Spielberg

Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 4572
I'll just get these out of the way, to spare the indignation...

Duel - 4
1941 - 7
Hook - 7
The Lost World - 4
AI - 9.5
The Terminal - 6
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull - 7
War Horse - 7

Captain TerrorI mean, it's fine, I'm just not convinced it's any better than Explorers or any number of 80s kid movies.


"Hey you, I really like Explorers!", Rated declared while realizing when he saw it the first time, he no likey.
Nov 14, 2017 4:23 PM
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Popcorn Reviews
Death Proof
Popcorn Reviews
Death Proof
Popcorn ReviewsOkay, so I know I haven't seen too much of his filmography, but in my defense, I'm still the youngest active member on this forum.

Jaws - 9/10
Close Encounters of the Third Kind - 7/10
Raiders of the Lost Ark - 9/10
E.T. the Extra Terrestrial - 6/10
The Twilight Zone: The Movie - (I rated the film 7/10, but the segment Spielberg made was my least favorite one from the film)
The Temple of Doom - 7/10
The Last Crusade - 7/10
Jurassic Park - 8/10
Schindler's List - 9/10
Saving Private Ryan - 9/10
Kingdom of the Crystal Skull - 5/10
War Horse - 6/10

I notice you don't give anything a 10/10. What about the 9/10's made them not-perfect?
Also the Close Encounters rating is too low.

I'll just copy and paste a comment I wrote on my rating system from my sci-fi movie club:

As for my rating system, it's gotten much stricter over time. My rating system use to be: 10/10 = No flaws and 9/10 = 1 flaw. However, I decided to amend that rating system, because all too often, I got the feeling that I was giving too many films free passes. For instance, I couldn't find any flaws with both 2001: A Space Odyssey and Source Code. However, that doesn't mean that the latter is just as good as 2001. I think there's a difference between doing everything perfect and not having any flaws. Here's the criteria for the top few ratings in my current rating system (the one I'm comfortable with).

8/10 Amazing: I can't find anything major I disliked about these films. There may be one or two minor issues I had, but they're usually insignificant when factored against everything I liked about them. These movies may not give me a feeling of "I couldn't have enjoyed this any more". However, I have no issue with revisiting them as my opinion may possibly grow (this has happened before).

9/10 Brilliant: Like films I give 8/10 to, I can't find anything I disliked about these movies as well. I also don't have any minor issues with them. However, what sets these films apart from 8/10 films is that I find more merits with them. They still don't give me a sense of perfection, but they sure come close to doing so.

10/10 Masterpiece: I can't think of anything I disliked about these movies. Not only do I think these movies are perfect, but I feel like they are untouchable and awe-inspiring. I doubt that I could've enjoyed them anymore.
------
The number of times I've given these ratings:
8/10: 144
9/10: 51
10/10: 16
Source: IMDb

The 10' and 9's would certainly get recognition from me if I were to create a "Best Films of All Time" list.

Oh fuck off.

Was that necessary?

What do you expect? I asked a simple question - what would you have changed to make a 9/10 movie a 10/10 movie. I didn't ask for a 2 paragraph diatribe on your personal grading system. I do not give a fuck. If you don't feel like answering a simple question then just don't bother to reply to me at all.
Nov 14, 2017 8:11 PM
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Popcorn Reviews
Death ProofWhat do you expect? I asked a simple question - what would you have changed to make a 9/10 movie a 10/10 movie. I didn't ask for a 2 paragraph diatribe on your personal grading system. I do not give a fuck. If you don't feel like answering a simple question then just don't bother to reply to me at all.

You asked me what about the 9/10's were not perfect. I assumed you were asking me what issue they had which preventing them from earning a 10. Since my rating system has gotten stricter over time (specifically, a 9/10 film doesn't necessarily have a flaw), I felt like it would be easier just to explain my ratting system, so you'd understand why I rarely give 10's.

