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The Spielberg Catch-All
#1
Can't find the general Spielberg thread, so here's the AV Club's list of the 25 best Spielberg setpieces:

https://film.avclub.com/the-25-best-set-...1824118529

And ScreenCrush's list of the top 10:

http://screencrush.com/best-steven-spiel...on-scenes/

The first barrel chase in Jaws, the swing dance fight in 1941, the Spyders in Minority Report, and the tank chase in TLC have been egregiously snubbed!

Good for WOTW and Tintin for showing up on both lists (the former twice on the AV Club list, the only film to get multiples alongside Raiders and Jurassic Park), though.
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#2
Yeah, I'd rate the barrel chase over Chrissie's death. The latter gets our attention but isn't as masterful as the former, especially considering how little of the shark we see in a sequence that's all about conveying its power and speed.
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#3
AV Clubs list I can get behind.

Here's Vulture's rankings update by Will Leitch and Tim Grierson:

http://www.vulture.com/2012/11/vulture-r...-best.html

I will fight anyone that ranks Empire of the Sun so low.
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#4
There's a nice Spielberg interview with Edgar Wright about Duel here.
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#5
(03-28-2018, 02:26 PM)mrbananagrabber Wrote: AV Clubs list I can get behind.

Here's Vulture's rankings update by Will Leitch and Tim Grierson:

http://www.vulture.com/2012/11/vulture-r...-best.html

I will fight anyone that ranks Empire of the Sun so low.

I like WOTW (everything up through the boat sequence is absolutely astounding filmmaking), but ranking it #6 above Close Encounters, Lincoln, Munich, Jurassic Park, AI, etc. sure is a choice.

Also, Catch Me If You Can #20?! Behind Amistad?!
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#6
(03-28-2018, 02:30 PM)Dent6084 Wrote:
(03-28-2018, 02:26 PM)mrbananagrabber Wrote: AV Clubs list I can get behind.

Here's Vulture's rankings update by Will Leitch and Tim Grierson:

http://www.vulture.com/2012/11/vulture-r...-best.html

I will fight anyone that ranks Empire of the Sun so low.

I like WOTW (everything up through the boat sequence is absolutely astounding filmmaking), but ranking it #6 above Close Encounters, Lincoln, Munich, Jurassic Park, AI, etc. sure is a choice.

Also, Catch Me If You Can #20?! Behind Amistad?!

Yeah, that's a HOT TAKE, that I don't agree with either.

But this is all reminding me just how damn good Spielberg is.
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#7
I love me some War of the Worlds, but I don't think it's top 10 Spielberg. Then again, we're talking about a bottom 10 that would probably be another director's top.
My karmic debt must be huge.

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#8
SUGARLAND EXPRESS never gets proper respect.
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#9
(03-28-2018, 03:08 PM)Richard Dickson Wrote: I love me some War of the Worlds, but I don't think it's top 10 Spielberg. Then again, we're talking about a bottom 10 that would probably be another director's top.
For me, the film grinds to a halt around the time Tim Robbins shows up, but that first half is so damn great that I'm able to look past Tom Cruise, New Jersey Longshoreman.
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#10
If we're looking at WOTW as Spielberg's blatant 9-11 metaphor (and really, how can you not?), Robbins is the reactionary "bomb all the brown people" contingent pretty widespread in the aftermath of the attacks. He may have been a good man once, but the tragedy around him has clouded everything, and all he can think of is his single-minded search for payback.
My karmic debt must be huge.

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#11
The fuddy duddiness of his opinion about why Netflix and other streaming movie service’s original movies should not be eligible for Oscar nominations is a bit archaic.

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#12
(03-28-2018, 04:32 PM)Richard Dickson Wrote: If we're looking at WOTW as Spielberg's blatant 9-11 metaphor (and really, how can you not?), Robbins is the reactionary "bomb all the brown people" contingent pretty widespread in the aftermath of the attacks.  He may have been a good man once, but the tragedy around him has clouded everything, and all he can think of is his single-minded search for payback.

The thematic value of these scenes is completely overshadowed for me by the ham-handedness of it all.  What the movie clearly intends to be powerful moments - the lullaby, Cruise's decision to murder to protect his daughter - just come off as embarrassing.  I don't know if it's Cruise/Fanning's fault or if there's some other factor at play, but that whole interlude is a dramatic collapse for me.
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#13
This just popped up on my Facebook feed, and though I had already seen it, I thought it was worth sharing.  There's some FANTASTIC behind-the-scenes stuff in here showing Spielberg blocking scenes on the set of TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE.



