I Hate Indiana Jones: Day 4

Day 4: Indiana Jones and the Over-respect for the Living

Yesterday I mentioned the scene where Harrison Ford and Jim Broadbent commiserate about the death of Indy's friends and relatives. This leads to the best line in the movie, where Jim Broadbent observes that the two of them have reached the age where life "Stops giving them things, and starts taking them."


I Hate Indiana Jones: Day 3

Day 3: Indiana Jones and the Disrespect for the Dead

Tragically, in the 18 years since Indiana Jones and the last Crusade, two of the franchise's most beloved figures, actor Denholm Elliot and stuntman Pat Roach, have died. This is not a criticism of the film's inability to resurrect the dead, nor is it a condemnation of their refusal to recast a part.

I'm completely satisfied with the decision to kill off the character Marcus Brody. What disturbs me is just what happens next. After a relatively touching scene between Harrison Ford and new University Dean Jim Broadbent in which they commiserate about their advancing years, I assumed that a photograph on Indy's desk would be the last that we'd see of Marcus Brody. A quiet, respectful send-off for the actor and character.

If only.


I Hate Indiana Jones: Day 2

Day 2: Indiana Jones and the Oddly Familiar Character

I just realized that I didn't finish my write-up on Mac in the first post. I neglected to mention Mac's final fate: He's killed when the temple of the Crystal Skull collapses, because he was too busy gathering up gold to be bothered with escaping.

Wait a minute. That sounds familiar.

The hero has a sidekick who turns out to be a treacherous betrayer, but then switches sides back and forth a couple of times over the course of the film. Then, at the end, when the temple full of gold they're in is starting to collapse, the sidekick is so concerned with stealing gold that he winds up getting crushed.

Am I talking about Ray Winstone in Indy 4, or Kevin O'Connor in The Mummy?

I Hate Indiana Jones: Day 1

Walking out of the new Indiana Jones film, I felt as if I'd spent two hours with someone standing on my heart. I felt physically ill in a way that I've only ever equated with the worst lovesickness could offer. Suddenly I understood how all of those Star Wars nerds felt watching the horrible prequel tragedy. Now George Lucas was trying to murder my childhood as well, and he'd brought Steven Spielberg along to do his dirty work.

In an ongoing attempt to understand just how awful this movie (for the record, I'm talking about Indiana Jones and the Valley of the Crystal Skull - yes, that's not what it was called, but come on. That wasn't a hidden kingdom. It was a hidden valley) was, I'm going to pick one topic a day and discuss it until all the hate has left me.

I wonder how long it will take?


CSI: Miami - The Season Finale!

I didn't get around to watching CSI: Miami until Tuesday afternoon, so I thought, what the hell, since I'm watching with the Tivo-powered ability to pause, why not do that thing where I comment on it as it's going? Never tried that before.

The show opens with a man being thrown through a floor-to-ceiling window and plummeting to his death some dozen stories below. We don't see who threw him out the window, because, you know, 'mystery show'.


Sharpshooter and the falsely moral protaganist

Fairly generic as action-thrillers go, Sharpshooter concerns a sniper played by James Remar who spends his days murdering people for the US government. As the film begins he's off on his last mission, rescuing some kind of white man from a group of ethnically generic terrorists.

Remar is anxious to get out of the governmental murder game. Not because he has some kind of a moral objection to it, but simply because killing people for the government is dangerous work, and he'll eventually be the one who winds up dead. All of this is expressed through omnipresent narration, which is in no way clunky or obvious.


How to ruin your own film: The P2 Edition

Ah, my first entry in the list of films that open with out-of-context scary stuff from later in the film, then tell the rest of the story in flashback. How I hate this convention. Why does anyone ever do this? Two things – one, do they not realize that this spoils any chance that the film has at building suspense? Whatever the image you put in the beginning, the audience is just going to spend the rest of the film waiting for that image to show up, which keeps them from getting involved in the story. And B: I know that most filmmakers possess a pointed contempt for their audiences, but do they really think so little of the people paying to see their movie that they imagine they'll leave if something scary doesn't happen within the first three minutes?


Oh, CSI Miami-

My love for you grows with each passing week.

Well, not you, exactly. More your lazy, lazy, really hilariously bad writing.

This week we were without a 'glasses on/off' pose, but at least Caruso gave us a hilarious line to kick off the opening credits:

(The scene: A SWAT Team has just gunned down a man holding a knife, because they received a call saying that he was stabbing children. He wasn't.)

Frank: What happened here?
Horatio: Frank, it's called crime scene investigation.

Programme 4 (19-March-77)

Cover: I've always been a fan of covers with dialogue on them, because every now and then it gives someone the chance to exclaim that the gold is theirs. This caption is a little on the odd side though, because it's so overwritten. It's just Dan Dare explaining what we're seeing, but he doesn't just state the obvious, but explain the backstory. Does finding out about the weight somehow make the comic more appealing than just telling us that Jupiter's Gravity is crushing him to a Dot?

As for the pitches the cover makes, there's a pretty good chance of everything happening in the issue. Dan Dare's crashing on Jupiter, so that's doubtless going to be part of the payoff in that storyline. As for the other two lines, there's one good – I fully expect to find out who runs Dinosaur City (Carver City, actually, according to the last issue), but MACH 1 was not trained to kill by a computer. He's a secret agent, so we can be pretty darn sure that he already knew how to kill people before the entire hyperpower thing got started.


Ah, Speed Racer

Yes, the Star Wars movies are primarily intended for children, and always have been. Like many sane, right-thinking people, I've had many conversations about just how the new Star Wars films failed, and why, and occasionally someone has posited the theory that because they're kids' films, I'm just not able to enjoy them the way a new generation of viewers does, or even how I myself enjoyed the first three films as a child.

Lately, for reasons unrelated to Star Wars, I've been told time and again that there are limits to what children can understand in entertainment. While that may be true, I know for a fact that children understand the stakes that characters in films are fighting over. For example, in Star Wars, the heroes are trying to stop a magic monsterman from using a huge metal moon to blow up a planet. By comparison, the Phantom Menace is about heroes battling racially insensitive Asian stereotypes to keep them from blockading a trade route. Not exactly the same kind of 'zing', is it?