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Fun with Franchises: Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984), Part I — “Uncompromisingly 80s”

We continue with another entry in our Fun with Franchises series. This week’s film is Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

Fun with Franchises is a series born out of my friend Colin and I realizing how much fun it was for the two of us to watch the same movie separately and then share our reactions. We started by watching all of the James Bond movies, for the purposes of ranking them for the blog. I brought him in because he was much more of a Bond expert than I was at the time, and I felt his perspective would liven things up. He would be the color commentator to my play-by-play man.

We soon discovered that, by watching the movies separately and then putting everything we said together in the same place, hilarity ensued. We each brought in our own observations, not knowing what the other would say, and then reacted to what the other said. And we loved every minute of it.

We had so much fun, we figured we had to do it again. So we graduated from a single franchise, to all franchises. If you’re gonna have fun with franchises, it wouldn’t be right if you didn’t franchise it. Season 1 included the Harry Potter movies, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Twilight (which neither of us had seen before we watched them for the articles) and Pirates of the Caribbean. All of those articles can be read on the Fun with Franchises page.

Also, just so we’re clear, this is all for parody. We’re just messing with them because we love them. (Well… Twilight…) We’re watching movies we enjoy and are simply having some fun with them.

Right now, we’re doing the Indiana Jones franchise, and today is the first part Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

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Colin:

I never loved this movie.

That’s the kind of shit you say with a beer in your hand about your wife to your kid when you get too drunk on Flag Day.

Colin:

Even when I was too little to understand half of what was going on in these movies, I was already aware of a certain gap in quality between Raiders and this. And then there’s Crusade, which I freaking loved because it had Nazis and Sean Connery. Basically anything that has Nazis and Sean Connery (have you guys seen Milk?).

But you know what I mean. The Longest Day, A Bridge Too Far. Not bad company to be in, as movies go.

I think the problem with this movie is the wild tonal shifts that are constantly happening. The story itself is dark. It’s about colonialism, ultimately. And a fucked up voodoo cult that rips out people’s hearts and shit. And there’s child labor. Yet, aside from that, you have this annoying white bitch screaming all the time, and these moments of levity that just do not fit whatsoever…

I’m getting into my final thoughts now, and we haven’t even started the movie yet.

Colin:

You can always tell that we don’t like a movie very much when we start bitching about it this early. Attack of the Clones?

And this one doesn’t even give us  the courtesy of some deer asshole to tide us over.

But yeah, there’s definitely some weird stuff going on here. And I think it’s a nice idea in concept, but it just went a little too far in certain directions and is too uneven overall. It’s clearly the worst because it loses the fun of the other movies. This isn’t a franchise you can really go Empire with. And I think that’s what they were trying to do.

Colin:

This movie is forever tainted in my mind as the [now second] shittiest Indiana Jones flick. It was the one that we would rent on a Friday evening when all the other Indy tapes were checked out. Then there was that time we ended up with Indiana Bones and the Temple of Poon. All of the Oscars.

Colin:

I’ll try not to be too hard on this movie as we’re going through it.

It’s probably more difficult to not be too hard with the other one.

Colin:

It can’t be as bad as I remember it being, right? I mean, that’s what these articles are all about. Setting aside old prejudices, so we can establish new, better ones.

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I want to start a tumblr with just personalized studio logos.

Or at least have a specialized set of pages that link to all the ones from throughout history.

I enjoy these more than I enjoy a lot of films.

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Kind of stretching it a little bit, but on the other hand, fuck it, you started a trend nobody knew about and are running with it. So might as well keep it up.

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Colin:

Already a winner. More movies should start with a huge gong.

There are a lot of movies on the internet that start with a huge gong.

Colin:

Also, who’s this lazy fucking statue? He looks like an Unsatisfied Woman in Art History.

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Colin:

Silver and red is such a great color combination. That used to be a popular car color set-up. Silver car with red leather interior. On a 60s Austin Healey or something, that shit looked GOOD.

It’s also a good combination if you’re playing a game show that takes you through an Aztec temple.

Colin:

Who Wants to be a Human Sacrifice? Your Life is in Jeopardy? Let’s Make a Wheel?

Let’s Make a Wheel

What a great title.

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Into the mist.

Colin:

Although, now that I stare into the mouth of this Chinese myth dragon, I can only be reminded of Skyfall, which blows this out of the water.

As I Stare Into the Mouth of This Chinese Myth Dragon…

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And out comes the worst thing that might have happened to the Indiana Jones franchise. At least until the monkeys.

Jury’s still out on which one is worse.

I think at this point, if we were to list the worst things that happened to this franchise, in no particular order, it would be:

Kate Capshaw, the monkeys, George Lucas, the aliens, and George Lucas writing for all of the above.

Colin:

There’s a case to be made that success is the worst thing that happened to this franchise.

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Colin:

And this is where they fail. She looks so uncompromisingly 80s, it’s gratuitous. You know when someone looks obviously retro, but not like the time that they’re supposed to be from? That’s what this is. I feel like the 70s and the 80s were the worst at period pieces, cause you look at the actors and immediately know when the movie was made. Even Amadeus, when he has his wig off, looking like Flock of Seagulls. Puffy shirts were in back then.

Uncompromisingly 80s.

Porkins looked that way in the last movie. You look at that guy, no matter what era — he’s a cop. You know how, in movies, the cop walks into a bar, and the person says, “Evening, officer,” even though he’s undercover? That’s how he looked.

Going back to the discussion, though — I think what did the 70s in for period pieces is the photography. 70s film stock had a certain look to it that is unmistakable. That’s what makes them stick out more than anything. The 80s, though — totally. Actually, now that you mention it, each decade is very recognizable, as period pieces go. I could give you a period piece that isn’t well remembered now, and just by watching a random scene, you could immediately pick out the decade where it was made.

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Why they got a white lady to star in this weird club, I have no idea.

