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Fun with Franchises: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008), Part I — “Don’t You Have Money?”

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

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 of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

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So here we are, boys and girls.

We all knew this was coming.

I don’t know what’s going to happen, you don’t know what’s going to happen. But I’m pretty sure it’s going to be good.

Colin:

I hate that we’re doing this movie. It feels like one of those things you have to confront, but it makes you sad to have to do so. Like when you think about how George Washington was a badass, but have to acknowledge and remain cognizant of the fact that he owned hundreds of slaves. Good stuff, okay stuff, good stuff…slaves? C’mon, man. Like it didn’t have to be that way, and it sullies everything else that was good. You can cover your eyes and pretend it didn’t happen but that doesn’t make it so.

It’s kind of like when you have that favorite relative you loved going to visit, and then you see them when you’re older and realize they’re incredibly racist. And they go on a rant about how no one should marry someone of another ethnicity or race, and you’re like… “Oh, you were just cool when I was five because you pulled quarters from my ear and cursed in front of me and got drunk during birthday parties.”

I think I’m gonna be the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull of my relatives, guys.

Colin:

I prepared for this by going back and reading the Twilight articles to remember what true pain feels like. I’m still Team Everyone Die in a Fire.

I might be okay if we found out that everything in this movie never really happened.

Indy’s old enough for a Newhart ending.

Colin:

But let’s just say what we’re all thinking: concerning this script, a penitent man would have passed.

Lucasfilm. You fucked this up, you jerk. It was you.

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Kind of stretching it, aren’t you?

Colin:

Are you turning a mountain into a molehill? How appropriate, though. You’re starting with what is the illusion of grandeur and magnificence, and then revealing the truth: it’s basically a rodent-ridden pile of nothing.

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You couldn’t even get a real fucking gopher? Or even the Caddyshack one?

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Might as well be listening to “I’m Alright” right now.

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Also, AWFUL song choice. I mean, really, guys? How generically 50s can you get?

This is the Robert Zemeckis version of a 50s song.

Colin:

In case you were wondering what year it was, we have “Hound Dog” playing to tell you immediately. That’s the first thing they really need you to know about this movie. It’s not the 30s. This is gonna be the 50s, damn it, so get ready, folks.

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Is this what the kids did in the 50s?

Colin:

Those damned hotrodder kids. This is a Ford Model A, early 30s. Not a bad choice, but certainly a predictable one. You’ve all seen the early 30s Fords either stock or hot-rodded. The one that jumps to mind is the car from Paper Moon that they spend the whole movie driving.

I just watched Paper Moon a few weeks ago. LOVE that movie.

That movie got me to start referring to oral sex as a “knee high and a Coney Island.”

Colin:

Also possible terms for single cigarettes, bought at the store, from an Arab.

Or something you paid for in one of the rooms upstairs at the gin joint.

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Sure, army vehicle in the middle of nowhere. Not suspicious at all.

Colin:

A US Army convoy, eh? That must be good news.

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Sure. Those kids would totally be able to do this without repercussion.

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Colin:

The soldiers do nothing when the ladies say hello. They’re either communist or asexual. Definitely not red-blooded American he-men.

And the fact that the kids can’t see this can be seen as a blight upon the American education system.

Better read than dead.

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Colin:

John Hurt and Jim Broadbent were in this? Why do I not remember the Harry Potter crossover?

Because it’s just easier to pretend this movie doesn’t exist.

Colin:

These wide shots are still not quite enjoyable.

Because as much as they’re telling me they shot this on film, it sure as hell looks digitally color corrected.

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Colin:

Oh, I do like a shot of a car being reflected. I’d also like to just enjoy what wheels used to look like, which is awesome.

Not quite 80s Spielberg level of an interesting shot choice.

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This guy is so clearly coded as Russian.

Colin:

That’s an uncomfortably Russian man.

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Colin:

Really? You’re gonna do it after your boss told you no? Did you not read One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich? Oh, that hasn’t come out yet. Right. Doesn’t he look like a Fetiukov, though?

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So the U.S. Army – for now, they’re the army – is going to Area 51, and a group of teens is just joyriding along, weaving in and out of between the vehicles, and tells them they want to race. And they do. Already, we’re past the realm of suspension of disbelief.

Colin:

Hotrodder hijinks.

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Colin:

Rumble seats are the greatest. The seats that are concealed in a trunk lid that you open and becomes the seat back. Those went out of vogue in the late 30s, but they’re so freaking awesome. My grandfather’s ’32 Chrysler Imperial has rumble seats. You just open the trunk thing and there’s another row of seats at the back of this huge car. And since there are no doors and it’s all contained, it feels like you’re in a cockpit or something. They need to bring back rumble seats. Seriously.

I think I’m just stalling because I don’t want to watch this movie.

Rumble seats are where you put ride or die bitches.

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This kid creeps me out.

