Thursday, July 07, 2005

"Occupations don't work. Never have."

No, it's not the latest heresy about Iraq to come out of Sen. Chuck Hagel's (R-NE) mouth. It's the most memorable line from Steven Spielberg's "War of the Worlds," which Helen and I saw tonight.

I know it's fashionable to dis Spielberg, but nobody does extra-terrestrial visits to Earth better than he does. This movie is so far ahead of junk like "Independence Day" and "Signs" that it's now difficult for me to believe that the latter two were ever even made.

UPDATE: The Retro Crush review of WotW is right on the money.

The warning about occupations never working is spoken by an old guy holed up in a farmhouse (Tim Robbins) whilst the alien invaders visit destruction upon the Hudson River valley. It joins these two passages from "Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith" as this summer's best cinematic comments on US government policy (thanks to Rosemary at Eve's Apple for reminding me of the Star Wars lines):


1.

Padme Amidala: “So this is how liberty dies: with thunderous applause."

2.

Anakin Skywalker / Darth Vader: “If you’re not with me, then you’re my enemy."

Obi-Wan Kenobi: "Only the Sith deal in absolutes."

Before seeing the movie, we went for Shabu-Shabu ("Swish-Swish" in Japanese) at Shabu-Zen in Chinatown. Unique place: you sit at a counter with a boiling pot of broth in front of you. Server brings meat, fish, vegetables, whatever you want, and you dunk it in the boiling broth and shabu-shabu it around for a while before transferring the cooked food to your plate. Me likey.

4 comments:

Osage said...

Hmmmm...that's really interesting. And that it came from the character played by Tim Robbins is even more meaningful, given his well-known stance against the war in Iraq. I was intrigued by what you said about it being a great alien movie - better than Signs, etc., and I'd like to hear more from you about that and why the movie's worth seeing. Also - if you haven't seen it, I highly recommend Land of the Dead. It's a conscious critique of post-9/11 America.

Chris Hartman said...

Thanks for the comment. I liked War of the Worlds because I found it scary, exciting, and realistic. The review on Retro Crush that I link to from my updated post sums it up pretty well for me.

And thanks for the suggestion of Land of the Dead...I've added it to my Netflix list.

janinsanfran said...

You might be amused by this warmongering column on WotW by San Francisco's resident winger.

Chris Hartman said...

Thanks for the suggestion, jan. That was really quite the column. Amusing, as you say, is one word for it. Apparently the Tim Robbins comment about occupations didn't faze her. It was the spectacle of humans behaving realistically in the face of an apparently unstoppable, impervious foe that bothered her. Plus it's never a bad time to throw in a dig at Hollywood.

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