Friday Special : Direct to Review: Robert Zemeckis

The E-Mod 116 Online mission statement says reviews of movies might be about the movie but aslo about what makes the movie a movie. A side from using the word movie too much in that last sentence, we’re proud to present a new feature on the blog, Direct to Review. This is a review of a directors work as a whole, there style, there signatures. Ok yeah they won’t get a score for their merit (that’s alone is difficult to impossible, but James Wan would get 1.0 out of 5.9 and Quentin Tarantio would be in negitive numbers) it is a way to see how they have changed for better or for worse over the years. 

Since its 2015 why not look at Mr. 2015 himself, Robert Zemeckis. But wait your saying to yourself, he’s just as much of a producer of films as a director of films, that’s true and it’s all part of the bigger picture. As of this writing Robert Zemeckis has directed 16 films, we’ve seen 9 of them. So what do we like, first we like the Zemeckis/Speilberg combination of the 80s. Back to the Future needed Speilberg as a producer much as it needed Zemeckis directing. Why is that you may ask? In the 80s comedy, sci-fi, and special effects were a tough challenge to all go hand in hand together. Only a few other people could have pulled that off, Ivan Reitman of Ghostbusters fame comes to mind, as does Steven Speilberg himself. But what we liked about the direction in Back to the Future is also what made Who Framed Roger Rabbit another masterpeice. That film is a story which while special effects driven still holds up 25 plus years later. Back to the Future part II also still holds up but this time making all the special effects a joke is what stops someone from point out most of the predictions of the future were wrong. Contempary time travel itself is a wonderful device that’s why Forrest Gump worked, he showed us a twist on modern history and used the special effects as proper tool. So what happened? Well it all started with the 1997 film Contact, as Mr. Garrison on South Park put it best “I had to see the entire movie to see the alien, and it was her goddamned father!” It didn’t stop there, in 2000 Castaway with Tom Hanks was two hours of boredom. First off what was in the damn box, and second when your cheering for the volleyball your movie has major issues beyond story and pacing.  From that point on it was all abord the performance capture train (litteraly) with The Polar Express, which was a little bewildering to look at. However credit will be awarded were credit is due, and by 2009 A Christmas Carol was a decent and well crafted effort. So what about the producing aspect, like George Lucas, he’s now starting to shine. Two great films he produced but didn’t direct are The Frighteners and Monster House, he’s also responsible for producing Tales From the Crypt back when HBO wasn’t the cirtic circle jerk on our shows channel. All of those projects have the wiz bang of his special effects know how but aren’t bogged down by trying to up the ante and do a total reinvention and one upends of before. In the end it’s balance that is the key, which is why we praise such films as Back to the Future and Who Framed Roger Rabbit, but bemoan such films as Contact and the Polar Express, and in the end we recomend most all his movies up to Forrest Gump (except Back to the Future Part III) and that’s still a pretty impressive director resume to have.
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