Colin:

They’re on screen for like 2 seconds at a time, and they have no personality beyond the types they’re supposed to be playing. They may be the first people we see in this movie, but it’s pretty apparent that they mean nothing to this plot.

Which is something you don’t see at all in any of the first three movies.

That’s a new thing that clearly codes this as post-millennium. If you notice, action movies now have to start with some sort of inciting villain incident. They have to wait and give the hero a grand introduction. And because of that, the beginning is relegated to either bullshit voiceover exposition (“Back in the dark ages, there were three scrolls…”), a generic villain introduction, or some flashback that sets up the one-dimensional hero emotional conflict (parents dying, etc).

It’s the fact that they decided to follow the new trends rather than be themselves and stick to the roots of the franchise that makes this a giant failure.

That and… well, basically everything Lucas put into this movie.

Colin:

See how we’ve just broken down everything that’s different and wrong about this movie? Like, 30 seconds in? This is why they [should] pay us the big bucks.

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Colin:

They’re….not going that fast. This is how white people competitions used to go, isn’t it? “Let’s race! Faster, faster, faster, yeah! Hey, no need to exceed 45 mph – we’re all white here, right? What a good time we’re having!”

This Is How White People Competitions Used to Go

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Atomic Cafe.

Yup.

Colin:

Atomic Café. Subtle. Really subtle.

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Why does this place exist?

What does the water taste like? Glowing metal?

Colin:

Isn’t it cool how there are places in the American West where shit is rusty the minute it’s built? This is one of those places where they probably put the sign up like 2 months ago and it’s just rusty. It would have been clean in the 40s, no matter how old it was. But now that it’s the 50s, it has to be immediately rusty.

I wonder if you could get away with that now. Building something and making it look proper shitty enough to pretend like it was around since the 50s.

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Colin:

Nevada, 1957. Thanks, I needed that. I never much like the US locations in this franchise. Utah, Nevada…no thanks.

I’m giving them a pass on the title, just because it’s something they’ve done in every movie. But really… do you think we couldn’t figure out where we were?

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Colin:

Guards. These guys are so dead.

Pretty great how there are two guys in the trunk and not once do they make a sound.

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Place is closed. Weapons testing.

Colin:

So it’s closed for weapons testing, and we passed the Atomic Café sign. What do you think this might be, in 1957?

The Bridge on the River Kwai?

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The guy hasn’t said a word. Clearly he’s Russian.

Colin:

Notice that nobody is talking. If I was a guard and someone I’m talking to doesn’t acknowledge me or speak within the first 3 seconds of our encounter, I’d put one in their leg.

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Colin:

Right on schedule.

That guy on the bottom left’s face.

The one kneeling. Not Communist Anderson Cooper.

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Yes… thank you for showing us what he was doing. I’d have been taken out of the movie, otherwise.

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What if his shoe wasn’t untied? Would he have done it anyway? Did he deliberately untie it? I’d like to see that moment in one of these movies. Where the guy undoes his shoelace in preparation for this moment.

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Colin:

For that matter, why the hell are we starting out with the Soviets? They end up being the bad guys, no? When has the movie ever started with the bad guys? Why don’t we get our prologue with something completely unrelated but badass? Belloq, Shanghai, River Phoenix? No? This movie went from zero to commies real quick.

From Zero to Commies, Real Quick.

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By the way — Internal Security Act — real thing.

It was the Patriot Act of the 50s.

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A HA HA HA HA. The Bay shot.

Colin:

What is it about the shot of the trucks that feels so new and unappealing? It’s not even shot in digital, but it looks like it was.

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By the way — tip for all you younger viewers: if you ever see an object like a flag randomly show up in front of the frame nowadays — it’s masking CGI.

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Colin:

And he’s in the trunk. Not quite Quantum of Solace, is it?

You tell me:

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Colin:

Oh, it’s not him. It’s Ray Winstone, that sexy beast.

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Colin:

Both of them? Ew. One of them probably shat himself.

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Colin:

Well that shot’s just old hat.

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Colin:

I do like a shot of him from above, but I’m not sure I get there being THIS many guys all with their guns trained on the car. His reputation precedes him in a way that it never did in past movies. A shot like this is very self-conscious, and it also screams ‘reunion tour.’

Indiana Jones — the Rolling Stones of Archaeology.

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As much as I want to hate this… it is a great way to reintroduce him.

Colin:

You aren’t supposed to mess with shadows at this point. No.

They don’t really mess with the shadows again after this.

Which does make it scream reunion tour.

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Colin:

These Soviets are stereotypically so.

Not enough schnell’s for my taste.

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“Russians.”

Colin:

Notice how that line makes you think he’s about to say, “I hate these guys?” And then he doesn’t and it feels like a third-trimester abortion of the pregnant pause that follows.

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“This ain’t gonna be easy.”

“Not as easy as it used to be.”

Get it. Because he’s old. All the baby boomers just slapped their arthritic knees.

Colin:

They’re doing the banter. “Not as easy as it used to be.” Thanks for that. I only like banter when we have characters that we’re meeting for the first time. This just seems…no.

