Friday, May 23, 2008

indiana jones and the death of my childhood

Ok, ok, so it's not that bad... but have you ever seen the Comedians of Comedy?

Brian Posehn goes on to talk about how George Lucas is... christ, I'm not sure I should mention this here, but it's really funny. Let's just say that after Brian watched The Phantom Menace, he felt like he'd been touched by his uncle.

Not only touched... well, watch the movie, it's awesome. This is a very small part of it, and quite funny.



Anyway.

I'm not going to give you a blow-by-blow of this movie. I'm just going to say I was very disappointed.

From what I gathered, there were a number of high profile screenwriters attached to write a draft of the film, for Lucas's and Spielberg's approval.

A number. Frank Darabont, M. Night Shyamalan and Tom Stoppard (Shakespear in Love, Empire of the Sun (another Spielberg film) and Brazil, to name a few) gave in drafts.

When I found that out, I was like "Man, they don't want to screw this up... they're going for the BEST they could find."

Now I'm like... umm... WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?

David Koepp, who is basically Spielberg's lapdog, and is very hit or miss when it comes to scripts, had, according to IMDB, looked at all the film's previous drafts, and kept what he felt were good ideas. He tried not to make his work a "fan script," avoiding any trivial references to the previous films. He noted that the story would have to acknowledge Ford/Jones's age, and also aimed for the mix of comedy and adventure from the first film, trying to make it less dark than the second film and yet less comic than the third film.

This film has quite a few 'trivial references to the previous films'. Some were funny, some you were just waiting for.

The story came from Lucas, who basically ruined the latest three Star Wars films, and Jeff Nathanson, who has not written anything worthwhile, and certainly nothing original.

That's pretty much all I'm going to say about this. I write screenplays. I run a website for screenwriters. I know what it takes to make a script work, the structure, the character development... I understand the process well enough.

This movie was a joke. And I'll end this by saying I won't be purchasing the dvd, I won't watch this film again... and they would have been better off not filming another installment.

I would watch Temple of Doom before watching this... and that is saying something.

Blech.

It's just an opinion. It's not end-all-be-all. I'm still a nice person, and I expect everyone to still go see it. I expect people to enjoy it. Perhaps you'll go again and again.

It was better than Cats...

(shaking head)

Where did that come from?

My expectations were high. My suspension of disbelief? No comment.

Enjoy it, or not. Be happy or not.

J

3 comments:

H said...

Great post,great blog,did the disappointment in the movie have anything to do with Shia Labeouf? I do believe he is one of the worst actors I have EVER seen.

John Painz said...

Actually... no. He was not a factor in it being a bad movie. If you don't like him as an actor, that's ok... some people really hate so-and-so... but can get past the hate because of the story. That's the problem with this film. The story. And that I see Cate Blanchett more as Katharine Hepburn than an evil Russian chick...

Roastfrog said...

Totally agree with your post. Except that bit about Temple of Doom, which was my favorite episode!

Anywat, saw the new one yesterday.

In my opinion it is missing many of the key elements that made the previous movies so good:

- It is far too slow. The opening scene is underwhelming and it takes a full hour for Indy's quest to actually get properly underway. The only redeeming feature is a truly excellent chase scene in which Shia LaBeouf does most of the work.

- The characters don't work well together. There is too much sentimentality which feels forced. The dialogue lacks the snappiness of earlier instalments and the actors don't play off each other enough.

- Not enough creepy-crawlies, booby traps and action sequences. Aren't those the reasons we love Indiana Jones? [Spoilers] To make things worse it appears they were discarded to make room for some truly dubious plot devices, such as setting half the movie in the USA and using futuristic UFOs rather than ancient artefacts. [/Spoilers]

- Indy is too old. Sorry to say it, but that outfit doesn't fit Harrison Ford any more and much of the time he feels more like co-star than a hero. I understand there's not much they can do about his age, but the fact is that it does act as a detriment to the film.

I recently re-watched the old movies before going to see the new one. Perhaps I would have appreciated it more had the images of former greatness not been so fresh in my mind, but there's no doubt Indy 4 is a nostalgic reunion tour rather than a worthy addition to the existing trilogy.