Steven Spielberg

The Goonies

Whether you saw it in the theaters in the 80s, or watching it dozens of times while it played on HBO in the 90s, The Goonies has become an essential part of the childhood movie diet. That’s pretty impressive for a film that includes that many pre-teen curse words, sexual references and dangerous situations. Billed as a collaboration between producer Steven Spielberg and director Richard Donner, it was one of the few hits from the 80s that didn’t get an immediate sequel. Whether you’re still waiting around for that sequel – and whether you think that sequel is a good idea or not – you can still enjoy The Goonies in a variety of home video formats. Back when the DVD was released in the 2001, the cast reunited with Richard Donner to provide a commentary track that has been preserved on subsequent Blu-ray releases. Even though the commentary track is almost as old now as the movie was when the commentary was recorded, it still has some fun insight into the film, including the mysterious message that Sean Astin wanted to share with Cyndi Lauper.

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indytruth-1

Personally, as a die-hard Indiana Jones fan, I’m quite forgiving of a lot of the problems people have with the series (which shouldn’t be surprising, considering I will defend the Star Wars prequels as well). Still, I cannot deny some of the goofy things that happened in the fourth installment six years ago. I’m not just speaking of Shia LaBeouf’s Tarzan-like swings from jungle vines (that kid makes a career out of stealing other people’s shticks), but also the dreaded nuking of the fridge. This got me thinking… was nuking the fridge really the most ridiculous thing that happened in the Indiana Jones series?

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bttf2truth-1

Contrary to what a dozen or so faulty Facebook memes say, we have not reached the day that Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) and Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) travel to in Back to the Future: Part II. That won’t happen until next year, on Wednesday, October 21, 2015, to be exact. However, as we look ahead to that day in all of its post-Avengers 2 and pre-Star Wars 7 glory, we can assess what still needs to happen for the 2015 of 1989 to become a reality. Obviously we don’t have hoverboards or Mr. Fusion Home Energy Reactors in every kitchen, but revisiting the classic Back to the Future series got me thinking: Is any of the stuff we saw happening yet?

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Those in the elite rungs of society often have expensive taste. Nicolas Cage bought himself a pyramid to preserve his physical form after he’s gone (presumably as a mummy). Bleeding Gums Murphy had a $1,500 a day Faberge Egg habit. And Steven Spielberg has recently been binging on legendary, unproduced Hollywood screenplays. First came Napoleon, Stanley Kubrick‘s massive historical epic – the epic that was declared unfilmable once Kubrick enlisted the entire 50,000 Romanian army to stage the battle sequences (and after several other Napoleon films had just bombed at the box office). Spielberg is already hard at work, transforming that one into a TV miniseries. And now, according to Deadline, Spielberg may be adding another priceless gem to his “to-do” list: Dalton Trumbo‘s Montezuma. Here’s how the story goes. In 1947, Trumbo was exiled from Hollywood after refusing to testify in front of the House Un-American Activities Committee, and in 1950 spent eleven months in prison (something we’ll all undoubtedly learn more about when Bryan Cranston finishes his Dalton Trumbo biopic). Kirk Douglas finally fixed things for Trumbo in 1960, by hiring him to write Spartacus, and then publicly announcing Trumbo’s involvement (whereas before, the blacklisted Trumbo had to pen his screenplays from behind pseudonyms). After that collaboration was such a rousing success, Douglas and Trumbo were all ready to team up again for Montezuma, a similarly-sized epic about the relationship between Hernan Cortez and the titular Aztec ruler he befriended and eventually betrayed and imprisoned. Yet somehow, Montezuma fell […]

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IntroGenre

By no means are directors expected to make the same movie over and over again – but they also don’t tend to fly genre to genre like some kind of bipolar carnival game either. Here are a few directors who – if they were to put on an autograph signing – would find themselves in the midst of a very polarized crowd of fans.

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Jurassic Park

After building a theme park populated by dinosaurs, eccentric old billionaire John Hammond invites two top dino-scientists, a rock star chaos theory expert, and his grandchildren to come check it out. Fortunately for everyone involved, a horrible security breach unleashes the dinosaurs, and their lives are all terribly threatened.

