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Hook and What is Spielberg's worst film?

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Hook and What is Spielberg's worst film?

Old 04-11-11, 08:05 PM
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Hook and What is Spielberg's worst film?

I watched Hook over the weekend. DVR'd it off of HDNet in OAR and HD. It's the first time I've seen the film in 14 years, having only previously seen it on VHS paned and scanned.

The film definately bennefited from the widescreen and increased visible detail, especially its optical (and I guess some digital) special effects.

But all in all it is still a really bad film. Poor script, overlit cinematography, garish production design, cheap looking (but very big) sets that never look or feel like they are outdoors. The film is so studio bound you can practically smell Culver City. The action feels very "restrained" because they had to keep things limited to the sets.

Anyway it got me to thinking: Is it Spielberg's worst film? I know I enjoy Always and Jurasic Park 2 a lot more. Those films have problems, but also have highlights (whether it be a particular performance, some great cinematography, or at least one particularly great scene). I don't think Hook contains one single good scene.

Feel free to discuss Hook, what went wrong, and any other Spielberg films you may feel are worse.

Last edited by Mabuse; 04-11-11 at 08:16 PM.
Old 04-11-11, 08:14 PM
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Re: Hook and What is Spielberg's worst film?

I would say A.I. and the most recent Indiana Jones movie were worse than Hook. But then again I haven't watched Hook since I was 14 so there's a good chance it is his worst movie. I have listened to tracks from John Williams' score though more recently and it's fantastic still to this day.
Old 04-11-11, 08:18 PM
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Re: Hook and What is Spielberg's worst film?

I think the set work really hurts the film, especially when lesser-made ones, like Cutthroat Island, have great cinematography because of the location shots. This might have been an experiment on Spielberg's part as he wanted to do CET3K all on sets.

Just from the bits I've seen though, I'd say the Terminal is probably his worst.

Interesting though, Lucasfilm is listed as a studio on Hook; pretty crazy that aside from the Indy and Star Wars films, the movies of Lucasfilm have been unsuccessful even though they have their charms.
Old 04-11-11, 08:19 PM
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Re: Hook and What is Spielberg's worst film?

Hook is pretty fucking awful. Is it his absolute worst film? I'm hard pressed to think of something worse. AI definitely wasn't (it didn't have some obnoxious/precocious little girl singing some awful fucking song, or Robin Williams at his absolute insufferable). Lost World was absolutely crummy, but it was more severely disappointing than just plain bad.

That last Indiana Jones movie was a complete abortion. But for all of its awfulness, it still didn't scratch the surface of Hook-level awfulness. So Hook it is. That movie made me want to kick a pigeon.
Old 04-11-11, 08:19 PM
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Re: Hook and What is Spielberg's worst film?

Originally Posted by Jam Master Jay View Post
I would say A.I. and the most recent Indiana Jones movie were worse than Hook. But then again I haven't watched Hook since I was 14 so there's a good chance it is his worst movie. I have listened to tracks from John Williams' score though more recently and it's fantastic still to this day.
I happen to love AI, but even if I hated it I could find more entertainment just by looking at the excellent photography and the great performance of Jude Law than by anything in Hook.

I also want to add that all the pirate ship stuff seems really cheap looking compared to the Goonies which probably had 1/4 the budget.

Last edited by Mabuse; 04-11-11 at 08:25 PM.
Old 04-11-11, 08:26 PM
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Re: Hook and What is Spielberg's worst film?

Hook is bad and I'm not much of a Spielberg fan, but I can get through it without rolling my eyes too much. Which is pretty rare for a Spielberg film.

All of his film really, are pure saccharine studio fare. Many of his films feel like Frank Capra directing a Saturday morning cartoon. Hook is definitely one of these, but it is a fun little movie that doesn't ruin anyone's memory of a beloved franchise or hit you with so much over the top sentimentality that you want to claw your eyes out.

I can view it as I would a Saturday morning cartoon and enjoy it in that regard (of course, nostalgia helps). As for his worst films, I have to go with his most egregious cash grab sequels, Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and Lost World. Neither added anything to the preceding film(s) or advanced the respective franchises in any meaningful way. Crystal Skull is probably stands alone though. Even though Lost World is pretty terrible.

