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Sunday, 1 April 2018

Top 10 Favourite Steven Spielberg Movies

He may not always get his due and whilst he is often criticised for relying on the family-friendly G-rated movie offerings and playing things too safe, there is absolutely no doubt that Steven Spielberg is one of and still is one of the legendary directors and filmmakers of all-time, as well as reigning as the most commercially successful & influential of all-time. 

Whilst he has had a few duds, commercial and critical failures and what-not, Spielberg is a person who ventures into different territories and experiments with different themes and concepts to see what works, and what doesn't. He is an innovator and a creative and imaginary visionary, who takes one idea and puts a different take on it & projects it onscreen in ways that can light up the screen, he takes risks and that is something I'd admire.  

When it comes to my love and enjoyment of movies, especially Hollywood movies by evoking and capturing the sheer fun, essence and spirit, in terms of filmmakers, there are very few that truly live up to those things but for Steven Spielberg, who manages to prevail and which he successfully did so during the 1980s and 1990s especially. 

In 2018, he made his comeback with The Post starring Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks and sci-fi family adventure flick, Ready, Player One, which celebrates and highlights some of that classic movie magic that he has endowed upon us, over the past 3 decades.

In hindsight of those releases, I hereby select 10 of my personal favourite Steven Spielberg nuggets that I adore, love, cherish and of which he has been involved with the most, in descending order. As ever, this is personally subjective and based on my overall enjoyment of and in relation to my familiarity with each of them. 

10. Back To The Future (1985)

Still the best BTTF movie of the ever-successful trilogy, which has recouped millions at the box office, this time-travelling sci-fi adventure helped launch the career of Michael J. Fox, who eventually became a hot commodity throughout the 1980s. Terrific special effects with a whimsical story all built in, this was a movie that before the arrival of Bill and Ted took advantage of the time-travelling theme, and it was done in a way that was fresh, innovative and exciting. This was one of the few collaborations of Amblin Entertainment, Spielberg's production company with Robert Zemeckis who approached Spielberg (the other being Who Framed Roger Rabbit?) and he agreed to produce Back To The Future with Universal Pictures acting as its distributor. 

9. Jaws (1975)

Shark infested movie and one that spanned numerous and similar outings throughout the years, Jaws is still the original and best at bringing forth the horror and danger to life 

8. Catch Me If You Can (2002)

An upbeat version of almost every con movie one can think of, the charms of Leo Di Caprio and Tom Hanks trying to outsmart and outwit one another makes this one easy-going, light drama to sink one's teeth into. At times amusing, well-written in places, the based on a true story film is made more watchable, thanks to the leads. 

7. Indiana Jones & The Temple of Doom (1984)

Considered as the weakest entry in the Indiana Jones franchise, it is also his darkest that went down a different path by exploring themes such as child labour, voodoo-ism - and eating chilled monkey brains, as well as introducing two fellow characters who accompany Indy in his venture in young Asian boy, Shortround and damsel in distress, played by Steven Spielberg's real-life spouse, Kate Capshaw. It received mixed reviews and in watching it today, I can see why and how this isn't to everyone's taste, especially Spielberg who cited as not being a fan of Temple of Doom. Having said that, it offered a great deal to hold my attention and interest. 

6. Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade (1989)

The lightest entry in the Indiana Jones series, courtesy of Sean Connery's quips and his banter with Harrison Ford's Indy, they make for one great father and son duo

5. Jurassic Park (1993)

If there is one thing Jurassic Park did, it is that introduced a new wave of filmgoers to a prehistoric dinosaur movie that is so unlike any other they have seen, and a revelationary one too. Great special effects, tension is palpable at times thus echoing a horror film, huge dinosaur creatures with an effective casting including Sir Richard Attenborough, Jeff Goldblum, Laura Dern and Sam Neil, it's surely one of a kind.

4. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

First instalment in the Indiana Jones series, it became the highest grossing film of 1981 and is considered as one of the greatest films of all-time, this became an early eye-opener and taster insofar as to what Spielberg could accomplish, especially in terms of adventure-based movies. His template and formula and success of Raiders of the Lost Ark was replicated in the subsequent Indiana Jones movies, Jurassic Park, as well as to an extent, Hook & Ready, Player, One

3. Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (1988)

Another technically not a Spielberg produced movie, courtesy of the man himself & was directed by Robert Zemeckis, this was produced by Spielberg as executive producer and his production company, Amblin Entertainment, with a little help from Disney & Warner Bros. So with that in mind, I put Who Framed Roger Rabbit? on this list. This film combines both live-action and 2D hand-drawn animated sequences & a lively and humourous story to create what is one of the most visually impressive, colourful and entertaining family movies of all-time. A P.I named Eddie has to clear the name of Roger Rabbit, a 'toon' who is framed for a murder of a businessman. 

2. Hook (1991)

Almost everyone has one favourite Spielberg movie or movie he has done - and for me, it has to be Hook. It's my personal favourite Robin Williams movie especially. Every time I put this on or I see it on TV, it never ceases to make me smile and fill me with such unadulterated joy. I thought the casting in Robin Williams, Julia Roberts, Dustin Hoffman, Bob Hoskins and Maggie Smith was perfect, contrary to many critics and despite the post and pre-production troubled stories that have been banded around, that hasn't affected my love for this film. Hook is still my favourite of all-time that still has its charm and moments of wonder in places & is still, to this day, sadly so underappreciated by many. This film has received low rankings from most critics and sites & is bashed to a tee by people, but I don't care. & anyhow, I never go by what they, Rotten Tomatoes & IMDb ratings say. Thanks to Robin Williams and co, Hook had me hooked.  

1. ET (1982)

The movie that made Spielberg the bonafide director that he is and by far when it comes to his works, ET is his most famous that help put him on the map. The story and friendship of an alien creature and young boy touched the hearts and souls of millions and still makes a poignant and touching impression on audiences, over 30 years on. Touching, heartfelt with an ending that left me in tears & the famous image of Elliott and ET riding a bike into the air at night, has become Amblin Entertainment's company logo, and rightly so. Some may argue ET is overrated as far as Steven Spielberg's movies go - for me, it is so deservedly of its accolade as his best ever. 

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