posting commence! So last week, my roommate J and I went to see the new Indiana Jones movie, TEH KINGDOM OF TEH CRYSTAL
SKULL (M had already seen it and was all >_> when I asked him how it was). J was convinced it could not be bad because
goshdarnit he luvs Indiana Jones (I asked him if he was gay for Indy, but he stated he is not). I on the other hand felt quite skeptical;
when I first heard about it I was like, "Dammit why do they keep trying to squeeze money out of good old things by making new
crappy sequels?? Also isn't Harrison Ford like 500 years old now?" Don't get me wrong: Harrison Ford is still hawt (for an old guy)
and I like him and all, but thinking about Indy as an old man just made me sad. And thinking about someone else playing Indy (not
counting young Indy of course) was just as horrible.
Not just that, but in recent years, Lucas's new sequels to old movie trilogies have not been accepted as maybe the BEST of films by
old fans (or even as GOOD films >_>) and so that was also a little disheartening. Honestly, I didn't see the original Star Wars till I was
14 (but I own that one), and I have seen the whole trilogy maybe twice ever, so I wasn't a huge fan to be offended; Indiana Jones,
on the other hand, is something I saw when I was slightly younger and more impressionable when my mom rented them (sadly my
family never went to movie theatres). I always thought Indiana Jones was super-cool awesome rad! I guess I like kind of dorky
adventure movies more than space operas. (Of course both trilogies had Harrison Ford anyway.) Although I hadn't seen the Indiana
Jones films in years and was pretty fuzzy on the plots and such, I still felt that old affection, so I was more concerned about this film
than any of the new SW movies.
Pretty much everyone I know who's seen the new movie was like "ehhhhh I didn't really care for it" and that also made me worry, but
then I was like, well, many of those people ARE elitists and/or poncey wankers re: movies, so it might not be THAT bad. A girl at work
gave me the same review that I will give you: the movie was actually pretty fun, except for the end, which was stupid.
So what'd I think, specifically?
When the movie started I just felt embarassed for Harrison Ford. I was like oh Indy, what have you come to, having a gunfire chase
scene in a warehouse on a bunch of crates?? (The bit with the bomb & fridge was kinda funny, okay.) But then it became more
interesting when they caught him and needed him to find the box. I wasn't sure why he needed a compass -- did he think he'd get
lost in the warehouse? But then he explained about the magnetism and they began their chase of the gunpowder to the box, which
was more fun and interesting and involved less old-man-athletics.
Throughout the movie I was a little disturbed by how metal things were so strongly attracted to the box -- swords, dog tags, glasses,
coins, gunpowder from across an entire room and with a bunch of stuff in between, etc. Mostly kind of small things, but still -- a
magnet strong enough to attract even small objects over a large space? It is NOT easy to just pull stuff off of it. Even though we find
out that this isn't EXACTLY a magnet (as it attracts all metal, although I have no idea what the point of that difference is), anything that
attracts stuff so strongly from so far away should hold those objects pretty tightly, shouldn't it? But everyone just pulls the stuff off
like it's nothing. So that was my first quibble with the movie.
When they cut open the container and there was an alien lifeform inside, I was just like, what?? Blargh aliens. Not a huge surprise
since they were at Roswell and all, plus the crystal skulls are often believed to be from another planet or world, but I'd still vageuly
been hoping it did not directly have to do with aliens, and would instead be about how Hitler was an immortal Mayan sorcerer
secretly building a robotic 5th Reich in South America. Or something. It's not that I hate aliens, but I just feel kind of uninterested. J, on
the other hand, was overjoyed because he believes in UFOs, and loves aliens/Roswell stuff, and the X-Files is his favorite TV show,
etc. (He also believes in all sorts of conspiracy theories, and we have watched with great interest shows where they hunt Bigfoot
and so on. He doesn't really believe in supernatural things although we did watch some ghost-hunting shows, but he is firmly
convinced that the natural world and government are both hiding really big things from us. Which I'm sure is true, but perhaps not
those particular things.)
