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The Good, The Bad & The Badass: Steven Spielberg

10.11.2015
Last time on The Good, The Bad & The Badass, we took a look at the career of director Danny Boyle, whose latest – STEVE JOBS – is generating solid Oscar buzz. This week's legend is another director who's no stranger to the Oscars...
Steven Spielberg
 

The bearded one. It's amazing that in the two years thst I've run this column I never got to Steven Spielberg. This is the man whose films made me dream of someday being part of the film industry in some small way, like many of us here on the site. He's a guy we all look up to. If he was only a director, he'd be one of the greatest ones in the world, with him having directed more stone-cold classics than any of his contemporaries. Additionally, he's also a heck of a producer, with him having a hand in a whole slew of classics under the Amblin' Entertainment banner in the eighties, and then running his own studio, Dreamworks Pictures. Yet, it's his work as a director that makes him so beloved.

 

From his early work with JAWS and CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KID, to his later more mature outings like SAVING PRIVATE RYAN and SCHINDLER'S LIST, Spielberg is undeniably a populist. He makes movies for a wide audience, but also often sends them home with a strong message many of them will never be able to forget. Has anyone reading this ever been able to forget the first time they saw SCHINDLER'S LIST, or the storming the beach scene in SAVING PRIVATE RYAN? I think not. Truly the man is worthy of being called both a badass, and more appropriately a true legend.

His Best Work

To me, it's pretty hard to choose between JAWS and RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK. The latter is without a doubt one of the greatest action adventure movies ever made, but I must admit JAWS holds a special place in my heart. By now, Spielberg's struggles behind the camera on this one are the stuff legends are made of, but the man not only persevered, but he made perhaps the greatest thriller of all time, with the simple story of a man-eating shark, and the three wildly different men who set out to kill it. Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfuss and (especially) Robert Shaw are exquisitely cast. And that music! Da-dum...da-dum...

His Most Underrated Film
 

There are many “lesser” Spielberg movies that haven't got their due. One of the most recent is MUNICH. A highly divisive story about the plot to avenge the Munich Olympics slaughter of eleven Israeli athletes, Spielberg made a tough action thriller that was like a throwback to the gritty films of directors like William Friedkin and John Frankenheimer. With a powerhouse performance by Eric Bana in the lead, and some incredibly suspenseful set-pieces, MUNICH should have gotten a much warmer reception from critics than it did.

His Most Overrated Film

One movie of Spielberg's the younger generation seems to love is HOOK. Maybe it's due to the fact that so many kids grew-up with it, but in it's day HOOK was seen as something of a disappointment, and I think the fans that put it up on a pedestal are too generous with acclaim. While Robin Williams is excellent as the older Pan and Dustin Hoffman has fun chewing the scenery as Hook, the movie is still a mess – albeit a pretty one.

His Best Scene

Argh – this is a tough one. So tough in fact that our very own video editor Nick Bosworth is hard at work on a Spielberg tribute for later this week, including some of the classic bits. Until then, I've got to go with... “you're gonna need a bigger boat.”  

His Five Best Films

5. JURASSIC PARK/ E.T: THE EXTRA TERRESTRIAL
4. SCHINDLER'S LIST
3. SAVING PRIVATE RYAN
2. RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK
1. JAWS

Up Next

As prolific as always, Steven Spielberg's latest, BRIDGE OF SPIES opens Friday, with another film, THE BFG, due out this summer. All hail King Spielberg! Long may he reign!!!  

Source: JoBlo.com

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