When I was a kid I thought ‘Hook’ was the coolest movie that I had ever seen. Making a sequel to ‘Peter Pan,’ Julia Roberts as Tinkerbell, and Rufio—it was all genius to me.
Flash forward to 2004, past ‘Jurassic Park’ and ‘Schindler’s List,’ where I sit in a theater and watch Tom Hanks spout out the worst Eastern European accent ever to Catherine Zeta-Jones, the most glowing starving flight attendant ever, in ‘The Terminal.’
It has been seriously downhill from there for Mr. Spielberg, not necessarily in important things like box office sales or awards, but in something much more valuable: my respect.
Here are the top five reasons why Mr. Spielberg should be ashamed of himself:
The end of ‘War of the Worlds’: Someone noted to me last summer that War of the Worlds was the only movie of his other than ‘E.T.’ to be under two hours, clocking in at around 118 minutes. For 112 minutes of ‘War of the Worlds’ I was sucked into the story, interested and even captivated. But I don’t think I have ever been more upset at the end of a movie as I was at the end of this one.
I was actually quite frightened for most of this movie and very curious about how the people of earth were going to escape from these brutal aliens. Then, after almost two hours of humans just getting destroyed, Morgan Freeman just wraps it all up with some sort of flu explanation? I don’t care if this is how the book ends, it’s the worst ending I’ve ever seen.
How is it that these aliens almost take over Earth with seemingly advanced technology but can’t foresee the possibility of foreign illness?
And what happened with the son? After all that madness, he’s just chilling in the inexplicably untouched brownstone in Boston. Where was he the whole time? This movie needed one more round of script revisions in the pre-production phase.
The end of ‘Munich’: As a heterosexual male I can confidently say that Eric Bana is not a bad-looking guy and that I imagine his Israeli accent just made him hotter. I can also say that his wife in this movie was not bad-looking either, in that off-beat Israeli pregnant sort of way. But I am pretty sure that the last thing that I would ever want to see in a movie is a sex scene between those two interspersed with scenes from the final hours of the Munich hostage crisis.
There are many things that I disliked about this movie, mainly the directionless last hour, but the ending really topped it off for me. I don’t know why this guy can’t end a movie, but something is not right. I actually really liked the back story of the actual hostage story in Munich; it was just the Eric Bana story that went nowhere. I think that Spielberg thinks that if he makes a movie about the Israel/Palestine conflict that indicts both sides, everyone will love him. Many critics of Spielberg say that he takes no risks, which I agree with. Here, in the end of ‘Munich,’ he took a risk, and failed.
The fact that ‘Munich’ was nominated for Best Picture/Director over ‘Walk the Line’ at the Oscars: This is what I imagine Steven Spielberg did after he realized that his big ‘thinker’ of a movie, ‘Munich,’ got rightfully passed over in almost every major category for the Golden Globes.
First, he sobbed over breakfast, tears falling into his bowl of kashi. Then he called his assistant and fired him. Then, he promoted his backup assistant and asked her to assemble the troops in order to make sure he got nominated for some damn Oscars. And it worked.
Here is what I know about ‘Munich’: It sucked, has made around $44 million at the box office, received almost no Golden Globe nominations and received zero nominations in any acting category at the Oscars.
In fact, no actor has ever been nominated for an Academy Award for being in a Steven Spielberg movie, according to Wikipedia.
Here is what I know about ‘Walk the Line’: I’ve seen it three times despite still pretty much disliking Johnny Cash’s music, it’s made almost $115 million at the box office, it won Best Comedy or Musical at the Golden Globes and both lead actors have received Academy Award nominations.
‘Munich’ will probably not win any Academy Awards, except maybe for editing or some other award that no one cares about. I think that there are only two reasons why it was even nominated. The first is that Spielberg pushed his weight or money around, which is slightly unlikely. It may just be that at the end of the day a powerhouse like Spielberg gets nominated for anything serious that he does.
‘Indiana Jones 4’ and ‘Jurassic Park 4’: There can only be one thing to explain the existence of these two movies, which have both been announced on IMDB: money, something that this guy has way too much of. Spielberg will produce ‘Jurassic Park 4’ and direct ‘Indiana Jones 4.’
If either of the last two ‘Jurassic Parks’ had been anywhere near as entertaining as the first one, this wouldn’t be such a bad idea. This is clearly just a moneymaker, because anything with dinosaurs attacking people will sell some tickets.
I love all three of the ‘Indiana Jones’ movies. But how in the hell is Harrison Ford going to play the beloved character at the ripe old age of 62? Probably terribly. This is another movie that will probably make a good amount of money just because people want to answer this very question.
‘My Final Reason’: While hunting in his native Texas, a blitzed Spielberg shot his 90-year-old friend in the face. Sorry, wrong guy. I just don’t have a fifth one. I can’t imagine Spielberg even knows what a rifle looks like.
Here is my final piece of advice for Spielberg: Stop hiring Tom Cruise and start hiring Christopher Walken. Walken makes every movie awesome, including your best in the past five years, ‘Catch Me If You Can.’ If Walken was in ‘Munich,’ it would win Best Picture and more people would think you were cool.