Steven Spielberg

Watch the New Trailer for Spielberg and the Coen Brothers’ Cold War Thriller, ‘Bridge of Spies’

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Steven Spielberg is reuniting with Tom Hanks — who, through the film, is also, incidentally and very excitingly, reuniting with the Coen Brothers — for his upcoming based-on-true-events Cold War film, Bridge of Spies. The movie’s first U.S. trailer was unveiled last month, but today saw the release of the UK trailer, with new footage. 
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How ‘Jurassic World’ Became One of the Biggest Blockbusters of All Time

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The Fourth of July weekend, traditionally one of the most competitive of the movie-going year, was supposed to be a face-off between two very different franchises. In the big-budget blockbuster slot we had a new Terminator film, the fifth in the series (and the third to open on Independence Day weekend); the low-budget up-and-comer was Channing Tatum and his crew of “male entertainers” in Magic Mike XXL. But those movies didn’t end up battling it out for the top slot.
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10 Ways ‘Jaws’ Changed Movies Forever

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As we’ve mentioned, this weekend marks the 40th anniversary of the release of Jaws, Steven Spielberg’s masterful adaptation of Peter Benchley’s bestseller. By this date, the conventional wisdom that Jaws was a cinematic game-changer has taken hold — but like many such pronouncements, those who make it aren’t always clear on the details. In fact, it’s a little bit complicated, because Spielberg’s smash changed the way Hollywood did business in a variety of ways, both for good and ill.
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Every Steven Spielberg Movie, Ranked

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Forty years ago this week, Universal Pictures released the film adaptation of a pulpy bestseller and watched as it became a hit beyond their wildest dreams — breaking box office records, changing the movie business forever, and turning its director from a promising young hotshot into one of the most bankable filmmakers in the business. The film, as you’ve probably guessed, was Jaws, and the director was Steven Spielberg, who used that film as a launching pad into one of the most lauded (and profitable) careers in movie history. So on this anniversary of Spielberg’s ascension into the stratosphere, we look back at that career, stacking up all of his feature films to …Read More

How ‘Jurassic Park’ Got CGI Right — and Marked the End of an Era for Spielberg

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We film writers will take any opportunity to revisit our favorite movies, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that this week’s release of Jurassic World has prompted a flurry of enthusiastic appreciations from critics of a certain age — those (like World director Colin Trevorrow, it seems) who were young and impressionable when JP hit screens in the summer of 1993. This writer was a little bit older and a good deal more jaded then, 17 years old and obnoxious in my endorsement of the burgeoning indie scene, and thus cynical about the value of a big summer studio blockbuster. Now that I’m older and more open, it’s easier to appreciate Jurassic Park for what it is — a first-rate piece of action/horror craftsmanship, an exquisitely composed and assembled popcorn picture, and in many ways (hi there, shared JP theme park/movie logo) a sly commentary on the business of the blockbuster. But more than anything, a recent viewing served as a reminder that it was one of the first major movies to use CGI — and still one of the few to use it properly.
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‘Jurassic World’ Has the Same Icarus Complex as Its Characters

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It’s a very common theme in Hollywood films for mad scientists and power-hungry entrepreneurs (and, most terrifyingly, hybrids of the two) to have eyes bigger than their stomachs, wings that take them too close to the sun — or whatever other cliché you want to ascribe to those who, for personal gain, create monsters that get out of hand, cause mass destruction, and ultimately teach those greed-blinded fools a lesson. And it’s an even more common theme in Hollywood for big-budget films to fall victim to their own monstrous, maximalist desires. So it’s not much of a surprise that Jurassic World, while it does admittedly deliver true thrills, ultimately falters because of its clumsy dealing with its desire for bounty — and that bounty’s alleged coupling with commentary about consumer culture. “There’s something in the film about our greed and our desire for profit… The Indominus Rex, to me, is very much that desire, that need to be satisfied. The customers want something bigger and badder and louder,” director Colin Trevorrow once said of the film’s “critical” undertones, and of its central dino-antagonist
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‘The Goonies’ Turns 30: Where Is the Cast Now?

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Thirty years ago yesterday, moviegoers got their first look at what was either a) LIKE THE GREATEST MOVIE OF THE ‘80S, PERIOD, or b) two hours of preteens running around and screaming. But however you line up on it, there’s no question that The Goonies was an iconic summer adventure movie that retains quite a bit of cultural capital. This far on, the most interesting element of the film may well be its cast — a fascinating assemblage of young actors (many of them the offspring of actor parents) who have gone on to become everything from superstars to footnotes. So where are your Goonies now?
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‘Poltergeist’ and the Inherent Frustrations of Movie Remakes

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The key difficulty in talking and writing about movie remakes is simple: it’s very hard to not just spend 500 or so words asking, over and over, “Why?” Such films seldom improve upon their original, at least anymore; once was the time when a John Huston would remake an unloved picture like The Maltese Falcon, but these days the entire reason for a remake is to capitalize on name recognition and leftover nostalgia. Yet such qualities are what end up crippling the remakes, ensuring a curiosity factor (and, y’know, dollar) but little more. And the essential paradox of the remake has seldom been as explicitly — and often frustratingly — actualized as it is in Gil Kenan’s new Poltergeist, which assembles a very gifted group of people to go through another movie’s paces, a cover band you wish would just play their own songs.
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Brad Bird’s ‘Tomorrowland’ Should Have Been Great — So What Went Wrong?

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It seems safe to bet that deep inside every filmmaker, there lurks a burning desire to make a movie in the exact style of his or her favorite director. It’s the best way to explain the scores of filmmakers doing mini-Scorsese movies in the ‘90s; young filmmakers of the late ‘90s and early ’00s gave us plenty of junior Woody Allen pictures. And when a certain kind of filmmaker (most likely one who was a kid in the 1980s) gets access to a big budget and a summer berth, they apparently want to make a Spielberg movie. J.J. Abrams did it a few years back with Super 8; Colin Trevorrow is reportedly making his Jurassic World, due next month, less a sequel than a Spielberg homage. And then we have Brad Bird’s Tomorrowland, with enough nostalgic golden glow, characters gazing off in a wonder, and John Williams-esque music cues to seem, in spots, like a Spielberg cosplay. Yet Bird seems to have learned the hard way what Abrams did in Super 8: the aesthetics are easy to ape, but one should never underestimate the value Spielberg places on tight, clear, logical storytelling.
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