As the movie progressed I became more used to Old Indy; they did keep mentioning how time had passed and so on, and although he
didn't look quite the same he was certainly punching people in a dramatic fashion, being hit in the head, and hanging onto his iconic
fedora just as he used to. I really felt the movie improved tremendously when what's-his-face, the greaser kid, appeared. Mutt. H3.
Whatevar. The guy who played the main character in Transformers, which was so bad that I can't recall his name in that either.
Initially I was suspicious of him because Transformers was so awful, but I liked him in this movie so I think his crappy character in the
previous movie was merely because it was, overall, a crappy movie.**
It probably helped that in this movie, the kid was a leather-jacket-wearing (but slightly dorky) swaggering punky greaser guy with a
knife and a nervous tic involving hair combing, because I love that shit. As soon as the Fonz entered the scene I felt the movie
improved tremendously. I think it was the combo of "grizzled old hero who is still a smartmouthed and clever badass" and "young,
brash hero with a lot of energy and a few new tricks" because that is a winning combo. I mean look at Final Fantasy X, Metal Gear
Solid 2, or Jojo Part 3. (Joseph Joestar even looks like Indiana Jones kind of! Or actually he looks like Sean Connery, and Jotato is his
grandson with the distinctive hat, so it's really more like Indiana Jones & the Last Crusade. But anyway.)
After the Fonz joined the party, I felt like the action scenes were better, right from the beginning when they started a fight in the, uh,
ice cream parlor or whatever chronologically appropriate eating place they were in. It occurs to me that the random plot thread where
the CIA or FBI or whoever were suspiciously chasing Indy for being a commie was never resolved or mentioned again. I think the
scene where the motorcycle tips over and they all go sliding across the floor of the university library and then some nerd casually
asks Professor Jones a question was my favorite bit in the whole film. I especially liked that Indy answered him, including
bibliography, because I think it's great to remind people (such as the Fonz) that Indy isn't just an action hero, he's also a nerdy smrt
person who teaches, and that makes him cool. It kind of reminded me of similar bits in the earlier movies where solving puzzles would
require knowledge of Latin or something, demonstrating that despite his mad skillz in terms of breaking people's noses, his real
strength is in knowing stuff. Plus that scene is just really entertaining to me, since everyone's so deadpan.
Anyhow they go to South America, Marion shows up again (wut), Indy discovers he's a dad (the Fonz's reaction to this for most of
the rest of the movie amused me greatly), there's lots of pretty scenery, exciting car chases, and people screaming while being
horribly killed in the Indiana Jones tradition (eaten by bugs etc). Many silly action scenes transpire, including Indy having to use a
snake as a rope to be pulled out of a sandpit (wouldn't this have just pulled the snake's head off or otherwise not worked? well
I think some people probably would watch this sort of nonsense and be all "oh well that action scene is just ridiculous, you can't have
a swordfight between a teenager and a female commie officer, while the former is precariously balancing between two minitrucks
and being hit in the crotch with a variety of tall plantlife, especially as there's no excuse for him to know anything about
For a brief time I felt that way as well, because today's action movies have this obsession with "realistic-looking" fighting and so on.
But J and I happened to catch the last two movies when the trilogy was marathoned on Spike TV a few weeks ago, and I suddenly
recalled that the original movies were just as silly and cheesy and over the top, and that was part of their charm. After that I settled
back cheerfully to watch people slugging it out with especially loud SFX noises; I guess probably anyone who doesn't like the
nonsensical quality of the action scenes in this movie wouldn't like the other ones either.
Someone complained to me that this movie's action scenes were too CGed and not like the old-school movies with their elaborate real
sets and stunts and such, which I think is a legitimate complaint in some ways, but most of the bits I thought were most fun didn't
really involve any noticable CG; that would be more for background stuff, and in that case I think it's a bit like complaining that it's not
bad bluescreen anymore. >_> Speaking of bad bluescreen, I really just wanted to kill myself with shame for the directors during that
scene where the Fonz swings from vine to vine ilke Tarzan in a heinously fake manner, along with a bunch of random monkeys.
WTF. Action scenes in an Indiana Jones movie should not involve cute local wildlife suddenly befriending them for no reason. In fact,
generally the local wildlife is equally unfriendly to everyone. But the scenes with the alien/UFO were the real CG-heavy bits and as
already stated, I am not into that anyhow. (I have to say I did rather like the bit where the UFO came up and rocks were spinning
everywhere. It looked cool and also was reminiscent of Persona 2 lololol.)