Colin:

If you want something to look over the top Chinese, just cover it in blood red and gold. Anything can be made Chinese with a simple application of gaudy color.

Not Shiho.

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Way to block out the title, guys.

You just made Willie Scott more important than the title of the movie.

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Great, and just sing in Chinese, why don’t you?

Colin:

Bitch, what language are you aping?

Bitch What Language Are You Aping?

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Anything goes, is basically what you’re supposed to get from the lyrics. This is George and Steven, recreating the “We’re in the Money” sequence from Gold-Diggers of 1933. Just with Chinese instead of Pig Latin.

But this ain’t Ginger Rogers, guys.

Colin:

She’s nothing to Fred A-stare at, either.

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Colin:

It wouldn’t be Hollywood without a few unattractive white women standing in for Asians.

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Just singing to the camera. Because it’s not like we’ve got a movie going on or anything.

I bet he thought she looked like Ginger Rogers here, too.

Yeah…

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That was an overly creepy wink.

(Also, so clearly white women. You think she brought them with her, or they’re just for all the businessmen to fuck after the dining hours?)

Colin:

And why would you bring white women to China just to have them dress up as Chinese women?

I’d just leave it at, why would you bring white women to China?

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“Anything goes.”

What is this, Thailand?

Colin:

Even in Thailand, there are many things that don’t go. Like political freedom.

And also North Korea. Where not only does political freedom not go, but also rockets.

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Your mouth is huge.

Colin:

I think she has a big mouth. That might be what ruins part of the look. I always think of women from the 30s having tiny mouths. Remember Myrna Loy? She could scrunch her mouth up so tiny. Mike knows exactly the moment I’m thinking of.

The best part about that moment is that it’s a complete pan across the room, and maybe even a pan back, if I’m not mistaken.

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Costumes are nice. Choreography is so-so. Casting is piss poor.

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Nice slip up.

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Also like how the one on the left just doesn’t give a fuck.

That’s the, “Did that bitch steal my haircut?” look.

The one behind her is just really happy to be on camera.

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Into the shitty mist we go.

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Ah, there’s your Busby Berkeley number. I’ll give him credit for trying to bring that back. If only for a second.

Colin:

Isn’t this supposed to be a show? So where the hell did she just go? For whose benefit was that? Where’d the dragon go? Did they pause for a few minutes to wheel shit out? How the hell do they afford all those dancers? Dancers were cheap back then. You could just have live-in dancers and shit. Those were the days.

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What if someone had the balls to do this today? How would people to react to a straight up musical sequence at the beginning of a film?

Colin:

If Furious 7 does that, I’ll think about it.

Fingers crossed for Entourage!

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The problem is he never ventures into Berkeley territory. The camera is always on one side of the action. Berkeley used to go above and below, and get all these crazy looking shots that were completely impossible.

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Colin:

This is more 30s. Probably cause what’s her face isn’t here.

And it’s happening in wide shots.

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This is my favorite part of the movie. Even though, as a Berkley number goes, it’s more of a serviceable homage than anything.

Colin:

Platinum blondes aren’t great, are they? And something tells me this would look better in black and white than it does like this. I get the red accents, but I only accept sequins in monochrome. 

Platinum Blonde, however, is a good movie.

Also, I Only Accept Sequins in Monochrome.

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The running man?

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I guess their one trick is reversing the footage so they look like they all do splits and pop right back up. Okay.

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Colin:

Pulling stuff out of titties!

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Are they gonna play the parachute game?

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And he’s too tied to spatial relations. She goes through the smoke, and we use her to come back out. It’s not that crazy. He should have really gone full Busby.

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“Anything goes.”

Back up like, three paces.

Colin:

That was a shitty ending to the song. Way to fuck the endgame. You’re like the Dick Cheney of fake 1930s singers.

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Colin:

Didn’t she bang Spielberg? And then they got married? Isn’t that how it went? I guess anything goes.

… and, final note.

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Shifty Chinamen.

Colin:

Who’s this shifty looking Asian bodyguard on the left? He looks like a cool guy to know.

Look at me. I am the chairman now.

No, but seriously, he looks like the Asian equivalent of someone. And I can’t figure out who. And it’s killing me. Because there’s a perfect comparison there that I just can’t think of at the moment.

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P.S. A title here says we’re in Shanghai, in 1935. So this technically takes place before Raiders of the Lost Ark. Just FYI.

Colin:

Shanghai, 1935. What great context that is. I studied East Asian history extensively in college, and just seeing “Shanghai, 1935” on the screen gets me more excited that I should be for what’s about to happen. In fact, I have no idea why they put it in Shanghai. There are going to be Japanese soldiers all through this place in a short while, but they decided to skip that. That’s like randomly setting a movie in Paris in 1938 or 1939 and making zero connection to the war. But I see that title on the screen, and in my head, I’m already skipping forward a decade to, “P-51! Cadillac of the sky! P-51! Cadillac of the sky!”

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Why are all the dancers running upstairs? What’s upstairs? Freedom?

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So Bond. So, so Bond.

Colin:

Okay, this is SHAMELESSLY Bond. We already know that they were trying to do the Bond thing while thinking up the character, but they made him totally different in Raiders. I liked that. Here, they have him coming into an obviously 1980s nightclub (seriously, with the electric blue neon? This looks like Vice City.) in black tux pants and a white jacket. It’s the Goldfinger look. And they don’t show his face, which is the classic Bond intro. The sad thing is that even this rip-off does it better than Roger Moore was doing at around the same time.

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“Be careful.”

What’s with the “ancient Chinese secret” face?

Colin:

How do you think he keeps that napkin so WHITE?

Assumed socio-economic and political privilege?

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A… Lao me to introduce myself.

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Colin:

HE EVEN HAS THE RED CARNATION! ARE THEY EVEN TRYING AT THIS POINT? I guess they gave him a non-satin shirt, the black vest and a peak lapel, which is different from Connery’s look. But still, black pants, white jacket, red flower. I don’t think we need to do a “who wore it better” for this outfit.

