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Author Topic: Steven Spielburg
LISA LISA
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Ok, me and my son watched Raiders of the Lost Arc the other night, and that movie was a classic great action movie, with great music, and a great story, and action, and adventure, and I loved his whip, and he was great looking, and everything a moviestar should be. How come Speilburg made all the great movies??? The Goonies, E.T., Jaws, Raiders, Poltergeist, Gremlins...he was great, those are awesome movies...and he is still young. Why can't he make the kind of movies he used to, that draw the people for that type of movie, the stuff he did, was so original, nobody had ever seen anything like it, they had similar surburban backdrops-which everyone could relate to the middle class people in the movies then. There was nobody else but him making the big blockbuster movies...John Hughes is great, and John Carpenter, and George Lucas...but what happened??? Why did they go off and do all this stuff completely different than what they had been doing??? I don't get it.
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teenofthe80s
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Don't forget Back to the future and Jurassic Park.
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LISA LISA
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He made them all, he had the market cornered, all the best stuff he did. All our top 80's favs. So what happened? Did he run out of ideas?
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Ali_with_an_i


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I think it's interesting that Francis Ford Coppola and George Lucas made American Graffiti together among other films. They just don't seem as the collaborating type do they?
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Riptide
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Good post Isis. I'm not sure if they have run out of ideas, it could be blockbuster movie politics as well. Seems like Ridley Scott, James Cameron etc. have the hotter hand. Their hands might be tied more down than before and more pressure from shareholders to have a huge gate in the first week. I haven't really liked the recent Star Wars stuff, I just hope the next one is the best. Anyone see Lucas's pre Star Wars THX-138?
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deathbystereo80
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Yeah, you really wonder if they got carried away by all the digital possiblities of moviemaking nowadays and forgot about good storytelling...
Isn't Spielberg also the one who now is doing this sequel to Goonies?? Hello - new ideas please!!!

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McFly
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I've always felt Steve was overrated. Now, he exec. prod. my favorite of all time, so I don't despise him. But he seems to get too much of the credit a lot of the time. He doesn't write the movies he makes, only directs them. Like BTTF is always referred to as a Speilberg movie, which it isn't. He put up the money for it, but Bob Gale and Bob Zemeckis wrote the script and directed it.

Which is the funny thing, I've liked a bunch of movies he put up the money for. Like BTTF, Gremlins, Goonies, or Poltergeist where he was one of the three writers (and alleged director).
Jaws was ok and I'm a rare non-Raiders fan (great action, a little too much story for me).

But I think he was cutting his teeth with mainstream entertainment. Once he became established in the late 80s, he did Empire of the Sun, Always, into the 90s with Schindler's, Amistad, Private Ryan. He went into a heavy dramatic mode and his "fun for all ages" mantra died. He did do Jurrasik and made an attempt at hi trademark hi-tech stuff with Minority Report, but it's just not the same.

IMHO John Hughes is more of a genuis than Speilberg is. You look at Hughes films, the fact that he either wrote and directed all of them, and in such a short time. I mean the guy cranked out Vacation, Mr. Mom, 16 Candles, Weird Science, Ferris, Pretty in Pink and Some Kind of Wonderful in just four years!

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StevenHW
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I consider Steven Spielberg as one my favorite directors, despite his recent change of approach in his films. But I can understand Isis' point.

To me, Spielberg has always been a highly-skilled technical director with a knack of storytelling. But in the 70's and 80's, he specialized in highly entertaining films (The Sugarland Express, Jaws, Close Encounters).

In "1941" (1979), he tried to do physical comedy, in the style of "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World", but it was his first major disappointment.

Then, the 80's came along, and he rebounded with the Indiana Jones films, and, of course, "E.T.".

But why the change of his approach? Maybe it's because Spielberg, despite his success, had never won the ultimate prize: the "Best Director" Academy Award Oscar during the 70's and 80's.

Isis might want to pinpoint the early signs of a career turnabout to "The Color Purple" in the mid-80's.

For some reason, whenever Spieberg movies are discussed, nobody ever mentions "The Color Purple"! Perhaps because the story is not what you'd expect Spielberg to be involved with. And let's face it: it wasn't meant to be a comedy or a fantasy or an adventure! He was trying to show that he could make a film that wasn't merely commercial and escapist.

