Indy Jonesing

2008-05-25
4:13:56 pm

So, I’ve been on a bit of an Indiana Jones kick for the past few weeks. On Mother’s Day Spike (I think) was showing the movies in reverse order for some reason. I caught the beginning of Temple of Doom (my favorite as a kid), remembered how much I love these movies, so I tossed my DVD in the tray and watched it without commercials. Still gotta say that the dinner scene is still one of my all-time favorite scenes in movie history. What can I say, I guess I’m still just a kid at heart.

Watching the movie got me thinking about the Young Indiana Jones Chronicles TV show from the early ’90s. I never watched it when it was on, though I’m not sure why because I probably would have watched just to see the return of chilled monkey brains. Anyway, I added all the DVDs to my Blockbuster queue and have since watched the fist two. Well, the first one and a half.

To catch you up to speed, the show was conceived by George Lucas as a way to tell Indy’s history while also teaching kids about history, the world and all that jazz. It supposedly switches back and forth between a pre-teen Indy and a teenaged one, but the two episodes I saw focused on the younger version. At first I thought watching a kid get in trouble would get a little boring, but the first episode really grabbed my attention as young Indy’s dad takes him, his mother and Indy’s tutor across the world for various reasons. The second episode, however, lost my interest pretty quickly, even with the appearance of Teddy Roosevelt in Africa. It turned from an actual story into an animal film so quickly that the shock almost put me to sleep. Actually, it did put me to sleep. So, while I can’t judge the entire series yet, I’m thinking that I’ll probably like the adventures of the slightly older young Indiana Jones as opposed to the younger young Indiana Jones.

After all this, in preparation for Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Em and I watched Last Crusade. I have said for years that Temple is my favorite, but I now have to give that designation to Crusade. It’s just got such a great mix of action and comedy that I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen the entire time. Unlike a lot of trilogies, though, I actually like all of the installments in the Indy series. Even with Star Wars, I don’t like watching New Hope all that much). So immediately after finishing Crusade yesterday, we checked show times and went out to see Crystal Skull. And you know what?

I liked it. I don’t want to get into the plot details too much, but i think a lot people out there need to remember that the previous three Indiana Jones installments have had two acts of God (one of which can be avoided by simply looking away) and one dude who can put his hand through your chest without killing you, take your heart out, again without killing you, show you your own heart and then lower you into a giant pit of fire and lava which finally kills you. So, lighten up people, these are fun, kinda goofy moves that don’t take place in our world, but still continue to wow audiences.

Over the past few days I realized what it is that really grabs me about the Indy movies. Sure, the action is great and the entertainment is top notch, but what really keeps bringing me back is the sense of exploration and discovery with the world around us that seems all but dead in the real world. It seems like every square inch of the Earth has been documented and the sands have given up all their secrets (even if they really haven’t). The Indy movies and TV show reignite that sense of wonder and exploration that I think lies within all of (or at least many of) us.

That being said, I’m off to watch Cannonball Run, so what do I know?