What movies am I looking forward to?
The heyday of internet movie websites such as AICN, CHUD, Dark Horizons, JoBlo, etc. was the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. And isn’t it weird as the internet has become more omnipresent the movie websites have actually grown LESS relevant? Isn’t that weird? It’s because they have all been compromised, bought and paid for by the studios (conspiracy!). Also, you have these lamer sites like Slash Film and stuff where it’s more of a straight bunch of journos with their fancy HTML coding and lame technocracy subculture feeding us THE NEWS, that is, THE MOVIE NEWS, and keeping it all really straightlaced, sterile, pacific, and boring. Well back in the old days those great sites were all about the movies that were COMING SOON mothafuckas! And back in said late 90’s and early 2000’s we still got freaking hyped about upcoming movies. Maybe we’ve all just grown older or something. That crop of kids and fans from the old school. I don’t know. Not many of us got married. Most of us are still the same losers we always were but now we’re counting out quarters to get haircuts and when we start getting on our podiums about movies people get red faced and call the cops. Whatever bro! Come at me bro! Phantom Menace is going to be the sheeit! Spider-Man by Raimi next May! all hail Nick Nunziata! Etc. We all remember the good old days. All hail Devin Faraci, Garth Franklin, Harry Knowles, Moriarty is a hack! Etc. Remember those times? Well, I don’t. I really really don’t. I mean…*looks at empty whiskey bottles*….no memory whatsoever…
You know who kind of killed irony by the way? Red Letter Media. I’m not sure when we do the real HISTORY of it all, the movie sites. When we actually start to get SERIOUS about putting it into context that we won’t see Red Letter Media as a net negative and bad for the scene at the end of the day.
Anyway, jumping back to the original point we used to get excited about movies. The last movie I remember people getting really really frothy about was probably Sin City. It was all kind of falling apart by then. Well that was somewhere in the mid-2000s. Whatever. I don’t get excited about tent poles any more. Not really. But maybe it’s me, see. Maybe it’s not how bad Star Wars: Episode 7 was (I only saw it once, nuff said). Maybe it’s my own lack of enthusiasm and poseur attitude. So let’s see if there are any movies to get excited about.
And the answer is yes there is one or two. But I only want to talk about one: Indiana Jones 5. The other one is Blade Runner 2, actually.
Ok, breathe. Yes, Indiana Jones 4 was not a good film. How do I know? I only saw it once. Indiana Jones 4 was very much like the Star Wars prequels. It was not even good. It was bad. But at the same time I watched the Star Wars prequels a lot because I just like Star Wars so it really impeded on my patience quite a bit and by the time 7 came out it was like…I can’t do it!
Indiana Jones 4 was terrible but watchable just because it was the old team from top to bottom. And I like Indiana Jones. So I watched it, and it was a mind boggling piece of garbage. Except for the scene where the alien snuffs out Cate Blanchett’s grabby KGB agent, grabby for crystal skulls. That was at least kind of memorable, but it would have been cooler if they had gone with an animatronic alien or a guy in a suit with some practical smoke effects than with CGI. Still it was cool on the big screen. The alien looked mighty angry. Very enjoyable moment, although pretty thin gruel at the end of the day, particularly since it was the big moment. It packed maybe 20% of the punch of the opening sequence from Temple of Doom. Even though I recently rewatched that opening sequence and it is kind of grisly. Honestly, have you seen that sequence lately? Pretty out there. Not pleasant, but we all know that Lucas was going through his divorce at that time. Old George the technician, “I always get sick when directing,” “I can’t relate to actors because I’m just an old gear head from Bakersfield,” was all sad face about being dumped. Awwww. He does have feelings! He just can’t relate to actors and has to go green screen and high tech on everything. Right?
Well anyway….Indiana Jones 5. It’s basically the only film with any pedigree from the halcyon era of blockbusters. Yes I’m talking about the 1980’s. There has been a plethora of great filmmaking since then, but this looks like the last gasp from the old guard that brought us all the good stuff from that particular period.
