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The Doom Dispatch: Indiana Jones And The Broken Hip
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Dr. Royce Clemens   |  

*The opinions expressed by Dr. Royce Clemens in his Doom Dispatch column do not necessarily reflect the views of Geeks of Doom.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal SkullThis is the first piece in my series of op-ed columns*, and I was supposed to cover Sunday night’s Oscars. But watching it, attempting to take notes and watching deserving nominee after deserving nominee actually win free of politics or social pressure, something occurred to me.

It’s no fun recapping a fair fight. So I figure I’ll write about what I was gonna write about next week.

I don’t think there’s anyone who goes to a site called “Geeks of Doom” who hasn’t already seen the much hyped and awaited trailer for Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull (which is just one word and three syllables away from The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford). Already this two minutes of celluloid is about as analyzed in these innarweb circles as the Zapruder film of the Kennedy assassination. “Why are there sounds of guns cocking when there aren’t any on screen?”

It feels great, don’t it? That warm February kernel of summer hype? Just knowing that in a few months it’s going to be hot outside, there will be no snow, the sun will be out, the kids will be out of school, and it’ll be acceptable to blow shit up and waste hundreds of millions of dollars in a theater again, without shameless Oscar mugging.

And how does this usually end, boys and girls?

Yup. Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull “¦ is probably gonna suck.

Oh, stop. Don’t look at me like I just shot your dog. It will. This happens every year. We’re cool through the spring and how do we come out at the end of the summer? “THAT MOVIE RAPED MY CHILDHOOD!”

Well here is your self-defense guide. First off, yell “Fire!” Not “Rape!” “˜Cause no one comes when you yell “Rape!”

And second, take these things into account. A stitch on Hollywood will save nine on you.

Commies Don’t Make Good Villains: It’s been twenty years since The Last Crusade, and director Steven Spielberg has decided to allow for the passage of time. This means Indy is fighting the Soviets as opposed to the Nazis. Now if Indy were fighting Stalin? Maybe that would work. He did, after all, kill forty million of his own people. But what did Kruschev do, besides bang his shoe on a table? And which of these sentences sounds scarier?

“We’re going to steal the Ark of the Covenant to take to our Fuhrer, so he can set up the Aryan Nation as the true master race of Earth.”

Or”¦

“We’re going to steal the Ark of the Covenant”¦ And share it with everyone. You got any toilet paper?”

The Cate Blanchett Equation: Now I’m not going to be a dick and say Cate Blanchett is a bad actress. She’s not. She’s amazing. But this is her first big-budget crowd pleaser. Is she gonna know how to handle this? Or is she gonna go down the Julianne Moore road and emote herself into the ground? Meryl Streep JUST figured out how to handle this with The Devil Wears Prada after a long and illustrious career. I don’t need to bring up the spectre of She-Devil, do I? DO I?

Shia Leboeuf: Did I spell that right? Do I really care? Ain’t no one ever shelled out a nickel to see that little shit on screen. They all paid to see the hot chicks and the big talking cars standing NEXT to him.

A Chance Of Relapse: Steven Spielberg has been on the biggest tear of his entire life. Minority Report, Catch Me If You Can, and The Terminal were all great movies, and Munich, in my opinion, is his best work ever. He showed a maturity and a lack of sentimentality with that one I haven’t seen before. He worked without a net. He was a Spielberg possessed. So for the sake of all the great movies that the man has ahead of him, do we REALLY want to see him take a step backwards? Give this one to Joe Johnston. No one gives a shit about HIM! Like recovering alcoholics, it only takes one drink to fall off the wagon. I just can’t stand to think that this will lead to other movies that were as crummy as The Lost World or War Of The Worlds. Which, oddly enough, were written by”¦

David Koepp: David Koepp can work wonders when he’s writing for himself. Just watch Carlito’s Way and Stir Of Echoes if you don’t believe me. But when he’s in hired gun mode, you get movies like, well, The Lost World and War Of The Worlds “¦ And Panic Room “¦ and Death Becomes Her and The Shadow and that Godawful Snake Eyes“¦ Need I say more?

