Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Man behind the Magic

Bill Wyman's take down of Spielberg was interesting reading. I can't claim to have watched all of his movies, but I will say that despite all of his faults - and they are many! - you can't take away the magic that he creates when he's on. The entirety of Raiders of the Lost Ark; hell, any of the Indiana Jones movies. The T-Rex scene in Jurassic Park. The invasion of Normandy in Saving Private Ryan. I'm sure there's more i'm forgetting. 

The problem to me is that his later movies have become more spectacle than anything else. Before the specticle was grounded in some good character writing that I personally don't see in many of his latter movies. Think of what he did to Minority Report - he allows Tom Cruise to operate that absurd wall-computer in a skin-tight biceps-revealing shirt, and lets him run around for the entire movie, but doesn't give him any of the quiet or humorous moments that let us love Indiana Jones. As Wyman points out, not only was most of the War of the Worlds sound and fury that didn't hold up to close examination, but the subplot of the parent who can't connect to his kids has become so hackneyed for him and thus doesn't add any depth. In short, he seems to have lost something along the way, and perhaps Wyman's onto something. Until then, i'll watch Raiders for the thousandth time - and love it just as much as the first time.

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