Friday, June 27, 2008

Canada Day Quizzical

Sorry about the lack of posts lately, been busy doing other things (like digging into the excellent 7-disc Dirty Harry box set recently put out by Warner Bros. - gotta love that remote control car chase in The Dead Pool!).

Anyway, here's a little spot of patriotism: a Canada Day Quiz!

FYI, I ended up with a sad 40%.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Indiana Jones and the Surprisingly Good Sequel

I would say the new Indiana Jones movie is better than it has any right to be, but that's wouldn't be altogether fair.  Re-teaming  Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, and Harrison Ford for a globetrotting adventure has the right to be pretty darn good: I just didn't think it would be.

Picking up in 1957, The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull successfully incorporates  a storyline appropriate both for the time period and the type of movies that were coming out at the time. The series has always been a throwback to the 1930s and 40s adventure serials, but this time out there's a healthy helping of sci-fi too.  Spielberg is a master at telling his stories with slick yet meaningful camera work, and there are many great feats of lensing on display here, while Harrison Ford slips back into the role with ease.  Shia LaBeouf, so charming in the Oscar-winning masterpiece Transformers, is just as good here, too - while somewhat constrained by the period mannerisms, his comic timing remains impeccable.

I was expecting the movie to be decent but unnecessary, recycling gags from previous installments with little of the spirit intact.  But I was pleasantly surprised to find that, with the exception of some annoying CGI gophers and a head-scratcher of a sequence where LaBoeuf swings through a jungle canopy with about a hundred monkeys (both of these problematic bits bringing to mind the more cringe-inducing scenes of the Star Wars prequels), this is a wholly enjoyable and satisfying film.  I went in wondering why they would risk sullying the memory of such a great franchise, and left the theatre hoping another sequel would be on the way.