Todd Alcott
10 January 2009 @ 08:48 am
Spielberg: Munich part 5  




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Avner has gone from being an "ordinary" government agent, trying to be a soldier in the defense of his famiy (and his nation, which he thinks of as his family, as it thinks of him as a son), to being an angry killer bent on revenge. He now lives in a moral nightmare and it's not going to get better. How will he survive his predicament?

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Todd Alcott
09 January 2009 @ 08:36 am
Spielberg: Munich part 4  




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In Act IV of Munich, protagonist Avner strays far from his assignment. He has become a homeless non-person in order to serve his nation and family, and here finds out what happens when given that kind of responsibility, and that kind of freedom.

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Todd Alcott
08 January 2009 @ 10:38 pm
Spielberg: Munich part 3  




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Avner is now a father, and has sent his wife and baby away from his homeland to live in the "New World," ie Brooklyn. He's going to carry on with his unpleasant work, traveling Europe assassinating terrorists. In Act III, it doesn't get easier, as the line between evil terrorist and righteous knight becomes increasingly blurred. Avner, who has no relationship with his own father to speak of, will meet a new father in Act III, will meet him and be rejected by him in record time.

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Todd Alcott
07 January 2009 @ 04:51 pm
Spielberg: Munich part 2  




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At the end of Act I of Munich, Avner leaves his family behind in Israel (his nation, which, it is implied, is also his family) and ventures out into Europe to track down and kill those rotten terrorists who killed the athletes in Munich.

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Todd Alcott
07 January 2009 @ 02:40 am
Spielberg: Munich part 1  




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WHAT DOES THE PROTAGONIST WANT? Excellent question! The protagonist of Munich changes his mind about what he wants a number of times during the narrative. He starts out wanting to "protect his family" (and we'll see what a complicated notion that is) but before long he doesn't know what he's doing any more in this, Spielberg's most emotionally complicated movie.

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Todd Alcott
10 December 2008 @ 10:55 am
Spielberg: War of the Worlds part 4  




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Ray Ferrier has spent three acts of War of the Worlds fleeing the predations of the unknowable aliens who seem bent on destroying his family -- that is, his action has been, up to now, the act of avoiding action. Now, as Act IV begins, the aliens go one step over the line, forcing Ray into a crisis of action.

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Todd Alcott
09 December 2008 @ 11:31 am
Spielberg: War of the Worlds part 3  




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As Act III of War of the Worlds begins, Ray Ferrier, who has just lost his son, seeks refuge from the giant mechanical beasts rampaging across the countryside. He heeds the call of Harlan Ogilvy, who lures him down into the basement of an abandoned house (either that, or it's Harlan's own house -- I'm not sure). Ray only wants to hide, to get out of the way of the horrifying machines, but he will find out that Harlan has much bolder plans in mind -- armed insurrection. (Why Ray should be surprised at Harlan's plans is something of a mystery -- Harlan calls Ray into his basement by holding a shotgun aloft in his clenched fist -- a signal for armed insurrection if ever there was one.)

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Todd Alcott
08 December 2008 @ 05:10 am
Spielberg: War of the Worlds part 2  




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At the end of Act I, Ray Ferrier sees his home -- indeed, his town -- destroyed by gigantic machines from another planet. In Act II, the longest of War's acts, he will take his kids on a road trip to find a safe haven. He will seek refuge in his ex-wife's home (in the basement), then, when that home is also destroyed, he will flee toward her parents' house in Boston. Before he reaches Boston, he will lose his son and be forced to take shelter in a third home, this one not his own (in another basement).

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Todd Alcott
06 December 2008 @ 10:41 am
Spielberg: War of the Worlds part 1  




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WHAT DOES THE PROTAGONIST WANT? Ray Ferrier, like Frank Abagnale, has lost his home. Like Viktor Navorski, he has lost his home due to an unexpected war. Like John Anderton, he has a problem with losing his son.

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Todd Alcott
04 December 2008 @ 04:44 am
Sam's ideas for Jurassic Park IV  




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(Sam, 7, has been keen on Jurassic Park ever since he saw a fleeting image from it in a video store at age 3. He has now seen all three movies several times and owns the soundtrack, the themes of which he can be heard to sing incessantly around the house. His interest in Indiana Jones is more recent -- he first saw Raiders of the Lost Ark less than a year ago -- but is no less strong. The first name in filmmaking he learned was George Lucas, but the second was Steven Spielberg, and it is Spielberg who has had the much greater impact, as we will see.)

SAM. Dad?
DAD. Yeah?
SAM. Is there going to be a Jurassic Park IV?
DAD. I don't know. They've been planning one for a long time, but I don't know if they'll ever make it.
SAM. What do you think it will be about?
DAD. Well, I actually know something about that.
SAM. Really?
DAD. Yeah. I've heard -- now mind you, this is only what I've heard -- that in Jurassic Park IV, a the government breeds raptors to carry out commando raids.
SAM. Really?
DAD. That's what I've heard.
SAM. Could they do that?
DAD. Um, sure, I guess. Velociraptors are pack hunters, they must be about as smart as dogs, you could probably train them if you started from birth.
SAM. What if -- oh! -- What if they train velociraptors to be commandos, and then send them back in time to fight the Nazis?
DAD. Well dude, that sounds like the greatest idea in the history of movies.
SAM. (really rolling now) And, how come there haven't been any water dinosaurs in the Jurassic Park movies?
DAD. I don't know, they should really --
SAM. Because, it could be like, the opening of the movie, there could be the island, right, and there's a T-Rex walking on the shore, and he's hunting somebody, right? And he's just about to strike and suddenly a Megalodon jumps out of the water and grabs the T-Rex off the beach and drags it into the water!
DAD. Wow!
SAM. A giant shark jumps out of the water, grabs the T-Rex, comes completely out of the water and then splashes back down into it!  How many times do you think people have seen that in a movie?
DAD. Most people? Probably never.
(pause)
SAM. Do you think it's too much to have the Megalodon and the Nazis in the same movie, or should we save one of them for Jurassic Park V?