War of the Worlds

This is not a great film, it will not go down in history as a classic or anything like that but I shall remember it for a very long time, it ruined my day.

I have no idea if it is the weather, hormones or what it is but Matt and I have not really agreed on anything today, in fact, the word ‘arsehole’ has been used many times.

This started, as a day, quite ordinary and then went downhill from then on. Jermaine was clearly in one of his ‘could thump at any moment’ moods so eggshells were being trodden on.

Over breakfast I asked Matt & Daisy what they wanted to take on holiday … we had some discussion about the DVD player and I really did try nicely to explain why that was pointless, we could watch TV here. Then we got talking about wide open spaces and it reminded me that I bought a Frisbee and a ‘Bomb’ a while back and that Matt’s friend Johnny had lost the bomb and that Matt had broken the Frisbee. It was then I started to get confronted with Matt’s ‘attitude’. His argument being, he was not to blame for the Frisbee getting broken as anyone could have done what he did so why bring it up? I tried to explain about accepting responsibility but just got the same argument and he was now already starting to refer to me as arsehole.

I managed to diffuse the situation before we went to the movie and watched it all the way through just fine … now, some possible spoilers about the movie …

This is how I viewed it. Tom Cruise is a man that we presume is divorced from his wife, she is pregnant again and both she and ‘Ray’ (Tom Cruise) have two kids. A son of around 17 and a horrible brat of a daughter ‘with issues’ or around 10.

Clearly Ray and his son don’t get along too well and the daughter is just a little screwed up, maybe because of the divorce, maybe something else, we don’t get to find out why. Ray’s ex brings the kids to Ray’s place for a weekend stay whilst she and her new guys head for Boston to see her parents.

Ray is not the parent kind; he is totally out of his depth. He wants to be a good dad but he just doesn’t know how.

The son is not going to budge; he is as stubborn as his father, the daughter looks up to her brother and has little respect for Ray.

Ray has a nap the first afternoon and wakes to discover the daughter watching TV and the son has taken Ray’s car for spin and Ray has no idea where he is. We sense the conflict between worry for the car and of the son. There is an electrical storm, a weird one and all the neighbourhood is out to investigate it. Even our normally totally cool and sorted Ray is clearly shaken by it.

Once it appears the storm has passed, Ray gets his daughter to wait in the house whilst he goes to investigate. He finds his son out in the street and all he is concerned about is whether his son is OK or not. Then, Ray goes off to search for his car which his son had to abandon.

It because quickly apparent that there is more to these storms than was at first thought. All electrical devices have been knocked out. Then, whilst the crown watches on, earthquakes start to happen, or, at least, that’s what they assume. What soon happens is that giant alien craft start emerging from the ground where they have clearly been buried for centuries, or, as one person put it, since before people were even here.

The ships soon start killing everyone in their path and Ray is on the move, running aimlessly until he is past by a man carrying his child when he suddenly remembers his own kids. All he is now thinking about is getting to his kids.

All three of them run until they find a car that works then they drive trying to keep off main routes for their own safety.

They see many disturbing things along the way, dead people, destroyed vehicles and homes, terrible devastation on a massive scale.

They encounter the worst of humanity when an angry mob steals their car and leaves them to fight for their lives … all Ray could think of was the safety of his children.

All along the way Ray’s son is challenging him, clearly very angry at him; he thinks ray is an arsehole. He won’t call him Dad; it is ‘Ray’ all the while. At one point soon after they lose their car, Ray takes them into a diner where he breaks down soon after the daughter rejects his comfort and goes to her brother. Ray is clearly feeling that he has failed his kids, that they don’t love him, he is a jerk.

They move on and find themselves at a war zone. Along the way we pass several families just like theirs that are scared and running.

It is clear that the military offensive against the aliens is failing, there is little hope. All the army can do is to hold them back long enough to help some people escape. At this point Ray’s son decides he has to know what is going on, see for himself. The daughter is told to wait at a tree for ray to come back and he runs after his son. Ray begs him to stay with them, begs him not to go, tells him he loves him, the son insists Ray let him go and Ray can see that if he doesn’t, he will lose his daughter as a couple, with best intentions, are trying to take her to safety. Ray has a choice, his son or his daughter. It is a terrible choice, one that no father can make and live with himself afterwards. Ray heads back to his daughter after clinging to every last moment of his time with his son. When he gets to her we see a huge explosion where his son was just a moment earlier standing …

Now, that is as much of the film as I need to talk about as this isn’t really about the film. At that point I cried, I couldn’t do that, I love all my kids so much, I don’t know how I could choose between them, the pain would be more than I could bare,

Afterwards Matt and I spoke about it. He reckoned it was rubbish, hardly any action and all over in a few minutes at the end, totally lacking in anything realistic and none of the elements that were meant to talk about emotion in the film worked.
After my very recent emotional time watching this film, I was hoping Matt may have picked something up but he hadn’t. He was still being a 17 year old jerk totally failing to see how emotional the movie had made me even though I had explained to him how I felt. All Matt wanted to do was rubbish the movie, what he couldn’t see was by rubbishing the movie, he was also invalidating my feelings, how emotional I got with the scenes between father and son.

For all Matt is a total sod at times, I love him to bit and when he insults me and gets angry with me, it hurts like hell. The thought that we could be in an emergency situation yet Matt would go off and do his own thing rather than have me tell him what to do is frightening and really upsetting to me, no parent can bare the thought of losing their kids, not this one, that is for certain.

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