The only way this works is if it’s Sallah. But you don’t want it to be Sallah. Don’t subject Sallah to this movie.

“Well, we’ve been through worse.”

“Yeah, when?”

Kate Capshaw.

“Flensburg. There were twice as many.”

“We were younger.”

Why are you making it seem like he’s been with him for twenty years?

“I still am young.”

“We had guns. Put your hands down, will ya, you’re embarrassing us.”

Colin:

I don’t even get what’s going on here. Why does this all feel fake and manufactured?

Because it is fake and manufactured.

And again, they allegedly shot this on film and not digital. Could’ve fooled me. This looks like shit.

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“Bet ya five-hundred bucks we get out of this.”

Said the double agent.

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“Ohhh… let’s call it a hundred.”

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“You recognize building, yes?”

Yes, this is a building. Four walls and a roof.

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“Drop dead.”

Colin:

He seems a bit too indignant here. All the spark is gone, and only the shitty remains. Whenever he got captured before, he’d be thinking of some way to get out of it, and playing along. This makes him look like a bitter, old man. With problems.

This is the exact same thing that happened to Bruce Willis in the Die Hard movies.

Also, it does come off that way. He’s one of those guys that’s very anti-Russian, and will be very anti-hippy in ten years.

Also, Only the Shitty Remains

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“I’m sorry. I meant drop dead, Comrade.”

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LOVE this. “Hold my hat. I gotta beat his ass.”

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No one pauses like that.

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Hey kids, it’s Cate Blanchett.

Just a guess… this is not a Good German.

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REAR PROJECTION!

“Where was he found?”

“In Mexico. They were digging in the dirt, looking for this stuff.”

Colin:

Why was this casting choice made? I should expand on that. Why was this film made?

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No one cares about artifacts.

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“You’re not from around here, are you?”

“Where is it you would imagine I am from?”

Sioux Falls.

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“Dr. Jones.”

Well that wasn’t subtle.

Colin:

She’s never used a tampon in her life.

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“Well, the way you’re sinking your teeth into those ‘wubble-yous,’ I would guess Eastern Ukraine.”

Colin:

Really? An attempt at flirting? I hate everything so far. His delivery is terrible, too. His w comment had a twang to it. And since when is he Bond? This is what Brosnan did with Onatopp in Goldeneye. Indiana Jones knows history. He’s a world traveler, but not like THAT. He shouldn’t be so familiar with this Ukrainian accent.

I don’t think that’s flirting. I think that’s light condescension.

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Reaction shots are the key to comedy.

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“Colonel Doctor Irina Spalko.”

Colin:

Galadriel with a speech impediment. Is this character supposed to be sexy? I really can’t tell if she’s supposed to be sexy or menacing, and frankly, she’s failing at both.

I don’t know. I feel a little turned on and menaced.

Though, given the entire situation and sense of familiarity, it might be more of a phantom menace.

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“Three times I have received Order of Lenin. Also medalist hero of socialist labor.”

Can I be medalist hero of socialist labor?

Also, Harry Potter and the Order of Lenin.

“Why? Because I know things. I know them before anyone else.”

She hasn’t even won the third Order of Lenin yet. That’s how good she is.

“And what I do not know I find out.”

Colin:

I don’t understand. The year before, she played Queen Elizabeth I and Bob Dylan, and killed both–

Can’t believe she wasn’t brought up on charges for the Dylan murder.

Colin:

-and then the same year, she was in Benjamin Button (the best version of Forrest Gump that came out in 2008)…

Except no AIDS.

Colin:

Why the fuck was she in this movie? Was it money? Doesn’t she have money? Why?

I love asking that about people? Did you do this for the money? Don’t you have money? Not even the first part. “Don’t you have money?”

Also, Don’t You Have Money?

Colin:

Also, listing your Soviet awards to him is worthless. That’s like some 10-year-old saying they got Student of the Month at their school and also got SIX (six?) gold stars from Ms. Lewis for arts and crafts. You’re like, “Whatever, kid. I fuck bitches.” 

That’s all of our resumes fresh out of college.

Mine also included, “Whatever, kid. I fuck bitches.”

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“And what I need to know now is in here.”

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The slap is nice. Makes the whole thing less ridiculous. Almost as if she’s aware of how crazy this is.

But she’s not. I just hold out hope until that happens.

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“You’re a hard man to read, Dr. Jones.”

“Ouch.”

Colin:

“You make me a…harder…man to read. Dr. Spankoff. Dr. Spalko. Um.”

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“So, we will do this, what is expression? Old-fashioned way. You will tell us. You will help us find what we seek.”

Colin:

“What is expression?” Not that. Vee haff vays of makink you talk.

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Plastic explosives are fun.

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Colin:

Anyone who knows shit will recognize the ark leitmotif cause this is where they put it at the end. Cool. On the one hand, I hate that they so desperately pandered by putting the opening scene in this place that is so recognized in Indiana Jones lore. On the other hand, eh, why not? We’re 7 minutes into the film and already going for broke.

