Steven Spielberg Headshot

Steven Spielberg

53 Jibber-jabbers

  1. Excellent article. I absolutely love this site. Keep writing!

  2. CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND is being re-released in theaters for it’s 40th anniversary, and Sony will be putting out a new 4K UHD Blu-ray of it.

    HBO is putting out a retrospective doc the following month, with the man himself narrating it.

    I’m looking forward to THE PAPERS more than I am READY PLAYER ONE, mostly because of the cast but it will be a very interesting back-to-back.

  3. When is the re-release scheduled for?

  4. Doesn’t seem to have any released date as of yet.

  5. [visual-parse url=”http://variety.com/2017/film/news/close-encounters-of-the-third-kind-teaser-trailer-mystery-ufo-1202487286/”]

    First week of September.

  6. ET is getting a UHD release as well, right around the same time, for it’s 35th anniversary. I think there might be some screenings in order for that too.

  7. So here it is, the trailer for NOSTALGIATURBATION: THE MOVIE
    [visual-parse url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VE71JOvLPvE”]

  8. Holy crap it looks even worse than I had expected (I hate exploitative nostalgic fan service so I avoided the book like the plague). Therefore it will make a billion plus easily. Just shame that he wasted his return to genre filmmaking on THIS. I’ll just stay in my corner waiting on INDY 5.

  9. Nah, since it’s a Steven Spielberg joint, I’m sure the end result will be more like a real movie than a string of “Hey, remember _________________”, also the filmatism on display is already much better than what most other directors would deliver, but still, until further notice, it’s not that high on my watchlist.

  10. I’m sure the movie will look better than it has any right to, but it still seems like a waste of Spielberg’s talents.

  11. “A world where the limits of reality are your own imagination…plus your licensing budget for the rights to established intellectual properties which, I cannot stress enough, your own imagination had fuck all to do with.”

    From an artistic standpoint, I lack the words for how much fuck this.

    From a check-your-brain-and-moral-standards-at-the-door standpoint, the action does look good. But jesus, Steve, how desperate to stay hip are you these days?

  12. I love the book. I want to see the movie. Your negative thoughts can suck it lol

  13. I read a sample page of text. It was like Chuck Palahniuk’s virgin little brother crossed with an “Only 80s Babies Will Get This…” listicle. Just painful.

  14. I got tricked into reading that terrible World War Z book because all of the geek hype, so there’s no way I way I’m ever going to read anything by Ernest Cline.

    His follow up, Armada, might be even worst than Ready Player One. It sounds like the worst piece of nerd wish fulfillment garbage. It’s basically a retread of The Last Starfighter where nerds who are good at video games are enlisted into some space battles, and I came across the following scene description in a review:

    “In one revealing moment, Zack calls his mom in midst of the alien invasion and says the words that burn in the heart of every gamer who has ever felt demeaned for the hours they lavish on their favorite hobby: ‘All those years I spent playing videogames weren’t wasted after all, eh?'”

    I felt embarrassed just reading this line of dialogue.

  15. I liked the READY PLAYER ONE book fine, I didn’t LOVE it but it still bums me out to see how many people hate it.

  16. RBatty – Holy smokes! That is so terrible I actually cringed when I read it. I guess with the success of this Cline fella publishers have just said: “to hell with standards! It’s easy money!”

    So how long before James Cameron or someone on that level adapts ARMADA?

  17. Can we talk about the disturbing proliferation of movies which are about “heroes” who are far from the actual action and just control some sort of cool avatar who does things they can’t? This is possibly following in the footsteps of AVATAR, but more likely an attempt to pander to some idea that kids these days are spending most of their time investing in imaginary digital lives. But whatever the reason, it’s a stupid convention and I hate it. Can we have a protagonist who is actually physically present in the adventure they’re having, for a change?

    At least GotG2 had the decency to make these cowards the bad guys.

  18. I dunno, it does inspire me that maybe I SHOULD get around to creating my own stuff. Surely I can do better than this guy even if I never achieve his fame and success.

    Broddie: Terrence Malick’s ARMADA (not an adaptation of the Transformers cartoon)

  19. Broddie – It’s difficult to wrap your head around the fact that this line got through an editor and into a book by a popular author. Both books sound like such blatant, pandering wish-fulfillment. I get that some version of this happens in all sorts of narratives, but in a world where the entire cultural landscape has been shifted to fit geek tastes, this just seems excessive.

  20. That’s a good point geoff. If this hack could hack it with his form of hackery and get The Beard of all people interested in adapting the shit well…

    Seriously it should be a walk in the park for those of us who actually do believe in always striving for excellence to get our own shit to eventually make some noise. Provided that we start honing our crafting skills.

