Movie Review Steven Spielberg Collection

Movie Review – Lincoln (2012)

Master story-teller Spielberg is in top form here, with Lincoln, one of the most iconic American Presidents to have lived, and the story of the Thirteenth Amendment. Daniel Day-Lewis is spellbinding as Lincoln, while the script is perhaps best approached with at least a passing knowledge of American history for the sheer weight of information and flim-flammery it throws up, but it’s the lack of saccharine Spielbergian schmaltz which keeps this film from buckling under its own weight. Talky, lovingly rendered, Lincoln is Spielberg at his very best – easily his most accomplished dramatic film in a long while. Astonishingly detailed, filled with a who’s who of Hollywood and boasting a truly epic sense of scale, Lincoln is a worthy contender for the Best Picture Oscar, while Day-Lewis is a virtual lock for Best Actor as the titular character. Wonderful stuff.

Movie Review Steven Spielberg Collection

Movie Review – War Horse

Grand, sweeping epic from Spielberg never quite hits its stride (pardon the pun) due to the somewhat clunky scripting and hollow melodramatic nature of the plot – the horse sequences are indeed magnificent, and I doubt there’s anyone alive today who captures the horror of war quite like Spielberg, but there’s a disconnect between the audience and the central character and this is one hurdle the film cannot overcome.

Movie Review Steven Spielberg Collection

Movie Review – Adventures Of Tintin, The: The Secret Of The Unicorn

Absolutely terrific animated film from Spielberg, with deft flourishes and that old action adventure yarn mentality harkening back to the days before Indiana Jones appeared in The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull. Tintin, a long time favorite character of mine (and most of the worlds!) is born on the big screen thanks to state-of-the-art technology, a ripper script from Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish, and a terrific score from the irrepressible John Williams. Big on action, big on suspense, big on mystery, The Secret Of The Unicorn is just a big big adventure film begging to be enjoyed. Enjoy it.

Film Classic Movie Review Steven Spielberg Collection

Movie Review – Jurassic Park

Critic-proof concept based upon Michael Crichton’s novel, Spielberg ratchets up the terror and tension using state of the art digital animation effects, and wiley film-making techniques, to ensure Jurassic Park became one of the highest grossing films of all time. Astounding effects (for their time) still hold up, even though by today’s standards they are few and far between; it’s the imaginative use of them that really heightens the terror you feel while watching this film.

Movie Review Redux Review Steven Spielberg Collection

Movie Review – Saving Private Ryan vs The Thin Red Line (REDUX)

I initially posted an article pitting twin war films Saving Private Ryan and The Thin Red Line against each other to figure out which was the better, and that article is still available to read here. However, recently I re-wrote that review from the ground up for fernbyfilms.com friend Bryce Zabels moviesmackdown.com, a great website I moonlight reviews for. Below is the article, slightly abridged and amended, that appeared on Bryce’s site. It’s a more mature and intricate exploration of these two films from what I have already written, and I feel that both articles have individual merit, and should both be read to get a clear understanding of exactly what I feel towards two pivotal films from 1998.

Movie Review Steven Spielberg Collection

Movie Review – Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade

In 1989, director Steven Spielberg and producer george Lucas returned to the well of popularity to bring audiences the much clamoured for third Indiana Jones film, The Last Crusade. After the dismal critical drubbing of Temple Of Doom, I think Spielberg must have sense this as his last chance to prove that Raiders wasn’t a one-hit wonder, and poured every available smidgin of creativity into Last Crusade, to create a wonderfully exciting, humerour adventure movie, that returned our favourite archaeologist to the big screen in a story worthy of his status.

Movie Review Steven Spielberg Collection

Movie Review – Indiana Jones & The Temple Of Doom

Tonally off-kilter entry into the Indiana Jones franchise leaves a decidedly bitter taste in the mouth, with the sense of fun from Raiders going missing in short order. A miscast Kate Capshaw adds to the misery Spielberg inflicts upon us with this uneven effort. Worth watching just for Harrison Fords performance, which elevates this film’s quality much more than it deserves.

Movie Review Steven Spielberg Collection

Movie Review – Indiana Jones & The Raiders of The Lost Ark

Almost everything about this film is perfect. A combination of casting, story and effects, action and music, have made Raiders almost unassailable in critical circles ever since. If you had to list a couple of film’s that you could watch over and again on a deserted island, I’d have to say that Raiders would be in my top ten somewhere. Fun, exciting cinematic pulp material is given a fresh leash on life due to the skill of a master storyteller in Spielberg, and if you don’t find yourself watching this with a smile on your face, then I dare say you need to check your pulse. Cinema for the sake of entertainment, that really does entertain.

Movie Review Steven Spielberg Collection

Movie Review – Saving Private Ryan vs The Thin Red Line

Until recently, world audiences were unwilling to witness the true horror of war brought close to home, right into your face. Spielberg, in much the same way he revolutionized the extent that digital effects could tell a story in Jurassic Park, decided to take what was , at the time, a relatively unconventional approach and utterly dehumanize the ravages of war on the participants, and give us the full throttle adrenaline ride that it must have been to be shot at, shot up, and blown to bits on the beaches of northern France during the first days of D-Day. Of course, Saving Private Ryan was never meant to be thrilling.

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