Nov 14, 2017 9:29 PM
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Shit, I give a movie a ten if it makes me cry and I'm a huge wuss. I've given out some pretty dire 10s in my days. 9s are like good, I guess, and 8s are meh, 7 is the worst movie ever, and then it plunges into piercing loathe territory
Nov 14, 2017 11:13 PM
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Posts: 10000
Janson JinnistanYes, it's come to this.

Duel - 8.5
Something Evil - 7
Sugarland Express - 8
Jaws - 10
Close Encounters of the Third Kind - 10
1941 - 7
Raiders of the Lost Ark - 10
E.T the Extraterrestrial - 9.5
(Poltergeist - 9.5)
Twilight Zone: The Movie - 9
Indiana Jones & the Temple of Doom - 8
The Color Purple - 8
Empire of the Sun - 8
Always - 6
Indiana Jones & the Last Crusade - 8.5
Hook - 4
Jurassic Park - 9
Schindler's List - 9.5
The Lost World - 7
Amistad - 7
Saving Private Ryan - 8.5
A.I. - 9.5
Minority Report - 8.5
Catch Me If You Can - 8
The Terminal - 5
The War of the Worlds - 6
Munich - 8
Indiana Jones & the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull - 4
Adventures of Tintin - 7.5
War Horse - 6
Lincoln - 7.5
Bridge of Spies - 7.5

You could go higher on Munich and you know that.

Munich > SPR
Nov 14, 2017 11:33 PM
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12 SycamoresYou could go higher on Munich and you know that.

Munich > SPR

Munich could have elevated to something as well. Not that '8' is anything to be ashamed of. I admire the effort, and is probably his last truly thought-provoking film. I don't think it's ultimately successful in conveying the theme. The final sex montage simply doesn't work at what it's trying to say. There are a number of different ways that it could have shown this loss of intimacy, even in a sexual act, but it never lands the effective, empathetic emotional note.

I have plenty of issues with Private Ryan as well. Frankly, I find the moral implication of extrajudicial execution to be absolutely abominable, and trying to make this into some karmic key in Hanks' fate is equally tasteless. It really erodes the good will of Hanks' incredibly nuanced performance by suggesting that he would have made it out if only he had the will to illegally kill an unarmed man in cold blood. That whole aspect just reeks of cheap jingoism.

I give Ryan the extra half point for its otherwise taut action sequences, and maybe as a slight consolation for losing to Shakespeare in Love. That's a modest estimate. We all know the award belonged to Thin Red Line anyway.
Nov 15, 2017 12:43 AM
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I'll also add a note on the rating rationale. The difference for me between a 9 or 9.5 or 10 is almost wholly based on the buffer of pure subjective significance. There's no way that I can objectively say that Schindler's List is any worse, or more imperfect a film, than Jaws or Raiders. The crucial final mile is simply that I have an affection for the latter in an ineffably personal degree. I would stab for those films. It wouldn't even be a conscious process.
Nov 15, 2017 12:50 AM
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Bump
Nov 15, 2017 4:28 AM
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Robin McDonaldBump

I appreciate your efforts in these trying times. Feel free to comment, as I know you're a fan.
Nov 15, 2017 4:35 AM
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Janson Jinnistan
12 SycamoresYou could go higher on Munich and you know that.

Munich > SPR

Munich could have elevated to something as well. ?Not that '8' is anything to be ashamed of. ?I admire the effort, and is probably his last truly thought-provoking film. ?I don't think it's ultimately successful in conveying the theme. ?The final sex montage simply doesn't work at what it's trying to say. ?There are a number of different ways that it could have shown this loss of intimacy, even in a sexual act, but it never lands the effective, empathetic emotional note.

I have plenty of issues with Private Ryan as well. ?Frankly, I find the moral implication of extrajudicial execution to be absolutely abominable, and trying to make this into some karmic key in Hanks' fate is equally tasteless. ?It really erodes the good will of Hanks' incredibly nuanced performance by suggesting that he would have made it out if only he had the will to illegally kill an unarmed man in cold blood. ?That whole aspect just reeks of cheap jingoism.

I give Ryan the extra half point for its otherwise taut action sequences, and maybe as a slight consolation for losing to Shakespeare in Love. ?That's a modest estimate. ?We all know the award belonged to Thin Red Line anyway.


