(Welcome to 21st Century Spielberg, an ongoing column and podcast that examines the challenging, sometimes misunderstood 21st century filmography of one of our greatest living filmmakers, Steven Spielberg. In this edition: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and The Adventures of Tintin.)
May, 1977: George Lucas had fled to Hawaii. Star Wars, Lucas’ new film, had just arrived in theaters and would eventually be on its way to becoming one of the first blockbusters – something no one, including Lucas, could’ve predicted. Worried about competing with Smokey and the Bandit, 20th Century Fox dropped Star Wars into fewer than 32 theaters just before Memorial Day. Uncertainty hung in the air. While visiting his close friend Steven Spielberg on the set of Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Lucas bemoaned that he was all-but-sure Close Encounters would be the bigger money maker. But his friend disagreed. Spielberg thought Star Wars would win at the box office, and Lucas turned this friendly support into a wager: the filmmakers would trade 2.5% of the profit on each other’s films.
Star Wars was the bigger hit. To this day, Steven Spielberg still receives 2.5% of the profits from the film. But in May of ’77, Lucas was still nervous. He wanted to get away from the stress of it all, and so off to Hawaii he went, inviting Spielberg along. And now the filmmaking friends were together on a beach – Lucas to hide from Star Wars, Spielberg to take a vacation from Close Encounters (the film would not arrive in theaters until November of that year). Ever the workaholic, Spielberg was already thinking ahead, hoping to make a dream project: a James Bond film. Spielberg had already approached Bond producer and rights holder Albert R. Broccoli about the idea once before – and been denied. Now, Spielberg told Lucas he was going to try again. Not missing a beat, Lucas replied: “I’ve got something better than that. It’s called Raiders of the Lost Ark.”
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(Welcome to The Quarantine Stream, a new series where the /Film team shares what they’ve been watching while social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.)
The Movie: The Adventures of Tintin
Where You Can Stream It: Amazon Prime Video
The Pitch: Steven Spielberg’s first animated film is a rollicking, action-packed adventure based on the comic series created by Belgian cartoonist Hergé. It’s a better Indiana Jones movie than the actual Indiana Jones movie Spielberg released in the 21st century, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
Why It’s Essential Quarantine Viewing: If there’s such a thing as an “underrated” Steven Spielberg movie, this might be it. The film was by no means a flop, but it seems to never be brought up when people are discussing Spielberg’s canon, and that’s a damn shame, because Tintin is fun. In fact, it’s one of the most enjoyable films of Spielberg’s entire career, as the animation frees him up to go completely wild and create shots he could never create in live-action.
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The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.
In this edition, the visual effects arts from Corridor Crew are back to react to the revamped character design for the Sonic the Hedgehog movie and more. Plus, learn how movies slowly increased their runtime over the years, from the earliest 15 minute movies to today’s blockbuster and drama epics like Avengers: Endgame and The Irishman. And finally, watch as Jeff Goldblum answers questions while holding onto some adorable puppies. Read More »
In this edition of Sequel Bits:
- Tom Hanks gets emotional about the Toy Story 4 ending.
- Fede Alvarez says that despite recent reports, the Labyrinth 2 script isn’t done.
- Tom Cruise is allegedly learning to really fly fighter jets for Top Gun 2, because of course he is.
- Peter Jackson says Tintin 2 might film next year, but we’ll believe it when we see it.
- Richard Donner offers an update on Lethal Weapon 5.
- The Jay and Silent Bob reboot will start shooting next year.
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Fall is upon us! The weather is getting a little more chilly, and there’s no better time to curl up with some movies at home. But there’s a batch of movies leaving Netflix that you might want to prioritize before they leave the streaming service next month. It’s a shorter list overall, but there is still some great stuff leaving next month.
So let’s get down to the best TV shows and movies leaving Netflix in October. Read More »
If you’re a fan of Steven Spielberg‘s animated adventure The Adventures of Tintin, and have longed for a sequel, here’s some good news. Spielberg says the long-awaited sequel is still happening, and that Peter Jackson will direct. Great snakes! More on Tintin 2 below.
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(Welcome to Now Stream This, a column dedicated to the best movies streaming on Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and every other streaming service out there.)
Welcome to another edition of Now Stream This. I’ve scoured the wild world of streaming services to bring you the best of the best of the best. It seems every day another new streaming service is popping up, making it nearly impossible to navigate this dangerous terrain. Don’t worry, I’m here to help. You’re welcome.
This edition of Now Stream This brings you a highly underrated and very recent Todd Haynes movie, a new Netflix horror flick, a gloriously over-the-top action movie, a cynical noir loaded with snappy dialogue, the first Hannibal Lecter film, a romantic horror movie, a Steven Spielberg adventure, a cringe-inducing social media comedy, and some good old fashioned body horror. It’s time to look at the best movies streaming right now. Let’s get streaming.
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Motion capture is quite the filmmaking tool these days. It takes us to new and extraordinary worlds of fantasy and adventure, introducing us to characters we thought the world of movies could never allow us to meet. So in celebration of War for the Planet of the Apes, let’s explore some incredible protagonists and antagonists who proved how amazing mo-cap can be. From beasts to aliens to even regular humans, this tech allows actors to become just about anything.
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Cool Posts From Around the Web:
(Welcome to /Response, the companion piece to our /Answers series and a space where /Film readers can chime in and offer their two cents on a particular question.)
Earlier this week, the /Film team wrote about their favorite “oners” (or long takes) in movie history. We then opened the floor to our readers: which long shots leave your completely breathless? And you let us know!
We have collected our favorite answers (edited for length and clarity) below. Next week’s question: what is your favorite movie car chase of all time? Send your (at least one paragraph, please) answer to email@example.com!
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With all the work put into the three Hobbit movies, and Peter Jackson‘s own comments about wanting to follow the Hobbit films with smaller movies that are based on New Zealand-sourced stories, it seemed like Tintin was being hung out to dry. Wasn’t Jackson going to direct the second film featuring Herge’s blond young reporter?
He was, and still is. Asked about Tintin during a red carpet event, Jackson says it’s just that little trip to Middle-Earth that has put the mo-cap film off. Read More »