom Cruise is unwatchable Tom Cruise.
    - The plane in the living room is a nice touch though.
    - The Pine Barrens... ah, it's New Jersey.
    - Man, does that kid deserve to be heat rayed.
    - The crowd grabbing the van reminds me of … never mind, I forgot.
    - BSG did the board of missing people thing better. Again, it's an early's 2000s zeitgeist.
    - The burning train was a nice touch. Some straight up Ghost Rider shit there.
    - Why dont people ever run side ways from the thing chasing them. Oy.
    - The foghorn effect is great.
    - Damn that ferry dock scene is intense.
    - I love the effect of the underwarer tripod. That was probably pretty cool on the big screen.
    - I've been annoyed at the lack of overall scope... the confusion and myopia of the story so far. But I'm realizing now that's a conscious filmmaking decision and it makes sense.
    - What the fuck is that lullaby? Oh, it's the Beach Boys. Now we know wht he doesnt have custody.
    - Tim Robbins playing himself. Still dont know how that house is standing, with all that shit going on around it.
    - How the fuck long is this eyestalk tentacle? Good gravy...
    - Not sure how I feel about the aliens getting out and about in the basement. If it was added to the source material, it feels like it makes it seem like too many other scifi movies out there. At least they brought in the fungus though.
    - EVERYBODY PULL. Just like in Finding Nemo.
    - You know the martians got the flu because that tripod just VOMITED.
    - Here's Eowyn again. And gods can that kid scream
    - I forgot Spielberg directed this. Definitely went after the effects on this one in a good way. But on the whole it felt pretty empty.