Thursday, August 16, 2007

Redeeming Masculinity, a Steven Spielberg Top 10

In the couple of times I pulled up my blog today, I could hardly stand the illustration of the American Girl Kit Kittredge showing up. So in an effort to masculanize my blog, I thought I would talk about Steven Spielberg.

Before saying too much, I first would encourage you to check out the work Damian is doing on his blog Windmills of My Mind as he does 31 days of Spielberg during the August 2007.

Spielberg is probably one of the most popular and recognized film directors on a mass-scale alongside directors like Alfred Hitchcock, Woody Allen, Martin Scorcese, and a small handful of other directors. Sometimes, when people say "Steven Spielberg is my favorite director" I take them as generic and unoriginal people. I also think of the James Vanderbeek-esque film student a la Dawson's Creek with a Spielberg obsession that fails to value the vast amount of perhaps less popular work.

But I think what makes Spielberg a standout is as a director, he's consistent at making a wide variety of films that generally interest a male audience without isolating it's female audience.

So today, I redeem the masculinity of this blog with a personal...
top 10 of films directed by Steven Spielberg.

10. Close Encounters of the Third Kind
9. Jaws
8. Hook
7. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
6. Jurassic Park
5. Catch Me if You Can
4. E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial
3. Minority Report
2. Schindler's List
1. Saving Private Ryan

StrangeCulture Post on Spieberg's upcoming Lincoln project casting (1, 2 & 3) & Indian Jones 4 (1).


jasdye said...

Hook? Seriously? Better than Jaws? Better than Munich? Better than Jurassic Park? Better than AI:Artificial Intelligence? Better than Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade? Better than, dare I say it, Indiana Jones and the Lost Ark?

In fact, Lost Ark's not even on this list. Man, you're slipping, RC.

jasdye said...

oh, i'm sorry. Last Crusade's on this list. i thought you made another error (haha) and put up Temple of Doom to the neglect of the other two.

but still, Hook?

RC said...

jasdye, when i put together this list...I actually made a top 20 and then cut it in half because some films 11-20 were hard to rank, or maybe were "classic" in nature but not my favorite.

Now Hook, I expected to get a comment from but 1st! And yea, I like Jaws, Munich, and A.I and Last Crusade* as you have listed, but to me there is something unique and enjoyable about Hook...I love the food fight with Robin Williams with the lost boys, I like the casting with Julie Roberts and Dustin Hoffman, I like the music, and I like the themes.

*and Jasdye, I do like Jurassic better than Hook...that's why it got ranked higher.

Where's your list Jasdye?

Anonymous said...

I do think it's easy to pick Spielberg as the best director, but he is so worthy...even if he is mainstream.

rc, I got your back on Hook. I would have ranked it even 4th. There are such great memories when I think of it, like the imaginary food fight, the lost boys and "Rufio, Rufio....Rufio!"

Art said...

Totally agree with your top two. I might have ranked Schindler's List #1, though... hard to say.

Terence Towles Canote said...

I think I'd rank Jaws and Schindler's List #1 and #2, with Raiders of the Lost Ark at #3. Neither Hook nor Close Encounters would probably make my top ten, although I'd have to think what would be in its place.

Ando said...

Wow, Raiders didn't even make the list? That's a bold move, my friend.

I've always thought that Spielberg gets unfairly criticized by some for being "mainstream." He shouldn't be penalized for his success, especiall since he has taken some huge risks that people lose sight of because they paid off. Think about SPR. Before that there hadn't been a WWII combat movie in a very long time, and nothing on that scale of realism. Besides being a tremendous film anyway, it had the added box office draw of his name. So it probably doesn't seem like a risk, but it was.

Anonymous said...

I think that you liked "Hook" the best because you got to see it on that HUGE screen with your favorite people! Going the the movies back then was a real treat also...then we went to the Groves Christmas party

RC said...

@andrea - thanks, mae may be right about hook, but i couldn't let it slip from the list

@art - at first i had schindler's in the 1 spot, but knew if i was honest SPR came 1st.

@mercurie - you need to make the list then and see how it falls. Jaws just didn't do it for me like it did for some...I realize it's revolutionariness but it's enjoyability for me is not as high as the others.

