Monday, June 7, 2010

A Deeper Understanding of the Human Condition as Provided by Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Forget about the invention of the printing press.

The watershed year in history was 2008 as it was the year “we live in a world with four Indiana Jones movies” became reality and everything changed. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull isn’t so much a movie to watch but a movie to experience, and after experiencing it again, I was reminded how much better the world became in 2008 and how much more I know now than I did before Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

I am glad to know what a Steven Spielberg film looks like when he completely phones in the effort.

I am glad to know Harrison Ford can put away the Harrison Ford Acting Finger™ and play Indy as something other than what made him great because what he did with the character before didn’t work. Obviously.

I am glad to know the precise reason why Shia LaBeouf is being forced down my throat as the second coming of James Dean because “I have no idea” is a precise reason.

I am glad to see the destruction and disrespect of Marcus Brody – who in Raiders lamented being too old to go with Indy but in Last Crusade “got lost in his own museum” – was completed by having his head fall off a statue onto the hood of a car as the butt of a joke. If only they’d found a way to work a fart joke into it...

I am glad to know nothing is so ridiculous it can’t be brainstormed, typed in a script, go through storyboarding, get shot, edited, scored and released as a part of a movie including Indiana Jones using a lead-lined fridge to survive a nuclear blast, Mutt Williams showing off his fencing skills standing between two speeding vehicles while getting hit in the groin at every opportunity, and Mutt Williams bonding with a gang of greaser monkeys just before swinging from vine to vine with said gang of greaser monkeys to attack a bunch of Russians.

I am glad to see the forced addition of information to set a movie in the 1950s – the long-winded “you’re a Commie, Indiana Jones” bit after the nuclear blast sequence that was completely dropped for the rest of the movie – doesn’t necessarily help set the movie in the era or help the movie.

I am glad to know the spine-tingling, Pavlovian response to a bad guy screaming “JONES!” has less to do with the quality of the film or bad guy I’m actually watching and more to do with the what I bring into the movie.

I am glad The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles finally received validation in a cinematic Indiana Jones adventure and all the knowledge of world history gained from dutifully watching the The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles served me well when Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull mentioned Indy rode with Pancho Villa.

I am glad the final shot of the final cinematic adventure of Indiana Jones – Indy, Henry, Marcus and Salah riding off into the sunset in Last Crusade – was replaced with the two-hour brilliance of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

I am glad to know, beyond doubt, that the people involved in and responsible for creating or producing such movies as Jaws, E.T., Raiders of the Lost Ark, Star Wars, Back to the Future, Jurassic Park and The Six Sense among many, many others, are more concerned with obtaining an obscene amount of money than making something that resembles a decent Indiana Jones movie even though their combined worth is more than the GDP of several nations.

I am glad to no longer wonder whether I’ve wasted thousands of hours over thirty years of my life defending George Lucas and his creations in diners, coffee shops and bars across seven states.

I am glad to be able to provide the title of the movie to which I’d attach the phrase “The Worst Spielberg Film Ever.”

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