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What Spielberg movies you didn't like and why?

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Sam Davatchi, Aug 26, 2009.

  1. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Lead Actor
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    Jurassic Park - Awful
    JP2 - Even worse
    Hook - Atrocious. Spielberg should have been flogged for this one.
    Indy 4 - Flogging a dead horse
    Empire of The Sun - Rather boring (I bought this one blind)
    Always - Unmemorable
    War of The Worlds - A massacre of a classic story.

    One I can still watch but have mixed feelings regarding its qualities: Close Encounters of the Third Kind
    One that is only redeemed by an outstanding scene: Jaws
    One that I will never watch: ET
    One that I can always watch: Saving Private Ryan
    One that was excellent but not a keeper for me: Schindler's List
    Two that I thought were good but flawed: Munich and AI
    Two that are classic: Raiders of The Lost Ark and Duel
    Two that are not classic but are still watchable: Temple of Doom and Last Crusade

    One that started well but lost the program: 1941
    Two that I'm probably in the minority of liking: Minority Report and Catch Me If You Can
     
  2. BobO'Link

    BobO'Link Producer

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    With the exception of "Minority Report" if it's a sci-fi film and Spielberg's name is on it as Director, and/or Writer, I don't like it. Because of "Minority Report" I'll still watch one of his sci-fi efforts when it arrives on DVD just in case lightning strikes twice. So far, it has not.

    As far as the ones most people consider "classics", I hated:

    "Close Encounters" - Stupid, trite, illogical even for sci-fi.

    "E.T." - Poorly done kiddy sci-fi.

    "Jurassic Park" - An "eye candy" only film based on a cliche' of a book by an author who only writes trite, cliche' material... and the book, while also utter tripe, was better than the film. I took my son when it opened as he *really* wanted to see it. I had to be careful not to laugh so I wouldn't ruin it for him.

    "Jaws" - Please... total crap. Sensationalistic mass audience drivel. Again, very hard to not laugh... repeatedly.

    "A.I." - If *this* is what Kubrick intended... well it'd be the first Kubrick film that I truly disliked.

    I dislike almost every other film on which his name appears as Director and/or Screenwriter and many of the ones with him as Producer.

    It's easier to just name the few I actually like, own, and repeat watch occasionaly:

    "1941" - Yes, I truly like this one. A very funny film in spite of having Spielberg's name on it.

    "Raiders of the Lost Ark" - Top notch adventure/escapist entertainment. While I own all the sequels, this one is the only one deserving regular repeat viewing. The others are, for the most part, just milking the cash cow.

    "Schindler's List" - One of the best dramas I've ever seen and in the top 5 of WWII dramas. Intense, moving, disturbing, and thought provoking.

    "Minority Report" - I was suprised that I actually liked this film as it's a sci-fi film directed by Spielberg and carried the double-whammy kiss-of-death (IMHO) with Tom Cruise as the star. I went into it expecting a train wreck but found a excellent adaptation of the short story by the late Philip K. Dick. Ranks along side "Blade Runner" in the very short list of excellent adaptations of printed sci-fi.

    What the man does well is deliver generic type entertainment geared for "joe average" and summer box office success.
     
  3. John Kilduff

    John Kilduff Screenwriter

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    For me, the duke would have to go to "War Of The Worlds". I saw it with my brother at the drive-in and we spent half the time making Scientology jokes (since Tom Cruise was really making himself vis a vis that subject in 2005). My Mom enjoys the movie, though, but then again, she's a fan of disaster movies and B-pictures. On Saturday nights, she's usually parked on SyFy, unless "Independence Day" is on.

    Still, I think "War Of The Worlds" is probably the lowest point in the Spielberg canon.

    Sincerely,

    John Kilduff...

    I've also pretty much outgrown "Animaniacs", but that's a topic for another day.
     
  4. Claire Panke

    Claire Panke Second Unit

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    I originally saw Jaws in a large theater, in OAR, during its original release. I still hate it.

    I like Catch Me If You Can quite a bit and think Empire Of The Sun is very good - one of Spielberg's most underrated movies.

    AI may be flawed, but it's a bold movie made by a director at the top of his game. I'll take an interesting failure over a more polished mediocrity any day.

    Never saw Terminal.

    I wish they'd never made Indy4.
     
  5. Kevin Hewell

    Kevin Hewell Cinematographer

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    "I like Catch Me If you Can quite a bit, and think Empire Of The Sun is very good - one of Spielberg's mist underrated movies.

    AI may be flawed, but it's a bold movie made by a director at the top of his game. I'll take an interesting failure over a more polished medicrity any day."

    I agree with everything you say there except for "Jaws".

    That movie was just too visceral. I really felt like I was on the Orca with those men.
     
  6. sappoi

    sappoi Auditioning

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    IJ 2

    Close Encounters
     
  7. Claire Panke

    Claire Panke Second Unit

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    I will grant you Jaws is visceral.

    No arguement on that at all. That's what it mainly all it is, although I admit it also displays filmcraft. But it's mostly big and flashy and empty to me - Like an amusemnet park ride. All that abilty just to go BOO. That's not why I go to movies. Although it's why a lot of other people do, and that's OK. There are at least 300 other movies I love, so not seeing jaws ever again is no bg deal.

    As someone who spent a lot of time early in life on the ocean - including shark fishing - Jaws had no reality for me.
     
