There’s an endearing article on the Jones chronicles in the Times today, not as important as Rauschenberg perhaps as J.E. has helped make evident, but diverting.
Cllick here for the Jones Article.
May 29, 2008 at 7:14 pm
Ah, Indy (or IJ, as the case may be), what can be said. If only the movie was as good as the articles about it. I found it worked on some levels, but was embarrassing on others. I watched the previous three this year and have to say, Raiders (A+), Temple (C-, almost painful how bad this has held up for me) and Crusade (B+). I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised at how well the last one has held up. I think where it falls flat is where they push the limits of the special effects. CGI wasn’t advanced enough yet for some of what they push here. Also, the last series of solving the grail challenges just doesn’t work for me. Altogether the rest of it was better than I remember it. As for the new one, it also falls flat when they choose flash over substance; the vine-swinging, the ants, sabre duel. That said, it was still a good time. I guess i prefer my indy obsudities to be in the realm of improbable, not rediculous. Nevertheless, it was the starting point of a great weekend, that unlike this film, ended far too soon. I really enjoyed seeing everyone and missed seeing Ned&Sara. I hope everyone has made it to their next locations safely and I look forward to a JE visit this week. Thanks for the memorable weekend, Tob and Steph, it was just what the doctor ordered. Now onto tonight’s episode of lost…
June 1, 2008 at 2:19 pm
Peters, I agree with your assessment here of Indiana Jones. I think they were once great (Raiders), had a great run and an appropriate conclusion (Last Crusade). They shouldn’t have brought it back, and didn’t learn the lesson of Star Wars Episodes I-III. The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull raised my suspicions when I first heard the title, and unfortunately, the movie was even a little more disappointing than I thought it would be. Ford didn’t bring as much to the role, and Karen Allen (Marion Ravenwood) was sorely underused, compared to her appearance in Raiders. And Shia LeBouf was more or less unnecessary, as far as I’m concerned. You’re right, Peters, when you say they went for more flash than substance: there just wasn’t an adequate script to begin with, and all the special effects in the world can’t save a poor script. To quote George Lucas from the early 1980s: “A special effect without a story is a pretty boring thing.” Unfortunately, he forgot this along the way, and in the process disappointed me with two of my favorite and formative movie series.
Nevertheless, as Peters says, it was fun to go to the movie over Memorial Day. A great time, indeed.
June 13, 2008 at 11:53 am
Funnily enough, I found myself going a second time to Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. I enjoyed it more the second time. Perhaps my hopes and expectations had already been crushed, so I could just take it in for what it is–a popcorn movie, fun to watch. Still, the story just isn’t really there, and that scene of throwing the snake to Indy in the quicksand is just terrible to witness. But I thought it worth mentioning a second viewing made me feel the movie does have some good moments…
June 15, 2008 at 10:17 pm
I also want to go see “IJ” a second time. As usual with popcorn movies, I take them less seriously the second time. My brain disengages and I typically enjoy them much more. I do think I’ll always be disappointed when I think about the kind of movie it could have been.
Up until this weekend, I had no specific idea what I wanted the movie to be like…just terrific. But the weekend mentioned in the previous sentence yielded the script Frank Darabont wrote for Lucas a few years ago. It was leaked onto the internet, and I grabbed it and started reading.
The movie took a lot of portions of his screenplay and used them. Strangely enough though, the script he wrote is exactly the movie I wanted to see in the new Indiana Jones. In fact, as I’m reading, I’m seeing the script in place of the screen. Anyway, a little difficult to describe…but the characters are all handled much better and most of the beefs I had with it are gone. Actually, the beefs usually show up in Darabont’s script. However, there’s a reason they are there in his script, compared to the movie where they show up like vestigial organs for a punch line’s sake.
Anyway, it totally redeems the movie for me (and I’m only halfway through). If the HM would like to see the script, drop me an email and I’ll send it to you. I’d post it here, but I don’t want to get hit with a DMCA takedown notice on the blog. Shotts and Petes, I think it’s a necessity for you guys but I won’t force it upon you. Just an opinion.
June 16, 2008 at 9:25 am
I have seen Indiana Jones now. I thought it had some good moments too, and I enjoyed some of the opening sequences. But I guess if I had so long to come up with a story, I would think I could come up with something better. I think there is some truth to Pete’s comments in that they really can’t live up to the quality of Raiders of the Lost Ark, which was almost a perfect blend of period, occult, action, and character.
It’s funny, but I also saw Iron Man, which, like Jones, starts out strong, and then ends poorly, with the typical battle between hero and super-villian. Marvel, like Disney, will be in trouble quickly if they focus on bringing their characters to life more than creating good stories. One thing that I found interesting is how the film tapped Americans most intense urges – the freedom of being an individual rocket, going wherever you wish at super sonic speed, having an incredible energy source to power such freedom, and the ability to wage war with little or no casualties. I think these subthemes undo the overt theme in the film of wanting to be responsible with weapons. Because wanting that kind of freedom and energy and power without paying for it, in the end, is not responsible.
It’s kind of funny, but my parents sent home a bunch of my Star Wars action figures and Jones cards (including to my suprprise a complete set of all 88 Raiders of the Lost Ark collectible cards) and stuff with Eliot. I think much of what I recall with these films is the joy of being a child and being in that imaginative place. So, in some ways, it’s fun to revisit that but in other ways, I am resentful that Lucas and Spielberg have lifted the veil and mystery of my childhood memories a bit by rubbing my adult nose in this stuff instead of moving forward with new stories.
Oh well, they’re just movies.
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