Streaming Pick – Spielberg

Your weekly streaming pick is in! This time around I wanted to get something that would line up with the monumental Episode 200. 200 weeks in a row without missing a beat is an impressive feat. Your hosts decided for this milestone they would run down their own personal top 10 lists. A lot of thought goes into a list like this. I was racking my brain trying to figure out a single streaming pick that would line up. I found Spielberg.

Spielberg is a made for HBO biography/documentary about a living legend. Steven Spielberg exists on this planet to make movies. Statement. End of fact. He directed our childhoods. Educated us on history. He makes us believe in magic time and time again.

Starring Spielberg himself this doc comes at a perfect time in the auteurs life. The man is well accomplished, one of the most recognizable names on the entire planet. He’s old enough to have lived several lives and touched many generations; but still at the top of his game. Furthermore, Spielberg’s peers, if a man such as him truly has any, are still around. Martin Scorsese, George Lucas, J.J. Abrams, Francis Ford Coppola, Brian De Palma, Richard Dreyfuss, Tom Hanks, Daniel Day Lewis… the list goes on and on. These titans of the film industry get together to talk about Spielberg. The doc runs two and a half hours but feels like a blink. You just get into the world when the credits roll. You are left feeling good but hungry. Hungry to absorb every one his his 150+ TV and Movie projects. Many of which for the 4th, 5th… 12th time.

Showing how a teenage Spielberg made his movies is eye opening. He utilized what was around him and cut it with war footage. These glimpses at how his unique brain works are astounding. The way his camera pans and scenes are lit are the subject of film studies. To Spielberg himself, they are as natural as breathing. With such promise with no formal education its no wonder he made the smash hit, JAWS, at such a young age. Let that sink in for a minute. Spielberg’s second studio project was a movie that has, and will continue to, stand the test of time as one of the finest films ever created.

It’s easy to lose track out of how many movies Spielberg had a direct hand in making. It’s easier still to lose track of the talented lives around Spielberg. Scorsese, De Palma, and Lucas all worked with Spielberg as their careers blossomed. In many ways these (and other) amazing creators would not exist without Spielberg. A friendly influence, a peer, and someone to pave the way through the studio system for them.

Spielberg is the best kind of trailblazer. He’s a unique case. A Steven Spielberg movie is a studio movie. The studio movies he makes are also the exact kind of movies the biggest segment of the audience is in for. The only downside to Spielberg’s early career is he had a tendency to go over budget to discover his vision. A crime that was quickly forgiven when the box office came in time and time again.

The combination of documentary and biography adds a lot to the narrative of this movie. It isn’t a crash course on the man. It isn’t a history lesson on film. It’s both of those things and more. Getting behind the scenes info on some of your favorite movies is enhanced with the added personal stories behind them. Themes in Spielberg’s movies will be even more insightful knowing about the man. He had a complicated relationship he had with his father. Knowing about Spielberg’s massive family shines a light on many decisions we see on the big screen. Knowing about his feelings on religion and heritage make his projects about World War II and the Holocaust even more moving.

Spielberg has been making movie magic for over have a century. In that time he has invented many new ways of doing so. This doc is perfect for a milestone episode celebrating everyone’s favorite films. Everyone likes Steven Spielberg. You can’t not.

Spielberg: 5/5

Spielberg is currently streaming on HBO and available on Amazon Video for a fee. HBO is currently 5 dollars a month for six months through Hulu.

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