He says some shit in Chinese.

“You never told me you spoke my language, Dr. Jones.”

Motherfucker, my only language is pussay.

He said, to the brisk night air.

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“Only on special occasions.”

Colin:

I hate it when movies do this. Have the main character speak some random language awkwardly for like 10 seconds to show that he can do it, and then have the other guy break out in perfect English. It’s meaningless. The only time it works is when they do it after the other guy makes some crack, assuming he won’t understand. Like in Hunt for Red October. Why does this movie keep comparing unfavorably to Sean Connery movies?

The alternate title to this was actually Darby O’Gill and the Little People.

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Lao asks if it’s true he found something or other.

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“You know I did.”

Last night, one of his boys tried to steal it.

Oh. It would have been way more badass if he just said, “You know I did,” in the sense of, “Motherfucker, you know I’m a boss.” Don’t offer reasoning why he knows. He should just know.

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And look what happened to him.

Colin:

Oh shit! That’s Ric Young! He was the bad guy in The Transporter and the heroin supplier in American Gangster. Living in Japan this long has made me really good at recognizing Asians. And someone’s missing a finger. Is that supposed to be a yakuza reference? I should hope that they’d know the difference between China and Japan.

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“You’ve insulted my son.”

“No, you’ve insulted me. I spared his life.”

That is insulting. I hate it when I have to keep people alive and only maim them for life.

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“You motherfu—”

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“Aren’t you going to introduce us?”

Colin:

Look at the black couple over her shoulder. Black people in Shanghai, 1935 weren’t at this club, I can promise you that.

Not in front, anyway.

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Look at the old lady eating a bowl of jizz soup in the back.

Colin:

Have we told that story? I feel like we have. Basically, you should always be careful when you’re ordering off of the menu they keep only for the Chinese people.

You should also be wary of a place who keeps a menu only for Chinese people.

Never going back to that Denny’s.

Colin:

More recently, I walked into my local Chinese place in Connecticut while my girlfriend and I were visiting my family for the holidays, and they saw her and brought over some other menu. Didn’t realize she was Japanese.

They all look the same to them?!

Also, shouldn’t they know? Oh, she’s with Colin, she’s not Chinese.

Colin:

I read Chinese characters, and some of the shit on there was wild. Like, you cook THAT in the same wok my beef and broccoli gets done in?

I bet that was hilarious. Give the Chinese menu to the Japanese chick who doesn’t understand a word of it, and then her white boyfriend translates.

I’m assuming you meant whatever jizz soup special was on that menu and not, “How dare you cook Chinese people food in the same dish my food is made in.”

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Willie Scott, meet Indiana Jones. And look at that motherfucker’s face in the back.

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“Well, I thought archaeologists were always funny little men, searching for their mommies.”

Colin:

Hah. Mommies. She’s stupid. Get it?

What the fuck does that even mean?

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Reaction shots are the key to comedy.

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“Mummies.”

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YES! Holy shit, this shot. People should do this every time they make a play on words.

Colin:

This is the shot nobody remembers from this movie. This shot could be a meme.

This actually might be my favorite shot in the movie.

Oh my god, was this perfect.

But it only works when you make a terrible pun. That’s the only time you can get away with looking directly at the camera.

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So Jones found a mummy. And is going to deliver it.

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“Now.”

There’s only water in that glass.

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“Say, who is this—”

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Pu Pu Platter Shank.

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Colin:

Oh shit, look at that side titty above the fork!

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“Put the gun away, sonny.”

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Oh, so now it’s clearly champagne.

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“I suggest you give me what you owe me. Or anything goes.”

Please look at the camera again.

Colin:

Anything goes! Oh man, we were just listening to that song! Coincidences, man.

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A HA HA. Look at that look. “This is your fault, son. If you didn’t fuck up in the first place, I wouldn’t have to be doing this right now.”

He has brought shame to his family.

Though I still don’t get why the white chick is so important.

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All drug dealers should package their product like that.

“What’s that?”

“Oh, that’s my PCP bag.”

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Oh man, a spinny table centerpiece. That’s cool.

Colin:

That is actually a thing in China. Circular tables with a lazy susan on top to spin dishes around. I like that. Is that a bag of PCP? Why do I feel like Mike is probably also guessing that it’s PCP?

(Colin note: HE DID GUESS IT WAS PCP!)

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And he makes her open it.

Colin:

Harrison Ford is good at going from a weird smile to a scowl really fast. Going from the scowl to the goofy laugh – that’s Katharine Hepburn.

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What do you mean, copper fucking coins?

“The diamond, Lao.”

Colin:

There’s always a diamond. That’s getting back to the adventure serial shit we like.

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That’s right, send that shit back.

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That’s… not a diamond.

Colin:

I love it when shifty people keep things in their jackets. Cause like, what has it got in its nasty little pocketses?

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Oh, the diamond’s in there. I see.

I thought he was gonna slip him a note that said, “Fuck you.”

That’s totally what I’d do there.

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Colin:

Of course the dumb white woman is dumbfounded by the diamond. “Oh, Lau!” White females everywhere: that diamond isn’t for you.

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Nice.

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“To your very good health.”

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Well gee… I wonder if that’s poisoned.

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Colin:

Once she makes him spill the drink conspicuously, you know. And we don’t mind that. That’s adventure serial shit.

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He tore her dress. That shit was French.

Colin:

That dress is NOT from Paris.

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Look at his face. “You bitch…”

This man really has no respect for women.

Colin:

Where did he get this tuxedo? What was the backstory for all of this? How did he arrive at this place looking so….kempt?

Is it weird that I know a tailor in Hong Kong?

I remember calling them up one day like, “Hey, did you guys get my email?” And they told me the one guy in the shop with a computer wasn’t in yet and they couldn’t check.

China is fun.

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“Goddamnit bitch, sit down, we’re trying to poison him!”

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A ha, she slides away from him.

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Now he wants his shit.

