Saturday, May 24, 2008


I'm trying to marshall my thoughts here into something coherent. Brian and I went to see Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull this evening, and I...

Okay, some backstory. I saw Raiders when I was eleven years old. My mom had to drag me there; Charlie Ferguson had told me there were tarantulas in Raiders so I had decided I didn't want to see it, but my mom saw it and knew I'd like it, so she took me. And man, was I hooked. Hooked on movies ... hooked on Harrison Ford. That movie opened my eyes about what a movie could do, what it could be like, what it SHOULD be like. Since then, biiiiiiiig Harrison Ford fan. I even forgave him for Six Days, Seven Nights. Yeah, really.

So was I looking forward to seeing this new Indiana Jones movie? Of course. Were my expectations really high? No, not really (Ebert's critique notwithstanding). Was I disappointed? Well...I liked about 50% of the film. I guess you could call that living up to low expectations.

When they stopped and took a breath and let Harrison act, I liked the movie. When they were careering along and things got really eye-rollingly goofy...they might as well have had a little image of George Lucas pop up in the corner of the screen, saying "This part was MY idea!" Seriously, that man should not have been allowed anywhere near this movie. Harrison should have knocked him unconscious with the handle of the bullwhip and told Steven to get on with things.

Raiders of the Lost Ark is a brilliant, beautiful film. People make mock when they find out I've seen it in the theater more than 40 times (yeah, really) but if you've seen it on the big screen, you know why I've seen it that many times. It's beautiful. The cinematography is stunning. From beginning to end. Stunning. The acting is perfect. The script...perfect. There isn't one thing I'd change about that movie. The next two were enjoyable. They have their merits. But compared to Raiders, they're shadows of what might have been. Hell, Last Crusade is a freakin' comic book compared to Raiders. I still do a slow burn when I think about what a buffoon they turned Marcus into. This fourth had its moments. The scene with the quicksand? Loved it. Marion Ravenwood strolling back into Indy's life? Couldn't have been happier to see her. The kid? He was okay. He made me laugh a few times. Do I think he'll fit in the fedora? Hmmm...I think the right guy walked out wearing the fedora in the final scene.

Yes, I'll buy the DVD. I'll wait for the special edition, tho.

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