Posts Tagged ‘film review

12
Oct
10

Will You Logoff for ‘Social Network’?

If only logging on to Facebook was this compelling…

Starring Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Rooney Mara, Armie Hammer, Max Minghella, Rashida Jones and Justin Timberlake. Directed by David Fincher. Based on the book “The Accidental Billionaires” by Ben Mezrich

If this review is read in the far future… you know, the one with the flying cars, jetpacks, and teleportation devices just like “Star Trek,” I wonder how we’ll look back at applications such as Twitter and the current ultimate networking platform, Facebook. Will we look upon these days and reminisce about wasting time on Mafia Wars or Farmville just as others wax laconic about Tetris and Mine Sweeper? Will Facebook concede its crown just as MySpace did? How archaic will “tagging” photos or creating groups like We Graduated High School So Why Are You Still Living In It? seem passe? To lean on the cliché only time will tell and who knows? Maybe I’ll get a chuckle out of reading this review.

At first the choice to helm a movie about culture current technological fad may seem odd. David Fincher. The guy who directed “Seven,” “The Game,” “Fight Club,” “Panic Room,” “Zodiac,” and “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.” If you look at his resume he’s the perfect candidate for the job: the man knows his technology. He’s Robert Zemeckis with a socio-political message wrapped in the veneer of a mystery. The conspiracy inside “The Game” showed that anyone and anything could be reached and turned against someone. “Fight Club” used technology not only for effects but to emphasize its effects on masculinity. Jodie Foster found herself trapped inside a high-security box fighting for her survival in “Panic Room.” In “Zodiac” Fincher used technology to recreate the San Fran area in the Seventies as well as aging Brad Pitt backwards in “Benjamin Button.” And now the spotlight is shown on our electronic fascination with “Social Network.”

Mark Zuckerberg (Eisenberg) is a computer student at Harvard. With a certain nebbish nature he talks a mile-a-minute on a timeline the solely exists inside his head which makes him difficult to deal with or relate to. Any moment he shares with someone appears spent before he even starts it. One night his girlfriend Erica Albright (Mara) breaks up with him because she can’t stand him anymore. Pissed-off and drunk he returns to his dorm room and blogs about his ex-girlfriend, complaining about the size of her breasts and comparing her with farm animals. With the help of his best friend/roommate Eduardo Saverin (Mazzello) he creates a program which takes all the pictures of the women on Harvard and makes a “Hot or Not” website where people can vote as pictures of women are pitted against others. Within four hours the website gets over 22,000 hits and shuts down the Harvard server.

The Harvard review board brings Zuckerberg up on Code of Conduct charges to which he seemingly doesn’t care. The guy is technologically smarter than every person in the room and has no qualms about letting them know. He’s put on academic probation and left to his own devices. Upon hearing of this in the student newspaper Zuckerberg is confronted by Divya Narendra (Minghella) and the Winklevoss Twins Cameron and Tyler (Armie Hammer, technically playing both roles) who found out about his website and want him to help create a student dating website for them. What’s in it for him? Re-establishing his Harvard “image.” From this Zuckerberg begins stirring an idea around in his head…

“Relationship status.” That’s the key ingredient Zuckerberg and Eduardo need to create their website, thefacebook. Within moments Zuckerberg finishes the programming and sits back. And waits.

Like a “viral web hit” people begin logging on and joining up. The duo don’t know what they have on their hands. Mark wants to keep it free and expand the technology while Eduardo wants to monetize it so it can begin paying for itself. Steadily the amount of members increase as they broaden who can join (because you need an “.edu” address to be a member) to other colleges. It even goes overseas. Meanwhile the guys with the prestigious rowing club try pursuing litigation saying that Zuckerberg stole their idea.

Enter Sean Parker (Timberlake). He created Napster and sat in the middle of multiple lawsuits while living the party lifestyle. Sean has ideas and against Eduardo’s better judgment has sway on Mark. He convinces Mark to move out to California so they can take “thefacebook” global because Sean has contacts. He’s setting up meetings. He’s getting Zuckerberg networked. Meanwhile, Eduardo is back in New York running around, seemingly hopelessly, trying to get funding for the website.

And therein lies what the movie is about: more than Facebook, more than money, it’s about the destruction of a friendship. It’s about two men who shared a vision in the beginning only for each to find out who the other was too late. Eduardo is sold on the idea and wants to keep a certain amount of control on it while Mark wants to play “Civilization” with social networking. Piece by piece Eduardo is sold out by Mark and Sean finally ending up suing Mark.

