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The Man With The Hat Is Back...

After getting the internet all in a tizz with a single photograph of Harrison Ford lounging around in his Indiana Jones costume, Steven Spielberg has released a short video from the set of his forthcoming sequel, for which a title has yet to be revealed. Click here to see a short, but rather exciting clip from the set.

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I really don't know if I want this to happen or not. Each Indy flick was weaker than the last, and Ford really does have the grandpa thing going on. But it's Spielberg, and with the exception of 1941, I've liked every one of his films.

Weird how many see the films as part of the director's 40s obsession, yet the first three were all set in the 30s and this one's the 50s (which could be interesting).

What's really interesting me at the moment, though, is the Neill Blomkamp Halo video. Promo for the third game or not, it's an interesting (if low-budget) look at what his movie might have looked like...

By Andrew
July 12, 2007 @ 7:03 pm

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I have an absolute stiffy for this whole project.

Spielberg is on top form lately, the cast is brilliant, they're avoiding using CG for the effects as much as possible (possibly at all, from what they've said, but I imagine it's hard to avoid using it for certain background things), writing Ford's age into the script, retaining various elements from Frank Darabonts apparently excellent script rather than throwing it out completely because of a George Lucas strop as I've read... really every doubt I've had has evaporated. I've never held with the theory that TOD is weaker than Raiders etc, as far as I'm concerned they're each as brilliant as the other.

By Michael Lacey
July 12, 2007 @ 8:14 pm

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> Spielberg is on top form lately,

Can't disagree with that. He developed a problem with endings in 1993 that he's never shaken off, but that aside I'm really enjoying his recent work. WOTW scared the crap out of me in the cinema.

> they're avoiding using CG for the effects as much as possible (possibly at all, from what they've said, but I imagine it's hard to avoid using it for certain background things)

If nothing else, films one to three had a decent quantity of process work - mattes and composites which, in some cases, would likely be CGI now. And I expect a a similar level of FX, so some CGI is kinda inevitable. But a) it'll be great CGI (WOTW, man!), b) it'll be necessary, rather than everywhere, and c) models and miniatures when preferable. I've zero concerns on that score.

> I've never held with the theory that TOD is weaker than Raiders etc, as far as I'm concerned they're each as brilliant as the other.

Really? Cos I find Crusade really struggles. Ford seems only half-interested until Sean Connery turns up; some of the editing, photography and dubbing/redubbing really shows up the hurried production; and Raiders is often rehashed. Oh, and damn that plane sequence looks ropey.

Which is not to say I hate the movie. It's still got a lot to offer, and maybe the best dialogue of the three. But I do find the series suffering from diminishing returns.

That said, what's the alternative? The Potter films get better each time, but only by starting with some pretty dull movies... :-)

By Andrew
July 13, 2007 @ 12:22 am

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Much of Crusade was like a parody version of Raiders due to it being too self-aware, Return of the Jedi style, but overall it's still pretty decent. Doom is something else entirely. I still don't know how I feel about it after seeing it countless times. Obviously I don't hate it. It's just too '80s for my liking, whereas Raiders has more of a timeless classic feel.

As for Spielberg, IMO he desperately needs this to work. His last 6 or 7 movies have been utter 'meh-fests' (I liked Munich and the effects in WOTW, Minority Report and AI, but that's about it). Unfortunately, if you take the effects out of WOTW you get possibly the worst film he's made since...1941, probably ever! SO so rushed, Cruise phoning it in, stupid stunt casting of Dakota 'I'm a 30-year-old trapped inside a 12-year-old' Fanning, plot with the son that's like the worst of the worst cliched father-son plots and then is wrapped up in the most meh-like way with him just turning up at the house at the end (surely that proves how rushed the project was?), lines like 'is it the terrorists?' that make you want to end your life, Tim Robbins cast as Cliched Nutjob Man In Basement. The CG was good though, especially considering the quick turnaround.

By performingmonkey
July 13, 2007 @ 4:42 am

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Hmmm. Spielberg's last seven films, you say?

Munich - brilliant, apparently (I've not seen it, but extremely critically feted)
War of the Worlds - good, quite heavily flawed in some ways, but with some excellent Spielbergian touches
The Terminal - a bit crap, apparently (not seen it, again)
Catch Me If You Can - great. Don't care what you say, it was great.
Minority Report - great. Don't care what you say, it was great (if a bit flawed here and there).
AI - utter shash
Saving Private Ryan - great

By Seb
July 13, 2007 @ 11:34 am

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Ooh, i like this game:

