Share Tweet She may not seek public accolades for helping make so many of our favorite movies, but she damn well deserves them. But being the dumpster fire that it is — still burning from last year — means some people have decided to act like assholes under the guise of fandom and attack the talents behind the new Star Wars films for childish reasons. Seriously, look at her IMDB page if you need a reminder, and then keep reading as several of us here at FSR share our love for her productions.
Poltergeist Whenever someone tries to make the argument that PG-rated horror is weak they should be immediately shut down with a one-two punch of The Legend of Hell House and Poltergeist. Both movies are focused on haunted houses, and both deliver the creepy, unsettling goods that remain effective decades later.
Together with director Tobe Hooper they crafted a film that excels by portraying a strong, recognizable family and then building up a nightmare around them complete with physical terrors, emotional threats, and nervous laughter.
Plus that damn clown. Sequels and a remake followed, but none of them live up to the perfect combination of scares, laughs, and relief. I remember watching Balto over and over as a kid. The story about a wolfdog who leads a team of huskies through the Alaskan wilderness to deliver badly needed medicine to the town of Nome is based on true events and makes for a heartwarming family film. It might be a bit simple, but lessons about the importance of inclusivity, selflessness, and teamwork are never bad ideals to teach to children.
Balto is the movie that made me beg my parents incessantly to get a dog, and twelve years later when I visited New York for the first time, the Balto statue in Central Park was one of the tourist destinations I made sure I visited. Ultimately and rather inexplicably a very time-specific satire of Hollywood, How I Spent My Summer Vacation is clever, bold, and just plain bonkers.
Being mostly divorced from the royalty of the franchise, its themes have always seemed more universal. At their core, Star Wars movies are based on the strength and importance of relationships — the hope that is borne out of love and sacrifice. So of course the everyman deserves their chance to get involved and Rogue One is very much that kind of movie.
Rogue One is thus the perfect meeting point between nostalgia and the future of the franchise. Scott Fitzgerald short story on which the film is based and brought the project to Paramount, where Fincher was eventually brought on as director. Hate on it because it subverted your expectations. Hate on it because it actually developed characters and propelled them into new directions. And The Last Jedi is a great film. Yes, Kathleen Kennedy and Rian Johnson changed some of what you love about Star Wars, but in doing so, they brought us some damn cool force powers, fresh and contemplative character development, and the best action in the series.
Hate on The Last Jedi all you want, but it demonstrates exceptional filmmaking and authentic entertainment. Forget the fanboy gripes surrounding M. Night Shyamalan, and forget the bad taste Mel Gibson leaves in your mouth as a modern-day viewer — the fact is that there is so, so much to love about this movie.
Clearly the aliens have been there from the start. However, the lead up to the inciting incident, the full-scale attack, is just perfect.
These characters become so interesting that the alien invasion exists almost in the background, or even feels as if it is occurring as a result of this small, broken family.
Maybe the minds behind Signs even saw the invasion as a necessary event to mend their bumpy relationships. All the pieces clicked into place and you felt overall cheesily satisfied. It was definitely one of those magical film moments that made me fall in love with movies from a young age, and I still get goosebumps when Merrill picks up that baseball bat and swings away. As far as creature features go, few are better than Gremlins, regardless of the size of the creatures in question.
If you want to see tiny terrors get drunk and smoke cigarettes, this has everything you need. If you like adorable furry creatures, few are as heartwarming as Gizmo. Gremlins spawned an excellent sequel and a slew of imitators — some of which are a riot in their own right — but none captured the blend of horror, humor, and heart as impressively as the O. The more unrealistic, the better. Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt play it straight, even though cows are flying around them.
They sandbagged it with a nearly non-existent promotional campaign and blindsided financiers with a limited release, causing most of them to back away from animation all together. To make matters worse, Nimh was going up against E. Thank god for Jerry Goldsmith. Not long after Don Bluth Productions filed for bankruptcy, Goldsmith the composer of Nimh , introduced Bluth to Spielberg, who had an intense interest in traditional animation and promised to keep an eye out for a project that he and Bluth could work on together.
And with Spielberg came Kathleen Kennedy. It is a testament then, that Land Before Time was as much as a success as it was, both in the pocketbooks of parents, and in the hearts of children. Artificial Intelligence What would a Stanley Kubrick sci fi story about a robotic boy and the end of humanity look like in the hands of warm and fuzzy Steven Spielberg? Kathleen Kennedy helped give us the answer. By which I mean, of course, that this is required viewing for you more than anyone.
It should be required viewing and reading for everyone. Even his early Roger Corman expeditions swam deep down still waters, fishing emotion from B-movie absurdity. Weirdos are the ones who will win out in the end. After a quick dalliance with Paramount Pictures for Explorers, Dante returned to Amblin for his silliest and most bizarre action-comedy to date.
Innerspace rips into your memory of Fantastic Voyage and elevates the body horror for grand guffaws. After terrorists attempt to steal the technology, Pendleton is accidentally injected into the body of grocery boy Martin Short. Innerspace is one of those gotta-see-it-to-believe-it movies. Amblin saw comedy gold where others saw subpar sci-fi. The influence of Roger Rabbit on Hollywood blockbuster culture cannot be overstated: Films from The Lego Movie to Ready Player One have borrowed its irreverent tone and frenetic cross-pollination of iconic characters.
As just one of her collaborations with Spielberg, Kennedy helped develop the film with him. The New Batch There is literally no other film quite like Gremlins 2: And rather than try to rehash familiar tropes that worked in the first film, Dante shattered the mold.
Even if you strip away the loaded cameos Christopher Lee! But when you have a mega-hit like JP, it makes sense to strike while that iron is hot and find the next great Michael Crichton film. But the problem once again is: Which is why Congo was such a resounding failure at the box office. Ernie Hudson is so charming as Munro Kelly a role intended for Sean Connery that it breaks your heart he was never given the opportunity to be the Hollywood action hero he deserved to be.
Laura Linney shows in an early role how much of a powerhouse she can be, even with hokey material, while Tim Curry does what Curry does best: The prize at the bottom of the cereal box though are the cameos: Kennedy was rising in the ranks as an assistant to one Steven Spielberg and got her first credit as producer on the iconic feature. I think the time that change was during one of its numerous home media releases.
There was fervor, or re-interest if you will, on the title and its praises as a landmark film were being sung far and wide. The best children stories are ones that scare children a little. On the surface, there is a story of a boy connecting with an alien.
Explore deeper and you find a broken family, the heavy hand of the government, and the compassion of children being a fundamental element to our humanity on Earth. Audiences might still point to a number of Spielberg films that he left his signature stamp on that they prefer, but few show Spielberg at the peak of his ability and an iconic story that still rings true to this day.
Spiders are inherently creepy, and the film does a great job capitalizing on that truth with some tense and icky sequences leading up to an over the top finale involving a frighteningly large and very angry tarantula. Or even the recent Ready Player One, for it dizzying blend of pop culture icons?
However, there is one Spielberg film from this era which appears in far too few conversations. The aforementioned massacre opens the film, a nail-biting sequence that perfectly sets the tone for the rest of the film.
The camerawork, which expertly demonstrates the geography of each scene and keeps the viewer on edge, is one of the most praised elements of the film, but perhaps the true star of the show is the masterful sound design by Ben Burtt. Burtt adds excruciating tension to a particular sequence involving the planting of a bomb in a telephone.
No film is a singular effort. It takes a great storyteller, a great manager, superb logistics and operations, and someone watching over all of it to ensure that the director is left to fulfill their creative vision.