Hype Movie Club

Sorry I’m late naming a category for May (I really gotta quit traveling at the end of the month), so I’m gonna make it super easy in honor of the unofficial kick-off of the summer movie season and go with the father of the summer blockbuster:

Steven Spielberg

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Like before, directing and writing credits are fair game, as are series/franchises, while just producing credits are not. And just a reminder, the Indiana Jones series has already been done by the club, so those are off the table. Everybody gets UP TO FOUR picks, voting will be open thru Thursday!
 
My Stevie picks:

Amistad
Minority Report

The Jurassic Park series
The Jaws series
 
So I'm gonna pick Duel because I think everyone should see it as one of his underrated works that deserves more recognition...

and the other three picks are ones that I haven't seen yet:

Duel
Minority Report
Amistad
A.I. Artificial Intelligence (I actually have seen half of it but I don't remember anything)
 
Focusing on ones I haven't seen a million times:

Duel
ET
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
AI: Artificial Intelligence
 
A.I. Artificial Intelligence
Minority Report
The Sugarland Express
War Horse

Picking only films I've yet to see. This'll be a good opportunity to go back to 1941 as well, I've got my blu-ray ready.
 
I'm down to clown with Spielberg. I'll go with:

Jurassic Park - I don't care if the whole movie is tattooed in my brain, I'm always good for a rewatch
Hook - Underrated but as a '90s kid I've always loved it
The Color Purple - Haven't seen it yet
Duel - Haven't seen it either but I'm intrigued because it's his first movie
 
Hook - Underrated but as a '90s kid I've always loved it
It’s so funny, but my friends who are 5-10 years younger than me love that movie whereas I, who was graduating college in the mid/later 90’s thought it was a huge miss.

This one is clearly a generational thing. I’d be interested in revisiting it now and also seeing how others feel upon revisiting it.
 
I have revisited Hook in the last year, and while I do actually kind of love it, as an adult I also find it quite sad because it feels like Spielberg bidding farewell to his inner-child, which is just a kind of depressing feeling.

That said, no lie, Captain Hook is easily my favorite Dustin Hoffman performance. He is soooooo good in that role imo.
 
It’s so funny, but my friends who are 5-10 years younger than me love that movie whereas I, who was graduating college in the mid/later 90’s thought it was a huge miss.

This one is clearly a generational thing. I’d be interested in revisiting it now and also seeing how others feel upon revisiting it.
It's definitely one of those movies like The Goonies where if you saw it as a kid and loved it you probably always will but if you saw it for the first time as an adult you most likely won't care for it. I first revisited it as an adult right after Robin Williams died and it especially struck a chord with me.

I have revisited Hook in the last year, and while I do actually kind of love it, as an adult I also find it quite sad because it feels like Spielberg bidding farewell to his inner-child, which is just a kind of depressing feeling.

That said, no lie, Captain Hook is easily my favorite Dustin Hoffman performance. He is soooooo good in that role imo.
I think Spielberg has even gone on record as saying it's his worst movie but I hope he at least realizes now that there are entire generations who grew up with Hook and loved it.

I might also have to agree with you about Hoffman. Hook might be my favorite performance of his too. Is it his best performance of all time? I wouldn't rank it above Rain Man, Tootsie, Kramer vs. Kramer or Midnight Cowboy but IMO he turned in an Oscar-worthy performance as Captain Hook. He DISAPPEARED into that role. I don't think we've seen a better Hook on film before or since, to be honest.
 
It's odd, for such an iconic director I've seen surprisingly few Spielberg films. However, at least one of them is on my all-time favourites list :word:

Jaws: easily one of my favourite films of all time. I recently bought a digital copy on Prime for five bucks so this is a good opportunity to re-visit and finally review the film.

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial: I've only seen this once, and that was years ago as a kid. I'm curious to see how it holds up.

A.I. Artificial Intelligence: I've read about how divisive this film is, and the storied history behind its production. I never saw it but perhaps it's time.

Duel: Where it all began. Never saw it but I'll bite :up:
 
Funny thing about A.I., I watched it when it came out in theaters and haven't seen it since outside of maybe a few bits and pieces of it on television over the years but I remember practically everything about it. It's nowhere close to being one of my favorites from Spielberg but it's still stuck with me after all this time.
 
Jaws: easily one of my favourite films of all time. I recently bought a digital copy on Prime for five bucks so this is a good opportunity to re-visit and finally review the film.
It’s one of my favorites as well. In the last couple of years, some of my highlights of life has been introducing my youngest son to Jaws, Lost Boys, and the Rocky/Creed movies
 
Aaaaand we've got 6 winners this month! First place was a tie, with 5 votes each:


A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001)


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Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Written by: Brian Aldiss, Ian Watson and Steven Spielberg
Starring: Haley Joel Osment, Jude Law, Frances O'Connor
What's It About? A highly advanced robotic boy longs to become "real" so that he can regain the love of his human mother.



Duel (1971)

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Directed By: Steven Spielberg
Written By: Richard Matheson
Starring: Dennis Weaver, Jaqueline Scott and Eddie Firestone
What's It About? A business commuter is pursued and terrorized by the malevolent driver of a massive tractor-trailer.



