Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Top 5 Spielberg Films

Top 5 Spielberg Films

I've decided to try and do a top 5 films from a specific director  or actor maybe once a week, not sure how long it will last but we'll see how it goes. Steven Spielberg is one of the most influential and easily one of the greatest directors of all time. His films span over 5 decades, and over every genre imaginable. He is one of the best fantasy/adventure directors out there, but is equally capable to perfect period piece films, especially biographies. I would watch any of his movies, and am happy to say I've seen at least most of his hits. So here they are, the top 5 Spielberg films. 

5.) Saving Private Ryan
     Really great movie, definitely one of the best war movies of all time. It follows a young Private Ryan, played by Matt Damon, who is in the middle of a warzone in France during World War II. After it is discovered that all three of his brothers have been killed in action, and that Mrs. Ryan will be receiving all 3 telegrams on the same day, a group of soldiers go into France to try and bring him home to his mother so she doesn't have to suffer the loss of her final son. The members of the troop include Captain Miller(Tom Hanks), Sergeant Horvath(Tom Sizemore), Private Reiben(Edward Burns), Private Jackson(Barry Pepper), Private Mellish(Adam Goldberg) and Private Caparzo(Vin Diesel). By the time they even begin to look for Private Ryan(Damon) he is already listed as MIA(missing in action) so it is a pretty difficult task ahead of them jumping into a warzone towards the end of the war.. Other cast members include Giovanni RibisiJeremy DavisTed Danson, and Paul Giamatti. The film is #37 on IMDB's Top 250 movies, and was nominated for 11 Oscars, winning 5 including Best Sound, Best Film Editing, Best Effects, Best Cinematography, and Best Director.

4.) Raiders of the Lost Ark
     Indiana Jones has a very important place in my heart, my childhood was surrounded by these movies, and they inspired my love of history, and my brief stint in the Archaeology field.  I really feel like this film has everything, and therefore I think just about everyone can see it. Harrison Ford is a total dreamboat, which makes it perfect for both guys and gals.  Great action throughout the entire film. The opening sequence is one of the most iconic of all time; the giant rolling bolder, the golden statue/sandbag switch, the falling stone door, and the quick grab for the iconic hat. It has bit of romance with Marion Ravenwood(Karen Allen) who he has a past with, and who actually shows up again in the 4th Indiana Jones film, and actually is quite funny in some parts. Its really clear that this film is from the 80s when it gets closer to the end and you see the hilarious special effects, ie. someone's face melting. The villain in this one is Dr. René Balloq(Paul Freeman) who is quite terrifying and really does look evil. Indy and his team are on a quest to find the Ark of the Covenant before the Nazi's. Raiders was the first of 3 Indiana Jones movies in the 80's including Temple of Doom which was mostly meh, but still alright, and The Last Crusade which is probably just as good as Raidersand has Sean Connery playing Indy's dad. Great franchise, definitely check it out! It is #27 on IMDB's Top 250 Movies and it was nominated for 8 Oscars, winning 4 including Best Sound, Best Art & Set Direction, Best Film Editing, and Best Visual Effects.

3.) E.T the Extra-Terrestrial
     I think it's safe to say that ET is Spielberg's most famous film, and probably the most famous family-adventure movie as well. It is a truly beautiful movie that deals not only with aliens, but friendship and family above all else. It is beautiful both visually and equally so emotionally which makes it an extremely enjoyable experience. It has some of the most recognizable scenes and quotes in film including the image above and the line "ET phone home." It is an enjoyable movie for children and adults alike. The film takes you on an emotional roller coaster and is quite exciting from beginning to end.  All of the cast is fantastic and absolutely charming including Henry Thomas who plays Elliot, Robert MacNaughton who plays Michael, Dee Wallace who plays Mary, and of course Drew Barrymore who plays the adorable Gertie. The filme was nominated for 9 Oscars and won 4 including Best Sound, Best Original Score, Best Sound Effects and Best Visual Effects. Honestly, I'm pretty shocked it didn't win Best Picture since it is one of the most famous films of all time. If for some reason you haven't seen this yet, please do yourself a favor and watch it. It really is a fantastic film that people of all ages will enjoy.

2.) Jurassic Park
     I was never allowed to watch the entirety of these films when I was younger, but I had all of the books that came out with the movie and I adored them. I has seen bits and pieces of all of them over the years, but it wasn't until this year when it came out in IMAX 3D that I saw the full thing in one sitting. What an absolutely fantastic movie. Speilberg perfectly captures the suspense in the beginning. For the first 15-20 minutes there is no mention that there are living dinosaurs on the island and right before you actually see the dinosaurs for the first time there is a 3-5 minute scene where you see Ellie (Laura Dern)'s face when she sees them, and then Alan(Sam Neill)'s face when he sees them, and you still haven't seen them, and finally after seeing the awe and wonder on their faces for a solid few minutes you finally see this big gorgeous wide-frame landscape filled with  a dozen or so Brachiosaurus'Probably one of my favourite scenes in the whole film, and I think that its a perfect example of the rest of the film. Its such a thriller and, in my opinion, actually a total masterpiece. I absolutely adored this movie, and it just expands my love of dinosaurs even more. Great cast including Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldlum, Samuel L. Jackson, Richard Attenborough, Martin Ferrero, and Bob Peck. The film won 3 Oscars including Best Sound, Best Sound Effects, and Best Visual Effects. It is #226 on IMDB's Top 250.

1.) Schindler's List
     I don't think there is a single thing I dislike about this film, it really is absolutely perfect. I feel like most people on earth know what this film is about, but if you are one of the 3 people on that planet that don't know, its about the Holocaust, more specifically about what it's like to live in the famously, most brutal concentration camp,  Auschwitz. It follows the all true life-stories of several different people, mostly Jews imprisoned in the camps, but also Oskar Schindler who is a German businessman who owns a factory during WWII who was an unlikely hero when he turned his factory into a safe refuge for Jews by hiring over a thousand jews to work in his factory and therefor not be put to death by the Nazi's. Spielberg perfectly captures the cruelty of the Nazi Party and the Holocaust and makes the risky, but correct, decision to make the film in black and white with the acception of on little girl in a red coat. As I said before its based on the true stories of many Jews who had been interviewed for the book with the same title. The acting in this film was absolutley phenomenal  Liam Neeson played Oskar Schindler, the hero, Ben Kingsley played his right-hand man, Itzhak Stern and Ralph Fiennes plays the villain Amon Goeth, the man in charge of running  Auschwitz. Some of the best acting you will ever see, honestly. Definitely deserves to be in the Top 10 films of all-time, it should be nowhere else. I think this film is easily Spielberg's masterpiece and it should be seen by all. It is #8 on IMDB's Top 250 Movies and was Nominated for 12 Oscars winning 7 for Best Original Score, Best Art & Set Direction, Best Film Editing, Best Cinematography, Best Wiring, Best Director, and Best Picture.

Honourable Mentions: 6.) Close Encounters of the Third Kind, 7.) A.I. Artificial Intelligence, 8.)  Lincoln, 9.) Minority Report, 10.) Jaws, The Color Purple, Temple of Doom, Last Crusade,  Catch Me If You Can, The Terminal, Munich, The Adventures of Tintin, War Horse.

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