Munich - I appreciated it more the second time; intense stuff
War of the Worlds - I think this was his best movie for a decade. It's not 'the effects' it's the fear, the tension. Without the CGI, that basement/probe scene is still nail-biting. That movie made me feel the weight of overwhelming odds like no film ever has. Story flaws or not, it's 'cinematic' in a way Spielberg seems able be do better than anyone.
The Terminal - Usual 'ending' problems, but a charming experience. Uses tiny little logics to great effect. (Finding food, earning money, learning English, etc.)
Catch Me If You Can - As with the terminal, it's all charm. A sweet confection.
Minority Report - Usual ending problems. But otherwise great - and posessed of a rare (for Spielberg) streak of black comedy.
AI - I adore AI. I don't care, I really don't - for me it's four acts of elegant bliss.
Saving Private Ryan - Loses a single point for pretending to be 'the defining film of WWII' when actually presenting a simple action adventure. (This happens every time he does an historical epic; and this one wasn't even a directly 'true' story.) On its own merits, though, it's a powerhouse. And the photographic style defined a new era of action filmmaking.

> Unfortunately, if you take the effects out of WOTW you get possibly the worst film he's made since...1941, probably ever!

Inevitably I disagree. Thension and terror are in the shot, the cut, the sound and the performance. All of which were spot-on for me.

> lines like 'is it the terrorists?' that make you want to end your life

I liked that line! Big alien movie or not, isn't it a valid and likely response? (Me, I see it as a critque, too, of the way the American media and goverment has chosen to personify 'terrorists' as a single group of definitive evildoers. So simplistic, so black hat/white hat, that it should only make sense to children.)

> Tim Robbins cast as Cliched Nutjob Man In Basement.

Appropriate, given the source material though, don't you think? All they did was amalgamate two nutters (along with the name of another character) from the book.

By Andrew
July 13, 2007 @ 2:52 pm

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Ah, yes, but the daughter in WotW still makes me want to kill things.

By Rosti
July 13, 2007 @ 3:25 pm

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Minority Report made me lose all interest in Spielberg forever because it was just so horrendous on just about every level, and this was way before my seething hatred of Tom Cruise got too much for me to watch any film with him in. I will probably end up seeing Indy 4, though, despite my complete lack of enthusiasm for the idea.

By James Hunt
July 13, 2007 @ 4:44 pm

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"Munich" - not seen it

War of the Worlds - Very good, I think. One of his best films in years. It has its flaws (the casting of Cruise which damages the "everyman" aspect of the character, the rubbish martians (why on earth didn't they use the descriptions of the martians from Wells original novel - they're absolutely horrendous things?) and that bloody ending) but it makes up for them with some real tension, a strong sense of an actual invasion which humanity is near-powerless against and some magnificent fighting-machines which piss all over the floaty things from that overrated 1950s effort.

This has made me remember those awful "comedy" posts by someone on NOTBBC using a pseudonym and pretending to be the film's screenwriter David Koepp. I still think it's weird that someone had some a massive issue with a bloody screenwriter that they felt the need to pour out their venom in a tragically unfunny manner on a popular culture website. I mean, having a grudge against a director is silly enough but a *screenwriter*?!

The Terminal - not seen it.

Catch Me If You Can - Enjoyable for what it is, which is a fairly light caper movie with a good cast.

Minority Report - A pretty good film and, along with "Blade Runner" the best adaptation of a PKD novel I've seen. Again, it has the modern "ending" problem so many of Spielberg's films have but it's great while it lasts.

AI - Underrated massively, in my opinion. I agree with the common concensus on That Ending but the rest of the film is intelligent, well-acted and even thought-provoking in a way not enough big-budget sci-fi is. It covers similar ground to "Blade Runner" in the "what it means to be human" stakes but from a child's perspective rather than killer robots. There are some downers (like the bit at the flesh fair where we're expected to believe that the half-psychotic crowd suddenly take pity on a mecha just because it looks like a kid) but overall it's ace. I think it's one of those films some people just don't "get" (see also "Donnie Darko").

Saving Private Ryan - not seen it.

By Zagrebo
July 13, 2007 @ 8:54 pm

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If his more recent lighter films The Terminal and Catch Me... prove anything it's that he can still pull off a certain tone that will be required for Indy. I don't particularly care for either flick, mainly because I want to see something special from a Spielberg film. I suppose that's the problem, he set himself a bar so high that he can't get away with anything less than magic. Both Minority Report and A.I. should have been out-and-out classics, but they fell short. A.I. in particular had flashes of pure Spielberg goosebump-inducing genius, but then it all went wrong (IMO anyway). I've watched it three or four times and every time I'm just praying it ends differently. Sadly it doesn't, it proves Spielberg shouldn't be allowed to write anything himself.

What is his all-time best film anyway? For me it would be a toss-up between Jaws, Raiders and E.T.. I've always had a particular soft spot for E.T. and now I find I appreciate it even more. Obviously as a kid you're totally sucked into it, but now as a 24-year-old I can marvel at the utter brilliance of the filmmaking. Also, I must be the only person in the world who actually likes the CG-enchanced version of it.

By performingmonkey
July 14, 2007 @ 3:59 am

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