Always (1989) – 8/10 fantasy action romance Steven Spielberg movie review

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Cast / crew
Director: Steven Spielberg
Screenplay Writer: Jerry Belson
Writer (Original Screenplay) “A Guy Named Joe”: Dalton Trumbo
Writer (Original Screenplay Adaptation) “A Guy Named Joe”: Frederick Hazlitt Brennan
Writer (Original Screen Story) “A Guy Named Joe”: Chandler Sprague
Writer (Original Screen Story) “A Guy Named Joe”: David Boehm
Richard Dreyfuss: Pete Sandich
Holly Hunter: Dorinda Durston
John Goodman: Al Yackey
Brad Johnson: Ted Baker
Audrey Hepburn: Hap
Producer: Steven Spielberg
Producer: Frank Marshall
Producer: Kathleen Kennedy
Music: John Williams

Always (1989)

Fire fighting pilot Pete saves best friend Al’s life by sacrificing his own. He is sent back by an angel to help influence the life of another trainee fire-fighting pilot, Ted Baker. However, a chance meeting by this trainee reintroduces Pete to his former love, Dorinda. Will he concentrate on his duty or will he make a futile attempt to rekindle his long-lost romance?

8/10

This is a forgotten Spielberg; a gem awaiting your discovery. This is an emotionally engaging fantasy romance with some good humour and outstanding action. It’s certainly not above criticism as it’s not consistently convincing and the Dreyfuss-Hunter romance for the first part of the movie feels lifted from an animated movie. However, all of the action sequences are extremely thrilling and spectacular, there are a number of lovely scenes and the climax works emotionally. Also, Always contains a mighty Hitler moustache gag that you probably won’t ever see again in a Spielberg movie.

This movie contains mild adult dialogue, mild bad language, mild unpleasant scenes and Holly Hunter in adorably chunky white socks

Classified PG by BBFC. Parental Guidance.

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Columbo s01e01 Murder by the Book (1971) – 6/10 crime detective TV review

Cast / crew
Lieutenant Columbo: Peter Falk
Jack Cassidy: Ken Franklin
Rosemary Forsyth: Jill Ferris
Martin Milner: James “Jim” Ferris
Director: Steven Spielberg
Story Editor and Writer: Steven Bochco
Producer and Series Creator: Richard Levinson
Producer and Series Creator: William Link

Columbo s01e01 Murder by the Book (1971)

When a successful book-writing partnership decides to part company, the ‘silent’ partner murders the other in order to collect the insurance payout but even their famed literary creation, Miss Melville, would have to go some to match wits with our Lt. Columbo.

6/10

A good perfect alibi plot and Peter Falk’s perfect performance as the eponymous shambling detective lift this murder mystery but an unconvincing conclusion drag things back down. Turns out the perfect alibi was just that. This episode was directed by Steven Spielberg and his sense of location creates some peculiarly indelible impressions. This was the first of the regular Columbo series (as opposed to the pilot episode) which would run for nearly thirty years and would be Spielberg’s immediately previous work to his breakthrough TV movie Duel (made the same year).

This Columbo episode contains

Classified PG by BBFC. Parental Guidance.

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The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn (2011) – 7/10 Steven Spielberg action adventure movie review

Cast / crew
Director: Steven Spielberg
Jamie Bell: Tintin
Andy Serkis: Haddock
Daniel Craig: Sakharine, Red Rackham
Writer: Steven Moffat
Writer: Joe Cornish
Writer: Edgar Wright
Writer: Hergé

The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of The Unicorn (2011)

Gun-wielding baby-faced bequiffed ginger reporter (!) Tintin innocently buys a model ship of The Unicorn but finds himself violently targeted by treasure-hunters eager to unravel the Unicorn’s secrets.

7/10

Steven Spielberg’s bash at performance capture movie-making looks great from the get-go but, as with many CG animated movies, it’s not consistently involving and has little emotional connection. Tintin is an oddly blank and anachronistic hero (he looks like a teenager but behaves as an adult and impassively shoots baddies). The movie also races through it’s plot without momentum; it’s going fast but not necessarily because the plot demands it. On the plus side it goes on to offer some funny moments, more stunning visuals, and a couple of top-drawer action sequences (an extended pirate ship attack and a single-shot motorcycle chase, impressive in 3D).

This movie contains violence.

Classified PG by BBFC. Parental Guidance.

