Tom Cruise‘s son should have never lived — it was ridiculous that he would have survived a pitched battle with Martian death machines. Seeing original War of the Worlds costars Gene Barry and Ann Robinson stepping out of that brownstone was like getting stabbed in the chest with a pencil. All because Steven “living incarnation of the spirit of Norman RockwellSpielberg had to deliver a heartwarming ending. Because he can’t help himself. Scenes like this are why Spielberg is regarded by perceptive types today (and will certainly be regarded by future film historians) as a hack. He is somewhere between the Cecil B. DeMille and the Mervyn LeRoy of our time. He had a brilliant run from Duel through Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, and then it was mostly a bumpy downhill road, the exceptions being Schindler’s List and Saving Private Ryan and…you tell me. (Inspired by Grolschfilmworks piece called “Rubbish Movie Endings.”)

This, however, is a great WoTW action scene: