Tag Archives: Steven Spielberg

Lincoln passes the bill

3 May

Lincoln-the-movie

Director Steven Spielberg takes on the enormous task of dramatizing President Abraham Lincoln’s quest to pass the Thirteenth Amendment through the House of Representatives. He employs Tony Kushner to develop a screenplay about the most pivotal moment in the United States’s history. Like most political films, the negotiation process can be tedious, but Kushner and Spielberg find a way to keep the story moving, although at times some of the scenes feel deliberate and staged. The cast is an assortment of Hollywood’s most respected actors playing some of America’s most polarizing figures. Daniel Day-Lewis is brilliant as the Commander in Chief and his performance, as well as his stature dwarfs everyone else in the film. Tommy Lee Jones as Republican Congressman Thaddeus Stevens makes his mark in the film and casts his vote with authority. In summation, I would like to use a quote from the character Schuyler-Colfax in regards to Lincoln, “This isn’t usual, Mr. Pendleton. This is history.”

WORD COUNT: 160

Chuck’s Grade: B+

Adam’s Grade: B+

Jurassic Park

11 Apr

JURASSIC-PARK

Once again, Steven Spielberg changed the cinematic experience by bringing  old and  young audiences together to witness the ground-breaking special effects created to bring Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park dinosaurs to life. I remember the original King Kong fighting and killing a T-Rex. At the time, it was the most amazing thing I had ever seen, and in 1993 many young people share that same feeling when they saw their generation’s T-Rex.   John Hammond (Attenborough), creates a theme park on a remote island that feature living dinosaurs spawned from prehistoric DNA. Before opening the attraction, he invites a paleontologist (Neil), paleobotanist (Dern), a mathematician/theorist (Goldblum) and his two grandchildren to visit the park. During their visit, the security system fails and the dinosaurs are free.

Though the story lacks developed characters and the absurdity of the security system is far-fetched, no one can deny the impact that it had on revolutionizing CGI technology. Jurassic Park is adventure and suspense at its finest.

WORD COUNT: 160

Adam’s Grade: A-

Chuck’s Grade: A-

The Adventures of Tintin did not impress

4 Jan

the-adventures-of-tintin

The Adventures of Tintin was a popular stop motion animated film in 2011 that did well at the box office and was well received by audiences from around the world, but I don’t share the same enthusiasm about Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson’s animated tale about Belgian artist, Herge’s comic character, Tintin. To be honest, I did not see the theatrical 3D version of the film. I watch the movie on Netflix and I was not impressed.  There was nothing remarkable about the script and the story lacked suspense. Tintin is repeatedly upstaged by Captain Haddock’s volume and physical humor while Snowy (Tin Tin’s dog) becomes the most interesting character to watch. The film’s villan, Sakharine oddly enough looks like a young Steven Spielberg, which I found funny, but I realize this humor is lost on younger audiences. Although, most children will be satisfied with the film, I believe Jackson and Spielberg are capable of something much better.

WORD COUNT: 157

Chuck’s Grade: C

Adam’s Grade: C+

Schindler’s List

16 Nov

Steven Spielberg’s masterpiece, Schindler’s List is one of the greatest films of all time. For me, it sets the bar for elite filmmaking. His accomplishments on the screen as well as behind them separate this production from all other films. Each component of the film is irreplaceable.

Based on a true story about Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson) and his factory workers. At the start of the war, he is a German businessman that only cares about sex and money, but once he meets SS officer Amon Goeth (Ralph Fiennes), a sadistic psychopath that finds pleasure terrorizing and murdering Jews, his perspective and actions change towards saving as many Jewish people as he can. I remember watching Fiennes’ chilling performance and feeling embarrassed to be a human being.

After each viewing I sit and watch patiently until the final credit rolls past the top of the screen because of the amount of gratitude I have for everyone involved.

WORD COUNT: 158

Adam’s Grade: A+

Chuck’s Grade: A+