And then a 4-way tie for runner-up!


Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)


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Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Written by: Steven Spielberg, Hal Barwood & Jerry Belson
Starring: Richard Dreyfuss, François Truffaut, Teri Garr, Bob Balaban
What's It About? Roy Neary, an Indiana electric lineman, finds his quiet and ordinary daily life turned upside down after a close encounter with a UFO, spurring him to an obsessed cross-country quest for answers as a momentous event approaches.


Jaws (1975)
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Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Written by: Peter Benchley & Carl Gottlieb
Starring: Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss & Lorraine Gary
What's It About? When a killer shark unleashes chaos on a beach community off Cape Cod, it's up to a local sheriff, a marine biologist, and an old seafarer to hunt the beast down.



Jurassic Park (1993)
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Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Written by: Michael Crichton & David Koepp
Starring: Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum & Richard Attenborough
What's It About? A pragmatic paleontologist touring an almost complete theme park on an island in Central America is tasked with protecting a couple of kids after a power failure causes the park's cloned dinosaurs to run loose.



Minority Report (2002)

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Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Written by: Scott Frank, Jon Cohen & Philip K. Dick
Starring: Tom Cruise, Colin Farrell, Samantha Morton & Max von Sydow
What's It About? John works with the PreCrime police which stop crimes before they take place, with the help of three 'PreCogs' who can foresee crimes. Events ensue when John finds himself framed for a future murder.


Can't knock this group! Thanks for voting, everybody!
 
I completely forgot to write about Sorcerer. I liked it a lot, it definitely deserves to be highlighted as a second successful adaptation of Le Salaire de la peur, instead of a remake of the 1953 film. I'm glad the movie has been reappraised accordingly, decades after its disastrous original release. It's really nice that William Friedkin got to see some of that well-deserved love as well. It's an exhilarating thriller that is elevated by the iconic Tangerine Dream soundtrack, the excellent cinematography, and some of the craziest set pieces of the 1970s. The cast is great as well, I enjoyed the introductory vignettes for each of the main players.

My blu-ray came with an hour-long conversation between Friedkin and Nicolas Winding Refn about the film. Very interesting, not only for all the excellent stories about the making of Sorcerer but also for the dynamic between Friedkin and Refn. Friedkin seemed to like Refn, but he seemed equally annoyed by him, and this led to several funny moments. Friedkin's rants about superhero movies were also amusing and somewhat predictable.
 
So I'm a little late to the party, but last month was a great lineup. Sorcerer is a masterpiece I'm thrilled is finally checked off my watchlist. And Zardoz.... is Zardoz. I don't really know what to say about it, but I am glad to have seen this work of insanity :funny:

How did Boorman go from "a university lecturer who became obsessed with a young girl whose disappearance prompted him to seek her out in the communes where she had lived" to THIS?!?!?
 
The Sorcerer love makes me very happy. A lost masterpiece.

Also, Boorman wanted to make LORD of The RIngs back then, but somehow he was fired, and Zardoz in a way was his ‘’I’ll show them!’’ Type of response, which is amazing. His director commentary for Zardoz is one of my favorites.
 
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A.I. Artificial Intelligence

It's so funny to me that the dad was left out of that whole ending, very Spielbergian.

My only memory of this movie was watching this on TV 20 years ago and only watching the 2nd act of the movie from the Flesh Fair to Rouge City and never felt the need to watch the whole thing. Now seeing the whole thing, I can't believe I missed out on the best parts of the movie. While the movie is hard sci-fi, it's also a huge fairy tale story very much in theme with Pinocchio which they referenced a ton in this just in case someone didn't get it. The movie was originally supposed to be done by Kuribiak and you definitely do get the sense of it as you're watching it along with Spielberg's touch. The biggest achievement of this movie for me was seeing a lot of the effects work done by Stan Winston along with his crew and Spielberg's direction and camera work that is unreal. There were so many interesting camera shots and framing by Janusz Kamiński that kept me interested even when things get a little bit too silly at times. My only complaint is they often use too much glare and foggy visuals that cloud the film. Really enjoyed the performances by Haley Joel Osment, Jude Law, William Hurt, and Frances O'Connor especially Haley Joel Osment who really had to carry the film. While we're all too used to talking about AI nowadays, they do a good job of raising questions about what is human and what is programming back then. Overall, it's a really well-made sci-fi fairy tale that kinda drags in the middle.
4/5
 
Wow, it's already time to vote for June's selections! Next month's category will be...

The 1960's!


Since we're back to having a pretty big pool of movies to choose from, everybody gets UP TO FIVE votes this time. And as a reminder, a series is eligible as long as it has one installment in this decade. Voting will remain open through Thursday!
 
My picks are:
To Kill A Mockingbird
The Good, The Bad and the Ugly
The Great Escape
Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho


and just because it's been a while since I've last seen it,

Planet of the Apes
 
I'm getting a copy of Minority Report tomorrow. Can't wait, I've wanted to see that one for a while.

Votes for June:

Barbarella
Black Sunday
Charade
The Good, The Bad and the Ugly
Lawrence of Arabia
 

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