@ando - i probably need to re-watch the Indiana Jones series, the Indiana Jones films were the hardest of all for me to place on my list because it's been so long and how do you compare Indiana Jones to Schindler's List?

@mae - I remember. It was a great viewing experience for Hook, of course viewing experience does effect how you see a movie. It was a lot of fun :-)

Heather said...

I like a clever plot more than a heavy and important story, so my top ten list would look more like this:

1. Catch Me If You Can
2. Minority Report
3. Schindler's List
4. Raiders of the Lost Ark
5. ET: The Extra-Terrestrial
6. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
7. Jurassic Park
8. AI: Artificial Intelligence
9. Munich
10. Saving Private Ryan

And maybe I need to rewatch Hook, but I didn't remember it as that great. Oh, and clearly, I'm a girl.

jasdye said...

oops. my bad. guess i was in more of a rush than i thought. and i was absolutely stunned you would pick that movie.

and the experiences we have watching movies do taint our memories as much, if not more, than the movies themselves, so i can understand your romantified memories of it. haha

i'll get back to you on the list (keep in mind, according to imdb, he's only directed about thirty movies so far - yet produced over a hundred, many of them tripe many good (back to the future, goonies, transformers, take your pick), but nonetheless...)

jasdye said...

windmills' 31 days of Spielberg is exhaustive. holy schnikeys!

my entirely subjective and off-the-top of my head list would have to be:
10) jurassic park
9) jaws (if for nothing else than the SNL skit)
8) empire of the sun
7) indiana jones and the last crusade
6) munich
5) minority report
4) amistad
3) saving private ryan
2) schindler's list
1) indiana jones and the raiders of the lost ark

each of them great. each of them flawed. love 'em all.

Out Of Jersey said...

It's a pretty good list. I loved hook for a long time, but after watching it for the 100th time I was like, Meh, not so much anymore. I hope the new Indiana Jones movie doesn't stink. Harrison ford is sure looking old.

Marius said...

LOL. We never question the masculinity of your blog, RC.

Great list. Jaws is one of my favorite movies of all time.

Lorna said...

Minority Report is my favourite among those---still chills me in too many ways.

kat said...

Hey, I'll refrain from chastising you about "Hook." I liked it in the day, but didn't love it and it certainly wouldn't make my top 10 of anything. I do still really like Maggie Smith (Wendy's) line to Robin Williams: "Peter--you've become a pirate."

Spielberg isn't anywhere near my favorite director, but he'll get endless props from me for some of the projects that he's been executive producer on, most notably "Band of Brothers."

Here is my own top 10 Spielberg list:

1. Schindler's List
2. Empire of the Sun
3. E.T.
4. The Color Purple
5. Saving Private Ryan
6. Raiders of the Lost Arc
7. Jaws
8. Munich
9. Catch Me If You Can
10.Close Encounters of the Third King

kat said...


Close Encounters of the Third KIND.

Darrell said...

While it doesn't fit with the masculinity theme of your list, I really, REALLY recommend The Color Purple. It's Spielberg's best film. It's an amazing, beautiful movie. I've seen it something like ten times and it just gets better each time. Don't miss it.

jasdye said...

what i find even more interesting than the picture of breslin on your last post is the prospect of spielberg's take on lincoln. much more so than any other president, i would like to see a truly worthy biopic on him. and not one like ray or walk the line or this current take on biopics, which were ultimately 'behind the music' episodes with really good acting. i want something to dig my teeth into, not ravish over these people's addict-addled shortcomings.

heck, it should be a series on lincoln. he needs his own LoTR treatment. 10 hours of honest abe, with special edition dvds and all.

sorry this is so long.

Anonymous said...

Outstanding blog and excellent post, JC.

I don't like your Spielberg Top 10 List of All Time, but don't care for anyone else's either (kat's list is respectable).

1. Schindler's List
2. Close Encounters of the Third Kind
3. Jaws
4. Raiders of the Lost Ark
5. E.T.
6. Saving Private Ryan
7. The Color Purple
8. Catch Me If You Can
9. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
10. Jurassic Park

I'm looking forward to the Lincoln biopic done right as well.

Geosomin said...

I'd rather include AI than Hook...Hook was awful.