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11.30.2011by: Jim Law

Spielberg's 10 Biggest Mistakes

Steven Spielberg loves JoBlo.com. He told us so. And believe me when I tell you we love him too. Personally, the dude has directed 3 movies in my top 10 of all time (RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, E.T. & JAWS). That's kind of ridiculous when you think about it. He's quite simply the greatest, most influential director I'll ever live to see. Now, is he perfect? No. I just thought it might be fun to find out where, within a historic career, his line graph of being awesome takes a nose dive. It's nitpicky. It's unnecessary. It's probably enraging. Welcome to the Ten Spot.

Steven Spielrock - THE FLINTSTONES

For as many great films he's directed, he's helped produce even more. "Steven Spielberg presents" has appeared on the posters of such classics as POLTERGEIST, GREMLINS, THE GOONIES, and BACK TO THE FUTURE, just to name a few. Then came THE FLINTSTONES, and it sucked a giant donger. BTW, the "producer fail" entry on this list came down to this and THE HAUNTING. The cute name-play bullshit sealed the deal.

9. Ending Tom Hanks' Streak - THE TERMINAL

Tom Hanks filmography leading up to THE TERMINAL went something like this - PHILADELPHIA, FORREST GUMP, APOLLO 13, SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, THE GREEN MILE, CASTAWAY, and ROAD TO PERDITION, give or take a couple hugely successful rom-coms and helping create an iconic animated character in one of the greatest film franchises ever made, animated or not. His filmography after? - THE POLAR EXPRESS, THE DA VINCI CODE, CHARLIE WILSON'S WAR, THE OTHER DA VINCI CODE, and LARRY CROWNE. Yes, Spielberg was a huge part of "the streak" but it's almost as if he went back to the well one too many times, bored the shit out of everybody, and never asked him to be in another film. Rude.

8. The End of War of the Worlds - WAR OF THE WORLDS

I let a lot go in this film because of pure entertainment value. I was okay with Dakota Fanning screaming in my face for 80% of the film. I was okay with finding out Tom Cruise can't throw a baseball. And I was okay with whatever the hell was wrong with Tim Robbins. What I can't let go is the bullshit involving the son, Robbie, at the end of this film. About an hour in we see Robbie tell his dad and sister to go fuck themselves because he wants to fight the aliens. He drafts himself into the Army and disappears over a hill with nothing but his bare hands and stupid hair. The rest of the movie has Tom Cruise busting his ass to save his daughter. He gets eaten alive, stalked, almost blown up, puked up, and basically bitched slapped every which way he could by giant robot aliens. He finally makes it to his bitch ex-wife's house and there's Robbie, chillin' like nothing happened. What the fuck? In my version Robbie had his head blown off the second he was out of sight.

7. The Return of Marion Ravenwood - INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL

RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK. will forever be in my top 5 movies of all time. After re-watching it and re-watching it, you'd be surprised how much that has to do with Karen Allen's performance. She's the perfect love interest in the film - drunk, pissed off, tough, and not overly emotional. Mix that with just the right amount of helplessness and sex appeal and you have one of my favorite female characters ever. Until I saw this. What did they pay her with to appear in this film, a case of inhalers filled with nitrous oxide? How can you not cringe every time her stupid fucking blank face gets within frame? I can only imagine her vows at the wedding - "Me marry Dr. Jones. Me be in sequel." Gross.

6. Trying Out Comedy - 1941

After establishing himself with JAWS and CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND, Spielberg wasted a whole shitload of money on this disaster. There's no hiding the fact that this film had little to no direction whatsoever. The characters are a mess, the plot seems like a never-ending bad joke, and the overall feel of the film is that of an episode of Benny Hill, with less structure.... and tits.

5. Nuking The Fridge - INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOME OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL

Why is this so hard to accept? This is the same character that survived angry face-melting spirits by simply closing his eyes. He crossed over an invisible bridge using only the power of his faith. So why, when faced with the ultimate weapon of destruction are we not cool with his escape route? Because it's a fridge. Because it's a completely unnecessary scene. Because it takes place immediately after a decent opening chase sequence that felt true to the legend and cheapened it for no other reason that a quick gag. Because it's a fridge.

4. Hanging Out With George Lucas Too Much - E.T.

I was scared shitless during that scene above when I was a kid. It was fantastic, invigorating even, to say the least. Elliot and his boys vs. the plain-clothes government ass-hats with giant shotguns. Bring that shit, son! Disarming those agents and giving them all a walkie-talkie was no less than replacing the tarantulas in RAIDERS with ladybugs. It's not child-friendly, it's child-pampering, and there's no room for it in beloved films such as these. Just to note, Spielberg changed this film back to it's original state and regrets ever altering it. I forgave him last Tuesday.

3. The Gymnastics Fight - JURASSIC PARK: THE LOST WORLD

Oh my God. This has to be one of the worst things ever. Did she just gymkata a fucking raptor? And by "she" I mean one of the most pathetically useless and incredibly annoying characters in the history of cinema? I don't even want to talk about it. We're better than this.

2. The CGI Monkeys - INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL

I understand there's got to be some sort of a monkey in every single Indiana Jones film (I actually don't understand this, AT ALL) but seriously, what in the ever-living fuck was this all about? Even the strongest supporters for this film have to realize the straight-up awfulness of this scene, right? Without even getting into the logistics and/or physics of the matter, this is some pre-school cartoonish bullshit that has no place in the greatest action franchise of all time. GEORGE OF THE JUNGLE called, he wants his storyboard back.

1. Willie F*cking Scott - INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM

Imagine how many cast and crew on this set had to go to first aid after biting their lips whenever Steve said "Cut! Kate, great job!". It must have been like watching the slowest of train wrecks play out in front your eyes, helplessly wanting to choke a bitch. I've never hated a character so much in a film I hold so very close to my heart. That, my friends, is the power of Spielberg.
Tags: The Ten Spot

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5:58AM on 12/03/2011

Mistake

His greatest mistake is letting that 'loola' Lucas write the Indy stories!
His greatest mistake is letting that 'loola' Lucas write the Indy stories!
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3:37AM on 12/02/2011
Love Spielberg, but that scene in Lost World is so painful to watch. The 3-4 second build up of her looking around at the bars and then the actual gymnastics act make me shutter every time. Also a big WTF at the end of WofW.Great list with a tough subject to write about.
Love Spielberg, but that scene in Lost World is so painful to watch. The 3-4 second build up of her looking around at the bars and then the actual gymnastics act make me shutter every time. Also a big WTF at the end of WofW.Great list with a tough subject to write about.
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6:06PM on 12/01/2011
I'm going to call it now, War Horse will be a strong contender for a revised list.
I'm going to call it now, War Horse will be a strong contender for a revised list.
Your Reply:



2:30AM on 12/01/2011

Solid list.

Still, if that's the worst Spielberg can do, then that says a lot about the guy's talent. Spielberg is legend.

Though I do have to strongly disagree with #1. Willie Scott has always been one of my favorite Indy characters. Never understood the hate she gets.
Still, if that's the worst Spielberg can do, then that says a lot about the guy's talent. Spielberg is legend.

Though I do have to strongly disagree with #1. Willie Scott has always been one of my favorite Indy characters. Never understood the hate she gets.
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11:47PM on 11/30/2011
Well the only thing this list did for me was remind me how much I love Spielberg, I really don't have a problem with anything listed on here, but with someone as great as this guy I guess these might be his biggest mistakes, I'm not gonna hate on your list though Jim Law, it's your opinion and you are entitled to it.
Well the only thing this list did for me was remind me how much I love Spielberg, I really don't have a problem with anything listed on here, but with someone as great as this guy I guess these might be his biggest mistakes, I'm not gonna hate on your list though Jim Law, it's your opinion and you are entitled to it.
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10:54PM on 11/30/2011
I think its a good list, and agree on several points. But how do you not include Always on a list of Spielberg mistakes. By far the weakest Spielberg directed film.
I think its a good list, and agree on several points. But how do you not include Always on a list of Spielberg mistakes. By far the weakest Spielberg directed film.
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9:13PM on 11/30/2011
It seems like Law wanted to just shit all over Crystal Skull like everyone else on this site does, but since it's not very relevant, he made an incredibly hackneyed and unimaginative ten spot just so he could do so.
It seems like Law wanted to just shit all over Crystal Skull like everyone else on this site does, but since it's not very relevant, he made an incredibly hackneyed and unimaginative ten spot just so he could do so.
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9:32PM on 11/30/2011
Let's ask Law. Nope, could care less what other people think about Crystal Skull - it's a piece of garbage. And to make a list of 10 mistakes about one of the most glorified and celebrated directors alive took a lot more imagination than you might think.
Let's ask Law. Nope, could care less what other people think about Crystal Skull - it's a piece of garbage. And to make a list of 10 mistakes about one of the most glorified and celebrated directors alive took a lot more imagination than you might think.
-10
7:44PM on 11/30/2011
At first, I was like "Careful what you say about Spielberg" but I actually agree with this list.
He is my favourite director of all time but these are truly his mistakes. Especially 1941, which is a mess.
At first, I was like "Careful what you say about Spielberg" but I actually agree with this list.
He is my favourite director of all time but these are truly his mistakes. Especially 1941, which is a mess.
Your Reply:



-1
7:24PM on 11/30/2011
Come on, why break Crystal Skull into three, the entire movie blew chum, it only deserves one place of mention.

