My Top Ten Steven Spielberg Movies

Happy 75th Birthday (tomorrow, again, as I don’t post on weekends!) to Steven Spielberg. I thought now would be a good time to fully update & repost this old top ten list I first did years ago for The Sporadic Chronicles Of A Beginner Blogger.

As there are SO many Spielberg movies I’ve seen and I’m obsessed with lists, I figured it was time to just go ahead & rank every single film of his that I’ve seen (leaving a few out that I really do need to rewatch before knowing where to rank them, including Saving Private Ryan before someone tells me I forgot to include it…). 🙂

Here are My Top Ten Steven Spielberg Movies:

The Rest That I’ve Seen:

17-11:

17. The Lost World: Jurassic Park
16. Hook
15. Empire Of The Sun
14. Indiana Jones & The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull
13. War Of The Worlds
12. A.I. Artificial Intelligence
11. Ready Player One

Top Ten:

10. The Terminal

Fantastic story in this, even if I never bought the romance. Loved the extra characters who worked at the airport as well. And my hubby seems to absolutely love this movie, which I think is sweet…

9. Minority Report

Great film that I haven’t seen in a very long time. I think I need a rewatch to see how it stands up. Am sure it’s still good as Spielberg’s sci-fi films feel timeless to me.

8. Catch Me If You Can

Fascinating story and excellent performances. I’d always known Leonardo DiCaprio was an underrated actor but, being the same age as him, it took until I saw this one for me to finally see him as a proper grown-up actor.

7. Always

My controversial choice, maybe. I don’t care. I LOVED this movie when it came out and watched it over and over. So romantic and full of quirky, loveable characters – why don’t more people like this one?

6. Close Encounters Of The Third Kind

This one doesn’t seem to get the credit it deserves. The mashed potato mountain, the entire ending and, of course, those musical notes: Classic.

5. Jurassic Park

This was mind-blowing when it came out. And it still looks a hell of a lot better than some of the CGI nightmares they’re giving us these days. This movie is pure fun.

4. Schindler’s List

Truly a masterpiece but very hard to place in a list like this. It’s not, as I like to call it, a “multiple watcher” for me. Too tough to watch more than once, I can’t “love” it in the same way I do the rest on this list.

3. Jaws

Starts out a little slow (trust me – re-watch it) but when the three of them get on that boat to go find the shark, this becomes a true classic. And, come on – that MUSIC! John Williams is a genius. Which is why Spielberg uses him all the time. Spielberg is a genius too but the John Williams scores are just as much to thank for his films becoming the classics that they are.

2. E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial

Number one and two are so close and, to be honest, I changed them around a few times. I don’t know what to say about this one… Who hasn’t seen E.T.? Who doesn’t know the image of that flying bicycle with the moon behind it? Who doesn’t like this?!?! It’s the first film I ever saw in the theater more than once. (Oops – showing my age!) E.T., like Indiana Jones, is such a great character and just thinking about this movie never fails to make me smile. 🙂

1. Indiana Jones Original Trilogy: Raiders Of The Lost Ark, Temple Of Doom, Last Crusade (I had to put these together as it’s perfect as a trilogy. Wish it was only a trilogy…)

Raiders: The film that introduced us to one of the all-time best movie characters – Indiana Jones. Harrison Ford was so awesome (and sexy) as Indiana and we’ve not had “adventure” films like these since. Why can’t they make movies like this anymore??


Temple Of Doom: Temple Of Doom, that crazy and violent one with hearts being RIPPED out of chests and chilled monkey brains!


Last Crusade: Fun fun fun! And I loved Harrison Ford & Sean Connery together in this. I’ve watched this film so many times!

Need To Rewatch These:
Duel, Twilight Zone: The Movie, Saving Private Ryan, The Color Purple

Not Seen These:
The Sugarland Express, 1941, Amistad, Munich, Tintin, War Horse, Lincoln, Bridge Of Spies, The BFG, The Post, West Side Story

And I should just mention that I loved the original Amazing Stories TV series created by Spielberg. The Mission, which he directed, was a great episode…

My Top Ten Drew Struzan Movie Art Pieces

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Yesterday I reviewed Drew: The Man Behind The Poster, which is a documentary about legendary movie poster artist Drew Struzan. Struzan has created some of the most well-known & iconic film posters and I love his work. I decided to do a separate post highlighting some of my favorite Struzan pieces of movie art.

