Comments on watching and making films.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


I was talking to a friend the other day about Spielberg and how his career trajectory has changed. In the beginning, he made really well crafted audience pleasers. Nowadays, he seems to split his time between those well crafted audience pleasers (Tin Tin and War Horse being his most recent) and making equally well crafted passion projects, like his latest film, Lincoln. The problem with the latter type of project, the one made from passion, is that, while they are well crafted, they are often times the kind of movies I like to call "One and Done". In other words, you see them once, it was enjoyable enough for you to not want to leave, and then you never have any interest in seeing it again.

While the performances were commendable, the cinematography outstanding (though, in my opinion, not as inspired as many have written), and the writing well done, Lincoln is, ultimately, kind of mediocre. While the events it covers are definitely important events in the history of America, and even the world, ultimately, it's two hours of guys arguing with each other. Honestly, the conflict of Joseph Gordon Levitt's Robert Todd Lincoln, who wanted to join the Union, but his mother and father were against it, is the closest thing the film really comes to having an interesting story.

I like Spielberg's stuff, and I think he is still a valid and creative filmmaker, but, for me, Lincoln joins the likes of Munich, War of the Worlds, and The Terminal, as a somewhat mediocre film from a filmmaker who is the standard bearer in Hollywood.

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