High On Money, Short On Charm: When Raiders Of The Lost Ark came out in 1981, it was a playful riff on those old Saturday morning serials that came out in the thirties and forties. It was charming in addition to thrilling because all the special effects had rough edges around them. It wasn’t Star Wars, for Christ’s sake. It relied on charisma and actual honest-to-God storytelling.

So does a CGI-ridden Indiana Jones picture really sound like a good idea? It’s gonna be like that new ECW: It’s alright”¦ But it’s just not the SAME.

The State Of Indiana Is Old And Gray: Did you see the Barbara Walters special before the Oscars when she interviewed Harrison Ford? She said “Oh he hasn’t aged a day!” That’s because Barbara Walters is a professional kiss-ass. Harrison Ford has aged a day. He’s aged a shit-load of days. I’m sure anyone who has seen Firewall (yes, all four of you) knows full-well the extent to which Harrison Ford has gone from “GET OFF MY PLANE!” to “GET OFF MY LAWN!” in the span of ten years. Don’t get me wrong, he’s not decomposing like Scott Glenn is, but it’s high time he sat on the “Ancient Character Actor” shelf right next to Peter Falk.

Obey The Beard!: George Lucas is the executive producer.

Did you perhaps go into a fit after reading that? Didn’t get the full blow of what this means? Well allow me to repeat”¦

GEORGE LUCAS IS THE EXECUTIVE PRODUCER!

And”¦ And we’re expecting this to be good? HAVE YOU LOST YOUR FUCKING MINDS?

Have two-and-a-half of the last three Star Wars movies taught us nothing? George Lucas hates you. He hates you, and he wants your money. And he’s gonna use that money to do one thing.

Purchase mainland China.

He and M. Night Shyamalan and Michael Bay are gonna use their ill-gotten cash to purchase mainland China. They are going to use that to form the headquarters for their Axis of Evil and make their bid for world domination. Are you happy with the fact that Casablanca is in black and white? That City Lights is silent? That No Country For Old Men doesn’t have a score? Well, NOT ANYMORE, FUCK-STICK! Everything will be in digital color, with dewback lizards wandering in the background for no apparent reason. THX will change the expressions on the actors’ faces JUST BECAUSE! And all films will be hooked up to the John Williams-Bot, and have scores that will tell us how to feel and react. History is written by the winners, and we have voted with our wallets to give George Lucas a huge bucket of White-Out.

And only one man will be able to stop him. And that man is Martin Scorsese. He and his trusty sidekick Spike Jonze will venture into China and stab at the heart of this corruption in its dangerous lair. And thus life shall imitate art in the bloodiest and, frankly, the most retarded way possible.

I’m not here to rain on anyone’s parade. And I’d like to believe that I will be proven wrong come this May. But I’m keeping my expectations low and tempered, as should we all. Remember two things:

-Blind faith is what made Jonestown happen.

-And geeks used to bite the heads off of chickens.

23 Comments »

  1. I hope you’re wrong, my friend.
    I really do.
    Still, just a really good op-ed piece. :)

    Comment by Jerry — February 27, 2008 @ 7:56 am

  2. …..

    You’re an insane man…

    And yet… you make me laugh. :D

    Good piece!

    I do have one question, though… Do you really think it signals the end of his quality film making career if Spielberg just sets out to make a fun adventure flick? Would it be so horrible? Can’t he do both?

    Comment by NeverWanderer — February 27, 2008 @ 1:43 pm

  3. Hilarious Dr. Royce!

    We had a similiar article on our site and I just told Dave that we got creamed by fanboys on an Indiana Jones fansite!

    Anyway great stuff!

    Comment by FUSED Film Blog — February 27, 2008 @ 2:19 pm

  4. @NeverWanderer

    I admire your enthusiasm and envy your optimism.