Don’t They Have Money?

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Remember when the last three movies had all this CGI?

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“This warehouse is where you and your government have hidden all of your secrets.”

So it stands to reason you’d conduct NUCLEAR TESTS AT IT! Jesus, has anyone been thinking about logic with this script?

Colin:

This is where all of the US’ secrets go? Nicolas Cage is going to be stoked to hear about this.

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“Object we seek. Rectangular storage container. Dimensions, two meters by one half meter by sixty-six centimeters.”

Colin:

The Ark of the Covenant? Why does she know about it? And for that matter, why has she memorized all the details on the manifest? It’s always a bit weird when a character rattles off some stats like that, including the width, in centimeters, of the box the thing is in. Did you memorize that in the car? Do you have no life? Ninotchka made it fun. Can we get this bitch some champagne?

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“Contents of box, mummified remains.”

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“What makes you think I’ve got any idea what box you’re talking about?”

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“Because ten years ago, you were part of the team that examined it.”

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“Look, even if I knew what you were talking about…”

Colin:

Why does she have a sword? I’m just questioning everything. It seems very out of place. She holds it awkwardly and then it’s just sort of on his shoulder. I’m not sure about why they add another weapon to deepen the threat of death when there are already dozens of AKs pointed at him. Does this sword add to the tension?

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“You will help us find it.”

Dialogue is just crackling.

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Colin:

It bugs me that he’s in the same outfit down to the smallest details. Maybe a little baggier. Somehow, he looks less lanky than he used to, but not fatter. Maybe it’s the lost muscle mass. But really, it’s sad that he hasn’t changed the outfit at all. Like if they made a grown-up version of Doug and he’s still in the white shirt, green sweater-vest and khaki shorts. And Patti Mayonaise would be in a wheelchair by then. Or not. Sometimes I forget that paralysis isn’t like Huntington’s. Back to this movie, I guess.

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“Compass.”

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“I need a compass. You know, North, South, East…”

“West.”

No idea why that was necessary.

Colin:

West. Really, these two have great on screen chemistry.

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“I need your bullets.”

Said the woman to the sperm donor.

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Look at the guy’s face in the back.

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“The contents of that box are highly magnetized. I need gunpowder. You want my help, or not?”

Colin:

Are they magnetized? It’s not the ark, right? Is that what this was? We just happen to be in the place where the ark is, but they’re not here to get the ark?

Why do they need his help if the box is magnetized and he just told them how to find it?

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Colin:

Is that all that’s inside a grenade?

No, that’s just all that could fit in his hand. He just made him pour the whole thing out just to be an asshole. The rest is on the floor right now, just so a point could be made.

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So that’s the only thing magnetized in this entire warehouse?

Colin:

Isn’t that…not how that would work? Why is it keeping a uniform altitude? Why is it not pulling the other stuff? Are you telling me there’s nothing else in here made of metal?

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Also, you guys realize we could actually spend an entire movie in just this location, right?

And how come they never made a TV series out of it? One (or two, or whatever) episodes per artifact?

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Well that guy’s not gonna be able to wear that hat anymore.

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“If it’s still magnetic, the metal in this gunpowder should point the way.”

Colin:

I sincerely hope all the shit he’s taking from them has a purpose other than to just lead them to whatever they’re looking for.

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Colin:

When’s the monkey part? I hope it isn’t soon. (I say this during every movie.)

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Pretty sure something that highly magnetized would already have drawn shit to it.

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Just like Mike Teevee.

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Right now, shouldn’t all that powder be drawn to it? Do we even give a fuck about logic at all?

Also, did they even need him for this at all? They said he was responsible for looking over the contents when it was found. They never said anything about him being responsible for where it ended up. And even so, do they expect him to know exactly where it is? Can’t they just go looking for it themselves? I don’t understand his function for being here other than for the plot.

Colin:

Why is none of their metal stuff being attracted to it now? Selective magnetism is a running theme in movies.

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“Give me some shotgun shells.”

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That was cool.

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“Pliers.”

Just tossing shit.

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Framing.

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Colin:

And now the cro bars get stuck, but the AKs don’t. And as they walk away, the ceiling lights are moving, but the guns still aren’t affected.

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Alien funeral.

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See, why didn’t this happen earlier?

Also, shitty foreshadowing for the mess that’s going to come later.

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How is all this other shit important?

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Yeah, put it on that truck. That won’t fuck anything up.

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Nice gag with the dog tags.

Colin:

NOW the guns and dogtags are affected. This is the stuff I look for when a movie is otherwise too boring or disappointing. I need to stop and remember Robert Pattinson looking pained as Kristen Stewart bites her lip.

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Erection humor!

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And I’m guessing also a bit of a Strangelove reference.

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Just looking at Ray Winstone, you know he’s gonna turn on him. They weren’t even trying to be subtle about it.