I've given Crystal Skull at least three chances now and each time I watch it I just sit there flabbergasted at how bad it is. From the fridge nuking sequence to the fact that Shia seems to be in a completely different film than every one else with his campy 50's shtick. The Indiana Jones movies were supposed to be Saturday matinee action-adventure fun, I get that these are not and were never intended to be high cinematic art, but the first three were all good (to varying degrees) action films that kept the balance between camp and simply genre action-adventure fare. Crystal Skull said screw the balance, we're going all camp and we're going to throw in every and any cliche we can from Soviets to Aliens to greasers, mix it all together and see what happens. Well what happened was that all of the different elements separated like oil and water and turned what could have been one mediocre film into a conglomerate of 3 shitty films and Shia.

At least Hook is consistent with what it is...a Saturday matinee action-adventure for kids. I've revisited it in bits and pieces here and there since I've gotten older and it isn't that bad for Spielberg, who is always going to be cheesy and suburban no matter what.

I'd also nominate his "serious" pictures as some of his worst as well (Amistad and The Color Purple). There are just too sentimentalized and too "studio" for me. They are ultra-safe films that seem to be designed to win awards. I don't have anything against award-winning films, but I hate watching films that set out to be deemed prestigious or important. It seems too forced. It is the reason I have a problem with most of Ed Zwick's recent work.

Last edited by BambooLounge; 04-11-11 at 09:17 PM. Reason: Got the generic baddie wrong...Soviets, not Nazis
Old 04-11-11, 08:31 PM
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Re: Hook and What is Spielberg's worst film?

Always.

Oh, and 1941.
Old 04-11-11, 08:53 PM
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Re: Hook and What is Spielberg's worst film?

E.T.
or
Saving Private Ryan

Take your pick.
Old 04-11-11, 08:57 PM
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Re: Hook and What is Spielberg's worst film?

Originally Posted by PopcornTreeCt View Post
Schindler's List
<object width="640" height="390"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/CAKS3rdYTpI&hl=en_US&feature=player_embedded&version=3"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/CAKS3rdYTpI&hl=en_US&feature=player_embedded&version=3" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" allowScriptAccess="always" width="640" height="390"></embed></object>
Old 04-11-11, 09:05 PM
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Re: Hook and What is Spielberg's worst film?

AI is probably the worst thing put on film and I hate myself for seeing that shit. Indiana 4 was horrible but thats cause of the script and shitty Shee LaBeef

Now Hook I like but that may be cause I was a kid when it came out and I REALLY get a kick out of seeing GLenn CLose as a man going into that "boo box" or whatever
Old 04-11-11, 09:07 PM
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Re: Hook and What is Spielberg's worst film?

Originally Posted by BambooLounge View Post
Crystal Skull said screw the balance, we're going all camp and we're going to throw in every and any cliche we can from Nazis to Aliens to greasers, mix it all together and see what happens.
Sorry for laughing, but they weren't Nazis in Crystal Skull.
Old 04-11-11, 09:08 PM
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Re: Hook and What is Spielberg's worst film?

Yeah, 1941 is worthless. Except for the stuff with Robert Stack.
Old 04-11-11, 09:14 PM
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Re: Hook and What is Spielberg's worst film?

Originally Posted by Indy Jones Fan View Post
Sorry for laughing, but they weren't Nazis in Crystal Skull.
No need to apologize for laughing...I haven't seen the film in like 2 years....so sorry, the generic bad guys were Soviets...looks like I grabbed the wrong item off the generic villain shelf.
Old 04-11-11, 09:17 PM
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Re: Hook and What is Spielberg's worst film?

Love the Gilliam bit on Spielberg posted above. He's dead on.

Hook would get my vote, but he's made more than his share of bad or shall I say "uneven" films.
Old 04-11-11, 09:18 PM
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Re: Hook and What is Spielberg's worst film?

I voted E.T. in this thread:

Most Overrated Steven Spielberg Movie


I don't like that film at all.
Old 04-11-11, 09:23 PM
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Re: Hook and What is Spielberg's worst film?

Originally Posted by BambooLounge View Post
No need to apologize for laughing...I haven't seen the film in like 2 years....so sorry, the generic bad guys were Soviets...looks like I grabbed the wrong item off the generic villain shelf.
well...there is huge difference in a Nazi and Soviet bad guy....
Old 04-11-11, 09:27 PM
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Re: Hook and What is Spielberg's worst film?

