Sunday Morning Evening Movie: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)
Directed by Steven Spielberg

For breakfast: No breakfast again, too much going on…

There are a lot of things I like about this third installment in the series. I like that it returns to Christian mythology and that we get the Nazis back as the villains. I like the addition of Sean Connery and I think he brings a nice extra layer to the character of Indiana. I do, however, have some minor quibbles with it. I’m not a big fan of the ‘betrayal’ twists that Hollywood insists on continually using, especially when they’re not set up well…or, you know, used multiple times in the same film.  I think that a lot of the humor reverts from witty to slapstick and that has a tendency to dumb it down. It’s still a lot of fun, but it prevents the film from being the same caliber as the first one.

 

“Have the adventure of your life keeping up with the Joneses.”

Grade: B

Sunday Morning Movie: Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)

Directed by Steven Spielberg

Breakfast: Bacon & Eggs

Now this film doesn’t even come close to touching the greatness that is Raiders of the Lost Ark, but it’s still a damn fun ride. Even after 20 years watching this, I still laugh at all the jokes. Kate Capshaw may not be a Karen Allen, but I think she does a fine job as Willie. She and Ford manage to have enough chemistry on screen to make it work. The opening scene is great, silly…but great and the bug scene is classic. Although, you can definitely tell the filmmakers are pushing new angles trying to make the sequel as “fresh” as the first, and really only some of it works. Nonetheless it is an enjoyable sequel that doesn’t deserve as much flack as it gets.

Grade: B+

 

Sunday Morning Evening Movie: Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Directed by Steven Spielberg

For breakfast: Nada, had to watch it after we got back from a trip to Illinois.

This is pretty much the perfect adventure film. It’s nostalgic without being weighted down and the action is spectacular without being ridiculous. Harrison Ford is the only person who could don the fedora and bring such charisma, humor, and heroism to the role. Thank God for Magnum P.I. right? Spielberg is also the only person who could have directed with such youthful energy. Speaking of energy, this is by far my favorite score from John Williams, the epitome of the rousing adventure theme. I think it’s pretty rare when a perfect combination of talent comes together at the right time to create a such a special piece of cinema.

Grade: A+

 

Sunday Morning Movie: Conan the Destroyer (1984)

Conan the Destroyer (1984)
Directed by Richard Fleischer

For breakfast: Egg in a holes

This sequel to Conan the Barbarian doesn’t have near as much going for it as its predecessor. Rather than taking what worked, they tried to make this one appeal to a more family-oriented crowd, which leaves me wondering why. Conan is not some family friendly fantasy story and trying to make it so just takes all of the fun out of it. Yea, Arnold is back, but he’s not enough to make up for the bad script or bad direction. The addition of Grace Jones or Wilt Chamberlain don’t really help matters either. The icing on the cake is that this dvd presentation is non-anamorphic, thanks a lot.

Grade: C

 

Sunday Morning Movie: Conan the Barbarian (1982)

Conan the Barbarian (1982)

Directed by John Milius

For breakfast: bacon, eggs, & toast

Milius may have only directed two movies in the 80’s, but they are two of the cheesiest, most testosterone charged movies you’ll see. There’s obviously a fondness for B-movies and classic fantasy tales here, but it definitely has a more “mature” 80’s feel to it. Everyone here is humorously sincere in their respective roles, Arnold was made to play Conan much in the same way that he was made to play the Terminator and James Earl Jones is wonderfully villainous as Thulsa Doom. The rousing score by Basil Poledouris is also worth noting and helps the film rise above being merely another B-movie.

Grade: B