Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Coming Soon - Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull


20 years is a long gap when it comes to a movie series adding a new instalment. Just ask Stallone, who recently made new instalments of both the Rocky and the Rambo series but barely generated any excitement and was looked upon as an actor simply trying to reclaim past glory. But the excitement surrounding the new Indiana Jones movie, which is releasing tomorrow, just goes to show how enduring the character is. Indiana Jones is donning his fedora and cracking his whip one more time in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and I can't wait to get reacquainted with him.

Nostalgia is a big part of why I'm looking forward to Indiana Jones 4 (it is probably the same for a lot of viewers and the fact that Spielberg is banking on this nostalgia was clear from the trailer, which opened with scenes from the last 3 films) . I saw Raiders of the Lost Ark in Casino theater, which, along with a few other theaters like Safire, used to screen English films almost exclusively, in Chennai. The film was sold out the first time and since it just wasn't right to go out to a movie and return without seeing a movie, we ended upseeing the Sivaji-Prabhu starrer Sandhippu in Shanti theater on the way back. The very next day saw us first in line at the Casino ticket counter to get the tickets.

Raiders of the Lost Ark was enormously entertaining and barely let us catch our breath as it went from one adventure to another. The opening sequence where Indy escapes the boulder, the segment where he is caught in the cave with the snakes, the truck chase with Indy hanging on the truck's bottom and the special effects-laden climax all brought us the edge of our seats. And sequences that let us catch our breath, like the marketplace scene where Indy shoots the sword-wielding attacker, made us laugh too. The film was popular enough to make Indiana Jones an instantly recognizable name and so, not surprisingly, subsequent films were named after the character itself. But Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom was too dark and perpetuated some offensive stereotypes about India. Inspite of the terrific action sequences, like the action on the rope bridge and the cart-chase in the mines, the dark and depressing feel of the movie made me dislike it. Spielberg made amends in a big way with the exhilarating and exciting Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. The film once again achieved the perfect blend of action(that amazing tank chase), smartness(X marks the spot!) and humor(Ford's perfect expression after Hitler autographs the very diary his men are looking for) that made the first film so enjoyable. Connery had a blast as Ford's father and the two shared great chemistry as their constant bickering never hid their mutual admiration and love for each other. The film had my favorite climax in the series and Indy figuring out the clues and surmounting each level(especially the 'invisible' bridge), still makes me get goosebumps each time I see the film.

From the moment he ran out of the cave with the golden idol, with those poisonous arrows zipping past him, Ford made sure that no one else can be imagined as Indiana Jones. He brought the perfect mix of ruggedness, charm and humor to the role and made Indy as real as possible. So its no wonder that he's back playing Indy at the ripe old age of 65. Joining him is Karen Allen from Raiders of the Lost Ark. Shia Le Bouf, from I, Robot and Transformers plays Indy's sidekick. That is a clever casting move by Spielberg. It allows him to, if he was interested, to spin-off a new series revolving around Le Bouf and the young actor will also bring in younger viewers, who may have been too young to get attached to Indy when the first 3 films came out. A few other regulars from the other 3 films are not returning in Indy 4 but there are apparently new characters that are their equivalents.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull has already premiered at Cannes and has garnered both positive and negative reviews, something that doesn't usually happen for Spielberg films. But this is definitely one of those critic-proof, review-proof films that will make loads of money. It certainly is critic-proof, review-proof for me and I'm all set to catch it tomorrow evening.

9 Comments:

At 2:28 AM, Blogger skanda said...

i've snot seen any of the earlier Indianna jones movie..but yet coz of the hype, keen on watching it...i do expect some adventure tommorow at the cinemas :)

 
At 8:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another movie where snake plays a important role as it appears in all the movies aka Rajini :).

-KP

 
At 11:44 AM, Anonymous xx said...

KP,

True..and he seems to have passed on this "snake" thingi to his son-in-law too in Yaradi Nee Mohini.

 
At 6:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have my hopes really high for this one despite the reviews..absolutely loved "Raiders of the lost ark" and "The last crusade". Couldn't stand "Temple of doom" for obvious reasons.

Tananata Tanana...

Kumar

 
At 2:33 AM, Blogger KayKay said...

Watching it tomorrow! Like you the nostalgia factor is a huge plus point for me to catch it.I have the re-Mastered box set for the first 3 movies and re-watch it at regular intervals and all 3 flicks, to varying degrees, are master classes in how to craft an epic and entertaining thrill ride. And I'm still carrying good vibes from the other 3 '80s franchises which have been recently resurrected. I loved Rocky Balboa, Rambo 4 and Live Free Or Die Hard which all to some degree or other stayed true to their basic appeal. Indy 4 of course carries the heaviest expectations and so will have to "work" harder to top them.

 
At 2:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The quips from Harrison Ford eg " The pants may not fit but the hat does"..."It's not about how many years but the mileage" etc, lets slip about what to expect from the latest instalment of Indy.

It may not be burning box offices and blowing away critics but promises to give moviegoers nostalgic goosebumps and feel good warmth when the credits roll.

 
At 2:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The quips from Harrison Ford eg " The pants may not fit but the hat does"..."It's not about how many years but the mileage" etc, lets slip about what to expect from the latest instalment of Indy.

It may not be burning box offices and blowing away critics but promises to give moviegoers nostalgic goosebumps and feel good warmth when the credits roll.

 
At 11:48 AM, Anonymous Sivajini said...

They've been airing the prequels for the past three wed's on this local channel here and I have to say definetely a fan of Indiana Jones now.

I am curious what was the reaction of Indians' when the temple of doom came out back then?


-will probably catch it tommorow, will you have a review by then? Clearly I wait for your review of Tamil flicks before I catch it on the big screen but with this time I'm going to do the same with Indy. Thanks in advance :)

 
At 8:38 PM, Blogger kuruvi said...

kuruvi movie deleated sceans!

 

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