Thursday, May 22, 2008

Indiana Jones and the Cheesecake Factory

I'm a little blurry eyed this morning after trying to prove to myself that 31 isn't too old to go to a midnight showing of a movie. I realize that reviewing movies isn't the normal fare of this blog, but since it had Indiana in the title, I feel justified in sharing my thoughts.

As a fan of almost all non-duck related projects by George Lucas, I was understandably psyched about the newest Indy movie. I figured that they had already made a truly bad Indiana Jones movie (Temple of Doom), so this movie almost certainly couldn't be the worst entry in the series. The good news is that I was right. There was a lot to like about Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. There were good scenes, and some flashes of good dialogue. I dug the whole homage to the 50s thing, and even the "Kid from the movie with the Robots" held his own.

Ultimately, the movie falls flat for two reasons: 1. it doesn't take itself seriously even a little and 2. it has no emotional center. Now I realize that it's an action movie designed to entertain. But Raiders had a real sense of peril about it. All the first three movies had Indy somehow grow and change because of his adventure. He seemed to learn something as a skeptic or have his worldview challenged. KotCS (ugh) lacked any real sense of danger because in most of the scenes where people were escaping from danger, the people in front would stop and mug for the camera as the guy last in line would struggle to catch up. In the end, Indy's comment to sum up the 'moral' of the story ("their true treasure was knowledge") was utterly unrelated thematically to any of the other themes or events of the movie. He didn't grow and change in this film, so neither do we.

The weakest part of the movie was the direction, as Spielberg continually made choices to plant his tongue in his cheek instead of even giving the illusion that Indy was really scared. It's like he was scared to let the actors pretend to not be aware they were in an Indy Jones film. He seemed to dislike the premise of the film so much that he didn't want any sense of wonder or reality to seep in. He was content to let this be a campy homage to Indiana Jones films. It felt like if he taken the movie more seriously, the audience could too.

It's not a bad film at all. It just wasn't worth getting home at 2:30 AM to watch.

(Oh, and the inside joke in the title of this post refers to the decor of the restaurant we ate in and the fact that Indy finds a room with artifacts of all the ancient cultures of the world.)

Writers are out of touch. The Super Bowl is not a reward for the players-that's called the Pro Bowl. Wojo can shove it.

Stampede Blue passed 1,000,000 hits. Nice job Big Blue Shoe.

ESPN is doing a running list of greatest drivers. I'll start you at 15-11 because it has Unser and Mears (my all time favorite driver). Check out Fangio on 10-6. In Argentina, they have a premium grade of gas called Fangio. Why hasn't anyone here figured that out? Would you be more inclined to put premium in the tank if it was called Andretti? Yeah, fill up the Escort with Andretti, and be quick about it! Ok, maybe not the Escort, but you get my drift.

How do we know that Kelvin Sampson was dirty? Every player he brought in except for Crawford is now gone. Way to recruit quality guys there Kelvin.


Bob M. said...

Hey, if this football gig doesn't pan out, you write a damn good review.
I always thought Indy #2 was made so they could base a theme park ride on the mine-car chase scene. That one started off great in the Hong Kong casino, then went downhill fast. You're right, they already made their stinker, so we're insured against total crapitude, even with an ancient swashbuckler manning the whip and fedora. I'll see it for sure... in a few weeks, when the crowds thin.

Of course this does strongly suggest, with the 4th installment and the name Indiana in the title, that next year's 18to88 NFL forecast would compare Bellichick to Belloq or Major Toht from the first Indy movie, and I think Jack Del Rio reminds me of the Nazi strongman who looks imposing but in the end is dumb enough to get pureed by the airplane prop in the desert. Adrian Peterson is the Ark of the Covenant--can do amazing things, but can't drive the sub all by itself. Okay, I'll stop now. Just avoiding actual work anyway.

bd said...

Just checked the roster on, they have Melvin Bullitt listed as #38 and Rhodes at #33. So, it looks like he gave in. I, for one, thought he should have kept 33 for himself, Rhodes was the one that left the team. If his number was taken, too bad. I feel bad for Melvin. What do you guys think?

Bob M. said...

bd, I can only assume Melvin made some money on the deal. Some guys are more attached to their numbers than others.

Not sure where the market is these days, but Clinton Portis bought his numeral when he went to the Redskins--I think it was supposed to be $40 grand. He paid half, then the seller was cut, and he never paid the balance. There was a big stink.... It's all probably Googlable.

Now Dom is not making what Portis was, and even though that was a few years ago, I'd guess any price was considerably less than that. Maybe Melvin really didn't care.

Deshawn Zombie said...

Yeah, Dungy told Bullit that he should get some $ out of it, so I can only assume that Dom had to pony up big time. I wouldn't feel too bad for him.

bd said...

Well I guess you guys didn't see the video of Bullitt saying that he wouldn't give up the number no matter what the price because it was sentimental to him (something about his father). So, he really didn't want to give it up. It seems he got "big-timed" by Rhodes and the pressure from everybody else. That's why I feel bad for him. Plus I think the 33 goes well with the double-L and double-T. :)

Bob M. said...

bd, I hadn't seen the video, but look at it this way: Melvin is young and my guess is that Rhodes has 2 years here at most. There is even a possibility--though I doubt it--that Dom might not make it out of training camp. I know I am looking forward to seeing Mike Hart show his stuff. Maybe Melvin is too. If that were to happen, then Melvin got money, the good will of team and staff for "showing respect," AND the number. ;-)

Deshawn Zombie said...

bd...I think you are reading way too much into this. Bob is right, either one of these guys might not make the team. It's nice to tribute your father, but I know my dad would say, "TAKE THE F***ING MONEY SON!". Don't assume he got big timed. 20-30 K might convince anybody

Shake'n'bake said...

Rhodes made 2.5million with the Raiders last season (1 million signing bonus, 1.5mil salary). Rhodes also pocketed a 40k signing bonus on his new Colts contract and is scheduled to make about 230k more than Bullit next season. He probably had the money to burn for his number.

Shake'n'bake said...

forgot the hyperlinks I was going to add
Raiders Contract Info

Colts Contract Info

Awesome they work

bd said...

All I know is that first he says he won't give up the number no matter what, and then he's listed as 38 on the roster. I hope he did get some major cash.

Bob M. said...

He might have even been using the "this is my family number" bit as a negotiation ploy. In which case, he's a smart fella.

Off topic analogy: A few years ago a friend's grandmother died and the family gathered to divvy up her stuff; some with sentimental value, some monetary value, some junk. Each of the three adult grandkids took turns selecting furniture, or art, or linens, etc. and at one point my friend's older sister got all weepy and sniffed, "You're stealing from my children." He was tough enough to not let it get to him, but hey, it was worth a shot. Make 'em feel guilty if it gets you what you want. May have worked similarly for Melvin. Moral of the story: very tough to emotionally blackmail somebody whose known you for 35 years unless they already feel guilty about something.
But new teammates--hey, the slate is clean. Blackmail away, baby!