Monday, June 02, 2008

Three by Three

Sorry for the unanticipated hiatus - may not be back for good yet, but we'll see.

A reminder - Three by three is entirely spoiler-filled; I make no efforts to not reveal endings, twists, or plot turns.

Three things I liked about Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

  • The acting. Ford does a very good job of making Indy an older, slower man while not denuding the character so much that we wince at his physicality. LeBouf and Allen, as the key supporting characters, are fine - I kept having to remind myself that the reason Marian is less feisty, less of a firecracker, more matronly here, is because she is in her 60s.
  • The action - Spielberg's deft hand is as fine as ever. The extended chase in the jungle sequence is inventive, thrilling, and pitched at just the right tone. And I love how Indy reacts to his son as an action hero - there are some great bits where we see some wonderful emotions of fatherly pride play across Indy's face.
  • The ending - not the action, MacGuffin ending, but the wedding. A perfect, very real-feeling, and very natural place to end the story.

Three things I did not like about Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

  • The plot. While Crusade or Raiders may not have had any real credibility as far as the way archaeological discoveries are really made, the way that Indy found the Ark and Grail - and why he wanted them - were always clear. Here, I never really understood what these skulls were supposed to be, how one went missing, or how he found it. It also felt a little claustrophobic, with none of the globe-trotting episodic nature of the other stories coming through.
  • The ending - Still not really sure what happened.
  • The aliens. In theory, aliens are no more or less outlandish than arks that can melt faces. In practice, they were a bit too credibility-straining. (And no, that they weren't aliens from space, but rather from "between spaces" didn't help.

Until Whenever

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