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The Steven Spielberg Thread (1 Viewer)

Tino

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I don’t think we have ever had an all encompassing Steven Spielberg thread and I say it’s about time.

There were some discussions going on in the MP thread that perhaps can be continued here.

Imo, he is the greatest living director.
 

TravisR

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I'll just copy and paste my responses to Colin from the Movie Pass thread:

I think Spielberg has made some very good movies since 1985, but there's not a single one I'd call great. None of them compete with those 4 classics from 1975-1982...
I think Schindler's List, Saving Private Ryan, Munich and Lincoln all achieved greatness. No, not as good as Jaws, etc. but no one stays at the top of the game forever. You can look at almost any great director's body of work and see that there's a point where they turned some gems and after that point, they never recapture that magic again. For most of the guys who came to prominence in the 1970's, they did their best work early on in their career (Bogdanovich, Carpenter, Cimino, Coppola, DePalma, Friedkin, Lucas) and that's not to say that they never made a good movie after 1980 but their best work was early on in their career. Out of those 70's guys, Spielberg and Scorsese are unique in that they've generally managed to keep making very good to great movies throughout their entire career.

Also, Spielberg is a 'victim' of his own success. If another person directed Bridge Of Spies or The Post, either would be an absolute highlight of their career but Spielberg has made such an insanely great movies that when he does them, it's just "It's pretty good but it's not...".



...and "1941" is a muddled collection of witless jokes.
At the risk of becoming hyperbolic, that is the most disgusting thing I have ever read on the internet. :)
 

Reggie W

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I don’t think we have ever had an all encompassing Steven Spielberg thread and I say it’s about time.

Oh, you do, do you?

Imo, he is the greatest living director.

What are the things you feel make him the "greatest living director" and when you say "living" does this mean there are some dead directors you feel are better? Just curious.

I'm not a fan of all his films but I do think he has made some excellent pictures. Because he has been around a long time I sort of break his work up into decades. I love his 1970s pictures and obviously I have a lot of nostalgia when it comes to those.

I think Raiders of the Lost Ark is an amazingly entertaining film that is pretty much perfectly executed on every level.

I think when he works in the science fiction genre he generally does pretty great work. I love his film Minority Report and I think he did a really good job with his War of the Worlds remake. I also think A.I. is an impressive work that is a very interesting combination of Kubrick and Spielberg that while not at all perfect is a film worth watching several times due to the sheer amount of stuff going on there.

I'm a big fan of Munich and would list that film among his best works.

Due to the fact that he gets everything he wants or needs to make a picture he has the ability to make these big handsome films that are well worth making the trip to the cinema to see like Lincoln, Bridge of Spies, Schindler's List, and his most recent The Post. Plus when he wanted to make a WWII film with Saving Private Ryan he was able to make a really tremendous film because he could pull out all the stops. The opening D-Day invasion sequence may be the best bit of filmmaking he has ever done.

For me not the greatest living director but certainly one that you just have to pay attention to.
 

sleroi

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I wouldn’t cap off his greatness at 1982. Jurassic Park arrived at the beginning of the cgi craze and was revolutionary. The tag line for Superman was “you’ll believe a man can fly.” With JP I believed dinosaurs were real. Sitting in that theater on or close to opening night, when the first herd ran across the field was breathtaking. It was a game changer, and entertaining as all get out. One of his best. JP Lost World, however, is one of his worst.

And then, Schindler’s List. One of the most moving films ever. Powerful is an understatement.

But then, I also think he has made some mediocre movies. Catch me if you can comes to mind. It was marketed as a comedy, but wasn’t very funny. And I never cared about the main character, so the drama fell flat. A total miss for me.

And I know I’m in the minority here, but SPR didn’t resonate with me at all. Maybe it was overhyped, but the opening recreation of NORMANDY seemed a little too self aware or self important. The middle section of the film was boring. I did like the last battle, though, in the city. I cared about the result, and it felt harrowing.
 

TravisR

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What are the things you feel make him the "greatest living director" and when you say "living" does this mean there are some dead directors you feel are better? Just curious.
I'm not Tino but I'd say that Alfred Hitchcock made even more legitimately great movies and when Orson Welles was allowed to do his thing, he was another great one. I imagine that Spielberg would agree and probably name more.

For my money, the only current guys that give Spielberg even a remote run for the money are Paul Thomas Anderson, David Fincher and Martin Scorsese.
 

Tino

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Some living directors I also think are amazing

Martin Scorsese
Christopher Nolan
James Cameron

But Spielberg is my favorite among all living or dead.
 

TravisR

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JP Lost World, however, is one of his worst.
Yeah, I'd say The Lost World is Spielberg's worst movie. I will give credit to the wonderful action sequence with the T-rex pushing the trailer over the cliff though.


