House Logo
Explore categories +

Steven Spielberg (#110 of 103)

Top 10 Greatest Car Movies

Comments Comments (...)

Top 10 Greatest Car Movies
Top 10 Greatest Car Movies

Cars, it’s often been observed, offer a sort of contradiction of motion: They allow us to move around while sitting still. It only makes sense, then, that the movies have for so long been attracted to the allure of the automobile, for surely the appeal of the cinema lies in its capacity to take us from the comfort of the theater or living room to adventures around the world. The greatest car movies—movies about cars, largely set in cars, or otherwise significantly concerned with them—understand that our affection for our vehicles has as much to do with the possible freedoms they promise as the routines they let us uphold. Cars drive us to and from work every day, keeping our lives precisely ordered. But they also suggest escape: We’re always aware, faintly, that we could drive away from it all at any moment, out and off toward some new life’s horizon. Car movies remind us of the power in that possibility—of all the things that can happen when we turn the key.

Summer of ‘89: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

Comments Comments (...)

Summer of ‘89: <em>Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade</em>
Summer of ‘89: <em>Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade</em>

“I can remember the last time we had a drink together. I had a milk shake.” So Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) tells his father, Henry Jones Sr. (Sean Connery), in one of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade’s quiet interludes. After narrowly escaping the clutches of the Nazis on their unlikely quest to find the Holy Grail, Indy and his father spend their first private moment together childishly jibing back and forth, each refusing to take responsibility for their non-relationship. It’s the kind of scene that the actors carry off so well that it may prompt one to wish that the filmmakers had dwelled less on action and more on the personal. In fact, Connery’s defensive posturing along with Ford’s wide-eyed but befuddled expressions arguably tell a richer story about these polarized men than the film’s own elongated prologue establishing their bitter kinship.

Of course, the Indiana Jones series is better known for desert caravan chases and crawling bug-infested tunnels than for narrative depth and characterization. Last Crusade attempts to honor that legacy with an action quotient that arguably surpasses both Raiders and the Lost Ark and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Missing, though, are the evocative atmospheres and hard-edged-ness of those films. Moreover, most of the action scenes have a trivial and comic tone that arguably diminishes their impact (such as Indy’s magic bullet that flies through three Nazis in a row). Nevertheless, Last Crusade is made with no less technical skill and considerably more emotional weight than the previous outings, giving it a vibrancy and personal touch that easily compensates for its inconsistencies.

Oscar 2014 Winner Predictions: Production Design

Comments Comments (...)

Oscar 2014 Winner Predictions: Production Design
Oscar 2014 Winner Predictions: Production Design

In 2010, we asked, “How do you solve a problem like Avatar? How do you hold a fluorescent, floating anemone in your hand? Well, you can’t. Because it exists in hexadecimal code on a hard drive somewhere in Silicon (or is it Uncanny?) Valley.” So we threw our vote to Sherlock Holmes and shook our heads on Oscar night when James Cameron’s Epcot Center diorama was awarded. The lesson? That Gravity, even though it’s the Mission: SPACE to Avatar’s more elaborately designed Universe of Energy: Ellen’s Energy Adventure, shouldn’t be too quickly discounted. Two years earlier, we thought the category would break toward Paul Thomas Anderson’s There Will Be Blood’s Wild West City attraction only to see it (rightfully) lose to Tim Burton’s Broadway-ed Dickens funhouse Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Meaning that the benefits of being a Best Picture frontrunner in this category are negligible. And so we put our money on Joe Wright’s Anna Karenina last year only to see it toppled by the Lincoln Logs of Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln. Meaning that being a politely revered or disliked Best Picture nominee is also negligible.