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Old 08-03-2007, 04:42 PM   #46
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Just for the record, I know full well that the ending of A.I. was Kubricks original design.
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Old 08-03-2007, 05:37 PM   #47
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Although I think the film would have been better ending with David at the bottom of the ocean, it's not a question of whose idea the epliogue was, it's the hamfisted way in which Spielberg does it. The mecca sitting down on the fucking bed and just spewing out exposition is groan-inducing, and I swear to you when I saw the film the weekend it came out the audience was vocally annoyed by the scene.

Which goes back to the main argument--it's not about happy endings vs. sad (or realistic) endings, it's how you do them. As pointed out by Inner El Guapo, Spielberg lacks the ability (or resolve) to be subtle, and as as I've said before, when you're afraid to challenge the audience, question their beliefs (as well as your own), or risk offending them, you're commiting a cinematic crime every time you make a film.
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Old 08-03-2007, 06:14 PM   #48
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Quote:
Originally posted by corianderstem
Munich was AMAZING.

I enjoyed MInority Report more than I was expecting, considering I don't care much for either Tom Cruise or Colin Farrell.
Ditto. I find Spielberg very hit and miss.
I've never liked ET or Close Encounters and didn't like the action mess of War of the Worlds. He seems to gravitate toward commerical fluff a bit too often.
I thought Catch Me If You Can could have been more dramatically powerful instead of mostly light-hearted, and I just don't get why he allows Michael Bay to do anything under his production company. Temple of Doom was pretty bad.

I also dislike the cheesy, phony, superficial idea of what childhood is like in his films, like Goonies. Growing up, I would sometimes think I was supposed to be like those kids -- spunky, but not especially bright, always getting into mischeif, with a girlfriend on one arm and a gameboy or something in the other. Total annoying notion of what kids are like.

Other than those problems, I really enjoyed Munich for giving some context and understanding to Palestinians' actions -- although most in the American media totally missed it. And I also really enjoyed Minority Report.

One of my most treasured memories of amazement in the cinema was seeing Jurasic Park in 1993. It was unbelievable special effects wise because I used to love dinosaurs as a kid and it was so incredible to see -- even if the plot was weak.

Just a plug: Joel Gretsch was in Minority Report and he stars in the politically-insightful 4400.
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Old 08-03-2007, 06:57 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally posted by lazarus
Which goes back to the main argument--it's not about happy endings vs. sad (or realistic) endings, it's how you do them. As pointed out by Inner El Guapo, Spielberg lacks the ability (or resolve) to be subtle, and as as I've said before, when you're afraid to challenge the audience, question their beliefs (as well as your own), or risk offending them, you're commiting a cinematic crime every time you make a film.
Is Uwe Boll in solitary confinement of Cinematic Prison?
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Old 08-03-2007, 07:23 PM   #50
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My uncle just signed another 3 year contract to fly the Dreamworks jets.
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Old 08-05-2007, 12:02 AM   #51
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[q]S.S.'s style may be sophisticated, but thematically he's still an immature boy who wants love from his daddy, and therefore will never be an artists on the level of the true cinema greats, regardless of how many Oscars he wins or tickets he sells.
[/q]


see, this is where i stop taking criticism about him seriously. i appreciate your other comments, but so much that's leveled at Spielberg -- calling him "Unka Stevie" or whatever -- seems so personal in nature. yes, his films are filled with lost boys, but could we not also call this thematic consistency? i can't think of a more searing portrait of divorce than the small scene in that massive blockbuster E.T. where Elliot says the simple words, "I can't, he's in Mexico with Sally." to me, that single line, over the dinner table with the single mom, the quick portrait of a broken family, is as memorable and emotionally impactful as any film i've ever seen that's dealt with divorce.

