Sunday, 18 December 2016

Top 3: Steven Spielberg

December 18th marks the birthday of one of film's greatest icons, Steven Spielberg. Spielberg has been powering out feature-length films since the early 70's in what has been an incredible career. He is a three-time Academy Award winner as he has inspired filmmakers such as James Cameron and Ridley Scott amongst many others. Spielberg happens to be my favourite director has brought some of my favourite films so it has never felt more appropriate to list some of my favourite films of his.

 So this brings an opportunity for me to start a new type of series called 'Top 3', where I will make a short list of my three favourite films from an actor, franchise or in this case, a director. Of course, there are going to be some films that will miss out as it is only a list of three and I'm sure you'll probably disagree. This list is made up of my personal favourites and are the ones that resonate most with me.

3. Jaws

The one that defined the Summer Blockbuster comes in at number three. The only great shark movie ever made is a masterpiece from Spielberg in what was one of his first breakthroughs in Hollywood. The performances from Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw and Richard Dreyfuss are all perfect as Spielberg crafts a tense, scary film without you seeing much of the famous predator. 'Jaws' use of practical effects is legendary and perfectly executed as it is accompanied by one of the most iconic pieces of music from John Williams. When it comes to film, you won't see a better low build executed than in 'Jaws' as even the legendary Alfred Hitchcock praised Spielberg's work with this film.  For a film that was released in 1975, this film most definitely holds up and is a timeless classic. Even to this day, you'll still be afraid to go back into the water.

Favourite Moment: When the shark appears out of nowhere giving Scheider's Chief Brody and the audience the biggest fright of their life.

2. Indiana Jones and The Temple Of Doom

Coming at number two is technically the 'Indiana Jones' franchise- minus the fourth film. Instead of filling the list with the rest of the films, I've decided to go with my favourite from the series, 'Temple of Doom'. The darkest of the four films has a special place for me as it is the first of the series that I remember seeing as a child. There are dark moments as well as great, fun moments which combine to create a fantastic movie. Harrison Ford cements Indy's iconic character status in this film as 'Temple of Doom' delivers on all levels. There is so much to enjoy with this film, much like the two other original films but 'Temple of Doom' just nicks ahead of they two. The film did a great job at showing more of Indy's work bringing a new setting for a great adventure. The dark, mystical tone allows the film to separate itself from the original 'Raiders' and take it in a new direction. As the film to follow 'Raiders', it would have a lot of expectations to live up to. 

Favourite Moment: Where Indy and Short Round are trapped in a room with spikes coming close to crush them, only Willie is able to save them. The scene has drama, tension and also comedy that works incredibly well. 

1. Jurassic Park

Whenever somebody asks me what my favourite film of all time is, 'Jurassic Park' is my go to answer. I have adored this film ever since I was a child and still feel every emotion when I watch this movie. Spielberg created so many fantastic moments throughout the film like when we first see the Brachiosaurus or the T-Rex to the kitchen scene... I could go on all day. Spielberg's use of practical effects comes into play once again but he also uses digital effects in a way like never before. Again, John Williams score is phenomenal bringing my favourite piece of work of his to this movie. Sam Neill has one of the most underrated performances of all time IMO as he doesn't seem to get the recognition he truly deserves for his role. Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum and Richard Attenborough are only a few of the other great performances featured as well. The film really has everything, great story, acting, effects, music and moments. All of this comes together to create one of the best films ever made and also my favourite of all time. 

Favourite Moment: Too many to choose between but the final scene with the T-Rex and Raptors tips it.

So those are my three favourite Steven Spielberg films. These three would probably be in my all time favourites list too as would other works from Steven Spielberg. I'd like to know what films from this legendary director would make your list and also what you think of these three films. Also, which actor, director or series should I look at next? Once again, thank you for taking the time to read my blog post, it is much appreciated!

By Angus McGregor