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Spielberg on Spielberg - Page 4

post #151 of 213
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Dickson View Post

To be fair, it's the closest thing to an action film he's done since, what, Indy 4?
Yeah, so we can hope he's reinvigorated. The action in INDY 4 was lame. The action wasn't the strong point of MINORITY REPORT, either.

Also not encouraging was his comments a few years ago about how action sequences don't interest him anymore.
post #152 of 213
Quote:
Originally Posted by neil spurn View Post

Nah. It's an extremely easily digestible, "beach read". It's a silly, somewhat action oriented and extremely nostalgic (for the 80's, god I feel old!) trip. Not a great read, but fast paced and somewhat entertaining. Kinda like the weightlessness of Dan Brown's DaVinci Code, another dumb but mildly entertaining read that Spielberg probably could've elevated by directing the adaptation.

Ready Player One is super simple, a dystopian future where everyone is plugged into a VR-based internet. Public schools and other services all through his system, which was originally created and intended as an immersive MMORG. The creator/programmer, who became super wealthy and reclusive, has died, and left explicit instructions that anyone is welcome to play his game and find the Easter eggs he's spread about to solve his "ultimate riddle". Whoever wins will inherit his company, and therefor own the Internet, essentially. Black hats in the form of all-powerful corporate interests intent on profiting and controlling the world through this internet compete with a band of scrappy teens/expert players for the prize.

All very much awash in 80's nostalgia, as the system's creator was a child of said decade. Having an encyclopedic knowledge of classic arcade games and the movie WarGames, for instance, will likely improve your opinion of the book.

Again, mildly entertaining especially if from that era, and also entirely predictable story beats and ending.
Ok....I was TOTALLY wrong about what I thought the premise of this was. Totally. And I can't even remember what led me to believe what I thought it was about in the first place..
post #153 of 213
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Dickson View Post
 

 

To be fair, it's the closest thing to an action film he's done since, what, Indy 4?

The trench run sequence in WAR HORSE and the spy plane crash in BRIDGE OF SPIES are pretty viscerally exciting sequences that prove to me - even above and beyond TINTIN's exhilarating setpieces - that Spielberg can still turn on the thrilling stuff when he wants to.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Agentsands77 View Post


Yeah, so we can hope he's reinvigorated. The action in INDY 4 was lame. The action wasn't the strong point of MINORITY REPORT, either.

Also not encouraging was his comments a few years ago about how action sequences don't interest him anymore.

The motorcycle chase across the campus - with Indy being pulled into a Commie car and then fighting his way back onto the bike - is a lot of fun, and the only action that really feels like classic Indiana Jones.  The big jungle chase has some nice choreography at points, but it's really marred by garish cinematography and unnecessary digital foliage.

post #154 of 213
Quote:
Originally Posted by Agentsands77 View Post


Yeah, so we can hope he's reinvigorated. The action in INDY 4 was lame. The action wasn't the strong point of MINORITY REPORT, either.

Also not encouraging was his comments a few years ago about how action sequences don't interest him anymore.


The action may not be Minority Report's strongest point, but the spyder sequence in that film is an all-timer (though I suppose that's less fight-y fight and more suspense).  Similarly, the first tripod attack and the attack on the ferry in War of the Worlds are both tremendous pieces of direction.

 

Spielberg still really knows how to control the build and flow of a setpiece, and his visual clarity remains pretty unparalleled.  Hell, the "Tea with the Queen" sequence in The BFG shows he can even apply that level of suspense and control to, well, a fart joke.

post #155 of 213
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dent6084 View Post
 

Spielberg still really knows how to control the build and flow of a setpiece, and his visual clarity remains pretty unparalleled.  Hell, the "Tea with the Queen" sequence in The BFG shows he can even apply that level of suspense and control to, well, a fart joke.

That scene is a simple masterclass in staging, coverage, and editing.  Such a well constructed series of beats.  And all, as you say, in service of a fart joke... but it's a good one!

post #156 of 213
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mangy View Post

I feel like this implies that Spielberg is kinda resting on his laurels, and I'm not seeing that at all.
Not at all.

You're talking about effort. I'm talking about artistic inspiration.
post #157 of 213
There's also stuff I've heard about a lot of Tin Tin being pretty much co-directed by Jackson.

Who knows if it's true? What movies did he have coming out around that time?
post #158 of 213
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnooj82 View Post

There's also stuff I've heard about a lot of Tin Tin being pretty much co-directed by Jackson.

Who knows if it's true? What movies did he have coming out around that time?


I think it's certainly true that Spielberg collaborated closely with Jackson (as Jackson had more experience with motion capture work), but I've seen nothing to indicate anything even close to co-director status.  As for what Jackson was up to, he was in post on THE LOVELY BONES during the TINTIN shoot.  At least as far as I'm aware.

post #159 of 213
Because so much of animated films are meetings and reviews of iteration after iteration of shots.

So how busy was Spielberg with other films around then?

