Wednesday, November 05, 2008

To Change The Subject
Rather than penalize myself for the decision of the just-about-every-network in creation to spew wall-to-wall election coverage (even if I expected McCain to win -and i actually thought he would pull it off), I Netflixed up the latest eructation of the Indiana Jones series.
Oh my sweet, forgiving Lord what an awful movie. Of course there were some moments that were wonderful and I'll hit them first so the bile doesn't overspill the esophageal dam and ruin and otherwise sucky day. Number one: Karen Allen. How great to have her back in the series after attempts to make Kate Capshaw and ... and ... (crickets) somebody else I'm sure into love interests. I kept looking as closely at her as I could because I'm trying to figure how she's aged. It was only after a snippet from the original in one of the special features that I saw it. She's heavier in a way: her face is wider (yeah, I know it's strange but trust me). She had a kind of fresh, even dewy beauty originally that she's lost but she's still cute as hell and an inspiration to women as to how to age well. Karen - love ya! On the other hand, the usually enchanting Cate Blanchett is lousy in this flick. If this was all you'd seen of her work, you'd thnk she must be sleeping with producer to get the part. Pity.
Next, production design is first rate. The crystal skeletons are works of art. And all the set design, CGI work and costuming is top notch. Though I take great exception to the absurb Marlon Brando call-back of the damn cap Shia LeBeef (yes - I know!) is wearing when he first rides in. So unnecessary.
But then, later, the monkeys with DA hair that come in like the cavalry are very amusing. Poor execution of CGI (unusually) but amusing enough to make up for it.
Despite what Spielberg & Lucas think, Harrison Ford was too old to play the swashbuckling hero of old. But he is an actor of remarkable empathy so I daresay we give him a pass on this one. I like Ford too much to denigrate him on this role.

OK, that said, the rest is a total crapfest. The eeeevil Soviets are cartoon characters - Boris Badunov and Natasha Fatale writ large with no moose and skwerl to lighten the load. I suppose they had to gin up an idea (that the Georgian butcher of millions Stalin was interested in psychic weapons) but it was, charitably, poorly done.
(Oh my. I have to attend to something else. There is so much more to screed about. I'll continue this later with an update and a snipping out of this note. BD)

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