And Mark has no initial worries about the place he’s found himself in: the middle of two lawsuits. One is against the person who used to be his best friend while the other is against the brothers who hired him to do their website. Mark can be labeled “cold and indifferent” without pause or difficulty. That’s as deep as he goes…

Fincher weaves the tale back and forth between Mark’s and Eduardo’s testimonies as well as those of the Winklevoss. It’s an intriguing tale. It’s compelling. Think “Aviator” for computer nerds. While you may not get a full view on who Zuckerberg really is the actions speak for themselves. One of the best lines to illustrate this arrives at the very end when Rishad Jones says, “You’re not an asshole, but you’re trying so hard to be.” Apropos.

The question that comes to mind: is this the TRUE story of the founding of Facebook? I haven’t read the book and therefore cannot say. It’s a movie so I’m sure a good chunk is embellished but I also believe that several events did occur; I just can’t say which ones. But more importantly: what does Zuckerberg think of all this?

I did enjoy the movie overall. If it were any director other than Fincher I may have decided against seeing it but Fincher is one of the better storytellers of my generation. The guy can make the bland provocative. Aside from the technological aspect Fincher called up industrial rock artist Trent Reznor and had him do the soundtrack (Fincher had done several Nine Inch Nails videos) and the result works. While Eisenberg, Timberlake, and Garfield give good performances of their characters since I have not really seen their real-life versions I can’t speak to how accurate they were.

My grade: B+

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08
Jul
10

“Kick-Ass” and Take Names

Or was that ass-kicked?

Starring Aaron Johnson, Clark Duke, Evan Peters, Lyndsy Fonseca, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Mark Strong, Chloe Moretz, and Nicolas Cage. Directed by Matthew Vaughn. Based on the comic book by Mark Millar and John Romita, Jr.

I will say it over and over again: I’m not a huge fan of the superhero genre. For every good superhero movie (“Superman,” “Batman,” “Spider-Man”) there are the less-than-stellar attempts at bringing others to the silver screen (“Daredevil,” “Hulk”) as well as attempts to resurrect a franchise (“Superman Returns,” “The Incredible Hulk”). And let’s not forget the made-up/not so renown ones (“Blankman,” “Steele”). I’m writing this on the eve of “Iron Man 2,” which I suspect will be the popcorn blockbuster that the first entirely was and that’s fine with me.

“Kick-Ass” is based on a darker graphic novel and follows Dave Lizewski, your Peter Parker-ish high school quintessential 98+ pound weakling. He’s in love with the beautiful but impossible to have Katie Deauxma (Fonseca). His two best friends Marty (Duke) and Todd (Peters) hang out with him each day at Atomic Comics. Dave’s life is the epitome of boring and mundane: he goes to school, his dad goes to work, they eat the same brand knock-off cereal, etc. In short, blah.

Out of this stagnation comes a twisted idea: what if he became a superhero, like in the comic books? His friends dismiss it saying that it would be crazy. Unless a person happened to be like Batman or whoever else why would anyone want to do it? Again, crazy idea. But not for Dave…

Hopping on the Net he orders a green with yellow trim wetsuit and some batons. He adopts the name Kick-Ass and in the beginning he’s more the reverse: his ass gets kicked. He has no fighting skills or training or cache of money to rely on. This doesn’t deter him because he has the one thing that superheroes need: a heart. After an attempt to thwart carjackers leaves him bleeding from a stab wound, as well as getting hit by a car, he emerges from the hospital with enough metal inside him to rival Wolverine. This clinches his idea of becoming a superhero.

Enter the main bad guy, lumber supplier and drug kingpin Frank D’Amico (Strong). After a deal goes bad Kick-Ass is to blame and becomes his personal center of revenge. The kingpin’s son, Chris (Mintz-Plasse), concocts a plan to get close to Kick-Ass by becoming a superhero himself.

Kick-Ass finds allies in Hit Girl (Moretz) and Big Daddy (Cage). Big Daddy had been a cop who refused to bend to D’Amico and became framed. Sent to prison for five years his then wife OD’d on drugs but lived long enough to give birth to their daughter, Mindy. Mindy and father become reunited after he’s released whereby she becomes Hit Girl and he Big Daddy. Their mission: bring down D’Amico.

