Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Movie Clip Wednesdays: Favorite Political Thriller

Hands down, Minority Report. I've seen it a gazillion times and it never fails to chill with its superb interpretation of my ultimate nightmare: one in which corporations and governments conspire to control every aspect of our lives, all in the name of safety and the common good (and perhaps I'll never get to eat Cheetos again because they're all chemically and stuff.)

It also proves just how good a storyteller Steven Spielberg really is—and how easy it is to forget that. Maybe it's his public persona—all gnomic and Hollywood slick—that makes us mostly associate him with treacly suburban American fairy tales and bombastic action-adventure blockbusters rather than anything more hefty. We forget the darker stuff and its lineage: Duel, a first rate made-for-television psycho thriller that was Spielberg's first movie, followed by the gritty Sugarland Express, and a few years later the squick-inducing Jaws. All long before that stupid little alien dude marooned himself in Los Angeles county and sent the demand for Reese's Pieces through the roof.

But a list of Spielberg films shows that the heavy far outweighs the lite. Sure, good, or at least justice, eventually prevails, regardless of how dystopian his initial vision (even the unrelenting horror of War of the Worlds ends sunny side up), but the journey he takes you on before reaching that destination is one of the most thrilling in modern movie-making.

Once again, YouTube twarted my efforts to post the best clip available (, but this clip is equally as interesting:


Buzz Kill said...

I've been meaning to watch this movie (and have seen pieces of it) because Starz and Showtime were playing the crap out of it a few months ago. If you like it it's worth a 2nd look. I didn't know this was Spielberg. I thought it was just another Tom Cruise Mission Impossible movie.

Duel, by the way, is the first Spielberg movie I ever saw (because it was a TV movie) and that was before he was somebody. And Dennis Weaver didn't play a cowboy in this. Bwahahahaha

Happy MCW!

Karl said...

Good morning Moi,

I haven't seen this. I think it's because of Tom Cruise, he got so weird I stop trying to see anything with him in it.

A happy clip day to you!

sparringK9 said...

I just saw this for the first time about a week ago. It was great. I loved the conversation he had with the mad botanist science lady and her spooky greenhouse. And the weirdness of the pre-cogs - the forced servitude of them and the whole cult of it. So many great themes and Colin Farell was looking pretty good as well.

RIght about Spielberg too Happy MCW. I hope to be up later today

I watched AI last night. The frizzy redhead? Is Geddy Lee! In looks and in sound. He should resign from AI and start a Rush tribute band. note: no one should cover jim morrison.

The last guy was fun, the luther vandross guy was excellent although waaaay over doing it - a simple command of song is fine, bro, no need to show you can hit every note in the whole spectrum. forget what else.

Pam said...

We didn't watch for the Tom Cruise reason also .... maybe when it rolls around on tv we will catch it. I remember Duel and it figures into our conversation when traveling and that semi just gets closer..andcloser... andcloser...

sparringK9 said...

Im up now.

Anonymous said...

Haven't seen it. Didn't know Spielberg did it. "Duel" was quite advanced for it's time.

Aunty Belle said...


NO kiddin' people, watch this (an lesser kool, but similar idea is Golden Eye)

Get past TC, an you'll be glad ya watched this one.

Fabulous choice, Moi!
Happy MCW.

moi said...

Buzz: The movie made me look at Spielberg in a different light, most definitely.

Karl: The shame of Tom Cruise is that he's a pretty decent actor. So you have to suspend your knowledge of his whack on crackedness to watch his movies, but it's worth it for this one.

K9: You are so right! Geddy Lee! A slightly simpering Geddy Lee, but you are spot on. I thought the judges were way, way too lenient last night.

Pam: See note to Karl, above. As for Duel, I'll always be suspicious of semis!

Troll: If you can get past Tom Cruise, I think you'd enjoy it. As K9 mentioned, very multi-layered and sophisticated in its themes, which leads me to believe Spielberg is deeper than he comes off.

Aunty: Another fan! But if I remember correctly, it didn't get a lot of attention. It was advertised more along the lines of what Buzz mentioned—just another Cruise action/adventure vehicle—which could have been one of the reasons why.

Jenny said...

OK, I'll watch this one. I think we even own it, but I've never seen it because of Tom Cruise AND Speilberg who burned me out with his "epic-ness." Although I did like his early stuff.

Good pick and a very Happy MCW!

moi said...

Boxer: It also has Colin Farrell, who doesn't ooze crazy. Falling down drunk kick in the pants to party with Irishman doesn't even come close. In fact, it sounds like fun.

darkfoam said...

oh wow! i haven't watched it yet, not because of TC or spielberg, but just cause i haven't watched it yet .. :)
looks terrifically exciting.

moi said...

Foam: Exciting and scary! Also, got your address, but I'm off my feet for a week or so, so I'll have the hubs ship out your 'fumes on Friday. You should have by early next week.

Kymical Reactions said...

Miss Moi! Come on over for the big BABY REVEAL! x.