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“My pleasure.”

Colin:

I hope that statue wasn’t made like that on purpose. Like, someone in set design CHOSE to make it that way? I hope they went to Chinese Lowes or whatever and that was all there was so they bought it.

Weren’t the Lowes a dynasty?

I also want to say that more often. I hope that statue wasn’t made on purpose.

I should say that about peoples’ kids.

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I want to drink booze out of that.

I mean, sure, some guy’s organs were probably in there, but… meh.

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“That guy is real small.”

She’s dumb, too. I don’t like her.

Colin:

This Willie Scott’s a real dumb chick.

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Apparently the dude was the first emperor of a dynasty. And these are his remains.

Colin:

Thanks for the exposition, you goofy bastard.

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This was a weird exchange. They tried to kill him rather than pay him, now he shows up and is like, “Pay me or I stab this bitch,” and they care about her, so they pay him, though wrongly at first. Which is bizarre in and of itself. They made a deal for a diamond, and now he’s like, “Here’s two grand.” And then he gives him the thing he meant to give up, so essentially they’ve fulfilled their ends of the bargain, and we didn’t need all the other stuff. But now they’re gonna poison him anyway, for like, no reason. Though it’s an action adventure movie, so that is just what you do. So I’m ultimately okay with it. But the motivations in this scene are completely fucked up.

Also, if he’s all about archaeology, isn’t the remains jar worth more than the diamond?

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And how do you not immediately know you’ve just been poisoned?

Colin:

Usually there’s a switch to minor key with some dissonant strings.

That also happens when sentinels show up.

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“And now, you give me the diamond.”

Colin:

There’s always an air of smug satisfaction when you successfully poison someone.

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“Are you trying to develop a sense of humor or am I deaf?”

I don’t think those are mutually exclusive.

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Antidote.

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“To what?”

To her.

Penicillin, baby.

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“The poison you just drank.”

Man, do they find that shit hilarious. I mean, it is pretty funny.

Too bad they didn’t roofie him. That would have been funny.

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Roofies.

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How does poison work? Wouldn’t it be pretty instant? Or slow-acting? I don’t know, I don’t do chemistry. And all the times I’ve been poisoned, I was really drunk.

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I like how he just has money sitting on the table. What was he gonna use all that for? Throw around hundreds to the staff? I’m sure he owns the place.

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“Remember, I’ll fucking stab her.”

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“You keep the girl, I’ll find another.”

Which, again, what does that mean for what’s already happened?

Also, I like how they’re just looking at this thing and laughing. Maybe hand it off to a guy to be taken to a secure location.

Colin:

Get it? Chinese people in Hollywood throw women away like playthings. He’ll find some Temp Hos.

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Another thing – dude just had the remains of this guy on a serving tray to bring to Indy and only now are they surprised he’s working with him?

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Nice shot.

“Good service, here.”

“That’s not a waiter.”

Kill this woman. Please.

Colin:

Dude’s got weirdo friends everywhere he goes.

I bet they know about leather, too.

Colin:

You can’t have old friends everywhere like that in real life. You know how long it took to travel back then? And yet, you know he’d know someone anywhere he went. I’ve spent a fifth of my life living outside the States, but I’m pretty much fucked in like…99 percent of countries.

Not true. If you can drink, you’re actually okay in like, 39% of the countries.

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Lao owns this club. You’re telling me there’s no way his other waiters don’t have machetes in their belts for just such an occasion?

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“Antidote.”

Which… wasn’t the deal the diamond for the antidote? Is he reneging on that as well? Man, these deals are poorly put together.

Colin:

Hoping I’m not the only one who noticed that the above hand gesture is exactly the same as Nicholson’s sign language when he said, “What we generally do in this country is, one guy brings the items, and the other guy…pays ’em.” And I feel like this movie could have worked in the line, “No tickee? No laundry!”

I feel like sign language isn’t the proper way to describe that. I think broad gesture is more accurate.

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He’s dead.

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White guy with Asian women. The only way to party in China.

Colin:

I’ve been that guy. Not in China. You don’t wanna be that guy in China.

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Colin:

That’s a 20 year old bottle of Moet. You spilled too much of it.

Indiana Jones — likes his champagne older than his women.

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Colin:

You’re worried about the glass? Let’s talk about how you just took a bullet to the chest like a champ. I’m pretty sure it doesn’t work that way. You don’t take a slug to the chest and realize it like 5 seconds later.

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Wipe yourself off, man, you’re dead.

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Did no one notice the napkin wrapped around your arm? That’s usually a dead giveaway.

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If I ever saw a guy that looked like this in real life, I’d assume he was going to try to shoot me at some point.

Colin:

If you see a guy who looked like that in real life, you do what we do: run. Run your ass off.

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This shot is pretty hilarious.

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Well, that worked out nicely, didn’t it?

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He tells him he’ll get him out of here.

Sure, he’s shot and you’re poisoned. Great way to start a road trip.

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“Not this time, Indy. I’ve followed you on many adventures.”

Have you?

“Into the great unknown mystery, I go first, Indy.”

That was almost a haiku.

Colin:

That was a pretty solid death scene performance. Oh wait, was this not a Cambodian erotic film? Then I actually have some notes for how you chose to…expire.

I don’t know, this guy’s adventures sound a lot better than the ones we’re about to get.

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“Man, this is awkward. I’m holding a dead guy.”

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Only one guy in the whole restaurant is like, “What the fuck is going on at that table?”

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Go home, Indy, you are drunk.

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“Too much to drink, Dr. Jones?”

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Man, these guys think they’re hilarious.

Colin:

Hollywood loves making Chinese people laugh like psychos.

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Arm waving. Progressive dance moves for 1935.

Colin:

He stumbles out onto that dance floor like George McFly.

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WHY ARE YOU STILL SERVING FOOD AT A TIME LIKE THIS SOMEBODY JUST DIED

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Colin:

So Many Racist Aliens So Far

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Colin:

What About Kebab?

