Not having read the original book, nor having heard the radio play from 1938, nor having seen the original film from 1953, I had no preconceived notions regarding what this movie was going to be about. I knew the basic storyline — Mars Attacks (only with fewer cameos) — but I was completely ignorant of the details. But damned if Spielberg didn’t manage to screw this one up bad enough that even *I* noticed! Between the plot holes big enough to drive a truck through (Alien ships buried on Earth for millions of years? Grandma’s house unscathed amid the rubble of what was once Boston?) and the awkward pacing of the film’s finale, one is left to wonder if a veteran director like Spielberg was actually at the helm the entire time, or if he handed it off to an apprentice while he went on vacation.
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