That movie was nominated, but it won nothing. And Spielberg didn't even get a nomination! I remember at the time, the reasons why the Academy has shunned Spielberg: that he is too many films that are highly commercialized, too financially successful that he doesn't need an award, or that he makes too much "lightweight" films that is not considered Oscar-worthy.

Isis, Spielberg *DID* try to go back into childlike kiddie fantasy by directing "Hook", which starred Dustin Hoffman and Robin Williams. But it was a huge financial flop, perhaps the biggest clunker in Spielberg's career.

Then the 90's came along, and Spielberg preferred to do heavier, dramatic stuff: "Amistad", "Schindler's List" (which finally won him a long-deserved Oscar), and "Saving Private Ryan", which won a second Oscar for him and is one of my fave films of the 90's.

He inherited "A.I.: Artificial Intelligence" project from the late Stanley Kubrick, and later did "Minority Report", but while I liked the latter, neither one had the flair of his earlier movies.

As for John Hughes, I simply think he has lost his touch (and his interest) in the early 90's. He hasn't personally directed a movie since 1991, and his choice of projects (as a producer and/or writer) indicate that he's more interested in going for the fast buck. ($$$) And that's a shame.
[Frown]

[ 09. December 2003, 10:26: Message edited by: StevenHW ]

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StevenHW
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One more bit about isis9968's question:
quote:
[snip]...John Hughes is great, and John Carpenter, and George Lucas...but what happened??? Why did they go off and do all this stuff completely different than what they had been doing??? I don't get it.
Because some directors get tired of doing it! They don't want to make the same thing over and over again. It's get boring and repetitive after a while. Besides, tastes and preferences change with the audience and the filmmakers themselves.

Also, they are more wealthy and financially secure now, so there is no pressure or need for them to make movies as often as they used to.

In George Lucas' case, he lives on Skywalker Ranch in Northern California; he has never really been comfortable with the so-called "Hollywood scene". But he's more happier to oversee his own "Star Wars" projects, and have someone else direct them.

Francis Ford Coppola also lives in Northern California, and whenever he isn't working on movies, he spends his time and energy on his winery and his restaurants in the San Francisco Bay Area. Then again, he's always been trying to keep himself busy whether or not it has anything to do with movies.

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Ali_with_an_i


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I gotta couple of bottles of Frances Ford Coppola's wine. They're pretty good. [Cool]
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Kash
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I commend Spielberg for going the path of 'serious' films ('SPR' was a classic and 'Amistad' was criminally underated) I liked 'AI' and 'Minoirty Report' too.

As for John Hughes, talk about used and abused, the industry(including the critics for that matter) gave him abosoltuely no credit/respectful recogniton for his work thoughout the 80's and it's only now that the teens of that era (and us guys who love the 80's) who are giving the man his due, now I love John Hughes movies...but is there EVER any excuse for stuff like 'Home Alone' or 'Flubber'?!

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Ali_with_an_i


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Hey! Home Alone was good! I watch that one every Christmas! [Cool]
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EnglishRose
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I always thought that the reason the quality/style of Spielburg films had changed since the 80's was because he doesn't actually do that much in them nowadays. He always seems to be one of three or four Executive producers which I assume means sits in an office and balances the finances. He not so involved anymore and financially doesn't want or need to be on set with their punishing schedules.
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Riptide
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I think it rings true for all these directors, that once they hit pay dirt, they don't want to work as hard or as much. James Cameron and Quentin Tarantino haven't done much since their last blockbusters. You have to have the hunger, and it's such a huge process, unlike an actor who goes in and reads their lines, films a few scenes, then it's on the the next project.
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LISA LISA
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I never liked Quentin Tarantino...nothing he ever did I thought was good, infact I hated everything. John Hughes was great, but the thing is that worked, were the actors, that pulled it all together, and people are just so different now. Families are different, and if he tried to do a teen movie now, for this time period, it would suck majorly, because it would be adapted to the way people's actual lives are being lived-and that is the difference-that is what sucks.

