Saturday 24th May 2008

When you have been waiting nineteen years for a sequel you can expect two things. Firstly a major marketing blitz from National Lottery scratch cards to cereal box tie ins. Thankfully I am at an age when I can see through all of that. Secondly a desire for everyone to try and associate themselves with the great adventurer, even the Beeb whom screen the trilogy over the past three Sunday evenings. What can I say after having seen the movie with Pav yesterday evening in Reading? Overall disappointing but there are plenty of moments which make it worthwhile to watch but it does not have the same touch or tone as the previous three movies. Time has moved on and perhaps 1957 is the ideal last year for an outing for a man that keeps a whip by his side and is afraid of snakes but relies on no modern technology whatsoever. A few later and the country (if not the planet) was interested in the space race and the place for an archeologist would have disappeared for good. For me, the outstanding part of the film is Cate Blanchet’s performance as the Soviet Union Doctor Irina Spalko. She was absolutely convincing as the villain and a great match for Indiana. However I felt that Jones needed more than one villain to make this movie worthwhile. A hero is only as good as the villain he is pitted against but this is just a small flaw (of many in the film). Visually there is a desire to make the film look the same as the previous three so you cannot realise that nearly twenty years have past since the last adventure. This is fine and for me, a great break from all the flashy CGI that I see in the majority of the movies I watch (predominately of the super hero genre). The ending is extremely disappointing which is a great shame because the rest of the movie stands up as a glowing tribute to the previous three movies but also being an Indy film in it’s own right. However, perhaps with the gap between the last installment, I have grown up (I was only seven when the Last Crusade was released this day in 1989) and my expectations have grown following a diet of summer Hollywood blockbusters – some good, some very bad. Even having said that I am sure some of the kids in the audience would have felt the movie must have let them down after all the hype and months of build up. Or perhaps they just go home, go to sleep and forget about it and look forward to their next trip to the cinema. Watch out for a tongue-in-cheek reference to the Back To The Future trilogy in there too. The time machine was originally going to be a fridge which had to be within the range of an atomic bomb to enable the occupant to travel through time. However Lucas and Spielberg decided against this because they felt too many children which try and hide inside the them, so the DeLorean was chosen instead (not a bad choice in retrospect). I would still recommend you go to the cinema to watch this movie, it is worth that at least, mainly because I did not get the chance to do so the first (three) time. The action scenes are fantastic and there are various twists in the plot which leave it open for the fifth (and final?) installment but we shall see. It was fun but there was the classic lines that I could quote from the top of my head as there is with Last Crusade. I was disappointed that Jim Broadbent did not have a bigger role as Marcus Brody was my favourite character from the previous adventure. There are nods to him, in a framed photograph on Henry Jones’ desk and the sculpture at the University. (Although there was no barber shop as shown on the Wikipedia page). In summary then, good but could have been much better. A shame because I had great hopes that this would be a hidden gem for the summer movie season. Do not just take my word for it, read a few other reviews! But there good sides to every tale, during the trailer spot I saw a spot for Wanted. It looks amazing and I look forward to it’s release at the end of June. Angelina Jolie, fast cars and guns – what more could you ask for?


This evening sees me attend my first ever Eurovision Party! I have been assigned a country and organised my outfit yesterday. All set for the festivities to begin this evening at 8pm with the legend that is Terry Wogan. I do not think the UK will do well, it should have been ex-Eastender Michelle Gayle there not Andy “bin man” Abraham! I have joined the Beeb’s Eurovision Group over on FlickR so hope to post some of my best photographs there but the full story will be revealed over the course of the Bank Holiday Weekend. All I can say is stay tuned and hope you too have a great night whatever you get up to.

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