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The one guy with glasses. Of course he’s the one looking over the body.

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Cate Blanchett gets all the good shots.

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Colin:

I’m not particularly interested in what’s going on. All we have to go on for the last few minutes is some sporadic magnetism and…not a whole lot else. You can’t get me curious about the contents of a case or trunk of something secret unless Samuel L. Jackson is shooting people and eating Big Kahuna Burgers and stuff.

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What that smell like?

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Colin:

Why do I feel like that’s gross? Also, what’s with the weird urethane texture to alien skin in movies? I’m also thinking about Diva Plavalaguna from The Fifth Element.

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Now’s your chance to peace, Indy.

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Maybe not just store this shit in a vault. Maybe get rid of it.

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Yes, flashlights will do something.

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Imagine we go to an alien planet. And in a random vault in the middle of nowhere is one dead human in a box, next to all sorts of other shit. What would you think?

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Not exactly mummified, is it?

Colin:

Creepy dead hands. I feel like Mike’s gonna make a joke about jacking yourself off with this creepy, dead hand. That’s just the kind of guy he is.

Actually I ended up making a different kind of joke entirely.

You can’t really jerk off with three fingers. Plus, with that thing looking like that, I’d be more likely to make a “dead hooker in the freezer” joke.

Which is how I know you can’t really jerk off with three fingers.

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“I think I wanna fuck it again.”

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“Yeah… keep doing that shit REAL slow like.”

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Oh, so he was the alien who couldn’t drive?

That’s basically what UFO sightings are. Alien DUIs.

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That’s a nose.

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Colin:

He goes for the whip first? I just don’t get that. And now, there are about 5 whole seconds where he’s setting up and could be easily killed.

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You are useless.

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This pose.

Colin:

The hand out. He looks like Ben Stiller with the machine gun in Tropic Thunder.

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“Drop the guns. Or Colonel Doctor Spalko is dead.”

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She’s kinda turned on right now.

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So then why’d you drop them in the first place?

Colin:

Um. How does this change anything? They have like 40 guns and he has one, but they put theirs down because he’s going to shoot ze colonel. Now that Ray’s pointing the gun at him, the situation is still the same, if we are to understand that Ray is also working for the Soviets. Jones could STILL shoot her, which is what none of them want. Why would she want him to do something different than all her grunts? This makes no sense and changes nothing.

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“Why, Mac?”

“Well, what can I say, Jonesy? I’m a capitalist. And they pay.”

Colin:

I can’t even begin to express how much I hate this line. It’s so in-your-face shitty that I hate it as much as some of the worse lines in the Twilight series. If you don’t understand why I hate this line, you might be reading the wrong blog.

“I’m a capitalist. So I’m gonna work for the communists.” Logic.

Also, they pay. Which is exactly why there are like four people living in a single room with sheets for walls.

“After all those years we spent spying on the Reds… I thought we were friends, Mac.”

Really? What’s with this awful dialogue.

Colin:

Lame. Remember Last Crusade, when Elsa kisses him? He doesn’t say shit, cause that’s better when you’ve been betrayed. This is playground. “You’re not going to trade me your holo Blastoise for my holo Alakazam? I thought we were friends.”

Also, what friends? We haven’t seen him be friends with him. And so what if he betrays him. That’s how shit works. He should be used to this. Really this comes down to bad character set up.

Colin:

Really NO character set-up. He got pulled out of the trunk and then became a bad guy.

Just like Lana Turner.

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And then he explains how he’s worked up all this debt playing cards. What? What the fuck are we doing right now?

He’s ex-CIA. Are you really that desperate to cover gambling debts? I’m sure you can figure something out.

Colin:

Is that supposed to be literal? He’s doing this to pay off gambling debts? If he’s that resourceful, why does he have to sell out his friends instead of finding money some other way? Or is it figurative, like he’s been spying for a long time and making no money from it even though they’re winning wars and stuff?

I hope it’s figurative. That would at least make sense. But George Lucas wrote this. You know which one it is.

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“No defiant last words, Dr. Jones?”

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“I like Ike.”

All right, I’ll give them that. That was funny. I remember when I saw this in theaters, it was funny.

And even funnier is the fact that I saw this in theaters.

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“Put down gun.”

Maybe use some articles.

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“You got it, pal.”

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That gun went off before it hit the floor.

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That’s a toe.

Colin:

That can’t be planned like that. You can’t drop a gun perfectly to hit that guy in the foot. But even if you could, really? Fail.

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Well that was delayed.

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I like how she tells them to go get him, and she’s peacing with the alien.

This franchise is peacing with the alien.

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He should be shot in the ass right now.

Colin:

At this point, we have an old man on a jungle gym as a dozen people with automatic weapons fail to hit him at close range. Par for the course.

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This does look fun, though.

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Tally ho!

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I’ll give him this… when the stunts are real, he does them. So good on them for that.

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Colin:

I was going to ask how he detaches the whip from the other end as he lands wherever he does – also a question when he breaks into Sean Connery’s room with the whip. I know that at the beginning of Raiders and on a few other occasions, he shakes it and it comes off, but you can’t do that in mid-air.

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“Damn, I thought that was closer.”

Coulda had him killed by this point. But I’ll allow it. That is the basis of these movies.

Colin:

We should not be stopping in the middle of him falling through a windshield for a comedic break.

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Colin:

These shots aren’t reminiscent of Raiders at all. Or at least, they shouldn’t be.

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The lights aren’t moving now. In fact, nothing metal is following this truck.

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HA HA HA. Push the bitch out of the truck.

Colin:

Good. Push her right out. Push the bitch out the Jeep so my country can be free.

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I’m sure none of that was priceless or important pieces of history hidden from the public.

Colin:

Were those boxes made of popsicle sticks? Because they broke a bit too easily.

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Someone’s gonna get some splinters.

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Isn’t it great how they’re reminding us of a better movie?

And why does it have its own lighting?

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He’s thinking bout them French fried potaters.

Mmm hmm.

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“Don’t get clever, Boris.”

Colin:

Is his name actually Boris? I will be upset it he knows this flunky’s name. You’re not supposed to be on first-name terms with all the assholes.

I think that’s one of those things that denotes him as still somewhat American. He’s being a dickhead to these people and doesn’t respect them. They’re just paying him. So there’s a chance for redemption there.

Then again, he probably knows this guy’s name. George Lucas wrote this. Winstone’s probably shared his feelings about sand with this guy.

Colin:

And he’s British, which is the other weird thing. Notice how there are randomly people with weird accents in movies when they’re supposed to be American (or at least, work for a government agency during at time when only citizens did) and nobody addresses it.

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“You don’t know him!”

Colin:

He repeats that line over and over. “You don’t know him! You don’t know him! You don’t know him!” Yes, and it’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. Your sister. Your daughter. Your sister and your daughter.

At this point, Jones is actually as old as John Huston was in that movie.

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You know how you know this isn’t really a Jones movie?

This is the first game of chicken he wins.

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Good job, Boris Spazzkey.

Colin:

And a sandwich collision at speed in 1950s vehicles. Yeah, I’m gonna call that…death.

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Colin:

Oh, come on. This is some shit out of Ninja Warrior now. Makoto Nagano couldn’t do that while people were shooting at him.

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Love a guy who just throws his gun away every time it’s empty.

That would be like if Bruce Wayne, every time one of his expensive ass cars was out of gas, he just left it on the side of the road.

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Why such an extensive set of rafters for this place?

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Oh look, a random room off to the side.

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Nah, not CG at all.

Also, why the fuck was that there?

Colin:

Why is this such a crazy chase scene now? I guess I’m thinking Quantum of Solace, with the falling through a glass roof thing, but this feels like more of a Bond chase than an Indy chase. Indiana Jones is supposed to be a bit more protracted and creative about using a single context for a chase. The trucks, the mine cart, the circus train, the speedboats, the motorcycles, the tank…these are all prime examples.

The most extreme classic Indy got in switching things up in a lengthy pursuit was going from a biplane to a car to then out of a car. I feel like this action is both too slow and too fast at the same time – he’s too slow to be doing this, and looks out of place as his sluggish movements play out at a breakneck pace, and we’re subjected to a series of action focal points: on top of the crates, the whip, the truck, the Jeep, the rafters, and now some new place. All in like 30 seconds.

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I like the idea of them fighting on top of these light fixtures.

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Of course it doesn’t last.

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This looks like where the third act of all of Michael Bay’s movies take place.

Colin:

I totally get it, and also understand how that is FAR from a compliment.

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Colin:

Did that guy not just get hung? At the very least, he was kicked off a scaffold and then punted through a thick, glass window and onto a metal console. I’m out after like…one of those things.

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If that thing is all prepared to go like that, how come no one is down here monitoring? I get that there’s weapons testing, but goddamn, guys.

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Colin:

Kinda early for the boss fight, huh? This guy is like the huge German or the big Indian guy in the mine. I’m guessing that there will be another fight like that later, but this is right off the bat. I notice that I’m at least pointing out a lot of the ways in which this movie breaks conventions, and I should say…that’s not necessarily bad. If they tried to do everything exactly the same way they had, it would be sad and wholly ineffectual.

Unfortunately, it looks like they’ve broken conventions in favor of worse ones that prioritize bad dialogue and flashy action.

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That’s a convenient place to miss.

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Colin:

This timer counting down is for what? Is this an engine? Engine sled?

Is the point of this that they make the bomb down here, then bullet sled it to outside, where they set it up on that tower thing in order to test it?

Somebody put thought into this assembly line.

Not to mention the idea that they actually built towns in the middle of the desert in order to drop bombs on them.

I mean, sure, that’s what Hollywood does, but also… radiation.