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like father like son 02

Cannes Film Festival Jury Prize winner and Palme d’Or runner-up Like Father, Like Son is getting the remake treatment from Steven Spielberg and DreamWorks. The Japanese film, from director Hirokazu Kore-eda, is the story of a family that discovers their six year-old son is not theirs at all; he was switched at birth with their biological son in the hospital. They, along with the parents of the other child, must now deal with the impossible – do they give up the child they’ve been raising as their own and take back their biological son, or do they keep quiet and pretend nothing happened? “When I saw the film at Cannes, I was so impressed by its power to bring such a human story to the screen. Here at DreamWorks Studios, Stacey and our team recognized that it was a story we wanted to remake to bring to our audiences throughout the world,” said Spielberg in a statement. “I thank Hirokazu Kore-eda and Fuji TV for giving us this once in a lifetime opportunity.” Spielberg will not be directing the film, nor has he announced who will nab that role. Kore-eda will still have involvement though, in some capacity, as he stated that he’s looking forward to working with Spielberg.

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On this fun size edition of the program, Geoff defends Steven Spielberg’s unfairly maligned War of the Worlds, and I defend the unfairly maligned dumping ground of September-October as one of the very best times of the year for movie fans. It’s a magical two months for one very important reason. We’d also like to thank all of you for pushing us over 125,000 downloads last week. It means Geoff can finally afford shoes. You should follow the show (@brokenprojector), Geoff (@drgmlatulippe) and Scott (@scottmbeggs) on Twitter for more on a daily basis. And, as always, if you like the show (or hate it with seething fervor), please help us out with a review. Download Episode #34 Directly Or subscribe Through iTunes

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tim blake

The first three weeks of October 2002 was a tense time for anyone living around the Nation’s Capital. Living in Maryland I vividly recall the amount of fear the Beltway Snipers created, leading to special precautions at schools and people avoiding crowded areas. The movie that tells the story of those two snipers, Blue Caprice, captures that uneasiness with slow-building, methodical filmmaking. There’s a few familiar faces in Alexander Moors‘ film, including Tim Blake Nelson, playing Ray, an “unwitting accomplice” to one of the snipers. While he’s most famous for playing one of the many lovable morons in O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Nelson has been working successfully as a writer, director, and, for the past year and a half, a member of James Franco‘s camp. Nelson has now acted in two of Franco’s films, As I Lay Dying and Child of God, making for a collaboration that has put a pep in Mr. Nelson’s step. We discussed that artistic partnership with Nelson, as well as Blue Caprice, humanizing transformations, and why an actor always needs to have their antennae out:

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news eastwood sniper

It’s been about two weeks since Steven Spielberg dropped out of American Sniper, the upcoming biopic that will star Bradley Cooper as Navy Seal Chris Kyle. Apparently, two weeks is just enough time to line up another hugely popular director- as reported by Twitchfilm, Clint Eastwood is in talks to become Spielberg’s replacement. For Eastwood, this is a pretty big ego boost since he’s apparently the next best thing when Mr. Spielberg is unavailable. For the movie-going public, this news is slightly less terrific. Eastwood’s got a masterful eye for direction, but that masterful eye has been conspicuously absent for his last few pictures- J. Edgar, Hereafter and Invictus all fall somewhere within the ‘mediocre’ category. Perhaps American Sniper will see the actor-turned-director hitting Unforgiven-level heights (or at least Gran Torino-sized ones).

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jawstruth-1

We learned that there are few things in the world that are more dangerous than a 25-foot-long great white shark in Steven Spielberg’s Jaws. Namely, aluminum SCUBA tanks. Why someone would strap on a mini-bomb of such design to their backs is beyond me, but divers do it every day. Of course, they rarely spontaneously explode, most likely because there isn’t a small-town sheriff firing a rifle at them while they dive. As Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss) and Chief Brody (Roy Scheider) begin their mission aboard the Orca, one of Hooper’s SCUBA tanks falls over. Hooper immediately explains how dangerous this is and how the compressed air inside the tank could basically ignite the entire ship and wipe out life as we know it on planet earth. Okay, so he maybe doesn’t say those exact words, but the implication is clear: SCUBA tanks are hella dangerous and have the potential to explode. Fast-forward 45 minutes, and we find out that Jaws has sent Hooper fleeing to the continental slope, snacked on Orca captain Quint (Robert Shaw), and left the Orca sinking in a slick of oil and chum. In a last-ditch effort to save the day, Chief Brody climbs to the tilting mast and starts firing a rifle at the charging shark. With one of the best final dispatching lines in movie history (“Smile, you sonofabitch!”), he shoots the SCUBA tank lodged in Jaws’ jaws, and the shark explodes like a trailer park meth lab. So it got us wondering: […]

