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22 June 2008 @ 05:14 pm
Busy weekending  
elvinborn and I got dolled up and went to see Indie the other night.

Verdict:  It was awesome!

For the use of this review, the word "Indie" refers to an Indiana Jones movie, not an independent film.  ;)

I didn't really think I'd enjoy this movie.  For one thing, I have an automatic distaste for franchises that outlive their maturity.  For another thing, I just couldn't conceive of how they could follow Last Crusade.  So I put off seeing it.  But I knew elvinborn wanted to see it, and I really wanted to go out the other night, so we went.

I enjoyed it much more than I expected to.  Lucas, who generally has the delicacy of a rhinoceros on steroids, has nonetheless kept his source material as intact as possible, with generous amounts of loving homage dusted all over the place.  Shia LaBeouf is, um.  Surprisingly yummy.  *cough*  But he and Harrison Ford play off each other great, too.

Watching Harrison Ford climbing all over the place wasn't quite as upsetting as I thought it would be.  And I had to cheer when they brought Karen Allen back into the plot.  She was always my favorite Indie girl anyway.  Please god let's hope that the two of them getting married at the end means no more climbing through truck windows for Indie.  And yes, let's have some Cate Blanchett, shall we?  Yes I think we shall.  Not to mention John Hurt!

But I did feel there was something lacking in the film, and it's similar to what was missing in Temple of Doom.  By the end, I had made up my mind... it wasn't something lacking.  It was just something that made it feel like less of an Indie film and more of... an awesome, but not quite, Indie film.  And that was God.

Judeo-Christian mythos has a particular kind of oomph in our culture.  It's what gave Raiders of the Lost Ark and Last Crusade that sense of the numinous that made them so... extra-special, beyond spooky and into the realm of awe.  Those films appeal to something well familiar to our culture, the same way that so many Japanese movies appeal to a generally-accepted mythological system (that makes them seem odd and inexplicable to us once they cross the water).  Temple of Doom had scripting (and casting) problems, sure, but at least a part of what was wrong with it was the fact that it was dealing with a lot of plot that would be far, far more terrifying if you had learned the mythos from childhood.

Alien conspiracy mythos also has its own oomph, but it's pretty different.  So when all of the alien stuff started happening, I felt the power of the scenes, but it wasn't at all like what went on inside me in Raiders when they opened the Ark.  Someone who believes in aliens the way I believe in God would doubtless have had a different reaction.  But at that moment, I found myself admiring the special affects, rather than going, "Holy crap look at what's HAPPENING to those people!"

Let's face it... Indie doesn't need to always be about God.  And in a way, it would be cheating to always have him dealing with God stuff, since it's an inexpensive way to borrow on a long-standing cultural cache.  So I refuse to say it's a flaw.  It was just different.

Changing the time period gave the whole thing a different feeling, too.  I enjoyed every minute of the fifties shtick, I admit, and in fact... I think I enjoyed it to the point where it distracted me from the plot.  *snerk*

Things that really, honestly, did annoy me:  the fridge jumped the fucking shark.  Also, I have a hard time deciding which bugged me worse:  Mac's constant side-switching, or Mac himself (I was chanting to myself, "DIE ALREADY," by the end of the film, and was very upset that it took him UNTIL THE VERY END to do so).  Other than that, I'm pissed off that I bought the boxed set already when this is such a worthy addition to the series.

elvinborn just got back from Alaska the other day, and she brought me back a necklace with a koru pendant made of caribou horn, with an abalone inset... it is made of win.  :)  Will post pic of me wearing it sometime.  (elvish, remind me to bug you to take a pic of me wearing it.)
rogue equestrian: DF:: Harry sorta smileelvinborn on June 23rd, 2008 04:37 am (UTC)
hee! i never believed Mac's switch back to CIA anyway, but it was irritating. Indiana, though, must have somebody on the wrong side to try to save in the end.

Shia was awesome. He turned out to be ideal for his role, and he was, indeed, tasty. :D

pictures. yis
ryokoturdburgler on June 23rd, 2008 03:15 pm (UTC)
I haven't seen it yet, and I kind of want to, but kind of don't. :/

I heard about the fridge things. *eyeroll*
(lead is pretty poisonous all on its own, too, especially that much of it)

Shia... never liked him, never saw his appeal. Don't dislike him, just don't care. Ambivalence. Kind of like how I feel about that Legolas guy (geez, I can't even think of his name, alzheimersalzheimers). Anyway, maybe if I ever get off my lazy duff and finally go see this movie Shia will actually appeal to me more than he has so far. I keep hearing how good he is in this, so...


Random: Saw the last half of the modern Pride & Prejudice movie last night.

Didn't like it nearly as much as the 1940 version. Lots of eye-candy (on both sides) to be sure, but I just didn't feel the characters came out to me as much, nor did I really feel the divide between the middle-class folks and the rich folks that I did in the original 1940 version. Also. No one can really hold a candle to Laurence Olivier, so I guess I was biased from the start. :) Also, Mrs Bennet was so far from the awesomeness of Mary Boland in the 1940 version that... it was almost depressing.

The biggest thing though, I didn't like that Elisabeth was so hot in this one. JANE was supposed to be the hot one while Elisabeth was average-looking but quite intelligent and witty compared to the others. It's kind of a cop-out to me in this modern one because it's never difficult to "fall for" someone intelligent and witty like Elizabeth who is also super-hot too. If I had a peener, Keira Knightly would give me instant wood too and I'm female! This change kind of removes some of the impact of the original story, IMO.

To be fair, this modern version seemed more faithful to the book than the 1940 version, but the 1940 version I think worked better as a movie for the changes they made. One thing I did miss was that they removed almost all of the humor for this new version. Also this version still glossed over the fact that Lady Catherine NEVER approved of D'Arcy's engagement to Elizabeth (at least they didn't play her angry visit off like she 'meant' to do that like in order to help D'Arcy like in the 1940 version). After Lady Catherine flounced out of the Bennets' house, D'Arcy mentioned it once more and then dismissed it casually. I guess maybe I like Dramedies better than straight-up Dramas. Heh!

Ah well!

Greer Garson FTMFW!
Wiseacre: Greerewin on June 24th, 2008 01:21 am (UTC)
Oooo, thanks for the review. :)

*takes a moment to luz on Greer* (Who was also way too pretty to play Lizzie. But we luz her anyway.)
ryokoturdburgler on June 24th, 2008 01:34 am (UTC)
Sorry for barfing this into your post! But you're the only one I know who's even possibly seen the original 1940 version which was so AWESOME in so many ways and I can't wank gratuitously about it to to anyone else, waaaaaaah waaaaah waaaaaaah! ;_;

Okay, I'm better now. *cough*
Wiseacreewin on June 24th, 2008 01:34 am (UTC)
Barf away!
ryoko: Glanceturdburgler on June 24th, 2008 01:38 am (UTC)
I... I think I'm done. I'll save the rest of the flaying for when I see the first half of the modern version only to realize the chick playing Catherine is not as snobby and bitchy as the original one! Zing!
teacherla on June 23rd, 2008 03:51 pm (UTC)
See, I think what was missing from this one and from the Doom is the lack of a significant personal rivalry for Indy.
Wiseacreewin on June 24th, 2008 01:22 am (UTC)
That's a good point. I'll have to think on that one.