The Oscar winner's parents, Leah and Arnold Spielberg, divorced when he was 19 and Steven blamed the break-up of his family on his busy electrical engineer father.
The filmmaker held onto the grudge for years and poured his emotions into his movies, which explains why many of his pictures, like E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial and Hook, feature an absentee father.
During an interview with U.S. news show 60 Minutes, which aired in America on Sunday (21Oct12), he said, "I missed my dad a lot growing up... My dad was really a workaholic."
The Jaws star later learned the real reason for the couple's split - his mum fell in love with another man - but still Steven refused to forgive his dad.
He continued, "Even after I knew the truth, I blamed my dad... My mother was like an older sister to me, I kind of put her up on a pedestal. And my dad was much more terrestrial, much more grounded, much more salt of the earth. And for some reason, it was easier for me to blame him.
But, after 15 years of estrangement, the director took advice from his wife Kate Capshaw and finally patched things up with his dad - and Spielberg admits he's glad he did.
He added, "My dad and I had an amazing reconciliation, which is going on almost 18 years, where we have really, really been in each other's lives."
This Friday, Prometheus — the sorta-prequel to returning director Ridley Scott’s own 1979 sci-fi masterpiece, Alien — invades theaters, with Michael Fassbender as the title ship’s butler and maintenance man, David, who just so happens to be an android (Fassbender has said that he modeled the motions and mannerisms of David after Olympic swimmer Greg Louganis rather than previous big-screen versions of the robotic human doppelgangers). It got us thinking about the movie androids that preceded him, er, it, and how far Hollywood has come in that department.
T-800, T-850, T-101 (Arnold Schwarzenegger), Terminator Movies
Super-human powers: Is an expert computer system at its (zillion) core; power source, er, lifespan of up to 120 years; vastly superior endoskeleton to that of humankind; self-healing.
Weaknesses: The human resistance; the noses of dogs; other Terminators (like Robert Patrick’s liquid-metal shape-shifting T-1000 in Terminator 2: Judgment Day).
Notes: We know, we know: Technically, Ahnuld’s Terminator is a cyborg, not a full-on android, but the difference between the two (some humanlike organic composition for the former vs. 100% robot for the latter) is negligible enough for us, for the purpose of this list, to mention Schwarzenegger — who himself may someday turn out to be the greatest android ever!
Lieutenant Commander Data (Brent Spiner), Star Trek Movies/TV Series
Superhuman powers: Positronic brain; immune to all biological diseases (except polywater); can be disassembled for easy storage; waterproof.
Weaknesses: Unable to dream; vulnerable to tech hazards and viruses; cannot swim.
Notes: Armed with nothing more than a pretty bad makeup job and his own (purposefully) robotic performance, Spiner was able to cement a spot in the hearts of many a techie and Trekkie during his lengthy tenure (TV’s Star Trek: The Next Generation and four Star Trek films) as Data. He also provided countless laughs over the years, of both the intentional and unintentional variety.
Replicants, Blade Runner
Superhuman powers: Superior strength, agility, and intelligence; fully programmable for any mission.
Weaknesses: Voight-Kampff tests; the term “skin-job”; four-year lifespan.
Notes: There will seemingly forever be a lack of clarity as to whether or not Harrison Ford’s Rick Deckard was himself a replicant, due to everything from the fact there are a whopping seven different versions of Blade Runner to his failure of the Voight-Kampff test. The key people involved in the movie are split on the issue, but for what it’s worth, Deckard was written as a human in the Philip K. Dick novel on which the big-screen version is based. The debate rages on, with full Web sites currently devoted to the topic!
SID 6.7 (Russell Crowe), Virtuosity
Super-human powers: Can be programmed with multiple, variable personalities, used advantageously (for evil); tons of RAM capacity; capable of regeneration.
Weaknesses: Denzel Washington; impalement.
Notes: Virtuosity remains something of a disaster cinematically, but the virtual reality-gone-murderous concept makes for quite a mindf***, even if the execution thereof doesn’t quite work. Plus, we’ll watch Denzel and Russell square off all day, any day!
Vanessa Kensington (Elizabeth Hurley), Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery
Superhuman powers: Super-humanly hot; skill with a Desert Eagle
Weaknesses: Vulnerable to Austin Powers’s “charms.”
Notes: Early on in Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, Kensington self-destructs after malfunctioning related to a TV remote, and it is revealed that she was a fembot all along. She’s still the prettiest damned robot since Rosie on The Jetsons.
David (Haley Joel Osment), A.I.: Artificial Intelligence
Superhuman powers: Endless love; ability to not blink; great posture; undrownable.
Weaknesses: Can’t swim; sibling jealousy; has the emotions of a real boy.
Notes: Reaction to this Steven Spielberg-directed (and Stanley Kubrick-hatched) sci-fi drama remains mixed to this day, but there’s no denying that Osment was superb and believable as the main “humanoid,” to an almost disturbing degree — which was thanks more so to his astute interpretation of David than any effects wizardry.
Ash (Ian Holm), Alien (1979)
Bishop (Lance Henriksen), Aliens (1986)
Surrogates, Surrogates (2009)
Gunslinger (Yul Brenner), Westworld (1973)
A decade-long gap between sequels could leave a franchise stale but in the case of Men in Black 3 it's the launch pad for an unexpectedly great blockbuster. The kooky antics of Agent J (Will Smith) and Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) don't stray far from their 1997 and 2002 adventures but without a bombardment of follow-ups to keep the series in mind the wonderfully weird sensibilities of Men in Black feel fresh Smith's natural charisma once again on full display. Barry Sonnenfeld returns for the threequel another space alien romp with a time travel twist — which turns out to be Pandora's Box for the director's deranged imagination.
As time passed in the real world so did it for the timeline in the world of Men in Black. Picking up ten years after MIB 2 J and K are continuing to protect the Earth from alien threats and enforce the law on those who live incognito. While dealing with their own personal issues — K is at his all-time crabbiest for seemingly no reason — the suited duo encounter an old enemy Boris the Animal (Jemaine Clement) a prickly assassin seeking revenge on K who blew his arm off back in the '60s. Their street fight is more of a warning; Boris' real plan is to head back in time to save his arm and kill off K. He's successful prompting J to take his own leap through the time-space continuum — and team up with a younger K (Josh Brolin) to put an end to Boris plans for world domination.
Men in Black 3 is the Will Smith show. Splitting his time between the brick personalities of Jones and Brolin's K Smith struts his stuff with all the fast-talking comedic style that made him a star in yesteryears. In present day he's still the laid back normal guy in a world of oddities — J raises an eyebrow as new head honcho O (Emma Thompson) delivers a eulogy in a screeching alien tongue but coming up with real world explanations for flying saucer crashes comes a little easier. But back in 1969 he's an even bigger fish out water. Surprisingly director Barry Sonnenfeld and writer Etan Cohen dabble in the inherent issues that would spring up if a black gentlemen decked out in a slick suit paraded around New York in the late '60s. A star of Smith's caliber may stray away from that type of racy humor but the hook of Men in Black 3 is the actor's readiness for anything. He turns J's jokey anachronisms into genuine laughs and doesn't mind letting the special effect artists stretch him into an unrecognizable Twizzler for the movie's epic time jump sequence.
Unlike other summer blockbusters Men in Black 3 is light on the action Sonnenfeld utilizing his effects budget and dazzling creature work (by the legendary Rick Baker) to push the comedy forward. J's fight with an oversized extraterrestrial fish won't keep you on the edge of your seat but his slapstick escape and the marine animal's eventual demise are genuinely amusing. Sonnenfeld carries over the twisted sensibilities he displayed in small screen work like Pushing Daisies favoring bizarre banter and elaborating on the kookiness of the alien underworld than battle scenes. MIB3's chase scene is passable but the movie in its prime when Smith is sparring with Brolin and newcomer Michael Stuhlbarg who steals the show as a being capable of seeing the future. His twitchy character keeps Smith and the audience on their toes.