I’ll leave the story description there because let’s face it: you’ve seen the plot points before. What makes this movie differ from the rest is that it knows the source material that came before it and plays to the audience. Dave narrates the film with that “I’m telling you but you should probably already figure it out” sense of sarcasm. He knows that he doesn’t have the Batman story of revenge, or the Spider-Man story of being bitten by a radioactive spider. He knows and comes to terms with the fact that superheroes grace comic books for a reason: they are in an alternate reality. By finding his own humanity he does manage to become a superhero which is just as good.

My thoughts? I enjoyed the hell out of this movie. When Nicholson in “Batman,” exclaimed, “What this town needs is an enema,” he may as well have been talking about the superhero genre. After knowing the backstories to every-other Marvel or DC character and knowing the story arcs, we’ve become so accustomed to how the story is supposed to play out that all we can do is venture whether or not this set of characters did it well.

And these do. Kick-Ass goes from being the high school dork to superhero sensation. He befriends others trying to help the cause. He fights the bad guy and wins. And, there’s the offspring of a future nemesis.

Aside from this, “Kick-Ass” is a film I would suggest to young filmmaker wannabes/gonnabes because there are so many styles put into this film. Director Matthew Vaughn’s debut movie was “Layer Cake,” but this plays closer to “Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels,” and “Snatch,” both movies he produced with Guy Ritchie. For those who miss the sense of humor those movies had in Ritchie’s current work check this one out; you’ll find the person it came from. Whether the movie plays like Ang Lee’s “Hulk,” or like “A Scanner Darkly,” or even like a video game, it keeps you on your toes for what to expect. It may not be the greatest achievement in film but I can liken it to “Kill Bill Vol. 1” in terms of mashing together various styles.

Aaron Johnson does a great job at being the high school dork-come-superhero with heart and I expect that he’ll get a lot more work because of it. I’m not going to guess what his range is but he played the part perfectly. Nic Cage does an interesting turn as Big Daddy, a Batman wannabe down to his lookalike custom and Adam West-pregnant pausing sentences.

The real thing about this movie is Mindy/Hit Girl. She’s twelve, cusses worse than a sailor, and could out-John Woo any situation. A lethal killing machine that hasn’t even gotten to high school yet. I’ve heard friends say that this is controversial in other cities and maybe they’re talking about it here. But hey guys: it’s just a movie. Sit back, relax, and try to have fun watching it.

I wish I could recommend this to everybody but I know that tastes vary and that there will be a lot of people offended by this one. So I’ll recommend this one to those who love superhero movies, those who like them, and those who are all about satire.

My grade: B+

Chas Andrews is a freelance writer, blogger, movie critic, what-have-you. Check out his hardboiled crime tale, The Big Adios, at http://aidencobb.blogspot.com

14
Sep
09

Movie Review: Extract

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Mike Judge’s comedy flavor.

Starring Jason Bateman, Mila Kunis, Kristen Wiig, J.K. Simmons, David Koetchner and Ben Affleck. Directed by Mike Judge

This movie is to the small, mom-and-pop business as “Office Space” was to the office environment. It’s a small, fun, little comedy.

Jason Bateman stars as Joel Reynolds, the head of Reynolds Extract, a plant-extract company he personally created which offers flavors such as vanilla, root beer, and wintergreen. Joel is stressed-out and having problems: the business is full of dysfunctional people not the least of which is his assistant Brian (Simmons) who calls all the workers “dingus” because he refuses to learn their names. When word comes that General Mills may buy their plant and Joel and Brian may be in for some serious cash, things begin looking up.

As for the homefront he hasn’t had sex in a month and doesn’t get it unless he gets home before 8pm. Otherwise his wife Suzie (Wiig) walks around in a pair of sweatpants with the drawstring tied in a bow; a veritable “Gordon’s knot.” He spends late nights at a local bar where the bartender Dean(Affleck), a friend and former co-worker, offers pills and a suggestion: pay a guy to pretend to be a pool cleaner and seduce his wife. If the wife resists, then Joel can’t cheat and they have to work things out. If she does then Joel has the “moral clearance” to cheat on her.

Enter Cindy (Kunis), a new temp with ideas of her own. A criminal vagabond, she finds out about a mishap at the factory and applies as a temp to work there. She plays both sides against the middle: she gets into Joel’s “good graces” as well as dating the worker, “Step,” and getting him to use local big shot lawyer Lou Adler (Gene Simmons) to sue the company for more than it’s worth.