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Well that was fucking awesome.

How do you like your lamb?

Colin:

“How was your henchman?” “Skewered.” “One sympathizes.”

That guy went from laughing to dead.

That really was a… poo poo platter.

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Colin:

And now we cut to all the Chinese people screaming, because being transfixed by a flaming kebab is spectacular. Even though they can’t tell the difference between a champagne bottle and a handgun being discharged indoors.

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This bitch needs to not.

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The white lady is appalled and terrified. The Asian dude is like, “*sigh* I was really hoping that wouldn’t happen today.”

More like ka-been there, done that.

Amirite?

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She looks thrilled.

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THE ANTIDOTE IS BLUE SHIT

Colin:

Did I mention that on top of all the gaudy red and gold, anything mystical or important has to be the color of jade?

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Wow, look at that shitty carpet.

I bet that’s an asbestos blanket.

They put that shit on everything back then.

Kids wore that shit as Halloween costumes until like, the 80s.

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Is she checking her phone back there? What the fuck could possibly be so important right now?

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Oh, that. At least he addressed it.

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REALLY?!

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Colin:

This is where the ridiculous slapstick begins. I’ll admit, I never liked this. The antidote being kicked around everywhere. This is like Chinese Opera. Or what happened with the antidote in The Transporter 2. Have I already referenced two movies from that series, less than 9 minutes into this movie? Are we not doing that franchise as a palette cleanser at some point?

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The dead guy still has the skeweer sticking out of his chest. I wonder when they end up cleaning him up.

Also, love the bride running away.

Colin:

This Chinese henchman doesn’t look very Chinese as he’s tossing Harrison Ford around. Stunt guy? With the sunglasses, he looks like Roy Orbison.

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Bottle.

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Nice setup.

Colin:

There’s a pretty fun shot. Fist coming out of the camera.

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Cigarettes, cigars…

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WHY ARE YOU PUTTING AWAY DISHES AT A TIME LIKE THIS?!!

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He just punched a woman in the face for no reason.

Colin:

Did he just punch a cigarette lady? Did Harrison Ford just knock out a woman for no apparent reason? I mean, he’s poisoned, but that was a PUNCH.

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And apparently all she wants is the diamond.

Colin:

People are getting killed and fighting and shit, and this white woman is going for the diamond. That’s dedication.

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Why isn’t anyone going into the mouth of the dragon?

Colin:

That’s exactly what it wants, Mike. You never voluntarily go into the dragon’s mouth.

I don’t know, I’ve done some weird shit before.

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Naturally.

Remember when they were pushing that to the back before?

Colin:

Hey, look! There’s the gong! More gong!

What happens to the gong guy? He’s still there.

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Reaction shots are the key to comedy.

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Sure, just throw him into the bandstand. That’ll kill him faster than the poison.

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Pretty great how the clarinet player is still ready to play.

Colin:

Was that a Wilhelm scream from the band? Also, why is the band just sitting there as everyone panics? There are dead people, and there’s a full-on fist fight. Is this some A Night to Remember bullshit? Holy shit, I just remembered Sean Connery was in that movie, uncredited. So ANOTHER Connery film.

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That’s attractive.

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Why is the band still playing?

Colin:

Now it’s just stupid, comical music in the background. Way to break the tension, guys.

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Seriously, how were neither of these things stepped on yet?

And how did they not end up kicked under a table or something?

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Tally ho!

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“The antidote!”

“Where’s the diamond?”

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Nice exchange.

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All right. That was bizarre.

Did no one tell them the 8:15 was cancelled?

Colin:

Why are these women still dancing? Who the fuck ran this scene? Next time, get Michael Mann. Nobody does a club scene like Michael Mann. Just no broken knees, thanks.

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Break out!

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Yes, point him out, because I’m not sure they’d have figured it out otherwise.

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Poison is sure slow.

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Wow, he’s dressed like a Chinese henchman.

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Look at swarthy Ray Romano behind the drums.

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One way to stare daggers at somebody.

Also, what is up with this band? I think they’re all smoking those jazz cigarettes.

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CYMBAL FRISBEE!!

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CYMBAL FRISBEE TO THE FACE!

Colin:

Considering how many henchmen are pouring in, I’d say that taking down just one of them is merely a cymbal-ic victory.

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Look at these assholes. Why are they dressed like an Asian Smooth Criminal video?

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How many times have you seen these in movies and they weren’t knocked over?

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Colin:

How is ice gonna fuck you up? If anything, it’ll keep people from running through where the diamond is, and unless it’s a cloudy fucking diamond, you’re not going to have trouble finding it in a bunch of rock ice.

(Now, some of you saw that gif and went, “Why would a level 71 Walrein waste Blizzard (which is only 80% accurate) on a level 28 Zubat? That thing can basically sneeze on it and kill it.” And the more seasoned Pokémon vet looks at this and goes, “Yeah! Fuck you Zubat!”)

Colin:

I’ve always wondered how you’re able to make it through Rock Tunnel without falling victim to guano fumes and dying. Apparently Game Freak hasn’t heard about histoplasmosis.

Honestly, the amount of times they’ve helped me, especially in regard to Rock Tunnel, I might name one of my children Max Repel.

But like, one of the middle ones. The one that will clearly never amount to anything.

You know, there’s always the first-born, the favorite, the young one, the one that’s gonna get hooked on drugs, the one that goes off and does whatever they want, and then the one that will never amount to anything.

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I don’t like her.

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Sutherland_Invasion of the Body Snatchers

“Balloon!”

Colin:

Balloons! This must be the club’s 100th fight or something.

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Why would she pick up the antidote after ignoring it the rest of the time?

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What the hell is going on here? The dancers coming out, the band still playing, and now balloons? These are all things where, when shit goes down, and someone is dead (multiple people, even), they don’t just continue on cue.