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#14
Saw something on Twitter about the opening of Spielberg's Columbo episode "Murder by the Book". It shows his deft camerawork, as the camera moves from (I believe) a killer's car, then up into the office of the victim. Can't seem to find it anywhere except in this video about the episode:



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#15
My top five Spielberg, in no particular order:

Close Encounters (which is my all-time favorite movie)
Duel
JAWS
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Tie: 1941 and Catch Me if You Can

The top five is about re-watchability. And these I re-watch often.
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#16
(04-01-2018, 03:07 PM)bartleby_scriven Wrote: Saw something on Twitter about the opening of Spielberg's Columbo episode "Murder by the Book". It shows his deft camerawork, as the camera moves from (I believe) a killer's car, then up into the office of the victim. Can't seem to find it anywhere except in this video about the episode:

I made it a mission to view all of Spielberg's television work back in college, and it's well worth the effort for fans of his.  So much energy and confidence behind the camera even at that young age.

(04-01-2018, 04:19 PM)smugbug Wrote: My top five Spielberg, in no particular order:

Close Encounters (which is my all-time favorite movie)
Duel
JAWS
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Tie: 1941 and Catch Me if You Can

The top five is about re-watchability. And these I re-watch often.

Nice to see some serious 1941 love.  The rewatchability factor is key for me when I'm making a "Top" list; for instance, I think SCHINDLER'S LIST is Spielberg's most important film (for a number of reasons), but it's not in my Top 10 for Spielberg because I just don't return to it very often.  It might be his best film, but it's not one of my favorites.

Just for kicks, and because I know we all love lists, here's my Spielberg ranking (done totally off the top of my head and subject to change at any moment):
    1.     Jaws
    2.     Raiders of the Lost Ark
    3.     Close Encounters of the Third Kind
    4.     E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial
    5.     Saving Private Ryan
    6.     Jurassic Park
    7.     Munich
    8.     Catch Me If You Can
    9.     Lincoln
    10.   Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
    11.   Empire of the Sun
    12.   Minority Report
    13    Schindler’s List
    14.   Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
    15.   A.I.: Artificial Intelligence
    16.   Duel
    17.   War Horse
    18.   Ready Player One
    19.   Bridge of Spies
    20.   The Color Purple
    21.   The Adventures of Tintin
    22.   The Sugarland Express
    23.   The Lost World: Jurassic Park
    24.   War of the Worlds
    25.   1941
    26.   Hook
    27.   Always
    28.   The Terminal
    29.   The BFG
    30.   Amistad
    31.   The Post
    32.   Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

It's worth noting that there's only one movie on that list that I outright don't like.  And I feel like 23 - 31 are essentially interchangeable.
If we can dream it, then we can do it.
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#17
I liked The Terminal too Belloq. Glad it made your top 28.
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#18
(04-01-2018, 09:29 PM)Bucho Wrote: I liked The Terminal too Belloq. Glad it made your top 28.

Ha! I really do like it!
If we can dream it, then we can do it.
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#19
I need to revisit Amistad, and I'll see The Post eventually.

War Horse keeps falling down in my estimation, while Bridge of Spies goes up.
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#20
I watched Amistad again for the first time in forever a few years ago and I think it holds up really well.
My karmic debt must be huge.

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#21
AMISTAD has some wonderful and striking moments. The opening uprising, the flashbacks, and anything involving Hopkins' John Quincy Adams (particularly his big statement at the Supreme Court).

I do think McConaughey is miscast, though, and the film is simultaneously too long and too short; I think the geopolitical angle to the story is fascinating, but not given its full due, so it should have either been expanded or chopped away. The movie should have either been 2 hours or 3 hours, not 2.5.
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#22
(04-02-2018, 02:52 PM)Belloq87 Wrote: AMISTAD has some wonderful and striking moments.  The opening uprising, the flashbacks, and anything involving Hopkins' John Quincy Adams (particularly his big statement at the Supreme Court).

Djimon Hounsou's really good in it too.

Love Spielberg and consider him one of my favorite filmmakers of all time. I don't have time right now to make a top 10 list or a big ranking of all of Spielberg's films, but here's a brief list of my absolute favorite films and least liked ones:

Top 5 - Raiders, Jaws, E.T., Close Encounters, Last Crusade

Bottom 5 - 1941, Hook, Always, "Kick the Can" segment from Twilight Zone: The Movie and The Lost World.
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#23
(04-02-2018, 03:32 PM)ravi Wrote: Bottom 5 - 1941, Hook, Always, "Kick the Can" segment from Twilight Zone: The Movie and The Lost World.

I go back and forth on this one a lot.  Sometimes I'm charmed by its earnestness, sometimes I find it truly obnoxious.