Men in Black 3 digs up nostalgia I wasn't aware I had. Smith's the golden boy of summer and even with modern ingenuity keeping it fresh — Sonnenfeld uses the mandatory 3D to full and fun effect — there's an element to the film that feels plucked from another era. The movie is economical and slight with plenty of lapses in logic that will provoke head scratching on the walk out of the theater but it's also perfectly executed. After ten years of cinematic neutralizing the folks behind Men in Black haven't forgotten what made the first movie work so well. After al these years Smith continues to make the goofy plot wild spectacle and crazed alien antics look good.
The director's latest movie tells the story of a young soldier trying to track down his beloved horse after it was sold to the cavalry in World War I.
Spielberg developed the film to honour his father Arnold, who operated radios on planes in World War II, and to teach younger audiences more about the past.
He tells Britain's The Sun, "My father is turning 95 this year and is a veteran of World War II... He served in Karachi on the China-Burma-India campaign. He was part of the 490th bomb squadron, the Burma bridge busters. He was a communications sergeant for the entire wing, in charge of communications between ground and air, and flew some sorties... I have been going to reunions and meeting all the veterans he served with.
"I make my movies about war so that their contributions will never be forgotten... We live in an age where there is almost too much communication flying at us from all directions. Nobody seems to look back anymore. That's why I make so many films about history."
1982’s Conan the Barbarian, starring the magical Arnold Schwarzenegger, was on heavy rotation in my stepfather’s VHS player when I was a kid. I’m not entirely sure why we loved it so much, but we surely loved it. I know it’s difficult to imagine a time when Arnold didn’t loom in the cultural landscape—even during his fallow days of Jingle all the Way, End of Days, Junior and Batman and Robin, he held special place in the celebrity pantheon. One that was a little silly, a little tough, and only marginally comprehensible. Annoyingly enough he had to fall back down to Earth when he played the role of a lifetime: the main character in a wildly staged takeover of the top office in California politics. Or a recall election. Or something. Anyhow, it told us all something that we already knew if we’d seen Arnold’s real silver screen debut in Pumping Iron that he’s an Austrian man with a plan.
But back in 1982, before The Terminator, before Predator and Commando and even before Twins, there came Conan. Conan. Oh, Conan. A pulp hero whose whole deal was that he was big and strong and didn’t mind cutting a guy from crotch to throat, ripping out his tongue and throwing it to the starving dogs in the corner. But he also has a bruiser’s intelligence, that kind of thick-necked thoughtfulness an MLB slugger brings to the plate. Most importantly, however, Conan has the physique of, well, a bodybuilder.
Enter Arnold. You can barely understand what he says. He has four facial expressions, and two of them are subsets of “grimace.” But he’s got huge pectoral muscles and some strange kind of intelligence lurking behind those deep-set eyes. He was born to play Conan.
Director John Milius was born to direct the thing as well. John Milius stories are legendary in Hollywood. In the 70s, asthmatic film geeks like Scorsese, spindly film geeks like Spielberg and radically socially awkward film geeks like Lucas could be both cult and box office heroes at the same time—but for all their success, they were still just nerds. John Milius was not a nerd. He was a badass and just to prove it he would carry a gun. That bad boy ruined many a Malibu party by pulling out his .38 and taking pot shots at the cocaine room. Okay, okay, Milius was rejected from the marines because he had asthma too, but the point is he wanted to join the marines. In Hearts of Darkness, the somewhat cloying documentary on the making of Apocalypse Now, Milius talks through a stuffed up nose about the heavily militaristic ending he’d written for the film. An ending like that would break the delicate moral artifact Francis Ford Coppola hoped to build, but it was perfect for the pulpy black and white of Robert E. Howard’s Conan the Barbarian.
