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Steven Spielberg Movies of the 2020s


HoldenIsHere
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This thread is devoted to discussion of the movies from director Steven Spielberg released in the 2020s.

The first of these is his highly anticipated WEST SIDE STORY, adapted from the  Stephen Sondheim/Leonard Bernstein  stage musical, which is scheduled to be released in U.S.  theaters on  December 10, 2021. 

The first full-length official trailer for the movie was unveiled this week.  I am very excited about this one, especially after hearing some of the dialogue by  Tony Kuschner, the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning playwright who adapted Arthur Laurents's stage play for Spielberg's movie.

I love what I've seen of the set design and costumes.  Spielberg's movie is set in the 1950s , corresponding to the time when the original musical play was produced on Broadway.

And Mike Faist as Riff is electrifying!

 

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Stephen Sondheim Says New ‘West Side Story’ Is ‘Terrific’: ‘Spielberg and Kushner Really Nailed It’

Sondheim wrote the lyrics for the original 1957 Broadway musical, which is now inspiring a new film adaptation from director Steven Spielberg.

"...........Sondheim said Kushner “has done some really imaginative and surprising things with the way the songs are used in the story, and the whole thing has real sparkle to it and real energy, and it feels fresh. It’s really first-grade, and movie musicals are hard to do and this one, Spielberg and Kushner really, really nailed it.”

That’s definitely telling a different story than the one Sondheim shared about the original “West Side Story” movie directed by Robert Wise.

The composer wasn’t too keen on that iteration,...........

“I don’t think ‘West Side Story’’s a good movie at all because it’s not a movie. It’s a photograph of a stage.............

https://www.indiewire.com/2021/09/stephen-sondheim-steven-spielberg-west-side-story-terrific-1234665328/?fbclid=IwAR0TeRgkT6mKUPY6NOIsf3eVu5xeWp9zLOt70Y-trdfhAYVXlafEBndZmDk

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My first thought on reading this thread topic was .... have there been ANY?

Guess there's about to be one.

I'm sure with all the modern technology and filmmaking techniques, Speilberg will successfully open up his film world so it doesn't look like it was shot entirely on a soundstage anymore, like the original often seems (overhead shots of Manhattan to begin the film aside).

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I can't imagine there being too many Steven Spielberg movies coming out in the 2020s.  He's already 74 years old .  I believe Dec. 18 will be his 75th birthday so I'm not sure there'll be a spate of Spielberg movies being pumped out as this new decade goes on.  

♠ SHAMELESS PLUG ♠ :  Steven Spielberg's 1972 made-for-television movie SOMETHING EVIL is a lot of fun.  Only 74 minutes; made for one of those old-time and long-gone 90-minute network time slots.   

 

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18 minutes ago, sewhite2000 said:

My first thought on reading this thread topic was .... have there been ANY?

Guess there's about to be one.

I'm sure with all the modern technology and filmmaking techniques, Speilberg will successfully open up his film world so it doesn't look like it was shot entirely on a soundstage anymore, like the original often seems (overhead shots of Manhattan to begin the film aside).

It's too bad the original only filmed the opening sequences in NYC.  It would have been interesting, but I can understand why.  The technology of the day made it difficult (and shooting in NYC is never an easy prospect to begin with).

I didn't realize until the trailer dropped that the book (script) is different in this one - but it's obvious even from the few snippets of dialogue in the trailer that the book is different from either the stage version or the previous film version.  

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28 minutes ago, Mr. Gorman said:

I can't imagine there being too many Steven Spielberg movies coming out in the 2020s.  He's already 74 years old .  I believe Dec. 18 will be his 75th birthday so I'm not sure there'll be a spate of Spielberg movies being pumped out as this new decade goes on.  

♠ SHAMELESS PLUG ♠ :  Steven Spielberg's 1972 made-for-television movie SOMETHING EVIL is a lot of fun.  Only 74 minutes; made for one of those old-time and long-gone 90-minute network time slots.   

 

Thanks for plugging SOMETHING EVIL.  It features a wonderful performance by Sandy Dennis, an actor who I wished had more recorded performances.

As for additional Spielberg movies in the 2020s,  he is teaming with Tony Kushner again for a semi-autographical movie called THE FABELMANS, loosely based on Spielberg's childhood, which is scheduled for release in 2022.

 

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Sad to admit I'm not a Speilberg fan, although I find a few of his movies masterful. That West Side Story trailer is very exciting & makes me very hopeful about this movie. Spielberg may be the only guy with the talent/experience/money to honor this movie by improving on it.

I hope it's great & successful and opens up some eyes of what good movies can be made, even musicals! It also seems timely in the theme of loving each other is more important than what divides us.

