Blog Archives

Devil’s DVD Disappointment: Super 8

J.J. Abrams’ and Steven Spielberg’s (and yes, they do warrant a co-credit) Super 8 is a movie with so much potential to be fun, exciting, and vastly entertaining, but is unfortunately so self-conscious in its attempt to be E.T. 2 that the makers end up distracting, and detracting, from the story, leaving the audience holding the sad and rather flaccid bag.

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Actor’s Spotlight: Schindler’s List

“I’m trying to thank you. I’m saying I couldn’t have done this without you.”

I’m going to start this by stating the obvious. That Schindler’s List is an amazing movie. Loosely based on real events and inspired by the novel, Schindler’s Ark by Thomas Keneally, it’s quite possibly Steven Spielberg’s best movie. It’s a harrowing, at some points disturbing, look at the horrors of the Holocaust. It’s a movie that I think should be shown in every single high school and college history class as a reminder of the evils of hatred and what happened during World War II. It’s a living monument to both those that died during the Holocaust and the survivors. The movie co-stars Ben Kingsley in the pivotal and memorable role of Itzhak Stern, a Jewish accountant hired by Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson) to help run his factory in the Jewish ghetto of Krakow, Poland. Schindler arrives in Poland during the German occupation and quickly sets up a munitions factory for the Nazis using Jewish slave labor. At first, Schindler is only interested in making a fortune through the necessity’s of war, in essence becoming a war profiteer. After seeing first hand the destruction of Krakow and the slaughter of the Jewish people at the hands of the evil Nazi Amon Goeth (Ralph Fiennes), Schindler decides to try to save his workers and as many Jewish people as he can in a plot to smuggle his workers out of Krakow.

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The Adventures Of Tintin – The Secret Of The Unicorn (3D)

Providing a good old-fashioned adventure story, and featuring some outstanding computer animation, Spielberg’s Tintin managed to appease my childhood love of Herge’s work as well as entertain for the duration of the film.

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Super 8 (Devil’s Advocates Review)

Super 8 is so good it literally made me forget all of its predecessors. I barely remember any details surrounding Supers 1-7, that’s how good it was. All joking aside, Super 8 easily lives up to its name in terms of Summer Blockbuster speak. It is truly super and it cranks the action and suspense up to an 8. Why not a 10 if it’s so super? Read the rest of this entry

Super 8

J.J. Abrams’ and Steven Spielberg’s (and yes, they do warrant a co-credit) Super 8 is a movie with so much potential to be fun, exciting, and vastly entertaining, but is unfortunately so self-conscious in its attempt to be E.T. 2 that the makers end up distracting, and detracting, from the story, leaving the audience holding the sad and rather flaccid bag.

Read the rest of this entry

Actor Spotlight: Raiders of The Lost Ark

The powers that be will never get me to call this film…this classic, Indiana Jones and The Raiders of The Lost Ark.  When I saw it in the theaters as a young chap, it was called, Raiders of The Lost Ark.  The poster said so, the credits said so, and the marquee outside the theater backed up both of them.  This is coming from the guy that places Indiana Jones above everything and everyone else.  Well almost everything else. Read the rest of this entry

Director Spotlight: Saving Private Ryan

Saving Private Ryan is a 1998 World War II drama that follows Captain John Miller (Tom Hanks) and his men through the D-Day landings on Omaha Beach. After surviving D-Day, as depicted in one of the most visceral opening 25 minutes ever filmed, Miller and his squad are ordered to risk their lives and find Private James Ryan (Matt Damon). Ryan’s three brothers have all been killed in action within days of each other. The last one dying on Omaha Beach.  Miller is sent to find Ryan somewhere in Nazi occupied France and bring him back home alive. Read the rest of this entry

Director’s Spotlight: Amistad

This month we are skipping along through the long and vivid career of Steven Spielberg. This time we come along to 1997’s historical courtroom epic Amistad, starring Anthony Hopkins, Matthew McConaughey, Morgan Freeman and Djimon Hounsou. By this time, Steven had become one of the most popular directors in Hollywood, thanks to the success of Jaws, Raiders of the Lost Ark, E.T., Jurassic Park, and his last big film Schindler’s List, winning the Best Picture Oscar four years prior. He had taken some time off to be with his family and start his studio DreamWorks, and was finally ready to get back into the game. However, he wasn’t sure he was the man for the job, being Jewish instead of African-American and having felt awkward on this issue while directing The Color Purple. To fix this, Spielberg helmed The Lost World: Jurassic Park first to ease his comfort, then Amistad was released later in the year. Read the rest of this entry

Director Spotlight: 1941

Considering I was only a year old when Steven Spielberg released 1941, I’m not aware what everyone’s expectations were for the film at the time. My guess and the obvious guess were that they were high. Especially coming after doing 1975’s Jaws and 1977’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind. So for curiosity purposes I did some research to look for comments and/or opinions of critics when the film was released…many were negative. While I agree that this not one of Spielberg’s best work, I still love this goofball laugh out loud comedy. Read the rest of this entry

Director Spotlight: The Sugarland Express

Steven Spielberg’s first film, which is based on a true story, features a couple on the run from the law, seeking to get their child back through any means necessary.  Only problem…one’s an escaped convict and the other aided in the escape.  Once you commit these acts you don’t have much bargaining power. Read the rest of this entry

October’s Director Spotlight: Steven Spielberg

There was some debate as to whether we should feature Spielberg or his non-union, Mexican counterpart Señor Spielbergo.  In the end it turns out Steven Spielberg has made more films, which makes our job easier.  The films that will be featured this month are:

Oct. 7th: Sugarland Express

Oct. 14th: 1941

Oct. 21st: Amistad

Oct. 28th: Saving Private Ryan

So many great movies to choose from and so little time.  We’ll certainly have to do a second spotlight just to get to the others (Raiders of the Lost Ark is on my list).  So follow along and feel free to comment on the films as the reviews go up.