Steven Spielberg - classic or dud

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there was "the land before time," but that's probably not very good now that i'm no longer 7.

J.D. (Justyn Dillingham), Friday, 29 July 2005 04:31 (9 years ago) Permalink

I liked Buffalo Soldiers! But everybody I've watched it with has told me I'm crazy, inasmuch as it's "flawed" or (as I parse that) tpatently unmoralizing in the ball-yanking Spielberg/Lee/Soderbergh way. That being said, I think J.Lo has never contributed more to society than in Out of Sight.

Remy (x Jeremy), Friday, 29 July 2005 05:27 (9 years ago) Permalink

The Pianist is pretty amazing

gear (gear), Friday, 29 July 2005 05:30 (9 years ago) Permalink

I like corn on the cob.

Eric H. (Eric H.), Friday, 29 July 2005 05:37 (9 years ago) Permalink

The Pianist is pretty amazing

Have ever done a The Pianist vs. The Piano vs. The Piano Teacher thread?

gypsy mothra (gypsy mothra), Friday, 29 July 2005 05:50 (9 years ago) Permalink

And for Spielberg, I think Kael sussed him pretty well right out the gate. From her Sugarland Express review, March '74:

The director, Steven Spielberg, is 26. I can't tell if he has any mind, or even a strong personality, but then a lot of good moviemakers have got by without being profound. He isn't saying anything special in The Sugarland Express, but he has a knack for bringing out young actors, and a sense of composition and movement that almost any director might envy. Composition seems to come naturally to him, as it does to some of the young Italians; Spielberg uses his gift in a very free-and-easy, American way -- for humor, and for a physical response to action. He could be that rarity among directors -- a born entertainer -- perhaps a new generation's Howard Hawks. In terms of the pleasure that technical assurance gives an audience, this film is one of the most phenomenal debut films in the history of movies. If there is such a thing as a a movie sense -- and I think there is (I know fruit venders and cabdrivers who have it and some movie critics who don't) -- Spielberg really has it. But he may be so full of it that he doesn't have much else.

gypsy mothra (gypsy mothra), Friday, 29 July 2005 06:00 (9 years ago) Permalink

that's pretty astute!

latebloomer: You may order a puppet similar to this one (latebloomer), Friday, 29 July 2005 06:08 (9 years ago) Permalink

When she was on, she was on like a motherfucker.

gypsy mothra (gypsy mothra), Friday, 29 July 2005 06:10 (9 years ago) Permalink

Andrew. If you ever pose a question that diabolical in my physical presence, I will punch you in the genitals.

I'm just saying Steven Spielberg this and Steven Spielberg that, but let's not forget there are actual forces of evil in the world.

Andrew Farrell (afarrell), Friday, 29 July 2005 08:05 (9 years ago) Permalink

That you guys are discussing the chronology of Indy's romances... mixed-up Spielbergian priorities there. As Pauline Kael said when "Temple" came out, if only Raiders had been this much fun. I love the accusations of skirting 'SEXISM and RACISM' Temple drew ... yeah, like a real THIRTIES SERIAL, fer Chrissake.

Shakey, I grew up loving Woody Allen, and his decline pains me, but as far as filmmaking chops go vs Spielberg's, whose work would you rather see with the sound off?

And the "white man makes slavery movie" was beneath you; it's not like Richard Attenborough did it. Why not take SS's statement that he made Amistad for his black children at face value (yes he has some).

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Friday, 29 July 2005 12:58 (9 years ago) Permalink

WotW with the sound off < WotW with the sound on < WotW without a dialog track

Also there's no real arguing with the statement that Temple is more fun than Raiders: that view simply has nothing in common with my reality.

Andrew Farrell (afarrell), Friday, 29 July 2005 13:08 (9 years ago) Permalink

crusade > raiders > temple

(this is partly sentimental -- i saw last crusade in the cinemas like 4 times before seeing any of the others.)

N_RQ, Friday, 29 July 2005 13:12 (9 years ago) Permalink

Sacrelicious! I'd almost agree actually, but I'd have to see Crusade a time or two more. It's hard to look rationally at Raiders, to get past the most parodied opening ever.

Andrew Farrell (afarrell), Friday, 29 July 2005 13:16 (9 years ago) Permalink

Which is itself a parody.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Friday, 29 July 2005 13:17 (9 years ago) Permalink

As regards the actual Steven Spielberg question, I'd go for both, but I don't really care about the schmaltz. There's so much stuff in his movies that other directors can't or won't do.

