Raiders of the Lost Ark is undoubtedly the best Indiana Jones film, but if I’m going to pop one in to just have a great time, I’ll go with Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (where the series should have ended). Where Temple of Doom was a diversion from Indy as a relic-seeking archaeologist, The Last Crusade brought back everything that made Raiders great. In a fantastic opening sequence, a young River Phoenix plays Indy (spawning a short-lived TV series) in an early adventure that explains virtually every tic and hiccup about the character we’ve come to love over the two previous films.. It’s one of the best openings of any Spielberg movie, and a brilliant idea to reintroduce audiences to Jones after the five-year gap between Temple and Crusade. Continue reading My Favorite Scene: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) “Father & Son”
Before Crystal Skull, if there was a weak link in the Indy series, it was 1984’s Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (now it looks like a masterpiece). Set before Raiders, because Lucas convinced Spielberg that Jones should be like Bond with a different girl in every film. The original second movie was going to revolve around Karen Allen’s father, Indiana’s mentor, but Lucas wanted to do something darker. George was going through a divorce and one of the darkest periods of his life, so instead of meeting Marian’s family, we got a Kali death cult in India that kidnapped children and performed human sacrifices. Dark times for George.
Dark enough that the violence in Temple of Doom upset so many parents that the MPAA created the PG-13 rating directly as a result of this film (which is pretty tame compared to most PG-13 films now, but good luck getting the MPAA to do anything about revising the ratings system). I can’t stand Kate Capshaw’s incessant screaming, and the opening club/musical number kind of makes me wince, but you can’t deny the awesomeness of Short Round and a number of the action pieces, especially the iconic mine car sequence, but the best piece in the film is Indy’s stand on the bridge. It’s one of the best moments in the series, hands down.
Tomorrow is the best unofficial holiday on every geek’s calendar: MAY THE FOURTH BE WITH YOU!!! In anticipation of our yearly celbration of Quatro de Mayo, and in keeping with running through some of my favorite YouTube channels for interesting and informative videos, I thought I’d post What Culture’s 10 Changes Made to Star Wars that Were Completely Justified. Continue reading 10 Star Wars Changes That Were Completely Justified
Between 1983 and 1999, there were no Star Wars films. I know. I was alive the entirety of that time and most of it sucked (because of the no Star Wars, clearly). Then came the Prequel Trilogy (I’ll pause and let you shout your opinions into the ether), and another ten year gap before The Force Awakens. Now, we’re going to get a Star Wars film every year forever. Don’t think they’re stopping at Episode IX. They will be cranking out episodes and spin-offs as long as Disney has the license. And, if they’re as good as TFA and Rogue One appears to be, there is absolutely no problem with that. But, what filled the gap, keeping Star Wars alive during the aforementioned 16 and 10 year gaps? The Extended Universe. Continue reading 15 Biggest Things Star Wars Stole from the EU
This is an interesting discussion from IGN that I have actually intended to post for over a year. It came out around the time of the digital release of the six film set, and it’s a discussion about 7 positive changes made by Lucas during all his tinkering with the films. Now, I don’t agree with all the things they say are positive. For example, cutting Jeremy Bulloch out is still a crap move, and who knows if that will hold up if Lawrence Kasdan revamps Boba Fett’s origin like is rumored? I do think adding Ian McDiarmid to Empire and the Death Star explosions are examples of great changes, and it’s nice to approach the topic from a positive point of view, rather than the general freak out rant that instantly starts when the topic of Lucas’ never ending tinkering does come up. I generally feel most of the changes are overall unnecessary or detrimental or psychotic (replacing Sebastian Stan at the end of Jedi with Hayden Christensen and the musical number in Jabba’s palace as examples). But it’s a good jumping off point for conversation and it’s a very good discussion. Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there!