Growing up in the world of watching movies, I always knew of three directors I’d always compare films to. All three are mainstream, well known, and controversial. They are Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, and Robert Zemeckis. Spielberg created the best movies regarding dinosaurs in Jurassic Park. Lucas, well, he created an entire galaxy of which I wish was real. Zemeckis proved time travel was possible and was well worth the risks… depending on how you saw the repercussions of such choices.
Personally, I was rooting for Biff.
Each director is more than just one movie/franchise. All three have attached their names to hundreds of projects, some together. Spielberg has worked with both directors separately; for example Spielberg is signed as a producer for Back to the Future, and of course he co-produced Indiana Jones with Lucas.
Of the three, I would consider the most stable (or consistent) of them would be Zemeckis. Going back to the earlier discussion, his most popular franchise (Back to the Future) is likely the most non-controversial as compared to Lucas’ Star Wars and Spielberg’s Jurassic Park. You can even throw in Indiana Jones for both Lucas and Spielberg. All three Back to the Future films stuck true to each other, though most fans will always say the first film is the finest (which is normally the case for franchises). Star Wars biggest controversy were the prequels (why did you cast Jake Lloyd? Seriously Lucas, he was god awful). Jurassic Park easily went spiraling down after the first film. Note, Spielberg neither directly produced or directed the sequels.
There’s talks of a fourth film. Need I remind you of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull?
(Indy IV wasn’t a bad standalone film, if it were titled something differently and the characters re-named).
Moving on with Zemeckis, his other notable films include Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Forrest Gump, Contact and Cast Away. As a Director, he has yet to put out a disappointing film (to this guy). He stays away from creating sequels and focuses more on just keeping it simple, with some snazzy special effects. I stay away from Christmas movies outside of my annual A Christmas Story marathon (because they are all the same), but The Polar Express drew me right in and graphically pleasing to the eye.
Beowulf was an ambitious project that really didn’t take off as much as it could, but again, Zemeckis was able to show off some great special effects. Sounds like a Michael Bay description right there, doesn’t it?
What Zemeckis has always done well (and I’m sure it’s more thanks to the casting director), is finding a leading wo/man for his movies. Eric Stoltz was the original Marty McFly; thank god he was switched out for Michael J. Fox because I doubt the chemistry between him and Christopher Lloyd wouldn’t have been on par to that of Fox and Lloyd.
Jodie Foster has proved she can lead a movie, and that was supported even more with Contact. Yes, I realize the whole aliens taking the form of her deceased father to communicate with her was a little out there, but for a movie that nearly ran three hours it has always kept me interested. I’ve seen it far more than any person should. To this day, I continue to love it.
Tom Hanks can turn a stinker into a tolerable one. Thankfully both Cast Away and Forrest Gump weren’t stinkers, but only proved further Hanks is one of the best leading men you can get. I consider him the top leading man of the last 20 years.
Talk about the top leading men of the last twenty years, how about Denzel Washington? Essentially the black version of Hanks, Denzel can do any role. He can do comedy, drama, romance, heck even porn if he wanted to. He would bring the porn industry into mainstream theaters if he wanted to.
Zemeckis and Washington are teaming up for Flight, a movie about a pilot who was able to save an entire plane full of people from a fatal accident. Washington’s character is considered a hero by the crew and passengers, but after an ongoing investigation, it seems his character might have some explaining to do about his personal conduct. He may have been drunk while flying the plane, but considering he was able to save the passengers when no other pilot could (during simulations), raises the question of whether or not he is a hero or a violator.
Sounds like a modified version of the Captain Sully story.
Denzel comes at a high price tag, but he will attract an audience. Thankfully for us, no matter the movie, Denzel will put on a show. He will go out there and perform at the top of his game. When has Denzel ever sucked?
Flight hits theaters on November 2, 2012. Check out the first trailer below: