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Boy in the Striped Pajamas
Brideshead Revisited
The Dark Knight
Frozen River
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Iron Man
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the Savages
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Film Reviews from 2007

Film Reviews
from 2006

Indiana JonesIndiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Indiana Jones has been one of the most anticipated movies of the summer.  Sure, teens looked forward to it, but so did their parents and grandparents, who thrilled to the earlier installments.  It’s been almost 20 years since we last saw Indy on the screen. With producer George Lucas, director Steven Spielberg, and actor Harrison Ford on board for this project, it seemed like a sure thing.

The movie starts off well.  The opening sequence sets the stage for 1957:  teens hot-rodding down a Nevada desert highway with rock and roll on the radio.  Switch to an assault on a military base, with Indy held captive by Russian soldiers, led by Cate Blanchett, unrecognizable in short black hair.  Of course, Indy narrowly escapes.

Harrison FordThe problem with Crystal Skull is that, after a good opening, I kept waiting for the really good part to come:  the “edge-of-your-seat” sequence that marked the others.  Sure, there are cliffhangers, deadly ants, boat rides down the Amazon rapids, and narrow escapes.  But it all seems tired, uninspired, “been there, done that.”  The magic is not there, despite a ridiculous ending that moves into another familiar territory for Spielberg:  Close Encounters/E.T.  All it needs now is a shark, and Crystal Skull could be subtitled:  Early Spielberg Hits.   In summary, Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull is a huge disappointment.           
Where did it go wrong?  First, the screenplay is poorly written, with uninteresting characters and a plot that made no sense.  In addition, maybe Lucas, Spielberg, and Ford are all just too old for this kind of outing.  There’s no energy, no fun, to the film.  Even the special effects, with the exception of the testing of an atomic bomb early in the film, fail to dazzle.
With many other blockbusters due soon, there will be other opportunities for warm weather fun.  It’s too bad that Lucas and Spielberg, who invented the summer blockbuster, seem to have lost their touch.

Tom Condon, OP

The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is A-II -- adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 -- parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.

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