    But there’s a difference between “returning to form” and “THE GODFATHER PART III”

    Comment by Dr. Royce Clemens — February 27, 2008 @ 4:39 pm

  5. @ Royce

    I just has my faith in Spielberg. I’m a bit Dawson-y like that.

    I’ll admit I was one of the first people saying “NO” to the initial idea of doing a fourth Indy, but I also see potential in how it’s developing. (Plus, I actually like Shiah Labouf… shoot me!)

    (I’d think a more apt comparison would have been Lethal Weapon 4, though. ^_^)

    Comment by NeverWanderer — February 27, 2008 @ 4:46 pm

  6. Royce, darling, you really ARE funny, because I am obsessed with Indiana Jones and totally adore Harrison Ford, I couldn’t care about his age, but when I read, … from “GET OFF MY PLANE!” to “GET OFF MY LAWN!” … ” I was crying with laughter.

    As obsessed as I am with the franchise and as optimistic as I am about this fourth movie, I can totally see your point. George Lucas has hurt us in the past, I’ll admit. But listen, I’ve already put in for the day off from work on May 22, 2008 so that I can see the film three times in a row (in addition to the midnight showing the night before), so I really can’t even contemplate the thought that this movie will suck.

    Comment by Empress Eve — February 27, 2008 @ 9:57 pm

  7. wow
    that was restarded…
    none of those were at all any good points…
    completely reviewing and giving a bad review to a movie that hasnt come out yet.

    way to be a class act.

    Comment by Alex — February 28, 2008 @ 12:38 am

  8. You are the one who sucks! You article is biased, poor and, most importanly wrong!

    This movie will rock!

    Comment by Proman — February 28, 2008 @ 12:50 am

  9. Commies Don’t Make Good Villains: Shut up.

    The Cate Blanchett Equation: Guess you haven’t heard of those “Lord of the Rings” movies she was in.

    Shia Leboeuf: Yeah, you’re right. Disturbia wasn’t a HUGE success, and his charisma and humor definitely didn’t entertain a large (and all the female) Transformers audience….

    A Chance Of Relapse: Wait, what? This doesn’t make sense. A step backwards was the movies you just listed… And War of the Worlds wasn’t that bad at all, it was still a good movie compared to the sh*t that comes out these days…

    David Koepp: Panic Room, Lost World, War of the Worlds, all well written. And yeah, you’re right about his other movies being well written too- I don’t see the problem.

    High On Money, Short On Charm: Every official source has said this movie will be like the old ones, same charisma and charm. And now, instead of shit*y bluescreen and cheap effects, it will look better, even if CGI. The NEEDED effects shots back then, and they looked bad, so if they are going to do them again, why not make them look at least better.

    The State Of Indiana Is Old And Gray: Guy destroyed people in Firewall. He was still old looking ten years ago too. Watch AFO again. And for being 64 or whatever he is, he definitely still looks good. Hes stayed in shape and that doesn’t add any credibility to your argument.

    Obey The Beard!: George Lucas is the executive producer- just like he was back then!

    Comment by JRC — February 28, 2008 @ 1:13 am

  10. […] well thought article on what we can expect from Indy’s upcoming big screen adventure, A great article, but my short thought on this is 2 points […]

    Pingback by Jim Skamarakas — February 28, 2008 @ 6:41 am

  11. […] It’s no fun recapping a fair fight. So I figure I’ll write about what I was gonna write about next w […]

    Pingback by The Doom Dispatch: Indiana Jones And The Broken Hip — February 28, 2008 @ 7:08 am

  12. I fear you may be right while I simultaneously hope you’re wrong about the movie sucking. Something you’re 100% right about is Shia LeDouche. I was so depressed when Transformers finally got made into a live-action movie, and then after Michael Bay was done raping my childhood with unrecognizeable Autobots and Decepticons, they hire an actor that I actually cannot stand to play, I’m assuming, Spike. I haven’t seen the movie because I never watch movies with that dude in it. I will probably watch Transformers one day though, and I will more than likely watch Indiana Jones when it comes out this summer. But I highly protest the career of Shia LeBeeoouixzf, or however you spell it.

