Wait, no, that's not entirely true. I like his earlier movies up to a point. I think "Jaws" is a masterpiece. I think "Raiders of the Lost Ark" is as perfect an action-adventure film as anyone can make. Despite their flaws, I even enjoy "The Temple of Doom", and "The Last Crusade". Although, you can see the downward spiral. But, somewhere along the way, the man lost his balls. There was a certain ruthlessness to his earlier movies that went away.
Could you really imagine the Spielberg of 1992, had that Spielberg made "Jaws", allowed the shark to eat the small child in the movie's first act? Because one need only look at "Jurassic Park" with its Tyrannosaurus-rex, velociraptors, all failing to eat, maim, or so much as injure two small and very annoying children. Hell, the kid even survived a massive shock from an electric fence that should have killed him. But nope, by then, Spielberg had found his audience. And it all started with a movie that I loathe more than most others, "E.T.".
Steven Spielberg has been called "the poet of suburbia" for his style of glorifying and celebrating the culture of middle-american suburbia. Now, this is where I get a little bit personal. I hate suburbia. I grew up in suburbia. I was a child in suburbia. I was a teenager in suburbia. I spent the first several years of my young adulthood in suburbia. And after spending my college years in the big city of Los Angeles, I have since found myself back in suburbia out of necessity more than choice.
My father grew in in Brooklyn. My mother grew up in Rio de Janeiro, Rome, London, and worked a lot in New York City where she met my father. I spent the first three years of my life in New York City. But then, my father moved us all to the suburbs of Westchester County. Or, as my mother would often say to him: "you locked us up in prison." I hated suburbia as a kid. I hated every minute of living there. I always looked forward to and cherished every single trip into New York City. I used to fantasize about fires consuming these towns and the nuclear families with 2.5 kids that surrounded me. I hated the towns. I hated the culture. I hated the people. And the most popular movie director in the country was glorifying these cesspools in most of his movies.
Yes, most directors have their passion places. For Martin Scorsese, it is New York City. His love and fetishizing of the Big Apple matches Spielberg's suburban fetish. But it is a love and an outlook on life that I share. I can't get enough of New York City, as such Scorsese's movies speak to me on the same primal level that Spielberg's repel me.
I'm not trying to tell you to dislike Spielberg's movies or his outlook on life. That is not the purpose of this entry. I'm just telling you how I feel. And, if I'm honest, Spielberg has made some good films since then. "Schindler's List", "Munich", and "Lincoln" all come to mind. So I will not deny his ability, it's just his approach and usual subject matter that I dislike.
Personally, my favorite depiction of suburbia on television was in the first three seasons of "Weeds" and on film was David Lynch's "Blue Velvet". Of course, they depict them as the hellscapes they truly are.
So, yeah, I'm a big city pretentious elitist who hates white picket fences, mom, apple pie, american flags, Jesus, and all that is good and right about America.