    Like bruh this guy gets aways with this bullshit but something as dope as Niketown which actually properly utilizes it’s influences instead of blatantly exploiting them is still just our lil secret? Not cool.

    RBatty – It’s such transparent and disingenous pandering that it definitely leaves one with a stomach ache. I can’t believe we are at a point in pop culture where that type of shit is allowed. Once upon a time people like Cline would’ve been properly called out and exposed. This member berries (shout out: South Park) direction geek culture has taken is truly disturbing.

  21. I’m Ready Player Ones target audience. I liked how he used the references to delight myself but also created characters I, personally, found relateable. I’m very excited for the movie. I get that it’s not “bad ass” enough for you guys but I know there is a good chance I’ll enjoy it. It’s a lot like Baby Driver. I should have realized after the movie that it’s not “bad ass” cinema by any stretch which is probably why so many hated it.

    At least we can all agree on being excited for Atomic Blonde.*

    *thought I guarantee you that somebody here is going to bitch about the mosaic.

  22. Isn’t it weird that South Park did the whole member berries thing WHEN THEY DID FUCKING IMAGINATIONLAND EARLIER!?!?!?!?!?

  23. Not like SOUTH PARK/Matt Stone/Trey Parker to be hypocrites…

    Broddie: Yeah I’m getting more and more dismayed by the direction of opinion just being ‘I don’t want to watch that because it doesn’t remind me of anything’ or ‘that wasn’t what I personally wanted, Entertainment should cater exclusively to me and MY tastes’

    Stern: I now have a second pass to see a preview screening of ATOMIC BLONDE and it looks like work will prevent me from going yet again. Seems I will have to wait and pay like the rest your lesser-mortals!

  24. CLOSE ENCOUNTERS 4K in theaters September 1st!

    [visual-parse url=”http://www.dreadcentral.com/news/243189/close-encounters-third-kind-coming-back-theaters/”]

  25. Geoff, talking of “that wasn’t what I personally wanted, Entertainment should cater exclusively to me and MY tastes”, I was perturbed reading Ready Player One at how much more important Rush were in Cline’s version of the 80s than I remembered them being in mine, and how relatively unimportant he found Michael Jackson and Prince.

    I figured this was maybe a UK thing, so I checked with my brother-in-law who grew up in British Columbia. He said Cline got that part right, but I still think he may be a biased sample. Anyone want to weigh in on that?

    In an case, I surely hope Spielberg will have our hero’s avatar run about in a Mac and fishnets at some point by way of a corrective.

  26. Yeah but they also always say write what you know. If Cline grew up on Rush and loved Rush and didn’t listen to Michael Jackson and Prince then he’s going to write about what he knows. I don’t see anything wrong with that. That’s like say you didn’t like “I Love You, Man” because the main characters loved Rush when it would be more realistic for them to love Prince. That’s a silly argument.

  27. Also, Rush is the perfect band for that movie because that movie is all about love between men, and Rush is the most famously female-repellant band of all time.

    Which is perhaps an unfair reputation. The only major Rush fan I’ve ever met was a woman I dated (2112 was her album of choice), and there was nothing tomboyish about her. But I guess it’s better to print the legend.

  28. There’s nothing nerdy about Michael Jackson or Prince, that was simply the mainstream music of the era, Rush was nerdy music, so it was more in keeping with the themes of the novel.

  29. The Rush thing is weird, they’ve always been known for a very devoted following, but in terms of wider pop culture, to me they didn’t seem to come up that much until I LOVE YOU MAN. I wondered about it when there was an episode of THE GOLDBERGS centred on them; I always associated them more with the 70s mostly because I was aware of them as a Prog Rock band. I kind of thought this was a bit of retroactive application, but looking at it they did have a pretty impressive run of Gold and Platinum, Top 20 Albums in the 80s. Maybe they were to the 80s (in America) what KISS were in the 70s, and Phish were to the 90s and Grateful Dead are forever; you might not hear their songs but you probably know/knew someone into them.

    Having started reading the book I would say though, that the Film/TV references are pretty mainstream; it even rhapsodises about FAMILY TIES! (I’m hoping for a sweet ALF-drop). It is probably fair to say though that people with niche music tastes still tend to watch much the same Films and TV as everyone else.

