Phil Hoad, on The Guardian, seems to jump on the Spielberg-bashing band-wagon by writing a small piece about whether ‘Spielberg has lost his Mojo’.
“Is it true? Is the main man’s career headed for the great script conference in the sky? It’s arguable. He’s still raking in the big bucks; among recent works, only Munich went close to a loss. But he had a patchy noughties: by my count, two successes, both in sci-fi (Minority Report, War of the Worlds); one middling film (Catch Me if You Can); three washouts (Indy, AI, Munich). I haven’t seen The Terminal, but that doesn’t alter what looks like a pretty indifferent hand. Even supporters of the new Tintin made constant mention of atoning for Crystal Skull, and how the adaptation was the real successor to the vintage Indiana Jones adventures. The real reference points for Spielberg, worryingly, seem to be in the past.”
The irony is how The Adventures of Tintin has come up Number #1 across Europe with mid-to-positive press reviews – 85% on Rotten Tomatoes. It seems The Guardian are the only newspaper trashing it so much (Xan Brooks and Peter Bradshaw both giving the film 2/5).
Can't say I agree with The Guardian article – I enjoyed Catch Me if You Can and I thought Munich was very good (and better than both Minority Report and War of the Worlds). The Adventures of Tintin isn't bad either – 3/5 at least.
Exactly – I mean, the fact that he claims WAR OF THE WORLDS is one of his better films is beyond me. When I watched Tintin, first time round I though to myself: Is there any reasons someone could actively DISLIKE the film (monkeys in Indiana Jones 4, Jar Jar Binks in Star Wars) and I seriously don't think anything was a huge misstep. I think if you don't like Tintin, you can't really like Herges Tintin – Spielberg has clearly tried so hard to make it work and, personally, I believe it does. No need for this anti-spielberg rant!
Hoad really needs to give his head a shake.
By what measure is Spielberg downward-trending?
If he's suggesting his films aren't raking it in anymore, that's incorrect as CATCH, MINORITY, WORLDS, and INDY all made very respectable gate. Sure the guy isn't lobbing them up into all-time highs like he once did with E.T. and JURASSIC PARK, but the only director who seems capable of always financially eclipsing himself is James Cameron.
Saying “Spielberg is No James Cameron” isn't entirely a slight to Steve, now is it?
What about critically? In that respect, Spielberg's decade is even better since A.I, CATCH, MINORITY, and WORLDS were all critically hailed. Not only that, but the film Hoad claims started Spielberg's downward slope – MUNICH – was nominated for Best Picture and Best Director!!
I think the trend is only coming from the dissenters who have been coming with daggers ever since HOOK. The man usually makes good-if-not-great films, and before we dismiss him as having “lost it”, I think we should all give his two newest offerings a chance to play out.
Good post sir!
Thanks Ryan! I have managed to work out a way I can read lots of news articles on the train to work and whatnot – so I shall hopefully release a few more of these type of posts: comments on columnists, etc.
We are clearly singing from the same hymn sheet. It is a band wagon for sure, but I think it is probably coming from the age-old vice of “things were better in the past” rather than people appreciating what we have. In my opinion, James Cameron belongs in a lab creating things – alongside Stan Winston and Denis Muren (that shouldn't be offensive). I do not believe James Cameron is an artist like Spielberg. Not at all.
OK, The Guardian is great for talking about politics, but it seems they should leave cinema alone. Spielberg being on a downward spiral is quite the news to me and everyone I talk to. SOMEone's a troll. His name is apparently Phil Hoad.
I think you're right…you should keep up on these kinds of articles on the train and talk about them. It's interesting to read stuff like this, no matter how bat-shit insane it might end up being.
Thanks man, I will indeed keep writing these and I hope you enjoy them too … and I think we will all take Phil Hoads articles with a p;inch of salt in the future…