Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Movie Meme, Day 10: A Movie I Never Thought I’d End Up Loving

I may have said this before, but I’m rather spot on with knowing what I’d like. Most of the films I seek out are the ones I know I’ll love. Most often the ones I despise are those I see for the hell of it, or Oscar bait I watch for completion’s sake. Not to say that I’m omnipotent…surprises occur. A number of films ran through my head when I saw the title, but it kept coming back to a particular. It’s one that I felt even more of a desire to feature since it narrowly missed making my TOP 100 and I do love it. I’ve never been a big fan of Spielberg. He has two Oscars and even though one is often considered the best film of the nineties, and the other is considered the best in the war genre I wouldn’t have given him on either count. I like Tom Cruise even less. Whereas I’m neither for nor against Spielberg, Tom Cruise tends to annoy me generally. Hence, I felt the slightest bit of trepidation at seeing Minority Report. A Cruise / Spielberg blockbuster? I think not. How wrong was I in prejudging this? Very!          
Though it’s nowhere near as brilliant as 2007, 2002 was a brilliant year for films (2002 in review). There was the trimester of Chicago / The Hours / The Two Towers and those were followed by another trimester Gangs of New York / Minority Report / Spiderman. Each of these six had something that made me anticipate an appreciation for them, except for Minority Report. The story focused on a time in the future when a special band of policeman could anticipate crime and the perpetrators, essentially curbing it before it occurred. One day Chief John Anderton, Head of the Precrime department, sees himself projected in the precogs vision – he will commit a murder. There’s no reason to doubt them because the precogs visions are always accurate. Right? At its base Minority Report is about one man trying to find ascertain the truth around him and  Anderton must do the unthinkable going on the round with Agatha (the female precog) in two. It’s part action, part scifi and complete brilliance. I don’t usually find myself going agog at the genre (though I’ll continually pledge allegiance to Gattaca) but I’m always seduced by the adrenaline rush in Minority Report.
Spielberg creates a brilliant film and art direction and visual effects play an important part in the brilliance of the film, but what makes Minority Report stand apart is the acting. I’ve never found Tom Cruise so moving even in a role that reads as Tom Cruise doing Tom Cruise. I’d have given him an Oscar nomination for this, along with Samantha Morton who is simply outstanding. Neal McDonough, Max von Sydow, Collin Farrell and Kathryn Morris offer good support to the two thespians making the film as dependable for its human resources as it is for the technical ones. I never fail to be lost in the world of Minority Report, I never expected myself to be as enraptured as I was the first time but I was and I am. It’s still brilliant.
What do you think of Minority Report?
All because of the MEME.


rtm said...

I like Minority Report a lot, one of the more enjoyable Tom Cruise flicks. I like sci-fi thrillers and found the story really compelling here, lots of thought-provoking stuff to marvel and ponder. Agree about Samantha Morton, brilliant performance as the Precor (the umbrella scene, wow!) The supporting cast was awesome as well: Max von Sydow of course and Colin Farrell, first time I saw him and was impressed. I'm a bit behind on this meme but I'll try to do Day 10 as I have a movie in mind.

Jose said...

As with all Spielberg it's sooo good until the end.
The man should make a habit out of cutting his movies ten minutes before the actual ending. It would upgrade a lot of his movies from good to mindblowingly great.

Dan said...

Yeah, I'm a fan of this film too. I think it shows Spielberg in a comfort zone that he didn't have with A.I. It's also the best film of his recent work in my eyes.

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

rtm yes, it's really a thinking film...and i like thinking.

jose you're not the first i've heard complaining. the ending doesn't bother me as much here...it actually made me breathe with relief.

dan i may have said this before, but it warrants repetition: it's my favourite spielberg film.