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Is Spielberg Rubbish?


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Because Spielberg explains it all three times.

I have this complaint for pretty much all of Spielberg's films. When I say "Spielberg's films", I don't necessarily mean all those that he's been involved in, just those which have that undeniable 'Spielberg vibe' (see: ET, Jurassic Park, AI, Jaws, Close Encounters...).

As Pickford noted above in the Minority Report thread, Spielberg seems to want to hold the viewer's hand at every moment.

He wants to take you on this magical, polished adventure and it all feels very, very fake, family-friendly, and utterly sucks any sense of 'true' adventure out of the experience.

Just scanning his filmography as director on imdb:

# Indiana Jones 4 (2007) (announced)

# Untitled Steven Spielberg/Abraham Lincoln Project (2007) (pre-production)

# Munich (2005)

# War of the Worlds (2005)

# The Terminal (2004)

# Catch Me If You Can (2002)

# Minority Report (2002)

# Artificial Intelligence: AI (2001)

... aka A.I. Artificial Intelligence (USA: poster title)

# The Unfinished Journey (1999)

# Saving Private Ryan (1998)

# Amistad (1997)

# The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997)

# Steven Spielberg's Director's Chair (1996) (VG)

# Schindler's List (1993)

# Jurassic Park (1993)

... aka JP (USA: promotional abbreviation)

# Amazing Stories: Book One (1992) (V) (segment "The Mission")

# Hook (1991)

# The Visionary (1990) (V) (segment "Par for the Course")

# Always (1989)

# Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)

# Empire of the Sun (1987)

# The Color Purple (1985)

# "Amazing Stories" (1985) TV Series (episode "Ghost Train") (episode "The Mission")

... aka Steven Spielberg's Amazing Stories (USA: complete title)

# "Strokes of Genius" (1984) (mini) TV Series (introductory segments) (uncredited)

# Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)

# Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983) (segment 2)

# E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

... aka E.T. (USA: short title)

... aka E.T. the Extra- Terrestrial: The 20th Anniversary (USA: longer version)

# Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

... aka Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (USA: video title)

# 1941 (1979)

# Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)

... aka CE3K (USA: informal short title)

... aka Close Encounters of the Third Kind: Special Edition (USA: reissue title)

# Jaws (1975)

# The Sugarland Express (1974)

# Savage (1973/I) (TV)

... aka The Savage File (USA)

... aka Watch Dog

# Something Evil (1972) (TV)

# Duel (1971/I) (TV)

# "Owen Marshall: Counselor at Law" (1971) TV Series (episode "Eulogy for a Wide Receiver")

# Columbo: Murder by the Book (1971) (TV)

# "The Psychiatrist" (1971) TV Series (episode "Par for the Course") (episode "The Private World of Martin Dalton")

# "Night Gallery" (1970) TV Series (episode "Eyes") (episode "Make Me Laugh")

... aka Rod Serling's Night Gallery (USA)

# Night Gallery (1969) (TV) (segment "Eyes")

... aka Rod Serling's Wax Museum (USA)

# "Marcus Welby, M.D." (1969) TV Series (episode "The Daredevil Gesture")

... aka Robert Young, Family Doctor

# Amblin' (1968)

# "The Name of the Game" (1968) TV Series (episode "L.A. 2017")

# Slipstream (1967) (unfinished)

# Firelight (1964)

# Escape to Nowhere (1961)

# Fighter Squad (1961)

# The Last Gun (1959)

and although I haven't seen his entire back catalogue, obviously, (indeed, I've actively avoided Spielberg films recently) there's only a couple out of the lot that I can even tolerate.

Obviously films like Saving Private Ryan and Schindler's List (and Band Of Brothers, which he helped produce) are a departure from his typical fodder, but they are in the minority. I also must admit to thoroughly enjoying Empire of The Sun which, again, is far from 'typical' Spielberg.

I'm not necessarily saying that he should only concentrate on making 'gritty' films - I watched 'Catch Me If You Can' and was pleasantly surprised by it - I just object the sickly and distinctly American sense of wonderment which pervades most of his films.

Just wonderin' if anyone here feels the same.

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I think the poll, or rather the way in which the question is phrased, destroys a potentially interesting thread. I'd get rid of it, or at the very least, ask a better question.

Of course Spielberg isn't rubbish, he's one of the world's greatest living directors. he has his faults (over sentimentality being the worst) but there is no denying, he incredibly efficient, focussed and versatile. He can do the huge action blockbusters and still manage to pull off small, deep character based material.

There are times when I do feel he narrowly misses true greatness due to schmaltz but I will always be intrigued by what his next movie is. Like a lot of directors, he looks as though he may lose his harder edge as he grows older, but the man knows how to entertain.

