Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The New Indy....

[NOTE: Minor spoilers as to characters in the film but only minimal plot giveaway.]

Last Thursday I took the kids to see Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull. Overall, we really liked it, although at times it moved a bit too fast for me to keep up with every detail; it's definitely one of those films that require multiple viewings in order to sort out all of the little stuff. And seeing it on the "big screen" is a MUST. I simply can't imagine only seeing Indy 4 on a television only. No way.

The kids are bigger Indiana Jones fans than I am. I first saw Raiders of the Lost Ark in the theatre for my 16th birthday with my then-boyfriend, and the film terrorized me. We had not grown up seeing a great number of movies, and the most violence I had been exposed to up to that point was Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Star Wars (later rechristened A New Hope). So the snakes, the bloody bodies, the decapitation, and the melting faces made a huge impact on me -- or at least the glimpses I saw between my fingers impressed me greatly. I have watched it several times since and have enjoyed it far more, although I still close my eyes during the melting scene at the close of the film.

I saw the second and third movies once only when they first came out but not since and remember little about them beyond there being a little kid in the second and Sean Connery in the third. Although T received the boxed set for his birthday in March, I haven't watched the two sequels for many years and didn't care for them greatly since them anyway. (The third was definitely better than the second, thanks in large part to Sean Connery rather than anything George Lucas tried to pull out of his hat.) Therefore, I was not expecting to really like Indy 4 too much. We were celebrating J's birthday, and he wanted to see it (and go to the zoo the following day) in lieu of a birthday party, so off we went to a matinee after our final Class Day.

Well, the film was surprisingly good. Yes, many have complained that the film is just too unrealistic, and they are right. But who expects realism from an Indiana Jones flick? The film kept me guessing, although alien involvement was obvious from the very first ten minutes. The script was better than anything Lucas has written recently (like Star Wars I, II, and III, just to name a few), and the actors carried the kitschy lines well. Karen Allen's character was fun to see again, even if the years haven't been nearly as kind to her as they have been to Harrison Ford. Jim Broadbent was great as the dean of the college (he'll make such a great Slughorn as well when Harry Potter 6 comes out in November), but Cate Blanchett stole the show even more than Harrison himself and the good-looking young man playing Indy's son put together. Her stock-bad-guy role was played just like the Saturday serials which form the basis for the Indy movies -- with the lightest touch of humor and great facial expressions. The violence wasn't as gory as the first film, but the ants got a little gross and provided me the opportunity to watch from behind my outspread fingers.

I recommend seeing Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull actually **IN** the movie theatres, preferably with a large bucket of popcorn (light on the butter) and a small box of Junior Mints. (M&M's will do in a pinch.) The Saturday serial is resurrected in the 4th Indiana Jones flick, and it's well-worth the price of admission (matinee prices, anyway) just to see this bad boy on the big screen.

(Imagine the Indiana Jones theme music playing as you finish this post....)

1 comment:

foleyp1 said...

Speaking of Karen Allen, I wrote an unsolicited script for Starman 2 back in 1998. It was my first script and I quit college to finish it. It’s been gathering dust ever since. I sent it to Jeff Bridges and John carpenter, although I would prefer if Carpenter didn’t direct a sequel. I wrote some good f/x sequences and some interesting characters. I’m pretty sure I’ll never be involved, but I’d to see the f/x scene from the beach being incorporated, (Jeff’s manager Neil will know the one, totally plagiarised from another movie, but it would look great on film today). If anyone has any questions, email me at and I’ll answer them. (Although I won’t give away any plot points. And yes there is a son and indeed, I actually have the perfect casting suggestion!!


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