Raiders of the Lost Ark

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom bridge

How many of you knew Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom was a prequel while you were seeing it back in 1984? I admit that it took me years to come to that realization, but I was a little kid 30 years ago, and my memory of Raiders of the Lost Ark and my understanding of the history of the world in the 1930s were minimal. There’s also the way that Temple of Doom isn’t really a prequel in the sense that I think of that word. It’s not an origin story, it doesn’t involve events that lead into those of Raiders or depict a story alluded to in that first Indiana Jones movie. Temple of Doom isn’t so much a prequel or sequel as simply an installment in an adventure series. Roger Ebert, in his review at the time, called it “not so much a sequel as an equal.” He meant equal in all ways, having given the movie four stars, but I specifically like the word usage for its implication that it’s a movie that sits not really before or after but to the side. Yes, it is technically set prior to the action in Raiders, though not by that much (being in in 1935, the year before the year of Raiders, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a full 12 months nor as few as that), yet chronology is not very important with these two movies. Some argue that there is backward character development with Temple of Doom, but […]

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Pulp-Fiction-Diner

We all love to quote our favorite movies. Even my one-year-old son just started uttering “I’ve got it!” all the time, having picked up the phrase from his most-watched movie, Dumbo. I don’t know that it’s the most original or noteworthy piece of dialogue, but he hasn’t seen much yet. Usually the lines we remember and recite are those that stick out for a reason. They don’t always have to be something never heard before, as the quote’s notability could be all about the way it’s delivered by the actor saying it, though most of the time it’s a line specific and exclusive to a certain movie. Even if a hundred scripts since have borrowed “I’ve got a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore,” we all know it comes from The Wizard of Oz. Aside from the fact that it gives us something with which to represent our fandom or appreciation of a movie, though, original dialogue isn’t that important. A lot of the time it’s really clever and stylized and therefore wouldn’t likely be found in a film with characters intended to sound natural. Imagine a serious realist drama where someone suddenly said something like “Fasten your seat belts… It’s going to be a bumpy night” or “Nobody puts Baby in the corner” or “I feel the need — the need for speed.” Sometimes original, quotable dialogue is so unnatural that it makes some people cringe, as in the cases of Juno and Napoleon Dynamite. Other times it might […]

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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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IntroBarFights

The World’s End was a great film, and amongst its many covered genres, it made a pretty big mark in the ranks of epic bar brawl movies. To celebrate, why don’t we explore some of the other great drunken tussles of the sci-fi and fantasy genres? Excellent. Glad you’re on board. Because no matter what sorcery or technology you have at your fingertips, there’s always time to get soused and hit someone.

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Star-Trek-Into-Darkness-trio

It’s hard to watch Star Trek Into Darkness and not think about Star Wars. Yes, J.J. Abrams is directing Episode VII and so we have that knowledge on the brain going into this. Maybe we’re even on the lookout for clues hinting at what we should expect from his take on that galaxy. This isn’t the first time the Trek franchise has had to try and prove itself in the shadow of George Lucas’s own series. Even though it originated with a TV show in the 1960s, Trek‘s cinematic resurrection a decade later was in part allowed by and somewhat influenced by the success and quality of the first Star Wars. But even regardless of the fact that Abrams is following the latest Trek with the next Wars, I often otherwise felt like I was watching one of the latter while sitting through Into Darkness. Before getting into the evidence that Abrams is a clear fan of Lucasfilm works (and not just Star Wars) and likes to sample from them, let’s take a moment to think about what all his call back references and allusions to both Wars and Trek might mean for Episode VII. Will there be too much winking and fan-service, unhidden Easter eggs and inside jokes and maybe even outright recycling the way Into Darkness is with certain prior Trek installments? Could Episode VII have a number of allusions to Trek the way Into Darkness pays obvious homage to Wars? Rather than creating new worlds of his […]

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ark-melt

Anything happen this week to revolutionize the film industry? What, you don’t know? You must need the Reject Recap, our weekly rundown of the best and most important news and features any movie fan must read. Yeah, most of it is our own content, but we also look outside the FSR borders for great film-related (and sometimes TV-related) pieces elsewhere. If you see something you think should be included in the Recap, please email me.  Over the past seven days, in spite of a major film festival going on (well, maybe because of this), a lot of very interesting things happened or came out. The Internet continued to alter the business of cinema and we heard about long-awaited sequels to ’90s movies. Obligatorily, we also thought more about the next Star Wars movie. And once again we include a few must-watch videos. So, in honor of what’s gone on this week, put on David Bowie’s “Changes,” sit back and play catch up with us. (Kick)Start your weekend right after the jump.

