Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

indytruth-1

Personally, as a die-hard Indiana Jones fan, I’m quite forgiving of a lot of the problems people have with the series (which shouldn’t be surprising, considering I will defend the Star Wars prequels as well). Still, I cannot deny some of the goofy things that happened in the fourth installment six years ago. I’m not just speaking of Shia LaBeouf’s Tarzan-like swings from jungle vines (that kid makes a career out of stealing other people’s shticks), but also the dreaded nuking of the fridge. This got me thinking… was nuking the fridge really the most ridiculous thing that happened in the Indiana Jones series?

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Boiling Point

Death is a profound thing. It has long been utilized in the art of storytelling to make the fiercest of impacts. From the first written work of fiction (“Beowulf”) to the works of Shakespeare to the films of Uwe Boll, death has been ever present. When handled correctly, a death can be a haunting memory in a film, a momentous moment that effects the viewer on a very real and very emotional moment. Let’s cut to the jump so we can discuss a lot of spoilery stuff and bitch about how a thoughtless death is cruel to the character and an affront to the audience.

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Just a few months after the glory of Steven Spielberg’s Jaws finally made its Blu-ray debut the world’s most popular director is readying another hi-def premiere. Paramount has just announced the fall arrival of Indiana Jones: The Complete Adventures on Blu-ray. The set includes all four three goddammit four films with remastered video and audio. Extras have yet to be detailed, but they’re reported to include special features both old and new. The best news though is evident in the care given to the series’ first and best film, Raiders of the Lost Ark. The 1981 classic has been “meticulously restored with careful attention to preserving the original look, sound and feel of the iconic film.  The original negative was first scanned at 4K and then examined frame-by-frame so that any damage could be repaired. The sound design was similarly preserved using [Ben] Burtt’s original master mix, which had been archived and unused since 1981.” Check out the press release and full front-cover art below.

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Culture Warrior

“If Michael Bay directed Raiders, the Ark would be opened in the first act, and people’s heads would explode through the rest of the film.” I don’t typically seek out wisdom from Twitter, but this below-140-character observation (made by @krishnasjenoi and retweeted by @ebertchicago) struck very close to something that’s been occupying my mind as we enter the fifth week of the summer movie season. Though the statement works better as a fun hypothetical critique than a contestable thesis (in other words, there’s no way we’ll ever really know, thank goodness), the sentiment feels relevant. Though the modern Hollywood blockbuster has been a staple of studios’ summer scheduling for almost forty years, the films that become blockbusters don’t look or feel very similar to the films of the 70s and 80s that somehow paradoxically led to today’s cavalcade of sequels, franchises, adaptations and remakes. Criticizing Hollywood’s creative crisis is nothing new. But with the mega-success of The Avengers and the continuing narrative of failure and disappointment that has thus far characterizes every major release since, it seems that this crisis has been put under a microscope. The moment where unprecedented success is the only kind of achievement Hollywood can afford and the well of decade-old franchises and toy companies become desperately mined for material is something we were warned about. But Hollywood’s creativity-crippling reliance on existing properties is not the only, or even the primary, problem faced by mass market filmmaking’s present moment. The bloated numbers sought after each and […]

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Frank Darabont

Building on the success of his previous book The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies Never Made, author David Hughes continues his quest to tell the stories behind cinema’s most famous, infamous and interesting projects that never were. It just so happens that many of these projects have a geeky slant. And his newest venture, Tales from Development Hell is no different. The other day our friends at /Film debuted an excerpt from Hughes’ chapter on Darren Aronofsky’s Year One with Clint Eastwood. Today, we’ve got ourselves a neat exclusive, debuting an excerpt from the chapter on Frank Darabont’s Indiana Jones and the City of the Gods. Remember that Shia LaBeouf-led storyline about Indy’s grease-ball accomplice slash (spoiler) offspring? All those flying monkeys? That wasn’t in the one written by the guy who would later bring The Walking Dead to the small screen. What was in Darabont’s Indy IV? Well, you’ll just have to read on to find out…

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The Mayans, the wise race of ancients who created hot cocoa, set December 21st, 2012 as the end date of their Calendar, which the intelligent and logical amongst us know signifies the day the world will end, presumably at 12:21:12am, Mountain Time. From now until zero date, we will explore the 50 films you need to watch before the entire world perishes. We don’t have much time, so be content, be prepared, be entertained. The Film: Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) The Plot: When the Nazis threaten to find and unleash the power within the Ark of the Covenant, the US Government turns to the only place that can save them: Academia. Back in the 1930s, Professors and Archaeologists were made of a lot tougher stuff, and were far more attractive to co-eds than they are today. The manliest among them, Indiana Jones, fresh off a disastrous trip to a South American jungle, embarks on a global quest to find the Ark first.