Kinda like how Wes Anderson directed Fantastic Mr Fox over webcam and he had to have someone really taking the day to day responsibilities on the production in his stead.
post #160 of 213
I suppose I should watch Tintin. I didn't realize it had anything to do with Spielberg OR Jackson.

I got some real big/weird blind spots in the film awareness department..
post #161 of 213
And the screenplay was by Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish!

It has Pegg and Frost!
post #162 of 213

Quote:

Originally Posted by Agentsands77 View Post


Not at all.

You're talking about effort. I'm talking about artistic inspiration.

I feel like effort and artistic inspiration are intertwined. There are times where maybe Spielberg is straining to make bad screenplays/stories work, but aside from helping his buddies and doing time on mandated sequels, I feel like that inspiration has always been there. Maybe the issue is Spielberg's skill doesn't elevate lumpy screenplays, but there's only been a few films (Crystal Skull / Lost World), where I felt his disconnect from the story.

 

Maybe the issue is his sacrifice for skill over pacing? I felt that during War Horse, even though I liked that movie.



 

post #163 of 213
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnooj82 View Post

And the screenplay was by Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish!
 

 

Steven Moffit gets top credit though.

post #164 of 213
Oh! I knew I was forgetting a third name!
post #165 of 213

Tintin also features John Williams in Jazz Mode, which is never a bad thing.

post #166 of 213
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammerhead View Post
 

Tintin also features John Williams in Jazz Mode, which is never a bad thing.


His score for Catch Me If You Can is soooo great. The opening credits bring a smile to my face every time.

post #167 of 213
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mangy View Post

I feel like effort and artistic inspiration are intertwined.
They are. However, an opera singer can practice their ass off on a song they love, but on one magical night out of fifty performances, they bring the audience to tears.

Great art is capturing lightning in a bottle. There's something mystical about it.
post #168 of 213
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mangy View Post
 


His score for Catch Me If You Can is soooo great. The opening credits bring a smile to my face every time.


The opening credits to Catch me If You Can are basically a perfect short animated film.

post #169 of 213

I'm fond of TINTIN's credits as well.

post #170 of 213
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnooj82 View Post

Because so much of animated films are meetings and reviews of iteration after iteration of shots.

So how busy was Spielberg with other films around then?

 

The behind the scenes on the blu-ray show him pretty actively shooting and interacting with the cast, sometimes taking control of the camera himself.

post #171 of 213
Oh I've seen those too. But I'm talking about the stuff past that... once it gets into the nitty-gritty of making further choices as shots are actually being rendered.
post #172 of 213

Animated films require so many more artistic decisions than live-action. I don't see Steve as the type to bail after the principal shoot.

post #173 of 213
I'm not saying that he bailed. But I also don't see him hunkering down for the entirety of the production pipeline the way directors for animated films usually have to do.

He had other films to be developing and making around then! Specifically War Horse and Lincoln.
post #174 of 213

In 1993 he was in post on Jurassic Park while shooting Schindler's List. Man can multi-task.

post #175 of 213
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammerhead View Post
 

In 1993 he was in post on Jurassic Park while shooting Schindler's List. Man can multi-task.


To be fair, he basically handed the editing and overseeing of the effects to George Lucas for the day-to-day of it.  That's not to say Spielberg wasn't in the loop, or that major decisions were made without him, but it didn't receive his full attention.  Which is fine, because neither film ended up suffering.

post #176 of 213
That was RIIIIGHT before George lost his mind publicly...and completely. At that point I'd have trusted him with at least that much..
post #177 of 213
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fraid uh noman View Post

That was RIIIIGHT before George lost his mind publicly...and completely. At that point I'd have trusted him with at least that much..


Absolutely.  And Lucas, whatever his faults may be, is also a loyal friend and had fairly clear directives from Spielberg.  He wasn't just in with Michael Kahn doing his own thing.

post #178 of 213
Working on Jurassic Park probably helped inspire gungans.

"What these dinosaurs need are Jamaican accents!"
post #179 of 213

I don’t know if this is turning into our all-purpose Spielberg thread or not, but it is the most active one recently, so here's this bit of news: apparently Oscar Isaac is now signed for THE KIDNAPPING OF EDGARDO MONTARA.  Not only will this add a great actor to (presumably) headline the film, but it will also once again underscore Isaac’s ability to apparently play any ethnicity required by the story.

post #180 of 213

Guessing he's playing Montara's father, opposite Rylance as the Pope.  With Kushner scripting should be a hell of a film.

post #181 of 213

Anyone listen to Blank Check? It's a podcast about directors who had success early in their career and, well, got handed a blank check. Each episode is about a film in the director's career, pre-BC, the movie they get the blank check for, how long said blank check lasts, etc. They did a miniseries earlier this year on Spielberg post-Schindler (when, as they point out, Spielberg got arguably the biggest blank check in the history of film by founding his own goddamn studio), I'm about halfway through (just listened to the Munich episode) and it's pretty interesting stuff. Fun mix of humor and actual analysis.

