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buy Lyrica online overnight Indiana Jones I-IV (1981, 1984, 1989, 2008)

indyskull-snip.jpgThe past week has been all about packing. Packing and preparation for the new Indiana Jones movie. I assume you don’t want to hear about the packing.

I watched the first three Indiana Jones movies last week. And then today, I watched the new one. I haven’t seen any of the films in at least ten years, so it was interesting to see how my memories matched up to the experience of seeing them now.

The first revelation was just how damn good Raiders of the Lost Ark is. I mean, I know it’s a classic, and remembered it as a fine film, but it’s actually a great film — the action and stunt scenes are amazing and hold up really well, the characters are well-drawn, and the humour is humorous. But above all, the chase actually has some weight — I actually felt there was something at stake. That’s not something I felt watching the other films in the series. Even in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, which is ostensibly about searching for the Holy Grail, the characters spend far (far!) more time chasing an old book and solving lame puzzles. It hardly seems to matter to anybody what’s at the end. But when Indy single-handedly takes on the Nazi convoy transporting the Ark of the Covenant, you can tell how desperately it fucking matters — to him, to the Nazis, and to Belloq. And that, more than anything is why Raiders of the Lost Ark is far and away my favourite (though having the young and saucy Karen Allen as Indy’s romantic foil doesn’t hurt).

The second revelation was Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. If Raiders was slightly better than I remember, Temple of Doom is much worse. I don’t think I’d seen the whole thing since I was a kid, and I remember it being — to young me — the stand-out movie in the series. But as my roommate Meghan (who was watching it with me) observed, that’s probably because the whole thing really is a kid’s movie. The action is incredibly fast, like a cartoon, especially the famous mine-cart chase, and the horror elements are things that will haunt the dreams of children, not adults: being made to work in the mines, having your heart pulled out of your chest, being forced to eat icky monkey brains. (Speaking of the mine-cart chase: I remember as a kid thinking it was awesome, but this time around, I thought it was about as much fun as watching stock footage of a roller coaster.) By far the worst part, though, is the incredibly broad “humour”, mostly in the form of the supremely unfunny Kate Capshaw, who bulldozes through the movie with her “shriek” knob set to 11. Jesus. This movie is not only worse than I remembered, it’s a downright slog. It took us three evenings to get all the way through. On the other hand, it’s the film that’s probably truest to the old Republic adventure serials, with implausible action, ethnic-stereotype villains and sidekicks, and a whole lot of fast-moving tedium.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, though, was about as I remembered it — fun, funny and totally winning, without ever really trying for — and certainly not achieving — greatness. However, while I never really cared about the grail quest theme, the movie does have the best writing in the series, aided by Harrison Ford and Sean Connery’s back and-forth hamming. “I shood have mailed it to the Marksh Bruthers.” Oh, yes.

Which brings us to Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. I have the feeling than in making this, at least one of Spielberg’s goals was bring to an end the eternal questions about when the next Indy was coming out. Crystal Skull manages to do all of (a) be a modestly-entertaining send-off to the series; (b) kill my desire to see any more episodes, by presenting an old — almost sadly old — Indiana Jones (though wisely, they merely acknowledge his age and move on, rather than making it a running joke); and (c) threaten us with the spectre of Shia LeBeouf in an even larger role in any follow-ups. That said, though, I did enjoy the movie. There are some great Spielberg-ian images, and while it brings back elements of the previous films, and a few nods at the beginning, it doesn’t go overboard with the fan-boy in-jokes. And it brings back Karen Allen as the two-fisted Marion Ravenwood from Raiders and lets her fight scene-chewing communist Cate Blanchett. So it’s got that going for it. However, it does continue Steven Spielberg’s recent trend of not having any bloody idea how to end his movies — or, more accurately, having an idea for an ending that completely fails to satisfy. Here, we basically get a family-size can of supernatural WTF? served up on a saucer.

Seriously, Steve? That’s what you’re ending the series with?