Sunday, December 16, 2007

Indiana Jones and the Girl Who Cried Please God, No.

There are two movies on the horizon that make my blood boil.

One is Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull.

Wow, Indy. You look younger than in Raiders of the Lost Ark!

Indiana Jones is a franchise I hold near and dear to my heart. I grew up on it. In fact, Raiders was one of the first movies I was ever subjected to, as my mom saw it when she was pregnant with me. It's a famous legend in my family, retold every time we watch the movie. When that boulder came crashing down after Indy--in the new Dolby sound--the entire theatre shook, and my mom reports I did panicked somersaults. They were sure they had killed me or turned me clinically retarded.

Personally, I'll bet my infant self wasn't scared--I was excited and pissed off I couldn't watch it for another five years.

My mom believes it had another effect. She has remarked that clearly, I became a deskchair archaeologist due to this in-utereo dose of Indiana Jones. Last Christmas, after bestowing the DVD set on me, she had a new theory. "Raiders made you what you are," she said. "It gave you all the--I don't know, terminology for what you became."

"A fangirl?"

"Yeah. A fangirl. You and your sister's love of film came from me and your dad, you were born with it. You were raised on movies and we didn't shelter you, we just plopped you in front of more and I figured if you had nightmares from their faces melting, I'd know you were too sensitive for that kind of thing..."

"But it's more than that! Raiders did something to you." And then she burst out laughing. "I really screwed you up! This is where you developed your problems with men. I made you into Marion Ravenwood! And unless Indiana Jones walks through that door, you're screwed!"

"Yeah. Yeah, you're right. Great!"

"Still," she said. "I'd rather you be Marion Ravenwood and be able to clock Indy in the jaw for screwing you over than some a girl who would just take it. I like the way my girls turned out."

Thus, it was no accident I started emulating that other archaeological bad girl, Lara Croft? Why clock Indy when you can shoot him?

I'm certainly not unique in having my entire childhood defined by a bullwhip and a fedora, but I seem to be in the minority of wanting my memory to remain the warm sunset of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

I mean...they rode off into the sunset. What else could you ask for?

A fourth movie, apparently.

I don't want it. I don't want to see Marion Ravenwood as a (possible) single, dumped mother. She's the cool chick in the red lipstick, immaculately Girl Friday, who is sassy enough to comfort Indy with booze. And I refuse to believe she would ever give birth to a stuck-up prat like Shia LeBeouf, or let him run around with Wolverine hair. Indy's son would look like this:

I don't want to see cranky Harrison Ford try to convince me he's still cool enough to be Indiana Jones. He's not. Don't make me drag out Hollywood Homicide to prove it.

Most of all, I don't want to be abused emotionally and spiritually by George Lucas. Let's not forget, he approved the final script. That paragon of writing who brought us Jar Jar Binks picked the script because of a MacGuffin...a term no one has used since what, 1955?

Look, Lucas, it's nothing personal. No wait, it is. You destroyed Star Wars!

And while I still admire Steven Spielberg, the fact is that he hasn't done an adventure flick in years. He brings us drama, not the fantastic, and sees flaws in his early work that makes me cry. I was terribly traumatized by his revamp of E.T. and now, he's threatening to do it again. Plus he's foisting Shia LeBeouf on me. Not cool.

I refuse to have any faith. There is nothing about this project that gives me any hope. Not the plot leaks, not the dapper smiles at San Diego ComicCon, not the cast, and certainly NOT the title. I guess there could be some kickass trailer that will leave me groveling--and I'll eat this post if there is--but frankly...I just don't want this movie. It smacks of Spielberg, Lucas, and Ford proving they still have it, a big "pfft, whatever!" to Peter Jackson, Gore Verbinski and Christopher Nolan--the three directors I feel have inherited the "blockbuster franchise" crown with Lord of the Rings, Pirates of the Caribbean and Batman. And that's still excluding directors like Zack Snyder, Guillermo del Toro, and Alfonso Cuaron who have given us some pretty amazing films in the last year.

Instead, Indy 4 has the whiff of the current fad of trying desperately to revive the big 80's careers. First Stallone, then Willis, now Ford.

Your day is done, boys. Your glory is preserved on DVD. Let the future belong to Johnny Depp, Christian Bale, and Gerard Butler. The world demands new heroes. Indiana Jones is far from passe, but I want to see what other legends are waiting to be made onscreen.

I know the original Indy trilogy will always be there for me, no matter what horrors this fourth film holds. I can still enjoy the original Star Wars trilogy, pretending the prequels were all just a bad dream. But the world will be just a little worse knowing its out there.

1 comment:

Liquor Mortis said...

Has the trailer made you change your mind?