Do you consider the sex scene the climax (sigh) of the film? I didn't really think of it that way -- more of a hammy attempt to cross cut the final flashback sequence with a guy who couldn't shake it. I would give Munich a 9 out of 10, with a point off for that sex scene, and I think its scenes of taut action are just as good and actually more interesting than the battles in SPR. Though I suppose the latter are of more impressive scope.

I really, really love the last conversation in Munich though. It's the best lack of dialogue that Kuschner ever wrote and an antidote to the mawkish talking at the end of SPR.
Nov 15, 2017 7:22 PM
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Also, I've been embarrassed to admit this for a while, but I just can't love Close Encounters (it's obvious to me that it's really, really good though) because I find it odd that the guy just peaces out on his family, who seem to just annoy him and then are left in the dust. It's funny for Spielberg to make a FUCK RESPONSIBILITIES movie, but it seems against what he's trying to accomplish (or maybe I'm conflating this film with his larger body of work, which seems to place a premium value on family). I don't know. Disclaimer: It's been 10 years since I've seen it.

Jan, tell me why I should love it -- because I'm actually ready to.
Nov 15, 2017 7:32 PM
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It's a bitter pill to swallow for sure, but I don't let Roy Neary's behavior towards his family affect my love for Close Encounters. For one, Spielberg's got well-documented daddy issues, two, he said he would have done things differently after he raised kids himself, three, Roy didn't seem to be on the best of terms with his family to begin with, and finally, who knows just how powerful that alien beam of light was? It may have suppressed the parenting part of his brain.
Nov 15, 2017 9:04 PM
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12 SycamoresAlso, I've been embarrassed to admit this for a while, but I just can't love Close Encounters (it's obvious to me that it's really, really good though) because I find it odd that the guy just peaces out on his family, who seem to just annoy him and then are left in the dust. It's funny for Spielberg to make a FUCK RESPONSIBILITIES movie, but it seems against what he's trying to accomplish (or maybe I'm conflating this film with his larger body of work, which seems to place a premium value on family). I don't know. Disclaimer: It's been 10 years since I've seen it.

Jan, tell me why I should love it -- because I'm actually ready to.

Spielberg has had parental issues regarding their divorce since he was a kid, and this particular scenario seems a refection of this. It's also an issue touched upon in ET. Though it's not clear if he's gotten over it due to his own divorce from Amy Irving in the mid-80s.

And then there's losing The Dating Game, which would surmise the painful inspiration of an entire career, if so inclined.
Nov 15, 2017 9:06 PM
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Rated NCC-1701
12 SycamoresAlso, I've been embarrassed to admit this for a while, but I just can't love Close Encounters (it's obvious to me that it's really, really good though) because I find it odd that the guy just peaces out on his family, who seem to just annoy him and then are left in the dust. It's funny for Spielberg to make a FUCK RESPONSIBILITIES movie, but it seems against what he's trying to accomplish (or maybe I'm conflating this film with his larger body of work, which seems to place a premium value on family). I don't know. Disclaimer: It's been 10 years since I've seen it.

Jan, tell me why I should love it -- because I'm actually ready to.

Spielberg has had parental issues regarding their divorce since he was a kid, and this particular scenario seems a refection of this. It's also an issue touched upon in ET. ?Though it's not clear if he's gotten over it due to his own divorce from Amy Irving in the mid-80s.

And then there's losing The Dating Game, which would surmise the painful inspiration of an entire career, if so inclined.

Yeah, but this time it's his main protagonist. He just gets to wash his hands of them and go hang with Bowie in space. I'm not sure Spielberg wants me to want to beat the shit out of his main character when this particular film is over. Also, it's not even presented as a choice, is it? The movie doesn't even acknowledge that there's a dilemma. Because I guess maybe there's not?
Nov 15, 2017 11:23 PM
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12 Sycamores
Rated NCC-1701
12 SycamoresAlso, I've been embarrassed to admit this for a while, but I just can't love Close Encounters (it's obvious to me that it's really, really good though) because I find it odd that the guy just peaces out on his family, who seem to just annoy him and then are left in the dust. It's funny for Spielberg to make a FUCK RESPONSIBILITIES movie, but it seems against what he's trying to accomplish (or maybe I'm conflating this film with his larger body of work, which seems to place a premium value on family). I don't know. Disclaimer: It's been 10 years since I've seen it.

