Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Indiana Jones, Double Suicide, The Jerk

It was interesting to watch the Indiana Jones movies, as I remember Raiders of the Lost Ark was one of the early films from my youth that truly left an impression. The opening sequence, Indiana’s taking of the statue riveted me to my seat. During some of the softer scenes with the girl, I thought about leaving the theater to look at another screen. Then something would happen that caught back up into it. The final scene, the opening of the Ark, could truly be described as wicked. Raiders of the Lost Ark is great, Harrison Ford is hot.

Temple of Doom lost it on me though. The girl in this one was not good or necessary comic relief. The opening sequence of this one, at the table in the lounge, had me questioning everything from the start. Everyone recognizes and knows Indiana Jones. Why would the villain bring the antidote along with the poison? Why did Indiana bring along the girl? The story seemed much more like the typical cartoon novella, and a lot of it fell flat for me, but having Mr. Ford on the screen brought me back into it.

I was in disbelief with the cure for Indy’s final challenge, escaping from the temple after having a potion poured down his throat, making him possessed. Somehow Indy’s sidekick figured it would be the touch of a torch, which would snap him out if it. A bipolar set, these two films make an interesting pair.

Then most enjoyable to see a youthful Steve Martin doing his thing in The Jerk. Quite well done, Mr. Martin, much like Mr. Ford, is an enchanting presence on the screen. A scene in a bathroom, with Steve taking a bubble bath in the tub, seemed shockingly realistic, as they actually had a tub full of hot water and soapy foam, Steve was glistening with sweat. We get to see more of him when he runs outside wearing only a dog. He cuts a nice figure for a comedian.

Double Suicide, which I was not at all familiar with, is now one of my favorites. It is a film that I would want to watch from time to time. A complex situation dramatized purely and simply, it captures storytelling in a most beautiful way. The minimalist images are of the same intensity as any modern photography. The characters are well spoken. The music used throughout is excellent, I would very much enjoy an audio recording of it, it has an attitude John Cage would appreciate, I think. I would for sure add this title to my own personal library. Another Japanese title I liked very much is Blind Beast.

The author appreciates the opportunity to have a variety of new movies on hand to view, and pleads that this commentary may provide meek compensation for the privilege.


Edward Copeland said...

I so wanted the priest to rip Kate Capshaw's heart out in Temple of Doom. I might have liked it if that had happened.

Jeffrey Hill said...

Everyone always attacks Kate Capshaw. Sure, she's a horrible actress, but that made her perfect for the role of Willie Scott. The Temple of Doom was a worthy prequel to Raiders.

And to answer your question, Farm Boy: The andidote was brought by Lao Che as a possible bargaining chip, in case Indy did something to the remains of Nurhachi.