A remake of the 1953 film of the same name starring Gene Barry and Ann Robinson, War of the Worlds, directed by two-time Academy Award-winner Steven Spielberg, attacks theaters this week. War of the Worlds first gained notoriety when actor Orson Welles (Citizen Kane) dramatized the H.G. Wells' novel over radio airwaves in 1938. Because many radio listeners actually thought the world was being invaded by aliens from Mars, the broadcast caused mass hysteria. Let's hope that Spielberg can create the same buzz with his rendition. In War, he and Tom Cruise reunite after working together on 2002's Minority Report. This is Spielberg's third feature film based on life forms outside of this universe. In 1977 he had Richard Dreyfuss (Mr. Holland's Opus) build a spaceship out of mashed potatoes in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and in 1982 he beamed down E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, a stranded alien who was trying to find his way home.
One week after zombie aficionado George A. Romero released Land of the Dead comes another zombie flick, this time from down under. The Australian horror film Undead tells the story of a small fishing village after a shower of meteorites transforms the community into flesh-eating monsters. "Put another body on the barbie," I guess they would say. Directed by first-timers and twins Michael and Peter Spierig, Undead was financed entirely by the siblings and their families.
In Rebound, popular basketball coach Roy McCormick (Martin Lawrence) is kicked out of the college ranks after having a mental meltdown during a game. When he finds another job as a middle-school basketball coach, Roy must teach his new team of untalented players, which includes a young girl with the body of a linebacker, the fundamentals of the game without embarassing himself and the players too much on the hardwood.