Overall I enjoyed the movie; like the others the action was ridiculous but fun, and the movie existed in that fun sort of alternate reality
where adventure still happens and the world is still full of mysterious things that man does not wot of. It helped that it was mostly set
in South America in places only lightly touched by the modern world (and it was still the 50s, so it wasn't THAT modern). The only
thing I didn't like was, well, the alien. I can accept that there were aliens. I can accept the UFO at the end. I can accept the skull and
even the crystal skeleton things. I WILL NOT accept the CG alien.
I hate that kind of thing. Unless you've got a real photo of the damn things I don't want your crappy CG imagining of how they look
while alive, how they move around, etc etc. Drives me friggin' crazy. It's not the same as sci-fi speculation like Star Trek or something
where the idea is to imagine all kinds of beings from all sorts of different worlds far in the future, because this is supposed to be real
aliens which are visiting the earth RIGHT NOW (if you believe that sort of thing). I know it's BASED on the (supposed) remains etc
found at Roswell, but that isn't good enough for me. I complained to J about it but he didn't understand and just assumes I hate aliens
and/or am disputing the Roswellian, er, "evidence." 9_9 Anyhow so there was that.
Oh and I didn't really get the eyes-exploding-into-flame bit at the end either; I know she was, er, receiving knowledge or whatever (I
guess?) but why would she burn up and explode and get taken away with them?? A mystery. But whatever, people's faces are
always disintegrating or melting or what have you in these films. (And we ladies, at least of the bad-but-not-really-evil variety, are
always spelling out our own tragic demises due to the fact that we apparently do not know when to quit or are too curious.)
Anyhow, the ending aside, I actually enjoyed the movie; I wouldn't necessarily give it an A++++ WOULD BUY FROM AGAIN but it was
a fun few hours and I laughed enough (not always at stuff meant to be funny) to make it a worthwhile time.
** Side note: I just saw the Transformers movie on Memorial Day;
we watched it with a riff track from RiffTrax which I guess is where Mike from MST3K went
after the show ended. He, along with various collaborators (for example, Weird Al O_o) is still making fun of movies, and as a bonus
there are lots of fairly recent blockbuster-type movies being made fun of (assumedly because they do not have to pay any licensing
fees). Essentially you download the riff track as an mp3 and then have it play in sync while you watch the movie; Steve set up
speakers on either side of the TV to loudly play the riff track, and turned on the subtitles in case we couldn't hear the movie at any
point, and then we watched it. Hilarious from beginning to end! A highly recommended experience! Tragically the riff tracks cost
money but I'm told it's not very much.
But without the riff track, Transformers was horrible. I can't believe such a crap movie was made in the last 5 years. Or that anyone
liked it. BECAUSE IT SUCKED. I really didn't watch Transformers as a kid (I know, BLASPHEMY, whatevar, although I did find the toys
fascinating), but even I was injured by how crappy this movie was! Also how come the only Transformer to get killed was the one
which had the voice/attitude of a generic black dude? I mean. WTF. WHY MUST THE BLACK GUY ALWAYS DIE?? It's nonsense! >:O I
have to admit I thought Bumblebee was adorable. I liked that it (he?) didn't talk. However, no matter how cute my sentient car is, I
don't think I'd want to have sex on top of it. Maybe that's just me.
Next time: I talk about, uh, something!! Possibly my theory on the nature of nerdiness (how do we define "nerd" and what separates
us from the mundanes?) but I can't recall if I already posted about that, and I rather feel like I did (I know I talked about it on IRC
anyhow) so I'll have to check previous posts later to find out. Or something like Rock Band (summary: it rules).
LINK OF TEH DAY:
*** Final Fantasy muzik. Do you have a
hankering for, uh, pretty much all of the Final Fantasy music? Then this link's for you! (Links working when I tried them last week but I
dunno their current status.) It doesn't have everything (as far as I can tell?) but it has the majority of FF-related stuff, so go nuts, I
Later. "It occured to me those suckers had authority..."