NB: obviously I'm not going to see anything with Tom Hanks in.

Andrew Farrell (afarrell), Friday, 29 July 2005 13:24 (9 years ago) Permalink

what does watching a movie with the sound off have to do with it? directors aren't just in charge of the visuals you know!! hello music/dialogue/SOUND DESIGN!!

s1ocki (slutsky), Friday, 29 July 2005 14:07 (9 years ago) Permalink

well, yeah, but with allen there isn't much there that couldn't be achieved in the theatre... the sound design in speilberg is good anyway!

N_RQ, Friday, 29 July 2005 14:13 (9 years ago) Permalink

just sayin' i hate that argument!!

s1ocki (slutsky), Friday, 29 July 2005 14:15 (9 years ago) Permalink

OTM!

Allyzay knows a little German (allyzay), Friday, 29 July 2005 17:09 (9 years ago) Permalink

(Just wanted to say that everything re: Lee vs Spielberg that Ally and Tom have said is OTM with the caveat that the ocean crossing in "Amistad" is on of the most soul-destroying, wrenching things I've evr watched in a movie theater, coming in just behind Oprah chopping up babies in "Beloved" and Matt Dillon fingering Thandie Newton in "Crash".)

The Ghost of Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Friday, 29 July 2005 17:23 (9 years ago) Permalink

i've heard it's worth seeing for that scene alone... i should get around to renting it one day.

s1ocki (slutsky), Friday, 29 July 2005 17:24 (9 years ago) Permalink

Amistad is not terrible and there are good parts, like you just mentioned...it's just that it would've been so much better...

Oh and that Matt Dillon thing just made me nearly spit water out my nose.

Allyzay knows a little German (allyzay), Friday, 29 July 2005 17:25 (9 years ago) Permalink

There is a particular incident in the ocean crossing montage that is actually making me tear up right now just thinking about it.

Ally, have you seen "Crash"? I'd love your opinion on it.

The Ghost of Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Friday, 29 July 2005 17:27 (9 years ago) Permalink

I've not seen it! My main reason for not seeing it was actually Matt Dillon! I plan to Netflix it.

Re: the way way up thread Requiem for a Dream thing...I can buy the argument being made in Traffic about stock characters, black man and white woman, but not so much Requiem for a Dream. I think that's missing the point entirely, especially since, as already mentioned, the far more memorable (and FAR more degrading and horrifying) sex scene is two white girls and about 30 investment bankers.

Allyzay knows a little German (allyzay), Friday, 29 July 2005 17:32 (9 years ago) Permalink

So OTM re: RFAD.

RFAD was just deeply, ridiculously fucked up. The part where Leto's injecting into his gangrenous arm... YEAUGH.

The Ghost of Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Friday, 29 July 2005 17:36 (9 years ago) Permalink

ARGH GOD. I never want to see that film again, for the record.

Allyzay knows a little German (allyzay), Friday, 29 July 2005 17:39 (9 years ago) Permalink

i couldn't make coffee or use a doorknob for weeks after watching that movie w/o cracking up

s1ocki (slutsky), Friday, 29 July 2005 17:52 (9 years ago) Permalink

I thought it was really, really paranoid and harrowing. It was like all of the great bits of Trainspotting with soul crushing despair substituted for comic relief. Ellen Burstyn was so fucking awesome.

The Ghost of Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Friday, 29 July 2005 17:54 (9 years ago) Permalink

i thought it was really moralizing and uptight and melodramatic!

s1ocki (slutsky), Friday, 29 July 2005 17:57 (9 years ago) Permalink

Well yeah, but that and the jumpcutting was what made it awesome. The movie wouldn't have worked at all if it had gone for "sympathetic" or "realistic".

The Ghost of Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Friday, 29 July 2005 17:59 (9 years ago) Permalink

Yeah, I agree with that.

Allyzay knows a little German (allyzay), Friday, 29 July 2005 18:13 (9 years ago) Permalink

RFAD didn't lose me until the very end, with Leto and Wayans in Deliverance State Penitentiary or whatever the fuck that was. It was really exciting and harrowing and so on and then took a big fat dump on that with the moralizing and melodramatic end.

milozauckerman (miloaukerman), Friday, 29 July 2005 18:17 (9 years ago) Permalink

What would have been the point if it had been all Trainspotting-esque, ie "We've flirted with TEH DRUQKS but now we're older and wiser whew that was a close call"? It's so awesome that effectively goes "drugs will lead you to death row or the insane asylum, oh and along the way you will get limbs lopped off and have to pound a dildo in front of most of off-duty Wall Street; HAVE FUN, BUCKAROO *jump cut*"

The Ghost of Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Friday, 29 July 2005 18:19 (9 years ago) Permalink

most of them weren't strictly speaking jump cuts but i get what you mean; i found that stuff kinda goofy to be honest!

s1ocki (slutsky), Friday, 29 July 2005 18:21 (9 years ago) Permalink

Movies move, hence the visual dynamics are generally more crucial than the other shit.

N_RQ right about Woody largely being filmed theater, tho beginning around "Manhattan" he started to move the camera nicely.

(I refuse to use "OTM" now that I'm picturing it tattooed on some of your rumps)

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Friday, 29 July 2005 18:22 (9 years ago) Permalink

I also like how it totally looks like everyone's going to have a happy ending right up until each character makes a slight error in judgement that promptly dumps them into the bowels of Hell. It's grossly unsubtle and that's why it so fucking awesome. (IMO)

The Ghost of Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Friday, 29 July 2005 18:23 (9 years ago) Permalink

what do you mean by movies move? how do they move in a way that sound doesn't? ever heard of stereo panning?

s1ocki (slutsky), Friday, 29 July 2005 18:26 (9 years ago) Permalink

overall, dud. you can always tell which movies he's touched with his hammy fingers.

AaronK (AaronK), Friday, 29 July 2005 18:28 (9 years ago) Permalink

it's easy, they usually have his director's credit front-and-center!

s1ocki (slutsky), Friday, 29 July 2005 18:29 (9 years ago) Permalink

What about the ones touched by his bacony fingers?

The Ghost of Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Friday, 29 July 2005 18:29 (9 years ago) Permalink

mmmmm, bacon fingers.

s1ocki (slutsky), Friday, 29 July 2005 18:30 (9 years ago) Permalink

would those be breaded and deep-fried slices of bacon?

s1ocki (slutsky), Friday, 29 July 2005 18:30 (9 years ago) Permalink

i love how this thread is encompassing all varieties of human experience.

s1ocki (slutsky), Friday, 29 July 2005 18:31 (9 years ago) Permalink

I think that perhaps Spielberg would be offended by all these pork references???

Allyzay knows a little German (allyzay), Friday, 29 July 2005 18:32 (9 years ago) Permalink

I don't want the RFAD characters to reform, I just want them to meet less laughable miserable ends. Ellen Burstyn's wasn't bad, and even Connelly's was disturbing but not laughable - but that Leto/Wayans end was awful.

The last shot was pulling back from the hospital bed revealing his missing arm, wasn't it? That's almost Spielbergian in its lack of subtlety. Or Lucasian, had he screamed NOOOOOO.

The shoot-up montages didn't seem like much until I saw part of that Jason Schwartmann speedfreak movie and realized how much worse they could have been.

milozauckerman (miloaukerman), Friday, 29 July 2005 18:32 (9 years ago) Permalink

I just saw DUEL for the first time a couple of weeks ago, and man, that movie fucking rules hardcore.

n/a (Nick A.), Friday, 29 July 2005 18:33 (9 years ago) Permalink

I think I am genetically predisposed towards liking movies where Jared Leto is disfigured, dismembered and/or killed (ie every Jared Leto movie).

The Ghost of Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Friday, 29 July 2005 18:34 (9 years ago) Permalink

i also like these threads that go for hundreds of posts w/o one comment from the thread-starter.

s1ocki (slutsky), Friday, 29 July 2005 18:35 (9 years ago) Permalink

In this case, you really can't blame him.

Cause "movies" originally meant "moving pictures." God...

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Friday, 29 July 2005 18:39 (9 years ago) Permalink

Yeah, Jared Leto only takes parts/gets offered parts where he gets the shit kicked out of him, doesn't he? The best bit of American Psycho is totally when he gets axed in the face to Huey Lewis and the News.

xpost for fuck's sake

Allyzay knows a little German (allyzay), Friday, 29 July 2005 18:40 (9 years ago) Permalink


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