What asshole goes, “Man, that guy just got shot. He’s dead. Another guy took a kebab to the chest. And that guy got poisoned and punched a woman in the face. And everyone is running around, screaming, and afraid. And people are throwing knives at the poisoned guy? I should drop the balloons now”?

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Then again, is it ever not prime balloon dropping time?

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He has to find an antidote in a balloon stack.

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Is there such a thing as a health code violation in China?

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That dragon head looks like it’s tripping balls.

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GREAT pose.

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This is straight out of Imitation of Life. Same exact colors.

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Colin:

This scene reminds me of when Jim Kelly destroyed all those goons in Black Belt Jones, which – if you haven’t seen that, but like Black Dynamite, watch it and enjoy all the references.

The gong guy is still standing there.

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Smooth Climinal.

Colin:

Oh boy, a tommy gun. Things ought to get good.

I wonder if the gun reached a certain age and decided it wanted to start going by Thomas.

Maybe we should start calling them Thomas Guns. Kind of like John Daniels.

We should also tell more people to get their lying, yellow, no good four-flushing carcasses out our doors.

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Sure, throw water in your own face.

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Does water counteract the poison?

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THERE WE GO!

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Gong man is fucking PEACING!

I guess he’s just gonna get up and… Gong Li’ve.

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Colin:

Insane Chinese Man Massacres Night Club With Comic Book Weapon

And four fingers.

The only thing that would make this even more batshit crazy is if, while he was maniacally laughing, he took a bite out of his carnation. That’s some shit Cage would do.

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What dynasty had two dragons fucking as its logo?

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That statue’s just chilling there. “Yup… got my sword. Check out my dick through this skirt.”

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There’s no way he misses him. No way.

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Colin:

I think movies have taught us all that everywhere you go in China, there are random ancient weapons lying around for you to use at an opportune moment.

Were neon lights a thing in 1930s China?

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How much of this is a 1941 reference?

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Colin:

Why does this feel so Rush Hour?

Because Indy and Chris Tucker are the exact same character.

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I’d have enjoyed Die Another Day so much more if these were the bad guys.

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That guy gets shot on a ricochet. No way he doesn’t.

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That gong is getting a smiley face.

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That’s how you pick up a chick.

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One way to not pay a bill.

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That’s… probably a concussion and some major cuts and abrasions to the head.

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I’d love it if she fell to her death right now.

Colin:

You guys know that this was originally planned for Raiders but it just didn’t fit? Bet you’re pretty glad it didn’t, huh?

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Obi Wan Nightclub.

Colin:

In case you missed that.

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Thank god for those Chinese awnings. Am I right?

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So neon lights were a thing in China this early?

Colin:

No. Not even close.

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Boy, that was convenient. Otherwise you’d have fallen to some gruesome deaths.

Also, remember when he was poisoned?

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Pretty great how this swanky nightclub with a big enough set to hold a Busby Berkeley number is right next to a regular townhouse full of apartments.

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“Who are you?”

You were just introduced to him like ten minutes ago. Indiana Jones. Famous archaeologist. Remember, you made the “mommy” comment?

Colin:

“Who ARE you?” said nobody in that position, ever.

He’s the guy that does his job. She must be the other guy.

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In case you missed it during in case you missed it.

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One way to make a convertible.

Colin:

“It just be rainin’ white people in Shang-hai!”

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And naturally, the car is being driven by a child, because we’re in fucking China.

Colin:

Through the top of that car, which this kid should NOT have.

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“Wow, holy smokes!”

I still consider Kate Capshaw the greater injustice to this franchise.

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“Short Round, step on it!”

Okay, before we get going, let’s get it out of the way now.

Short Round is named after one of the writers’ dogs. But the dog was named after the character of Short Round in the movie The Steel Helmet. It’s one of Sam Fuller’s first three movies, and it’s one of my favorites. Very low budget, but really terrific war picture. Anyway, the main character meets a little Korean boy and names him Short Round, and he’s a big character in that story. So that’s where the name came from.

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“Okie dokie, Dr. Jones, hold onto your potato!”

Colin:

Up there with, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn” and, “Here’s looking at you, kid.”

Is his dick his potato?

Genuinely curious.

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“For crying out loud, there’s a kid driving the car!”

You are crying out loud.

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I wonder if he keeps his opium in there.

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Is that guy hailing a cab?

Also, why is this the one place in English?

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The kid’s actually driving pretty well.

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I love that every time the good guys get away, the bad guys just come outside and motion for their drivers to bring the car up so they can give chase. But the drivers are always parked right outside the building. So, they just saw the good guys get in the car and take off, and just sat there until the bad guys came out and told them to give chase. Never do they just take the initiative and chase after them. I mean, sure, when the bad guys come out, they’ll be like, “Where the fuck is Hodge?” But then they’ll see, “Oh, he’s going after those assholes, and he’s right on their tail. Good for him.”

Colin:

I think they just want their assholes to wait for them so they can participate in the chase, but to be ready. So they see the good guys take off and get the car started so they can peel up to the door when their boss whistles. You notice that in these movies, the henchmen are always real snappy about getting to the door in time to pick up the boss.

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Really? You had to point? Are there that many speeding cars in this place?

Colin:

Don’t wear your sunglasses at night. Not for driving.

They’re not for driving. They’re just for… looking through.

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Are lanterns a thing in China? I feel like lanterns are what we think are a thing in China. Though lanterns should be a thing in China and everywhere else.

Colin:

Definitely a thing, although I’m trying to remember what the lantern coverage was like in Singapore in At World’s End

Come to think of it, there is actually a severe lack of fireworks in this movie.

This movie is also older than Keira Knightley. Just in case you were wondering.

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People make weird choices when cars are coming in movies.

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What did he hit, exactly, that caused those sparks?

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Looks cool. Don’t understand it, but I’m sure that just burned down the neighborhood.

Colin:

Did this not happen in On Stranger Tides during the chase through the streets of London?

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“Where’s the antidote?”

What the fuck? How do you even know she has it?