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What’s the perfect zombie-killing weapon? We settle the question with writer/director Joel Morgan, who may or may not be opening a crowbar store in the near future. And if one Apocalypse isn’t enough, we’ve got another in the form of comments made by Steven Spielberg about the inevitable “meltdown” of the Hollywood studio system. Geoff and I get our hands dirty with that one before appreciating and responding to this screenwriting post by Scott Myers at Go Into the Story. Grab your crowbar and prepare yourself. For more from us on a daily basis, follow Joel Morgan (@joelmorgan23), the show (@brokenprojector), Geoff (@drgmlatulippe) and Scott (@scottmbeggs) on the Twitter. And, as always, we welcome your feedback. Download Episode #21 Directly Or subscribe Through iTunes

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You can tell Man of Steel is the movie of the summer because none of us can stop writing about it. Would it be more or less covered if the Superman movie actually got mostly favorable reviews? It’s hard to say, as much of our and other outlets’ think pieces are a mix of pre-planned stuff on the character in general as well as superhero movies in general and reaction posts both about what the new movie gets wrong and right. All I know is I could have devoted this week’s whole Reject Recap to the ol’ Caped Kryptonian (is that not one of his nicknames?). Let me just point out that it’s deserving. While the official FSR review is fairly negative, I’ll admit that I love it. And it’s definitely worth seeing even if you have problems with much of it. As is clear, there’s so much to talk about. There’s a bunch to discuss on other topics and movies, too. We had two big stories involving the future of Hollywood, thoughts on some older favorites and some other characters’ announced returns, an update on real-life versions of characters from one of this week’s new releases and also a geeky comparison between video game consoles complete with their relevance to movie fans. Before we get to your week in review, here’s some trivia regarding the headline above: all are tied to Superman. Steven Spielberg and Arnold Schwarzenegger were both linked to Superman: The Movie and, well, some interns probably […]

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Hollywood Sign Broken

At a University of Southern California event celebrating their new Interactive Media Building, Steven Spielberg predicted that the studio system will eventually implode or face a “big meltdown” created when the right amount of giant-budget films flop all at once. Also at the event, George Lucas echoed the sentiment, and the two discussed the difficulties of bringing projects like Lincoln and Red Tails to fruition despite being two thoroughly established filmmakers. The Hollywood Reporter recorded some of Spielberg’s other insights, including the possibility of ticket price disparities in the future, but the core claim is still the most powerful. On the one hand, there’s a profundity to it. Spielberg worked hard to get to the view at the top, but it clearly hasn’t blinded him from what’s going on, and what he’s noting is no less than the fundamental alteration of a multi-billion-dollar industry. On the other, there’s also a dime store obviousness to what he’s saying. Of course Hollywood’s current model will eventually bottom out, just as all earlier models have. Sound destroyed silent films; the VCR changed the classic theater distribution model; and now studios are placing increasingly bigger bets on movies that will see global returns while home entertainment improves every minute. When there’s a single point of failure, you’re bound to hear a bubble burst eventually. When a half-dozen blockbusters bust, you’re bound to hear some film execs screaming.

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Three-hour lesbian drama Blue is the Warmest Color was announced the winner of the prestigious Palme d’Or at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, a choice that many foresaw as likely but not a sure thing. The jury that awarded the honor was led by Steven Spielberg and also included Nicole Kidman, Ang Lee, Christoph Waltz and Lynne Ramsay. For the second place Grand Prix winner, they picked the latest from the Coen Brothers, Inside Llewyn Davis, while for Jury Prize (considered the third biggest deal) they chose Hirokazu Kore-eda‘s Like Father, Like Son. Like Father, Like Son was also recipient of an honorable mention from the Christian-based Ecumenical Jury, whose top prize went to The Past — the star of which, Bérénice Bejo, was named Best Actress by the main Cannes jury. Blue is the Warmest Color also earned multiple honors from the fest, taking the critic choice FIPRESCI Award for the In Competition category. The biggest surprise of today’s announcement seems to be Spielberg and Co.’s naming of Bruce Dern as Best Actor for the new film from Alexander Payne, Nebraska. After the jump, you can find a full list of main jury winners (from the festival website) and other honorees announced over the weekend accompanied by links to our review of the film where available.

