TOKYO (AP) – Steven Spielberg says the days when movie audiences sympathize with a lovable alien such as E.T. may be over.

“It seemed like the time was right for me as a filmmaker to let the audience experience an alien that is a little less pleasant than E.T.,” Spielberg said Monday at a post-premiere news conference for his new film, “War of the Worlds.”

“Today, in the shadow of 9/11, I think the film has found a place in society,” said Spielberg, who directed 1982’s “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” and 1977’s “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.”

He noted the panic-causing radio play of H.G. Wells’ alien invasion novel was produced in the late 1930s, when many feared the rise of Naziism in Germany, while the 1953 movie, “The War of the Worlds,” was made during the Cold War.

“All occurred at a time of great unease in the world,” he said.

In “War of the Worlds,” Spielberg substitutes space invaders called “tripods” for the Martians of Wells’ book. He said the first tripod is killed in Osaka, Japan’s second-largest city.

“Osaka has a lot of experience,” he said, referring to the many scenes of urban destruction in “Godzilla” and other Japanese monster flicks. “I’m proud of the film, and I’m proud to bring it to Japan.”

Tom Cruise, star of the movie, said “War of the Worlds” is more about family values than interplanetary disturbances.

“The idea was always about family,” Cruise said. “What would you do for your family? How far would you go? Can you protect your family?”

“War of the Worlds” opens in theaters on June 29.



PALO ALTO, Calif. (AP) – Ever the maverick, Steve Jobs told graduates that dropping out of college was one of the best decisions he ever made because it forced him to be innovative – even when it came to finding enough money for dinner.

In an unusually candid commencement speech, Apple Computer Inc.’s CEO also told the almost 5,000 graduates of Stanford University that his bout with a rare form of pancreatic cancer re-emphasized the need to live each day to the fullest.

“Your time is limited so don’t let it be wasted living someone else’s life,” Jobs said to a packed stadium of graduates, alumni and family.

Jobs, wearing sandals and jeans under his robe, was treated like a rock star by the students, in large part due to the surge in popularity of Apple’s iPod digital music player. A group of students wore iPod minicostumes over their robes and several students shouted, “Steve, hire me!”

Jobs, 50, said he attended Reed College in Portland, Ore., but dropped out after only eight months because it was too expensive. He said he lived off 5-cent soda recycling deposits and free food offered by Hare Krishnas while taking classes.

Jobs also recounted co-founding Apple in his parent’s basement and his tough times after being forced out of the company he helped start when he was only 30. “I was a very public failure and I even thought about running away from the valley,” Jobs said.

Instead, he co-founded Pixar Studios, which has released enormously popular films such as “Finding Nemo” and “Monsters, Inc.”

When he was diagnosed with cancer, Jobs said his doctor told him he only had three months to six months to live. He later found out he had a rare, treatable form of the disease – but he still learned a tough lesson.

“Remembering you are going to die is the best way to avoid the fear that you have something to lose,” he said.



NEW YORK (AP) – Alicia Silverstone is, like, totally married.

The 28-year-old “Clueless” star wed longtime boyfriend Christopher Jarecki at Lake Tahoe on Saturday, said Silverstone’s publicist, Elizabeth Much, confirming a report in People magazine.

It’s the first marriage for both Silverstone and Jarecki, lead singer of the band S.T.U.N. The pair have been together for eight years.

The wedding was held for 135 friends and family at a private lakeside estate. The couple exchanged vows while barefoot on the beach, People reported Monday.

Silverstone played Valley Girl-with-a-heart-of-gold Cher Horowitz in the 1995 film “Clueless.” Her screen credits also include “The Babysitter” and “Beauty Shop.”


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