The cinema experience - John C. Kirk
May. 29th, 2008
04:36 pm - The cinema experience
Last night I went off to the cinema with some friends to watch Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Overall, I enjoyed it: it's not as good as Last Crusade, but it was worth the (half-)price of the ticket. There was one completely pointless scene ("Howdy doody time!"), which should have been chopped out during editing, and a few contrivances. On the other hand, there were some funny scenes, and a good cast; I particularly liked how resourceful the female antagonist was. As for the lead character, Harrison Ford may be getting a bit too old for action scenes: there were a few times when the film cheated, by putting characters in a dangerous situation and then "blinking" to a short time later when they were safe, rather than showing the details. However, I thought that Ford was convincing as a university professor, and I was impressed by his bookshelves. So, all in all, a good evening out.
Mind you, there was one thing that confused me a bit until I saw the credits at the end. There's a young sidekick in the film, who says that his name is Mud. When Indy questions this, he says that it's the name he chose for himself. That seemed rather bizarre to me; I'm familiar with the phrase "his name is mud", but that's hardly a compliment. When I saw the cast list, it turned out that the character was actually called "Mutt" (as in dog). That makes a lot more sense, particularly because Indiana Jones is really called Henry Jones Jr; in Last Crusade, his dad said "We named the dog Indiana!" So, he's hardly in a position to criticise anyone else for choosing a dog's name.
Something similar happened when I saw National Treasure: Book of Secrets. At one point in the film, the characters are discussing the coat of arms for a secret society, and apparently it depicts an eagle holding a squirrel. Again, this seemed like a slightly odd choice, but I suppose it makes sense in a way; eagles are predators, and squirrels are small furry creatures, so I can imagine an eagle clutching a squirrel in its claws. Later in the film, someone says "Look, it's the squirrel from the crest!" I peered at it, and it didn't look much like a squirrel to me. Actually, it looked more like a piece of paper. Oh, scroll! An eagle holding a scroll. Right, yes, that makes a bit more sense.
Ahem. Well, it's not my fault if they can't enunciate properly...
More generally, there are some films where the hardcore fans will dress up in costumes. I've always associated this with science-fiction, but apparently it applies to other genres too. I saw a couple of women in the cinema complex last night, dressed up as if they were going to a wedding, but it turned out that they were off to watch the Sex and the City film. As they got into the lift, one of them said to her friend "No, I'm Miranda!" Based on my very limited knowledge, it sounds as if they were actually pretending to be the central characters in the film, rather than just other people who live in that world. By contrast, I think that the average sci-fi fan looks quite good, if they are just pretending to be a random member of Starfleet, or "Fred the Jedi knight".