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And now you’re molesting her on a hunch.

Colin:

We know he’s molested women on less than that before.

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“Hey, Dr. Jones, no time for love!”

Colin:

I wish I could say my friends and I weren’t quoting this all through high school, but we were. It was one of those where we all knew it was bad, but couldn’t help but to laugh at the ridiculousness of this kid. Something about Asian children is hilarious. Which is why I feel like John Wayne totally misused that kid in The Green Berets. “Peta-san! Peta-san!” Haha. Oh man. You were going for a tear jerker? I’m almost crying from laughter, if that counts.

I like how his idea of love for this guy is molesting a woman in the back of a car during a shootout. While poisoned.

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She’s just been violated.

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Never get between a man and his blue shit.

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At no point did he feel the effects of that poison. Everything that happened to him could reasonably be blamed on the champagne.

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Oh yeah, that’s that good shit.

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“Oh, I hope you choke.”

By the end of the movie, he’ll be saying that right back at you.

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Something tells me China doesn’t have this many neon lights.

Colin:

No, and I’m wondering if they were like, “Meh, wet, neon Chinese stuff looked good in Blade Runner. Let’s just do that.” We know George Lucas likes to copy Ridley Scott imagery. 

Just look at all the A Good Year ripoffs in Revenge of the Sith.

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Most people don’t reach that far through broken glass. I like this shot.

Colin:

He always has this freaking hand cannon. Where did he get that gun? Was it in the car? They frisked him earlier, and it’s not the gun his dead friend had. They don’t mention the dead friend after this, do they?

What about the creepy guy who got dis-kebab-ulated?

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These were the days.

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There’s always a rickshaw.

Colin:

Rickshaw. Most people don’t know that word is the bastardization of a Japanese word. Regardless, they’re always ridiculous in movies. This rickshaw runner is making some of the most ludicrous sounds.

I hope Shanghai has a comic named Don Rickshaw.

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One sailor?

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Facial expressions.

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That car is fucked.

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Wait, that sailor was on the other side in previous shots.

Also, look at the concentration on that driver’s face.

Colin:

Look at HER face. She’s oblivious to everything that’s going on. Either that or she’s scamming him.

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“Okay, you asked for it!”

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Those people are in more danger than that guy is in.

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That lady is an idiot. Just standing there, watching this.

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I like broken glass shots.

Would have liked it more if that were the camera.

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How is that car still running? In an old car like that, I’m pretty sure if you hit the front dead on like that, that car doesn’t run anymore.

Colin:

It does, for a bit. That’d be a radiator shot, which would mess up the water cooling. But you’d have a few minutes before the thing overheated and melted down.

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Well he just got shot in the head.

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What’s that guy throwing on the left?

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Fuck vegetables.

Someone grew those for months, kept them healthy, made sure the bugs didn’t get to them, harvested them, spent their own sweat and life to grow them — and now they’re ruined because of a little Asian kid driving a car.

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And now the sailor is back on the other side. What gives?

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He won’t be getting laid tonight.

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“This is fun.”

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“Here, hold this.”

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Now I ask you… which of the two characters is more useless?

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“Where’s my gun?”

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“I burnt my fingers and I cracked a nail!”

Bitch, people are shooting at you.

Colin:

Ahah, the stupid female drops gun trope. We’re in a gun fight and she cracked a nail. Seriously? Your boyfriend just threw you away in an illegal deal for some cremated remains. Who are you really trying to impress at this point?

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That’s a pretty big airport for China.

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Colin:

Love the Ford Tri-Motor. It’s just a fun plane to have in a movie, but surprisingly enough, I can’t think of it being in other movies. I remember one in The Rocketeer, although that movie had everything. That had a freaking Gee Bee. THAT was a cool plane.

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Well that’s Dan Aykroyd.

Colin:

Why does this British guy sound like Dan Aykroyd?

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Why is that cop dressed like Sean Connery in The Untouchables.

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That’s actually Dan Aykroyd. Doing a British accent. Was this the Mike Myers Inglourious Basterds cameo of 1981?

Remember when actors used to cameo like this and it was okay? Now they make big deals out of it and point them out.

Colin:

Holy shit. That was Dan Aykroyd? WHAT?

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Oh, but apparently they’re gonna be traveling with live chickens.

And apparently she’s famous or some shit.

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That’s one hell of a knight stick you got there.

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“Owe ya a gin.”

That doesn’t sound like fair trade.

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Shoot him.

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Great shot.

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“Nice try, Lao Che!”

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The man is certainly good at comic reveals, I’ll give him that.

Colin:

Nice reveal. Use the name, then it’s on the door. I like that.

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Colin:

Hah. When this movie was made, Pan Am was still a thing.

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“Goodbye, Dr. Jones.”

So Dan Aykroyd was working for the Chinamen?

Also, he recognized him as a doctor? Why does no one call him Indiana?

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Asian Gilbert Gottfried.

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Colin:

Still, doesn’t Jones have the diamond? Why would he go to such lengths to kill him and not get the diamond in the process? Let me get this straight. He’s going to have his guys fly the plane a super long way, then bail out as Jones, with the diamond, goes down with the perfectly good plane (which also costs a shit ton)? How about just bribing someone to kill him for WAY less money? Then you don’t have to buy another plane or get your guys to bail out or any of that stuff.

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Aircrafts taking off at sunset. (Or, I guess, sunrise.)

Colin:

Wait, is that a plane taking off at dawn? Cause it was night. So it’s not Bay.

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Colin:

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“What are you supposed to be, a lion tamer?”

Can we kill her?

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“I’m allowing you to tag along. So why don’t you give your mouth a rest?”

Colin:

Why is she even coming along? She’s a famous vocalist, as Dan Aykroyd told us. Even if she got dumped, she’s a blonde woman in 1935 Shanghai. I think she can figure out something else.

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“What do you mean, tag along? Ever since you got into my club, you haven’t been able to take your eyes off me.”

