Schindler’s List was not that good

8 Sep

I finally saw Schindler’s List for the first time.

I think the enormous amount of praise the film garnered was a case of
the emperors new clothes. While I’m sure many were actually very moved and
impressed with the film I cant be the only one who was underwhelmed. I’m
sure there were many critics who were too afraid to say what they really
felt.

For instance, it had bizarre comic relief throughout. I was actually
surprised at how much humor the film had. For example the one scene with the
little boy trying to find his own hiding spot in the concentration camp so
he wouldn’t be taken away in death trucks was a very weird place and time in
the film to have something cute and funny. Every place he tried to find to
hide was already full of kids.

But then Spielberg is known for that.

Ralph Fiennes and Liam Neeson kicked ass in the film as actors, and I was
very impressed by both performances, but I really felt the film was lacking.
I can see why Spielberg tried desperately to get other directors to do this
film instead of him, he was right in thinking he was not the director for
the job.

Also why were the concentration camp victims so well-fed? Not only were they
not emaciated most looked rather portly.

Scenes like when Goeth plays Mozart while the German military flushes out
people hiding in the ghetto is a very old and tired dramatic technique (one
I made fun of in ‘Face/Off’ when ‘When You Wish Upon A Star’ plays during a
very intense shootout scene where many people die, with no other sound
effect heard) and although the irony of Mozart being played by Goeth is not
lost on me, it was not an elegant scene and one that I would expect from a
more amateur director, not someone of Spielberg’s experience.

From a review by Jeremy Heilman:

“The mindset [of putting more importance and focus on the survivors rather
than the victims] also turns up on a larger scale near the film’s end, in a
tasteless suspense scene that mines thrills over whether the titular list
will arrive in time to save the Jews from getting gassed in a death camp.

In her exalting New York Times review, Janet Maslin wrote, “Mr. Spielberg
has made sure that neither he nor the Holocaust will ever be thought of in
the same way again.” Since I see Schindler’s List as a movie riddled with
compromise, misplaced showmanship and audience-pleasing spectacle, I worry
that statement might be right.”

Again, I still feel the Pianist was far superior to this film. I liked how one other reviewer put it, ‘A Theme Park Ride Masquerading as a Master’s Thesis’.

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5 Responses to “Schindler’s List was not that good”

  1. son_of_ottie September 8, 2008 at 1:45 pm #

    Hmmmm…we have different tastes. I found The Pianist boring beyond belief though I liked the performances.
    I must just be a Spielbergite. I thought his worst film by a mile was Amistad.
    And I didn’t think the boy having to jump into three feet of shit to hide was funny in any way. Nor was his search for a hiding place and the near-cruelty of those who wouldn’t help him. I found it more barbaric than humorous in any way.

  2. meowremix3804 September 8, 2008 at 2:54 pm #

    It’s kind of funny that you post this today.
    I was watching Robot Chicken on Adult Swim last night before going to bed, and one of the mini-clips was an Ebert-critic type spoof, and one of the movies that they were tearing apart was “Schindler’s List 2: Schindlers Pissed”.
    http://www.whowotme.com/2008/05/schindler-list-2-schindler-pissed_22.html

  3. asharak September 8, 2008 at 6:20 pm #

    That’s precisely what I don’t like about Spielberg. He’s an exploitative shit who toys with people’s emotions.
    I remember reading an article a few years ago that pointed out that if the Nazis won World War II, they would have made movies like Schindler’s List.

    • dazz September 8, 2008 at 9:14 pm #

      Really? I must have missed that in Leonard Maltin’s movie guide.

  4. dazz September 8, 2008 at 9:14 pm #

    I politely disagree.

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