But then, I also think he has made some mediocre movies. Catch me if you can comes to mind. It was marketed as a comedy, but wasn’t very funny. And I never cared about the main character, so the drama fell flat. A total miss for me.
For me, Catch Me If You Can isn't a masterpiece but I'd say it's a solid movie with a great cast and it seems to be getting more recognition as time goes by.
 

Reggie W

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Some directors that have passed in Spielbergs class

Michael Curtiz
Alfred Hitchcock
David Lean
John Ford

Just to name a few

Good list and I think Spielberg really sort of studied them in perfecting his craft. I would throw Howard Hawks in there as well as I think he seems to have really enjoyed him too.
 

TravisR

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Good list and I think Spielberg really sort of studied them in perfecting his craft. I would throw Howard Hawks in there as well as I think he seems to have really enjoyed him too.
That's a good point about Spielberg (and all the 1970's directors) where they learned alot by watching and loving the work that had come before them.
 

Tino

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Good list and I think Spielberg really sort of studied them in perfecting his craft. I would throw Howard Hawks in there as well as I think he seems to have really enjoyed him too.
Absolutely Howard Hawks too.
 

Worth

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Some directors that have passed in Spielbergs class

Michael Curtiz
Alfred Hitchcock
David Lean
John Ford

Just to name a few

Saw Curtiz's Young Man with a Horn not too long ago, and it's astounding how much it feels like it was directed by Spielberg.
 

Colin Jacobson

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To make short opinions easier, I'll just take quick summary quotes from my reviews to state what I think of SS's various films.

I'll do a few per post to give Tino more time to feel outraged! :D

Duel: "Steven Spielberg’s earliest film - albeit one created for television - Duel holds up nicely more than 45 years after its initial release. Simple and taut, the movie presents a clear and gripping tale."

Sugarland Express: "Does The Sugarland Express succeed wholly? No, for although it explores its topic more than competently, it never truly engages the viewer. The movie presents few overt flaws but it lacks the spark or dynamic tone that made Spielberg’s better efforts so good."

Jaws: "43 years after its initial release, Jaws retains its ability to thrill and delight. Movies just don't get better than this."

CE3K: "Close Encounters of the Third Kind remains a classic, as Steven Spielberg tells an enchanting story of our first formal meeting with aliens. He utilizes a first-person point of view that makes the tale accessible and moving, and he fulfills the entire project with beauty and style."

1941: " While 1941 never becomes unwatchable, it fails in two significant ways: it's boring and it's unfunny. For an action-comedy, those are sins about as unforgivable as they come."
 

Tino

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To make short opinions easier, I'll just take quick summary quotes from my reviews to state what I think of SS's various films.

I'll do a few per post to give Tino more time to feel outraged! :D

Duel: "Steven Spielberg’s earliest film - albeit one created for television - Duel holds up nicely more than 45 years after its initial release. Simple and taut, the movie presents a clear and gripping tale."

Sugarland Express: "Does The Sugarland Express succeed wholly? No, for although it explores its topic more than competently, it never truly engages the viewer. The movie presents few overt flaws but it lacks the spark or dynamic tone that made Spielberg’s better efforts so good."

Jaws: "43 years after its initial release, Jaws retains its ability to thrill and delight. Movies just don't get better than this."

CE3K: "Close Encounters of the Third Kind remains a classic, as Steven Spielberg tells an enchanting story of our first formal meeting with aliens. He utilizes a first-person point of view that makes the tale accessible and moving, and he fulfills the entire project with beauty and style."

1941: " While 1941 never becomes unwatchable, it fails in two significant ways: it's boring and it's unfunny. For an action-comedy, those are sins about as unforgivable as they come."
Trust me Colin. None of your opinions of films outrage me. Quite the contrary actually. I find them quite amusing. :lol:
 

Bryan^H

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Yeah, I'd say The Lost World is Spielberg's worst movie. I will give credit to the wonderful action sequence with the T-rex pushing the trailer over the cliff though.

Not that he had a lot to work with because of the poor follow up story to the original film, but The Lost World is closest we will ever get to Spielberg "phone it in".
 

WillG

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Not that he had a lot to work with because of the poor follow up story to the original film, but The Lost World is closest we will ever get to Spielberg "phone it in".

I liked the Lost World novel enough I guess, but yeah I guess it wouldn't have translated to film very well (the only part of the novel that was kept for the film was the trailer over then cliff scene). Still I can't imagine it being much worse than what we got. Whoever thought the characters in Prometheus were stupid ought to watch The Lost World again. And don't get me started on the preachiness, I still cringe at the part where InGen is rounding up dinosaurs and the protagonists are watching with pained faces and sad music is playing.
 

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