Spielberg's Worst Directorial Failure

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December 10th, 2012 at 3:02:11 PM permalink
Mosca
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 20
Posts: 505
Quote: Nareed
The worst I've seen in "Close Encounters." Here's my review: A build up so big you could see it at the other end of the Galaxy, and a payoff so small you need an electron microscope to find it.


Agree completely. I kept waiting for the movie to start.

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The most overhyped is E.T. I mean, it's not that it's bad, but there was no need for an actual alien being to be in the movie at all.


It was cute, but formulaic. "Workmanlike".

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"Private Ryan" was reasonably good. Though I doubt any Army unit would take or be sent on such a mission.


The D-Day scene is one of the best combat sequences ever filmed. The rest of it is as leaden as a Christmas fruitcake. No subtlety.

THAT is what I dislike about Spielberg. No subtlety. He doesn't trust me as an audience to get his theme. So he forgoes nuance, he forgoes shading and uncertainty, and he simply shows me pretty pictures and then at the end he pulls out the big rubber hammer and hits me over the head with it.

He makes movies for 8th graders. Nothing wrong with that, I suppose.

And, worst movie on that list? Of the ones I've seen, Minority Report is the one that most disappointed me. I was really getting into that film, there were some great ideas being explored, and it turned into a chase movie. I was pissed.

1941 was pretty bad. I know it has its revisionist defenders; I think they're wrong. It is a fiasco. That is the one I think was the worst.

IMO, the best is Schindler's List. It is the most uncompromising of the films of his that I've seen, and it is the only one where the saccharine ending feels appropriate.
December 10th, 2012 at 3:15:08 PM permalink
123Smitty
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 0
Posts: 15
Paco, on your initial list I think you left out the segment Spielberg directed for "Twilight Zone: The Movie". I think it was the one where the old folks play kick the can and turn back into kids?

I find Spielberg to be sappy sometimes and overly-cute. He also likes to include lots of kids and lots of Nazis, neither of which I care much about.

I liked "Duel", just saw it on TV again a few weeks ago. I tried watching "Howard the Duck" once -- once -- and turned it off when I realized I couldn't stop talking back to the screen for all the idiotic things that were going on. "A.I." didn't do anything for me either, and "Saving Private Ryan" seemed a little over the top and unbelievable.

I cried like a baby when "E.T." died, but haven't watched the movie again since then, ever. I don't think I'd cry now.

"1941" was ridiculous.

"Jaws" was great because it was realistic.

I think I've seen "Sugarland Express" once on TV, and I seem to recall watching it to the end, which means I must have liked it.
December 10th, 2012 at 4:32:34 PM permalink
Mosca
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 20
Posts: 505
I saw Duel many times; it was a staple of HBO in pay TV's early years.

I came across this interesting fact about Duel: the music was performed by the same session musicians who played on many of the AM radio hits of the 60s and 70s, The Wrecking Crew. Bassist Carol Kaye sat for hours endlessly repeating a sliding chord riff; later she said, "Don't laugh, I got paid a lot more to do that than [Mission Impossible]."

(Link to video of interview, with snippet from Duel; fast forward to 3:37, or if you like '60s music the whole trailer is pretty cool.)
December 10th, 2012 at 9:54:30 PM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 345
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Quote: Mosca
And, worst movie on that list? Of the ones I've seen, Minority Report is the one that most disappointed me. I was really getting into that film, there were some great ideas being explored, and it turned into a chase movie. I was pissed.


I forgot that one.

Amazing how he takes a moral dilemma and turns it into a generic action movie! Why waste a perfectly good idea like that?? <sigh>

Also, there is a plot hole the size of the known universe: Tom Cruise's character woukd never had killed the man he's convicted of killing if the mumbo-jumbo people in the big tub had not predicted he would do it. It makes NO SENSE. Even the third Terminator movie did a better job of dealing with a time travel paradox, and that was an openly action movie with no pretension of being anything else.


