Sunday, May 25, 2008

Indiana Jones and the Action Transvestite's Journey to the Land of Cleves

We were able to see Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull by pure chance Friday night. It was a 6.40 showing, but the theater was hardly full and there was no line at the box office. (Although I have to assume the later showings were more crowded.) The movie itself was actually pretty good. I had been very skeptical of this one based on what I'd seen early on. Harrison Ford is old. Cate Blanchett, who I adore, sports a horrible black bob haircut and an even worse Soviet accent. Shia LaBeouf hadn't really done much to impress me. Karen Allen looked kinda freaky. But... the movie held its own. A little meandering three-quarters of the way through as it devolved into typical Spielbergian daddy issues and close encounters, but otherwise pretty solid. The Ford-Allen chemistry seemed genuine, and LaBeouf was really fantastic. I would have no problem with him taking over the franchise moving forward. In short, it wasn't as good as Raiders, but wasn't as bad as Temple of Doom, I'd put it right on par with Last Crusade, and there's no shame in that. Now we just need to see what the Raiders Guys can do with this.

Speaking of Indy, my buddy Mark is again plundering the depths of his co
mic book collection for treasures and coming up empty. After hoping (and failing) to make a papal profit off Catholic nostalgia for the heady days of Pope John Paul II, he turned his attention to Marvel's adaptation of Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones. Again, Mark found no market for the treasures of our youth. I remember his copy of the movie adaptation (what a cool cover!), and I actually have the first four issues of The Further Adventures. According to the reliable folks over at the Comic Book Database, the series lasted for about three years before petering out. I can't speak to where the series may have gone during that time, but I recently reread the first couple of issues written by the legendary John Byrne and thought they were pretty good.

The "Action Transvestite" here doesn't refer to Blanchett's unfortunate look in Indy 4, but rather the comic genius of Eddie Izzard. We are huge Izzard fans around here. We have Unrepeatable, Glorious, Dress to Kill, and Circle on DVD. The new material in Stripped is some of his best yet! Saturday night he performed in the same venue we saw him at during the Sexie tour stop back in 2003 -- the Palace Theatre at Playhouse Square Center (the second largest theater center in the U.S., behind only New York City's Lincoln Center). Despite being only about an hour and forty minutes long, the concert was packed with highlights, including his musings on Captain Random (a.k.a. God), Wikipedia, paper darts (that's "paper airplanes" us Yankees), the origin of Duck a l'Orange, and the persistence of badgers. While everyone in our group agreed it will be difficult for Izzard to ever match the gold standard that is Dress to Kill, this was some fantastic stuff and made for a great night out of good friends, good food, and great entertainment!

1 comment:

McFly on the Radio said...

Kelly and I saw the movie on Tuesday after our return from Florida. We both enjoyed it. It lived up to the hype and now I can't wait for the next installment in the Indy series.