Steven Spielberg is a genius, and history – in my views – will show him to be one of the most reveered film directors of all time. That doesn’t, of course, make him immune to the Den of Geek ready reckoner, though…
Munich Superbly made, quite hard to watch, but arguably Spielberg’s maturist and coldest film to date.
War of the Worlds
The TerminalPonderous, harmless Tom Hanks vehicle, although a few too many trips to the sugar fountain don’t help.
Catch Me If You CanA breezy, hard to resist blockbuster, albeit one that you’ll struggle to recall much of afterwards.
Minority ReportSmashing science fiction action thriller, marred only by an unnecessary ending.
Artificial IntelligenceHalf a flat-out stunning film, half a quite good one. At its peak, it’s as good as anything he’s ever done.
Saving Private RyanStunning direction at the start and end, but as a complete whole, the saggy middle doesn’t bridge the gap well enough.
The Lost World: Jurassic ParkFun sequel, but again, an added, tacked-on ending really does it no favours whatsoever.
Schindler’s ListA great two hour film in a three hour running time: at its best, it’s utterly haunting, and Ralph Fiennes is utterly mesmerising in it.
Jurassic ParkA blockbuster film maker at the height of his game, Jurassic Park is spot-on popcorn entertainment, knowing that it only shows its monsters when it really has to.
Hook Yikes. Time has done Hook no favours at all, and it wasn’t much cop back then. It’s lavish alright, but Dustin Hoffman blows what should have been a super role, and the running time is arduous.
AlwaysAnother of Spielberg’s slower films, yet this Richard Dreyfuss-Holly Hunter pairing never really manages to engage. A pity.
Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade
Empire of the SunA young Christian Bale, and a gripping drama, that carries a bit of excess weight, but still manages to deliver.
The Color PurpleSome super performances, but the film itself never quite gels in the way you’d hope. Good, but not great.
Indiana Jones & The Temple Of DoomOne of Spielberg’s darkest films, and a sorely underrated and underappreciated one.
E.T.Brilliant. Don’t believe those who dismiss it now, either. It’s an expertly made piece of cinema, and the emotional whallop really works.
Raiders of the Lost ArkGreat, great, great. Did more for Harrison Ford’s career than even Star Wars, and replete with that cracking ending, has influenced umpteen movies since.
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
JawsNobody has amassed as many five star movies in a Ready Reckoner to date, and here’s another. A master-class in suspence movie making, that none of the sequels got anywhere near.
DuelAnd another five stars, for an edge-of-the-seat flick that’s pretty much just about two vehicles on a road.
Not seen: The Sugarland Express & 1941
With over 100 producer credits, here’s a brief breakdown by star rating of some of them…
Ready Reckoner will be back next Friday. In the meantime, why not check out last week’s journey through the career of David Cronenberg?