The Terminal (2004, Movie) – 3/10 review

Director: Steven Spielberg
Writer (Screenplay): Sacha Gervasi
Writer (Screenplay): Jeff Nathanson
Writer (Screenplay): Andrew Niccol
Writer (Screenplay): Sacha Gervasi
Producer: Steven Spielberg
Tom Hanks: Viktor Navorski
Catherine Zeta-Jones: Amelia Warren
Stanley Tucci: Frank Dixon
Chi McBride: Mulroy
Diego Luna: Enrique Cruz

Terminal, The (2004)

Viktor Navorski is travelling to New York from Krakorzia but en route a coup in his country means that his passport and entry visa become invalid. Not able to fly home or enter the United States he is told that he must stay in the International Flight Lounge until the situation is resolved. To everyone’s surprise, instead of bolting for the door, he does exactly as he is told…

3/10

Unconvincing. And that’s being nice. Despite three credited screenwriters the script has not had its bugs ironed out and this undermines the ever-brilliant Tom Hanks and the super-slick Spielberg coating. The fact is, this is two-minute news fluff and is here horribly stretched to a lifeless two hours. It’s pretty safe to say that this mistaken mess will be Spielberg’s worst and most worthless ever film.

This movie contains adult references and mild sensuality.

Classified 12A by BBFC. Persons under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skulls (2008) – 5/10 Indiana Jones science-fiction action adventure movie review

Cast / crew
Director: Steven Spielberg
Harrison Ford: Indiana Jones
Cate Blanchett: Irina Spalko
Karen Allen: Marion Ravenwood
Ray Winstone: “MAC” George Michale
John Hurt: Professor Oxley
Jim Broadbent: Dean Charles Stanforth
Igor Jijikine: Dovchenko
Shia LaBeouf: Mutt Williams
Executive Producer: George Lucas
Writer (Screenplay): David Koepp
Writer (Story): George Lucas
Writer (Story): Jeff Nathanson

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skulls (2008)

Indiana Jones finds himself caught up in a race against nasty commies to return a crystal skull to its rightful place whereupon the returner is rewarded with power that is out of this world.

5/10

This clumsy, awkward, unfocused, unambitious and distinctly average and, therefore, entirely unnecessary adventure proved to be chewing gum in the combined beards of Spielberg and Lucas, something they simply couldn’t get rid of until they cut it out and got in on the big screen. While the cast is good they aren’t given anything good to do and director Steven Spielberg surprisingly never suspends disbelief and is unable to disguise David Koepp’s incoherent script. This is a movie you merely watch rather than be caught up in. It feels like the awful Indiana Jones television series and not like the previous big-screen trilogy and has a climax so stupid it became instantly legendary for all the wrong reasons. Disappointing.

This movie contains mild swear words and extreme hand-to-hand violence, extremely unpleasant scenes and mild sensuality.

Classified 12A by BBFC. Persons under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult.

Transformers (2007, Science Fiction Fantasy Action Adventure) – 7/10 movie review

Cast / crew
Director: Michael Bay
Writer (Screenplay): Roberto Orci
Writer (Screenplay): Alex Kurtzman
Writer (Story): John Rogers
Writer (Story): Roberto Orci
Writer (Story): Alex Kurtzman
Executive Producer: Steven Spielberg
Executive Producer: Michael Bay
Shia LaBeouf: Sam Witwicky
Tyrese: USAF Tech Sergeant Epps
Josh Duhamel: Captain Lennox
Anthony Anderson: Glen Whitmann
Megan Fox: Mikaela Banes
Rachael Taylor: Maggie Madsen
John Turturro: Agent Simmons
Jon Voight: Defense Secretary John Keller
Peter Cullen: Voice of Optimus Prime
Hugo Weaving: Voice of Megatron

Transformers (2007)

Sam Witwicky is eagerly looking forward to buying his first car, partly because car equals babes, and he has his eye on hilariously hot mega-babe Mikaela Banes. However, events of universal significance will overtake him as he proves to be a critical pawn in an intergalactic struggle over a object of immense power. A struggle perpetrated by GIANT TRANSFORMING ROBOTS.

7/10

Spectacular and fun giant mecha action movie which suffers quite badly from largely indistinguishable robot designs (only Optimus Prime and Bumblebee escape this problem) and frequent script mechanics that the filmmakers hope you won’t notice but does deliver a star-making performance from Shia LeBeouf wrapped up in a ridiculously good-looking package. A glorious mess, then.

This movie contains partial sexual swear words, mild swear words, adult dialogue and extreme mecha violence, extreme bloodless violence.

Classified 12A by BBFC. Persons under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult.

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