I enjoyed the movie. Small, unassuming, and not a bad way to kill 90 minutes on a weekend. Mike Judge uses his “lovable loser who gets in over his head” formula (see also “Office Space”) and it works well with Bateman. Mila Kunis is great as the femme fatale; the opening scene where she takes a guitar is laugh-out-loud funny. David Koechner is great as the neighbor who won’t go away no matter how much you want him to. Finally, Ben Affleck as a spiritual healer/friend/bartender is worth watching in and of itself.

If the movie had any faults, it’s that it didn’t strive to be great. Sometimes, striving for enjoyable is good enough and having went through a decade of “Scary Movie” gross-out humor, “Date/Epic/Not Remotely Funny” parody movies, bad Kevin Smith stuff, and whatever Judd Apatow script had been sitting on a shelf, it’s nice to have this comedy come around. It might not be “The Hangover,” “Tropic Thunder,” “Dodgeball,” or even Judge’s cult-favorite, “Office Space,” but I enjoyed it.

Should you go see it? I can’t say that it’s worth the full $10, but I would put it as a matinée, $1 movie/second-run, or even a rental.

My grade: satisfactory B

15
Jan
09

2009 Movie Release Schedule: Jul-Sep

2009posters3The following are movie release schedules with their current projected release dates as of 1/2009. These dates may change as the year progresses. Enjoy, and see you at the movies.

 

July Releases

 

“Public Enemies” – Johnny Depp plays John Dillinger in this biopic on the gangster. Directed by Michael Mann, also starring Christian Bale. Opens July 1, 2009

 

“2012” – It’s not the year 2525, but it’s just as disastrous… Roland Emmerich is behind this apocalyptic movie staring John Cusack, Amanda Peet, Danny Glover, and Oliver Platt. Opens July 10, 2009

 

“Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” – No summary; I’ve not bothered watching any of these movies. Opens July 17, 2009

 

“G-Force” – A group of guinea pigs are recruited for covert government ops. Features the voices of Sam Rockwell, Tracy Morgan, Nic Cage, and Penelope Cruz. Opens July 24, 2009

 

“The Taking of Pelham 123” – Remake of the film about armed men hijacking a New York subway. Opens July 24, 2009

 

“Bandslam” – A high school outcast and the popular girl help form a band to win a high school “Battle of the Bands” contest. Stars Lisa Kudrow and Vanessa Hudgens. Opens July 31, 2009

 

“Funny People” – Judd Apatow movie with Adam Sandler as a comedian who has a terminal illness and who takes Seth Rogen under his wing. Opens July 31, 2009

 

 

August Releases

 

“G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra” – Stephen Sommers directs this adaptation of the TV cartoon series. Opens August 7, 2009

 

“Julie and Julia” – Based on, “My Life in France,” the memoir of Julia and Paul Child. Opens August 7, 2009

 

“Orphan” – A husband and wife lose their nine-year-old and adopt a not-so-innocent girl. Stars Vera Farmiga and Peter Sarsgaard. Opens August 7, 2009

 

“Shorts” – A mysterious, rainbow-colored rock grants wishes for anyone who holds it, and EVERYONE wants to have it. Directed by Robert Rodriguez. Opens August 7, 2009

 

“District 9” – Extraterrestrials become refugees in South Africa. Opens August 14, 2009

 

“Final Destination: Death Trip 3D” – The newest installment of the franchise, in 3D. Opens August 21, 2009

 

“The Goods: The Don Ready Story” – Jeremy Piven is the titular character- a used-car liquidator hired by an auto dealer to make their 4th of July sale profitable. Opens August 21, 2009

 

 

September Releases

 

“9” – In a post-apocalyptic world a being with the name “9” wakes up. Upon looking around he finds others like him and that it’s up to him to save what’s left of the world from the Machines. Stars the voices of Elijah Wood, John C. Reilly, Jennifer Connelly, Crispin Glover, Martin Landau and Christopher Plummer. Opens September 9, 2009

 

“Whiteout” – Kate Beckinsale is a U.S. Marshall in Antarctica who must find the killer before the sun disappears for 6 months. Opens September 11, 2009

 

“Armored” – An armored car driver is coerced by coworkers to steal an armored car worth $10 million. Stars Matt Dillon, Laurence Fishburne, Jean Reno, and Skeetb Ulrich. Opens September 18, 2009

 

“Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” – A scientist plans to conquer global famine in gigantic proportions. With the voices of Anna Farris, James Caan, Bruce Campbell, and Mr. T. Opens September 18, 2009

 

“The Informant” – Matt Damon plays Mark Whitacre, a vie president-turned-informant on the dealings of agri-business. Based on the true story. Opens September 18, 2009

 

“Surrogates” – Bruce Willis and Radha Mitchell are FBI agents investigating a murder regarding a man who creates robotic replicas of people. Opens September 25, 2009

 

 

 

 

16
Jun
08

Movie Review: The Incredible Hulk

 

 

Hulk SMASH!

