Sunday, September 20, 2015

While Waiting For Star Wars

Here's a decent roundup at the AV Club of the films that will be coming out in the next couple months.  I question their take on some stuff, but one that that really stood out was the discussion of the Steven Spielberg/Tom Hanks Bridge Of Spies.  It's about diplomacy between America and the Soviet Union in 1960--a ripe formula for lecturing the audience.

But we'll see how it turns out. On the other hand, I already know how previous Spielberg films have turned out, so it was odd to read this:

Best-case scenario: After a brief lull, Spielberg starts another streak of excellence to rival his Saving Private Ryan/ A.I./ Minority Report/ Catch Me If You Can/ War Of The Worlds/ Munich run.

That's their idea of a great streak?

Saving Private Ryan is pretty special, so sure.  But A.I. is a disaster, almost from start to finish.  (I say almost, because I consider the ending, which is generally reviled, to be fascinating.) Minority Report is a decent but not great action film. Catch Me If You Can works pretty well, even if it has the classic Spielberg extended ending which shouldn't be there to begin with.  War Of The Worlds is a fairly ridiculous film.  And Munich is another one of those muddled, hectoring pieces about still-in-memory political issues that Bridge Of Spies threatens to be.

You can pick any six films Spielberg films in a row and find a mix of good and bad like this.  I'd say the best run is actually his first six theatrical features--Sugarland Express, Jaws, Close Encounters Of The Third Kind (overrated), 1941 (underrated), Raiders Of The Lost Ark and E.T.  Perhaps Spielberg believes he's gotten deeper, but has he gotten better?


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