After all the recent running around of Catch Me If You Can and the chasing of Minority Report, it was perhaps understandable that Steven Spielberg wanted to take breather, but The Terminal is a thumping stop, almost a collapse into feel good whimsy.
Catch Me If You Can is possibly Steven Spielberg's last absolutely great movie. There are movies to come which have a lot of things which I like, but Catch Me If You Can is almost perfect.
There's something fresh and invigorating about Minority Report. Based on a short story by Philip K Dick, the film was Spielberg's second consecutive science fiction drama after A.I. Artificial Intelligence and would begin a two film collaboration with top movie star Tom Cruise. Originally conceived as a direct sequel to Arnold Schwarzenegger's Total Recall in the early 90s, there were extended delays until it saw the light of day in 2002.
Steven Spielberg has not been shy about his dads. One of his most winning qualities is his enthusiasm for the people he admires in his craft. Whether it's David Lean and his love of Lawrence of Arabia, or his peers George Lucas and Martin Scorsese, or even his own estranged father whose experiences in World War II gave the impetus for Saving Private Ryan. Stanley Kubrick was another of these daddy figures and Spielberg's admiration and indeed love for the bearded auteur led him in 2001 (fittingly enough) to complete a project which had been gestating for decades.
The first word of Steven Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan is 'Dad!', as an old man visiting a war cemetery in Normandy is overcome with emotion and staggers, causing concern to his devoted but otherwise mute family. It is the grown son he gets the only line in prologue and it serves as a kind of dedication to Spielberg's own war veteran father who he would frequently site as a motivation for doing the film.
John Bleasdale is a writer. His work has appeared in The Guardian, The Independent, Il Manifesto, as well as CineVue.Com and theStudioExec.com. He has also written a number of plays, screenplays and novels.