Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Missed it by this much...

Somehow thanks to the magic of the internet, I was able to read Frank Darabont's initial draft for the fourth Indiana Jones move - something he called Indiana Jones and the City of the Gods. And you know what? It is really good. Basically the same story as the final film, but it addresses my complaints about the film - there is no bad dialogue and the movie doesn't lose focus of that fact that Indiana Jones is the main character.

Plus (and this is a big plus for me) it gets the Indiana Jones character right (which the final film only sort of does). Because despite the fact that he gets to make out with beautiful women and crack a whip, deep down, Indiana Jones is a nerd. Seriously, can you imagine Bruce Willis or Arnold Schwarzenegger growling at a bad guy, "It belongs in a museum!" No. Because only nerdy nerd nerds say stuff like that. Only nerdy nerd nerds care this much. Just like only nerdy nerd nerds download early rejected drafts of a film screenplay and blog about it.

Yes, I am aware that George Lucas and Stephen Spielberg don't want this available to the public. No, I am not quite sure how I got it and, no, it is not on my computer anymore so I can't email you a copy, so all of you lawyers just put down your cease and desist letters and go back to suing each other. I justified this to myself because I already paid my $10 to Spielberg and Lucas and did not think I got anywhere near $10 worth of entertainment. Let me read this script and we'll call it even.

I did not like Indiana Jones 4 for a number of reasons, but mainly because it epitomizes the type of movie I hate more than anything else - the half-assed movie.

I love a lot of movies, including some really bad ones. Much to my wife's chagrin, I own (and occasionally sing along with) Xanadu. One of my favorite movies of all time is Little Shop of Horrors (the musical version). I am also a big big fan/champion of Freaked, the movie once described my dad as, "What's the point of that?"

In case you haven't guessed, none of these are what you would call Academy Award winning material.

One thing about all of those films is that, while some people may call them bad, no one can say they are inconsistent. I will take consistently bad over good in places, sort of good in places, and bad in places.

One of the films I dislike the most for this very reason is Cradle Will Rock. The film suddenly become so busy saying BIG IMPORTANT THINGS about THE POWER OF ART that is shirks the subplot of Bill Murray and Joan Cusak - two frightened and damaged people who find a moment of connection. That is the real story of the film - not the main story about the big musical for the masses and yadda yadda. The fact that the filmmakers could get the moments between these two people so subtle and right and then surround it with bombastic theater people waving their arms and clamoring for attention is unforgivable. I would rather the movie be out-and-out bad than something like that.

If you are going to make a movie - make a consistant movie. Don't give me something namby pamby, make it all good or, if you can't do that, make it all bad and then some. I am sure some day some guy will write a blog entry about it and you can die satisfied.

Ok, enough of the ranty post. Tomorrow, I'll try for the funny again.


Courtney said...

Heh, the rants are funny. I demand more rants! And it should be a consistent rant or don't do it at all.

I kinda enjoyed Indiana Jones 4 when I watched it--when I wasn't having a heart attack from constant ACTION, which I'm not used to, or puzzling over the significance of prairie dogs, and I did like Harrison Ford in it again, but it left me feeling pretty empty. And stupider.

Cyber D said...

Roberto, I couldn't agree with you more. The funny thing about my disappiontment with Indy 4 is that I told myself going in not to be impressed. Don't have high expectations. I told myself that even if it measured up in terms of story telling, plot, and direction, that my own jaded adult brain would not allow the film to wash over me like the old films did of my wide-eyed youth. Despite all that - I secretly dared to hope. And that hope was shattered the moment Harrison Ford spoke the first line of the film. Thank you for pointing out that his nerdlyness was replaced with action hero swagger. I couldn't put my finger on what bothered me about his opening scene. All I could come up with was "It was too John Wayne." I still dared to hope as he battled Soviets inside Area 51. Some of the magic returned for a short time until the refrigerator. But I tried to put that aside, telling myself that the ten-year-old inside of me would have been fine with that. After all... it was lead lined for God sakes! But then he and Butch landed in South America and it basically turned to shit for the rest of the film. Oh well. At least I don't have to regret having purchased the Indy DVD 3-pack a few years back.

Tera said...

The boys want to see this badly....I am going to go ahead and take them.

And funny??? You're funny enough over at my place, and I will be waiting for the limerich associated with the "reveal" once it happens!

Tera said...

I'll be waiting for the limerick too.

M. Robert Turnage said...

For those of you who don't read Tera's blog (or her comments), amidst some talk about girl's panties that might make my mother blush, I discovered that the real way to a woman's heart comes from writing limericks.

Who knew?

Oh, and Cyber, you might follow that link and read the Darabont screenplay. It is the same story, only better. If the whole X-Files plot bothered you, then it might not help, but if your problems had to do with dialogue and characterization, then it might help.

NoRegrets said...

I must say, I was kind of bored with #4. I couldn't get involved in it. It was a bit stooopid.

I'm not sure I've ever seen Xanadu, but I love Grease!

dmarks said...

I found the action so unbelievable and CGI-cartoony. Like watching a videogame. The worst moment was when the Shah Puff character turned into a super Tarzan.