Merry Christmas Outposters! My gift to you today is a new Top 10, and this one features arguably the King Daddy of Directors in cinematic history, Mr. Steven Spielberg.
Now, there are three things that we will agree on this inevitable contentious Top 10: 1. We all grew up watching Spielberg movies. 2. He’s very likely the reason we fell in love with cinema. 3. He is past his best.
As per usual, these are my personal favourite Steven Spielberg movies. And I warn you now, there is one movie that a lot of you will regard as a true classic that doesn’t make my list and I’m prepared for the backlash. Shalom!
10. Schindler’s List
Regardless of your views on this subject matter, this is a damn fine movie. A Masterclass™ in filmmaking and winner of seven Oscars, this is arguably Spielberg at the height of his powers. He pulls out all the stops and pours his heart into this movie. Understandably Schindler’s List is a subject matter that Steve cares deeply about and this is evident from the first to the last minute.
Twelve Oscar nominations and seven wins followed, including Best Picture and Best Director.
9. Empire Of The Sun
This was a movie I only saw this year for the first time, and let me just give you a little subtext as to why I decided to seek it out after so long.
My Granddad was a prisoner of war in Japan for three years during WW2. When he died, he left me his memoirs, which I am currently typing up to publish into a book for the family. He never spoke of what happened to him or his comrades during this period of his life, so to read about it so many years later is surreal and harrowing, to say the least.
What I have read is very close to what Spielberg captures on film for Empire Of The Sun. Obviously, my granddad was in an army prison so conditions were far more severe and he was one of the men who built the Burma Railway. But the way he describes how events unfolded leading up to the capture of the Allies, the first several months of adjusting to life as a prisoner, it would seem Steve has nailed it.
8. Minority Report
For me, this was probably Spielberg’s last great movie that I like to revisit. Spielberg’s decision to hire Futurists to predict the technology and society for Minority Report isn’t an original move but it was inspired and helps keep this movie relatable.
We are now accustomed to targeted adverts, electric cars, AI, touch screens, wearable devices, government surveillance, and face recognition. We have even started seeing instances of the police state pre-arresting for crimes they “might” commit.
This is one of the rare occasions that Tom Cruise isn’t necessarily playing Tom Cruise on screen as Spielberg manages to rein him in and get the best out of him. And let’s be honest, we would all love a sick-stick!
7. E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial
I don’t like this movie. I saw it when I was a kid and it broke my heart. That is not an easy thing for an Alpha to admit. As a result, I have never wanted to revisit it. That’s right I have only seen E.T. once!
Regardless, the impact this movie has had on our culture and cinema is immortalized and there is no way I can leave it off this top 10. In 1982 (I was 8 years old for any of you calling me a pussy) this movie made such noise that it was inescapable. And this was a time when social media, hundreds of TV channels, and the internet were inconceivable.
Hats off to Steve for never making a sequel. More often than not, some films are best left to be one, and E.T. is the perfect example.
6. Saving Private Ryan
Another World War II film by Steve and another classic. The opening scene at Omaha Beach is cinematic perfection. Spielberg drags you into the reality of war and, once he has you, he never lets you up for air. I’m not overly enthusiastic about war movies, but Saving Private Ryan is a rarity in the fact if I ever come across it on TV, I end up watching it in its entirety.
5. Jurassic Park
The movie that put CGI on everyone’s radar (for better or for worse). Jurassic Park has all the hallmarks that are synonymous with a Steve Speilberg movie. Massive in grandeur and ambition. It’s fun, scary, adventurous, and nail-biting. And to be honest, the clever combination of practical effects and CGI shows us that Spielberg was so ahead of the competition, that most directors working today cannot replicate it’s genius.
4. Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade
The movie with the perfect ending and a lesson to all in Hollywood that some franchises should NEVER be revisited. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is just one of those movies that brings back so many happy childhood memories that you can’t help but smile to yourself whenever you think about it.
This movie is one of many by Steve that when it’s finished, you simply just want to say “Thank you, Steven Spielberg”.
Has there ever been a film that made an entire generation, maybe the entire world scared of going swimming? Amazingly, Spielberg was only 27 when he made Jaws. 27 fucking years old. It puts you to shame.
2. Close Encounters Of The Third Kind
I know, I know, it’s no Alien: Covenant (*wink) but it’s still a damn fine movie. Joking aside, I adore this movie. It still manages to blow my mind even though I’ve seen it several million times. It’s such a smart movie and so rich with interesting characters and real-life scenarios that I will never tire of it.
And let’s be honest, we can all relate to Roy’s decision to fuck off his annoying kids and wife and go on a space adventure.
1. Raiders of the Lost Ark
WTF, where’s Temple Of Doom? Yeah, screw that movie. I told you one big hitter didn’t make my list and that was it. Anyway, Raiders Of the Lost Ark is the perfect movie. I don’t have enough superlatives to describe my love for this movie. In fact, just seeing the poster wants me to down tools and go and watch it!
So there you have it Outposters, another Top 10 for you to discuss. I doubt this one is as controversial as the Ridley Scott one but let’s just get to it. Oh, and Merry Christmas you filthy animals!
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