  8. Tony J Case

    Tony J Case Cinematographer

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    I can point to EXACTLY where Spielberg's career went off the rails: that damn Oscar. Evevrything before that event was either amazing, brilliant, fucking amazing and/or brilliant or merely just pretty good. He was a hit making powerhouse of the eighties and even his weaker stuff (I'm looking at you, 1941) was still at least reasonably entertaining. And then came the first Jurassic Park - the last really good movie he made. After that there was a kind of shift, where his action and acventure flicks didn't have any zest, the drama wasn't interesting, and he didnt have that lean and hungry edge that drove Duel and Jaws.

    Indy 4 was pretty good and a throwback to Eighties Spielberg, but that was the only good movie he's done in 15 years now. And my inner child weeps.
     
  9. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

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    Jaws I will forever love, because to me the movie is about the collision of three vivid personalities in a stressful situation.
    I love many things about the film, but the interplay between the three characters in the last act is where the heart and soul of it lies.
     
  10. Sam Davatchi

    Sam Davatchi Producer

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    wow!
     
  11. Sam Davatchi

    Sam Davatchi Producer

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    I think the worst thing happened to Spielberg is Janusz Kaminski.
     
  12. Allflame

    Allflame Auditioning

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    Even though Spielberg has directed some of the best movies there are several I din't like
    AI: Artifical Intelligence
    War of the Worlds
    Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom
     
  13. Russell G

    Russell G Fake Shemp

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    There's a few Spielberg films that I haven't been all that impressed with (looking at you "Indy 4" and "Hook") but there's only one I can think of that I simply do not like and that's "Always". And the reason is...

    I don't remember a thing about it.

    I know I've seen it, I know I've watched it at least 4 times. I know that John Goodman and Richard Dreyfus are in it... and that's it. The plot, what happens, scenes... nothing. I remember the poster... and that is the sign of a bad movie. To be utterly forgettable is a terrible sin.

    My least favorite of the ones I actually remember is "The Terminal". It tries so hard to be an Oscar picture, but it's just not. It's a dumb premise (I don't care if it's inspired by true events, it's a dumb adaptation of a dumb true event), Tom Hanks is borderline black face caricature in his imitation of a hapless foreigner and the whole thing just drove me nuts.

    That's about it. WAR OF THE WORLDS isn't a great movie, but lots of stuff blows up and is pretty cool as an action film. Indy 4 was a disapointment, that was all due to tone. The previous 3 films played as great action films that could be enjoyed by all ages. Indy 4 felt like a kids movie. There's a difference.
     
  14. Peter-PP

    Peter-PP Stunt Coordinator

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  15. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Lead Actor

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    I would strongly argue that not everything pre-1993 was even "just pretty good". "Color Purple" is really pretty awful, and both "Hook" and "1941" are generally dreadful as well - I wouldn't call either "reasonably entertaining". "Always" is super-bland.

    Spielberg definitely had more hits pre-1993 than post, but he's still made more than a few enjoyable movies since then, and he made some crap BEFORE then...
     
  16. Holer

    Holer Stunt Coordinator

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    It's probably a testament to Speilberg that opinions are so all over the place. Nice to see that some folks agree about E.T. not being so great. I just felt that movie was so naked in it's manipulation of the audience, blatant product placement, etc. that I felt like a used kleenex coming out of it and I was just a kid. I'm as willing to go along for the ride as the next guy, but that was one time when he didn't do a very good job of hiding the mechanics behind the curtain.

    1941 may be a mess but I'll always have a soft spot for it. Joe Flaherty, Dan Ackroyd, John Candy, etc. were all hilarious in that movie and it was very shrewd of Speilberg to tap into that talent. If anything, he probably should have utlized those guys even more than he did.
     
  17. Hanson

    Hanson Producer

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    I first saw E.T. when I was 14, and I absolutely loved it like everyone else. I loved it so much that I jumped at the chance of seeing it again. And for the first time, I really looked at a movie critically and found it to be a manipulative and emotionally phony. I was forced to see it a third time and I spent the entire time heckling the film.

    So I will always remember E.T. as the movie that gave rise to my inner Ebert. To this day, whenever I hear the strains of the main theme, I gag a bit.

    The only Speilberg movies I absolutely love are Raiders and Minority Report. The rest are just okay to uninteresting, but I E.T. is one that I strongly dislike. Indy 4 is also pretty bad -- how drawn out was that CGI ending? I kept looking at my watch because it dragged on for so long.
     
  18. PatW

    PatW Screenwriter

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    I've enjoyed almost everything that Spielberg has done. I haven't seen 1941 and I don't really remember Always enough to have an opinion about it. There is a couple I feel are so-so and that's Hook and Colour Purple but I hate, absolutely hate JP2. It was a stupid book and an even worse movie.
     
  19. bhakuni1234

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    Spielberg : a good filmaker. I have seen mostly his all movies. All are good and having some theme. Till now, i enjoy his movies when i am getting bored.
     
  20. Sam Favate

    Sam Favate Lead Actor

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    I'm amazed that people feel this way. While I would agree that the number of Oscar nominations a film receives is not necessarily indicative of its merit, Color Purple was an honored film for a reason. Yes, it is a very different kind of Spielberg movie from Jaws, Close Encounters or Raiders. So what? Spielberg was maturing as a director and tackled more mature subject matter. Color Purple is every bit the cinematic treasure that ET or Jaws is.
     

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