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|Index||1314 reviews in total|
I always appreciate Spielberg's efforts to make real films, those that
go beyond the simple entertainment that permeates his career. He gave
us and still gives, from time to time, joyful moments. He is anchored
in stories, and he has a visual shape to his own world, and that's
something not that common in the work of directors who so often aim at
massive diffusion. But he also wants to make good work, and indeed he
knows what molds the great films. He knows it as a spectator, and he
understands it as a filmmaker. But in this field, he is an incomplete
creator, because he is never able that film selling mundane golden rule
of giving the public what the public wants.
Here he tackles Kubrick. He had done it the year before with the disastrous Artificial Intelligence, which was a project Kubrick himself was apparently cherishing at the time of his death. Spielberg couldn't handle it, and made one of his worst films, which is not at least watchable. He tries to make it up here, and he partially does it. He chooses Cruise, who had been in Kubrick's final effort. Cruise is relatively weak, or at least not suited for adventurous flights, he is straightforward and what he does as an actor doesn't reflect any kind of understanding of the rules of the game he is supposed to be playing. Kubrick didn't took him, he took a couple who was it already for the publics eyes. Besides, Tom's character there is supposed to be clueless. Well, here as well, but he is allowed to take the lead of the narrative. That is one of the flaws in this film: to allow Cruise to be the action figure everyone expects him to be blurs the emphasis the images and how they build realities should have. Also, the useless branches in the narrative main course deviate from the interesting potential this film had. Why do we need the revival of the romance between Anderton and his former wife? Or underlining so much the sorrow for his past losses? Well, because that reduces the risk that the audience would be put away by the film, and the producers wouldn't want that, and Spielberg wouldn't say no. Moralizing about how apparently perfect and fair systems are usually corrupted and their highest hierarchies is a minor flaw.
But there are very good things in this film, and Spielberg is as well to be granted its strong points. He picks a Phil Dick story, which means he will work with memories, possible worlds, provisional realities. Dick's stuff is highly cinematic in its roots, because it is usually visual (literally here) and explores narrative: stories about storytelling. Also, that is the stuff that permeates some of Kubrick's most deep works. So that is table were Spielberg lays his skills, and he knows that. And he builds the skeleton well enough. We have a cop whose work is to interpret images. Those images are provided by three beings with a divine aura (the ability to provide us with images is sacrate!). The cop concludes the reality of the film through the images within the film. Because the validity of those images is unquestioned in the world of the film, the power to bend those images is limitless. So the story is a quest for being able to distinguish between truth and lies, but, and that is the real trick, truth and lies told by the images. Some bits are precious, like how the images that foresee Anderton as a murderer match the real events, or the footage of the drowned lady. But we don't watch these images long enough, and the images themselves are not powerful enough most of the times, and the outcome of everything is done in the fields of common, now outdated action films, not in the films of the images, like it would (and was) perfectly done by Kubrick, Antonioni, Wenders or de Palma.
If i hit hard on Spielberg is because i treasure his imagination and his ambitions. I wish he'll do really well some day.
My opinion: 3/5
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
First of all, i like this movie a lot, it's very entertaining and like
good sci-fci it poses some interesting questions.
However I make to make one point. Since Anderton didn't kill Leo Crow or Danny Witwer and Agatha knows that he didn't why didn't she tell everyone what she knew. She saw that Crow killed himself and she knows that Anderton didn't kill Witwer since she was with him 100% of the time until they caught him, her testimony would have been an evidence in his favor. I mean they can take her visions of the future and the 100% no doubt about it truth, why not her first hand account? I always thought this was very ironic.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
CAUTION: spoilers ahead
- - - - - pros: --great idea in principle. the idea of predicting crime is all the more relevent a post 9/11 america.
--excellent portrayal of corporate, advertising-driven society, (like the gap store, or the personalized and changing messages that greet you as you walk by). one of only a few movies where "product placement" is both extreme and fitting.
--the "balloon scene" in the mall.
--great imagery large and small, if you can get through the washed-out blue hue alternating with sepia-like scenes. --hats off to spielberg for making a grim movie.
