Indiana Jones and the.... Whatever

Rich Galen

5/23/2008 10:02:45 AM - Rich Galen

If you don't have an actual job, then you are not actually playing actual hooky when you decide to hit the 11:00 AM opening-day viewing of the new Indiana Jones movie.

Here's a trick which works best if, as previously mentioned, you don't have a job. Summer blockbusters often open before most public schools are done for the year. If that is the case, you want to go to a mid-day showing on its opening day. The kids are still in school and those who do have jobs will be … at their jobs.

If you do this, you will not have to stand in line nor sit 17 inches from the screen because you didn't get there six hours in advance.

Where else can you get tips like these?

The full title of the film is "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" which has already been shortened by the Text-Message-Generation to KOCS .

It is the fourth in the Indiana Jones series which began with "Raiders of the Lost Ark" in 1981.

The second film, "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" followed in 1984 and "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" in 1989. Combined, the Indy series has grossed about $1.2 Billion worldwide, not including VCR/DVD rentals and sales.

This movie runs a tad over two hours, is rated PG-13 and, as in all three previous films it was directed by Steven Spielberg, produced by George Lucas' Lucasfilms, with the music written by John Williams.

You may not know this, but I am a serious student of film. As evidence of this, I went into the theater knowing that one of the main characters was being played by Cate Banchette. I also knew that Karen Allen, Indy's love interest in the first movie, was making a return appearance.

I thought it was very interesting that the leading women from the first two movies - "Raiders" and "Temple of Doom" were being brought back for this movie.

About 27 seconds into the movie when the Cate Blanchette character first appeared on the screen, I couldn't understand how she could look so different from her character in "Temple."

She looked way different because she was a different actress. Kate Capshaw, not Cate Blanchette, had been the female lead in "Temple of Doom."

I have done this before. When the movie "Ray" was all the rage I didn't understand how Jamie Farr (who is White) had gotten that role. The actor who played Ray Charles was, of course, Jamie Foxx. Jamie Farr had played Max Klinger on the old M*A*S*H series.

You now understand why I am rarely (read never) invited to screenings at the Motion Picture Association of America offices which are only about three blocks from mine.

Despite the fact that Ford is now 66 and Karen Allen is now 57 they still look pretty good. Cate Blanchette is 11. No, she's the age Harrison Ford was in the first "Indy" film: 39.

KOCS is set in 1957 and the bad guys (or gals) are Russian Commies, not German Nazis. To make certain there is no confusion, Spielberg has Elvis Presley's "Hound Dog" playing under the opening credits and first scenes - clearly a post-WWII song.

I have a hard time staying awake for the entirety of a two-hour movie at a theater. The Lad once said, "Let me get this straight: You are in a comfortable chair, in the largest living room in the world, in the dark, watching the equivalent of a gigantic TV set, having eaten a pound of popcorn during the previews, and you fall asleep? I'm shocked."

These kids today, huh?

I did my "first day showing" trick with the last Harry Potter movie. When I watched the DVD several months later, I was surprised at how much of it I had missed.

I didn't miss a single frame of KOCS.

If you like car chases you will love this movie. If you love close-escape after close-escape you will love this movie. If you love people who get dunked into rivers, lakes and wells then show up in the next scene, 25 seconds later in the story, completely dry you will REALLY love this movie.

If you are torn between this movie or "Sex in the City," you may not want to spend the eight bucks.

I, on the other hand, may go see it again.