Discussion in 'Community' started by Souderwan, Dec 27, 2012.
well i don't particularly like steve zahn so i guess timothy zahniness because i don't know
The Indy debate is pretty simple for me. Each sequel diminishes in quality, with the drop becoming more severe with each installment.
Temple of Doom is fantastic. The whole world, including Spielberg himself, is missing out by refusing to see how absurdly fun that thing is.
Last Crusade is wacky nonsense, still a robust adventure film, but totally lacking any edge whatsoever.
Crystal Skull is the worst film Spielberg has made since... Hook? Or The Lost World, perhaps. It is utterly soulless, sexless, and has an overabundance of characters who do bugger-all. It's an addendum rather than an equal installment. I don't know how people can deceive themselves into thinking there's anything of worth there, but whatever.
Remembered the days when they made good movies worth staying awake for.
Film Trilogies where I unequivocally like all entries in the trilogy:
Star Wars PT and OT (hopefully ST will be added to this list)
Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings
Once Upon A Time in China (Jet Li version)
Jin Yong's wuxia trilogy (Legend of the Condor Heroes, Return of the Condor Heroes, Heaven Sword & Dragon Sabre)
The Obsidian Mountain Trilogy by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory
Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Queen's Thief series #1-3 by Megan Whalen Turner
The Abhorsen series #1-3 by Garth Nix
Howl's Moving Castle trilogy by Diana Wynne Jones
The Chalion trilogy by Lois McMaster Bujold
Touchstone Trilogy by Andrea K. Host
Sword of Change by Patricia Bray
I can't add some trilogies that are candidates because I haven't seen or read all of them or else, the creators haven't completed them yet.
maybe this is part of the problem. but when the fun involves willie screaming at and being grossed out by foods like eyeball soup, and situations where every gross bug on planet earth congregates at the location of the switch that reverses the spikes and indy "turns bad" it's a bit tough. i mean, it's entirely possible i'm missing something here.
I'm much harder on Temple of Doom than Fourdot; I find Willie amusing sometimes, when she's not anchoring a scene, but she's so shrill and so much of a substanceless caricature that when the film tries to revolve the scenes and the humor around her, it doesn't work. So the stretch of the film between the raft escape and the entrance to the tunnels, when the film is pretty much entirely relying on awful Willie humor, falls flat and drags terribly, and other scenes are impacted to various degrees . . . but it's still better than Crystal Skull. Crystal Skull has its handful of moments, and it's not entirely dire, but it never really puts it together, and never hits the heights of fun that the earlier movies, including TOD (which is packed full enough of both madcap and macabre adventure that not even Willie can diminish it too badly) constantly hit. From the very beginning, when the majestic mountain-transition intro is replaced with a transition into a molehill for the sake of a brief CGI-prairie-dog gag, that kind of tells you all you need to know.
Low / Heroes / Lodger
Brits have way more success, in general, faking American accents than Americans have faking British ones.
Actually Hugh Laurie's pretty good at one.
A good chunk of Doctor Who guest actors who try to do them on the other hand...
You did know that Doctor House was played by a Brit, right JP?
wow, i thought hu-lo-ri was a chinese man! color me shocked!
I honestly can't think of any other than the LotR film trilogy. I would say the original Star Wars trilogy, but I know that it led to the prequel trilogy, which tainted everything the OT did.
I got it!
The Night Angel novel trilogy by Brent Weeks! Very awesome fantasy/action trilogy. I also enjoyed R.A. Salvatore's Crimson Shadow and Dark Elf trilogies as a child (though as an adult the writing style leaves much to be desired, sadly).
I will also add Matt Stover's Cain trilogy to the list of satisfying novel trilogies. The third book wasn't quite as good as, say, the first one, but overall it was a decent read.
The response is basically the same so I'll group them together: Temple of Doom is a more full-bore throwback to classic adventure serials of the RKO vein than even Raiders was, so logic goes out the window, Willie doesn't need to be a well-rounded character because she's not meant to be, everything is more ridiculous and there are more action beats. The way that Spielberg + Katz/Huyck justify it, if you want, is that the film is all about Indy being even more encumbered than he was in the first one. Marion and Sallah are useful allies in Raiders, so how do you raise the stakes for the sequel? Give him useless hangers-on. I always find Scott to be funny because the whole point is that she finds the universe she's in to be repugnant - in fact, given the way that people endlessly bitch and moan about the more out-there components of TOD she can convincingly be sold as an audience surrogate. So too is Short Round, a fanboy who has been put into the film itself and is for the most part a liability.
