A Steven Spielberg Poll (1994-2018)

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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 (ten months ago) Permalink

(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 (ten months ago) Permalink

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 (ten months ago) Permalink

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 (ten months ago) Permalink

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 (ten months ago) Permalink

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 (ten months ago) Permalink

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 (ten months ago) Permalink

That's just writing a blank cheque

Alderweireld Horses (darraghmac), Saturday, 3 February 2018 09:22 (ten months ago) Permalink

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 (ten months ago) Permalink

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 (ten months ago) Permalink

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

a man often referred to in the news media as the Duke of Saxony (tipsy mothra), Saturday, 3 February 2018 14:12 (ten months ago) Permalink

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 (ten months ago) Permalink

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 (ten months ago) Permalink

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 (ten months ago) Permalink

and Tintin and War Horse!

morning wood truancy (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 3 February 2018 14:40 (ten months ago) Permalink

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 (ten months ago) Permalink

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

Cork Taint (Old Lunch), Saturday, 3 February 2018 15:15 (ten months ago) Permalink

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 (ten months ago) Permalink

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 (eight months ago) Permalink

Tough choice between AI and Lincoln. The kid won.

Acid Hose (Capitaine Jay Vee), Wednesday, 4 April 2018 15:01 (eight months ago) Permalink

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

Acid Hose (Capitaine Jay Vee), Wednesday, 4 April 2018 15:02 (eight months ago) Permalink

sorry - first post didn't go through hence the repost

Acid Hose (Capitaine Jay Vee), Wednesday, 4 April 2018 15:03 (eight months ago) Permalink

Holy shit I already voted/posted/reposted to this thread back in February. Awful deja vu.

Acid Hose (Capitaine Jay Vee), Wednesday, 4 April 2018 15:05 (eight months ago) Permalink

Pinkerton's twitter is consistently embarrassing.

I intend on giving RPO a shot at some point, Spielberg elevated a weak novel to classic status once, I imagine he can elevate a shitty one to "good."

omar little, Wednesday, 4 April 2018 15:16 (eight months ago) Permalink

of those I've seen, after scott:

Saving Private Ryan - an expert gilding of midcentury ball hairs w/ embossed face of hanks
A.I. Artificial Intelligence - okay when the kid is not visible, idea totally stolen off kubrick
Minority Report - stupid oopid
Catch Me If You Can - good enough to justify leo
War of the Worlds - not good enough to justify tom
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull - odysseus arrives home after a long absence to find a small turd on his pillow
The Adventures of Tintin - ...to find america's greatest living director modeling trousers fashioned from the skin of argos
Lincoln - aside from that, how was the play?

not quite as cool as seeing damo's wang but (contenderizer), Thursday, 5 April 2018 05:11 (eight months ago) Permalink

war of the worlds. saw it twice in theaters & cried both times when they're escaping the city

flappy bird, Thursday, 5 April 2018 05:14 (eight months ago) Permalink

A.I. Artificial Intelligence - okay when the kid is not visible, idea totally stolen off kubrick

huh?

morning wood truancy (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 5 April 2018 12:43 (eight months ago) Permalink

We have to go thru the AI story a lot on ilx huh?

bad left terf nut (Noodle Vague), Thursday, 5 April 2018 12:46 (eight months ago) Permalink

p sure that was a gag post

explosion from DOOM courtesy of id software (Doctor Casino), Thursday, 5 April 2018 12:46 (eight months ago) Permalink

Sorry contendo

bad left terf nut (Noodle Vague), Thursday, 5 April 2018 12:48 (eight months ago) Permalink

p sure that was a gag post

― explosion from DOOM courtesy of id software (Doctor Casino)

I thought so at first until I read the rest of the dismissals.

morning wood truancy (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 5 April 2018 12:58 (eight months ago) Permalink

Did it pass the Turing test?

Mario Meatwagon (Moodles), Thursday, 5 April 2018 13:14 (eight months ago) Permalink

Prep work, Alfred. I got internet dickhole finals tomorrow.

not quite as cool as seeing damo's wang but (contenderizer), Thursday, 5 April 2018 14:42 (eight months ago) Permalink

And you're still boning up on Spielberg Bashing 101? Better pull an all-nighter.

"Minneapolis" (barf) (Eric H.), Thursday, 5 April 2018 14:45 (eight months ago) Permalink

For students who get a 70 or below, I got a velociraptor waiting.

morning wood truancy (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 5 April 2018 14:46 (eight months ago) Permalink

A.I. is one of the handful of movies I will defend to the death (precisely because of the ways it seems to get away from its director?) but that I cannot stomach sitting down to watch again.

ryan, Thursday, 5 April 2018 15:14 (eight months ago) Permalink

(I guess it's also the kind of work where "intention" doesn't seem to matter...)

ryan, Thursday, 5 April 2018 15:15 (eight months ago) Permalink

tbf, I haven't seen most of these, so I won't vote.

I will say that the D-Day landing scene of Saving Private Ryan was some of the most brilliant filmmaking I've ever seen. Spielberg also indulged in some scenes that were so thickly sentimental and schmaltzy that they nearly ruined the movie for me.

A is for (Aimless), Thursday, 5 April 2018 15:50 (eight months ago) Permalink

Have you seen a lot of WW2 films from the '40s and the '50s? Many of them are more "sentimental."

the ignatius rock of ignorance (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 5 April 2018 16:05 (eight months ago) Permalink

Yes. That is so. But the existence of worse doesn't elevate what is bad.

A is for (Aimless), Thursday, 5 April 2018 16:11 (eight months ago) Permalink

D Day scene in '..Ryan' must surely be one of the most influential sequences of all time. I wish i could vote for that by itself.

Only saw WOTW recently and the effects looked dated as all hell.

piscesx, Thursday, 5 April 2018 16:28 (eight months ago) Permalink

the D-Day scene is really something else. unlike a lot of battle scenes which are gory and thrilling and not especially a tough watch, this one is extremely tough viewing. definitely pioneered the use of the "editing out every other frame" technique to create a more jarring sense of reality, and it made sense with the industrial terror of that kind of battle. actually a very good signifier of Gladiator being shit is when Ridley Scott used that same technique in that film's battle scenes, just trying to make the film and its boring story more dynamic and deciding to use a technique that simply didn't belong or make sense.

omar little, Thursday, 5 April 2018 16:54 (eight months ago) Permalink

three months pass...

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Thursday, 5 July 2018 00:01 (five months ago) Permalink

Oh right, this one.

I Never Promised You A Hose Harden (Eric H.), Thursday, 5 July 2018 13:04 (five months ago) Permalink

Well, it ain't Ready Player One, in any case.

I Never Promised You A Hose Harden (Eric H.), Thursday, 5 July 2018 13:05 (five months ago) Permalink

Automatic thread bump. This poll's results are now in.

System, Friday, 6 July 2018 00:01 (five months ago) Permalink

wow!

morning wood truancy (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 6 July 2018 00:05 (five months ago) Permalink

I think the top 3 are otm (tho I'd flip 1 & 2)

the ignatius rock of ignorance (Dr Morbius), Friday, 6 July 2018 00:07 (five months ago) Permalink

Given the twaddle written about Spielberg on this board, that top three astonishes me.

morning wood truancy (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 6 July 2018 00:11 (five months ago) Permalink

a loud minority perhaps (or they don't vote)

the ignatius rock of ignorance (Dr Morbius), Friday, 6 July 2018 00:31 (five months ago) Permalink


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