Thursday, May 22, 2008


Just back from the 12:01 show at the Court Square Cinemas in Brooklyn.

In 1957, Indy is kidnapped and forced to lead the Russians to a crystal skull and a legendary city of gold. He escapes with the help of motorcycle-riding Mutt Williams (Shia LaBeouf) who has ties to Indy's professor friend Harold Oxley (John Hurt), himself driven mad by exposure to the skull.

When Indy and Mutt find Oxley, they also find Marion Ravenwood. Unfortunately both Ox and Marion have been captured by the Russians. A series of chases and narrow escapes ensues.

I was concerned I would compare every aspect of this movie to the previous three. I had read headlines calling it "charmless" and "a mess." There was a lot of action, some of it scattered, but also enough charm and homage to the series that I sat back and enjoyed Skull as a bonus for Indy fans.

My favorite exchange:

Indy, Marion, and Mutt argue while riding in a Russian truck.

There must have been women after me.

There were a few, but they all had the same problem.

What was that?

They weren't you, honey.

MUTT rolls his eyes.

MARION smiles, smitten.


pattinase (abbott) said...

Sounds plenty good enough for a summer night.

MysterLynch said...

Sadly, not only did the screenplay sound like it was written by George, but the whole film felt like he might have directed it.

After hearing how wonderful Frank Darabont's version of the script was, I wonder how much better this film might have been if Steven had not placated George so much.

By all accounts, Steven took a "Whatever George wants is fine with me" approach.

The orginal Raiders had a story by George, but skilled writer Lawrence Kasdan was the one that wrote the actual screenplay. Letting George put the words together is a major mistake, as the latter Star Wars movies proved.

Gerald So said...

I've heard that in the concept phase of RAIDERS, Lucas came up with "Indiana Smith" but couldn't think of anything for him to do. Philip Kaufman suggested Indy go after the Ark of the Covenant.

I'd like to see Darabont's screenplay, too. I agree SKULL could've been better, but considering how big the Indy phenomenon and most of its collaborators have become, how closely everyone was expected to follow the "Indy formula," it could've been a lot worse.

Josephine Damian said...

Myster: Frank Darabont and Lawrence Kasdan are Da Men

By all accounts, Steven took a "Whatever George wants is fine with me" approach.

Yeah, INDY 4 sounded like an excuse for these guys to just hang out and get paid to do so.

Steven turned the Schindler bio into a mawkish, untrue ending and lost me forever, and after the first three original Star Wars movies Lucas lost me as well - too much "playing to the masses" for my taste.

I only saw the first two Indy's - when you start adding any number past 2 to anything, it's usually just a cheap, phoned-in, money making endaevor - like Godfather 3.

But I am glad that g_so saw enough good in INDY 4 not to be disappointed. Glad to see they stuck with Karen Allen and not let INDY have Jessica Alba or Jessica Simpson as a girlfriend in order to pander to the younger crowd.

Gerald So said...

Josie, you might give Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade a try. The father-son chemistry between Ford and Connery works.

Randy Johnson said...

I would also recommend Josie try Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade. My favorite exchange between the two Jones was, when commenting on the elder's interest in a much younger woman:
Connery: "I'm as normal as the next man."
Ford: "I was the next man!"
That may not be exact. I'm quoting from memory and a few years have passed since I last saw the three films.

Graham Powell said...

Ha, Randy, I'm quoting from memory too, and Connery's line was "I'm as *human* as the next man."

I can probably quote the first 15 minutes of RAIDERS verbatim.

Dave White said...

Graham, there are hardly any lines in the first fifteen minutes of Raiders. It's basically "Stay out of the light." "Throw me the whip!" a ton of "adios"s and "You could tell them if only you spoke Hovitos."

Now if you could quote the college scene verbatim ("Neo" meaning new and "Lithic" meaning rock) and the explain to me the power of the Ark, I would be impressed.