Is that what you say? It should be, “Tag along? Motherfucker I had the antidote that saved your life.” Or even play the, “I’m famous card.” Not the, “You wanna bang me, that’s why I’m here” card.

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“Oh yeah?”

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Colin:

Think he likes you?

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The hat down can only mean one thing…

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Goodness, gracious, Great Wall of China.

Colin:

They’re flying from Shanghai to India, and for whatever reason, they cross the Great Wall. Which is like flying from DC to Mexico City by way of Niagara Falls. But whatever.

Also, Mike’s comment made me think of Goose :(

That’s probably what that kebab was.

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Map travel!

Colin:

I do love a map showing the route as the plane flies. These are some of my favorite parts of these movies.

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I guess that makes this flight the… Chungking Express.

Colin:

This would have taken a LONG time, by the way. Like way more than a day, especially considering they had to land and refuel. So the idea that they haven’t spoken to the pilots is out of the question.

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When and where did you change out of that dress?

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What does that plane smell like with all the chickens?

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Nice cockpit barrier.

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Colin:

If the idea is to bail out while they’re asleep, couldn’t you have done that earlier? Is this the first chance you got? Like 3000 miles into the journey?

Where does he go from here? Does someone pick him up? Or does he just climb down the mountain with like, no gear?

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And yet none of them wake up.

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And he’s fucking cackling the whole time.

Colin:

Maybe, the next time you have to sneak by sleeping people, you could try to no laugh.

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It’s weird, watching this regular, you go along with all the action-adventure tropes and stuff. But here, slowing it down to take screenshots, it’s insane how much shit just doesn’t make sense.

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And that doesn’t wake him up?

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Colin:

And you said ‘good-bye?’

Did he say “adios, Dr. Jones,” in Mandarin?

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No copilot on a Buddy Holly plane?

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“Oh no.”

Perfectly reasonable reaction.

Colin:

Everyone’s been there. You’re on a cargo plane, and your shifty pilots have just bailed out and left you with no fuel. That’s why we all like these movies. They have that everyman kind of feel.

You should know enough to at least pull up to avoid hitting the mountain though.

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What are those yellow things?

Are yellow things native to Chin… oh I just realized that’s racist never mind.

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“Hey, mister, wake up.”

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“You call him Dr. Jones, doll.”

Doll!

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What are the rugs for? Bartering with the chickens?

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Uncomfortably 80s.

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Reaction shots are the key to comedy.

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That plane’s windows are made of metal grating.

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Land right there.

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“You know how to fly, don’t you?”

What happened to fly, yes, land, no?

Technically it hasn’t happened yet, but is this where the fly part came in?

Also…

Colin:

People had a lot of good things to say about him for this. Suffered a mechanical failure and immediately spotted an open area to put it down safely without jeopardizing lives. You have to admit, he did the right thing. Not quite Han Solo, but he did good.

He didn’t throw a garbage can through a pizzeria window. He didn’t do the right thing.

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Faces.

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“No. Do you?”

Colin:

Continuity issue. When they enter the cockpit, the front engine is already stopped, and the prop is visible. Then when he does the fuel check, the engines all die, even though they weren’t playing the engine noise before.

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Colin:

I do like that he taps the fuel gauge though. That’s so classic. The type of thing that used to happen in the old movies, when the fuel would read empty, and you’d tap it like 5 times and it would suddenly sputter back.

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Land there.

Colin:

I think I see Gandalf and the Balrog. 

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“Dr. Jones – no more parachutes!”

Colin:

Ah. I can’t not enjoy that. I understand that it’s dumb, but it’s a goofy Asian child.

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Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom - 381

Land there.

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Sutherland_Invasion of the Body Snatchers

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Do you really not know enough planes to keep this thing from hitting mountains?

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Be glad I’m not writing out her dialogue here.

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He must really wanna push her out right now.

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Yeah, that seems reasonable.

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That was safer than taking a stab at the plane?

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Colin:

Apparently they did this in one take, and it just worked.

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And there are rocks there?

Yeah, okay.

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Surprised Roger Moore didn’t think of that first.

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I like the added explosion. Very old school special effects.

Colin:

Nice edit with the explosion. It kind of amazes me just how far film techniques have come during my short lifetime. I mean, this was five years before I was born, but still.

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Shouldn’t there be an avalanche about now?

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This looks like the For Your Eyes Only chase.

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This really has that 80s film look.

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Why not hop out right here?

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The faces he makes in this franchise…

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Boy, that cliff came out of nowhere.

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Death.

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Nobody put their hands up, though, which means they’re gonna be fine.

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Yup. Completely feasible.

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Colin:

I keep feeling like this is Bond, and I’m waiting for the opening sequence to end. And it’s not ending. It just continues.

The reason you’re waiting for it to end is because we’ve reached the point of ridiculousness and crossed it twice over. Bond would have cut a lot earlier to a song that would have separated the sequence from the plot. This is all plot. So they added this bullshit to get them to India, and it’s dumb.

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“I hate the water, I hate being wet, and I hate you!”

Colin:

I hate her.

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I guess her falling is high comedy in this movie.

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I was gonna make a joke about what Kingdom of the Crystal Skull would have had here instead of this movie, but we already know.

Three of them.

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We’re in a poor country, look at the shitty water.

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What if this was Gandhi?

What if this movie was about Indiana Jones and Gandhi?

And then, at the end…

“We’ve had many adventures, Indy…”

Colin:

Oh god.

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That raft says South China airlines. Did Lao Che steal it from them?

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“Where are we, anyway?”

“India.”

“How do you know that?”

Colin:

A flare in the music means we’re someplace spicy.

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Colin:

“Ahhh! Brown people!” – American audiences in 1984.

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That opening sequence took exactly 20 minutes.

Colin:

That’s a creepy Indian dude. Old Indian dudes in movies should be less creepy.

– – – – – – – – – –

Tomorrow is Part II, and more Kate Capshaw! Just what we all want.

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