This post recaps content written at the end of June 2023 and the beginning of July 2023.
On the 4th of July, the Wife and I ventured over to the local AMC in Century City to see Indiana Jones and the Dial Of Destiny. This was an unplanned sort of treat. We’ve only been to two other films in a theater since the pandemic (like most people.) So, when our schedule allowed for a film and there was one we both wanted to see, well, we jumped at it. We walked over as the weather was nice.
Before I get to the movie itself, I have to say that my experience at the AMC was disappointing. Prior trips (even pre-pandemic) weren’t without issues. For instance, there was an incident where the theater paid for dry cleaning as someone urinated in the Wife’s seat during a prior show. That’s messed up. This trip was collectively bad. Trash on our seats. Half the sinks and soap dispensers in the bathroom were broken. A concession stand wildly understaffed. People are already uncomfortable in those theaters, and their lack of attention compounds these expensive tickets.
As for the movie… the short answer is I enjoyed it. The longer answer is I was kind of indifferent to it. No plans for spoilers here; I’m just going to talk in a general sense about the story and the film’s aesthetics. I think, like most people going to see this film, I am sort of glad I got to see this character off on the big screen. These films were big parts of my life growing up, and wanting to tell stories for a living, so that was a bittersweet plus.
That being said… Harrison Ford is just too damn old to be doing this stuff. Running, jumping, punching, and general mayhem were just too much for me to suspend my disbelief. I do appreciate that they sort of address this in the story, but it is way too much. I mean, sure, compare it to all the magic artifacts and aliens from the prior films, and you already are asked to believe a lot.
I did enjoy Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s character. Helena was both complicated and entertaining. Her side-kick I could do without, but whatever. She was great. I hope they do more stories with her. I disagreed with the complaint found in this article but whatever. It seemed like a good call-back to The Last Crusade.
The story seems fairly formulaic for this franchise, and that’s not really a dig. It’s just an observation. You can spot every plot point that will get a call-back later in the story. They’re telegraphed pretty easily. Once again, it’s just a thing. I think they would have been less noticeable had Ford not been in his 80s, though I believe the character was supposed to be about 70 at this point.
There have been criticisms of the third act being a bit crazy, but I actually found earlier parts harder to watch. Particularly the beat during a parade. I found it to be sensory overload, and it took me out of things. Like The Crystal Skull, I think this movie was impacted by the later date. WWII is so much fun because Nazis are great villains. Just a reminder for anyone who might read this… NAZIS ARE BAD. I can’t believe this is a position that needs to be argued.
In the end, I think I’m more sad that this being the end of Indiana Jones is more about the end of Harrison Ford in this role. I hope we get decades more of his work, but it is sad to think of him being done with this because of time. Though, given the themes of this film, that seems apropos.
Score: 7 out of 10
As we’re nearing the end of Pride Month, I wanted to take a moment and bring up an early project I helped release that is very LGBTQ+. The first film in this genre for me was Billy’s First Hollywood Screen Kiss. I believe it got a lot of attention at Trimark because of the lead Sean P. Hayes. You’ll best know him from Will & Grace, but he was the hook for the marketing.
I got to know writer/director Tommy O’Haver during this, and he was lovely. He seemed excited that I was giving the project some attention, and it was fun. He went on to make this very entertaining film called Get Over It, which I liked quite a bit. BFHSK never really seemed to break out, even though it was enjoyable.
I don’t mean this to seem self-congratulatory, but working in Hollywood, you’re regularly given the opportunity to bring people together. This was a film I took pride in (no pun intended) to be a part of because it was just a good movie. Add to that the inclusiveness of the release, and I think there is something special.
If you get a chance, check it out. Here’s the extremely panned and scanned trailer:
And here is a fan-cut music video. Wild!
There was news today that was both surprising and expected. Human remains had been discovered near Mt. Baldy. This was near the last place that actor Julian Sands was known to be at. As you may recall, during the storms at the beginning of the year, he had gone missing while hiking. Well, it was confirmed on Tuesday that the remains belonged to him.
When I started writing this, the first project of his I thought of was Warlock. It was one of the early films I helped release during my time at Trimark. I can’t say it was a great movie, but it was fun. It was certainly iconic. I was surprised that I wasn’t asked to write the comic book like I was for Leprechaun. Still, it was something. Then I looked at the rest of his filmography, and I found several other things he did I helped release.
One was this film called The Million Dollar Hotel. It was by one of my favorite directors Wim Wenders and was co-written by Bono. Mel Gibson was in it, for good or bad. It’s not the best movie, but it was adventurous.
Another thing we released was the made-for-TV miniseries Rose Red, based upon a Stephen King story. That was a fun project, even if I don’t think it set the world ablaze.