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“Newsweek,” the 79-year-old magazine is stepping into the present by axing their print edition to go fully digital in 2013. Editor-in-Chief Tina Brown announced the shift yesterday (tellingly on the Daily Beast site), and the polarized responses of crushing nostalgia, predictions of ultimate failure and it’s-about-time praise came from all corners of (again tellingly) the internet. Whether it’s a signal of internal trouble or not, it’s where our world is heading, which is why it’s particularly encouraging in this time of transition to look back on some of the “Newsweek” covers of the past to discover that history tends to repeat itself. Someone should package that up and coin a phrase about it. Of course, all of our choices are movie-themed, but as you’ll see from the selections, the ghost of the present seems to haunt the past even in the examination of the popular art. Even without the deep sentiment, it’s still fascinating to let nostalgia well up for the times gone by caught by these covers.

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Jaws

Ah yes. It’s that time of the year, folks. The only month where it’s slightly less mean to jump out at a child while wearing a clown mask. The vandal’s holiday… cretin Christmas. It really is a special time for all of us horror movie fans. So let’s light some candles, get our favorite Misfits album out and start this party. They say that nothing can ever outdo the imagination – something that is most evident when it comes to terror and death. It’s not what you see that scares you – it’s what you don’t. It’s why we fear the dark. So while gore is great fun, it’s nothing compared to something merely implied.

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Moviegoing is like attending church for many of us, and so I’d like to introduce a new regular feature titled “Movie Houses of Worship,” which spotlights our favorite temples of cinema around the world. I’m kicking things off with a theater I frequented often when I was still living in New York City. If you’d like to suggest or submit a place you regularly worship at the altar of cinema, please email me at christopher (at) filmschoolrejects (dot) com.    Name: IFC Center Opened: June 2005 (renovated from the famous Waverly Theater/Twin, which existed from 1937-2001 in an actual former church, built in 1831) No. of screens: 5 (two of which were added in 2009, built out of a space once housing an attached bar) Current first run titles: Sleepwalk With Me; Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry; The Ambassador; Beauty is Embarrassing; Detropia; Girl Model; Versailles ’73: American Runway Revolution. Jonathan Demme’s I’m Carolyn Parker: The Good, the Mad and the Beautiful opens Wednesday. Also, the StoryCorps animated film John and Joe, which runs ahead of each film as part of the theater’s dedication to shorts.

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Indiana Jones

It’s going to be an exciting month for fans of Indiana Jones. On September 18, the entire series of films — all four films — will be accompanied by 7-hours of bonus features in the first ever Blu-ray release. Today, September 7, marks the release of Raiders of the Lost Ark back into theaters in the IMAX format for an exclusive one-week run. Fully restored and projected as big as Iehova intended. To celebrate, we’ve scored a great prize pack to give away to you, our beloved readers. One (1) lucky fan will receive a copy of the Blu-ray box set, a fedora and a whip. This way you can watch Indiana Jones and be Indiana Jones at the same time. Just don’t take out your cat with the whip. Those things are dangerous.