Spielberg, rubbish? What nonsense.

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Changing the poll title halfway through is silly.

And even more sillily, the new poll is now 'Does over-sentimentality ruin his films'. Huh? EVERYONE is going to say yes to that. The word itself 'over-sentimentality' means it's too much - how could that be a good thing? It's like that bit in Extras with the 'would you rather have too much salt or too little salt' question. Either way it's too much/little of something so it's not going to be liked!

I don't really understand your Spielberg hate, it's like you want everyone to say that one of the best living directors out there (who directed fucking Raiders of the Lost Ark and Saving Private Ryan for gods sake!) is rubbish. Would that make you happy?

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Watching his stuff on DVD is much better - for example, with AI and Minority Report you can avoid watching the last 30 minutes in each case and you've got two excellent films with interesting, ambivalent endings. In each case this "other" ending is such an obvious juncture to press "stop", you wonder whether he did it on purpose.

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I have this complaint for pretty much all of Spielberg's films.

Spielberg seems to want to hold the viewer's hand at every moment.

He wants to take you on this magical, polished adventure and it all feels very, very fake, family-friendly, and utterly sucks any sense of 'true' adventure out of the experience.

Which is basically saying that ET, Jurassic Park, AI, The Lost World, Jaws, Close Encounters, the Indiana Jones trilogy, Catch Me If You Can, Minority Report, all have no sense of true adventure. Right...despite some of them being the best adventure movies out there.

I mean, come on. JAWS has no sense of true adventure? You can practically taste the sea water spraying on your lips as you watch the DVD. And Indiana Jones? Them three are, like, the best adventure movies ever made!!

I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE [THREAD].

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I think he's one of the most talented directors the world has ever seen, and every single thing he's done has been at the very least interesting enough to watch. Hook is probably his lowest point, but that seemed to be misconceived from every possible angle.

He's basically one of a handful of reasons I love movies so much. No other director has such a body of work that includes so many firm favourites and genuinely magical moments. Where some people see shmaltz I see honest emotion leavened with genuine sentiment. I don't believe Spielberg puts in 'cheesy stuff' to please the audience. I think he has in him a sincere sense of wonder and humanity, and naturally puts it onto the screen.

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I don't believe Spielberg puts in 'cheesy stuff' to please the audience. I think he has in him a sincere sense of wonder and humanity, and naturally puts it onto the screen.

Totally agree with that. Even though I do find it a little too much, I never think he's pandering to the crowd, it's all him on the screen.

If anything, he doesn't cave in to the masses much at all. He refuses to record audio commentaries as he believes the film speaks for themselves and isn't he notoriously against test screenings to the point that his films don't have them?

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I think the poll, or rather the way in which the question is phrased, destroys a potentially interesting thread. I'd get rid of it, or at the very least, ask a better question.

Of course Spielberg isn't rubbish, he's one of the world's greatest living directors. he has his faults (over sentimentality being the worst) but there is no denying, he incredibly efficient, focussed and versatile. He can do the huge action blockbusters and still manage to pull off small, deep character based material.

There are times when I do feel he narrowly misses true greatness due to schmaltz but I will always be intrigued by what his next movie is. Like a lot of directors, he looks as though he may lose his harder edge as he grows older, but the man knows how to entertain.

Spielberg, rubbish? What nonsense.

Excellent post. Agree with it 100%.

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Totally agree with that. Even though I do find it a little too much, I never think he's pandering to the crowd, it's all him on the screen.

If anything, he doesn't cave in to the masses much at all. He refuses to record audio commentaries as he believes the film speaks for themselves and isn't he notoriously against test screenings to the point that his films don't have them?

You think? Personally I feel he does everything he can to please american audiences (except the audio commentaries). Take War of the Worlds as a recent example with the son and the rest of the family appearing at the end unhurt, now there was no need to put that in there really and for me it sort of ruined what was a fantastic action film. Personally I think he was delivering on what american audiences were expecting and wanted to see, imagine if he had ended the film with the son not appearing and with Ray just riding of into the distance in search of his wife without any real conclusion.

He is the most successful director of all time because he delivers what people (american audiences) want, and that is entertainment with a feel good ending.

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Potential WOTW spoiler below for those who didn't bother to see it at the cinema or on DVD but would hate to have the shitty ending ruined for them (idiots).

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Robbie should have got it in War of the Worlds instead of us having to put up with that trite ending. Unless the moral is, when you are faced with danger, kids, run straight into the heart of it and everything will end up fine. Maybe even take some video footage of it on your mobile and post your idiocy on the net. Standing in front of alien war machines beats standing in front of an oncoming train any day of the week.

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