post #182 of 213

I thought Spielberg's blank checks were CE3K and 1941.

post #183 of 213

Those are early-career blank checks, to be sure. But post-Schindler with the founding of Dreamworks, he becomes the guy who signs the blank checks to himself, at least up through The Terminal, after which Dreamworks needs to start partnering with other studios.

post #184 of 213

I feel like it's different when you're essentially using your own money. Of the biggest and most expensive DreamWorks productions, few are Spielberg's own.

post #185 of 213
Thread Starter 

Trailer for the HBO doc airing on 10/7:

 

post #186 of 213

lol this HBO doc is two and a half hours long what the fuck

post #187 of 213

I watched about an hour of this the other night. It's an extended hagiography, pleasant but dull. I doubt I'll check out the remaining 90 minutes.

post #188 of 213

The James Lipton actors studio (the best Spielberg thing to date) isn't even that long! 

post #189 of 213
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mangy View Post
 

I watched about an hour of this the other night. It's an extended hagiography, pleasant but dull. I doubt I'll check out the remaining 90 minutes.

 

An apt description.  The final 45 minutes or so are really quite good, however.  MUNICH, in particular, gets a well deserved deep-dive.

post #190 of 213

The type design on this documentary is atrocious. 

post #191 of 213
Thread Starter 

Two and a half hours and they couldn't get a few words from Sizemore during the PRIVATE RYAN segment? What a botch.

post #192 of 213
It was generally pleasant and dull. I did enjoy that Hook was relegated to two 1.5 second clips during a clip montage.
post #193 of 213
Quote:
Originally Posted by neil spurn View Post

It was generally pleasant and dull. I did enjoy that Hook was relegated to two 1.5 second clips during a clip montage.

 

Yeah, failures were pretty glossed over.  Even 1941 was reduced to maybe a minute.  

 

Yep, I thought I was invincible...I went over budget and over schedule, and the knives were out for me.  After it failed, George called me up and told me about his idea for Indiana Jones.  I thought it sounded great, but nobody would sign me because of my rep for going over schedule and over budget.  I promised with George's backing to hold to the 20 million budget and we were off.

 

There you go...that's about it for 1941 apart from a few clips from the film itself.

post #194 of 213
I thought it was pretty great in the personal moments. The quality of people they interviewed and the whole section on the "movie brats" I hadn't seen before. Some of the personal footage of Lucas, Scorsese, De Palma and Spielberg together was great. They even touched on his relationship with Amy Irving. I think this doc delved deeper into the man himself and his personal relationships than his films might seem a tad disappointing but there's other more in depth docs for that.
post #195 of 213

Yeah, yeah. It went over schedule and over budget.  And it was terrible.  Also, regarding the Color Purple, while Spielberg was largely just referring to the one lesbian-intoned scene, I did like the fact that he proclaimed that he really wasn't the director to tell that story.

 

I don't think Empire of the Sun gets much credit though. I love that movie.

 

 

Edit: Regarding 1941

post #196 of 213

Surely Spielberg could've at least given a quick, fun story about playing clarinet in the orchestra for 1941 or something, but not surprising that he glosses over that film.

post #197 of 213
Quote:
Originally Posted by User_32 View Post

I thought it was pretty great in the personal moments. The quality of people they interviewed and the whole section on the "movie brats" I hadn't seen before. Some of the personal footage of Lucas, Scorsese, De Palma and Spielberg together was great. They even touched on his relationship with Amy Irving. I think this doc delved deeper into the man himself and his personal relationships than his films might seem a tad disappointing but there's other more in depth docs for that.

 

Yeah, the home footage of Spielberg, Lucas, Scorsese, DePalma, and the others was fantastic.  Some of the stuff with his parents was pretty interesting as well.

post #198 of 213

Agree the hang-out footage from the 70's was great. Instantly reminded me vividly of the book Easy Riders, Raging Bulls.

post #199 of 213
Thread Starter 

Best bit from the "movie brats" segment was the story of De Palma berating Lucas after watching the rough cut of STAR WARS.

post #200 of 213

My wife brought up a point that I hadn't really considered that I would be curious to hear thoughts about. She framed Spielberg's legacy, at least in part, as making modern filmmaking "for and about boys." Thinking about the history of filmmaking in the 1970s and 1980s, I can kind of see that - there has been a real move towards appealing to "thirteen year old boys" post Star Wars and Raiders, and especially in the modern blockbuster era, and women's stories and women's filmmakers have become increasingly marginalized as a result. You could argue that it's not Spielberg's fault entirely for what the industry did in response to him - but it's also worth looking at his influence and what he's used that power for. 

 

In thinking about this more, I realize that THE BFG was maybe the first time in decades that Spielberg had a female main character that he directed. I think you can also count THE POST. As a producer, he was slightly better - THE 100 FOOT JOURNEY in 2014 - but he's never produced a film directed by a woman, or even executive produced one.

 

Now, that's not to discount his long history of working with women writers and producers and collaborators - but I just thought it was a point that might be worth discussing. 

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