When I first saw Home Alone..I hated that movie..I thought that is the worst family I have ever seen in my entire life, the way they treated him, the way they talked about him, the way they forgot him, and left him there cause they were "too busy"...think about it? UUGH..the whole idea of forgetting my child...just makes me ill. They let that older son-Bud-run the whole family-and he was a complete jerk. And, the uncle was a weirdo. I hated that whole family part of it..the reason it grew on me was Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern, I thought they were hilarious. But the parents were awful, they should have gone to jail...then to turn around and do it again..well need I say more??? I have them..but only because I sometimes watch movies for the houses because I love getting decorating ideas from houses in movies that I love...I love the House in the movie The Hand that Rocks the Cradle...and The McAllister House was a good one. And, then it is a Christmas movie, and they don't really do too many.. Look at the nutty Xmas movies they made for this year..that's pathetic. Bad Santa with Billy Bob Thorton.. [Eek!]

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McFly
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Agreed, Isis. A Hughes script nowadays would be viewed as too tame. They'd tweak it with raunch-filth and take away the goodness that lied within the characters he used to write.

Home Alone was the case of a blessing and a curse. The thing made 800 million dollars worldwide so the best course of action, let's crank out eight more Home Alones but give them different titles (Dennis the Menace, Baby's Day Out, Flubber, 101 Dalmations). Sometimes your best success can end the better works you're capable of.

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Kevin S.
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Steven Spielberg and George Lucas peaked during the early 80's, and neither has been able to fully replecate that sense of wonder they used to infuse into their films.

Spielberg has always wanted to be taken more seriously, hence why he usually avoids doing family fantasy stuff and tries for more dramatic, adult and artsy movies these days.

By the way, John Hughes was considered tame back in the 80's. The guy didn't make every single teen movie of the 80's. Universal was worried that The Breakfast Club would be too slow and boring for teenagers, and that it didn't have any sex in it.

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Smayt Shatner
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I think that Spielberg has drifted into the Big Clint arena of film-making.By that I mean he feels he no longer has to make the kind of movie an audience expects him to make and he can instead take on projects which are more appealing and personal to him.A perfect example of this would be Schindler's List. This was a movie a million miles away from Raiders/Jaws etc but it gave him more recognition as a filmaker than anything else before it.So maybe thats why he no longer feels he has to make the next 'BIG' blockbuster.


Oh and I just gotta say I loved ALI's comment earlier about Francis F C's bottled wine......
it was almost like a commercial break.

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The Wizard
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My hat goes off to him to insist that the original 1982 version of ET was put to DVD and not just the 2002 CGI edited version (which I don't like).
On that note I'd like to give George Lucas a swift kick in the nether regions for having no plans whatsoever to release the original theatrical Star Wars trilogy on DVD, just the special editions (of which he's apparently been editing even more...)
I think I'll have to fork out heap loads for the original trilogy laserdisc set and a laserdisc player to get them in their original state for putting to DVD-R (converting the VHS would be a waste of time/money as the widescreen tapes aren't nearly as good picture quality as the laserdiscs)

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McFly
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Sure Hughes was tame back then---none of us his stuff was usually over pg-13---but his films made money. Which is probably why he was so overlooked back then, dealing with the teen genre didn't get you a lot respect. Now a major amount of filmmakers/writers breaking in want to be the next John Hughes.
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Smayt Shatner
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Totally agree with what Mr. WIZARD had to say about Greedy Lucas and the Star Wars trilogy special edition.
Now I don't mind the added scenery or cleaned up special effects........
but what really makes my skin pack it's bags and slope off my slim but perfectly toned body is ...
Greedo shot first!
(no...Greedo was butt whupped by ruthless Han Solo)
No...Greedo shot first,but he's a really crap shot.And Han suddenly inherited some kind of Christopher Reeve gene which enabled him to move faster than a blaster bolt fired from right in front of his f#*#in' face.
Greedo shot first.....yeah right! Only if the movie was made by Disney.

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materialgirl347
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how can you say the Home Alone family wasn't perfect!? I would have loved to be in that family. they lived in their big house with the two car garage in that nice little neighborhood with the scary old man across the street. and they were all together on christmas! the only thing they're missing is a dog.
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