- - - - - - cons: --all of this by 2054? floating vehicles? jet backpacks? ability to record projected thoughts from thinking people in blue tanks?
--sickening blue hue: is it the future?
--close to an hour too long.
--another use of retina scans and "trading eyeballs" to use as keys?
--another use of people floating in blue water tanks?
--another assembly line fight with "i almost got killed by a fast-moving robot" scenes one after another?
--was i a comedy, or an action flick? i wasn't sure what i was when i had tom and the boys fighting in and out of the brick apt building in jet packs, upsetting the occupants' eating habits and saxaphone lessons.
--moving plants? well, if the lady who created the precogs is in charge, why not. by the way did spielberg really want to cast the little woman from poltergeist in her role as the "i know everything but i'm not telling you anything, so keep guessing" brilliant woman who is long since retired and doesn't get out much?
--boo to speilberg for sticking in the obligatory happy precog ending with fading helicopter shot.
Knowing the pedigree of this film (original concept by Phillip K. Dick and directed by Steven Spielburg) I had some pretty high hopes for it. Sure, I could see that it was an action vehicle for Tom Cruise, but Minority Report followed a recent Hollywood trend of hiring supporting good actors for action movies, so I knew that everything wasn't going to rest on Cruise's acting shoulders. The previews also showed an interesting set-up, so I had some high hopes for this film. Having seen it, my opinion of Minority Report is this:
It is a good film providing you don't think about it.
Once you start to think about it, you start uncovering plot holes of varying sizes. And every plot hole niggles away at the premise of the film. The pacing of Minority Report is such that you probably won't have time to think about the plot holes as the scenes flash by and you are distracted by the gadgets and narrative twists. Once you leave the cinema, you'll start to go, "Hey, what about...?" and the credibility of Minority Report will drop.
I can appreciate that adapting a short story for a feature film is hard and that social metaphysics often don't translate well in action films. But for every review that mentions Bladerunner in the same breath as Minority Report, consider that this appears to be Spielburg's Bladerunner, where even the dark and dingy areas of the District of Colombia (the film's setting) appear sanitised. Where Bladerunner contained a number of metaphysical issues about the nature of humanity, Minority Report adds in a cool looking gadget. The issue of Precrime (stopping murder before it happens) is brushed over with no discussion of substance - it exists, just accept it.
Minority Report does require a huge suspension of disbelief on behalf of the audience to maintain its credibility. This suspension is aided by the fast pacing of the narrative and by very good acting performances (Samantha Morton as Agatha and Max Von Sydow are great to watch). But as soon as you start to think about it...
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"Minority Report" is a glossy, glimmery, gossamer, ultimately empty little flick: use it as a pretty screen saver on your 65" Plasma HDTV while you're waiting to watch a better film. It's the cinematic equivalent of Japanese food: looks nice, smells nice, goes down easy, and 15 minutes later you'll be hungry again. There is, however, a slight catch. Like uber-Filmmeister Steven Spielberg's other mega-flop "A.I.", "Minority Report" has already been done better, faster, smarter, and wiser: see "Blade Runner" for the soul-crushing dilemma of whether it's moral to use a machine to do things no human would do, or even "Kafka" for an incisive study into the guts of a society that would judge a victim guilty before a crime even occurs. So why give this pretty, shiny, happy, but empty movie even two stars? Because it has a singularly impressive, very nasty sick joke, played (best of all) on Tom Cruise. At one point in the flick, Detective John Anderton (Tom Cruise playing Tom Cruise) goes to a black-market eyeball surgeon for a little much-needed wetware transplant. I love Peter Stormare: I usually relish his insanity, and in "Minority Report" he's in top form. That alone earns the flick gets one star. One extra star goes for the rotten ham sandwich in the refrigerator. Dr. Eddie leaves some milk and a fresh sandwich for his patient when he ultimately comes to his