Yesterday, the family met up with with Dad & old buddy Chapman for what I suspect will be our last waiting-in-line event at Edwards Newport to see the new Indiana Jones flick. It was great to have everyone together again at the old haunt I’ve been visiting since the summer of 1977. Once billed as “the largest screen west of the Mississippi,” it’s still the best place to see “big deal” movies – they really don’t make ‘em like they used to.
Speaking of which…
I’ll start by saying the first film (“Raiders of the Lost Ark,” 1981) is one of a handful of perfect films that cannot be improved upon. None of the sequels have come close by a long shot. I accept them for what they are, simple entertainment.
Now – “Crystal Skull” is not great, but it’s not awful, either. It’s neat to see Indiana Jones in the late ’50s with atomic annihilation, McCarthy paranoia, ruthless Commies, teenie boppers, and all that. The film has a lot of the elements I was hoping to see (sci-fi “Saucer Men from Mars” stuff included). There are a few great set pieces, good characters, and nothing as over-the-top as that 500-foot drop out of the plane in the inflatable raft in “Temple of Doom.” Two moments come close, but it’s hard to top that for ridiculousness.
My biggest gripe by far is Janusz Kaminski’s cinematography. He bathes every shot in this stupid glowing haze (probably added in post) that really threw me out of the story. Put it this way: he’s no Doug Slocombe.
Overall, it’s worth seeing, has some good laughs, good action, and is worth a trip to the theater. Make it Edwards Newport.