 

Starring Ed Norton, Liv Tyler, William Hurt, and Tim Roth. Directed by Louis Leterrier.

 

For the purposes of this movie review, I’m only dealing with the current “Hulk” movie, not the 80’s TV show, the cartoon, or any of the comics, and only limited dealing with the 2003 Ang Lee movie.

 

Like “Iron Man,” this movie wastes no time. The opening credit sequence shows that Bruce Banner (Norton) was a scientist exposing himself to gamma radiation, being watched over by assistant Elizabeth Ross (Tyler). Something goes wrong and Banner becomes… something else. The lab is destroyed and “Betsy” winds up in the hospital. Her dad General Ross (Hurt) bans Banner and he leaves. From that point Banner is on the run (watch for S.H.E.I.L.D. references as well as the  names Tony Stark and Nick Fury).

 

And that’s just the opening.

 

Banner is now living in Brazil keeping under the radar by working at a bottling plant, practicing yoga and breathing exercises, learning the language by watching “Sesame Street,” and keeping in contact with “Mr. Blue” as to how he can get rid of the “Hulk-ness.”

 

When his blood accidentally makes it into a bottle of fruit juice it affects a mild-mannered citizen (Stan Lee) and Hurt gets the best of the best to help tear down the slums of Brazil/ find Bruce Banner. Inducted into the group is Russian-born English-bred and on-loan to the States Emil Blonsky (Tim Roth). After destroying the bottling plant Blonsky stares into the face of Hulk and like Ahab to Ishmael he makes a new life goal of bringing Banner/Hulk down. When Blonsky confronts Ross about what’s going on, Ross confides that he was trying to re-initiate a “super-soldier” program using Banner and that’s how Hulk came about. Blonsky, apparently as crazed as Ross, signs up for some “super juice.”

 

Not to be outdone in the Crazy Department, Banner wakes up in the jungle and decides that having nothing to lose, he should go back to Culver University (where it all started) and get the data he needs to send to “Mr. Blue.” This means also running into Elizabeth and the distinct possibility that he will not make it to New York to meet up with the scientist, but it does assure the destruction of military stuff.

 

I’ll stop there. While this film is largely plotless, it’s enjoyable on about the same level of “Iron Man.” Is it better than the previous movie outing? Yes, by 100 times. Is this a film? No. This is a comic book that you are watching (sorta like how “Iron Man” was). Yes, there’s destruction. The villain in this movie makes sense as opposed to “super demigod” Nick Nolte. And yes, I was actually behind the Hulk to win.

 

The only problem that comes with doing a Hulk movie is the problem with dealing with Superman: these characters are limited. Bruce Banner is boring compared to the primal rage of Hulk like Clark Kent is boring compared to how super Superman is.

 

Aside from that, I got no complaints. Why should you see this? Well, it’s probably the best Hulk film yet. It’s a little more than popcorn fun, the CG is well done, Norton does a great job, etc. Watch for the cameos of Stan Lee as (again) a mild-mannered senior citizen who drinks “Hulk” blood and Lou Ferrigno as a security guard (and he moonlights as Hulk’s voice). Tim Blake Nelson is Stearns/ Mr. Blue, a scientist intrigued with the Hulk.

 

Extra credit if you can comment on the review with the Bill Bixby reference.

 

My grade: B+

13
Jun
08

Movie Review: Son of Rambow

 

 

Make film. Not war.

 

Starring Neil Dudgeon, Bill Milner, Jessica Hynes, Will Poulter, and Jules Sitruk. Directed by Garth Jennings.

