Genre Movie #8: “Raiders of the Lost Ark” (1981)
When I started making the final tally of this list, I was surprised at how few Spielberg movies were still under consideration. As the list of titles was winnowed down, “Jaws” fell away (it’s only the 2nd half, on the boat, that holds up) as did, unbelievably, “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” which just missed the cut. I hadn’t seen “E.T.” since it first came out in 1982 and found I had no interest in finding out if it held up. Although I appreciated Spielberg’s admission that he was wrong to later alter it for the special edition director’s cut, by then I found I just couldn’t take the cloying happy endings he insisted on forcing in every thing he produced, and I couldn’t even tell you the names of half the movies he’s made in the last 20 years . (Ok, I did rather enjoy 95% of his take on “The War of the Worlds” … until, you know, the happy ending. And it’s still rather hard to forgive him for the nonsensical hash he made of “Minority Report.” I mean, how do you screw up a movie with a jetpack chase scene? How?)
But one title that was great when it came out and is still eminently watchable? Yup.