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Lego - Indiana Jones
Posted on Thursday 22 May 2008 at 1:41 pm

Indy IV

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I saw Kingdom of the Crystal Skull this morning and I really liked it. I think it is a worthy addition to the Indy saga. Some of my friends seemed less enthused by the nature of the mystical artifact in this one, but I really didn't mind that. They did the one thing I knew they were going to do and really hoped they wouldn't so that obviously bugged me. But I kind of feel like, if they had to do it, they did it the best way possible.

I'm obviously trying to avoid spoilers for those who haven't seen it and still intend to do so, but I also want to elaborate and be able to discuss the film with those who have seen it. So compromise time: I'm going to post all spoilers as highlight-to-read. If you have seen the film and post any spoilers in the comments, I'd ask that you do the same. That way, anyone who wants to see spoilers can do so and everyone else has to rely upon her (or his) own will power to avoid the spoilers. To post highlight-to-read, just copy the following and replace YOUR TEXT HERE with... wait for it... your text. Shocker, isn't it?

<span style='color: black; background: black;'>YOUR TEXT HERE</span>

Now on to my spoilers
So it is an alien artifact this time rather than a religious one. Well, not actually aliens. Inter-dimensional beings from the space between space. Or something like that. It's really weird and I'm OK with that. If Indy can have experiences with artifacts that have mystical powers from multiple different earthly belief systems, why not bring non-earth ones into the mix? Keeps things interesting. The only time that I know of in which Indy has supposedly been involved with aliens before this was in one of the novels when it was all just a hoax, and he was in on creating part of the hoax anyway. That was a weird book that didn't really feel like an Indiana Jones adventure. This fits just fine with the rest of the mythos of the character in my opinion.

Then there's Shia LaBeouf's character, Mutt Williams. I said probably more than six months ago that he was going to be Indy's son with Marion Ravenwood and that the whole idea of a long-lost son was trite and overdone and stupid and it was going to annoy the hell out of me if they really did it. With them bringing back Marion's character and then pulling in this kid who just happened to be nicknamed "Mutt" with Indy's nickname coming from the family dog? He had Henry Jones III written all over him no matter how much I hoped the movie makers weren't going to go that route. So of course they went that route. And it annoyed me. But I think the way they played it out was probably the best way they could have if they were going do it all so that's something. Now it's just kind of wait-and-see if they're going to try to do a spin-off series focusing on Mutt.

So anyone else seen it yet? Going to see it soon?


What's Taters, Precious?
mrstater at 6:04 pm on 22 May 2008 (UTC) (Link)
I read your spoilers because I figured they would be unsurprising and I don't really care anyway because Indy's about the completely goofy action plot anyway, not so much the surprise?

We're just lucky with George Lucas writing it, that a bastard son was the only trite thing they did with the plot, lol.

Anyway, I'm glad it's getting good reviews by you and critics! We'll probably wait a few weeks to go because we were so annoyed by the kids at Prince Caspian last week, that we really don't want to put up with them over Memorial weekend!
bratty_jedi at 6:07 pm on 22 May 2008 (UTC) (Link)
That's one of the best things about being a grad student: the concept of the "work day" and "working hours" just don't exist. About ten of us went to see it at the 10:45 showing this morning. There were some retired people there with us and that's about it. The theater probably wasn't half full whereas tonight and the rest of the weekend it will be swarming with annoying kids and teens, I'm sure.
cuteej4 at 6:28 pm on 22 May 2008 (UTC) (Link)
I'm going to avoid those spoilers for now. I think it's funny how you said "for those who haven't seen it yet" I thought it came out at midnight TONIGHT. Haha.
bratty_jedi at 6:30 pm on 22 May 2008 (UTC) (Link)
Nope. Midnight last night. I almost went to the midnight showing but couldn't convince enough of my friends to go. So we went to the first showing today.
train_lindz at 6:30 pm on 22 May 2008 (UTC) (Link)
I knew you would have already seen it! I'll see it sometime this weekend. It's not a holiday weekend here, so it shouldn't be a problem.