Scatman brings a ton of warmth to it, though.  Jerry Goldsmith's score for that segment is beautiful, too.
If we can dream it, then we can do it.
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#24
Talk about projects that shouldn't have happened AT ALL. Yeeesh.
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#25
top 5 for me (as of now):
RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK
MUNICH
JAWS
SAVING PRIVATE RYAN
READY PLAYER ONE

I'm still basking in the RPO glow. Frickin' loved the thing.
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#26
Please note this could change (and has) at the drop of a hat.  Raiders and Jaws are like Lazarus and Anti-Lazarus, locked forever in an eternal battle for #2 and constantly switching places.  Catch Me If You Can has moved up since the last time I ranked these (which would have been pre-Tintin), and "Kick the Can" dropped a bit, but the Top 10 remained locked.

1. Saving Private Ryan
2. Raiders of the Lost Ark
3. Jaws
4. Close Encounters
5. E.T.
6. Schindler's List
7. A.I.
8. Munich
9. Jurassic Park
10. Empire of the Sun
11. Lincoln
12. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
13. War Horse
14. Catch Me If You Can
15. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
16. Ready Player One
17. Minority Report
18. War of the Worlds
19. Bridge of Spies
20. The Color Purple
21. Amistad
22. The Adventures of Tintin
23. The Terminal
24. The Post
25. The Sugarland Express
26. 1941
27. The BFG
28. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
29. The Lost World: Jurassic Park
30. Always
31. "Kick the Can"
32. Hook

Honestly, once you get past Always, every single one of these is a film I'd gladly watch again. And I don't think there's anything even below average once you pass Amistad.
My karmic debt must be huge.

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My blog: An Embarrassment of Rich's
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#27
I actually just a made Spielberg top 10 recently for another site. This is what I wrote there:

1. Jaws
2. Raiders
3. Lincoln
4. Schindler’s List
5. Munich
6. Catch Me if You Can
7. Saving Private Ryan
8. Minority Report
9. Bridge of Spies
10. War of the Worlds

ET is a film I didn’t see until I was an adult, and it didn’t leave much of an impact, though it is certainly very well made. Conversely, Jurassic Park is a movie that I loved as a kid that doesn’t do much for me now. Haven’t seen Close Encounters - probably my biggest Spielberg blindspot.
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#28
Close Encounters is almost the definitive Spielberg, in the sense that it defined his career pre-fatherhood and deeply affected it post-fatherhood.
My karmic debt must be huge.

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My blog: An Embarrassment of Rich's
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#29
Yeah, I took a film class in undergrad that spent a whole week talking about Close Encounters, so I am weirldy familiar with its context and role in Spielberg’s career. I just missed the actual day the film was screened. I bought the remaster on UHD last fall, just haven’t gotten around to it.
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#30
Love that MUNICH ranks so highly on a lot of your lists.
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#31
Munich, A.I. and War Horse for me are the Spielbergs that, once he's gone, people will look at and go, "Why the hell didn't we appreciate these sooner?" And I say that knowing full-well Munich already has a sterling reputation.
My karmic debt must be huge.

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My blog: An Embarrassment of Rich's
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#32
(04-02-2018, 04:13 PM)Judas Booth Wrote: top 5 for me (as of now):
RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK
MUNICH
JAWS
SAVING PRIVATE RYAN
READY PLAYER ONE

I'm still basking in the RPO glow.  Frickin' loved the thing.

That's a bold move!  RPO provides a powerful sugar rush if you're open to it.

Dig seeing MUNICH that close to the top, too.

(04-02-2018, 04:18 PM)Richard Dickson Wrote: 13. War Horse

Honestly, once you get past Always, every single one of these is a film I'd gladly watch again.  And I don't think there's anything even below average once you pass Amistad.

Pleased to see some WAR HORSE appreciation.  That's one that keeps getting better and better for me.

And I will gladly watch any Spielberg movie, anytime... except CRYSTAL SKULL.

(04-02-2018, 04:34 PM)could432 Wrote: Haven’t seen Close Encounters - probably my biggest Spielberg blindspot.

You are in for a serious treat when you finally get around to this.
If we can dream it, then we can do it.
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#33
I probably oughta see WAR HORSE one of these days. Just never got around to it.
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#34
It's not a movie that works for everybody, but I think it's basically Spielberg's love letter to John Ford and David Lean. Sweeping filmmaking. Arguably Kaminski's best work as DP. Staggeringly beautiful score from Williams.

But it goes heavy on the sentimentality, too much so for some people. I happen to think the movie earns it.
If we can dream it, then we can do it.
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#35
I went to see War Horse three times when it was in theaters, and it was sold out every time. Never did get to see it.
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