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The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation

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movie: indiana jones and the crystal skulls
children of dune - leto 1
So took Child and Niece I to see Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skulls.

First, for those with small children; my niece is six. It's a solid adventure movie, and it doesn't reach Raiders of the Lost Ark's final scene or some of Temple of Doom's more intense bits, so if you're wondering, I think it was fine. She had a great time.

Okay, this I will say; it wasn't as good as the earlier ones, but Harrison Ford totally fucking brings it so I do not care. I worried this would be a Rocky IV nonsense, but this worked fine as an installment in the adventures and I had a good time watching.

It's a lot easier to talk about what I didn't like than what I did, because in general I liked it a lot; specifics I had problems with. But.l

Things I Liked

1.) The continuing adventures of Indiana in his freaking sixties still kicking ass and taking names. And I giggled helplessly at teh beginning when they pulled the first guy out, then they all went to intense focus when Indiana was pulled out. Yes, he's a badass. Yes, he's scary. Yes, I love him. Yes, it's not about strength, speed, or your ability to kick ass; it's being able to think and Indy can outthink anyone. I like action when it's as much intellectual as physical.

2.) Indy has a kid! I TOTALLY SAW THAT COMING so not a surprise, but I'll be honest. I like it.

3.) Now, tell me this; who blinked and thought, right, of course. So Stargate? Yes. I will kiss the person who writes me about Henry III chuckling at the stargate. Actually, and I'll be honest, canon for both universes would support a crossover ridiculously well with no fudging as far as I can tell and slot together neatly with Area 51 and the Air Force bits.

4.) Oh my God, accusing Indiana Fucking Jones of treason? Are you fucking with me? Also, Indiana is a Colonel? I did not realize this. Note: interesting conflict there I'd have liked to see a lot more of.

5.) Beautiful special effects. Awesome ants, awesome temples. I loved it.

6.) I love that Indiana's first reaction to the kid was "Do what you love". The second, post-revelation--your ass goes back to school. And Wonder Kid will, too. He found something to love doing, like his mother, like his father, and it sound so afterschool special, but seriously, kids aren't fucking around because they're evil; a lot of the time, and speaking from memory--they're bored It's a constant wonder to me that parenting magazines to this day blame everything but adolescent boredom.

7.) Indiana's continuing fascination with artifacts above all, the history they carry, the worlds they represent. As much as I enjoyed National Treasure, I never loved it because of the mercenary quality running beneath it. I love Indy's utter slavery to his curiosity and intellect, to history, to being a man who lives life like an action adventure movie trying to expand human knowledge for the sake of expanding it, for learning. If there is reincarnation in this universe, he's freaking Daniel Jackson now, I swear.

8.) I love, love, love, he got married. Call me a romantic idiot; I like my heroes to have kickass heroines and have terrifyingly adorable heroic kids. I loved Marion period. I love that the three of them are going to go out and have amazing adventures and argue over artifacts and fall into sandpits and jumping mountains as the awesomest team ever. If ever they wanted to make me the perfect movie, it would be Indian Jones, Marion Jones, and Mutt the Wonder Kid and the Fire from the Sky or something.

Not So Much

1.) Action over plot irritated me. Or rather, the plot should have been more part of the action. And that car bit--no. There is not that much straigtaways in the frekaing Amazon. It felt like a great concept that wasn't edited for storytelling.

2.) Okay, call me misogynist, but--seriously. You had years to tell him. Do not fucking trot out that excuse. There's no good reason, other than abuse or something in the family of sociopathy, not to tell the father. I'm irritated with this plot device so much. Even if she was pissed, even if she was marrying someone else, he did have the right to know. Pre-birth, the woman has control of her body; post-birth, that rule ends. And I speak as a single parent here; that pisses me off every time. So. Damn. Irritating. And cliched.

Now, to balance that; this is the year 08, that was the fifties, no one had cell phones. I can squint and see that other issues might have intruded on this one. Marion is awesome, but that doesn't mean she doesn't have to live in that time period either, and there might have been damn good social and for that matter, political reasons not to rock the boat. This was not the days of women's liberation. I can see the real possibility of pressures put on her to go this direction, especially if, from the implications here, she was still working full time. To live as she did, and have her child, husband, and her work--

I take it back. It sucks, but I can't imagine being a single mother in the freaking fifties who had a job she loved and a family and world to consider, when she couldn't be sure that Indiana's opinion on their marriage would have changed. In hindsight, I think he would have had her before some sort of minister in record time; but from her view of the universe then, that might not have been a risk she could afford to take. And she's not psychic. And why would she want to marry him when he walked out on her? Which would bring her back to the same place; single parent or public knowledge her husband isn't the father of her child and wow, that could have screwed up her and her child both professionally and socially in that time period unless she was independently very wealthy. And even then, the word bastard was still trotted out fairly regularly; that kind of stigma only works in romance novels.

