I've started writing this post fifty different times, fifty different ways, without any success. I tried presenting a cohesive, somewhat standard movie review. I tried waxing sarcastic about George Lucas' galaxy-sized ego and how it relates directly to his narrative dysfunction. I even considered doing an Adaptation-like post of me trying to write this post, but decided it would require too much effort, and I'm afraid that I, like George Lucas and Steven Spielberg, just don't give a shit. So instead I'm gonna shotgun some observations, commentary, juvenile insults, etc., and you can put them in order or context and assign whatever meaning to them you choose. I won't give any of the plot away, for the benefit of those who haven't seen it yet, which won't be difficult because there's not much to give away.
1. The stakes aren't high enough. The baddies aren't bad enough. And the good guys solve their problems and overcome their obstacles way too easily. Classic storytelling blunders made by alleged storytelling geniuses.
2. Sometime in the mid-80s, George Lucas started believing the overblown praise being heaped on him by the sycophants, and ever since then he’s considered himself a cinematic genius. Like all people who believe themselves to be geniuses, he thinks everything that comes out of his shitful skull is brilliant. George baby, you need to reconnect with your internal editor.
3. Spielberg joined him in the 90s.
4. Spielberg described the new Indy as "the sweet dessert I give those who had to chow down on the bitter herbs I used in
5. To give you an idea of how out of touch Lucas is, he was creaming all over himself when talking about how the movie wasn’t shot in digital format, and that it looked "like it was shot 3 years after the Last Crusade, you'd never know there was 20 years between shooting." Earth to George: 99% of the movie going public don’t give a shit about that. We’d rather have a good story.
6. I was blown away by the lack of effort devoted to the character relationships, especially when compared to The Last Crusade and Indy’s relationship with his father. Hell, his relationship with Shorty in
7. Between Spielberg, Lucas, and
8. Actually, the acting all around was pretty decent considering what they were given to work with.
9. Lucas, who seems to have embraced the New Income Streams Over Good Stories operating procedure, has said he envisions Shia LeBeouf continuing as the MC of the series, with Harrison Ford making a Sean Connery like cameo in the next film. I actually don’t have a problem with that, as long as they find someone else to come up with the story. Shia LeBeouf has two things going for him: 1) he’s funny. He’s got the false bravado/hero clown shtick down to a tee; and 2) he’s not Hayden Christensen. By the way, for those of you wanting to increase your blog hits, mentioning Hayden Christensen in a post is good for 15-20 additional hits minimum. I know. I don’t understand it either, but it works.
10. Apparently, the Russians are pissed about the portrayal of communists in this movie. I think that says more about where they are today, than where they were fifty years ago. This movie portrays the FBI in a worse light than the commies, which says more about Lucas and Spielberg than the FBI.
11. There’s some dialogue between Indy and Marion about what went wrong with their relationship, and she says something along the lines of, “There must’ve of been plenty of women after me.” To which he replies, “There were a few, but they all had the same problem.” And she says, “What’s that?” No less than five people sitting in my immediate vicinity shouted out the answer before Indy. I would’ve shouted it out too, but I hate people who talk during movies. Though, I hate it less than predictable clichéd dialogue.
12. I’m guessing the “big reveal” at the end was supposed to be shocking and unexpected and therefore emotionally satisfying or at least interesting, but it was so unoriginal, and it’s been done so many times, and it had been telegraphed non-stop throughout… I dunno. Maybe I expected too much.
13. There’s a scene involving a snake that was teetering back and forth between Stupid and Funny. Funny nearly won out, until the last line of dialogue, and then it swung back way past Stupid and into the realm of I Just Lost Respect For Indy.
14. At some point, George, you have to acknowledge that stupid titles are not clever homages to the adventure serials of yesteryear. They’re just stupid titles.
15. It would’ve been fun to see writers like Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio take a crack at Indy. They’re the writing team responsible for the Pirates of the
16. Karen Allen was good for the first two minutes. She spent the rest of the movie in a pointless role wearing a goofy grin that said to me, “Hey! Lookit me! I’m in another Indy movie!” Not her fault.
17. I liked Cate Blanchett in this movie, but her character is weak. She’s the main baddie, who apparently has some psychic/mind reading abilities. The problem is she never uses them successfully. So what’s the point? I got no satisfaction from seeing the alien turn her into dust at the end. (Oops. ***SPOILER WARNING***) In fact, I almost felt sorry for her, and I’m not even a communist.
18. Also, if “knowledge” is the treasure, and Cate Blanchett is turned to dust because she seeks the treasure, what the hell kinda view point is that? Are we supposed to be happy with whatever little knowledge our alien teachers decide to dole out? Screw that. Possibly, I'm not smart enough to comprehend the subtle sledgehammers of George's story, or the raspberry tarts of Spielberg's vision.
19. I could go on (pointless monkeys, no sense of danger, random tangential bad guys dispatched too easily, etc.), but it’s just a movie, so who gives a shit?