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In an interview with Empire Online, legendary director Steven Spielberg talked about the development of future sequels for two of the biggest properties he has ever launched, Jurassic Park and Indiana Jones. While both of these franchises are huge name brands, and future sequels will probably rake in boatloads of cash no matter what, they’ve also both had some less than stellar installments already. So, artistically, if Spielberg is going to get us movie geeks to buy into the fact that more movies in these series are necessary, he’s got some explaining to do. Spielberg seems to readily admit that Jurassic Park 3 was a B-level film unworthy of carrying his weighty name in its credits, because he comes right out and assures us that a fourth installment won’t resemble that film in any way. He said, “The screenplay is being written right now by Mark Protosevich. I’m hoping that will come out in the next couple of years. We have a good story. We have a better story for four than we had for three…” Protosevich has been the writer on films like Thor, I am Legend, and the remake of Poseidon, so probably you can judge how much you trust Spielberg to get his story told correctly based on how you feel about those films.

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Every week, Landon Palmer and Cole Abaius log on to their favorite chat client of 1996 as ghostfacekillah and olddirrtybastard5 in order to discuss some topical topic of interest. This week, it’s the horrifying growth of the trend in Hollywood to take old movies and make sequels for them. The fans are too hip to reboots and remakes, but if they can convince an aging actor to retread barren ground, then it’s all aboard the money train. Of course, that’s not always the case, but how else do you explain Indiana Jones 4? The problem is that these movies either suck or are hollow shells of what a franchise once was. So if you’re making a decades-later sequel, what are the problems and how do you avoid them?

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Apparently a retirement home is just not good enough for the treasure hunter who wants everything in museums. “Sources” are telling ShowbizSpy that Harrison Ford wants Indiana Jones to die in the next installment of the franchise. There was never much doubt that this would be the last round up for Ford, especially with Shia Labeouf waiting in the wings to take over as his son, but death seems a bit extreme. After all, there must be an adjunct professor position out there waiting for him. It may seem fatalistic, but it’s also important to look at why killing him off might be a good thing. Or why it might be completely moronic.

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If there was one thing that fans hated about Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull it’s that the magical realism of religion was tossed aside for a tale about aliens who had a love for polished glass. It didn’t seem right within the universe where, for whatever reason, a box with a bunch of angry, face-melting souls did. So, as a fan, I find myself questioning whether to groan or start a slow clap with the news that Indiana and company are going to be headed for the Bermuda Triangle. Will this be the right brand of magical realism for the series?

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This morning we take a look at fan made trailers for the Lost finale, dueling Marylin Monroes, the future of Nick Fury, Mark Hamill’s directing career, Paul Dano vs. Aliens and more.

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The People vs George Lucas

You don’t have to be a child of the 70′s to understand the phenomenal impact of Star Wars. The career of creator George Lucas has been nothing short of mercurial since the release of the first Star Wars film in 1977. But as the years passed, Lucas made a series of decisions that, well, to say these decisions upset fans would be a massive understatement.

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“Steven [Spielberg] and George [Lucas] and I are sort of agreed on a germ of an idea and we’re seeing what comes of it.” It’s likely that some of you will be upset about that quote, which was given to the folks at the BBC by Indiana Jones himself, Harrison Ford. The rest of us are wondering one thing: germ? As in virus?

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SeanConneryHenryJones

There’s a baseless rumor that’s not even going around the internet at all that Dr. Jones might be written into the next Indiana Jones movie. I don’t believe it at this point, but that doesn’t mean we can’t sound off on whether it’d be a good idea or not.

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IndianaJones5Underway

As guaranteed by the box office take, Indiana Jones and the Half-Blood Prince has got its story line. Now, all they need is a script that Harrison Ford smiles at, and we’re on our way to a fifth adventure.

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shia-labeouf-header

To be fair, there is actually no ‘fanboy rage’ yet, but be sure that it is coming folks. In an interview with BBC News, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen star Shia LaBeouf made claims that director Steven Spielberg is already hard at work on a follow-up to Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

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rambofour_header

I remember a time when sex used to be what sold in Hollywood, it’s not really that way anymore. It’s all about sequels nowadays. Anything the corporate machine can do to propagate a franchise and poke fun at aging actors in roles that may or may not compromise the position they’re in when jumping off buildings, driving backwards through tunnels, or remembering to take their Metamucil.

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2008review-memorable

With such a memorable year, it was hard to pick the top ten memorable scenes from all the films. Of course, to be fair, I had to choose only one scene from any given movie (otherwise, The Dark Knight would easily take five or six spots on the list).

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2008review-boxoffice

It is time once again for a special edition of the Reject Report, the 2008 Year in Review! This is our final look at 2008′s box office winners — and our final chance to roast some of the losers.

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2008review-disappointments

How (puke-colored) green was our valley in 2008? I offer ten instances in film that did not live up to a certain amount of hype, didn’t get the credit they deserved, or just flat-out disappointed the general public.

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