Today’s Overlooked Movie Monday column comes from an avid Scene-Stealers reader who also happens to be a filmmaker and the singer/guitarist of Motion City Soundtrack. You may remember when Justin Pierre and Eric did a joint video review for “New Moon” back in 2009. Well, now Justin is back to mount an impassioned defense of one of the most maligned fanboy movies of the last couple years. Here’s Justin…
The bloodshed spilled over the great debate of “Indiana Jones and The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull” has gone greatly unnoticed by the general public. This is due to the argument being overshadowed by so-called “important” debates such as Pro-Life vs. Pro-Choice, or Creamy vs. Chunky, and it being shuffled under the rug by the powers that be. But let me be the first to tell you, this is serious business.
I’m writing this now, two years later, hidden safely in a lead-lined refrigerator of my very own design, as I proclaim the same opinion: “Indiana Jones & The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull” is seriously awesome and those that disagree with me can suck it!
I know that I am in the minority with my heavy praise for Indy 4, but I do not care. The film delivers everything I’ve come to expect in a Harrison Ford/Steven Spielberg vehicle: Action, Comedy, Chase Scenes, Fist Fights, Witty Banter, Secrets Of The Universe Unearthed By A College Professor, Overly Simplified Explanations Of Shit That Makes No Sense To Anyone, Tight Spots That Nobody Except Indiana Jones Could Possibly Get Out Of, and let’s not forget my favorite: INCREDIBLY TERRIBLE SPECIAL EFFECTS!!!
This is what makes Indy 4 no different from any other film in the series that has come before it. The only problem with this film is that the people making it had too much faith in the people who would come to see it.
A few months before Indy 4 opened in theaters I purchased a cheap box set of the first three films along with all the other supplies I was stocking up with for the current tour I was going on. The plan was to watch each film (one per day) in order, leading up to the fourth day (May 26th, a day off—and my birthday).
I would then take a handful of people out to view Indy 4 in celebration of me growing one year closer to death. While re-watching the first three Indy films, I noticed something I’d forgotten in the 20-30 years that have passed since I’d seen them: These films are stupid.
I mean that with the greatest amount of respect a guy my size can muster. It had been so long since I’d seen them all from start to finish, that it occurred to me that my memory of the films and the films themselves were not in sync. I remember them being a lot cooler than they actually were. If it is starting to sound as though I do not like these films, let me assure you that that couldn’t be further from the truth. I LOVE THESE FILMS. It’s just that there’s a big difference between a 20-year-old memory of an event and the accurate actuality of it.
If I were to guess, I’d say that 98 percent of the people who went to see Indy 4 did not brush up on the original trilogy before venturing into the theater. So to those who had a problem with Dr. Jones escaping a nuclear explosion by way of General Electric’s finest, may I remind you that he previously escaped death by jumping from an airplane with a raft he inflated during the several thousand-feet fall to the safety of a black diamond snow-capped mountain. Boom! Roasted!
And to those who thought the whole alien angle in “Crystal Skull” was cheesy, what about the Ark Of The Covenant and The Holy Grail? Because these are so-called religious artifacts does that pardon them from scrutiny? The sought-after items in each film are all equally ridiculous in my opinion.
The idea that these items could actually exist is what makes these films interesting. These films are adventure romps. They are popcorn munch-worthy.They are about escapism, not realism. To truly enjoy yourself, you must suspend your belief. If you want realism, I suggest you watch the silent autopsies on Stan Brakhage’s “By Brakhage” DVD because everything else out there is pretty much make-believe, good people.
Nearly 20 years had passed since the last Indiana Jones film and this newest one. It seems quite obvious that the people involved had so much fun doing them that they wanted at it again. Can you think of any other series that could go on that grand a hiatus and come out on top? Granted, everything that Spielberg touches turns into a pile of cash, but the human race is a fickle bunch.
I know there are a lot of words in this article and not much has been said. I begged Eric to give me a shot at writing something for Scene-Stealers—as I am an avid fan. I appreciate you all allowing me the chance to rant. I really love movies, and I really love the Indiana Jones films. It just bums me out that people would turn their backs on a series as fun and exciting as this one.
If you disagree with me and think that Indy 4 is a steaming pile, you don’t have to suck it. I was angry a few paragraphs back, but some time has passed and I’ve had that cup of coffee I desperately needed. I just want to urge any non-believers to try the Indiana Jones litmus test one last time before passing final judgment.
Watch all of the films in order, one after another. I guarantee you’ll have a better grasp on the reality of all things Indy.
Motion City Soundtrack’s newest album “My Dinosaur Life,” is out now.