Of course Milius couldn’t do it all on his own. He had to enlist the similarly tough genuine veteran Oliver Stone. Togethe,r they reworked an earlier script into a lean, mean, fighting machine. They retained Howard’s almost Jungian terminology: Wheel of Pain, Riddle of Steel, Eye of the Serpent, Mountain of Power. That’s almost a map to the monomyth right there.
Together Stone and Milius honed the legend of Conan as the thinking man’s barbarian. A bloodthirsty bruiser with a wounded heart and a penchant for guerilla warfare, Che Guevara-style. Oh, and he’s a sex god. Did I mention he’s a sex god? I only point this out because one of the things he accomplishes is killing a evil cult leader’s gigantic snake-pet who previously killed his mom. And somewhere Freud facepalms.
The arc Stone and Milius craft for Conan is so classic and so strong that it manages to get us on his side even though we can’t really understand what he’s saying most of the time. Although when Arnold needs to land it, he lands it. The tag line of “Thief, Warrior, Gladiator, King” really does offer up Conan’s journey. I can only hope that the new one will do as well. I have my worries, naturally.
There’s a lot of talk about the new Conan movie and how Jason Momoa will be oh-so-awesome because he can act. Yeah, I saw Game of Thrones, and I saw him act, and he can sure act up a storm when he isn’t speaking English—which puts him on par with Arnold in at least one respect. But the point of Conan isn’t acting or back-story or all of those delicate emotional lines that filmmakers seem to want to draw nowadays. Conan is about big and mythic and broad lines that are really heavy and sharp and can probably cut a bad guy from—
—wait, wait, I’m being bugged by Conan. He’s literally staring at me right now. What’s that Conan? What is best in life? Conan! What is best in life? No no, I know this one.
“To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women.”
That’s what’s best in life, Conan. Now go battle hordes of darkness.
If a major motion picture studio gave you $50 million to make the movie of your choice what would it be like? If you’re producers Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner and writers Simon Pegg and Nick Frost it’d be a loving lampoon of geek culture and an homage to the films of the Spielberg/Lucas revolution but nostalgia is both an advantage and disadvantage in director Greg Mottola’s Paul.
Pegg and Frost star as a pair of nerds from across the pond who fulfill lifelong dreams when they fly to San Diego for the annual Mecca of nerdom Comic-Con. The doofy duo extend their trip to tour America’s extraterrestrial hot spots including Area 51 where they pick up an unexpected alien hitchhiker on the run from the proverbial men in black. Across the country they go getting into trouble picking up more passengers and building bromantic bonds as the little green man Paul inches closer to his escape from planet Earth and the shadowy government official who has been exploiting his knowledge of the universe since he crash landed in Wyoming over 60 years ago.
Fan-favorite filmmakers since 2004’s Shaun of the Dead Pegg and Frost have been making geek chic for years now and continue to create identifiable roles for themselves while finding humorous ways to write their like-minded friends into their movies. Their collection of wacky characters is charming if incredibly derivative but for better or worse they are the heart and soul of the film. Jason Bateman Kristen Wiig Bill Hader and Jo Lo Truglio turn in fun performances but I expected a bit more from the Jane Lynch David Koechner and Sigourney Weaver cameos. Still Seth Rogen’s vocal performance as Paul adds significant layers to an already adorable alien and enlivens the adequately rendered CG character.
The comedy is surprisingly sweet and doesn’t bite like Mottola’s Superbad though there are enough religious jabs and signs of anti-establishment fervor to call it mildly subversive. Lack of laughs isn’t the issue here; lack of originality is. Mottola is too dependent on pop-culture references and inside jokes pertaining to E.T. Star Wars and Close Encounters of the Third Kind so much so that the film ultimately becomes a parody of itself as its storyline mirrors that of Steven Spielberg’s massive 1982 blockbuster (in this world the movie mogul actually consults the incarcerated alien for inspiration for his beloved family film). While these nods are all amusing they’re not enough to carry the film and Mottola/Frost/Pegg offer little else. At its worst Paul will give you a reason to revisit those classic sci-fi staples and remember the good old days. At best it provides a few mindless chuckles and gives you good reason to give the geek next to you a great big hug.