So what do we have on deck with Indiana Jones 5? The information is scanty at the moment. But that’s what makes it an interesting project. Eventually some tidbit of information will come along to derail the whole party. Shia Laboef has been cast; it’s going to be G-rated, Sean Connery plays a magician, um….Shia Labuef plays Indiana Jones’….son? What son? Oh between Marian and…..Spielberg likes this kid! Oh Jesus Christ……
Lucas directing and writing? Fine. Spielberg directing? Great. John Williams scoring? I’m down. It’s a blank sheet of paper right now, and that’s where things get interesting. So what do we know?
Executive Producer: George Lucas
Director: Steven Spielberg
Original Score: John Williams
Indiana Jones: Harrison Ford
Producers: The old sluggers, the tag team champions, the whiskey gentry, the yachting crowd, cigar aficianados, the “will never be seen within a hundred miles of a nursing home,” the museum curators from hell Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall…for the win
Release Date (2019)
I mean it’s all there. There is the dream team. It’s the old guard. What more do you want? And is it the last hurrah? Probably. Ford was looking pretty frail in the last installment. But still they had massive visual effects, plenty of stunts, and a couple of well staged if misguided action sequences: the motorcycle ch….ah I can’t do it. The movie was not up to standard. But what other details can we pick up about the plot from this next iteration? Is there anything in the air about the screenplay, for example?
So apparently David Koepp will do the script along with a guy named Philip Kaufman. Kaufman’s last screenplay was Rising Sun in 1993. Is that movie a guilty pleasure classic or literally the worst movie ever made? A bizarre time capsule film, Rising Sun. Remember when the Japanese businessmen were raping women and murdering them in office high rises? I don’t remember those days, so much. But apparently it was going on with regularity, such that they made a major motion picture about it. They’ve only made a handful of films about the Iraq war. And Rising Sun is pretty topical. Written by Crichton and not sci fi. Let’s not delve too much further into it. What do you want me to say? That is what the film was about….
Anyway Kaufman wrote that…it was his last screenplay…but but but AND….AND….and he wrote the characters for Crystal Skull, and the characters for The Last Crusade. Excuse me.
Moving on Koepp – this is the guy who crafted the original script for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. But if I’m not mistaken that script was cobbled together from like two decades of development on the next Jones sequel. Between 1989 when The Last Crusade was released and Crystal Skull was released (2008) that’s almost two decades. There was a lot of rumor and speculation and development about Indy 4 over the years. Tons of stuff. But most glaringly was the Frank Darabont written screenplay that had something to do with Atlantis. And that sounded really terrific. But this was before Spielberg and Lucas entered this weird phase where they became obsessed by silent film slapstick stuff, and making things more cartoonish and harkening back to older modes of cinematic expression. Think about the vine swinging sequence in Crystal Skull or R2D2’s clown shoes hijinks from ROTSith. Right? Why do they do this? It’s a liberal pose because they look back on the portentousness of their original work as reactionary. But now that they’re old and rich they don’t have to direct lean and mean films that if not take themselves seriously really burrow into serious subject matter with gleefulness. Shark attacks and evil Nazis. There are crazy themes bubbling beneath the early work of Spielberg particularly and he ate that steak raw baby, sexism, cultural sensitivity, and all the rest of it be damned. Whatever. It made for great cinema and for riches.
In their later years Spielberg and Lucas softened things up quite a bit and their cinema lacked the punch of earlier work. Guns for walkie-talkies. etc. Now we all know…we know….that Lucas and Spielberg will pull the rug out from under us with Indy 5 too. The interesting thing here will be anticipating the film until that moment comes. And what will be that moment when the ticket goes limp in our hands like we’re standing out in the rain for a new picture and then the marquee guy comes out and adds to the sign reading: “Outer Space Killer Bloody Alien War………Featuring…” you look up with your ticket…”Shia Labuoeff” and then cue the torrential ran on your head. It will happen. But let’s not let that get in the way of our excitement. Indy 5! Spielberg/Lucas/Williams. Yes sir!
Here is the current speculation and information I could glean from IMDB:
“The plot is unknown at this time”
OK that is good. That is very good. That is a good start. Phew. Speculation is all we have to go on. That means we can make demands. Like we’ve taken Indiana Jones 5 hostage and now we will be heard by the authorities. This is what we want.