    What do I think of the book? So far it’s a guilty pleasure; I usually avoid that term, but I find it hard to think of another term for something I’m enjoying quite a bit while being aware that it’s pretty sloppy and full of stuff that often annoys me. The prose is about on par with a James Patterson co-authored novella, and the pop-culture call-outs are clunky, but I don’t think they’re cynical or really pandering, I just think its stuff Cline likes. I think the difference in reaction between READY PLAYER ONE: THE NOVEL in 2011 and READY PLAYER ONE: THE TEASER in 2017 is probably that we’ve reached a tipping point for this kind of thing. When even DESPICABLE ME 3 is riffing on 80s nostalgia, it’s not really novel any more.

  30. Yes, geoffreyjar said it was a silly argument, so it was silly of me to make it, and you were right to call me on it.

    And yet, it still bothers me. Sorry. As Pacman2.0 says, a lot of the references are fairly mainstream not real nerdy. Look at Cline’s playlist for the novel:
    [visual-parse url=”http://www.ernestcline.com/blog/2011/09/21/the-official-ready-player-one-soundtrack/”]
    Duran Duran, Wham and Bryan Adams really don’t seem less mainstream than Michael Jackson and Prince.

    I don’t want to come across like some PC troll, and it may very well be that Cline wrote what he likes and knows, but it feels like what he likes and knows is a bunch of white boys. The only track on that list I can spot as having an obvious African-American influence is announcing that James Brown is dead (and that in 1991!).

    Schoolhouse Rock’s Three Is The Magic Number is as important to the plot as the Rush stuff, so I expected a novelist keen on making connections and 80s reference points would’ve flagged up its use as a sample on De La Soul’s The Magic Number on 3 Feet High and Rising (still “The Sgt. Pepper of hip hop” y’all). But no.

    To be clear, I liked the book more than I make it sound I did here, but I worry that its message is: In VR no one has to know you’re not white.

  31. Spoiler alert, the main female character is an overweight African-American girl. It’s not really super deep but there is a message in this book.

  32. I just read this somewhere:

    “The simplest way to explain Ernest Cline, blockbuster sci-fi author and ’80s pop culture obsessive, is that he used to own not one, but two DeLoreans.

    The first, he tricked out with a Flux Capacitor to keep the Back to the Future thing going, with bonus modifications evoking Knight Rider, Ghostbusters, and The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension.

    One time in Michigan he got pulled over for speeding — he was doing 76 in a 65 — and tried to persuade the cop to write up the speed as 88 miles per hour, even if it increased the fine, just so Cline could frame the ticket.”

    lmfao wow!

  33. I don’t understand the hate for a guy who is doing his own thing that obviously a lot of people like.

    Also, am I the only white Jew from the suburbs that grew up in the 80s that posts with regularity here?

  34. I mean to each their own but….lol

    For the record BTTF is my all time favorite movie.

  35. Sternshein – *SPOILERS* You are incorrect, it’s the protagonist’s best male friend who turns out to be black and female in real life.

  36. My only exposure to Cline was seeing him in that Atari documentary, driving one of said DeLoreans. BTTF is not my all-time favorite, but it certainly was when I was a kid and I still greatly appreciate it (and it’s two sequels) today. I’ll go as far as to say it’s probably the very best film Spielberg ever had his name on, including his films as director. What’s funny to me about someone who owns one as a car to actually drive in and not a show-piece, is that by all accounts the car was the biggest diva on the BTTF set (apparently, once Eric Stoltz was gone anyway), because it had trouble starting and the gullwing doors wouldn’t stay up during certain scenes.

    Broddie: If you haven’t already, check out Caseen Gaines’ book on the trilogy which came out a few years ago. It’s very detailed, particularly regarding the production of the first one.

  37. Griff, there is a reason why I wanted to reread it lol

  38. Wow, everybody who makes fun of the guy who invented Deadpool because he has the original sword from CONAN THE BARBARIAN in his office, should know the mega douchy story about the DeLorean from that other guy. (It’s one thing to turn your car into a popculture shrine, I wanna own a Mystery Machine too, but damn, that speeding ticket…)

  39. This whole phenomenon reminds me of an insight I gained from Neal Stephenson’s Baroque Cycle. Bear with me.

    There’s a passage about high fashion among the Parisian aristocrats of Versailles, who develop this convoluted, ever-shifting code of what’s considered in style. They dress like elaborate buffoons, and the particulars of their outfits have no practical significance in terms of comfort or utility whatsoever. In fact this is very intentional, and here’s the crucial point: if there was a logic to the way they dressed, any non-aristocrat could divine this logic, imitate it, and pass themselves off as one of them. Basing it on arcane meaningless bullshit makes it a more effective method of verifying that you are a member of the exclusive club.

