Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The Return of Indiana Jones

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Production begins in June in Los Angeles, “before heading off to various ‘top secret’ locations” around the world. The fourth Indiana Jones movie remains unnamed at this time since Lucas wants to hold out for the trailer to premier. There have been rumors across the web…

Indiana Jones and the Truss of Doom

Indiana Jones and the Quest for Regularity

Indiana Jones and the Last Viagra

Indiana Jones Verses the Evil of the HMO

Indiana Jones and the Senior Buffet of Fortune

Indiana Jones and the AARP Card of Validation

Indiana Jones and the Leaky Bladder

Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the 401K

… “Raiders of the Lost Ark” is on my list as one of the greatest movies ever made; seriously – near perfection. The storytelling is sharp, the acting is spot on and there are NO throw away scenes in the whole of the picture. Here at Evil Chicken HQ all I have to do it look over my right shoulder to see a framed original one-sheet from the film – it’s the only original I have in my collection. I love this movie. Love it. Spielberg and Lucas bottled lightning with its inception and premier. How it came to be is cool enough on its own. Two of our era’s great filmmakers sitting on a Hawaiian beach geeking out over what would be a cool movie series. One of them suggests something like James Bond and the other says No – even better. And so, Indiana Jones was born. “Raiders of the Lost Ark” came to be. The subsequent sequels, “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” and “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” were passable but were nowhere near the synergy of Raiders.

I remember going to the old Landis Theater (now boarded up and awaiting renovation) in Vineland with my father to see Temple of Doom. I was so ready for it to be Raiders; so ready for the next step in development of the characters and so disappointed when I left the theater. TOD was a prequel to Raiders and theoretically all the events in the picture occurred before Indy and Marion retrieve the Lost Ark. So no reuniting Harrison Ford and Karen Allen on the big screen; no this time Indy is toting along an orphaned kid, “Short Round” played by Ke Huy Quan (who went on to become a Goonie) with him now and a new love interest, “Willie Scott” played by Kate Capshaw (who went on to become Mrs. Spielberg). This was a bit of a downer for me since “Marion Ravenwood” was more than a match for “Indy” and the chemistry between Allen and Ford was smoking. Another thing that snagged me along the way was believability. Yes, I know this is an action movie produced by Lucas and directed by Spielberg but please don’t throw away all reason. The heart removing stuff with “Mola Ram” played adeptly by Amrish Puri just lost me. Either you have to explain the heart extraction away as a trick that Mola Ram is doing or you have to spend more time explaining why he can do it and why people don’t immediately die once their hearts are out of their chests. The device is used at the end on the rope bridge too with similar results. “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” is watchable but it’s not a worthy successor to Raiders.

The third film is better than Temple of Doom. Gone are Willie Scott and Short Round (what happens to them hasn’t been explained yet); replacing them is none other than Sir Sean Connery. James Bond is Indiana Jones’s father. Now there’s a shinning geek moment for you. The interplay between Ford and Connery is great and fun to watch as the son searches for the father and, ultimately, the Holy Grail. River Phoenix (yes – he did have his whole life ahead of him) adeptly plays a young Indiana Jones for in the beginning of the picture where we see how Indy got the whip, the jacket, the fedora, his fear of snakes and his taste for fortune & glory. There are writer’s conveniences that take the viewer out of the film and some throw away characters but all in all The Last Crusade is a superb entertainment. It’s not Raiders but it ended things on a high note with our heroes even riding out of the canyon into the sunset to that great John William’s march.

Fast-forward 13 years or so; Spielberg, Ford and Lucas start talking about a possible fourth movie. Spielberg starts seeking screenwriters to take a whack at the next Indiana Jones. One of those screenwriters is Mr. Frank Darabont (the Oscar winning writer who did the adaptations of Stephen King’s, “The Shawshank Redemption” and “The Green Mile). Rumor has it he wrote a script that reunited Karen Allen and Harrison Ford once again. The rumor goes farther and it has been said that Spielberg and Ford loved it. Lucas however wasn’t convinced and turned the script down opting instead for a film where Indy’s love interest will be the wonderful Cate Blanchett and his son Shia LaBeouf (the kid from Disney’s “Even Stevens”, “Holes” and or the soon to be released “Transformers” Movie). This is conjecture – gentle reader and only time will tell. Indy IV will begin filming in June of ’07. Personally, even with a 64 year-old Harrison Ford I’m still on board. While I’d have loved to have seen Darabont’s version on the big screen with the return of Karen Allen in a lead role, just seeing one of my all time favorite movie series on the big screen one more time sends gooseflesh a quiverin’ down my fan boy arms. …Still… just what will the new movie be called?

Indiana Jones and the Phantom Flatulence

Indiana Jones and Those Damned Kids Are on My Lawn AGAIN!

Indiana Jones and the Eternal Left Turn Signal

Indiana Jones and the Lost Dentures

Indiana Jones and the Marauders of the Prescription Program

Indiana Jones and the Bursting Undergarment

Indiana Jones and the Parking Lot of the Lost Car

Indiana Jones Verses the Waiter at Applebee’s

...Only time will tell.

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