Steven Spielberg is under appreciated: A Commentary
It seems in today’s age of blogging, internet movie sites and message boards that fans of films have become extremely fickle. We no longer watch movies as a complete piece of work and then decide if we like it. Nowadays, we pick one scene and beat it to death, blaming it for ruining the entire film.
The phenomenon now even has its own catch phrase: “nuke the fridge.” It refers to the one scene in a film that was so unbelievable that it crushed an entire movie. In the case of “nuke the fridge” it’s referring to the scene in “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” when Harrison Ford hid in a refrigerator to avoid an atomic blast. Other films have been said to have a “nuke the fridge” moment, such as when Jar-Jar Binks showed up in Star Wars Episode I or when Peter Parker breaks into a dance in “Spider-Man 3.” I bring this up because no filmmaker since the internet age hasthe brunt of criticism more than Steven Spielberg. It’s fitting that the majority of his most successful films were at a time when his only critics were actual film critics. Movie audiences flocked to his work and didn’t dissect every single moment or they would have realized most of his popcorn films have “nuke the fridge” moments in them and yet we consider these flicks classics. Here’s a list of what could be considered “fridge” moments from his earlier work:
All these scenes could be considered movie killers by today’s standards, and yet each of these films holds a special place in my heart. They’re not just great movies but they have been ingrained in our popular culture.
Steven Spielberg may be the greatest American film director in history. There are other filmmakers that may be more artistic, more daring, and even more influential, but there are none that can weave a story as well as he can. His films are captivating from beginning to end. Think back on watching Jaws and how quickly the time watching it lapsed between when the first victim swam out into the water and when Chief Brody and Hooper swam back to shore at the end. It takes a great director to take you out of your body and make you feel like you’re experiencing the story. No one has ever done that better than Spielberg. I suppose why I feel he’s under appreciated is that film buffs love to praise people like Terrence Malick for creating realism but then bash Spielberg for creating the unbelievable. All films were not made to create a sense of real world believability. Some are meant to take us out of our day-to-day lives and show us fantastic worlds and stories that we could never experience without the imagination of great filmmakers.
Spielberg also takes a lot of shit for trying too hard to appeal to a mass audience. I completely disagree. He really has a child’s wonder when it comes to the process of storytelling and it is easy to see on the screen. Whether Elliott is flying across the screen on his bicycle, Richard Dreyfuss is watching the landing of the first U.F.O., or Sam Neill is battling a Tyrannosaurus Rex, Spielberg knows how to capture our inner child and make us wonder about more than what is real. It’s not a marketing decision. It’s just how he sees the story.
Super Mario Bros.
Brooklyn plumbers Mario (Bob Hoskins) and Luigi (John Leguizamo) are about to be shut down by a shady construction company, and when the firm’s henchmen see that Luigi has fallen for a young student named Daisy (Samantha Mathis), they kidnap her — and take her to another dimension. Vowing to track her down, the boys soon find themselves trapped in a bizarre parallel world ruled by a dinosaur-like despot named King Koopa (Dennis Hopper).
Rating: 4 out of 10
There are some truly, horrifyingly terrible moments in this movie that make my skin feel like it’s tightening slowly over my skeletal system. On the other hand, there were some truly funny scenes, and scenes so bad they were laughably enjoyable.
There’s a difference between a movie that is just pure crap, like “The Garbage Pail Kids Movie,” and one that is hilarious, like “The Room.” “Super Mario Bros.,” which boasts a shockingly talented cast for a children’s movie of this low caliber, is somewhere in between the laughably-bad scale.
This film has none of the charm of the famous Nintendo title. Yoshi, a green little smiling dinosaur in the game, looks like a mini T-Rex. And it’s pretty violent for a kid’s flick. Yoshi gets stabbed in the neck, a lady get electrocuted, and people are getting warped by all kinds of weaponry.
There’s a plot in there somewhere about a our world and a parallel universe where it developed from lizards instead of apes, and the Mario Bros. get sucked into it by a magic vortex, meet the evil King Koopa who wants to merge the worlds and turn all the humans back into apes. There’s also some king who was morphed into a fungus that helps the brothers along the way. All in all, this is a wretched turd.
Posted in Commentary, Entertainment, Entertainment News, Movie Camp, Movie review, Movies, News
Tagged Annabel Jankel, bad movie, Bob Hoskins, Camp, Cinema, Dana Kaminski, Dennis Hopper, Don Lake, Film, Fiona Shaw, Fisher Stevens, Francesca Roberts, Gianni Russo, John Leguizamo, Lance Henriksen, Mario and Luigi, Mario Bros., Mojo Nixon, Movie Camp, movie review, Nintendo, Richard Edson, Rocky Morton, Samantha Mathis, Super Mario Bros., The Movie Brothers