The Threeway – Top 3 Spielberg Movies (Janie’s Take)

Okay, so here’s the weird thing.  I didn’t love doing this as much as I thought I would. Vinnie said, “Let’s do the Threeway on our favorite Spielberg movies.” And I was like: “Hells yeah, that would be awesome!”

But then I started going through all the Spielberg-directed movies (we only did directed otherwise the list was truly mind-boggling in its length) and I realized… God, I hate to say this but I really can’t find any way around it… I am not a huge Spielberg fan.

[That thump sound you just heard was Adam’s dead body hitting the floor. RIP Vinnie. I’m sorry I caused your demise.]

But yeah, that’s right, when I look at the list of Spielberg’s “greats” (Adam listed them in his response), none of them make me want to pull out the DVD and watch them right away.  As a matter of fact, I couldn’t  watch any of the DVDs immediately even if I wanted to because I don’t own a single Spielberg-directed movie.  Why? Well… at the risk of repeating myself… because evidently I’m not a huge Spielberg fan.

I believe Spielberg is pretty great at what he does best: create movies that delight his inner 15-year-old boy.  But seeing as I am not a 15-year-old or a boy, I have never been enthralled with any of his movies. (Also, romance is my thing, and Spielberg pretty much totally sucks at romance. Utterly.)  He also has a gift for picking out important adult stories (Schindler’s List, Saving Private Ryan, Munich) and telling them well, although they’re still not my favorite movies.

I’ve said my peace. Now on to the ranking.

#3 Minority Report –I’m a sucker for a noir. This future-noir is rich and thought-provoking –weird and a little scary all at the same time. And maybe what I said before about not wanting to watch a Spielberg DVD isn’t totally true – talking about Minority Report makes me want watch it again. That’s a good sign.

#2 Jaws. Giving credit where credit is due. Jaws was pretty much single-handedly responsible for ushering in the new age of blockbusters. It was a cultural phenomenon. It is the reason we still have huge summer movie releases to this day. It undeniably works as a thriller (although without John Williams’ score could we still say the same??). It is perhaps, although not my favorite, Spielberg’s masterpiece.

#1 Raiders of the Lost Ark. I love all the Indy movies, even the bad one. But truly, it’s less about Spielberg’s direction (although I will be the first to admit that the opening scene in Raiders is the best first 10-minutes of any movie ever), and more about Harrison Ford.  Seriously.  I mean, even the most iconic scene in the movie – Indy shooting the crazy sword-wielding baddie – was Harrison Ford’s idea (because he was suffering from dysentery and too weak to perform the rehearsed fight scene).  Regardless, the Indy Jones movies are the closest I come to loving Spielberg’s films – and I credit that to the fabulous team he put together more than his actual directing.


6 thoughts on “The Threeway – Top 3 Spielberg Movies (Janie’s Take)

  1. Yes, the tough part is that the list is “directed films” if the list included produced you would see greats like Back to the Future, Goonies, Gremlins and even recently Super 8.

    I would have to say directed is ET, Polterguist and Raiders or Temple of Doo,

    • He didn’t direct poltergeist. Officially. It was Tobe Hooper. Now… Anyone can see that he clearly directed it. But there was an issue with the studio and his contract (so the rumor has it).

  2. Janie… I don’t even know how to react to this. Your picks are fine (I like Report too. It is about 20 min too long toward the end though. Spielberg has gotten bloated in his age) but still. Not Like? What the hell is wrong with you? What about Always (his romance flick)? It’s not my fav, but the wife likes it.

    I’m just… I mean… I don’t even know how to react.

    You’re dead to me. I think that sums it up.

    • Adam, I need you to put the gun down.

      It was kind of as much of a surprise for me as anyone else. I was just looking through Spielberg’s directorial list and realized I was just… not enthused. Don’t get me wrong, I *like* pretty much all of them (except E.T. — God, I hate that effin movie), I just don’t *love* any of them (except the Indy Jones series). So when I said I wasn’t a Spielberg fan on FB — that wasn’t true, that was pure gimmick to get a rise out of you. I am a fan, but I am not a devotee.

      As for romance, “Always” was okay. I guess what I mean is that he doesn’t do attraction well. I never felt any true chemistry between any of the romantic leads in his films, including “Always.” Of course, admittedly, many of his films don’t have a romantic thread in them at all, which is fine, but that’s just not my preference. I like an attraction element in my favorite films.

      Finally, in hopes that we can actually repair our relationship, Vinnie, I would like to say that I am not disparaging Spielberg as a director. He’s one of the greatest, I do not deny that. I’m just saying that I personally do not find his films to be my favorite.

  3. Wha… what… wha… WHAT? You don’t like ET? Are you an unfeeling bastard? Do you not have a soul? What is wrong with you?????

    i’m not even sure… I can’t… I mean… ARGH!

    • E.T. is a festering pile of schmaltz used for pushing candy (granted, Reese’s Pieces are one of the best candies ever; but I digress).

      I fully believe that it’s responsible for starting Drew Barrymore’s slide into substance abuse. How could you not, being forced to act next to a old man’s scrotum-shaped alien for months?

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