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11 hours ago, Mr. Gorman said:

I can't imagine there being too many Steven Spielberg movies coming out in the 2020s.  He's already 74 years old .  I believe Dec. 18 will be his 75th birthday so I'm not sure there'll be a spate of Spielberg movies being pumped out as this new decade goes on.  

I guess the idea that Spielberg is almost 75 comes as something of a shock to me, though when I think about it, he's been making movies for 50 years (and he was touted as wunderkind when he started). I feel like Mr. Gorman is implying Spielberg is going to be dead soon (though another poster recently ripped a hole in the side of my body for having the audacity to assume what other posters are thinking, so I will be cautious there), and  I don't know, maybe not .... Frank Capra lived to be 100, although I don't think he worked at all past the age of 70, so we may not see much more Speilberg product. Clint Eastwood is showing us you can work into your 90s if you want to, but I don't know that everybody wants to.

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I have to say that, in general, I question the reason for remaking any movie (songs too, really). I see only a few reasons to do a remake. 1) Technology and/or special effects has changed enough where the movie is dated, and it can be presented much more spectacularly, particularly w/ action/scifi's. 2) The movie didn't follow the book, say, and the author or a different producer wants a crack at "doing it right". 3) They're going for a easy box office hit, by riding the coattails of a classic, because they're too lazy & unimaginative to come up with their own new story. 4) They have the audacity to think they can do a better job than the original.

 

It's a bold thing to question someone w/ Spielberg's resume, but, if I could have one question for him, I'd ask "Why?". Why West Side Story? Because it's an oscure, little remembered average movie that wasn't made to its potential? No, it's highly regarded and much beloved. You're trying to cash in on an the name of an established classic? No, not Spielberg. Were there any technological parts of the story that drove the story, and could/should be updated, or social changes that are unrelatable to the anyone in the 21st century? No, there were no special effects, or any place that a cell phone would change everything, and rival street gangs (and tribalism) are still very much a thing. Is it that you think you can do better? That would be my guess. You would think Spielberg would understand respecting the art of someone's film. If a movie is widely loved and considered a classic, it should be left to stand on its own. Nobody's repainting the Mona Lisa or the Sistine Chapel, or making a better, more scuplted statue of David. You may think that's overdramatizing, but you get the gist

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16 hours ago, sewhite2000 said:

My first thought on reading this thread topic was .... have there been ANY?

Guess there's about to be one.

I'm sure with all the modern technology and filmmaking techniques, Speilberg will successfully open up his film world so it doesn't look like it was shot entirely on a soundstage anymore, like the original often seems (overhead shots of Manhattan to begin the film aside).

I think this thread is a "do over" thread, since the OP's previous thread on WEST SIDE STORY (2021) was moved to the musicals sub-forum. My guess is that in order to prevent this thread from being moved off the General Discussions forum, he widened the topic to include all of Spielberg's films from this decade, even though there haven't been any other ones yet!

 

 

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FRANK CAPRA lived to be 94, btw.   Died in 1991.    

@Sewhite2000:   That's interesting you think I was implying Spielberg would be pushing up daisies soon.  💀 That did not cross my mind when typing out that post.   

It's just that most directors are nowhere near as busy -- if not retired altogether -- by their mid-70s.  There are some exceptions, to be sure.  The Portuguese director Manoel de Oliveira, for one.  In regards to director/actor JOHN HUSTON . . . I figure directing kept him alive several more years.  Gave him a reason to keep going despite the bad case of emphysema he had.   He knew he could die anytime by the mid-1980s but stuck around long enough to make "The Dead" before passing on late August 1987 at 81.   

If Steven Spielberg wants to stay busy with movie projects instead of retiring then good for him.  He still has enthusiasm after 52 years; his first directing assignment was the Joan Crawford segment of NIGHT GALLERY (1969.  Joan plays a blind woman attempting to buy 'sight' 👁️👁️  for a few hours from hapless Tom Bosley. 

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34 minutes ago, Mr. Gorman said:

If Steven Spielberg wants to stay busy with movie projects instead of retiring then good for him.  He still has enthusiasm after 52 years; his first directing assignment was the Joan Crawford segment of NIGHT GALLERY (1969.

Thank you for mentioning Spielberg's work in television.  In addition to his work on NIGHT GALLERY, he directed episodes of MARCUS WELBY, MD and COLUMBO.

DUEL (1971), his feature film directorial debut, was actually first seen in the U.S. as a network television "movie of the week" before being released theatrically in Europe. 

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To date, I've never seen the 1973 TVM Spielberg said he was forced to direct.  It's called SAVAGE.  Apparently it was a movie for a prospective series starring Martin Landau and Barbara Bain . . . except it was not picked up so it was a 'busted pilot' movie.  I'd like to see it.  Spielberg's last TV movie before going on to feature film work.

