Indiana Jones and the Cheesecake Factory

I’m a little blurry eyed this morning after trying to prove to myself that 31 isn’t too old to go to a midnight showing of a movie. I realize that reviewing movies isn’t the normal fare of this blog, but since it had Indiana in the title, I feel justified in sharing my thoughts.

As a fan of almost all non-duck related projects by George Lucas, I was understandably psyched about the newest Indy movie. I figured that they had already made a truly bad Indiana Jones movie (Temple of Doom), so this movie almost certainly couldn’t be the worst entry in the series. The good news is that I was right. There was a lot to like about Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. There were good scenes, and some flashes of good dialogue. I dug the whole homage to the 50s thing, and even the “Kid from the movie with the Robots” held his own.

Ultimately, the movie falls flat for two reasons: 1. it doesn’t take itself seriously even a little and 2. it has no emotional center. Now I realize that it’s an action movie designed to entertain. But Raiders had a real sense of peril about it. All the first three movies had Indy somehow grow and change because of his adventure. He seemed to learn something as a skeptic or have his worldview challenged. KotCS (ugh) lacked any real sense of danger because in most of the scenes where people were escaping from danger, the people in front would stop and mug for the camera as the guy last in line would struggle to catch up. In the end, Indy’s comment to sum up the ‘moral’ of the story (“their true treasure was knowledge”) was utterly unrelated thematically to any of the other themes or events of the movie. He didn’t grow and change in this film, so neither do we.

The weakest part of the movie was the direction, as Spielberg continually made choices to plant his tongue in his cheek instead of even giving the illusion that Indy was really scared. It’s like he was scared to let the actors pretend to not be aware they were in an Indy Jones film. He seemed to dislike the premise of the film so much that he didn’t want any sense of wonder or reality to seep in. He was content to let this be a campy homage to Indiana Jones films. It felt like if he taken the movie more seriously, the audience could too.

It’s not a bad film at all. It just wasn’t worth getting home at 2:30 AM to watch.

(Oh, and the inside joke in the title of this post refers to the decor of the restaurant we ate in and the fact that Indy finds a room with artifacts of all the ancient cultures of the world.)

Writers are out of touch. The Super Bowl is not a reward for the players-that’s called the Pro Bowl. Wojo can shove it.

Stampede Blue passed 1,000,000 hits. Nice job Big Blue Shoe.

ESPN is doing a running list of greatest drivers. I’ll start you at 15-11 because it has Unser and Mears (my all time favorite driver). Check out Fangio on 10-6. In Argentina, they have a premium grade of gas called Fangio. Why hasn’t anyone here figured that out? Would you be more inclined to put premium in the tank if it was called Andretti? Yeah, fill up the Escort with Andretti, and be quick about it! Ok, maybe not the Escort, but you get my drift.

How do we know that Kelvin Sampson was dirty? Every player he brought in except for Crawford is now gone. Way to recruit quality guys there Kelvin.