The Adventures of Indiana Jones

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The Adventures of Indiana Jones

Post  laddical on Sun Sep 16, 2012 2:04 am

So last night, I went to see Raiders of the Lost Ark at 10:15pm thinking it would be the only chance I'd get to see it during its brief release in honor of the Blu-Rays hitting on Tuesday.

I did not know that AMC Theaters around the country were planning to do a Four-Movie-Marathon of the series today. So I went to both. Raiders twice in two days on the big screen is nothing to sniff at and all four movies in a row? AWESOME.

Yeah, even Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. I maintain that most of the complaints I hear about the movie apply equally to the two sequels and to degrees-more-and-less to Raiders as well (particularly complaints that Indy doesn't affect the story much - with the exception of Temple of Doom, none of the stories would have ended up any differently if Indy were removed from the equation at any point in the story).

But that's a fight I don't want to get in to. Minority opinion, I'm cool with that.

But I did want to take issue with some "official" Paramount trivia.

During the break between Temple and Last Crusade (and that's another rant - I think you should show them in *chronological order*, not release order), there was trivia for various prizes. Up first was a LEGO Indy keychain for the question:

"According to the Headpiece, how tall is the Staff of Ra?"

Now, what it says on one side is "6 karams high" - or, as Sallah points out, 72 inches.

On the reverse, the Old Man translates it as, "And take back 1 karam out of respect for the Hebrew god whose ark this is."

Now, watch the map room sequence. The Staff is easily a head taller than Harrison Ford, who is roughly six feet tall. So physically, the Staff is larger than the 72 inches mentioned. But then, once he's in the map room, he finds the spot the Nazis placed their Staff in and then tracks back several slots to reveal an undisturbed hole that he places his Staff in. What this tells me is that the Staff is *supposed to be* 72 inches tall, but the prop department sucks - and that "take back 1 karam" literally means to *step backwards* as a show of respect.

But no, according to the official Paramount trivia sheet, the Staff is supposed to be 6 karams minus 1 karam - or 60 inches. Which means Harrison Ford is looking at the other side of 4'6" if the actual prop were designed to these specifications. I know a lot of movie stars are shorter than we expect but *jeez*.

But I don't feel *too bad*, because later they had a chance to win the Blu-Ray boxed set and I lost out fair and square to a ten year old kid who could tell you that Indy's middle name is Walter and he was born on July 1, 1899. What the hell, ten year old kid?

Highlights of the day:

Seeing Paul Freeman eat a fly. When Indy threatens to destroy the Ark, a fly lands on Belloq's cheek, then crawls into his mouth, and he doesn't register it at all. That is some commitment to the moment.

I had never seen Temple of Doom on a big screen before. Even though my parents let me watch Raiders on cable, they refused to take me to see the "sequel" (prequel). I guess I sort of understand why, but honestly, if Toht's face melting and Belloq's head exploding didn't put me off, nothing in Temple was going to do it.

The end of Temple, when all the kids return to the village? Best scene of the entire series for me. Followed closely by the moment when Henry says, "Indiana... let it go."

Last Crusade is really kind of *bland*. In fact, if not for the presence of Sean Connery and his dynamic with Harrison, there would be nothing to it - it would simply be a low key remake of Raiders. I sort of understand their conservative take after the shitstorm they got for Temple but... wow. I know it's a lot of people's favorite of the bunch, but it really does owe everything to the two Doctor Joneses.

And I don't care what anyone says - I really like Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, largely because they brought Marion back. Yeah, she and Indy don't get anything quite as awesome as the "Well goddammit, Indy, where doesn't it hurt?" scene, but Karen Allen really brought Marion back to life like she hadn't missed a day. And Mutt is so much better than Short Round.
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Re: The Adventures of Indiana Jones

Post  inversed on Sun Sep 16, 2012 10:28 am

I love Short Round, and as a matter of fact I'm watching Temple of Doom on USA right now! I was actually kind of glad when Crystal Skull came out and sucked so bad because people stopped ragging on Temple so much.

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Re: The Adventures of Indiana Jones

Post  Lily Rose on Sun Sep 16, 2012 11:07 am

I WANTED to like Mutt. I really did. But it just wound up feeling like a blatant effort to start a new movie series with him starring that I couldn't.

Marion, however, rocks the house and always will. I love her parts of Crystal Skull.

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Re: The Adventures of Indiana Jones

Post  Fraoch on Sun Sep 16, 2012 1:44 pm

I just wished Marion was given more to DO in Crystal Skull.

Now, watch the map room sequence. The Staff is easily a head taller than Harrison Ford, who is roughly six feet tall. So physically, the Staff is larger than the 72 inches mentioned. But then, once he's in the map room, he finds the spot the Nazis placed their Staff in and then tracks back several slots to reveal an undisturbed hole that he places his Staff in. What this tells me is that the Staff is *supposed to be* 72 inches tall, but the prop department sucks - and that "take back 1 karam" literally means to *step backwards* as a show of respect.

But no, according to the official Paramount trivia sheet, the Staff is supposed to be 6 karams minus 1 karam - or 60 inches. Which means Harrison Ford is looking at the other side of 4'6" if the actual prop were designed to these specifications. I know a lot of movie stars are shorter than we expect but *jeez*.

We saw the IMAX release of Raiders on Thursday night, and this threw me, too. In fact, when they realize that he only has one side of the medallion, Sallah and Indy start laughing and say that Belloq's staff IS THE WRONG HEIGHT. Nothing about how he doesn't know to take a step backward in the map room. So yeah, that's a misfire, props people.

But I'll overlook it because that movie is just nonstop fun from beginning to end. Love it. And I'm pretty sure the person sitting behind me had never seen it before because of her reaction to certain moments, so that was cool.

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Re: The Adventures of Indiana Jones

Post  laddical on Sun Sep 16, 2012 3:49 pm

I just wished Marion was given more to DO in Crystal Skull.

I agree she could have done more - or been introduced sooner - but even with the truncated screen time I think she comes off about even in terms of "doing" stuff between the two movies. For as much fun as she is as a foil for Indy, she doesn't really do anything in Raiders, either. Which, as you say, she could have been a more active participant in both movies. But when you can easily remove your supposed protagonist from the plot and not have it affect the outcome in both films as well, I can't expect the sidekicks to have much to do, either.

One thing I noticed with all four movies together is that KOTCS feels like it has the most moments of Indy acting as an archaeologist - deciphering ancient pictographs, consulting maps and books. Hell, outside of the scene where Indy leads the diggers up the hill to find the entrance to the Well of the Souls in Raiders, the scene at Orellana's Cradle is the only other scene that depicts Indy carrying a shovel.
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Re: The Adventures of Indiana Jones

Post  RiverThames on Sun Sep 16, 2012 4:12 pm

I do kind of love the Motorcycle Through The Library bit in KOTCS, if for no other reason the student who is unfazed by the whole thing and taking a moment to ask Dr. Jones a question. It's like it's pretty much known, if you have Dr. Jones as your prof, this stuff happens, and you've got to get your questions in whenever you get a chance.

I don't care for the jeeps/vines/ants sequence though. Of the four movies, it is the weakest third-act action set-piece by far. The truck sequence in Raiders and the tank sequence in Last Crusade have a visceral rawness that the vines & ants lacks. I'm not one to make the "Oh, CGI is lame" complaint, but this is one case where it really robs the scene of something.
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Re: The Adventures of Indiana Jones

Post  Binky on Tue Sep 18, 2012 2:39 pm

Marion is totally my favorite part of KOTCS.

And I agree that the chase scene is terrible, mostly because of the CGI. It comes off as silly, not ridiculously awesome like its predecessors
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