Movie-Hype #727 - INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL
I confess to feeling a tad strange, seeking to find a place of relevance (as a reviewer) about a movie (hereafter known as IJATKOTCS) that will likely take in $150 million plus over the holiday weekend, will certainly be the biggest release this year, and quite possibly one of the 5 or ten biggest box office earners of all time. Furthermore, most of you have seen the trilogy, and will see the film no matter what I (or anyone else) has to say.
You see my dilemma. How is what I have to say in any way necessary, germane or consequential? Sure, I could write it up as a human interest piece, more about the adventure of seeing a film like IJATKOTCS with my mother, who believes with all her heart that any movie she is watching is completely real (and gets very very scared to boot, along with asking multiple questions of me as if I somehow had the script in my lap).
I could go all fan-boy and make my tie-in to the creative genius of Spielberg and Lucas, as well as the re-emergence of Harrison Ford to the icon we know and love, after ten years of living in Awful Movie Land, putting together a stretch of dreck that would make even Pauly Shore shake his head sadly.
I could go all technical (‘cuz chicks like that stuff), and talk about the origins of the film from the hey-day of ‘30s and ‘40s serials, how they shot it all retro, with minimal CG and maximum “real” stunt-work, with Spielberg relearning directing techniques he went away from long ago as he aged as a man yearning to do more serious fare.
I could even trace the history of the trilogy (now quatrology I guess), and talk about the geopolitical ramifications; what was going on in our country and world when each film was made, and what Spielberg and Lucas may or may not have been trying to say. (This is actually a fascinating angle; someone remind me to return to it in a few weeks, as I think you would find it interesting, and if nothing else, it would give you ammunition so sound knowledgeable at parties.)
I could even review the movie straight out, what I thought of the casting choices, the plot, the stunts, the “feel” of the film. I could talk about Indy’s reunion with Marion, and whether it was a good idea to make this film 18 years after the last one. Any of these tacks would be interesting, done right, and who knows: maybe I could even do one of them justice.
However, I just cannot shake the feeling that I am unneeded here. If you have seen Indy 1-3 you will see Indy 4, and if for some reason you have not, someone who cares about you will convince you to start with RAIDERS, and that will be that.
So, until such time as I write one of the above “meta” columns, I will leave you to the multiplex and your own feelings on IJATKOTCS. You will see it this weekend, I trust. No, really. You will.
And I certainly would not say no to an Indiana Jones hat! (3X or 8 1/4)
Nuts and Bolts (Hyperion's Rating System)
Suspension of Disbelief Index: Come on; it's Indiana Jones. However, one thing I liked: at least they acknowledged Harrison Ford is in his 60s. 9.5 out of 10.
Genre Grade: As an Action/Adventure film I give it an A. What if graded on the Indiana Jones movies? Tough Call, and one I'm not ready to make until a back to back to back to back night.
Sex/Drugs/Rock&Roll? - I continue to be pissed off that kids under 12 see the Indiana Jones movies. In the theater last night were parents with a three year old! These movies are made for teens and up. Though not as scary as IJATTOD, I would definitely hold to that here. Until kids are a certain age, they literally cannot grasp what is real or not. (And if your kids are not bothered by an Indiana Jones movie, THAT should concern you.)
Anything to look for? Obviously the Paramount Logo at the beginning has become a running gag. Check out what other crate breaks open in the warehouse. And whatever you do, don't miss Indy's line to Marion when she asks him if there have been other women since her.
Pantheon Percentile - I cannot in good conscience rate a movie such as this on one viewing. I promise to come back and update this later.