A Steven Spielberg Poll (1994-2018)

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i've only seen a few of these but adventures of tintin is the one i remember enjoying the most.

The times they are a changing, perhaps (map), Friday, 2 February 2018 00:48 (one year ago) link

I like that Spielberg made a kind of historical atrocity trilogy in Schindler, Amistad and Ryan, and then made a kind of trilogy of followups in Munich, Lincoln and Bridge of Spies. Three films which is mainly about how we survivors are indebted to those who were killed, three films that studies how that debt was in actuality handled. I should write something about that someday. Anyways, the right answer is either Amistad or Ryan.

Frederik B, Friday, 2 February 2018 01:50 (one year ago) link

Minority Report needs a rewatch, I remember it being fine until it turned into a bad TV cop show (or a Blade Runner sequel) in the last 15 minutes.

Aside from the somewhat pedestrian courtroom stuff, Amistad is piercing.

ice cream social justice (Dr Morbius), Friday, 2 February 2018 02:28 (one year ago) link

i remember the middle passage stuff in amistad being fully as vivid and terrible as the opening of ryan. inevitably less celebrated.

difficult listening hour, Friday, 2 February 2018 03:11 (one year ago) link

Yeah, the middle passage stuff is what makes Amistad. Steven Spielberg is a good historical filmmaker because he fully believes in the power of cinema to describe the unimaginably horrific. Which is naive, and he's probably wrong, but there's a kinetic force to his best stuff, which a lot of other historical filmmakers won't even aspire to.

The courtroom stuff is fairly pedestrian, though, and he does sorta pull his punches. But I kinda think he does that in Schindler as well.

Frederik B, Friday, 2 February 2018 09:26 (one year ago) link

as riveting as david mamet's The Unit?

unfamiliar with this, but usu the creator being a crazed Zionist isn't productive


The (Mamet-penned iirc) episode with the Iranian embassy had some pretty nuanced Persian characters at a time when muslims were generally portrayed as beardy terrist savages on U.S. T.V.

Wes Brodicus, Friday, 2 February 2018 09:46 (one year ago) link

i'm standin' on a bridge of spies
i'm sick of hearin' all these goddamn lies

(the blues version in his Broadway show) (crüt), Friday, 2 February 2018 13:36 (one year ago) link

i haven't actually seen any of these except The Lost World

(the blues version in his Broadway show) (crüt), Friday, 2 February 2018 13:36 (one year ago) link

This is WOTW, Munich or Lincoln for me. I'm not bothered by the WOTW ending, it's a loose approximation of exactly what happens in the original novel regarding the narrator and his wife. They're separated relatively early on, he believes she's been killed in an attack, he finds her alive at the end of the novel. NBD.

Millennial Whoop, wanna fight about it? (Phil D.), Friday, 2 February 2018 15:41 (one year ago) link

shocked to realize i've only sat through lost world, AI, CMIYC, crystal skull, and tintin. a range of competencies and errors on display there. and several things to like a lot. but nothing that gets me like the big hitters in the earlier period. if i were voting just on those five it'd be CMIYC eeeeeeeasy, that movie rules, but clearly i'm out of my depth here. somehow most of these have always felt like it'd be Work to sit down and watch them, even tom cruise waving his hands around and hiding from aliens.

Righteous wax chaperone, rotating Wingdings (Doctor Casino), Friday, 2 February 2018 18:50 (one year ago) link

i did not sit thru Lost World bz i did sit thru JP

ice cream social justice (Dr Morbius), Friday, 2 February 2018 19:30 (one year ago) link

I got off the boat with Munich, which I thought was just horrendous. Ponderous, politically a lot of liberal zionist drivel, with some terribly filmed "action" sequences. The scene were Bana has overwrought movie sex with his wife interspersed with images of the massacre on the airfield is just abominable.

Catch me if you can is the only one of these I would watch again.

khat person (jim in vancouver), Friday, 2 February 2018 19:31 (one year ago) link

What morbs you love Spielberg but not jp?!

scrüt (wins), Friday, 2 February 2018 19:33 (one year ago) link

no, fuck dinosaurs too

ice cream social justice (Dr Morbius), Friday, 2 February 2018 19:33 (one year ago) link

politically a lot of liberal zionist drivel

hmmm not sure about this

ice cream social justice (Dr Morbius), Friday, 2 February 2018 19:34 (one year ago) link

Posts very much out of character - I thought you only liked a bunch of dinosaur movies

scrüt (wins), Friday, 2 February 2018 19:35 (one year ago) link

War of the Worlds. saw it twice in theaters, the initial escape sequence made me bawl both times. the best post-9/11 movie. by far the best adaptation of the source material

flappy bird, Friday, 2 February 2018 19:35 (one year ago) link

Yeah isn't Eric Bana pretty much off the Zionist boat by the end of the movie? He's more or less, "Fuck an Israel, this shit gets us nowhere, I just want my wife and kids safe." And I mean the closing shot is pretty much "Backing the hardcore Zionists is going to get us 9/11."

Millennial Whoop, wanna fight about it? (Phil D.), Friday, 2 February 2018 19:38 (one year ago) link

a mossad agent who signs up to do wet-work but is impossibly conflicted over killing palestinians who are members of the black september organization is just a huge stretch.

the moral of the story really seems to be something along the lines of israel is great but loses moral authority if it resorts to bad violence like the palestinians and so should be nicer.

khat person (jim in vancouver), Friday, 2 February 2018 19:40 (one year ago) link

he scene were Bana has overwrought movie sex with his wife interspersed with images of the massacre on the airfield is just abominable.

eh you're just jealous Bana isn't having sex with you

morning wood truancy (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 2 February 2018 19:41 (one year ago) link

Eric Bana is a huge stretch alright

ice cream social justice (Dr Morbius), Friday, 2 February 2018 19:43 (one year ago) link

More like Eric Banal am I right

Millennial Whoop, wanna fight about it? (Phil D.), Friday, 2 February 2018 19:44 (one year ago) link

Either saving private ryan or ai for me

infinity (∞), Friday, 2 February 2018 19:47 (one year ago) link

that's pretty good! one in a row. xxp

ice cream social justice (Dr Morbius), Friday, 2 February 2018 19:48 (one year ago) link

morbz, i share yr general admiration for spielberg but yr selective snobbery is a little hard for me to fathom, i can't say i can identify any sensible reason to snort at the subject matter of jurassic park and then turn around and praise ET or close encounters. are aliens somehow more "serious" than dinosaurs?

(The Other) J.D. (J.D.), Friday, 2 February 2018 20:44 (one year ago) link

Go below the surface. They're just better films. (fwiw i like King Kong (1933), which has dinosaurs)

and stop taking me soooo seriously

ice cream social justice (Dr Morbius), Friday, 2 February 2018 20:47 (one year ago) link

the 33 king kong is better, i'll grant you that

btw the silent lost world, which i watched recently, feels in some ways like more of a spielberg movie than the actual lost world he directed

(The Other) J.D. (J.D.), Friday, 2 February 2018 20:50 (one year ago) link

i don't recall seeing that one either

ice cream social justice (Dr Morbius), Friday, 2 February 2018 20:51 (one year ago) link

It occurs to me that in Jaws he treats the shark, which is just an animal ("a miracle of nature, really . . .") as a monster; in JP he treats the dinosaurs, which we would consider "monsters," as just animals. The 'raptors are plenty scary, and smart, but they're just doing what nature intended. The shark appears to genuinely have it in for people.

Millennial Whoop, wanna fight about it? (Phil D.), Friday, 2 February 2018 21:36 (one year ago) link

(And of course the Quint story arc, dramatic irony, etc. If Spielberg had kept the more cynical Crichton JP ending with Hammond dying and the island being bombed to smithereens, it might be considered his best film!)

Millennial Whoop, wanna fight about it? (Phil D.), Friday, 2 February 2018 21:37 (one year ago) link

yeah, JP is def an advance over jaws in that respect. there's not really any attempt in jaws to depict the shark as a real animal or anything but a projection of pure fear. it may be the only great monster movie where you never get close to identifying w/ the monster.

(The Other) J.D. (J.D.), Friday, 2 February 2018 21:49 (one year ago) link

there's not really any attempt in jaws to depict the shark as a real animal or anything but a projection of pure fear

I prefer this. So did Fidel Castro, apparently.

http://www.critical-theory.com/watch-zizek-jaws-fascism/

ice cream social justice (Dr Morbius), Friday, 2 February 2018 22:15 (one year ago) link

I think Spielberg "Land Before Timing" up the innocent herbivores early on in JP was probably narratively ok for the purposes of lulling the characters into complacency but I think the real-life monster hiding in the depths in Jaws is handled better. It's also a much funnier and scarier film w/better characters. There's probably an argument one could make against the Mayor being the Dwayne T. Robinson of the film, just there to get in the way, but Murray Hamilton is great in that part.

omar little, Friday, 2 February 2018 22:19 (one year ago) link

jurassic park is not as good a movie as king kong it's true, but that's about it. (the allusion to one in the other is sublime. a snob might want goldblum's line dropped and the gates left to do the work themselves but... "whaddathey got in there?" is a fertile phrase, like someone approaching a tent, or a nickelodeon)

difficult listening hour, Friday, 2 February 2018 22:19 (one year ago) link

Watched me some Bridge of Spies tonight. Plenty of good value to make up for the inevitable eye-roll-y schmaltz. I've just come to accept Spielbergia as a magic realist world at this point, where folks on the train collectively scowl at you from behind eighteen different newspapers detailing your shameful exploits and subsequently gaze upon you wonderingly once they realize they had you all wrong, friend. I don't look to him for ambiguous nuance and unanswerable questions and I thusly remain rarely disappointed.