senses, then scoots: Cruise wakes up hours later, mostly blind, and staggers to the fridge for a little late night snack. Unfortunately for Cruise, Dr. Eddie isn't a very tidy housekeeper. See, there's a bottle of curdled milk and a rotten ham sandwich (evidently intended for an earlier patient), in close proximity to the fresh stuff. Moral: before eating the unidentified and sight-unseen ham sandwich in the underground surgeon's refrigerator, always do a smell-test. Where were we? Ah yes: the soul-crushing ethical dilemma is the new Department of Pre-Crime with its Amazing Young Men (and Woman) in their Psycho-tropic Fluid Machine, who can aid law enforcement in tracking down crime before it actually occurs! Call John Ashcroft! But wait a minute-you're not here to spend two hours wrestling with a soul-crushing moral and ethical dilemma concerning civil rights and free will, are you? Naw, man-you're here to see Tom Cruise and high-tech shiny things! And in that department "Minority Report" fulfills in spades. It's what would happen if "Crate & Barrel" had a movie for a twin sister. Tom Cruise does is spot-on in his one-note role as the obsessive Pre-Crime honcho Jon Anderton, and fingers those psych-profiles like a pro. Samantha Morton (Agatha) is spot-on in her one-note role as the pool-bound female psy-op, and proves girls just wanna have fun. Colin Farrel (Detective Witwer) is spot-on in his one-note role as the obsessive detective. Max Von Sydow (Director Burgess) is spot-on in his one-note role as the cackling founder of Pre-Crime with a deep dark secret (and a ridiculous plot twist). Neal McDonough (Officer Fletcher), as usual, gets no respect in his role as a tough-as-nails soldier, but does get a wild ride up to the top of the city with Tom Cruise, which is more than most can say. The futuristic Lexus Mark-12 is spot-on in its one-note role as the futuristic Lexus Mark-12. Again, it looks really pretty on a high-end plasma TV, and it's got Pete Stormare and a rotten ham-sandwich. You could do worse with your two hours. JSG
To be fair, I do not like Tom Cruise as an actor. Pretentious Hollywood
trying to do another "formula" movie is an insult to anyone with more than a
couple of brain cells at their disposal; that being said, I was waiting for
a homogenized AOL like - "Here's your movie!" to jump out at me when I put
the DVD in the player and sat down to watch Minority Report.
As an aside, Spielberg has made some great movies. That does not translate into "Everything Spielberg touches is gold"; with Minority report he wound up with lead... and a big fat movie check.
The premise of this film deals with a potential future without really explaining how and why we got there. Crime in D.C.?? No kidding there's crime in D.C.! (In the ghetto and on Capitol Hill... what else is new..??) Are we to believe that some tweaked out vegetables lying in a hot tub mystically carving up croquet balls are the answer here? Perhaps my bias is really showing through...
Minority Report is a self indulgent formulated movie that is not entertaining. It is far too long, and far too complicated; (even for the high brow folks...)
Pairing Steven Spielberg and Tom Cruise must undoubtedly be a nightmare for
many people, but for those in their fan clubs it had plenty of promise, and
"Minority Report" is a definite return to form for the master after "A.I.
Artificial Intelligence" - itself flawed but not as bad as many claim it
Like "Total Recall," this expands on (and from what I'm told almost totally changes) the Philip K. Dick story it's based on, and if the result is essentially "The Fugitive" with a bigger budget, harking back to that fine example of Action Movies With A Brain is no bad thing. You all know the plot (Precrime cop Cruise discovers he's wanted for a murder he's going to commit in just over 50 hours and goes on the run, etc.,), but Scott Frank and Jon Cohen's screenplay offers intriguing notions alongside all the thrills, and Spielberg delivers a welcome return to basics - let's not forget this is the man who did "Duel" and "Jaws" - while not betraying the "Thank goodness he's grown up" crowd. (Yes, we all know "Schindler's List," "Amistad," "Saving Private Ryan" and "A.I. Artificial Intelligence" were children's movies, right?) One moment we're experiencing a high-speed chase through an automobile factory, the next we're pondering the ramifications of a system that allows crime to become almost extinct. Somehow I can't imagine "Scooby-Doo" doing that.
