Interesting points. I don't consider Amistad or Saving Private Ryan to be munipulative. However I do find The Colour Purple to be one of his weaker films. Why does the Quincy Jones score have to be used so constantly in the first houre? At that point I think he was just trying to prove that he could do a serious drama. He's already don't a serious drama with ET, however the drama side of the films was unfortunately overshadowed by the flying bicycle side. I find Saving Private Ryan interesting. It is really quite critical of people's patriotisms during war. We see the generals saying "we're going to bring this boy back home", and then we see Hanks and co being killed as a result of the mission. At the end of the film, when they all decide to stay and defend the bridge, I think that Spielberg is trying to tell us that sacrificing yourself for a cause like this is very honourable. However it will get you killed. I actuall think that the American flag at the end is very good, because I think the moral of the story is that there is a time and a place for patriotism and it's after the war is over.
I don't think I'm overrating Spielberg. I never said that he was the greatest film maker of all time. However I do think that he is probably the greatest film maker within the Hollywood style of film making (along with Hitchcock, Ford and a few others). I'm probably a bit biast towards Jurassic Park as I have been watching it since I was eight years old. I realise that it is not the first film ever to focus on man vs nature. However the way in which Spielberg brings the theme up is highly origional, and the film's purpose is not to bring up a new argument, but to add a new angle to an already existing one. When I talk about Jurassic Park, the main point I try to make is that it is about a lot more that dinosaures eating capitalists. No, you don't have to think that it is a masterpeice like I do, but understand that there is a deeper side to it than what all the hype suggests.
I definately agree that Spielberg gets too much media coverage, but to be honest I don't really care. The Matrix Reloaded got a lot of media coverage, but can ay of us really be bothered to care about it? The amount of media coverage he gets is actually a contributing factor to anti-Spielbergism. Coming back to the point that it is fasionable to criticise something that has mass appeal, the media coverage has made him the most well known film maker of all time. He's become a household name, and a lot of people really object to that. The media also adds to the thinking that his films are just entertainment because whenever you see him interviewed, it's normaly a "what's your new film gonna be, will it have lots of special effects?" type interview.