I haven't highlighted your text - staying spoiler free :)

I'm excited - a little concerned, but Harrison Ford wouldn't do it if it looked like it would be bad, right? The fact that you liked it bodes well :)
bratty_jedi at 6:44 pm on 22 May 2008 (UTC) (Link)
With Ford and Spielberg both OK with it, I knew it couldn't be horrible and I wasn't disappointed in that regard. My faith in Lucas isn't as high as it once was so I can't really add him to that mix.

Can't wait for you to see it so we can discuss!
train_lindz at 1:59 pm on 24 May 2008 (UTC) (Link)
Ok, saw the movie last night! I liked it. I think it fit in well to the other movies, and I particularly liked that they even kept the look of the originals. The classic look was still there. The alien line was fine, though it gave me a slight Scientology feeling for some reason. The classics minor in me always cringes when Indy's escavating things (in all the movies) smashing those bricks to get into the kingdom... No archeologist would do that!

I liked Cate Blanchett, thought she did a wonderful job. Bringing back Marion was great, but I too expected the Mutt being Indy's son thing, and was hoping I was wrong. Shia LaBouef wasn't bad, but it was cliched

I had a slight panic episode at the end though. If Mutt had picked up that hat and put it on his head after the wedding, I would have taken a trip to Hollywood and smacked Spielburg on the head.
bratty_jedi at 2:16 pm on 24 May 2008 (UTC) (Link)
I keep telling myself that the Indy movies are supposed to be cheesy B action flicks so I can't really be upset at them for doing something cheesy and cliched. I just feel like the long-lost son thing is a bit too cheesy and a different type of cliche. Oh well. I do think they did it in one of the best ways possible. I just read the novelization and there is a line in there when they're tied in the truck and Mutt has just been told - Marion basically thinks this is the best possible time for the conversation because with them both tied up, neither father or son could storm off. I thought that was classic and helped to show why the way they played out the entire thing just feels right for the way it would happen to Indy.

I've heard vague rumors that Spielberg is considering doing essentially a spin-off series focusing on Mutt. mrstater said she's seen things to indicate Spielberg is basically just waiting to see the returns on this and if the money count is decent, he's definitely doing it and Harrison Ford has agreed to have Indy just pop in as a sort of advisory character. I'm not sure how I feel about that. I think they set Mutt up to be a decent character who can almost follow after his dad while still being a different character, but they only got him to "can almost follow." They didn't sell me on it yet which is only one reason why him actually putting on the fedora would have been a big No-no. They still can sell me on the idea, but they passed up a few golden opportunities to do it already.

The biggest one, in my opinion, is they didn't establish that Mutt has the brains to be Indy, Jr. Part of the "cool" factor of Indiana Jones is that he seems to know every dead language and everything about every dead culture. Even if Mutt doesn't go the archeology route for his own adventures, there's got to be something comparable, IMO. They had the chance to show that Mutt could do it when he and Indy were discussing Mutt dropping out of school. When Mutt says that he likes to read but wants to pick his own books, if they'd just had Indy ask something about what kinds of books Mutt picks and he rattled off a list that impressed the professor, they'd have had exactly what they needed with only an extra 2 lines of dialogue and a "wow" face from Harrison Ford. They get closer in the novelization because Mutt says that Oxley was always giving him books to read as a kid, including one of Dr. Jones' books, but that still doesn't quite show that Mutt is intellectually curious and capable on his own.

LOL Let the mrstater up there serve as a warning to all that link text isn't converted with the highlight-to-read styling I posted so no putting spoilers in link text!

