Munich (2005) is my favorite Steven Spielberg movie. A lot of people will go with E.T. or Schindler's List or Saving Private Ryan (there are certainly others to choose from), but Munich represents his most subtle filmmaking, his most mature work. Starring Eric Bana and Daniel Craig, two more of my favorite actors, it's a look at the reaction to another terrorist incident and how things quickly turn into a quagmire of moral ambiguity. The point is, everyone is forced to think about what they're doing, their motivations and roles in the events as they unfold. It doesn't hurt that on the surface Munich is a thriller with another excellent score from John Williams, or that the international cast is topnotch. It's a film where element has a purpose and it works on so many levels. For some people, anyone who failed to recognize its achievement (which was just about everyone), they didn't like the ambiguity, but that was exactly the point Spielberg was attempting to make. Maybe it's a better movie that says something definitively, but not in my book. Simply representing something, opening a dialogue (which was Spielberg's intent), is one of art's purest intents, and Munich is art all the way through. It's another film whose reputation I hope only grows in time. It doesn't hurt that a famous director made it. Eventually, succeeding generations will sift through his work and discover Munich anew.
Star Trek bonus!
M is for Mayweather, Travis
(from Star Trek: Enterprise)
Mayweather is the only recurring character to ever be featured in every episode of their Star Trek series. Everyone knew that Berman & Braga intended Enterprise to primarily feature the Big Three format of the original series, which meant that Archer, T'Pol & Tucker were always going to be the stars, with the rest of the cast filling in around them. Mayweather had a specific purpose, as did every other character, a particular vantage point to fill out, and in the first two seasons, he had a few episodes that fleshed out where exactly he came from and what it meant for him to have joined the fledgling Starfleet. The fans weren't too interested (I was), so that element of the series disappeared, and like Chakotay before him, bereft of what truly made him significant Mayweather faded ever more into the background. Played by Anthony Montgomery, he was never one of the more flashy personalities, but in the third season, he helped represent the alternative to all those MACOs that drove Reed up the wall (he did the same thing in the Mirror Universe episodes in the final season). Most of the supporting cast took a back seat in the last season, actually, so Mayweather was no exception there. But it's high time that people stop ridiculing Enterprise for its treatment of a character that was built for exactly the purpose he fulfilled. He still got more work than the ones he was patterned after (Sulu, Chekov, Uhura), after all.