Search - H.G. Wells' The War of the Worlds on DVD

H.G. Wells' The War of the Worlds
HG Wells' The War of the Worlds
Actors: Anthony Piana, Jack Clay, James Lathrop, Darlene Sellers, John Kaufmann
Director: Timothy Hines
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense
NR     2006     2hr 59min

In the year 1898, critically acclaimed author H.G. Wells conceived of a tale so terrifying that it has captured the imagination of millions of readers for more than 100 years. Now for the first time ever, the true adaptati...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Anthony Piana, Jack Clay, James Lathrop, Darlene Sellers, John Kaufmann
Director: Timothy Hines
Creators: Susan Goforth, Timothy Hines, Barbara Bauman, John Gallo, H.G. Wells
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Allumination
Format: DVD - Full Screen
DVD Release Date: 06/08/2006
Original Release Date: 01/01/2005
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2005
Release Year: 2006
Run Time: 2hr 59min
Screens: Full Screen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Member Movie Reviews

John B. (FilmFanwithCat) from MENLO PARK, CA
Reviewed on 9/5/2013...
This is very slow and inflated with scenes of people walking or running.
Sitting through it , to the end, However, i found that they did put
together some interesting plot devices.
The CGI is low-quality.
There's a Cool scene of how vicious The Martians are , in torturing someone.
The Filmmaker did His best to be Faithful to H.G. Wells'
original story and ideas. It's just not what really fits for modern , movie viewers.(9.5.2013)
Nick H. from ALTON, IL
Reviewed on 4/3/2010...
Shot on a low budget in Canada, this version is set during Wells' Victorian era and follows much of the book, unlike every other version. Overlong but entertaining.

Movie Reviews

Cheaply made, but still quite good.
Brad Frank | Tulsa, Oklahoma USA | 06/10/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Pendragon Pictures' new film "H G Wells' War of the Worlds", the first faithful adaptation of the original novel, has been in development for about 5 years. A theatrical release was intended for earlier this year (March, 2005) but this never happened. The DVD was rushed out to coincide with the release of Spielberg's film, which hits theatres June 29.

I liked this film, with certain reservations.

How faithful is the adaptation? It's not quite 100% faithful to Wells' book, but 90 - 95% faithful is good enough for me. At least several scenes were totally new, such as Ogilvy the astronomer's confrontation with a farmer, and the unnamed writer/narrator awkwardly having tea with his cousin. But on the whole, this film follows the book very closely -- certainly much more than the classic 1953 version by George Pal.

Its greatest fault is that it was obviously made on a very cheap budget. The majority of it seems to have been shot blue-screen and composited with digitally rendered backgrounds. This is particularly annoying during most of the interior shots, and scenes of crowded city streets. The overviews of 1898 London look like something from a video game. Numerous scenes in horse-carriages were faked -- I guess they couldn't afford to rent a horse. The only scenes shot for "real" seem to be those in open fields or forests.

But within those budget restrictions, they managed to do quite a lot. Artistically, the film looks right. The Martians and their tripods are quite well done, and very true to Wells' descriptions. I was particularly impressed with the heat ray. Although the Thunder Child sequence, which should have been one of the film's highlights, is very disappointing. It's a great shame that they couldn't afford more actual sets, or better quality animation.

The acting and direction won't win any Oscars. For the most part, they are competent, not bad, but not outstanding. The music is quite good also, though not on a par with any of the major Hollywood composers.

I'm actually glad this didn't get a theatrical release, because the budget limitation would have made it look much worse on a big screen. As it stands, I would rate this similarly to a BBC-TV adaptation of classic literature.

A few nitpicks: Most of the scenes are presented with various colored filters (mostly red). This may have been an artistic choice, but it is used very inconsistently, and seems more like a sloppy job of mastering the DVD. And the writer/narrator's obviously fake moustache mutates from scene to scene.

Bottom line -- Is it worth seeing?
If you can look past the technical and budgetary limitations, and get into the story, I think you will enjoy this, especially if you've actually read the original H G Wells novel. And for only 10 bucks, you shouldn't feel cheated. If, however, you are easily put off by cheap production values, you'd best pass on this (unless you're a MST3K fan). Be warned, however that the film runs a full 3 hours, so I don't recommend watching it all in one sitting.

BTW: An entirely different version of War of the Worlds, aka "INVASION", is due on DVD June 28. This was also made on a budget, but is updated to the present day like the Spielberg film. And to top it off, Jeff Wayne is making an animated film of his best-selling album from 1978, but that won't be out until 2007."
Remember Folks, This is ONLY A MOVIE, A MOVIE ... ...
Jack Burgess | Tampa, Fl USA | 06/09/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Let me first state that I do not in any way represent Pendragon
Pictures. I happened to enjoy this version of H.G.Wells' The War of the Worlds simply because Tim Hines chose to go back to the original source material found in the book. The aliens looked cool in a Jim Danforth style kinda way. The cinemaphotography was even interesting. Tim Hines photographed the whole film to look like a pre-World War 2 newsreel documentary colorized, complete with bits of jerkiness of movements. Just like the book, the film is set in 1898.
I really feel sorry for all the sour pusses out there spoiled rotten by mega budgets, heavy doses of CGI and thin storytelling. Tim Hines' War of the Worlds is very cool. Check it out.
Not bad but not good...
D. C. Squires | High in the sky traveling at Mach-2 | 06/13/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)

"All in all this is a fair DVD outing if you feel so inclined. I have read the message boards on IMDB and yes, the acting is sub par at best. The story is faithful to the book about 90% of the time and the CGI is, at best, like that of a first year art student. Was that supposed to be a cow? The alian tripods are a great rendering. Concerning teh CGI, we are so spoiled by state of the art effects that when something doesn't meet or exceed our expectations we become critical. This might have been due to budgetary restraints.

When it comes to the "style" the film was made (cinematography), to me, that was ingenious. It was almost like seeing some of the old tinted Victorian stereo-opticon(?)cards and "magic lanterns" of the same time period come alive. The tintings used were in stark contrast to say the normal color of whatever it would be in nature. (ex. red bush (bright reds), cool blues, sickly greens. We all forget that "Technicolor", either two (2) strip or three (3)strip was not true color. That's what made them so colorful and phony looking. Watch Dario Argento's "Suspiria" for one of the last and greatest uses of the three (3)strip process. Very surreal!

The jerky picture style in some areas reflects that of the early silent movies from the time. Anyone here ever heard of George Melies? His early films were similar to the style used.

Getting to the movie (acting, etc). Yes the acting IS 3rd rate at best but watchable for one viewing - especially the priest -- very "Plan 9". Most reactions are far too broad. The story itself, as I said, does go by the book almost all the time.

Maybe more money, a real studio backing it and better direction could have improved on the movie. I saw all the negatives about Mr. Hines (aka "Timbo") on the IMDB along with these on Amazon and, well, 'nuf said. Never met the guy but he had a good idea. It's too bad the studios could not back his vision and given us a better product.

With the near release of the Spielberg version of "War of the Worlds" I thought I would take a chance, bought it and really do not regret it. If asked would I sit through another viewing, well, if I will-I will, but I'm in no hurry. I will in the future. Beautiful visuals, throughout!! Yes it was not a great film, but I have seen much worse and done by major studios. "Plan 9 from Outer Space"? Not at all."