At first I was going to focus just on his art that officially got used (whether originally or for anniversary editions). But in looking at his official website (HERE), I discovered a lot of art I like that I’d never seen before. So I figured I’d include all movie-related work (so, I’m excluding things like his super cool Black Sabbath album cover). I already KNOW I’ll be missing something & I’ll later kick myself for it. He’s done so much that it’s hard to narrow it down and, while there’s a long list on his site, I have no idea if it’s complete plus not all the images are shown.

So, after spending probably an hour looking up Struzan’s art, I’ve decided that these are my favorite. Probably. For now. I’m so indecisive! 😉 I’ll fully admit that I have a very hard time not letting how much I like the movie influence my opinion and, indeed, I like all of these movies. Remember I’m not an art expert in the slightest – I just really like the look of these. Especially number one. 

Now here are My Top Ten Drew Struzan Movie Art Pieces:

Honorable Mentions

Indiana Jones Quadrilogy, Squirm (I don’t know this movie but the poster makes it look awesome despite the 4.4 IMDB rating!), Star Wars Original Trilogy, Back To The Future 

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10. TIE: The Goonies & Adventures In Babysitting

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9. Big Trouble In Little China

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8. Ladyhawke

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7. The Dark Tower as seen in The Mist

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6. The Muppet Movie

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5. Revenge Of The Jedi

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4. E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial

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3. Back To The Future Trilogy

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2. Pan’s Labyrinth

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1. The Thing

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Earth To Echo (2014) Review

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Earth To Echo (2014)

Directed by Dave Green

Starring:
Teo Halm
Brian “Astro” Bradley
Reese C. Hartwig
Ella Wahlestedt

Running time: 89 minutes

Plot Synopsis: (via IMDB)
After receiving a bizarre series of encrypted messages, a group of kids embark on an adventure with an alien who needs their help.

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My Opinion:

I was actually really looking forward to seeing this movie. There don’t seem to be many live-action family movies these days that are enjoyable for the whole family. A lot of “family” movies are aimed purely at the kids, who filmmakers seem to think are idiots so they dumb the movies down and throw in a bunch of childish humor. I have a confession to make: I really like Night At The Museum. It’s fun! I enjoyed it and kids enjoyed it. That’s what I mean by a good “family” movie. Remember things like Big? They used to make good live-action family movies like that all the time! I don’t know why there are so few these days. Anyway – that’s what I was hoping for from Earth To Echo. Unfortunately, it’s not a great movie overall (It’s no E.T.!) but at least it’s a step in the right direction.

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I saw this in a packed cinema and the kids of around 8 or 9 or so really seemed to like it. They reacted positively to a lot of things and laughed several times at the likeable “geeky” boy. I think that kids who grow up with this movie will always be fond of it in the same way that people my age are fond of E.T. (I have to say this once again, though – this is no E.T.! I’ll probably say that again before this review is over). 😉

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There are too many things “wrong” with this movie that stop it from being something that could ever be considered a family classic. The storyline is a bit weak, the pacing is off & it takes way too long for anything to really happen, they don’t show enough of the adorable Echo who should really be the star of the show, and I think making this a “found footage” film was a big mistake and means that it won’t be timeless like, I dunno… E.T.? Ha! There I go with E.T. again. Seriously, though – could you imagine if Spielberg had made that a found footage film (if, you know, that had been a thing back then…)?? Finally, Earth To Echo just tries too hard to be too many existing movies but doesn’t live up to any of them. It’s a weird mash-up of The Goonies, Chronicle, Batteries Not Included, Explorers, and, umm… E.T.!) 😉

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Where Earth To Echo succeeds, however, is with the main characters of the three boys & their friendship. I found them very believable and they talked the way “real” kids talk and I can imagine them actually being friends in real life. They have very different personalities but they worked together really well. It’s a shame that the movie lets them down because I think they did a good job. Also, Echo is adorable! Like I said, though, they don’t show enough of him. I realize that this movie was focusing more on the friendship between the boys, however, and Echo is the thing that makes them even closer.

Summary:

Overall, Earth To Echo doesn’t quite work. I was really hoping for something better based on the trailers but at least there are some strong characters and a great little alien. I think people have been far too harsh on this movie, however – it’ll never live up to the classics it’s trying to be but it definitely has its good points. Kids will like it fine & adults won’t hate having to sit through it.

My Rating: 6/10

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