I am very much so looking forward to opening day for another chance to keep up with the Jones'.
Please allow me to say that “Raiders of the Lost Ark” is one of my all time favorite films. In 1981, Spielberg and Lucas captured lightning in a bottle when they crafted Raiders. It is one of the most influential films of all time and a lean, mean, storytelling machine. People have said about Raiders that there is nothing wasted, nothing lost in that film. They are right. It’s one of my stranded on a deserted island movies – no exaggeration.
I couldn’t wait for the sequel. I was rabid. My expectations were high in 1984, when “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” came out. I remember seeing it at the old, art deco, Landis Theater in Vineland with my Dad. While I liked it I came away from the theater somewhat disappointed – it just wasn’t Raiders. My expectations were too high and the fart machine that my father and I smuggled into the packed theater ultimately proved to be more memorable. Still, it was Indiana Jones and, unlike a lot of movies I see, I can watch it and still enjoy it today. Even so, Temple of Doom is my least favorite entry of the series.
“Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” opened in 1989 and, yours truly was there opening night. Sean Connery played Indiana Jones’ father – now what amazing casting is that? James Bond is Indy’s dad? Brilliant. I enjoyed the movie more than Temple of Doom largely due to the amazing chemistry between Ford and Connery. Great stuff. Sure there are amazing writer’s conveniences throughout the movie, some of the supporting actors were relegated to cartoon stooges and (MILD SPOILER – I’ll let you know when it’s safe to read again. BTW, why have you NOT seen it?) I think the ending would have had more impact if Indy’s dad chose to or had to stay there in the cavern and become the next knight protector of the Grail. (SPOILER OVER – come on in, the water’s fine) The Last Crusade is a better film than the Temple of Doom. It was great trying to keep up with the Jones’ and in the end when they rode off into the sunset a little part of my geek-boy heart went with them. I didn’t suspect that there would be another Indiana Jones adventure on the big screen.
As you know, Gentle Reader I was wrong. I thank God, that I was wrong. “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” opens everywhere on May 22nd. This one takes place in the 1950’s so Indy will be fighting Commies instead of Nazis. Time has passed even for Indiana Jones. Ford, Spielberg and Lucas are playing to the age of the character, which is a strength. With Indiana Jones what makes the character so appealing is his humanity; he’s flesh, bone and blood. Karen Allen is reprising her role as Marion Ravenwood, which is brilliant and Shia LaBeouf as “Mutt”. No official word on if he’s Indy’s son or not. I guess I’ll just have to be at the 12:01 showing to find that answer out.
Spielberg and Lucas bottled lightning all those years ago – I want to see them do it again. It won’t be Raiders but it doesn’t have to be – it’s Indiana Jones once more on the big screen and that’s all right with me.
See you at the multiplex.