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like father like son 02

Like Father, Like Son is a film almost guaranteed to have gone down well with this year’s head of the In Competition jury, Steven Spielberg, what with its shared focus on riveting drama concerning an increasingly destabilising family unit. For all of the visual pizzazz of Spielberg’s blockbusters, his films almost always return to matters of the family, and as such, it’s easy to see how the latest offering from I Wish director Kore-ada Hirokazu would very much appeal to his sensibilities if not also those of the rest of the jury. Nonoyima and Midori are a certifiably middle-upper class couple who have provided a life of privelige for their 6-year-old son, Keita. However, early on they are summoned to the hospital in which he was born and informed that, in fact, Keita is not their son; he was somehow switched with another at birth. They soon enough meet the parents of the other child, the Saikis, who have in effect been raising their biological son for the last 6 years. Inevitably, the question of what to do rears its head: maintain the status quo, or return the sons to their rightful parents?

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director_spielberg

Briefly: Well, this is a nice surprise. THR reports that Steven Spielberg has quietly lined up his next directorial outing, a real feat considering the heat the film already has on it. The outlet shares that Spielberg will next helm an adaptation of American Sniper,  the true life tale of U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle that Bradley Cooper has long been developing as producer and star. While the film was already compelling enough when Cooper signed on back in May of last year, with Kyle’s career distinction of  recording more career sniper kills in United States military history than anyone else (160 confirmed kills out of 255 claimed kills), the story toook a decidely tragic turn when Kyle was shot and killed at a shooting range by a fellow veteran back in Februrary of this year.

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mnad_dragons

Tonight on Movie News After Dark, we start with new images from the HBO Game of Thrones production team, both of which include dragons. Because that’s what you’re in it for, right? Beyond dragons, we’ve also got words of warning for GoT book readers, stories about film criticism and the sounds of Michael Bay’s latest to send you off to the weekend. Okay, here’s one more dragon…

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Jurassic Park

While it’s easy enough to knock films that get a post-production 3D-conversion (err, sorry, G.I. Joe: Retaliation), this week’s Jurassic Park 3D is a true exception to the rule. The difference? Well, starting out with a solidly entertaining crowd-pleaser from Steven Spielberg sure doesn’t hurt. Turns out, Jurassic Park in 3D is still one hell of a ride, and that extra dimension is exactly what it should be – a nice bonus, but not essential to audience enjoyment. Are you ready to journey back to Isla Nubar, now with bonus raptor-popping? You should be. After the break, we eschew the standard review format to talk about Jurassic Park 3D (because, well, this movie came out twenty years ago) and give you eleven big reasons why you should shell out your hard-earned movie-going dollars to see the movie this weekend. Really, spare no expense on this one. Take the kids. Find the most giant screen you can. Get the big popcorn, too – all the better to jump out of your hands when a huge raptor leaps from the screen right into your face.

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You’re going to need some foam core, a few Jeeps and some black-tinted KY jelly. Such is the glamour of the filmmaking business. With Jurassic Park in theaters again, renowned special effects artist Shannon Shea joins us to talk about what it was like building dinosaurs and being on set for the Steven Spielberg picture. He was also nice enough to share some very rare behind-the-scenes pictures (and a dramatic reading of a scripted scene that never made the film). For more from us on a daily basis, follow the show (@brokenprojector), Geoff (@drgmlatulippe) and Scott (@scottmbeggs) on the Twitter. And, as always, we welcome your feedback. Download Episode #13 Directly Or subscribe Through iTunes

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published: 04.19.2014
A-
published: 04.19.2014
B+
published: 04.18.2014
C-
published: 04.18.2014
C

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