Have you ever watched a film and been blown away by who the director is? Or in the same token watch a film whose director you know and by the end of the film think to yourself, “I can believe (so and so) directed that movie!” If you haven’t I’m not surprised because it’s fairly rare.
The reason it’s rare is because like many actors, directors have a specific style. Some are known for romance movies whereas others are known for action movies just like some actors are action movie actors, etc etc. Sometimes going out of their “comfort zone” is a good thing and sometimes it winds up pretty badly.
In the following five cases, it’s not really a sense or good or bad as it is a shock that these movies were directed by these directors……
Spike Lee – Inside Man
I guarantee that if a person saw this movie for the first time and didn’t know Spike Lee was director? There’s zero chance you’d know it was Lee who directed it. I mean bottom line this is a “caper” movie. Usually Spike Lee explores race, makes statements, and has some pretty strong commentary in his films. This one? Yeah there’s a tiny bit of it but overall it’s just a really really solid film about a bank robbery. I thoroughly enjoyed it and feel that Lee was probably thinking “let’s see if I can make a really awesome movie movie.
Martin Scorsese – The Age of Innocence
When you think of period films (as in renaissance and “dangerous liaison” type times) I wouldn’t exactly say that Scorsese is at the top of the list of directors. At the same time this was a very solid film and Scorsese definitely captured the vibe. The only other film in Scorsese’s bucket that might not be representative of his normal “dark,” “gangster” type films would be The Last Temptation of Christ but for some reason I just thought Age of Innocence fit better.
Steven Spielberg – Catch me if You Can or The Terminal
I happened to really enjoy both of these films. However, when I think of Spielberg I think of two things: imagination and history. Spielberg’s strong films are those that capture our imagination in action, and those films that do justice to certain stories and places in history. However, Catch me if you Can and The Terminal were much more light hearted, airy, and frankly fun. I feel like Spielberg stepped back and just wanted to make some movies that weren’t stressful. And I think he did a fantastic job with these.
The Wachowski Brothers – Bound
I guess I can understand it now that one of the brothers is named Lana. But seriously. These are the guys that made The Matrix and they made Bound? I mean this movie is about a tough female ex con and her lover Violet who concoct a scheme to steal millions of stashed mob money and pin the blame on Violet’s crooked boyfriend Caeser. Not exactly bending spoons are we? Plus this movie has a kick ass lesbian scene. I don’t know. It just isn’t Wachowski is it….
David Fincher – Alien 3
Every director has to start somewhere and doing a sequel is definitely not where I’d have pinned David Fincher to be. If you’ve actually seen Alien 3 it’s pretty badass and does look very “Finchery.” However, I think those that are Fincher fans know exactly what I mean here. It’s not that the movie isn’t his style. It’s more of the “I can’t believe David Fincher directed Alien 3” vibe.