The film never truly revolves around her, it only occasionally switches to her perspective when we need to see the situation with fresh eyes, specifically Indy going bonkers and Indy going suicidal. In essence, the key complaint seems to be that she's not Marion, but that's the point. She heightens the level of difficulty for the protagonist, in the way that the damsels in distress of old did, before we entered this age of faux-equal heroines who can supposedly stand toe-to-toe with the hero, except they can't. See: every post-Goodnight Bond girl.
Maybe I'm just grateful for TOD for my own existence (how my father got away with that as a first date movie is beyond me), but I can't help but have a big cheesy grin plastered all over my face when watching that film from the Paramount-gong to that final kiss. It's not Raiders, but then Raiders is only equaled by Star Wars as the most precise and meticulously effective adventure film of all time, for my money. It's an unfair benchmark against to judge against.
Ender, you are far from the only one who says that Marcus is out of character in Crusade. That's a really widely held opinion, in fact. But you're just as wrong as everyone else who repeats this criticism constantly.
All we see of Marcus in Raiders is him at school, in his element. And when he's in those situations in Crusade, he is exactly the same in tone and bearing as he is in Raiders ("I'll tell him we'll take two.") But it becomes pretty clear, and is even stated within the film itself, that he's not someone who works in the field. He is unaccustomed to experiencing foreign cultures up close. And even if he's done some field archaeology, that's hardly the same as being dragged on one of Indy's adventures. The guy isn't dumb, he's just completely out of his element.
And the suggestion by some that Crusade is all laughs and has no weight or seriousness to it apparently have never seen the third act of that film, which is the most serious and dire section of any Indy film.
You did know that Doctor House is not a real documentary, and the "Hugh Laurie" is the real life name of the person that pretends to be him in the televised fiction stories, right JP?
I can't tell who's playing who anymore in this thread
I totally agree in concept. Putting Indy up against an out-of-her-element diva in distress is a great idea, giving him an obstacle and a fun counterpart to play off in a fresh way. I just don't think TOD lands the execution -- it veers too often toward obnoxious without being all that funny. There are ways to make an annoying character funny without being too annoying, but I don't think TOD hits that sweet spot. Willie is too grating and not funny enough.
It just doesn't work nearly as well as Raiders does, at least to me. Belloq's dry humor has a hard edge to it throughout the film, particularly when they're on the island near the end. That's a good point you make about Marcus being out of his element. You could say that we see him outside his academic realm and in the real world. Still, either way, I didn't like him much there.
There's an intangible element that permeates Raiders and is just about absent in Last Crusade to me. I think the last part of the film begins to recapture it, but even so, it's not enough. I should watch it again so I can make a judgment based on more evidence than a decade (or more) old viewing. Where Raiders just did things, Last Crusade made more of a point to say "LOOK!" from time to time. Both films feature Nazis going over cliffs, but the one in Raiders doesn't have any more than a Wilhem scream. In Crusade, you get a closeup of the guy in the tank on his way down. For my appreciation of a film, that is not good. Raiders almost veers into that with the melting face at the end, but the overall sequence is so tremendous that it gets away with it (plus the technology wasn't remotely what it would be today, and I think how it turned out is more a function of what they had to work with).
Thinking back on it, Raiders walks a fine line itself at times. Karen Allen has most of those moments, between drinking the liquor between literal shots, hitting a guy with a frying pan and hitting Indy with a mirror, and those are just what quickly come to mind. Maybe I just like Raiders much more overall and forgive it more easily than I do Last Crusade.
As a kid I found it just silly and annoying, but as an adult I find Temple of Doom to be racist and sexist schlock. I've only seen Crystal Skulls once, but I didn't find it as offensive as shrieking female lead and stereotypical Chinese sidekick palling around with Hindus eating monkey brains. Blech.
EDIT: Also, Brits like Hugh Laurie and Jamie Bamber are good with American accents, but not perfect. They tend to over-enunciate.
@KnightWriter: The Nazi going down in the tank off the cliff in Crusade was General Vogel, one of the film's antagonists (and hence the close up), as opposed to the fellows in Raiders who were just random Nazi's. I think that makes a bit of a difference.
That's true, and it does make some difference, but not enough.
So do you enjoy Crusade or not, jp?