Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Indiana Jones and the Recliner Seats of Narcolepsy

I think it's from years of 'Net surfing, but I commonly fall asleep in movies - microsleeps which can turn into extended snorefests, if I'm not careful, depending on the film - so it was with more than a little self-doubt in my ability to stay alert in a cushy, expensive Gold Class cinema experience, that I went with friends to see "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" tonight.

I survived! I know there were at least two times when I suddenly realised I'd missed a bit of the narrative after an overly long blink, but the film is worth seeing a second time, so that's not really a problem. It's come under some heavy criticisms in the press, too, but I did enjoy the movie very much. It was more involving than many sequences in "... The Last Crusade" (tank chases - ugh!) and it was heaps better than "... The Temple of Goo, er, Doom". (Put me off mangulated monkey brains for several months.)

"Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" was probably as entertaining as the film which started it all: "Raiders of the Lost Ark". That was one of those films from my early days of Star Trek fandom and impromptu movie parties - coinciding with me helping my Dad out in his bread shop So Very Early on Saturday mornings before heading off to ASTREX meetings, followed by dinner and a movie - bit "Raiders" goes down in history as the late night feature film that is impossible to sleep through, no matter how early one got up to bake fruit buns... just as long as one sat next to a friend named Ruth who thumps both fist onto one's forearm whenever danger stalks our hero. (And, of course, in "Raiders" that happened Very Often.) But I digress. Back to "... the Crystal Skull".

Even though I saw this new film Ruthlessly, there were sufficient action and crystal skull goodness - and a well-timed serving of baked lemon and lime cheesecake served to me in the dark by a Gold Class waiter - to keep me alert. I was very pleased to see the Marion/Indy story arc come full circle - I think I recall reading once that they had tried, but failed, to get Karen Allen into the second film.

They've certainly set the scene for someone younger than Harrison Ford to take over the film franchise one day, should they need more films to inspire more theme park rides some day. (I'm sure several scenes from this one were only included so they could inspire an Indy theme park ride.) The amusing opening sequences in Area 51 were worth the price of admission alone, but then the Indy films have always specialised in having great opening sequences!

This film experience was, um, "gold class" (at least for me), even if the film wasn't as perfect as many diehard Ingy fans were hoping for these past nineteen years. Sure, there were probably lots of CGI scenes filmed on totally blue chromakey "sets", but I only really notice that stuff when people point it out, or I see lots of blue background in "making of" scenes. They were only noticeable a few times - well, to me anyway.

A great film - check it out for yourself before all the spoilers are out in the headlines!

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