    Comment by Paul — February 28, 2008 @ 10:41 am

  13. These were my comments on the trailer way back on Feb 14th and I got death threats so good luck Dr Royce Clemens

    I’m going to ruffle some feathers out there. I do not like seeing one of my all time favorite heroes old and weak. It is kind of like when your Dad or your favorite uncle gets old it is sad and pitiful. From the trailer we see that Indy is going to be struggling through the film. I understand he is older, his Dad was older in the last film and he didn’t have that worn out look and feel. I know the reason is to show some humor, but I don’t like it.

    I hope Mutt is Indy’s son, and I hope Indy dies in this film. A good way to end the film would have Indy trapped and bleeding with no way out i.e. water rising, spikes coming, or a rock about to crush him…. He takes his hat off puts it on Mutt and says “we lost today, but it doesn’t mean we have to like it… now go save your mother…son.” Then he goes off and saves his mother and the world. A new Indy is born.

    I would rather he die, than wither away before my eyes. I never saw Indy in a nursing home or dying on a hospital bed. I’m all for drowning or squishing at least with theses deaths they have some dignity. I will go and see the film I just know I will be disappointed.

    As always peace out!!!!! MajorXero

    http://fusedfilmblog.com/

    Comment by MajorXero — February 28, 2008 @ 11:10 am

  14. Your point on David Koepp is inept and unfounded. Panic Room was a spec script that he wrote for himself that was also one of the highest-selling scripts of all time because of a bidding war that went on between studios.

    As for his hired gun work, he did a little movie called Spider-man as a hired gun and for the most part, I think (along with the rest of the world) that it was pretty good.

    Comment by Bill — February 28, 2008 @ 5:18 pm

  15. I hope it’s just a provocation. Silly though funny article to make us discuss a bit. I don’t like Shia’s apperance but after watching TF I MUST say it – damn – he is quite an actor! As Harrison has said lately “you’ll see him a lot, be nice to him” :)
    And I would stop joking about Ford’s age. It’s just not original anymore, getting embarrasing actually… He would still kick your ass in real world (yes, he would) and that says it all. Stop discriminating older people. By the way, nowadays 65 is like 50, 20 years ago. And you’ll be there in a moment – just notice how the last 20 years have passed by…

    Comment by Sky — February 29, 2008 @ 5:20 am

  16. That was spot-on!

    Comment by James — February 29, 2008 @ 11:38 pm

  17. It may very well suck.

    But there’s a few things you have wrong.

    First, commies make great villains. Never saw a classic James Bond flick? Red Dawn? Hunt for Red October? Firefox? And frankly, I can’t remember the Soviet Union sharing anything with us, or anyone else, during the Cold War.

    This is Cate Blanchett’s first big budget crowd pleaser? What about the Lord of the Rings trilogy?

    While the Star Wars prequels did indeed suck, George Lucas was executive producer of the original 3 Indiana Jones movies as well. Did they suck too?

    Not a very well thought out article.

    Comment by Jaeson — March 1, 2008 @ 11:48 am

  18. One more correction.

    Indy IV won’t be CGI ridden because it was the stated goal of Spielburg to use the more traditional methods of filmmaking to maintain that serial feel. In fact to go even further, a story was just released that the film won’t even be shown on digital projectors, only on film projectors.

    Comment by Jaeson — March 1, 2008 @ 12:59 pm

  19. Alright kids, TIME TO FEED THE TROLLS!

    One of you goofy ass-bags mentioned THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER, which is funny, because that’s the last time the Soviets were decent bad guys. Being as the movie came out as the wall fell and we found out the Iron Curtain wasn’t really all that Ironish. If you can name a good movie that had the Soviets as bad guys as the NINETEEN YEARS since then? And oh yeah, RED DAWN blows.