- No Shia Laboof – no offense. I like Shia Lubooff. He’s a hilarious person. That music video he did made me laugh. And I don’t even mind him as an actor. Although his golf swing was pretty fucking lame in that golfing movie he made. And I’m like…he’s seems like the most self-aware human who ever lived. Very funny. So…..but yeah Transformers movies are great, terrific. But. He’s just not part of the Indy universe. He doesn’t fit in there; just doesn’t naturally go with the territory. There are no lines on his face from being a Nazi tank commander in the desert; he doesn’t have a cool accent on any level; everyone has a cool accent in the Indiana Jones movies EXCEPT Indiana Jones. Think about that. Kate Capshaw not withstanding. All the good characters have cool NATURALLY spoken accents. It’s not like Cate Blanchett TRYING to do a Russian accent. Right? Too artificial. Get back to more real world casting and shit. OK? No fake accents. And everyone but Indiana Jones has a cool foreign accent. You’re like…what about River Phoenix in part 3? Yeah but he was playing Jones (sips coffee…forks up some pie).
- No aliens or science oriented plots. Keep it grounded in the supernatural weirdness of religion and spirituality. That old school hokum. Voodoo, fine. Stuff is creepier anyway. Trying to do Jones in the context of science fiction and not fantasy was atrocious in Indy 4. How hard is it to come up with some scary thing, or cool thing from a religious or other equally fantastical idea. Plus it narrows the scope of the film a bit. Do like…ancient occult goings on in Russia with At the Mountains of Madness vibes, for example. Something.
- Location location location. Don’t send Indiana Jones into banal locations. A nuclear village? The suburbs essentially? Some lame and characterless army base? I can’t recall the rest of part 4. Yes there was some jungle bits but a lot of that either looked like a soundstage INSIDE a studio with green screen or just a fucking lame ass set on par with the worst lame ass sets from the LOTR/Hobbit movies….I’m straining to think of one here…anyway….they shot that fucking Dan Brown bullshit…is it even out yet? Inferno? The new Da Vinci Code film filmed IN Italy….OK? Let’s put on our big boy boots and go on fucking location like Sam Mendes did with that absolutely badass new Bond movie, Skyfall? It rocked hard. And if George Lucas is still too much of a daffodil with his lame memories of Tunisia then he can Executive Produce in front of his monitors from the United States. I have no problem with that. Wes Anderson teleconferenced in on Fantastic Mr. Fox and pissed everyone off and the movie was pure gold. Pure gold. OK? That is the facts of the matter boys. So anyway….less green screen…we all know….but if they just started announcing cool locations where things would be filmed I would be happy. No shooting in Australia OR Burbank.
- Marion Ravenwood – I guess it would be OK to have her in some kind of capacity…whatever…don’t just throw her to the curb though since 4 sucked. You’re the ones who put her front and center. And why? As a favor for a friend or to serve the story? If the latter well…It wasn’t her fault. And if you DO ditch her then you are tacitly admitting that 4 was bad and you don’t care about story. And you know that Spielberg and Lucas would never do so publicly like…Lucas won’t admit the prequels were bad and says it was all a political allegory or some nonsense? I’m just keeping my ear to the ground about this.
That’s all really. No LahBeef, no sci fi, real locations for shooting, and Marion Ravenwood in some small capacity because Lucas needs to come clean about the prequels. I’d like to see Lucas BACK in the directing chair for a one off Star Wars, actually. I know he made that “Disney is a white slaver comment.” And they are. Probably…like anyone cares….but even so….Lucas should direct more Star Wars. Wouldn’t it be cool? Of course JJ Abrams (*grits teeth*) kills of Han Solo to make that grasshopper faced bad guy seem legit….so if Lucas DID want to come back and do something with the old teammates that’s kind of been foreclosed as an option. And nothing should be foreclosed as an option. Contracts are meaningless when billionaires want to do deals. But that’s grinding the axe too sharply, PERHAPS.
Indiana Jones 5 is maybe the last teaming up of the greats.
And let’s all get psyched until the eventual and inevitable shoe drops ensuring that things are going to ultimately be disappointing.
My Indy 5 rally cap is on.