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In the early nineties, Steven Spielberg was floundering. He had enough success in the previous decade to establish himself as a movie mogul. But his attempts to “grow up” as a filmmaker did not yield the desired results. Following the critical and commercial failure of Always, Spielberg returned to the childlike wonder of Peter Pan. But Hook was an odd take on the fairy tale in that it envisioned its protagonist as a middle aged man grappling with his own childhood and his role as a parent. The parallels to Spielberg himself are painfully obvious.
Dr. Harvey R. Greenberg put the director on the metaphorical couch for a little psychoanalysis in this article from the Dec 1991 issue of Movieline Magazine.
George Lucas was the first filmmaker I had ever heard of. I was six years old when Star Wars was released in 1977. The movie became a year-long quest for my young self. While every kid I knew was seeing Star Wars over and over again, I had to make due with the reflected glory of the merchandise. Everything I knew about Star Wars came from cheap packs of trading cards. The kind that used to come with pink, cardboard like “gum”. The cards included behind the scenes pictures and stories which were my introduction to the making of movies.
When I finally saw the movie at a drive-in movie theater in 1978, well, it blew my mind. Despite the fact I already knew the entire story in various other forms, finally seeing Star Wars made a huge impression on me. It was then that I became a movie fan. Without Star Wars, who knows, this blog may not even exist.
Between creating Star Wars and Indiana Jones, George Lucas had a tremendous influence on my childhood. Those characters and movies were incredibly personal to me. So I was understandably excited when Lucas decided to revisit those stories decades later. Like a lot of people my age, I saw that excitement turn to disappointment when the new offerings didn’t live up to my childhood memories.
I’m not going to say that George Lucas destroyed my childhood or anything so melodramatic. But I’m not going to lie. I have felt betrayed by George Lucas more than once.
Very few movie heroes are as iconic as Indiana Jones. Many movie fans will quickly name the Indy movies as one of their favorite film series of all times. And yet, most of the Indiana Jones movies aren’t very good. Let’s rank them and see how things shake out.
While readers here at Le Blog have seen me report extensively on visits to the Universal, Busch Gardens, and Walt Disney World theme parks, the first theme park I can remember attending is Walt’s original in Anaheim, California. When I was a kid living in San Diego with my family, the above sign was our cue for excitement because we were finally at Disneyland!
While the sign was changed back in 1989, I am happy to report with similar excitement that after about a 40 year gap, I will be returning to Disneyland with family in June of 2015! There have been a multitude of changes over that time span, in fact, including a whole second park to anticipate.
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It’s rare for someone in Hollywood (or even in life) to own up to a mistake. That’s why I find it somewhat refreshing to read Shia LaBeouf’s candid remarks at Cannes last week regarding the fourth Indiana Jones film.
Fans waited almost 20 years for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. And in spite of a 77% fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes at the time of this writing, it’s safe to say that a lot of fans and critics felt disappointed by the latest chapter in the franchise.