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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.