    Cate Blanchett in LOTR, huh? What’s that? Twenty minutes of screentime over the span of a trio of three and a half hour movies? Forgive me if I don’t think that counts. You might as well say Judi Dench deserved her Oscar for her eight minutes in SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE. And as good as the SHORT PEOPLE TRILOGY was, they were Costume Dramas at heart. Not exactly as dependent on a happy audience as INDIANA JONES is now is it?

    And name one good movie that has had George Lucas’ name on it in the past five years. How ’bout ten? Fifteen? No, George Lucas hasn’t had his name on a good movie since 1989. He was bitten by the Midlife Crisis Monster and immediately made RADIOLAND MURDERS. And it’s all been downhill from there.

    And we’re trusting Lucasfilm for our information now? The anti-CGI stance could mean what you think it means, or it could mean “Well, we’re not filming entirely in front of a blue screen this time.” That doesn’t necessarily mean we won’t be introduced to SOME OTHER monstrosity that won’t look right in an INDY film and make Lucas release a “Special Edition” of the first three on DVD. Now tell me Lucasfilm is above that.

    I’m not saying definitely that the movie will be bad. I’m just saying all the signs point that way. I wrote this to point out the potential flaws so you’ll know where to look. It is just a movie. And if I’m right and it does turn out to be another PHANTOM MENACE, you can’t blame Spielberg, Koepp and Lucas entirely. Some of that blame you’ll have to place on yourself for believing the hype after countless examples of things like this not panning out.

    Comment by Dr. Royce Clemens — March 1, 2008 @ 9:12 pm

  20. Seems like your moving the goals posts in light of your errors.

    Now there has to be good movie with Soviets as the bad guys, made in the last 19 years, as opposed to at all? Well, if we’re looking at the last 19 years, Hunt for Red October was released in 1990, so that would count. If we’re looking at the 18 years since that film was released, then I think Thirteen Days would count.

    Whether or not Red Dawn blows, isn’t really the point. For myself, I thought it was…o.k. But the fact remains, the soviets made effective baddies in the film, contrary to your original point.

    The iron curtain wasn’t ironish? What was it? A fluffy bunny curtain?

    So now it’s not enough that Cate Blanchett was in fact in a big budget crowd pleaser, now she needs to hit a particular screen time mark for it to count. So what’s the mark? 35.9 minutes? 42.3 minutes?

    The Lord of the Rings trilogy wasn’t dependent on a happy audience? The fans of those books span the globe in a variety of different languages, over the course of roughly half a century before the first film ever came out. I remember reading that the trilogy was the most widely read book in the world, second only to the bible. But the film didn’t depend on making these folks happy? Come on.

    George Lucas movies do tend to suck. There’s no doubt about that. But I think it means a bit less, when he’s in the producer role, and Spielberg is in the director’s seat.

    Actually, Spielburg is the one who said he wanted to go old school, and avoid CGI usage as much as possible. And at one point Ford said he’d walk on the film, because of some really dumb law that wouldn’t allow him to use a real whip, and would have to have it replaced with CGI.

    Lucasfilm is not above releasing a Special Edition. No doubt there.

    I’m not saying your wrong. There’s a better than even chance that the movie will indeed suck.

    I’m just saying that your basing your opinion on incorrect assumptions.

    Comment by Jaeson — March 1, 2008 @ 10:27 pm

  21. I don’t see how disagreeing with you or pointing out your errors in a straightforward manner without getting insulting makes anyone a troll Royce.

    Comment by WordSlinger — March 22, 2008 @ 3:34 pm

  22. Shia is actually really good and will have a great future in movies. Other than that not bad, but I think this movie may be better than you imagine.

    Comment by hedbergfan — April 20, 2008 @ 7:29 pm

  23. […] Dr. Royce Clemens Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull … is probably gonna suck. Read more at The Doom Dispatch: Indiana Jones And The Broken Hip. […]

    Pingback by Geeks Gear Up For ‘Indiana Jones’ — May 22, 2008 @ 9:49 am

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