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Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Movie References (Wanna play?)

Posted at 4:17 PM on May 21, 2008 by Euan Kerr (4 Comments)

The new Indiana Jones film is finally upon us and as people line up for midnight screenings tonight no doubt there will be excitement, disappointment and endless discussion of whether Harrison Ford looks old.

Well, yes he does, but it suits him, especially as he seems to have been shot in a soft focus which gives the light around him this ethereal look which makes him look vaguely saint-like. Which may be his true role if he is meant to be the Hollywood blockbuster savior this summer.

"Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" is a lot of Spielberg fun. On a summer evening with a packed house and a tub of popcorn it'll hit the spot.

It's a spectacle, and so don't expect it to make a whole lot of sense.

Let's face it: the charm of the Indiana Jones franchise is action-packed silliness. Lots of car chases, punch-ups, spooky archaeological sites, and if possible a combination of all three simultaneously. And of course there's the cartoon-like indestructibility on the part of Mr Jones and his all-star crew.

But here's the thing: this movie is a walking talking homage to blockbusters of the past - and not just action thrillers. It's a movie trivia goldmine. People are going to be picking up these references for weeks.

We have Shia LaBoeuf echoing Brando in "The Wild One." The crystal skull is plucked from "Alien."

I caught whiffs of "Tarzan," "The Mummy," "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," "ET," some "Star Wars" and at least one "Beach" movie, as well as sly references to the other Indy films. I started looking for a shark reference (this is Spielberg after all,) but didn't find it. Maybe on a later viewing.

I'd be interested to hear what other films people see in "The Crystal Skull."

Comments (4)

It was terrible, and judging from the comments I overheard coming out of the theater around 2:30 this morning I am not alone in my judgment. I do enjoy the other Indy movies but this one comes far short of the prior adventures. Perhaps it was the lack of Nazis, perhaps it was the perfect Tarzan impression by a novice to jungle vines or a combination of many over the top ridiculous events that occur even for Dr. Jones.

The foreshadowing is like a brick that repeatedly hits you in the face. I found myself several times pummeled from this bludgeoning saying come on already we get it. There is a good chance this movie may kill the Indiana Jones series that I had until now hoped would continue like the James Bond movies. To keep from spoiling the movie for those who haven't seen it but still might I will stop here, but I would urge someone that their money would be better spent paying the your price of admission to the IRS in extra taxes than sit through the crystal skull.

Posted by Rick | May 22, 2008 1:46 PM

Look, people, this is pathetic. Stop thinking that every movie on the planet is meant to be Oscarâ„¢ worthy. INDY 4 was cleary just meant to be fun for the cast, crew, and audience. All it is is a fun, summer treat for people who want to see and adventure movie. Geez!

Posted by Emmet Kowler | May 25, 2008 12:31 PM

I thought it was ace. Ford's rehash of Sean Connery's brilliant line from The Untouchables... "trust a wop to bring a knife to a gun party" made me laugh out loud, along with the motorcycle stunt in the library being exactly the same as the one from Die Another Day... except funnier. All good fun. The less said about the tarzan bit the better, but Ford does have other interests in the Amazon and Primates being vice chairman of Conservation International: the Chairman being Russell Mittermeier a self confessed Tarzan nut (look him up on Amazon, Ford has even forewarded one of his books), So the tarzan silliness might not be all Spielberg...

anyway, see it and make your own minds up eh!

Posted by Paul | May 27, 2008 5:17 PM

I really enjoyed this. Had Harrison Ford tried to play a younger man I would have been disappointed, but it was great. I loved the spiral staircase, and the tribes, and the model town. It was chewing gum for the eyes, just the way it was meant to be.

Posted by Fiona Mungavin | May 30, 2008 8:30 AM

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