Tuesday, May 27, 2008

You call him Dr. Jones, Doll!

Keeping with the Summer blockbuster theme, although not music related, one of the summer's most anticipated movies (if not one of the decade's, maybe more) came out this past weekend: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

Fortunately, I was lucky enough to find a pair of sneak preview passes for it, so we (the rest of my whip-totin', Fedora-wearing posse) got to see it last Monday- three days before it came out (I'm a little late on posting). Hell, I've been waiting almost 20 years since the last one came out...not that there weren't others waiting the same amount of time since The Last Crusade came out- there were. But I've been waiting over 2/3 of my life for this movie. There has never been another movie that I have waited for so long and anticipated so much as the new installment of Indi. Alas, in the last few weeks, it crept closer and closer into my hands just as the golden head in that Dr. Jones finally obtains in the opening scenes of Raiders of the Lost Ark. And just as quickly as Indi grabs the idol and subsequently loses it, I realized that there is just no way that this movie, that I have been waiting for 19 years on, mind you, will in any way compare to the original three...and yes, that even includes Temple of Doom, you Naysayers.

(Why does everyone think Temple of Doom was terrible? I liked it. It's definitely the weaker of the original three, but c'mon now, it wasn't that bad. Y'all just like The Last Crusade because Sean Connery was in it. It was good, but, oh, forget it. I'll never win this one... Ironically, the episode of Family Guy on tv just referenced the ending of Temple of Doom with Michael Eisner attempting to pull Peter's heart out like Mola Ram tried to do to Indi's on the broken rope ladder on the side of the cliff...See, it can't be that bad. Had I become a professional wrestler, the heart pullout would have been my finishing move. I would have just had to figure out how to simulate pulling a heart out of my opponents' chests and make it look halfway real. I never could figure out what my wrestling name would have been though.)

Back to Indiana Jones and the Ridiculously Long Titled Movie Name. Obviously, going into the movie, one has to know that it wasn't going to be as good as the originals. It simply can't be. But one can hope. We sure can. Just go ahead and dismiss the memories of those George Lucas atrocities that were Star Wars Episodes 1-3, especially Episode 1's CGI and Jar Jar Binks, and the piss-poor acting in Episode 2...There are some of Lucas's cute CGI family-friendly, laugh-grabbing and cute and cuddly animals. Thankfully, Lucas and Spielberg kept it to a minimum, so all is not lost. However, after a great opening sequence, as is the case with all the Indi movies, one begins to remember what they are watching: A 65-year old Indiana still out rumbling around like he did in the '30s versus those damned Nazis. But this time it's in the '50s and our hero is taking on the Ruskies. Incidentally, with the movie being set in the 1950s, Indi isn't 35 anymore. But he pulls it off better than I thought he would as he doesn't try to make the audience believe that he is still the young, swashbuckler of yonder year: He jokes about misjudging the distance of jumps and swinging on his rope as he misses his target and lands in the enemy's car. He also talks about getting old, in his classic Indi sarcasm and tongue in cheek fashion that only he (and Han Solo) can deliver.

Not to give the movie away, because you should definitely go see this- It's Indiana Jones after all. But this isn't your daddy's Indi, or your childhood memories of a young(er), rougher, and (just as) daring Harrison Ford for that matter. (Side note= when I'm 65 and I look like Harrison Ford does, everything will be ohhh-kayyyy. I promise.) Indi is older, but presumably wiser. He reluctantly takes on the young "Mutt" as his sidekick/protege of sorts, played by Shia LaBeouf, who pays homage to Marlon Brando in The Wild One in his first scene as he rides in on his bike. It's almost as if Spielberg stole a scene out of The Wild One. He meets up, strangely, with Marion Ravenwood (played by Karen Allen, who, sadly, is looking a wee bit rougher than when we last saw her in '81 in Raiders). We all can't age as gracefully as Harrison. Oh yes- Cate Blanchett is in it too, as one of the villains (the main one). She plays a good Russian, but all I could think of was Bob Dylan dressed up as a nerdy scientist woman in the mid-1950s in a Russian army outfit and a black wig on speaking with a fake Russian outfit.

My buddy and fellow poster VEGAS had to keep reminding me to "just buy into it and it will be alright". I tried. I guess I did. I enjoyed it, don't get me wrong. It had all the things that need to be in an Indiana Jones movie- action, adventure, humor, sex/love (old people need it too), a whip and a hat, humor, snakes and the unbelievable that becomes believable. But I just can't get into aliens and outer space beings. Crystal skulls intrigue me- I have been watching all of these timely specials on The History Channel and the Indiana Jones documentaries on A&E (I think it was) that discuss the likeliness of Indi's quests and the reality of the crystal skulls. They all intrigue me. But I just couldn't get into the alien aspect of the movie as it progressed. You'll have to see it to understand, because I won't divulge anymore, as I want you to go and see the movie because it's good. You should. You owe it to that secret archaeologist deep down in you...and to Indi, as he may need you to help him out in his next adventure...

Side notes:
  • Shia LaBeouf is on Jimmy Kimmel tonight
  • We did not actually dress up like Indiana Jones to go to the movie...but that's not to say that there weren't others there that were dressed up though. (Those that dressed up for the the movie have never kissed a girl, by the way)
  • As mentioned in the first paragraph, this is one of the most anticipated films of the summer...However, someone told me there was a new Batman coming out sometime too, that is supposedly gaining alot of attention and anticipation? I haven't heard anything about this. Please let me know if you know anything about this...PLEASE!
  • And if you think this movie is better than Temple of Doom, I don't know what to tell you.

No comments: