Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny (30th June 2023)

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  • 1) Raiders
    2) Doom
    3) Crusade
    4) Crystal Skull

    Sometimes 2 and 3 can switch, thanks to Sean Connery.

    This is certainly not a bad way of looking at it either.
  • HildebrandRarityHildebrandRarity Centre international d'assistance aux personnes déplacées, Paris, France
    edited August 2022 Posts: 468
    I’m not sure if we have a general Indiana Jones thread for this, but I recently caught up with the Jean-Paul Belmondo double feature That Man from Rio and Up to His Ears, which both involve an everyman played by Belmondo who’s comedically swept up in a globe-trotting adventure. They definitely riffed on elements from the early 60s Bond films (the latter includes Ursula Andress on an island beach in very Honey Ryder-esque attire), but what struck me most about both of them were how many scenes felt reminiscent of scenes from the Indiana Jones trilogy. Far too many to be coincidence. These were definitely films Spielberg watched and closely homaged/lifted from for all three of his 80s Indiana Jones films, from the biplane escape in the opening of Raiders to the bridge sequence in Temple of Doom to the boat stunts in Last Crusade. What also struck me was the insanity of Belmondo quite apparently doing all his own stunts, throwing himself down hills and through tables and climbing about on ridiculously high structures. Things were definitely different in the 60s.

    That Man from Rio is a definite acknowledged influence on Indiana Jones. Steven Spielberg has watched that film at least nine times (as expressed in a letter to director Philippe de Broca).
    Up to His Ears is some uneven followup that has its moments, but you can notice that, starting with Ursula Andress, they tried a little too hard to rival with the James Bond franchise and they lot some of what made That Man from Rio so original and genuine.

    In the seventies, Belmondo and de Broca teamed again for Le Magnifique/The Man from Acapulco, so-starring Jacqueline Bisset. It plays as a meta spoof on the James Bond films, but it's actually more based on the French cheap spy thriller books like the OSS 117 or the SAS series that were being churned out by some writer (Jean Bruce wrote 88 OSS books in 14 years) or ghostwriters (the SAS series) at the risk of being repetitive and derivative. Here, an out of inspiration François Merlin (Belmondo) starts to weave elements of his private life and fantasies into the bigger-than-life adventures of his fictional double, also played by Belmondo.

    That Man from Rio is itself very much inspired by the Tintin books, and is basically a stealth adaptation with a more adult protagonist (shortly before, the crew for that film had worked on an adaptation that was ultimately canceled, hence their deep familiarity). Spielberg was unaware of the connections, and that's only when ROTLA was released that he heard about Tintin, and bought the adaptation rights a couple of years later... resulting in the adaptation that involved Craig.
    Yeah, he was crazy. I know they had stuntmen back then, so maybe he just loved doing that stuff. Maybe he was Tom Cruise before there was Tom Cruise.

    That Man from Rio had a motorbike chase taking place in Paris, where Belmondo doesn't wear any helmet. It's inspired by a sequence from King Ottokar's Sceptre, and it was mentioned as an influence on M:I Fallout.
    And it looks like that people in the Hong Kong film industry were quite impressed when they saw that Belmondo performed most of his own stunts. Jackie Chan apparently heard about it, and used it as an inspiration.

    You can also spot Belmondo as an influence of many Japanese creations. His face was the model for Cobra and Lupin III (though it hasn't been confirmed for the latter), and even the Belmont character in the Castlevania games is a tribute to Belmondo.
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    edited August 2022 Posts: 15,623
    Creasy47 wrote: »
    I was planning a marathon of the first four a little closer to the release of this fifth installment but I'm impatient and really wanted to revisit this series. What's everyone's ranking these days? It had been so long since I last saw these, I didn't know what to expect. Mine would have to be:

    1. Temple of Doom
    2. Raiders of the Lost Ark
    3. The Last Crusade
    4. Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

    I had forgotten just how much I love Temple of Doom, it's such a perfect action-adventure film to me. I love the darker tone and its pacing is seriously flawless.

    I think I'd still rank Raiders above it, but I remain baffled by people who say Temple is a bad film. As you say, the pacing is flawless and it's just one of the best adventure movies ever made. The first act, from musical sequence to diamond exchange to nightclub brawl to car chase to plane escape to white river ride, is an opening sequence which no Bond film can match, it's amazing.
    For me Raiders is the better film overall; but Temple is better-directed, plus I think Ford was really at his movie star peak by this point and is even better than he was in Raiders.
    Crusade is still excellent, but perhaps just a little ragged in places comparatively.
  • Posts: 1,582
    When you watch IJATTOD is a chronicle of a marriage falling apart, or were SS and AI already dunzo by then ? Mind you - it sure would NOT be the first movie to have this back-story, and it does not keep me from watching or enjoying the film. Just something which came to mind, thinking about the comments above how well-paced and exciting is this film. The movie showcases KC very well. Once one realizes the director's deep appreciation of her - even though it was appropriate to show her well in the film anyway - it gives you the "Ahhh, yes..."
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    Posts: 15,623
    Yes, one criticism in particular I see a lot but never accept is that Capshaw's character is annoying and screams too much, when that's the whole point of the character, especially at the beginning. She gets on Indy's nerves too, you're not supposed to think she's great. But she does play her very sympathetically and with great charm; I think she's great in it.
  • HildebrandRarityHildebrandRarity Centre international d'assistance aux personnes déplacées, Paris, France
    Posts: 468
    The elephant in the room was George and Marcia. Spielberg and Irving had dated until 1980 and had split, which cost her the part of Marion. They reunited and married shortly after IJATTOD was released.
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 40,683
    mtm wrote: »
    Creasy47 wrote: »
    I was planning a marathon of the first four a little closer to the release of this fifth installment but I'm impatient and really wanted to revisit this series. What's everyone's ranking these days? It had been so long since I last saw these, I didn't know what to expect. Mine would have to be:

    1. Temple of Doom
    2. Raiders of the Lost Ark
    3. The Last Crusade
    4. Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

    I had forgotten just how much I love Temple of Doom, it's such a perfect action-adventure film to me. I love the darker tone and its pacing is seriously flawless.

    I think I'd still rank Raiders above it, but I remain baffled by people who say Temple is a bad film. As you say, the pacing is flawless and it's just one of the best adventure movies ever made. The first act, from musical sequence to diamond exchange to nightclub brawl to car chase to plane escape to white river ride, is an opening sequence which no Bond film can match, it's amazing.
    For me Raiders is the better film overall; but Temple is better-directed, plus I think Ford was really at his movie star peak by this point and is even better than he was in Raiders.
    Crusade is still excellent, but perhaps just a little ragged in places comparatively.

    Spot on, that's mostly how I feel about them. I was surprised to see more folks don't feel the same way about TTOD, didn't know it wasn't as loved as I expected it might be.
  • I’m not sure if we have a general Indiana Jones thread for this, but I recently caught up with the Jean-Paul Belmondo double feature That Man from Rio and Up to His Ears, which both involve an everyman played by Belmondo who’s comedically swept up in a globe-trotting adventure. They definitely riffed on elements from the early 60s Bond films (the latter includes Ursula Andress on an island beach in very Honey Ryder-esque attire), but what struck me most about both of them were how many scenes felt reminiscent of scenes from the Indiana Jones trilogy. Far too many to be coincidence. These were definitely films Spielberg watched and closely homaged/lifted from for all three of his 80s Indiana Jones films, from the biplane escape in the opening of Raiders to the bridge sequence in Temple of Doom to the boat stunts in Last Crusade. What also struck me was the insanity of Belmondo quite apparently doing all his own stunts, throwing himself down hills and through tables and climbing about on ridiculously high structures. Things were definitely different in the 60s.

    That Man from Rio is a definite acknowledged influence on Indiana Jones. Steven Spielberg has watched that film at least nine times (as expressed in a letter to director Philippe de Broca).
    Up to His Ears is some uneven followup that has its moments, but you can notice that, starting with Ursula Andress, they tried a little too hard to rival with the James Bond franchise and they lot some of what made That Man from Rio so original and genuine.

    In the seventies, Belmondo and de Broca teamed again for Le Magnifique/The Man from Acapulco, so-starring Jacqueline Bisset. It plays as a meta spoof on the James Bond films, but it's actually more based on the French cheap spy thriller books like the OSS 117 or the SAS series that were being churned out by some writer (Jean Bruce wrote 88 OSS books in 14 years) or ghostwriters (the SAS series) at the risk of being repetitive and derivative. Here, an out of inspiration François Merlin (Belmondo) starts to weave elements of his private life and fantasies into the bigger-than-life adventures of his fictional double, also played by Belmondo.

    That Man from Rio is itself very much inspired by the Tintin books, and is basically a stealth adaptation with a more adult protagonist (shortly before, the crew for that film had worked on an adaptation that was ultimately canceled, hence their deep familiarity). Spielberg was unaware of the connections, and that's only when ROTLA was released that he heard about Tintin, and bought the adaptation rights a couple of years later... resulting in the adaptation that involved Craig.
    Yeah, he was crazy. I know they had stuntmen back then, so maybe he just loved doing that stuff. Maybe he was Tom Cruise before there was Tom Cruise.

    That Man from Rio had a motorbike chase taking place in Paris, where Belmondo doesn't wear any helmet. It's inspired by a sequence from King Ottokar's Sceptre, and it was mentioned as an influence on M:I Fallout.
    And it looks like that people in the Hong Kong film industry were quite impressed when they saw that Belmondo performed most of his own stunts. Jackie Chan apparently heard about it, and used it as an inspiration.

    You can also spot Belmondo as an influence of many Japanese creations. His face was the model for Cobra and Lupin III (though it hasn't been confirmed for the latter), and even the Belmont character in the Castlevania games is a tribute to Belmondo.

    This is quite the wealth of trivia! I've seen Le Magnifique before—great film, btw—but didn't realize it was the same director who did That Man from Rio and Up to His Ears. I didn't realize the roundabout way Spielberg came to appreciate Tintin either.
  • thedovethedove hiding in the Greek underworld
    Posts: 5,139
    As someone old enough to recall seeing Temple of Doom in the theatres. As a child I was scared and more than a little shocked by the level of OTT violence that the movie had. I laughed at the food scene, which I have heard some of today's audiences find culturally insensitive. I imagined being Short Round to Indy. It was at this time that Choose Your Own Adventures had James Bond and Indy adventures. Bond adventures were based on AKTAK, from what I recall Indy had new stories.

    But I digress. As a child I wasn't happy with Temple of Doom. I found it dark and disturbing. Fast forward to my older years and I have come to appreciate the film on a different level. Showing it to my youngest son he thought the violence was a bit too much as well. Guess some things never change. LOL
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    Posts: 15,623
    I do think the UK BBFC got it right in terms of toning down the violence. I actually think it's a shame that that version seems all but lost nowadays.
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Das Boot Hill
    Posts: 45,489
    Mola Ram is the best and most memorable villain in the series.
  • Posts: 7,010
    There was huge anticipation for 'Temple of Doom', when it came out that Summer! I remember loving it on the big screen, and the stories of Spielbergs attempts to keep as many secrets before its debut ( story goes one of the engineers who helped build the rope bridge for the end sequence,claimed as soon as he and his crew finished the job, Spielberg ordered them off the set!)
    Looking at it now, the opening sequence is brilliant, as is the whole final section, with the mine cart chase and rope bridge finale, but the middle section strains to keep you interested, and Kate Capshaw gets on your nerves, and doesn't have an ounce of Karen Allens charm or good looks. 'Raiders' maintains your interest throughout, therefore its still the one to beat! 'Last Crusade' has a wonderful appearance by Connery, but the action and effects are poor, and it has a lame opening and even more lame finale!
  • CraigMooreOHMSSCraigMooreOHMSS Dublin, Ireland
    Posts: 8,136
    The opening of The Last Crusade is anything but lame. What's lame about it?
  • Posts: 7,010
    The opening of The Last Crusade is anything but lame. What's lame about it?

    Compared to 'Raiders' and 'Temple of Doom', its lame! Nothing really exciting, and it doesn't help that Ford doesn't appear!
  • CraigMooreOHMSSCraigMooreOHMSS Dublin, Ireland
    edited August 2022 Posts: 8,136
    Mathis1 wrote: »
    The opening of The Last Crusade is anything but lame. What's lame about it?

    Compared to 'Raiders' and 'Temple of Doom', its lame! Nothing really exciting, and it doesn't help that Ford doesn't appear!

    Ah okay - it's probably the weakest of the bunch, but considering how good the openings of the previous two were, I think "lame" is stretching it a bit. I find it quite charming and clever, even if it's not as iconic as the opening to Raiders or as relentless as the opening to Temple. The hat transition from young Indy to older Indy is superb.
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    Posts: 15,623
    I love the boat bit too, although I do always wonder what Indy's plan was exactly- just to dive into the sea!
    The boat being called 'Coronado' does always make me wonder: perhaps Panama Hat's claim on the Cross was legitimate? Is Indy just stealing it? :D
  • Posts: 12,363
    It’s not lame at all, it’s the best and beautifully packs an origin story within a few minutes of adventurous glory. Plus the adult bit until the ship blows up also counts as the opening IMO, with the location + date preceding it and all. Openings for me I’d rank the same as the movies. And yes as @Thunderfinger said, Mola Ram is the best villain.
  • Phoenix makes a wonderful young Indy - if only we'd had more of his adventures on the big screen, perhaps alternating with Ford-starring instalments.

    But I do slightly cringe at how every element of Indy's iconography is established in so short a time. Imagine a similarly eventful afternoon where young Bond earns his facial scar, first drives an Aston Martin, picks up a Walther PPK and learns all about the joys of beautiful women and vodka martinis, shaken not stirred (and yes, he does look like he gives a damn...)
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    edited August 2022 Posts: 15,623
    Don't read Forever And A Day then :D
  • edited August 2022 Posts: 6,844
    Mathis1 wrote: »
    The opening of The Last Crusade is anything but lame. What's lame about it?

    Compared to 'Raiders' and 'Temple of Doom', its lame! Nothing really exciting, and it doesn't help that Ford doesn't appear!

    I'm not sure I'd go so far as "lame," but it's certainly fair to call Crusade's opening very underwhelming by comparison with Raiders and Doom. I like the idea of Crusade's prologue, but when you're expecting some jaw-dropping action sequence that really gets you pumped for the adventure ahead watching an Eagle Scout hop train carriages is a bit like going from filet mignon to that one pepperoni left stuck to the lid of the pizza box. It's still really good. I'd just rather have the filet mignon.
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    Posts: 15,623
    I think it falls down in a lot of places as a film, but although the start to Crystal Skull is a bit too talky, it's a really good opening sequence.
  • CraigMooreOHMSSCraigMooreOHMSS Dublin, Ireland
    Posts: 8,136
    mtm wrote: »
    I think it falls down in a lot of places as a film, but although the start to Crystal Skull is a bit too talky, it's a really good opening sequence.

    Yeah, it's easily the best part of that film. A lot of fun.
  • Posts: 7,010
    Mathis1 wrote: »
    The opening of The Last Crusade is anything but lame. What's lame about it?

    Compared to 'Raiders' and 'Temple of Doom', its lame! Nothing really exciting, and it doesn't help that Ford doesn't appear!

    I'm not sure I'd go so far as "lame," but it's certainly fair to call Crusade's opening very underwhelming by comparison with Raiders and Doom. I like the idea of Crusade's prologue, but when you're expecting some jaw-dropping action sequence that really gets you pumped for the adventure ahead watching an Eagle Scout hop train carriages is a bit like going from filet mignon to that one pepperoni left stuck to the lid of the pizza box. It's still really good. I'd just rather have the filet mignon.

    You said it better than I did!
  • Posts: 1,470
    Mathis1 wrote: »
    The opening of The Last Crusade is anything but lame. What's lame about it?

    Compared to 'Raiders' and 'Temple of Doom', its lame! Nothing really exciting, and it doesn't help that Ford doesn't appear!

    The opening of Last Crusade, establishing so many of Indy's future traits as well as his early relationship with his stern and obsessive father, is a joy and sets the tone perfectly for the rest of the film.

  • Yeah I think that the truncated origin for Indy in Last Crusade works with the rest of the film because, while unrealistic, the movie is focused so heavily on myth-making and childhood. It makes sense that while Indy was becoming a legend himself, seemingly all in one afternoon, his father simply doesn’t care enough to notice because he’s too busy obsessing over a different kind of myth to observe the life around him. It’s an efficient narrative shortcut that’s earned by being so thematically linked to the thrust of the film as a whole.

    I still prefer release order for the films in terms of quality, but I think the first three are all very close.
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Das Boot Hill
    Posts: 45,489
    I also feel Last Crusade has the weakest opening. The other three are all stellar in that regard.
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 40,683
    I also feel Last Crusade has the weakest opening. The other three are all stellar in that regard.

    Agreed. Personally, though, I've never been a fan of prequel bits where all the indicators of what makes a character are suddenly realized. It just feels too easy. No doubt this was a defining moment in Indy's life but it's all way too convenient.
  • Posts: 1,470
    Creasy47 wrote: »
    I also feel Last Crusade has the weakest opening. The other three are all stellar in that regard.

    Agreed. Personally, though, I've never been a fan of prequel bits where all the indicators of what makes a character are suddenly realized. It just feels too easy. No doubt this was a defining moment in Indy's life but it's all way too convenient.

    It's the tone and nuance that matters here. It's playful, but also plants the seeds for the rest of The Last Crusade. The opening is not trying to out action the first two Indy films, it is deliberately taking a fresh path, one which supports the rest of the film, which is the most character based Indy film. It's just good and smart storytelling.

  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    Posts: 15,623
    ColonelSun wrote: »
    Creasy47 wrote: »
    I also feel Last Crusade has the weakest opening. The other three are all stellar in that regard.

    Agreed. Personally, though, I've never been a fan of prequel bits where all the indicators of what makes a character are suddenly realized. It just feels too easy. No doubt this was a defining moment in Indy's life but it's all way too convenient.

    It's the tone and nuance that matters here. It's playful, but also plants the seeds for the rest of The Last Crusade.

    Yeah, if it were any other character like Han Solo or whatever it would be clumsy that he discovers all of his iconic accoutrements in an afternoon, but the thing about Indy is that he isn't a real character. He's a perfect construct of cinema; every scene exists to be a perfectly-directed witty piece of moviemaking. So I don't need him to be believable or even hugely consistent (the "It belongs in a museum" mantra here very much contradicts the younger Indy of Temple's "Fortune and glory" ethic, but it just doesn't matter), I just need it to be a brilliant cartoon, basically, with clever touches scattered throughout; and that's what the opening to Crusade is.

    Also note that FordIndy's conversation with Panama Hat on the boat lasts a total of five lines between both of them: compare that to the endless nonsense about Georgian accents and mind control which slows down the opening to Crystal Skull so badly.

  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 40,683
    Tarantino not only prefers KOTCS but it seems he doesn't like TLC:

    https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/quentin-tarantino-likes-indiana-jones-233052647.html
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