 

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20 hours ago, David Proulx said:

Is it that you think you can do better? That would be my guess. You would think Spielberg would understand respecting the art of someone's film. If a movie is widely loved and considered a classic, it should be left to stand on its own.

Well I for one wasn't crazy over the original, I actually think yes, Speilberg can do better. All the things I dislike about Spielberg's style -his clunky manipulation of the audience's feelings- can also be the key to their success. And in all fairness, his style has absolutely grown up from his "sensational" early days.

But what about an almost "perfect" film? I can't imagine Speilberg remaking SOME LIKE IT HOT or SINGIN IN THE RAIN. I think he chose a strong, classic story (Romeo & Juliet/West Side Story) and is just improving on the original movie's shortcomings.

I had to pause that overhead scene in the trailer with the sand pyramids in the room's corners....I thought it was a production shot but surprised to realize it was an actual scene! So dramatic!

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48 minutes ago, TikiSoo said:

Well I for one wasn't crazy over the original, I actually think yes, Speilberg can do better. All the things I dislike about Spielberg's style -his clunky manipulation of the audience's feelings- can also be the key to their success. And in all fairness, his style has absolutely grown up from his "sensational" early days.

But what about an almost "perfect" film? I can't imagine Speilberg remaking SOME LIKE IT HOT or SINGIN IN THE RAIN. I think he chose a strong, classic story (Romeo & Juliet/West Side Story) and is just improving on the original movie's shortcomings.

I had to pause that overhead scene in the trailer with the sand pyramids in the room's corners....I thought it was a production shot but surprised to realize it was an actual scene! So dramatic!

You're right about a couple of things:

1) I'm not particular gaga over West Side Story either. For me, musicals, in general?---ehh. I'm not the one who decides what makes a classic, though. The enduring concensus of critics & audience does, and this one is deemed a classic, still absolutely loved by many for 60 years now. 

2) Yes, it is a Romeo & Juliet theme, and there are maybe 1000+ movies in Hollywood with that theme. So, why not make an original movie with that in mind? Why be a hack, and steal the West Side Story name? One can improve upon anything. As I stated in my first comment in the thread, no one is looking for flaws in DaVinci's The Last Supper to paint a new computer generated 'flawless' remake of it. A better version of me could surely cloned, but you'd have to give that person a different name, because they'd be someone else.

Let any piece of art stand on its own, I say. Not all names for movies are taken yet. Come up with your own idea. For someone especially of Spielberg's stature, it's beneath him.

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1 hour ago, David Proulx said:

You're right about a couple of things

Mmm, you may want to re-word that to you "agree with me".  No one's right/wrong when it comes to movies or art in general-but I do appreciate the sentiment!

1 hour ago, David Proulx said:

Come up with your own idea. For someone especially of Spielberg's stature, it's beneath him.

Well Spielberg always struck me as a commercial hack. No disrespect(I consider myself a hack artist) Someone who can technically create a money making art/movie that appeals to a lot of people.  Sometimes his choices are obvious & childish -but that's ok- it's not easy to make a movie that appeals to a broad range of people.

Spielberg seems very knowledgeable & instinctive technically. But his stature as an artistic creator seems a weaker aspect of his overall body of work.

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I re-watched SOMETHING EVIL yesterday.

The "Apple Bar Candy Song" (written for the movie by Charlie Marie Gordon) always amuses me.

The song is sung for the commercial that Darren McGavin's character (a New York City advertising agency executive) is filming outside the farmhouse where he lives with his wife (played by Sandy Dennis) and their two children.

Apples come in chocolate brown.
Mmm-mmm.
They’re wonderful.
Apples come in taffy gold.
Mmm-mmm.
They’re scrumptious.
Listen to me, all you folks.
Hear me when I say,
“Apple bar, apple bar,
Sends me all the way.”

 

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45 minutes ago, HoldenIsHere said:

A new trailer for Steven Spielberg's upcoming WEST SIDE STORY dropped this week.

We get our first glimpse of "America"  and more of the magnetic Ariana DeBose as Anita.

"Get your shoes on. I want to dance!"

 

So they kept the 1961 film's version of the song, where it's an argument between the males and females.  I always thought it worked better that way than  the placement and lyrics in the original stage production.

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My comments won't be entirely relevant to this thread because I've given up on Spielberg. The last of his films I liked was Munich and that was fifteen years ago.  I saw  and enjoyed Duel and his Night Gallery episodes before I knew his name. The Sugarland Express was the first film of his I took note of his name. Then there was Jaws, of course and Close Encounters and Indiana Jones, well, if you were around back then, you know how much these films permeated our culture. After saving private ryan (the title is supposed to be all lower case, yes?) I started to lose interest in his films. There's no disputing the man's talent, but if he never made another film, I wouldn't shed a tear.

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