Okay, ignore this point; it's irrelevant and unfair and wrong. I was born after liberation and have never had to worry about the things she would have had to. My son's never been in danger of being called a bastard except by people who have no influence on me, my life, or my child. Go Marion for doing the absolute best possible for yourself and your child and look kick-ass doing it.

3.) Too much action, not enough plot development. I wanted a lot more time in that temple and more explanations.

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Now, tell me this; who blinked and thought, right, of course. So Stargate?

My first thought at seeing Area 51 was 'Rodney used to work here'.
And the end with the dimension ring so brought flashbacks to the gate.
And the asgard were there too. *g*

YES! Exactly! *GLEE*

Someone has got to cross this over. So much.

Basically ditto, plus a few squee bits from my review.

*bounces* I'm going to read now.

It was also a great movie to take aging parents to. My dad's 82 and getting kind of frail, and a) this movie had a lot of stuff from a time period when he was a tad kick ass himself and b) he got to see a gray-haired man who qualifies for AARP brrrrriiiing it! I was very glad we went.

I would have liked more on the McCarthy-esque subplot, too. Also, did you see the glimpse of the ark in one of the busted boxes?

Yes! The ark bit was fantastic! It makes me wonder what else is in there, too.

It was also a great movie to take aging parents to. My dad's 82 and getting kind of frail, and a) this movie had a lot of stuff from a time period when he was a tad kick ass himself and b) he got to see a gray-haired man who qualifies for AARP brrrrriiiing it! I was very glad we went.

Oh God yes. I love that; the big draw of action movies can be the fighting, but the *neatest* stuff is the outthinking of the enemy. And you know, his continued kicking-of-the-ass as well. Which was also deeply, deeply awesome.

I'm getting it for my Dad as soon as it's out on DVD. He's a huge Indiana fan and will enjoy it immensely.

I also think that Marion had it rough. Her whole life, her dad dragegd ehr around like a piece of baggage and when he died, she was trapped runnigna bar in nepal, desperate to earn enough money to get back to civilisation. She wouldn't want that for her own kid. She'd want him to have as normal a life as possible, for as long as possible.

I can very much see her having it out with Indy, declaring herself done with him after he broke it off, jumping teh first steamer out of the US, and then when the rabbit dies, being terrified but so determined to find a way to raise her kid the best way she can. And he said he wrote to her a year later--but I can't rememebr if she wrote to him. Alone, pregnant, during WWII? Apparently in the UK, as she was married to an RAF pilot later? That is a WHOLE DIFFERENT DEAL than WWII in the States.

I can see both of them being responsible for how badly they fucked up their relationship. Also, she may never have told ANYONE that Mutt wasn't Williams' son. In order to keep him from living with society's backlash against bastards. So why devestate the kid, when he may never meet Indy at all? Why not let him believe Colin was his father?

I do think that Ox and Marion raised a great kid. And that Marion is just bloody-minded enough to decide clearly Indy is not the family type, and she was on her own. Doesn't make it right, but it does make it believeable.

Yep, that's where I went while writing it; the fifties aren't now and she didn't have a ton of options and she couldn't predict the future or risk her and her son's future on a man that, at the time, she couldn't be entirely sure she could trust. I mean, I totally think he would have stepped up *gladly*, but in her position? There's no way she could take that kind of risk with herself and her child. Honestly, I would have done the same thing when making that kind of a balance in that era; she did what would protect and nurture her son, give him a good life--there's just no wrong there. It's screwed-up, but considering limitations in communication and in era, I can't see a better way she could have gone about it.

Yes, yes, yes! You've captured my feelings on this while, at the same time, hitting the SG-1-crystal-skull thing too.


I want to read this cross-over too. It makes so much sense.

Wouldn't it? IT WOULD. IT WOULD. SO PERFECTLY. Now I want to check that SG1 first season ep with Daniels' mentor? The older woman? And figure out dates for it.