Jan, tell me why I should love it -- because I'm actually ready to.

Spielberg has had parental issues regarding their divorce since he was a kid, and this particular scenario seems a refection of this. It's also an issue touched upon in ET. ?Though it's not clear if he's gotten over it due to his own divorce from Amy Irving in the mid-80s.

And then there's losing The Dating Game, which would surmise the painful inspiration of an entire career, if so inclined.

Yeah, but this time it's his main protagonist. He just gets to wash his hands of them and go hang with Bowie in space. I'm not sure Spielberg wants me to want to beat the shit out of his main character when this particular film is over. Also, it's not even presented as a choice, is it? The movie doesn't even acknowledge that there's a dilemma. Because I guess maybe there's not?

We discussed this in a recent thread due to the restoration being released. Here were my thoughts. Take them as you like:

One thing that became clear was how much Roy wasn't abandoning his family willfully. From the beginning of his experience, he tries to involve his family in what amounts to a divine revelation. He wakes them up and invites them out. He brings his wife to the town hall. He encourages his children to chuck the plants through the window. He has two nonconsecutive scenes where he relents and tries to reconnect with his family, and both times he's halted because the "vision" the aliens planted in his head becomes clearer. First with him tearing off the top of the mountain, then when he watches the TV (after calling his family and begging to reconnect).

And even when he travels to Devil's Tower, the purpose isn't intrinsically to go off on some cosmic joy ride, not until the final moments when Lacombe pulls him out of the crowd. Preceding that, when Lacombe asks him what he wants, Roy admits that he just wants to know that it's all real. In the past, I read the film more as a religious film, with Roy subbing in for the Buddha or Simon Peter. Funnily, those guys didn't think twice about abandoning their families, whereas I don't think?Close Encounters?really pushes Roy in that direction until the final few minutes.

This doesn't excuse the fact that, in the end, he does leave Earth with the aliens, and it certainly doesn't excuse him kissing Melinda Dillon, which I think is the far more out-of-place character decision (although you can conceivably read that as a friendly goodbye kiss), but it at least challenges the perception that Roy Neary doesn't want his family. It also makes me consider the question of what it takes for us as viewers to respect someone leaving their family. Surely we've watched any number of military movies where heroes are ostensibly leaving their families behind (and with a high probability of no return) in service of a greater cause. It made me wonder, is there a situation in which leaving your family behind is the right choice?

Instinctively, no, obviously not, but then that made me wonder if the film is in some ways Spielberg's unpacking his feelings about his long-absent father (we could agree that a lot of his movies tackle this). Because on the one hand,?Close Encounters?has a forgiving perspective on a man leaving his wife and children, which is iffy.

But on the other hand, for Spielberg to be able to reconcile the idea of a man leaving his family, the cause has to be no lower than angels insisting a vision and quest upon Roy that culminates with him meeting God and journeying to Heaven (I would assume on spec of bringing information back).
Nov 16, 2017 1:12 AM
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Joined: Jul 2007
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DaMU
12 Sycamores
Rated NCC-1701
12 SycamoresAlso, I've been embarrassed to admit this for a while, but I just can't love Close Encounters (it's obvious to me that it's really, really good though) because I find it odd that the guy just peaces out on his family, who seem to just annoy him and then are left in the dust. It's funny for Spielberg to make a FUCK RESPONSIBILITIES movie, but it seems against what he's trying to accomplish (or maybe I'm conflating this film with his larger body of work, which seems to place a premium value on family). I don't know. Disclaimer: It's been 10 years since I've seen it.

Jan, tell me why I should love it -- because I'm actually ready to.

Spielberg has had parental issues regarding their divorce since he was a kid, and this particular scenario seems a refection of this. It's also an issue touched upon in ET. ?Though it's not clear if he's gotten over it due to his own divorce from Amy Irving in the mid-80s.

