Posts Tagged ‘Steven Spielberg’

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They’re here…again: “Poltergeist (2015)”

October 4, 2015

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Back in my 2012 review of the original Poltergeist, I noted that that it was somewhat strange that a movie as popular as that one hadn’t yet been remade, repurposed, or otherwise strip-mined. And then I spun a whole bunch of theories why that’s the case that I mostly pulled out of my butt after a couple of Blue Moons. Well…um…(cough)…yeah, I was wrong about that—as you may have surmised from my use of the modifier “original” in the first sentence. Indeed, Poltergeist is the latest attempt by Hollywood to never create anything original ever again.
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Repost: “Poltergeist”

October 4, 2015

Of all the mysteries that surround Poltergeist—the identity of the actual director, the rash of deaths that’s followed the film series—the most confounding may be how dramatically it fell off the cultural radar. Consider the other movies from that summer alone: Conan, and The Thing got remakes, Escape from New York and Rocky III got sequels, Star Trek II got both sequels and a remake, and E.T. is still considered a landmark in summer films. These are signs of the profound effect they had on the cultural landscape. Yet despite Poltergeist’s massive popularity it never went much farther than a couple of lousy, little-known sequels. And yet, the film was a massive hit that had everyone squeaking “They’re here…” for years afterward. So what happened?
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Michael Bay’s death march of fun continues: “Transformers: Age of Extinction”

July 1, 2014

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Transformers: Age of Extinction is the fourth installment in Michael Bay’s Transformers trilogy. Mull that over a bit; it makes as much sense as anything else in this movie. And speaking of, okay, I just have to vent a bit. This was supposed to be a trilogy, as in “three films and then sweet release.” Not “three films and, oh fuck it—they’re a license to print money and I can’t yet buy my own island where I can people like sport.” So now we have this. And there are dinosaurs this time. (Sigh) okay, let’s just get this over with.
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A look back: “Transformers”

July 1, 2014

[Since the latest in the Transformers, ah, trilogy? Series? Purgatory? Whatever. The latest Transformers movie just came out, so I figured I’d repost my original reviews…]

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“Before time began there was The Cube…”

Uh-oh.

Yet this opening voiceover was but the latest evidence that Transformers the movie and anything associated with it is simply bad, wrong, and possibly evil. Others include the Transformers logo bumper stickers that grown men have begun affixing to their cars, the chat room arguments that the robots in the movie lack the depth of personality present in the cartoon series of the mid-‘80s, and the fact that GM—a once-mighty American corporation—is using this movie to hawk their cars the way McDonalds uses Shrek to sell green milkshakes.

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REPOST: “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter”

December 7, 2012

This week, the hipsters on the hilarious Flop House podcast took on Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. This is a repost of my original review from…uh…sometime in July.

Okay, if you’re going to make a movie called Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter work, you have to be in on the joke. Like, you need a scene when a ferocious vampire attack is suddenly halted when a towering Lincoln steps from silhouette into the light and says something like, “You know, only two things I do real well: splittin’ rails and killing godless vampires. Bad news for you is there ain’t a rail to be found in this joint.” And then he just goes buffalo-shit-Navy-SEAL crazy on them with an axe. Yeah, it has to be that tongue-in-cheek to really operate properly. Unfortunately, this movie bearing the title was directed by Russian filmmaker Timur Bekmambekov, and, well, not to knock the educational system of the former Soviet Union, but I think this guy believes this shit really happened.
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1982, Best Summer Ever: “Poltergeist”

August 3, 2012

Of all the mysteries that surround Poltergeist—the identity of the actual director, the rash of deaths that’s followed the film series—the most confounding may be how dramatically it fell off the cultural radar. Consider the other movies from that summer alone: Conan, and The Thing got remakes, Escape from New York and Rocky III got sequels, Star Trek II got both sequels and a remake, and E.T. is still considered a landmark in summer films. These are signs of the profound effect they had on the cultural landscape. Yet despite Poltergeist’s massive popularity it never went much farther than a couple of lousy, little-known sequels. And yet, the film was a massive hit that had everyone squeaking “They’re here…” for years afterward. So what happened?
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2011 Summer Movie Roundup!

August 31, 2011

Well, this summer has pretty much shot its load, don’t you think? And you know what? It was a pretty good one, with a string of solidly entertaining summer movies, and very few flops disappointments, or harbingers of the apocalypse. If this summer seems a little disconcerting, it’s that its success was by-and-large due to its domination by comic-book properties and sequels, with few original concepts. We didn’t get anything totally off-the-reservation creative like Inception or even a bold re-imagining like The Dark Knight. Still, let’s not rain on this Labor Day parade, and instead take a look back.
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