Why Is Everyone Suddenly Concerned About Steven Spielberg?

Why Is Everyone Suddenly Concerned About Steven Spielberg?

There was a really weird media narrative that cropped up just prior to the release of Ready Player One that focused on the career of director Steven Spielberg. That trend, exemplified by but not limited to this Indiewire story, started worrying that the director *really* needed a box-office hit.

Even as stories like that acknowledged he has a track record over 40+ years of filmmaking that’s unparalleled (he recently became the first director to cross the $10b global revenue mark) there was a distinct wringing of hands over whether or not anyone would keep letting him make movies if he didn’t release something popular. While it’s true that his films of the last 10 years haven’t always been high-grossing, they continue to do well and are usually critically-acclaimed and receive awards nominations.

These stories all seem to come from a belief that anyone in Hollywood would say “…nah” to Steven Spielberg, a position I find hard to fathom.

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Ready Player One – Marketing Recap

Ready Player One – Marketing Recap

ready player one poster 2Based on the hit book of the same name, Ready Player One is finally ready to hit theaters. The story follows Wade (Tye Sheridan), a high school student living in 2045 Columbus, OH amid “The Stacks,” a series of makeshift apartments built out of stacked together campers, trailers and other vehicles. That’s the only kind of living space most people can afford due to extreme poverty, lack of natural resources and other societal problems that have cropped up. The only place he and his friends go is The OASIS, a virtual world that’s free to use and which is where school is held, work is done and fantasies played out.

The creator of The OASIS James Halliday (Mark Rylance) has died and left behind an unusual legacy: He’s hidden the key to controlling The OASIS somewhere within the world itself. While Wade can’t afford the fancy gear others can, he has studied Halliday obsessively, including the genius’ fascination with the pop culture of the 1980s and 90s. So he sets out to see if he can find the key, literally an “easter egg” Halliday has placed behind a series of puzzles and riddles.

Wade and his friends Art3mis (Olivia Cooke) and Aech (Lena Waithe) aren’t the only ones searching, of course. In addition to the millions of other OASIS users there’s also Innovative Online Industries, a massive corporation headed by Nolan Sorrento (Ben Mendelsohn), who want to monetize The OASIS and turn it into big business. So Wade and his team are not only out for fame and glory, but also to make sure The OASIS remains the world of escapism and connection people like him so desperately need.

Oh…the movie is directed by Steven Spielberg. Did I not mention that?

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The Post – Marketing Recap

The Post – Marketing Recap

the post poster 5The Vietnam War still looms large in the collective American psyche, an instance where the cause being fought for was more muddled than usual. So too, the tendency of powerful figures to use whatever tools available to silence dissent and maintain their secrets is as old as time. Both of those realities came together in 1971 when former military analyst Daniel Ellsberg leaked what came to be known as “The Pentagon Papers” to The New York Times in 1971. While the Times published a number of stories on the documents, which contained a classified analysis of the Vietnam War, it wasn’t until later that year when The Washington Post picked up the story that things really heated up.

The Post, the new movie from director Steven Spielberg tells that part of the story. Meryl Streep plays Katherine “Kay” Graham, publisher of the Post from 1969 to 1979. When she’s informed by editor Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks) that he intends to publish reports based on The Pentagon Papers it sets off a whirlwind of corporate and legal action. The Nixon administration moves to stifle that reporting, just as it did for the Times, citing national security concerns. Graham and Bradlee, then, must weigh the threat of being arrested for treason against their duty to inform the public of the real reason behind the Vietnam War.

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