Ack! Ants!

I've still got a feeling of creepy crawlies on my skin after seeing that bit.

HEE! THOSE ANTS! GAH. And carrying that guy! *twitch*

I had to close my eyes during the bit with the ants, but I loved everything else.

HEE! I love teh ants. And totally ducked in terror when they started carrying people.


I suspect Spielberg may owe Gekko a couple of dollars under the table...


I just--it's Stargate before Stargate I swear. I SWEAR.

I just saw it! So much love! (Hid my head during the ants bit because I am deeply, deeply insect-phobic)

The aliens and the crystal skull just made me laugh and laugh. SO MUCH STARGATE CROSSOVER POTENTIAL!!! I bet Catherine knew Indy.

CATHERINE! I could not remember her name. Yes. She did. They had adventures. I can totally, totally see it.

I just wanted to point out that Marion wasn't a single mother, at least not at first. She married Colin Williams when Mutt was three months old, which was one of the reasons she gave for not telling Indy. He had left, she was angry, she found someone else. Indy writes to her, but she had already remarried and had gone the route where Colin had taken responsibility for the kid and the kid believed that Colin was his father.

I agree COMPLETELY with your take on the pre-lib situation and I think she was making the best of a bad situation- finding a man who would love her and she could care for if not love (I'm not sure if I believe this was a marriage of convenience or not- I would like to believe that she loved him, even if it wasn't the same) and her kid, take care of both of them, etc. even if it wasn't the man she really wanted.

I think the wrench in the works was that Colin was an RAF pilot who died in the war and then, suddenly, she was back to the single mom bit, although being a widow has a much different social stigma/weight.

I also think she was going on her past experience with Indy. This wasn't the first time he had left her. I saw it as "fool me once, your fault. Fool me twice, my fault" and with a baby in the mix, I don't think she was willing to try to force him to stay or risk him running out again.

I adore Marion- I've wanted to be here since I can remember- and I adore Mutt and I think you are totally right- the next adventure should be them as a family because I can't imagine anything cooler.

I'm longing for fic here. I hope that it starts to roll out after this weekend.

I'd love to see your take on things. ;)

I'm so glad to see a review that came so close to my own feelings. I saw so many negative reviews, often accusing the movie of being utterly worthless, that I approached the movie with trepidation, but the end credits left me feeling satisfied, unexpectedly content.
Sure the wedding was sappy but the moment Karen Allen reappeared she fitted, the chemistry was still there in spades, and I damn well wanted and was pleased the happy ending finally happened for both characters.

Word to everything. I'd just like to add, I'm all fine and good with paying homage to other films. Indy 4 gave nods to Raiders of the Lost Ark, Rebel Without a Cause, Stargate, James Bond, Star Wars ("I have a bad feeling about this."), Errol Flynn's swashbuckling Robin Hood, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and the H-bomb scene in Terminator 2. But by the time Mutt is swinging from vines and his golden monkey friends are attacking the commie bastards' Jeep a la Tarzan, I was ready to shoot anyone in the writing room for not being able to come up with an original bit for a comedic action scene. So much rested on Ford's shoulders and he used dialog and facial expressions to earn the laughs, but Jesus Christ... fucking monkeys swinging on vines? That was the point when I put Indy 4 in the summer popcorn category of movies. I loved it, but, I dunno... maybe because I was younger then... but the previous movies all felt really original and, if not believable, at least weren't to hammed up (except the Cali-ba heart-ripping scene in Temple of Doom).

See, I liked Mutt the Wonder Kid (and how awesome is it that his adopted name is Mutt when Indiana was the dog? so awesome) but at the same time, part of me was like "Oh, huh, the real star was getting kinda old, so they stuck in a young'un so people won't think it's an "old person" movie. didn't they already abuse that plot device with Die Hard?"

Saw it on friday and OMG, so much fun. I giggled my way through most of the flick, though I hid my eye through parts of the ants scenes. I feel about movie creepy crawlies pretty much like Indy feels about snakes. And I loved Marion. That woman was so kickass.

Of course it got topped off with an article in today's paper. Apparently members of the Russian Communist Party are calling to boycott the movie because it shows a wrong picture of Russians and could provoke an new Cold War.
Come on guys, it's a movie... with hypnosis by glowing crystal skull... and aliens.

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