Cork Taint (Old Lunch), Saturday, 3 February 2018 06:29 (one year ago) link

That's just writing a blank cheque

Alderweireld Horses (darraghmac), Saturday, 3 February 2018 09:22 (one year ago) link

The thing about Munich is that it's supposed to be about the bad things that Mossad did, but it leaves out the worst thing they did, the murder of the completely innocent Ahmed Bouchiki. That's where it kinda becomes drivel. It's depiction of sex is awful as well, both the intercut scene mentioned above, but also the whole thing with the assassin. It's a film about historical trauma that is awful about actually depicting that trauma.

Frederik B, Saturday, 3 February 2018 10:40 (one year ago) link

Munich or Lincoln. Minority Report is the best action one he's done since the 80s, but let down by a rubbish third act.

chap, Saturday, 3 February 2018 12:59 (one year ago) link

Catch Me If You Can is always an enjoyable watch. Rest of them I could easily live without seeing again.

― mfktz (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Thursday, February 1, 2018 8:30 PM (two days ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

otm

lest anybody forget, The Lost World is the movie where a pre-teen gymnast somersaults and kicks over a dinosaur that weighs several tons.

fuck you, your hat is horrible (Neanderthal), Saturday, 3 February 2018 14:17 (one year ago) link

Catch Me If You Can is always an enjoyable watch. Rest of them I could easily live without seeing again.

It might be the only one of these I have seen twice - and the drop off in my appreciation the second time was massive.

chap, Saturday, 3 February 2018 14:26 (one year ago) link

Catch Me If You Can is such a great small movie, and perhaps the last time Christopher Walken has or will ever be cast as anything but a weirdo.

I've wondered how recognizable later Spielberg would be if had a different DP. It's amazing that they have worked on almost 20 movies together, but I'd argue Kaminski is still a controversial choice, or at the very least, for such a frequent collaboration they hardly have a reputation as some sort of classic movie team. Vs., say, Deakins and the Coen Brothers, say.

I do say that Spielberg's '90s/'00s productive streak is pretty mind-boggling. About 11 movies between '93 and 2004, with Jurassic Park and Schindler's the same year, Lost World and Amistad the same year, Minority Report and Catch Me If You Can the same year, and War of the Worlds and Munich the same year. That's pretty nuts.

Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 3 February 2018 14:33 (one year ago) link

and Tintin and War Horse!

morning wood truancy (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 3 February 2018 14:40 (one year ago) link

Does Munich have the most explicit sex scene in a Spielberg movie?

I’ve always felt it was 100% Kushner’s idea and Spielberg just filmed it exactly as written. Just not an idea I can associate with him. (I’m agnostic on the value of the scene.)

ryan, Saturday, 3 February 2018 14:57 (one year ago) link

The one in ET nearly garnered an X-rating iirc.

Cork Taint (Old Lunch), Saturday, 3 February 2018 15:15 (one year ago) link

sorry thought the Munich sex scene was entirely fitting and thematically sound

Fred, movies leave things out all the time, that's why they're not TV series, you git

ice cream social justice (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 3 February 2018 15:44 (one year ago) link

two months pass...

Sooo ... who's voting Ready Player One?! Nick Pinkerton, perhaps.

Unconflictedly loving Ready Player One is my heel turn.

— BANDZ STACKHAGE (@NickPinkerton) April 3, 2018

"But you have to admit the hot-girl-with-a-minor-physical-flaw thing is pretty cliché?" "NO I DON'T IT'S PURE AND BEAUTIFUL SORRY A NARCISSISTIC CULTURE OF FALSE AFFIRMATION HAS MADE IT IMPOSSIBLE FOR YOU TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT VULNERABILITY AND INSECURITY EVEN EXIST FUCK YOU."

— BANDZ STACKHAGE (@NickPinkerton) April 3, 2018

"Minneapolis" (barf) (Eric H.), Wednesday, 4 April 2018 14:50 (one year ago) link

Tough choice between AI and Lincoln. The kid won.

Acid Hose (Capitaine Jay Vee), Wednesday, 4 April 2018 15:01 (one year ago) link

Tough call between AI and Lincoln for me. The kid won.

Acid Hose (Capitaine Jay Vee), Wednesday, 4 April 2018 15:02 (one year ago) link


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