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Short? Don’t want to stretch yourself out with a torture rack? Then try these simple Tom Cruise-style lifts.

May 11, 2012

I remember quite clearly when I first watched the Stephen Spielberg-directed War of the Worlds, and more specifically its unbelievably well-crafted first appearance of an alien tripod. It was probably one of my favorite extended movie scenes of the past decade, a moment that reminded me why I go to theaters and put up with people talking and noisily thrusting their fat fingers into huge vats of buttery popcorn. Seeing such a sight on a big screen makes it all worthwhile.

But there were a few frames in that scene where I was dragged kicking and screaming out of the effects-laden drama unfolding before me. Spielberg has long understood that a simple trick to help give an audience a childlike sense of wonder is to keep the camera low, because that way you’re looking up at what’s going on in the world — like a kid. He did that in this scene, placing the camera right on the ground as Tom Cruise scurried and the alien war machine rose up through the city street.

Problem was, at that low vantage we got a good look at Cruise’s shoes. And all I could think of was how thick the soles were. We’re talking New-York-delicatessen-pastrami-sandwich thick. Webster’s Dictionary thick. Whatever a not-that-tall leading man has to do to squeeze out an extra inch or two, you know?

I’m not trying to pile onto the omnipresent “Tom Cruise is short” internet trolling (though I probably am, intent be damned). It just made me laugh. And this ad for lifts made me think of Cruise fleeing tripods in his gigunda platformy shoes. All “get taller” ads make me think of Cruise. But this one really did.

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