Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Indiana Jones and the Blog Post That Rode His Coattails


Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull opens at midnight tomorrow night. The long-awaited sequel is finally seeing the light, and tens of millions of people are sure to see it this weekend. The previous Indiana Jones films are some of the most popular motion pictures ever; certainly with me, an avid Indy fan. Heck, who isn't?

Philadelphia Inquirer movie critic Carrie Rickey, for one. In the Sunday May 18th edition of the newspaper, on page 1 of the Arts & Entertainment section, Rickey outlines her reasons for her Indy irritation, which can be broken down to these bullet points:

1) the films paved the way for the "dumbing down" of action films;
2) increased the tempo of today's films through the use of rapid-fire action;
3) "perpetuated colonialist stereotypes;"
4) marginalized women, similar to the role they play in James Bond films

Personally, the only point I find that may have some merit is the one regarding stereotypes, as it's true that ethnic protrayals can border on the stereotypical. Other than that, I think her points, while intriguing, are boulderdash, poppycock, and hogwash.

The Indiana Jones films are anything but dumbed down; I find them to be quite smart and intricate. There is plenty of fast-paced action to be sure, but there are also plenty of scenes that are far more subtle and sobering (Indy and Belloq's tense discussion at a Cairo cafe from the first film comes to mind). And more films should have strong female portrayals as Karen Allen's performance as Marian in Raiders (a point even Rickey herself concedes). Kate Capshaw's role in the second film was light, yes, but a slap in the face of all women? Hardly.

I've always respected Rickey's reviews, and still do, and I don't mean to invalidate her opinions here, but I also felt the need to counter them, at least a little.

To be fair, here is the link to the entire article. My very brief description doesn't really do Rickey justice.

http://www.philly.com/inquirer/columnists/carrie_rickey/20080518_Indiana_Jones_paved_the_road_for_dumb_box-office_thrill_rides.html

And lest you think I've gone all cerebral and intellectual on you (Heaven forbid), here is some of my usual YouTube fodder.

A commercial for Kenner's Indiana Jones action figure collection (I remember this commercial vividly):





A commercial for Kenner's Indiana Jones large-size Indy figure, which I don't remember:





Finally, forget Indy, look out for "Bedrock Jones:"





See you this Memorial Day weekend (unless you're vacationing, in which case I'll see you next week), when I hope to have a proper Memorial Day tribute. Thanks!


2 comments:

Ladytink_534 said...

Would you believe that I’ve never seen any of the Indiana movies? Yeah I’ve been living under a rock, can you tell? Not sure if the latest would be the best place to start since I’ve heard so many bad things about it. I went to see The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian instead and now I’m convinced that no movie will be able to beat it this year. Love the commercials by the way, especially the last one!

Phillyradiogeek said...

Put the entire trilogy on your viewing list today!

This is the place for old TV commericals; some of my most popular posts are about commercials, according to the statistics I gets.

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