    I haven’t read Ready Player One so I might be totally off base, but from the passages I’ve encountered and the anecdotes about the author, it sounds like exactly the same phenomenon. There is no invocation of the essence of these treasured 80’s works, of what makes them cherished in the first place, because that’s almost explicitly beside the point. Shared knowledge of this ephemera represents admittance to the club, and THAT’S what’s valuable about it.

    I’ve met “nerds” like this my entire life and have always felt that they are missing out. References for the sake of references are no way to celebrate art.

  40. “Parisian aristocrats of Versailles”



  41. Damn, renfield, you nailed it. As someone who genuinely cares about these properties and has no interest in joining anyone’s club, I saw it for the empty references they were.

    Whereas a show like Community, which uses those references to tell stories about people who love them, appeals to me. I’d also say Edgar Wright movies, as controversial as his pop culture usage is too.

  42. STRANGER THINGS is another example too. It might be the best example because it is actually set in a time when a lot of these things were still fairly current and in the mainstream on a more immediate level.

  43. Stephen King might be the, well, king of using pop culture in a gentle way which only enhances his work and never overwhelms it. But he was doing it before most.

  44. Also, I will admit that I think nerds have got to stop riding the 80s’ dick so much.

    I love the 80s, but it’s not perfect, it was a very good decade for movies and music, which is what most people are nostalgic for, but I’m of the mind that most American cartoons from the decade sucked, almost all TV from the decade was trash and I think it’s highly overrated when it comes to video games.

    Not to mention the politics of the era, Ronald Reagan laid the groundwork for a lot of the problems the present day faces.

    At the end of the day there’s plenty of cool stuff from the 70s, the 90s, the 00s and even now, the 80s was not the peak period of absolutely everything in pop culture like people treat it as.

  45. Personally I’ve always had a real fondness for 70s pop culture and I think that decade is underrated by modern nerds.

  46. I think the thing about the 80s is that they were seen as desperately uncool for about 15 years, so when the tide turned the other way people went a bit overboard. There are still some people who hold onto the 1991-2008ish view of the 80s, and I suspect some have sensed an opportunity with the READYlash

    I also think it will be the last decade (unless things change) to enjoy the same kind of mainstream revival, due to the slow death of the “monoculture” over the last 30 years, as well as the increasing cultural fondness for revivals, established brands and, yes, nostalgia itself

  47. “Personally I’ve always had a real fondness for 70s pop culture”

    That’s probably the most 90s thing you’ve ever said, Griff.

  48. 90’s were weird like that. They started as a blatant late 60’s and early 70s nostalgia fest then by the late 90s devolved into 1950s appreciation like the early 80s down to sock hops and swing dancing having a minor revival. Leading to shit like SWINGERS and that one infamous Gap commercial.

  49. Personally my philosophy towards nostalgia porn is exactly the same as my philosophy towards regular porn: it’s a fine thing to indulge in from time to time, just don’t confuse it with real life, or real art.

  50. Speaking of which….(NSFW)

    [visual-parse url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wWSxkkEWBk”]

  51. “That’s probably the most 90s thing you’ve ever said, Griff.”

    LOL! For real though, when I was a kid I loved movies like JAWS, ALIEN, CLOSE ENCOUNTER OF THE THIRD KIND, THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE and even LOGAN’S RUN, while I loved the usual suspects of the 80s, your GHOSTBUSTERS, BACK TO THE FUTURE, THE GOONIES and so on, I also had a healthy education on 70s pop culture as well.

    It continued on into my teens as well when I first saw TAXI DRIVER, APOCALYPSE NOW and THE WARRIORS.

    Also, my all time favorite band is Pink Floyd.

  52. Well happy to say my experience of seeing CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE 4K KIND was much better than my T2 in 3D (movie not the Universal Studios attraction) last week. It was helped by no one else being in the theater. Still shocked CLOSE ENCOUNTERS is having a wider and much more advertised re-release than T2. The only drawback to the screening was it was only in those Dolby Atmos theaters where they jack the volume up to 80 on a 10-point scale.

    Anyways you know if you like the movie or think it’s boring going in. Naturally the 4K presentation was great. As predicted it was the ’98 Collector’s Edition version (now called the Director’s Cut apparently). I must say I’m ‘one of those’ who prefers the original ’77 theatrical cut as I don’t believe the new scenes added to the ’80 Special Edition add anything of value and instead feel they distract (should’ve added François Truffaut riding a CG lizard thing to really impress me with your Special Edition). Still if you like the movie and you haven’t learned to hate going to the theater I think it’s worth your time (I’ll be honest, selfie kid from the T2 screening almost defeated me, I think I’m starting to hate going to the theater thanks that asshole).

  53. The documentary that just premiered on HBO is a really great watch

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