This sounds about right to me:
Rick writes: “I offer my opinion re: George Lucas. He and Steven
Spielberg are two of the most disastrous pop cultural figures of the
last thirty years. They converted an entire medium to
childishness–scary sharks, space men, Indiana Jones. Star Wars is bits
of plastic put together with Scotch tape. There were clever moments here
and there, and more often cheap thrills. But anything adult was
banished. Spielberg so lowered the bar that when he turned around and
did Schindler’s List he was hailed as some sort of Dante. But who had
turned Nazis into thick-accented goons pursuing the Ark of the Covenant?”
It’s hardly new to offer the Nazis as thick-accented goons pursuing
ANYTHING. How is Raiders different from The Guns of Navarone or even
Major Strasser in Casablanca? Nazis make great villains. You can kill
them and everyone cheers. Vampires are great, too. And robots. Dead,
but not really dead. Now about those Nazi Robot Vampires…
Raiders is a very fine film, and I protest anyone taking a poke at it.
As a pastiche of Republic serials, it surpasses that shlock easily. As
a mirror of Bond films, it out-adventured Bond in a pinch. The problem
with both Spielberg and Lucas, and virtually everyone in the movie
business, as opposed to the art of film, is when they take themselves
seriously. When self-importance creeps in, and suddenly last year’s
box-office king becomes this year’s artiste, then whatever fun
evaporates and leaves us with molten drek that used to be celluloid.
When Star Wars is Flash Gordon meets a Pirate movie, it’s fine and fun.
When Star Wars is some sort of weird paean to Joseph Campbell, it’s dull
as dishwater. That said, I think Schindler’s List is a fine film, give
or take some maudlin moments that verge on exploitation.