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IMO, the best is Schindler's List. It is the most uncompromising of the films of his that I've seen, and it is the only one where the saccharine ending feels appropriate.


I skipped that one. Between having visited the Holocaust museum in Israel, and having to study the Holocaust every year in school for 8 years straight, I don't want any more exposure to the subject. The only movies I watch with Nazis in them is where they get killed in large numbers, or parodies like "The Producers." Although I must say I did like a TV movie years ago about the Warsaw ghetto uprising.
Donald Trump is a fucking liar
December 11th, 2012 at 1:16:29 PM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 345
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Quote: 123Smitty
"A.I." didn't do anything for me either,


"A.I." is one of the most visually stunning filsm I've ever seen. Other than that, all it has going for it is Jude Law as the sophisticated yet clueless "mecha."

Now, here are two things that would have been more interesting than the movie: 1) How David's "parents" deal with throwing their "son" away. 2) A deep exploration of Gigolo Joe's throaway line "They made us too smart, too quick, and too many."
Donald Trump is a fucking liar
December 12th, 2012 at 12:05:06 AM permalink
98Clubs
Member since: Nov 11, 2012
Threads: 2
Posts: 75
Quote: odiousgambit
If you talk to people of the right age, especially guys, a huge percentage seem to remember the movie Duel. I had a DVD of that for a while and loaned it out: big mistake! I realize now it had a slim chance of ever making it back to me [g]

Some even claim to have read the story first in Playboy


I would be of that certain age group... great TV movie, only a glimpse of the Mad Mutha Truckah near the end.

I disliked 1941, and Crystal Skulls. Whats up with two December 2011 releases? Haven't seen either, and did poorly at B.O.
There are four things certain in life... Death, Taxes, the Resistance to them, and Stupidity.
December 12th, 2012 at 5:19:14 AM permalink
DJTeddyBear
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 4
Posts: 229
Quote: Mosca
Yeah. Even in something as powerful as Schindler's List he has to have his maudlin moment at the end.
Are you talking about the final scene with the visitors to Schindler's grave? Are you saying you didn't like that scene?

I think that's one of the best scenes in the movie.
Ignorance is bliss and knowledge is power. But having only some facts can get you into trouble!
December 12th, 2012 at 6:34:14 AM permalink
Mosca
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 20
Posts: 505
Quote: DJTeddyBear
Are you talking about the final scene with the visitors to Schindler's grave? Are you saying you didn't like that scene?

I think that's one of the best scenes in the movie.


Yes, you're right. I wrote in a following post that it was the only time he ever did it where it worked, where it served his story.
December 12th, 2012 at 8:24:55 AM permalink
Ayecarumba
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 85
Posts: 1580
Quote: Mosca
Yes, you're right. I wrote in a following post that it was the only time he ever did it where it worked, where it served his story.


The end of "Private Ryan" has a similar tone. I thought it was very effective too. I have not had to fight in a war, so it is very difficult for me to understand the "survivor's remorse" that those who made it back have to live with. I thought the closing scene of this film did a good job of communicating that.
December 12th, 2012 at 9:04:28 AM permalink
Pacomartin
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 843
Posts: 10062
Quote: Mosca
THAT is what I dislike about Spielberg. No subtlety. He doesn't trust me as an audience to get his theme. So he forgoes nuance, he forgoes shading and uncertainty, and he simply shows me pretty pictures and then at the end he pulls out the big rubber hammer and hits me over the head with it.


You forget how many people despise subtlety. They want to watch a movie with no questions. I always remember this TV movie I once saw, where some guy is playing the smart private investigator. He sleeps with a bimbo. I kept wondering how the producer were going to show that this woman was stupid, when the general level of the TV show was geared so extremely low. She gets up in the morning and he has a picture of the Mona Lisa above his bed. She asks him if that's his mother in the photo. Even the stupidest person watching the TV show would understand that this character was stupid.

I like the word 'stupid'. People don't say it much anymore preferring more PC words.
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