Edited at 2008-05-24 04:59 pm (UTC)
gilpin25 at 6:33 pm on 22 May 2008 (UTC) (Link)
I haven't read your spoilers but I'm very glad you enjoyed it. We'll try and see it as soon as possible but, like mrstater, the thought of a bank holiday weekend and the packed, noisey cinema is a bit off-putting. There are some very anti-social viewing times available though...

They did the one thing I knew they were going to do and really hoped they wouldn't so that obviously bugged me.

Harrison Ford announced he always regretted calling my friend Melanie, 'Lelanie'? ;)

Edited at 2008-05-22 06:35 pm (UTC)
bratty_jedi at 6:42 pm on 22 May 2008 (UTC) (Link)
Whenever you do see it, just remember to come back here and let me know what you think! That's the problem with being first out of the gate: no one else with whom to discuss.

Harrison Ford announced he always regretted calling my friend Melanie, 'Lelanie'? ;)

No, see, that's the one thing I really wanted them to do that they didn't do!
gilpin25 at 6:50 pm on 22 May 2008 (UTC) (Link)
Whenever you do see it, just remember to come back here and let me know what you think!

Oh I will definitely be back for a full discussion! :)
gilpin25 at 8:13 pm on 28 May 2008 (UTC) (Link)
Firstly, this spoiler thing is very useful to know, so thanks for the lesson! Now the film - I think it's fairly easy to pick holes on it. If I'm honest, I thought it was patchy - as in very good patches, some bad patches and why didn't we get more of the wonderful theme tune? - but I don't really want to pick holes in it that much. I grew up with those films, and I love them, especially numbers one and three, and I think if you watch it as a tribute to them, then it's very enjoyable.

I thought Harrison was wonderful; I cannot believe he's 64. Certainly fit in all senses of the word. And I felt as if he held it all together during the unbelievable bits, the corny bits, the downright silly bits (er, monkeys?;)) and seeing him doing so many of the stunts was great. I think my biggest gripe is that there wasn't any surprises (the son being obvious from the moment he appeared), unless you count inter-dimensional beings, but I'm not sure it matters if you're a fan of the films. There were times when it did take off, and those times alone were worth going for as the old magic was still there. And I still love Harrison, lol.
bratty_jedi at 8:25 pm on 28 May 2008 (UTC) (Link)
Glad you found the "How to post spoilers" mini lesson helpful :)

I've seen it three times now (yes, I'm a pathetic fangirl) and really want to see it again. As you said, I could poke little holes in it all day long. But I can do the same thing with the first three and I just don't want to! They are cheesy B action movies done with A movie budget and talent and they rock because of it. I really do feel like IV fits perfectly with the first three and is just part of the same big adventure that I love so much.

That said, I still hate Mutt the Monkey King. I don't really mind Mutt as Henry Jones III anymore, but I can't stand Mutt the Monkey King. I think one of my friends nailed it dead on when he said they should have had Mutt swept up into the tree and get freaked out by monkeys, flee them, and rejoin the fight on his own without the vine swinging. Then we'd have Henry Sr and rats, Henry Jr and snakes, and Henry III and monkeys.
gilpin25 at 10:09 pm on 28 May 2008 (UTC) (Link)
LOL. That's a great idea for Monkey Boy Mutt! And I just couldn't fathom why anyone would think that scene was a good idea in any way, shape or monkey? I'm also okay with Henry Jones III, though could they not have had Henrietta? Now that would have been a good twist... ;)
bratty_jedi at 10:25 pm on 28 May 2008 (UTC) (Link)
I just got The Complete Making of Indiana Jones which has all the details on all four movies. Apparently part of what took so long to get Indy IV up and running was every time an idea was thrown out Steven Spielberg said "I did that already in X, Y, or Z movie." One of the original ideas had Indy's unknown 13-year-old daughter showing up and Spielberg vetoed that as too close to what he did in The Lost World. Since I've not seen any of the Jurassic Park movies, I've no idea how close that would have been to whatever happened there, but 13-year-old female strikes me as less over-done in general than late-teen/early-twenty male.

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