Film Junk Premium Podcast #44: Steven Spielberg Sci-Fi Spectacular


This means something… this is important. Film Junk’s latest premium podcast is a nostalgia-fueled examination of the science-fiction films of Steven Spielberg from his early alien-themed films Close Encounters of the Third Kind and E.T. through to his Stanley Kubrick collaboration A.I. and more recent action-oriented entries like Minority Report and War of the Worlds. Topics of discussion include the effectiveness of the various cuts of Close Encounters and E.T., the recurring theme of broken families, Spielberg’s partnership with Janusz Kaminski and his masterful use of product placement and familiar pop culture. So is Close Encounters of the Third Kind Spielberg’s ultimate sci-fi masterpiece? Do the endings of his more recent films leave something to be desired? Does Minority Report still succeed in spite of its plot loopholes or has Frank had a major change of heart? And what the heck is a Sine Supremus anyway? In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king… get a little clarity with this month’s premium podcast below.

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This series of premium podcasts was created to help support the regular weekly Film Junk Podcast. Head on over to Bandcamp and download full episodes for a minimum donation of just $1. As always, let us know if you experience any technical difficulties or if you have any other suggestions for future specials. Thanks for your support!

  • Kenneth Serenyi

    In anticipation of this month’s Premium, I revisited 2008’s Film Junk episode #170 which is touted as ‘The Steven Spielberg special’. Unfortunately Greg was stuck at work, Greg hadn’t given enough notice to have Reed substitute in, and Sean was in a rush because he had to go to work right after the show. The actual Spielberg discussion lasted about 30 minutes out of the show’s 1:45:14 running time. While it was a good discussion between just Jay and Sean, I’m really looking forward to the more in depth and focused reviews coming up on this Premium episode. I give Film Junk #170 a 3.5 out of 5 on ‘Film Podcast Letterboxd’.

  • Colin

    This was a good premium and I’m glad to own it… that said, how you can groan about the CG in A.I. and not complain about the CG in Minority Report is criminal. The CG car/elevator chase is gross.

  • B.J.

    Even Balls&Freshness have a bigger compatibility than Frank&Subtext.

  • Carlos Gonzalez

    “If you don’t know you’re kid is allergic to peanut butter, you’re fucked!”

    Great premium, fellows.

  • devolutionary

    Frank’s inherent autism prevents him from reading subtext into anything and Jay always loves movies about “Family”. This oil/water combo is dynamite as always.
    -Close Encounters: Push/Pull of family vs following your passion
    -E.T. as a surrogate parent/savior
    -Unbreakable father/son relationship in regards to the discovery of superpowers
    -TMNT 2 pro-environment stance regarding their origin story
    -Avatar’s pro-environment/anti-colonist stance

  • Adam


  • Solid premium. Even though you were complaining a lot about the movies you still gave them high ratings (for the most part). I guess that’s what happen when you get on the nitpick train.

  • iammattz

    Great stuff guys. Thanks!

  • Kenneth Serenyi

    Did the police ship in Minority Report look like Boba Fett’s ship to anyone else?

  • ProjectGenesis

    Frank’s take down of the pizza ordering scene in E.T. was amazing.

  • OsoAmorito

    In an interview with James Lipton, Spielberg revealed that his inspiration for the finale of Close Encounters of the Third Kind was Fantasia’s Night on Bald Mountain scene. I invite you to watch them together to see that Spielberg lifts pretty much the whole thing entire. Giant spaceship rising up over Devil’s Peak compared to giant devil peaking up over mountain. Little aliens and little demons. The big alien communicating in sign language while the big demon casts some sort of magic spell with strange hand gesticulations. Creepiest of all perhaps, the “missing” people exiting the spaceship in a ghostly light, next to the ghosts coming out of their graves to frolic with the devils.

    Add this knowledge to E.T. and the allegedly Spielberg ghost directed Poltergeist–two movies released within weeks of each other and centered around an otherworldly being in a child’s closet; one a friendly alien, the other a demonic ghost–and one perhaps understands the reason that a lot of children, like young frank, were having nervous breakdowns at the thought of having to watch Spielberg’s greasy alien puppet movies. I mean the suggestion that Elliott is being possessed by E.T. is not even really hidden. It’s just presented as a family friendly, fun for all ages spiritual possession.

    It’s a little weird all of it.

  • OsoAmorito
  • Did the police ship in Minority Report look like Boba Fett’s ship to anyone else?

  • Great premium, fellows.