Still playing catch-up, so this is what I watched…
Minority Report. (on DVD)
I've never seen this sci-fi pic from Spielberg, and popped it on one Friday night. In fact I didn't even realise it was a Spielberg film until his name came up on the screen.
It was a longer movie than I anticipated — I think I was expecting something a little fluffier and not so earnest. I liked the interesting concept of the central McGuffin. The telling-the-future, and then attempting to prove the prophesy false schtick, made for a real time-travel conundrum feel to it too, but with an added, interesting layer of twist.
I didn't love it, but neither did I hate it. I wonder if really it hasn't aged particularly well in the 10 years or so since it was made. It felt a little undercooked in places. There were certainly some plot holes that were more than merely niggly, and that I found quite annoying. I really was hoping to be more impressed with it than I was, both in regards to its look and the story. It's expectedly twisty, as a thriller should be, and happily I didn't see all of the twists coming, although I wasn't trying too hard either. Some though were painfully obvious from the very beginning.
I was surprised that this was directed by Spielberg. It didn't have nearly the emotional impact/resonance/weight that I'd expect it too coming from him. In fact, the main emotional thread was kind of weak and a bit hackneyed, with a resolution that was far too pat.
In the end, it's not a sci-fi flick I'd recommend watching.
Raiders of the Lost Ark. (on DVD)
Purely coincidentally, another Spielberg-directed movie. This one of course is a classic.
There's not much I can say about Raiders that hasn't already been said, other than to state that I love it heaps, and even after watching it many times over the years (the first time being in the cinema!) it still makes me laugh, cringe and thrill.
I revisit it now with even more admiration than ever. Besides the wonderful characters and the fabulous adventurous story, it's the framing, use of silhouettes and shadows, and of depth into the frame, that is part of the incredible storytelling skill that makes this film so great.