No mention of Hook? Whatever.

If you are going to blame him for producing gigs hold him accountable for not bitch slapping Bay after Transformers 2.
Come on, why break Crystal Skull into three, the entire movie blew chum, it only deserves one place of mention.

No mention of Hook? Whatever.

If you are going to blame him for producing gigs hold him accountable for not bitch slapping Bay after Transformers 2.
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4:45PM on 11/30/2011
Horrible list. Truly terrible. Objectively, you might make a valid top three out of those ten at best.
Horrible list. Truly terrible. Objectively, you might make a valid top three out of those ten at best.
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-13
1:15PM on 11/30/2011

what a crappy list

the only real legit 'mess ups' are 3 and 2.
the only real legit 'mess ups' are 3 and 2.
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9:41AM on 12/01/2011
This is coming from a guy who made a list comparing Batman Begins to Richie Rich. WP applies the "Better to give than receive" attitude of hating. It's ok to do it to others, but don't do it to him. That's just mean.
This is coming from a guy who made a list comparing Batman Begins to Richie Rich. WP applies the "Better to give than receive" attitude of hating. It's ok to do it to others, but don't do it to him. That's just mean.
9:29PM on 11/30/2011
Estatic that you hate this list. Seriously, it made my day.
Estatic that you hate this list. Seriously, it made my day.
11:14AM on 11/30/2011
I agree with your comments on 'War of the Worlds' and the CGI monkeys (the whole damn sequence was shit). But seriously, I don't get the hate for the 'nuke the fridge' scene - it was by far the most inventive, well shot & edited sequence in the whole movie. One of Spielberg's biggest cop-outs was the ending of Minority Report, which until the last 20 minutes had been great, dark sci-fi. Tom should have stayed in the tank.
I agree with your comments on 'War of the Worlds' and the CGI monkeys (the whole damn sequence was shit). But seriously, I don't get the hate for the 'nuke the fridge' scene - it was by far the most inventive, well shot & edited sequence in the whole movie. One of Spielberg's biggest cop-outs was the ending of Minority Report, which until the last 20 minutes had been great, dark sci-fi. Tom should have stayed in the tank.
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1:37PM on 12/01/2011
Watch it again. It's implied that he did stay in the tank, but it's so subtle I think it was lost on most audiences... [link]
Watch it again. It's implied that he did stay in the tank, but it's so subtle I think it was lost on most audiences... [link]
2:25AM on 12/01/2011
What?! If Cruise's character had stayed in the tank I would have demanded a refund from Spielberg himself.
What?! If Cruise's character had stayed in the tank I would have demanded a refund from Spielberg himself.
11:02AM on 11/30/2011
I totally agree with War of the Worlds. I am on eof the few I know who defend the nuking of the fridge (reminds me a little of the life raft in Temple of Doom, I don't care that it's a fridge, it's the only original bit of action in the movie). Marion in Crystal Skull, my god what a waste of a good thing. And I happen to like Willy, I always find her annoying, so watching her get tortured by insects and monkey brains is hilarious (though she did lose his gun, which is unforgivable).
I totally agree with War of the Worlds. I am on eof the few I know who defend the nuking of the fridge (reminds me a little of the life raft in Temple of Doom, I don't care that it's a fridge, it's the only original bit of action in the movie). Marion in Crystal Skull, my god what a waste of a good thing. And I happen to like Willy, I always find her annoying, so watching her get tortured by insects and monkey brains is hilarious (though she did lose his gun, which is unforgivable).
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10:47AM on 11/30/2011

5 spot maybe,

I think half this list makes sense, others seem like a real stretch.
I think half this list makes sense, others seem like a real stretch.
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9:55AM on 11/30/2011
Oh, well, this wasn't a very good list.
Oh, well, this wasn't a very good list.
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9:34PM on 11/30/2011
Thanks!
Thanks!
+3
9:32AM on 11/30/2011
Take out 1941 and put in the last 20 minutes of A.I. 1941 was a bit ahead of its time showing the paranoia people in this country have after an attack. If you re-watch now in a post-9/11 world you can see that Speilberg actually hit the right notes, he just didn't do it gracefully.
Take out 1941 and put in the last 20 minutes of A.I. 1941 was a bit ahead of its time showing the paranoia people in this country have after an attack. If you re-watch now in a post-9/11 world you can see that Speilberg actually hit the right notes, he just didn't do it gracefully.
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9:35PM on 11/30/2011
I almost included the ending of A.I. But I wouldn't replace 1941 with it. Movie is just too messy.
I almost included the ending of A.I. But I wouldn't replace 1941 with it. Movie is just too messy.

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