Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Monday, October 20, 2008

The Top Ten Things I learned from Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

In my quest to catch up with as many summer blockbusters as I can,Netflix obliged me
by shipping out Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull for my weekend viewing pleasure.

Now,I know that plenty of Indy fans out there see this film as an abomination,especially the fellas at South Park(I wonder if it was just a timing coincidence that their take on the movie premiered a week before the DVD release or not). However,I was still curious enough to check it out for myself.

On the plus side,it was cool to see Karen Allen's Marion Ravenwood reunite with Indy onscreen,even if she didn't kick as much butt as she did in the original Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Too bad that the writers didn't think to have her throw down on the psychic Communista head villianess,Irina(well played by Cate Blanchett,who also seemed to be held back by the script). That would've made this movie worth seeing in first run mode.

Many people found the whole theme of the plot to be rather unlike the usual Indy Jones flick,but come on,folks,he couldn't fight the Nazis forever! In the 1950's,the main fictional fantasy foes were Communists and space aliens(with fears about radiation turning plants,animals and people into giant monsters to boot). That part was fine with me,even tho the whole "Indy wandering into a nuclear test site" bit was a tad too obvious there.

What was annoying to me was Shia LeBouf's Mutt Williams,a pseudo"Rebel Without a Cause" teen hood who ropes Indiana into the rest of the plot about seeking the crystal skulls and is connected to Indy in more ways than one(*wink!*). When he first appeared onscreen,driving up to Dr. Jones' departing train in that sad homage to "The Wild One',my mother(who was watching the movie with me)said out loud,"Give me a break!" Hey,it's no joke-sometimes,Mom does know best!

LeBouf's a big up and coming star and all of that,but frankly,folks,I don't see it from his work in this movie. He wasn't horrible,just very unconvincing as some tough,switchblade welding,don't-mess-up-my-hair greaser kid out of a fifties biker movie. He seemed to be play acting rather than acting,and his fight scenes were sad. Short Round was more badass and that kid wasn't old enough to shave!

So,was this movie a complete disaster that blemished the good name of the Indiana Jones franchise? Not really. It was entertaining enough and compared to the likes of Batman and Robin,not that bad.

Was this a pointless sequel? Yeah,unless the point was to generate some more money for Lucas and Spielberg,not to mention seeing if there would be any positive reception for a spin-off featuring the adventures of Mutt Williams(ick).

Basically,Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is a decent rental,but not something you desperately need to own in your video library. The movie does have a few merits but is not as classic as any of the earlier films in the series. It does give you a few interesting life lessons that I'll share with you now:

10) If you want to be a good archeologist,you have got to get out of the library!

9) Bringing a knife to a gun fight is a bad idea.

8) You're not a triple agent if you lie about being a double one.

7) The best way to survive a nuclear bomb test is by hiding out in a refrigerator:

6) When it comes to scorpions,the bigger the better. If a small one bites you,don't keep it to yourself.

5) As far as defiant last words go,"I like Ike" goes best with communist villains:

4) Sometimes,you'll get a quicker response by saying "Grab the rope" instead of "Grab the snake!"

3) Let's not let the kid see Mom and Dad fight while everyone's being taken prisoner by the bad guys,okay?

2) Be sure you really want to know everything before being uploaded with extraterrestrial knowledge(*spoiler clip*! You have been warned):

1) Go back to school,kid!( spoilers aplenty in this parody,but so damn funny. You have been warned):

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