(and on that topic -- E.T. is about suburban transcendentalism, and it's almost overtly Christian with E.T. as a Christ-figure, resurrected and through faith the bicycles fly. there is indeed more than meets the eye with many Spielberg films, just not always)

and i'll maintain that Spielberg is as versatile as Scorecese or Wells or Kubrick (and, my goodness, what company to be compared to, an embarassment of riches, and the vaunting of one isn't meant to degrade the other). i'd also maintain that the battle scenes of SPR are much more than shaky cameras and blood on the lense. what Spielberg does is give you utterly coherent chaos, and as a professor of mine -- who doesn't like Spielberg much -- once said about those scenes is how brilliantly they depict the randomness of the ferocity of combat, and the ferocity of the randomness. those scenes are masterful, and while i haven't seen the Wells film (and i'd now like to), they are as innovative and immitated as anything from the past 10 years. his films are far more than pretty pictures, and i think SPR, despite my complaints, might be the film that has most "advanced" cinema more than any other over the past 10 years. and i also can't agree with your assessment of "Schindler's List." but that's too much to get into here.

ultimately, all these men do different things. they have different goals, and i think much of the criticism has to do with personal taste as opposed to independent aesthetic judgements. and that's perfectly fine. if anything, i find the adoration of Scorcese and the degradation of Spielberg by the intelligentsia quite off putting. Raging Bull, for all its brilliance, is almost unbearable to watch. is this a good thing or a bad thing? and "Gangs of New York" was pretty shitty, imho, with "Catch Me If You Can" the better film of Christmas 2002. simpler, less ambitious, more fun, happy ending, all true, but uplifting art isn't necessarily dumb, and that happy endings aren't always a cop out. life isn't always a despairing slog through the shit of human existence (nor does it need a warm Spielberg ending either, admittedly).

i suppose my big point is kind of a Bonoism. it's easy to despair, it's easy to show the awfulness of man to his fellow man, it's easy to chronical a psychopath. it's quite hard to pull off joy, and i think the educated among us -- and i count myself in this group -- are suspicious of things that don't hurt, that aren't "challenging" in an expected manner.

and to swing a bit farther ... and to touch on some Camille Paglia ... so much of the problem, i find, with "today's" art is that it is so, so, so painfully self-conscious, created as if someone is trying to be nothing more than impervious to academic criticism. there's no attempt to elevate, to engage, to uplift, to find optimism and humor, because these things have been labled "easy" or "dumb" or "degraded" or, worse, "pop" by the intellgentsia.

so ... yeah, don't know how coherent this is going to be, it's such a massive subject and one that i haven't engaged with on an intellectual level since being an undergrad. but it's fascinating, and all points are well taken.
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Old 08-05-2007, 02:15 PM   #52
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and re-reading my post, i don't know that i added anything new.

so, in sum, interesting discussion, all.
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Old 08-05-2007, 02:53 PM   #53
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Hey, even Robert Zemeckis has made a good career as a Spielberg-esque style director.
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Old 08-05-2007, 03:02 PM   #54
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Quote:
Originally posted by LemonMacPhisto
Hey, even Robert Zemeckis has made a good career as a Spielberg-esque style director.
Such a shame that The Polar Express makes me puke, and Beowulf looks no better.
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Old 08-05-2007, 03:05 PM   #55
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He did direct my favorite movie of all-time though, Back to the Future, but I accredit that mainly to the cast, writing, and production (coincidentally, Steven Spielberg).
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Old 08-05-2007, 03:36 PM   #56
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My favorite Zemeckis film is still Who Framed Roger Rabit. Cutting edge in every sense, and truly wonderful.
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Old 08-06-2007, 11:56 AM   #57
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Zemeckis is interesting.

in many ways, "Gump" is both overrated and underrated.
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Old 08-06-2007, 12:14 PM   #58
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lancemc


Such a shame that The Polar Express makes me puke,

You COULDN'T have seen it in 3D then! That train came THIS close to my nose!!11!11!!1

OMFG Santa's train almost hit me!
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Old 08-06-2007, 12:18 PM   #59
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But as a matter of fact, no, I didn't see it in 3-D. I'm sure that would have at least made the film mildly intersting in that case. Too bad it's still a garbage movie.
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Old 08-06-2007, 12:22 PM   #60
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Lance, you're such a sourpuss. Next you're going to tell me that you don't believe in Santa Clause at all.

Feel the magic, man, feel the magic.

(Which is all together different than "Feel the magic man" - that could get you arrested ... or a job ...)
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