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Raiders of the Lost Ark in IMAX

The adventures of Indiana Jones as we know them first kicked off (whipped into?) in theaters in June of 1981 with the release of Steven Spielberg‘s Raiders of the Lost Ark, but before those of us not around for the big screen experience back then, Spielberg and George Lucas have a big (no, really, giant) treat to make up for it. The film will have an exclusive one-week engagement in select IMAX® theatres starting on September 7th. The IMAX release comes to us as part of the release of an all-new Blu-ray release of all four Indiana Jones films (yes, four) later in September, and has “undergone a complete restoration for the IMAX exclusive one-week release and subsequent debut on Blu-ray.” The film has been digitally re-mastered for IMAX using the proprietary IMAX DMR® (Digital Re-mastering) technology. Raiders has also been restored by sound designer Ben Burtt, “with careful attention to preserving the original look, sound and feel of the iconic film.” The all-new Blu-ray set, billed as INDIANA JONES: The Complete Adventures, hits Blu-ray on September 18th. After the break, check out an all-new trailer for Raiders of the Lost Ark in support of the IMAX release. It’s big!

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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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With a giant pile of movies to his name, Steven Spielberg has the considerable honor of being the only filmmaker who makes entertainment that’s massively popular, critically acclaimed and decade-enduring. It’s an illusive triumvirate. His fundamental success is owed to a lot of things, but principle among them is his childhood sense of wonder and magic – a sense he’s never let go of. His childhood was also spent with a camera in hand. From Jaws to Close Encounters of the Third Kind to Indiana Jones to The Color Purple and Empire of the Sun and Jurassic Park and Amistad and Schindler’s List and Munich and, and, and…he’s been a prolific, skilled presence in the filmmaking world for going on 5 decades, and he’s done so by spanning genres, tones, and subjects. So here’s a bit of free film school (for fans and filmmakers alike) from a little kid who hid under his bed after watching Bambi.

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This post is probably not what you think. There are no LOLCats, no Rage Comic stick men bellowing about the superiority of The Dark Knight and Inception. It’s not really a love letter to modernity. But it’s also not Sight & Sound‘s decennial Top Ten List. That prestigious publication has done great work since even before polling critics in 1952 to name the best movies of all time. They’ve recreated the experiment every ten years since (with filmmakers included in 1992), and their 2012 list is due out soon. However, there is certainly overlap. The FSR poll includes only 37 critics (and 4 filmmakers), but we’re young and have moxy, and none of us were even asked by Sight & Sound for our considerable opinion. That’s what’s fascinating here. The films nominated by those invited by S&S have the air of critical and social importance to them. They are, almost all, serious works done by serious filmmakers attempting to make serious statements. This list, by contrast, is the temperature of the online movie community in regards to what movies are the “greatest.” The results might be what you expect. But probably not.

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There’s totally nothing wrong with a bonding between man and beast, but it feels like such relationships are often trivialized thanks to how sensational we make them in films. Teaching your dog to sit and stay is cool, but in the movie world you’d need to at least teach him to solve crimes or play basketball to really turn heads. Anything less is just everyday stuff. It’s because movies tend to over-personify animals that we often forget just how extraordinarily talented they’re portrayed as, and how weird some of the relationships are. Here are some of the weirder ones…

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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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If I had to pick two things that I just can’t get enough of in films, it would have to be a good underdog story and gratuitous physical violence. It is only natural then that I would build a humble list of some of my favorite moments in cinema where the two are combined. When I think about what makes a fight particularly one-sided, it actually has less to do with the amount of people that the hero is up against and more about the hero’s strengths, or rather lack thereof. But then there’s always going to be an ‘awesome’ factor to think about, because when it is all said and done the hero usually triumphs against the odds – so the means in which they do such a thing is very important to me; being badass certainly has its merits, but in most cases, being creative is far more impressive.

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Wonder Woman Breast Exam

What is Movie News After Dark? Every night, it brings to you a collection of movie and pop culture news that will thrill you, chill you and if you’re not careful, spill you all over the floor. Tonight it takes on a new look — instead of the usual news-news-news-poster-news-news-news-video format, it’s almost all movie posters We begin this evening with a shot of Wonder Woman giving herself a breast exam. Earlier this week, someone told me that my nightly meanderings through the world of pop culture news needed to be sexier. What could be sexier than the fight against breast cancer? Nobody’s immune, people.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s out right now. Please leave a message. We begin tonight with some new concept art for The Adventures of Tintin, courtesy of the folks over at Hey U Guys. It’s yet another look at the smooth animation behind this film from Steven Spielberg, who may appear again later in tonight’s edition of Movie News After Dark.

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