And then there's losing The Dating Game, which would surmise the painful inspiration of an entire career, if so inclined.

Yeah, but this time it's his main protagonist. He just gets to wash his hands of them and go hang with Bowie in space. I'm not sure Spielberg wants me to want to beat the shit out of his main character when this particular film is over. Also, it's not even presented as a choice, is it? The movie doesn't even acknowledge that there's a dilemma. Because I guess maybe there's not?

We discussed this in a recent thread due to the restoration being released. Here were my thoughts. Take them as you like:

One thing that became clear was how much Roy wasn't abandoning his family willfully. From the beginning of his experience, he tries to involve his family in what amounts to a divine revelation. He wakes them up and invites them out. He brings his wife to the town hall. He encourages his children to chuck the plants through the window. He has two nonconsecutive scenes where he relents and tries to reconnect with his family, and both times he's halted because the "vision" the aliens planted in his head becomes clearer. First with him tearing off the top of the mountain, then when he watches the TV (after calling his family and begging to reconnect).

And even when he travels to Devil's Tower, the purpose isn't intrinsically to go off on some cosmic joy ride, not until the final moments when Lacombe pulls him out of the crowd. Preceding that, when Lacombe asks him what he wants, Roy admits that he just wants to know that it's all real. In the past, I read the film more as a religious film, with Roy subbing in for the Buddha or Simon Peter. Funnily, those guys didn't think twice about abandoning their families, whereas I don't think?Close Encounters?really pushes Roy in that direction until the final few minutes.

This doesn't excuse the fact that, in the end, he does leave Earth with the aliens, and it certainly doesn't excuse him kissing Melinda Dillon, which I think is the far more out-of-place character decision (although you can conceivably read that as a friendly goodbye kiss), but it at least challenges the perception that Roy Neary doesn't want his family. It also makes me consider the question of what it takes for us as viewers to respect someone leaving their family. Surely we've watched any number of military movies where heroes are ostensibly leaving their families behind (and with a high probability of no return) in service of a greater cause. It made me wonder, is there a situation in which leaving your family behind is the right choice?

Instinctively, no, obviously not, but then that made me wonder if the film is in some ways Spielberg's unpacking his feelings about his long-absent father (we could agree that a lot of his movies tackle this). Because on the one hand,?Close Encounters?has a forgiving perspective on a man leaving his wife and children, which is iffy.

But on the other hand, for Spielberg to be able to reconcile the idea of a man leaving his family, the cause has to be no lower than angels insisting a vision and quest upon Roy that culminates with him meeting God and journeying to Heaven (I would assume on spec of bringing information back).

I like this.
Nov 16, 2017 5:31 AM
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12 SycamoresDo you consider the sex scene the climax (sigh) of the film? I didn't really think of it that way -- more of a hammy attempt to cross cut the final flashback sequence with a guy who couldn't shake it. I would give Munich a 9 out of 10, with a point off for that sex scene, and I think its scenes of taut action are just as good and actually more interesting than the battles in SPR. Though I suppose the latter are of more impressive scope.

I really, really love the last conversation in Munich though. It's the best lack of dialogue that Kuschner ever wrote and an antidote to the mawkish talking at the end of SPR.

The sex scene is more of the thematic climax of Munich, intending to convey the emotional, interior price of the cycle of violence. This was paralleled earlier in the film with the scene involving the Palestinian's daughter. The outcome is different but the message is the same. It's impossible not to sublimate this violence into our homes and our intimate relationships, whether lovers or children. Beyond blame, the violence eats away at something precious in every one who engages in it.

It's very possible that I'm much harder on Munich because I admire more its ambitions, and might be more disappointed then in the execution. There have been effective films that examine this loss of intimacy, especially in a PTSD context. One that comes to mind is Peckinpah's Getaway, where there's an early scene of McQueen coming home after a long prison sentence, and struggling to express affection with his wife. The tone of the scene is very quiet, patient and in the moment. Spielberg, eschewing subtlety, instead goes for an operatic, slow-motion fireworks montage. I think it's just kind of heavy-handed, but I know many who find it unintentionally funny. Spielberg tried to make his big thematic statement with a literal money shot.