 

Setting: England, some point in the 1980’s. Will Proudfoot (Milner) is a young schoolboy with a great ability to do drawings. His main problem is that his family is under the religious regime of the Brethren, a sect that outlaws media, art, and most of the outside world influences. Enter Lee Carter (Poulter), the “trouble” kid. He smokes, helps his brother bootleg movies, and gets into trouble just about every day. When these two opposites meet, Lee makes Will feel indebted to him, and pulls him into helping to win a filmmaking contest. When Will watches “First Blood” for the first time, he transforms from mild-mannered kid into the rambunctious “Son of Rambow.” What follows is a tale of friendship, religion, family, and small-scale filmmaking.

 

What I liked about this movie: it’s endearing. Instead of your CGI-based movie, or the standard sugar-coated Disney fare, this film has heart whereas the others have money. It’s not a perfect film; it has its flaws and it can meander, but overall I enjoyed it.

 

The only movie I could even compare it to would be “Bowfinger.” Thing is, it’s not as campy or corny as “Bowfinger” was. However, it does show filmmaking on a small scale: getting the people, the prima donna actor, “losing control” over the production… all of that is in here. Again, it’s a nice movie. Not great, not earth-shattering, but nice. And that’s all it really aims for.

 

My grade: B

22
May
08

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

 

 

“Indiana” Jones gets an “X-File.”

 

Starring Harrison Ford, Cate Blanchett, Karen Allen, Shia LeBeouf, Ray Winstone, John Hurt, and Jim Broadbent. Directed by Steven Spielberg.

 

Good, not great. Worth watching, but not the wait.

 

It’s been 19 years since “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade,” and I’m thinking… that may have been a little too long of a wait. The year is 1957, and the story kicks off with a convoy heading into the infamous Area 51. The convoy is Russian headed by Stalin-loving psychic Dr. Irina Spalko (Blanchett). She is holding “Indy” and his friend “Mack” (Winstone) hostage in order for Indy to guide her to a box taken from the Roswell crash site. Following a double-cross by Mack and a derring-do escape from the military warehouse, he goes from the frying pan into the fire as he winds up in the small town about to be “nuked.” He escapes inside a refrigerator and is later questioned by the FBI as to his “possible” Communist ties, nevermind the fact that he served in the War (and is now “Colonel” Jones).

 

Back at the college Indy is teaching when Dean Sanforth (Broadbent) asks him to take a reprieve due to the FBI looking through Indy’s office. Little does he know that Indy is being followed by the Feds as well as the Russians. Added to that is a visit by ‘Mutt’ Williams (LeBeouf), a stereotypical 50’s “greaser” (looking like Brando) who tells Indy that an old acquaintance, Professor Oxley (Hurt), has been kidnapped when he was looking for a mythical “lost” city and a “crystal skull.” Williams’ mother Marion apparently knows Indy and had Mutt give him this information.

 

CUT to the plane dissolved with a map, tracking their movement to South America. From there it’s the quest to find the crystal skull (which looks like H.R. Giger designed it) and for return. Indy meets with Marion Ravenwood-Williams (Allen) and finds that Oxley is alive as well as insane. The Russians seem to meet them at every turn as well, with Spalko wanting the crystal so she can harness all the knowledge in the known universe. And last but not least is Mack, who can never decide whose side he’s really on.

 

I’ve been trying to figure out what is missing from this movie and the answer is… danger. Whatever event happens to Indy isn’t IMPERATIVE; everyone chugs along from scene to scene, basically acting out the story. There’s no real tension or DANGER, just scrapes and skirmishes. But enough of that.

 

What I did enjoy the movie is solid Spielbergian filmmaking. Sure, it’s not the greatest story ever told but whatever he tells, he tells it well. There were long and medium shots as opposed to close-up vs. close-up. The actors had to ACT, which worked well for the most part.

 

Another thing missing: a rousing John Williams score. The initial “Raiders” theme is present but is unheard until maybe the 30 minute point. In fact, most of the music is subdued.

 

The writing works for most of the movie, but “Indy 4” gives more than a nod to “Temple of Doom.” If “Indy 2” is really disliked as much as Spielberg lets on, he didn’t show it. Also the ending is reminiscent of “X-Files: Fight the Future.” Hope that doesn’t ruin it for you…

 

Finally, mention is made for Marcus Brody and Henry Jones, Sr. as their characters have “passed on.” No kudos for Sallah, though.

 

Why to see this movie: well it’s enjoyable, watchable, you can take your kids (or parents) to see it, and nostalgic. In regards to nostalgia, when I was leaving the theatre a guy exclaimed, “You know what? Russians are no substitute for Nazis.” True enough.

 

My grade: B