Thursday, May 22, 2008

Indiana Jones, past and present

Here's the trailer for the original:

See? Got you hooked all over again...

I have a few thoughts about what I expect from Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, which I'm going to see tonight ---

1. The film usually opens with a mini-adventure for Indy. Raiders had Indy trekking through Peru, searching for a gold idol and ultimately losing it to rival Belloq. Temple of Doom had Indy zooming through the streets of Shanghai. Last Crusade was a flashback to Indy obtaining, and then losing, a golden cross that once belonged to Spanish explorer Cortez; we also saw how Indy acquired his hat, his whip, and his fear of snakes. Will Crystal Skull follow the same formula, or will we see something new?

2. I'm glad, glad, glad to see the return of Marion Ravenwood, and I'm not alone. Although she was constantly in situations that required Indy to save her, she wasn't the stereotypical damsel-in-distress that we have seen in earlier films like this. She was spunky, cool, and totally willing to defend herself ("I don't know what kind of people your used to dealing with, Herr Mac, but nobody tells me what to do in my place.") While I enjoyed Willie Scott when Temple of Doom first came out (give me a break - I was 13 years old), she hasn't held up well over time. She screamed about riding an elephant, she wailed about breaking a nail, and she's an all-around irritant to the movie. Elsa Schneider was the most gorgeous of the three love interests, but she also proved to be selfish and complicit with evil men.

3. I wonder what the fate of Cate Blanchett's character, Irina Spalko, will be. Indy's rivals don't fare well at all. Dietrich and Toht literally melted when exposed to the power of the Ark; Belloq simply exploded. Mola Ram fell off a cliff and was eaten by ferocious crocodiles. Walter Donovan drank from a false Grail, aged 100 years in 10 seconds, and turned into goo. Elsa fell down a pit trying to retrieve the Grail. Will Irina meet an equally disturbing end?

4. Indy has not been able to hold on to the main "Maguffin" of each film. The Ark of the Covenant is packed in a crate, stored in a warehouse filled with seemingly millions of other crates. The Sankara Stone returns to the village from whence it was stolen. The Grail stays in the Canyon of the Crescent Moon. Will Indy get to keep the crystal skull?

Just a few hours more...

Update: Go here for a blog-a-thon of (almost) all things Indy.


  1. I'm eagerly awaiting your review of the movie since you saw it last night. I saw it as well and really enjoyed it.

  2. Jamie! Hey, good to see you. I did see it last night. My initial impression is that I didn't like it as well as I wanted to, but I still enjoyed it because it's INDIANA JONES!

  3. I last went to a movie in the theater in 2003, but have concluded that in teh caes of this film, an exception must be made.

    PLease say more!!!

    P.S. Diary of Anne Frank