Having said that, the more I think about Private Ryan's script, the more I hate it. I never bought the moral impetus for why Ryan is more valuable than the soldiers that died for him, and I never bought Damon as someone who cared either. In fact, a lot of the supporting roles (Walking Squint Burns, Jittery Davies, etc) are shallow and unconvincing, and I don't find it surprising that writer Robert Rodat has never written a significant film since then.

But my aversion to the moral implications of tacitly condoning extrajudicial executions has only soured exponentially since I first saw it, when I thought it was just a cheap twist of fate. Its more modern descendant, Fury, takes this even further, not only normalizing this atrocity but making it a macho rite of passage, and making the conscience into a coward. This is not only morally appalling, it's also ahistorical, as the actual number of incidents of American troops killing prisoners in WWII was relatively rare considering the scope of combat, and such acts are unrecognizable in the career of the tank commander Lafeyette Pool, the "war daddy" that Brad Pitt's character was based on. I can't help but think that Private Ryan helped to pave the way for public acceptance of our more modern atrocities, like "enhanced interrogation" and double-tap drone strikes, that better reflect this loss of Geneva ideals in the post-War on Terror carniceria.

I honestly wouldn't blink if my ratings of these two films were reversed.

12 SycamoresJan, tell me why I should love it -- because I'm actually ready to.

I'm going to defer to DaMU for most of that.

I will add that I think it's about as optimal a demonstration of Spielberg's skill at commanding awe on screen. This is obviously true for the film's final segment (which doesn't really work as well without the dramatic build-up throughout the film), and pretty much all of the well-known classic encounters in the front third, but also things like the battleship in the desert (classic Spielberg perspective composition) and all of the conspiratorial intrigue that acts as the film's primary Macguffin. And I always have to consider precedence, and just the film's uniqueness at the time of its release, as a conduit for the American New Wave conspiracy-cynicism into the more optimistic ILM sci-fi spectacle of the 80s, a genre that Spielberg more than any other filmmaker can lay claim to.
Nov 16, 2017 5:48 AM
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Regarding the sex scene, I'm with you, Jan, on its shortcomings. I just think it's one of the few missteps in an otherwise pretty masterful film. And again I usually like Kuschner scripts, at least to some degree.
Nov 16, 2017 5:59 PM
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12 Sycamores
Rated NCC-1701
12 SycamoresAlso, I've been embarrassed to admit this for a while, but I just can't love Close Encounters (it's obvious to me that it's really, really good though) because I find it odd that the guy just peaces out on his family, who seem to just annoy him and then are left in the dust. It's funny for Spielberg to make a FUCK RESPONSIBILITIES movie, but it seems against what he's trying to accomplish (or maybe I'm conflating this film with his larger body of work, which seems to place a premium value on family). I don't know. Disclaimer: It's been 10 years since I've seen it.

Jan, tell me why I should love it -- because I'm actually ready to.

Spielberg has had parental issues regarding their divorce since he was a kid, and this particular scenario seems a refection of this. It's also an issue touched upon in ET. ?Though it's not clear if he's gotten over it due to his own divorce from Amy Irving in the mid-80s.

And then there's losing The Dating Game, which would surmise the painful inspiration of an entire career, if so inclined.

Yeah, but this time it's his main protagonist. He just gets to wash his hands of them and go hang with Bowie in space. I'm not sure Spielberg wants me to want to beat the shit out of his main character when this particular film is over.?

In a way, it could be Spielberg's personal reconciliation of such a turning point, and sending "the father" off in such a grandiose manner is a bid of forgiveness, the kind that takes time to come to terms. ET, in turn, deals with the aftermath of an absent parent, with an age-appropriate, relatable surrogate who also "must leave". If he remade Harvey, he'd probably follow a similar throughline, the way Metallica can't shutup about booze and Elder Gods.
Nov 16, 2017 6:55 PM
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