Colin:

It’s definitely not for the bomb, cause that’s not where it ends up. It’s an old engine tester that they used to see what the performance of a new engine was like before putting it in a plane. It just blasts out the door and you can gauge the thrust and stuff.

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Actually, now that I think about it — this place is the place that’s responsible for the deaths of John Wayne, Dick Powell, Susan Hayward and Agnes Moorehead. They shot the movie The Conqueror in the Utah desert, like 150 miles from the Nevada nuclear testing site, and just about every major member of the cast ended up dying of cancer that was almost certainly developed from exposure to the radiation levels (which they knew about, and the government assured them were totally safe). I think something like 40% of the entire cast and crew ended up getting some form of cancer after working on the movie.

So yeah, that’s your history lesson for today, folks.

Colin:

Wasn’t it also the guy who played Kerim Bey in From Russia With Love, who took his life before it came out? Pedro Armendariz. Apparently, there’s some debate as to whether or not that radiation really caused all the cancer, cause it was 46 people who died of cancer within 25 years of the film, out of 220 total. You figure some number close to that would have developed lung cancer or liver cancer on their own.

True. John Wayne was smoking three packs a day when he was shooting The Alamo. But I think the radiation exposure certainly helped it along.

And the movie sucked, too. Which makes it worse. Die for something like Apocalypse Now, not that movie.

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Colin:

Oh, of course Mack jumps clear as all the Soviets get Red hot.

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I heard a little bit of the Slim Pickens Strangelove yell in there.

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Colin:

If that wouldn’t kill you, I can’t imagine that it wouldn’t at least suck your eardrums out with the low pressure.

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If you had to point about about ten shots that are a microcosm of why this movie is awful, this is one of them. You don’t need this. You’re pandering to children.

Colin:

Prairie dogs? Fuck you.

Seriously, I’m offended by this moment, the same way I was by the pigeon double take in Moonraker. And people try to say, “Aw, c’mon. It wasn’t THAT bad. Tomorrow Never Dies and Die Another Day were way worse than any of the Roger Moore films.” No. No. Moonraker had a fucking pigeon doing a double take as Bond drives a gondola hovercraft through the streets of Venice. Octopussy had a Johnny Weissmuller Tarzan call as Bond swings on a fucking vine. Does that ruin the film? Yes.

I will remember and hate those things before I think back to any other great part of the film. It’s like a person who lived a great life except for that one time they murdered a child. That act ruins everything else. And yes, I’m saying that pigeon double takes and Tarzan calls are some films’ equivalent to child murder. You say, “Well, maybe those filmmakers were going for a different interpretation of the movie’s tone.” Yes. Just like that murderer was going for a different interpretation of that child’s pulse.

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Meanwhile.

Colin:

THAT’S IT? We see him zooming off to almost certain death, hear prairie dogs squeak and cut back to Spalko or whatever her name is? I’m just getting upset now, and we’re only 17 minutes into this movie.

“You did well.”

Is she gonna bang him now? Because that’s the vibe I’m getting out of this.

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See the difference between CG and real stuff, kids? It’s incredibly obvious.

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Really? Dude fell asleep? Really?

Colin:

This guy got knocked out by the G forces, or what? I guess the geriatric was able to handle more Gs than we expected. Another Moonraker connection.

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Colin:

Does that thing have a chair on the front? Is someone supposed to RIDE that?

I never noticed that before. That looks fun as SHIT.

Colin:

In that case, it’s not only a rocket sled, but probably also a G-forces simulator.

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Colin:

I guess it got dark sometime during the last ten minutes.

Presumably they spent hours looking for that jerk-off alien box.

Colin:

It really was like the cum box from outer space.

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Seriously. What are we doing?

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Oh look, a random town in the middle of nowhere. No way that could go wrong.

Colin:

A town in the middle of nowhere. Ever fly over the US from coast to coast? I mean, eesh.

I actually, for the first time, did the night flight out over Christmas. Where I got on a plane at 9:30 and got in at 5:30am New York time. Which was great for two reasons. First being, it was only like 2:30 for me, so I didn’t feel so tired. And second, it was dark out, so I didn’t have to look at the giant hole of nothingness that is middle America from 30,000 feet in the air.

Colin:

Also, can we talk about how that’s not a TOWN? There are less than 20 buildings there, and it’s not a real place. I’m not saying that you’re not walking toward it if you’re in his position, but you know RIGHT now that is not a town.

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“I’m a ghost ghost ghost ghost ghost.”

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“Hey, kids — get off of my lawn!”

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Nah, completely realistic.

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Colin:

Oh, right. I remember this part. It’s the fake town, right? Was the bomb REALLY close to it or was it pretty far away? Cause if it’s not pretty far away, I’m wondering why they’d even put all this stuff in the house, like furnishings and stuff. I guess I get it if they want to study the effects on everything in the community, but in that case, wouldn’t you also want running water to get an idea of how that affected things?

