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DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 180 minutes, trailer, H.G. Wells bio and works, Still Gallery

STUDIO: Pendragon Pictures/ Sterling

RELEASE DATE: 6-14-2005

ANALYSIS: This year is the battle of not two, but three versions of THE WAR OF THE WORLDS and the only version most have heard about is that Spielberg version starring Tom Cruise. One of the other two versions if H.G. Wells' THE WAR OF THE WOLRDS from Pendragon Pictures which is supposed to be the first faithful adaptation of the novel set in 1898. Before the events of September 11th, 2001, director Timothy Hines was going to set it in present day Seattle. Then he decided to set it in the time of the novel. The result is an overlong mess which could have been edited down to aroudn two hours instead of the 180 minute cut presented on the DVD. Then we have very bad CGI efefcts (they do the best they can with tHE Martian machines, but the CGI citieslook the worst) including lots of terrible green screen work of inserting actors in a scene against background. Also the acting is very terrible from some of the actors and the narration could have been left on the cutting room flooor. Turning back to the editing of the movie, Hines could have left many walking scenes out of it and shortened many scenes that would have played better with fewer reaction shots and bits trimmed out. Timothy Hines has done a better job with the film once you get past the extremely overlong first hour. The weakest part of the movie belongs to the writer's brother who travels from the London and ends up travelling with two women (his best scene is his attempt to save the women from thugs on the road). Many parts of this subplot could have been trimmed down because the writer's journey to get to his wife and avoiding the Martians is the meat of the story.

As it is shown, H.G. WELLS' THE WAR OF THE WORLDS is a disappointment that would have beenfited from remaininng with a present day setting, less use of bad CGI, and some editing to trim down the movie to a shorter running time.

VIDEO: 1.85:1 (Anamorphic)

The transfer is poor. Image detail is good at times, but motion seems a little off at times. Then all of the different filters show how cheap the production and DVD transfer are.

AUDIO: English 2.0

Subtitles: None

Dialogue is clear, but soemtime syou may want to turn down the volume when the sound effects come on. Some audio also doesn't sync up in a few scenes (bad redubbing of lines maybe).

EXTRAS: The extras aren't that exciting. An trailer for the movie, a still gallery (which is a slide show), and the best bit is a mini-bio on H.G. WELLS with a list of the stuff he has written.

FINALA ANALYSIS: If you must see this version of THE WAR OF THE WORLDS, try renting it (instead of buying it even though it can be found for $8.50 at WalMart). If you're looking for a great WAR OF THE WORLDS movie, maybe the next Direct to Video production of THE WAR OF THE WORLDS starring C. Thomas Howell or the big budget WOTW starring Tom Crusie (opening in theaters on June 29,2005) might be worth your time.

this DVD Review is (c)6-27-2005 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. Send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com and look for additional content at http://www.livejournal.com/users/enterlinemedia