Five Came Back, a story of film and World War II, by Steven Spielberg

Monday, 6 March, 2017

Directors Steven Spielberg, Francis Ford Coppola, Guillermo del Toro, Paul Greengrass, and Lawrence Kasdan, examine the impact World War II had on cinema, and the effect cinema had on the conflict, in Five Came Back, a three part documentary produced by Netflix.

Based on the book of the same name, the series will focus on the experiences of filmmakers John Ford, William Wyler, John Huston, Frank Capra, and George Stevens, who ceased working to serve in the conflict.

Going by the trailer, Five Came Back promises to be a treat for those who are interested in the Second World War, and film, and will available for viewing by Netflix members from 31 March.

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How very Kubrick, scenes from a Kubrick/Spielberg collaboration

Friday, 14 October, 2016

A.I. Artificial Intelligence was made by Steven Spielberg in 2001. If you look at Kubrick – Spielberg, a short film by French actor Candice Drouet, it looks as if Spielberg took inspiration from a number of Stanley Kubrick’s works.

In fact, Kubrick and Spielberg worked together on the film, until Kubrick’s death in 1999. Suggestions that Spielberg wanted the film to stand as a homage to Kubrick therefore make sense.

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Daniel Day-Lewis tops Lincoln portrayal in Spielberg’s “Obama”

Tuesday, 7 May, 2013

In case you still doubt the ability of Daniel Day-Lewis to literally become the characters he portrays, check out his performance as current US President Barack Obama, in this preview of Obama, Steven Spielberg’s follow up to Lincoln.

Now if that’s not an award winning portrayal, I really don’t know what is…

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Monday, 4 February, 2013

4 stars

In adapting to film the story of how the sixteenth President of the United States of America, Abraham Lincoln (Daniel Day-Lewis), abolished slavery by way of the Thirteenth Amendment, and ended the US Civil War, in Lincoln (trailer), director Steven Spielberg (“Empire of the Sun”, “Munich”) brings the venerable leader’s character to the fore.

After all Lincoln is familiar to many through perhaps his imposing statue at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., or the well known account of his assassination at Ford’s Theatre in April 1865, but these tell people today little about what someone, who is often considered the greatest president of the United States, was like as a person.

Set predominantly in January 1865, “Lincoln” sees the US President struggling to gather the final twenty votes he needs to secure the Thirteenth Amendment’s passage through the House of Representatives. Peace negotiations are in progress with the break-away Confederate States, but Lincoln wants the amendment passed before these conclude.

Lincoln still

Lincoln is concerned that Confederate States, in agreeing to a cease-fire, and re-admission to the United States, will only do so if they can retain slavery. Congress, however, is but one of his worries. Secretary of State William Seward (David Strathairn), and even his wife (Sally Field), feel Lincoln should abandon the amendment.

Bringing a figure as revered as Abraham Lincoln to life is no small ask, and here Spielberg’s casting of Day-Lewis is a master stroke. The British actor has made a career out of entering the minds of those he portrays, and not through merely mimicking them, but becoming them. This isn’t Day-Lewis we are looking at, but Lincoln himself.

While an essential ingredient, Day-Lewis’ authoritative performance as the US President isn’t the sole high point of “Lincoln”. With meticulous attention to detail, Spielberg vividly recreates the warring, divided, America of the mid nineteenth century in this accomplished depiction of one of the most momentous chapters in the nation’s history.

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Great snakes, Tintin to spend two years in the third dimension

Thursday, 26 November, 2009

The upcoming Tintin movie will spend the next two years in post-production as Peter Jackson and his team take footage filmed so far and render it into 3D format.

The film is based on three Tintin stories, The Secret of the Unicorn, Red Rackham’s Treasure, and – interestingly – The Crab with the Golden Claws, which, while having no direct connection to the first two titles, does introduce Captain Haddock, and a baddie or two, to the series.

The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn, the first in a proposed trilogy, will feature the voice of Billy Elliot star Jamie Bell as the intrepid Belgian journalist, with regular Jackson collaborator Andy Serkis as the salty Captain Haddock.

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Fan-made films, sometimes a 25 year labour of love

Tuesday, 19 May, 2009

“Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation”, a tribute movie to 1981’s Raiders of the Lost Ark has taken three fans of the Spielberg classic 25 years to bring (at least once) to the big screen. Says producer Tim Walker, most fan-made film makers give up well before then though.

Of the two new films, Raiders: The Adaptation is perhaps truer to the spirit of the original. Thanks to the green hue of the older sections of VHS footage, some desperately inadequate sound mixing, and the fact that its actors aged by more than a decade during filming, it’s also unwatchable. But at least it doesn’t have any rubbish CGI monkeys in it.

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George Lucas and the Saucer Men From Mars

Friday, 16 May, 2008

Indiana Jones and the Saucer Men From Mars

Why did we have to wait so long for the fourth movie in the Indiana Jones series, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull?

Because for ten years George Lucas insisted the movie be titled Indiana Jones and the Saucer Men From Mars, an idea Harrison Ford and Steven Spielberg detested.

George Lucas wanted to call the new Indiana Jones film “Indiana Jones and the Saucer Men From Mars”. The film’s producer had his idea firmly rejected by actor Harrison Ford and director Steven Spielberg as the three men struggled to reach an agreement for around 10 years.

I’ve always though Harrison Ford had his head screwed on the right way. If Han Solo had have a been a Jedi he’d have single handedly (no pun intended) brought the Imperial Empire down years before it actually fell.

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