Remember when Steven Spielberg made movies you couldn't wait to see? You'd be watching a trailer and it could be nothing but 30 seconds of a single black title card, no music, but if it said, "From Spielberg, Coming this November!" you would be excited. No clue what he was cooking up but by Christ it would be good.

And then something tragic happened.

Somebody (Amy Irving) started whispering in his ear, like one of Homer's siren bitches from hell. "You could be important, Steven. You could have respect. Awards. Honors. Foundations. Use your talents to tell important stories instead of simple entertainment. You can make a difference."

For whatever reason, Steven listened and he's never been the same since. He sold his mojo for gold statues and there are no takesy-backsies. It's fucking gone and will never return. Congratulations (Amy Irving) on ruining perhaps the best film director of the late 20th century.

These days, he's doing the movies Sydney Pollack used to make. (Mr. Pollack has made some very good movies, don't get me wrong, but he never made a Jaws. Nobody did. Even Spielberg couldn't pull it off today.)

One of the more recent examples is The Post whose trailer is embedded below. You might have seen it. Take another look anyway.

THE POST (2017).

Now tell me if you can spot one single characteristic of that trailer that marks it as being directed by Spielberg. Just one. Nope, can't do it. This is a movie that could have been directed by your mother-in-law and nobody would know the difference.

In fact, your mother-in-law would love this story because it's good for you. It's what the masterful William Goldman called a "medicinal movie" -- a film that is supposed to be good for us but tastes really awful going down.

The Post is cinematic cod liver oil. It's supposed to be good for us but by Odin there is little appeal to the prospect of gulping it down. Where is the passion, the joy, the creative abandon that once took our breath away when Spielberg made a film? Gone, baby, gone.

Even the trailer feels like sitting through a staff meeting that just will not fucking end, and all you want to do is go outside and breathe some air that didn’t pass through the rotting lungs of an executive.

The trailer has a demi-sepia look, for fuck's sake. This was the '70s not the '20s. Spielberg was a kid in the '70s. It's not the fucking Bronze Age. Well, maybe it was for newspapers. I dunno. I was a kid then, too.

One of the other symptoms of a medicinal movie is the sheer quantity of dialog. Jeezus, shut up already. Who do you think I am, your therapist? Sorry, I don't have the requisite tolerance for blather. (Yes, I'm a writer, so it can be a problem, OK?)

If you can follow a movie, trailer, TV show, whatever, with your eyes closed then guess what? That's called radio. I'm bored to death with shows that are little more than groups of people talking to each other, then those people going to talk to other people. Lather, rinse, repeat. For the love of all things visual, get off your asses and do something!

This trailer also commits the cardinal sin of telling the whole fucking story. Of course, Hanks will win. Of course, Streep will win. Duh. Once more the trailer has saved me from wasting time on the actual movie. Thanks, shitty trailer makers!

But don't fret. Others are making films that make us want to at least think about getting off our asses and going to a theater. Take a look at Gaspar Noé's Climax embedded below. (It's not his literal climax. Probably not. Pretty sure. Just watch the thing.)

CLIMAX (2018).

The combination of drugs and dance and some kind of ominous mystery may not be your cup of ayahuasca but you have to admit this is a good trailer. Musical tension, sparse dialog fraught with (as yet unknown) meaning, tons of visuals, tons of color, snappy editing.

There is a little bit of on-the-nose foreshadowing when the letter "E" is carried away in the cup of punch. Still, you get the impression ecstasy will be the least of the kids' problems.

Not only do we not know how the movie will end but we don't even know for sure what the hell is going on. You know it's going to end badly for at least some of the dancers. Pretty sure nobody will be taking home little plastic trophies after this competition. Whatever it is about.

Climax looks like it could be Saw meets So You Think You Can Dance. Or a Friday afternoon unwinder at a Hollywood talent agency.

But I repeat myself.