Movie Time: War of the Worlds (spoilers)
Back in the day, I used to play in my high school symphony band, and our conductor would always say that the audience will forgive you anything as long as you finish strong. Now, that's putting it a little too simply, I think, but there's quite a bit of truth to the idea that a good ending will make up for a lot.
What happens, though, when everything is great except the ending? The new War of the Worlds movie was terrifying, visually arresting, and highly entertaining. But the end. Gah. The end was ridiculous (and no, I'm not talking about how the aliens are defeated -- I was cool with this because I'm familiar with the source material). The ending of this movie was so unbelievably unbelievable I seriously thought Tom Cruise's character was dreaming, and that he was going to wake up from his happy-ending-dream and realize that no, in fact, not everyone survived, it was a frickin' alien invasion, and the chances are slim to none that every single person you care about, and their significant others, and their grandparents, and their Boston townhouse were able to survive. But no, it was not a dream, it was how this movie ended and it was really disappointing. Maybe they just have a lot of germs in Boston or something, and Miranda Otta spent the entire invasion doing laundry, just in case, you know, her ex-husband and their children made it all the way from New Jersey without dying so she could greet them at the front door with perfectly flawless and clean clothes.
I want to recommend this movie, because so much of it was really fun and perfect for a summer movie. But that ending. The end of a movie, like the end of a piece of music, is your last impression, the thing that sticks with you immediately, before you've had a chance to think over the various parts and scenes and remember your favorites. And the end of War of the Worlds was lame. I can't really say anything else because I'm so disappointed by it.