Thursday, May 29, 2008

Dr. Jones is in…and he’s got the ideal cure for the daily grind

The CHEN team took a much needed break on the Friday before Memorial Day weekend, cutting out early to see the premiere of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull – bright and early at the 11am performance.

It afforded us the opportunity to kick off what we refer to as our “Summer Friday” season to get out in the sun (still a relatively rare sight lately), get out of work early for the holiday weekend, and enjoy a departure from reality on a roller coaster ride that takes many of us back with great memories of childhood.

As you’ve probably seen, the movie has already become the #2 all time opener with north of $300M as of Tuesday. The critics have been mixed, though leaning toward positive. And fans have been all over the map.

But if you’re looking for an in-depth review of the movie’s strengths and weaknesses, you won’t find it here. Why? Because that’s not what Indiana Jones is about, at least not for this die hard fan. In a time of movie excess – excessive horror, violence, or in some cases WAY too much reality – Indiana Jones is about fun, imagination and a wild ride that never takes itself too seriously.

I will simply lay out – as education for the uninitiated, and as a reminder for those who may have forgotten what it means to enjoy a movie, not analyze it – the essential elements to this franchise that in my opinion make it great, and you can decide for yourself if you agree. And if you don’t, I’ll respect your opinion and promptly forget it as I prepare to enjoy the movie again and again and again…

Rules for enjoying an Indiana Jones movie:

  • There will be a supernatural element – Ark of the Covenant, Sankara Stone, Holy Grail, Area 51 and Crystal Skulls, it’s all good
  • There will be fantastic – and fantastical – chase scenes, built as much for fun and humor as they are for excitement
  • There will be massive leaps of faith, not to mention leaps over natural formations, from mountains, to waterfalls to caverns
  • And if you’re in it for the fun, there will be a smile on your face at the end…

There's plenty of trailers, but here's an early one that gives a good sense of all the movies and got me excited for this one:


At 11:14 AM, Blogger Brad Baker said...

My review is likely a bit biased as Indy and the gang were a significant part of childhood. That being said, the Crystal Skull was just what I expected/wanted it to be - full of great action, cheesy jokes, unbelievable circumstances and a feel-good ending.

Those factors coupled with an enormous buttery bag of popcorn and a massive Diet Coke made for a superb outing.

Verdict: A-

At 11:35 AM, Blogger Ben Sharbaugh said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 11:36 AM, Blogger Ben Sharbaugh said...

I can see why people had a problem with this iteration of Indy. The end was a little strange (even for a series in which hearts are ripped out of living bodies with bare hands, people eat monkey eyeballs and Nazi's uncover a biblical relic that eventually causes their faces to melt off) but what really matters in the series has always been over the top, entirely impossible action and Indy's swagger, all of which shows up here in droves.

His interactions with Mutt and his old lady friend from "Raiders" were the best part of the movie and it didn't appear that Harrison Ford had lost a step over the years. All the charm was there and not even a questionable George Lucas infused sci-fi ending could take away from what was a phenomenal movie.

There have been plenty of attempts since "The Last Crusade" to imitate the Indy flare, but none of them have reached the same level of sheer entertainment. Upon their reunion, Marion Ravenwood says to Indy, "You must have had plenty of relationships between the years."

He responds "Yeah, they all had the same problem... they weren't you."

I think we all feel the same way.


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