The movie's filled with special effects, of course, but Spielberg movies always have them serve the story instead of vice versa, and it continues here - throughout the result is that of a believable future world (love the ever-changing newspapers and magazines). And instead of complaining about the product placement in "Minority Report" (something which I've personally never really had a problem with), let's look at another aspect of the tale. Throughout the movie, water is a recurring motif; the Twentieth Century Fox and DreamWorks logos are presented through water, several crucial scenes take place around bodies of water (a coastline, a swimming pool), and Cruise's police officer evades his pursuers at one point with the help of an umbrella and a downpour. There may be other theories about this, but since it's associated with the good guys throughout the movie (and note the last shot of the movie), my own view is that you can see through water, and thus get a clear view of what's happening - thus, water = the truth.
Whether you agree or not, you have to agree that blockbuster movies that give you a rollercoaster ride and food for thought are to be encouraged. Spielberg, his writers, his crew and cast keep the tension running high for nearly all of its length (the final confrontation between Cruise and the villain is just a bit off, and both it and the first scene are a little too TV-ish for comfort), but in the end "Minority Report" works for considerably more than a minority of viewers. The master still has it. The Dream still Works.
PS: I didn't spot Cameron Diaz, but the lady Cruise and Samantha Morton encounter in the mall does look a lot like Lucy Liu...
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Most of those who have seen Minority report appear to like it but it did
very little for me. From the first moment I heard about the plot, I had
doubts about the concept. Infallible pre-cognition and arresting people
before they commit a crime are ideas which, on close examination, have so
many holes in them that more suspension of belief is needed than I can cope
with. (There have been much more interesting plots which postulated forms
of pre-cognition which were much less reliable and therefore much more
interesting) If you add to the problems of the main premise the physical
characteristics of the world portrayed, which are inconsistent and in some
cases pretty ridiculous, and it all becomes too much. I did not believe
that the pre-cogs would be able to stay alive in the environment shown or
then cope out of it, I did not believe that the police would fly around in
such clunky machines when they could build such aerodynamically engineered
cars. And I don't believe there is any way this can happen by 2054. Why
didn't they just make it far further into the future?
There were a few good things and Spielberg is always an interesting director. But these cannot weigh against what, in essence, was a pretty weak thriller based on an unacceptable premise.
And then on top of it we have Cruise at his grungiest and most unappealing. I really should go with my gut instinct and not subject myself to things I strongly suspect I am not going to like but hope springs eternal.
this is tom cruise at his earnest best looks amazing - particularly if
you have home projector some may think too cheesy but great social
commentary (presumably the remainder of dick's story) and fantastic
time travel theory understory for those looking for intellectual involvement
and also goes to show the danger of looking at crime judgmentally and prejudgmentally
a lesson for all perhaps to avoid the slow creep of police states and moral majority persecution
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
After having read the really great short story by Philip(Blade
Runner)K.Dick,i feel while Speielberg changes some bits from the short
story,the film shows a very terrifying (and very possible
In fifty years times,a crime division called "Pre Crime"is set up.The aim is to use a group of "Pre Cogs"that can see into the future stops murders before they happen.Everything is going well,till long-serving cop John Anderton (played really well by Tom"Born on the forth of July"Cruise)finds out he is meant to murder a man who he has never met!While Anderton is trying to hide,he finds out the the "perfect"system that he has worked for is no where near as perfect as it seems. View on the film:
I have to say i feel this is one of the most important stories that has been put to screen!The screenplay by Scott"The Dead Zone"Frank,shows that while we are getting better machines,are living standers/personality are getting destroyed.Spielberg also shows the use of adverts can show a "safe" thing for people(the use of happy children)that is doing more damages then good.While the ending is changed from the short story:(Anderton does the murder cause he "can not let the system get destroyed".)It also questions if we would give up all our rights to a system that says it can keep us completely safe?(something that is more important now due to 9/11 and 7/7.) Final view on the film:
One of the most important,and realistically terrifying view of our future.
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