Stars including Sigourney Weaver, Jon Favreau, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Steven Spielberg gathered at the funeral of special-effects guru Stan Winston, following his death from cancer.
The Oscar-winning visual-effects artist died at his home in Malibu, California, on June 15, aged 62.
Winston won Oscars for his work in Aliens, Terminator 2: Judgment Day and Jurassic Park.
He also created notable visual effects for hit films including Predator, Edward Scissorhands and Batman Returns.
His most recent work can be seen in summer blockbusters Iron Man and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
Friends, relatives and show-business associates all gathered to pay their respects to Winston at a memorial service on Sunday in Los Angeles.
Legendary director Spielberg led the afternoon's tributes, telling the gathering, "What Stan did is that he took our dreams--he took all of our dreams--and he blended them with his own dreams.
"He then workshopped those dreams with pencil, clay and later years on the computer. He would basically give life to all of our ideas. He would make them come to life."
COPYRIGHT 2008 WORLD ENTERTAINMENT NEWS NETWORK LTD. All Global Rights Reserved.
Kirk Douglas, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Clint Eastwood, Michael Douglas, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Steven Spielberg were among the mourners at former Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) President Jack Valenti's funeral in Washington, D.C., yesterday.
The Hollywood giants joined top politicians like John Kerry, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, among others, to pay tribute to the 85-year-old, who died last week after suffering complications from a stroke in March.
Valenti traversed the worlds of Hollywood and politics--before serving as MPAA President, he served as a leading White House publicist for John F. Kennedy and assistant to his presidential successor Lyndon B. Johnson.
He was partly responsible for handling the press during President John F. Kennedy's ill-fated trip to Dallas in 1963.
At yesterday's Cathedral of Saint Matthew the Apostle service, mourners read selections from Valenti's memoir, This Time, This Place, which will be published in June.
And Kirk Douglas, a fellow stroke victim, spoke fondly of his late friend.
The film veteran said, "If you were Jack's friend, your troubles became his troubles. When the time comes for me to be upstairs waiting for St. Peter to see me, I expect Jack to find me and bring me to the big man."
Valenti is to be interred at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C., next week.
COPYRIGHT 2007 WORLD ENTERTAINMENT NEWS NETWORK LTD. All Global Rights Reserved.
Movie moguls Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg have given California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger a boost as he prepares to fight for a reelection campaign--they're publicly supporting the Terminator star.
The two Dreamworks SKG bosses, both fervent Democrats, are endorsing Republican Schwarzenegger as the former action man fights to stay in office against leading opponent Phil Angelides.
Spielberg's spokesman Andy Spahn says, "They (Spielberg, Katzenberg and Schwarzenegger) are friends but they are also receptive to the governor's taking a less partisan approach to the job and more inclusive approach to government."
Article Copyright Entertainment News Network All Rights Reserved.
War of the Worlds director Steven Spielberg is developing a film about a group of explorers who travel through a wormhole in space into another dimension.
Spielberg will direct the film, which is based on actual scientific research.
The idea for the film was derived from research by California Institute of Technology (Caltech) physicist Kip S. Thorne, who is an expert on relativity.
Thorne is most famous for his controversial theory that wormholes not only exist, but can be accessed and used as portals for time travel.
The director was so enamored with Thorne's theories that he attended a Caltech workshop with the physicist and other scientists.
Spielberg also brought his 89-year-old father, Arnold, who is a retired engineer, to the workshop.
Article Copyright World Entertainment News Network All Rights Reserved.