What if the water in the pipes gets vaporized by gamma rays and kills people that way, or something? It’s strange to me that Spielberg and Lucas went so far as to show that there was no running water in this place, even though every other detail of a typical community is so faithfully replicated.

Seriously, filmmakers: if you’re going to do something really deliberately, I’m going to hold you to that.

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Colin:

I hope this was a thing. Like, it was someone’s job to go to Sears or wherever and get clothes for them to put on the mannequins to be blown up. And someone had to go buy the mannequins, too. “No, I don’t want the regular little girl mannequin. Do you have something more smiley? Something that definitely doesn’t expect it’s going to be nuked? Oh yeah, that one’ll look nice as glass.”

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So there’s no water, but the TV works?

Colin:

“Wait a minute.” Actually, I’ve already waited 19 minutes and 20 seconds. For this film to stop sucking.

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Oh yeah, it’s nuke time.

Colin:

This tiny child is about to be incinerated.

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“Yeah, suck my dick, dummy.”

Colin:

No way they put an actual ’57 Chevy here to get blown up. Cause if that was for real like all the other stuff, there might be keys and gas in it. And he’d be dead.

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“That can’t be good.”

Colin:

Are they going to keep this up for the whole movie? Making him an addled old man who trips on things and talks to himself, but can still dispatch scores of Soviets? I’m confused as to what this character is now, and it smacks of George Lucas’ writing and general approach to film – that characters should be all things to all people.

My initial complaints about the Star Wars prequels were that they had left the space adventure genre behind and become a disjointed hodgepodge of childish comedy, flashy action, sci-fi fantasy and dismal political intrigue. It’s like they have to appeal to everyone, so instead of making a movie that multiple demographics can see as a good film, he decided instead to make a movie comprised of scenes that all appeal to different demographics for about 3 minutes at a time.

The average person will only be interested in one or two aspects of the film, so you find yourself wanting to fast-forward through all the stuff you’re not interested in to get to the “good” parts. And that’s what I’m seeing with the Indiana Jones character now. He’s not Indiana Jones, he’s an old man with multiple personality disorder, dressed as Indiana Jones.

Am I doing my Final Thoughts for this movie less than 20 minutes in? I guess we’ll see how I think about it when the movie is done. Right now he’s oscillating from bumbling idiot to action hero a little too quickly for my tastes.

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Why is the water running there only?

Colin:

Wait, the HOSE has running water? Why does THAT house have running water? Why would you show us that there’s no water and then show us water over here? What purpose do either of these moments serve? Do they really think we’re not going to notice this?

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That little girl is drowning in the slip n slide.

Colin:

There’s no running water in these houses, but there’s a working SLIP N SLIDE? I am properly baffled.

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There is no way someone didn’t put two of those mannequins fucking in one of the houses. No way.

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Aww… she undercooked the meatloaf.

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What kind of posture is that?

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I like Ike.

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Really, guys? How do you fuck that up?

Also, who is there to conduct the test?! WHAT IS GOING ON?!

How can a military not know all of this is going on?

Colin:

Those are Russians. They’re looking for him. They didn’t know what was up.

No, I meant our military. How can they not be aware any of this is happening? There’s no way the people on that base who were killed didn’t have to report to someone on the hour. There’s no way the government is unaware that the biggest secret hole in the country has been breached and now a nuclear bomb is going off.

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Colin:

The Russians get the hell out of Dodge…in their Ford.

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“Sure, great, don’t wait for me!”

Which… that was a whole comic moment they completely left on the table.

Colin:

I should probably stop responding to his dialogue for a while.

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I like how we conducted extensive tests to tell us this was going to happen.

Hey, remember when we dropped these things on two cities in Japan? Pretty sure after that, we didn’t need to keep practicing to see what would happen.

Colin:

Well, there wasn’t much data collection there, and these bombs were way different in size and type, and our cities weren’t half made from paper. So there’s all of that to account for. So this is sort of like an early jet test flight as compared to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which were comparatively more like throwing a paper airplane out your window. Same principles, but a bit different on scale.

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Yup, keep suspending that disbelief.

Isn’t it great that he somehow didn’t know this was built for nuclear testing, yet knew to go inside the fridge right before the bomb went off?

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Colin:

Yeah, that’ll do it. The fridge. Even for this franchise, that’s jumping the shark. You’d think that to an atheist like me, the jumping the shark moment would have been anything God-related. Nope. Surviving an atomic blast by getting in a refrigerator.

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Just in case you weren’t sure how he’s gonna survive this.

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Colin:

This isn’t dark at all. Is anyone else imagining Linda Hamilton watching all of this?

I’m actually imagining that alien jerking off while watching all of this.

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You guys in the mood for some Chinese food?

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Colin:

Too bad none of those mannequins had desks to duck and cover under.

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Why is the fridge the only thing flying?

And why is it flying exactly in this spot?

Colin:

I was going to say ‘the plot,’ but it’s not even that. But the reasoning is sort of kind of explained when you zoom out and see the whole blast.

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