AI is one of Spielbergs best films and the best science fiction film of the past 15 years.

Pretty sure people who hate it are inhuman.
Old 04-11-11, 09:30 PM
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Re: Hook and What is Spielberg's worst film?

Originally Posted by Solid Snake PAC View Post
well...there is huge difference in a Nazi and Soviet bad guy....
Not in cartoonish films like Crystal Skull. In general, yes, of course there are huge differences between Soviets and Nazis in reality/history...or even well-made films dealing with the atrocities committed by either regime.

But in a film like Crystal Skull they are both reduced to simply anti-American bad guys with thick accents.

For example, in Rocky IV, you can basically keep that entire script and simply change the location (Germany to Russia) and time period (80s to 30s) and turn Ivan Drago from a Soviet to a Nazi and it would play exactly the same in the context of the film. Same thing with Crystal Skull.

Germans, Russians, or heavily accented heavies are stereotypical villains or "evil others" in American popcorn flicks. They just get inserted based on the time period of the story being told. Now, Arabs are tossed in and as always, you got "urban minorities" in urban genre fare. The "evil other" is a very basic cinematic archetype.
Old 04-11-11, 09:49 PM
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Re: Hook and What is Spielberg's worst film?

I wouldn't say it was Hook. Most likely 1941, and I was very underwhelmed by The Terminal.
Old 04-11-11, 10:18 PM
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Re: Hook and What is Spielberg's worst film?

Originally Posted by Dr. DVD View Post
I was very underwhelmed by The Terminal.
Yeesh. I forgot that was Spielberg.
Old 04-11-11, 10:29 PM
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Re: Hook and What is Spielberg's worst film?

Originally Posted by BambooLounge View Post
<object width="640" height="390"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/CAKS3rdYTpI&hl=en_US&feature=player_embedded&version=3"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/CAKS3rdYTpI&hl=en_US&feature=player_embedded&version=3" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" allowScriptAccess="always" width="640" height="390"></embed></object>
That was awesome. He had a great point about the film. I think for so many in America and what Spielberg capitalized on, was that for the majority of Americans, all they know was that the holocaust was bad. Unfortunately, for us filmgoers that's all Spielberg had to say also. Schindler's List might as well been a fictitious movie about a brutal prison warden.

I visited Dachau a couple years ago during a trip to Germany and the experience still haunts me. All that stuff you read about the holocaust in text books, movies like Schindler's List, do not prepare you at all.

I ended up re-editing my post because I do feel Schindler's List does have some redeeming qualities, however I do not believe the film should be shown in schools. There are far more educational, accurate and powerful documentaries out there for students to watch and learn.
Old 04-11-11, 10:32 PM
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Re: Hook and What is Spielberg's worst film?

Originally Posted by The Cow View Post
I voted E.T. in this thread:

Most Overrated Steven Spielberg Movie


I don't like that film at all.
I would 100% agree that ET is his most overrated film. But worst? Not even close.
Old 04-11-11, 11:15 PM
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Re: Hook and What is Spielberg's worst film?

From all his movies that I have seen....War of the Worlds. I did not enjoy that one at all. Although The Terminal and Catch Me if You Can seemed like paint by numbers, in that someone else could have done them just as well. Except for the production design for The Terminal...only someone of Spielberg's clout could have had the a whole working Terminal constructed.
Old 04-11-11, 11:35 PM
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Re: Hook and What is Spielberg's worst film?

Originally Posted by bluetoast View Post
From all his movies that I have seen....War of the Worlds. I did not enjoy that one at all. Although The Terminal and Catch Me if You Can seemed like paint by numbers, in that someone else could have done them just as well. Except for the production design for The Terminal...only someone of Spielberg's clout could have had the a whole working Terminal constructed.
I had totally forgotten about the POS known as War of the Worlds. That one was very difficult to sit through. I also hated Indy IV. Hook isn't that bad, it isn't great or anything but it is watchable. For some reason the actor who played Rufio annoyed me.

So yeah a vote for War of the Worlds for me.
Old 04-12-11, 12:00 AM
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Re: Hook and What is Spielberg's worst film?

One thing Hook had going for it was the great teaser trailer. That teaser hyped me for something the movie could not deliver.

<iframe title="YouTube video player" width="480" height="390" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/-KBT7-bG8eg" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

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