Thursday, June 30, 2005

WCBE 90.5 FM "War of the Worlds" (Novel, Radio Broadcast, 2 Movies)

It's Movie Time
Co-hosts: John DeSando & Clay Lowe
Producer/Director: Richelle Antczak, WCBE 90.5 FM

Reviews: “War of the Worlds”
Taped: 3:30 pm, June 29, 2005
Air Time: 3:01 pm and 8:01 pm, July 1, 2005
Streaming live on the web at .

The Script:

Steven Spielberg’s “War of the Worlds” is full of some of the most memorable moments of disaster you’ve ever seen on the screen . . .

"War of the Worlds” remains the world's gold-standard for invasion stories . . . .


Richelle Antczak
"It's Movie Time" in Central-Ohio with John DeSando and Clay Lowe . . .


I'm John DeSando

And I'm Clay Lowe (continues)

Clay (“War of the Worlds: Novel and radio show)
Folks, Brit novelist and respecter of science, H. G. Wells wowed the world with his “War of the Worlds” even before celluloid’s big bad boy of the cinema, Orson Welles, was even born. But history now knows, that both of these men were able to masterfully manipulate their respective readers and audiences.

From H. G. Well’s “Time Machine” to his “The Invisible Man,” and finally to his “War of the Worlds” (written in 1898), Wells the novelist sparked his readers’ imaginations and fueled their fears of the unknown. Just as forty years later young writer-director Orson Welles in 1938 turned that original novel into one of the most famous scary radio broadcasts of all time.

Great entertainers, stimulating thinkers, and social agents provocateurs, both of these men used their versions of “War of the Worlds” to enable their audiences to more thoughtfully come to terms with the fears of their times.

John (“War of the Worlds” - George Pal)
Clay-The 1953 “War of the Worlds” is the mother ship spawning countless alien invasions films, right up to the recent “Independence Day” and the current remake. The original won the Oscar for special effects, although by contemporary CGI standards you easily see miniatures, wires, puppets, and worse acting than that of Hayden Christiansen on a good day.

John, you just can’t leave that guy alone, can you?

The '53 WOW was based on Orson Welles' radio adaptation of the HG Wells novel, both part of a noble pedigree, which in 1953 hinted that the red invasion from Mars is a warning about Soviet Russia or a foreshadowing of Vietnam and Iraq. In any case, this memorable sci fi reminds us how our pride leaves us vulnerable.

The professor, played by Gene Barry, offers the sobering observation that, Martian or American, Syrian or Frenchman, "We'll find their mortal weaknesses and destroy them that way."

Sobering indeed.

Clay ("War of the Worlds" - Spielberg)
Sobering, indeed John, but Steven Spielberg’s “War of the Worlds” is a further extension of Spielberg’s coming of age that has him more seriously confronting both his own personal history and the history of our time. In this movie Tom Cruise gets to play a father who has let down his family but now gets a chance to prove he loves them more than he knew.

Played against the backdrop of some of the most spectacular and frightening scenes of terror and destruction you’ve ever seen in a film, it’s ironic that you remember most of all the panic and fear on the faces of the father (Cruise), the daughter (Dakota Fanning), and the older son (Justin Chatwin).

Rivers filled with floating bodies, ferocious vaporizing machines that vibrate audiences as well as the on-screen victims, is you like to be scared, then sitting in a theatre watching this film is the place you’ll want to be.

It’s almost as scary as the evening news.

John (“War of the Worlds” - Spielberg)
Clay, Steven Spielberg phoned home from The Terminal, connected with his inner genius once more, and gives us an excellent remake of the 1953 War of the Worlds touched with his signature obsession about family and graced with special effects that simulate the terror of invasion as Iraqis and Afghans could currently understand.

Making sure we know the bad guys are really bad (The 1953 version made the invaders a bit too cute), Spielberg wastes little time showing the tripodites destroying everything in sight with dock-worker dad Tom Cruise careering through debris like an Olympic runner, 10-year-old daughter Dakota Fanning in tow, crying too much for my taste.

Parallels to America's current vulnerabilities are as abundant as they were in the cold war '50's, yet both red and blue states can claim Spielberg's support, either for listening carefully to Donald Rumsfeld's apocalyptic warnings or Ted Kennedy's rueful lamentations.

No matter, this is a rip-roaringly scary invasion tale, told by a master filmmaker, who seems to invade every genre with child-like wonder.

Enough of rip-roaring cary invasion tales, John, because it’s grading time.

Holy digital suction cups, Hooray!

“War of the Worlds,” novel and radio broadcast, both get an “A” because they both AUDACIOUSLY played upon our fears . . .

The 1953 "War of the Worlds" earns an "A" for its A-LIST ALIENS . . .

Spielberg’s "War of the Worlds" earns an "A" because it's as good as AI. . . .

Spielberg’s “War of the Worlds” gets an “A” because it’s much better than “A.I.” . . .

Clay, Do you suppose there is anyone today who will learn from our film that invasion can be dangerous to your health?

John, no more than we’ve learned from “Jaws” that it’s dangerous to swim in a sea full of sharks.

I’m outta here.

See you at the movies, folks.


The Award Winning "It's Movie Time" with John DeSando and Clay Lowe is produced by Richelle Antczak in conjunction with 90.5 FM, WCBE in Columbus and 106.7 FM in Newark.


© 2005 John DeSando and Clay Lowe