Thursday, February 28, 2008

"Snakes, why'd it have to be snakes?"

Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark is the first of three incredible films starring Harrison Ford, and this one is directed by Spielberg (not so sure about the others). In The Lost Ark, Indian Jones (Ford) plays a boring college professor by day, studly archaeologist by night...and any other time he takes off from his day job. In this film, Indie finds himself in an endless struggle to get the chest which supposedly holds the original slates of the ten commandments sent from God himself. The struggle is, the Nazi's of the late 1930's are also trying to get this same chest for Adolf Hitler, which creates quite a conflict. This is definitely your typical action film, only so much better. Most of the plot line of the story is Indiana searching for the lost ark, which all seems to have a doomed feeling about it. In fact, at one point one of Indiana's closest friends says that "the ark is not something that men deserve", of course, Indie will find is anyways (because he's a stud like that).

I'd have to say that my favorite thing about this film was the characters. Indiana Jones obviously, is simply incredible, a classical hero beyond belief. But then there were so many other characters that made the dialogue and general action of the film dramatic, hilarious, creepy and suspenseful. Mary (Karen Allen), Indiana's love intrest (who he apparently has quite a bit of a past with), is simply wonderful. She is not your typical damsel in distress, she is a whisky drinkin', fist fightin', bar owin' hard ass with a voice to match, basically, she's my hero. Oh, and the nazi's, oh the nazi's...they are just some of the creepiest characters I've laid eyes on. The actors just hit the mark, every time I saw their faces, I just got the shivers. Let me just say, it's a good thing they get what's coming to them. Oh man, there's even a nazi monkey!! This film has everything.

The cinematography is also very entertaining. The film opens with a shot of a mountain, then Indiana comes into the frame, and he appears the same size as the mountains themselves. He then procedes to ever so smoothly places his hands on his hips and stare the mountain down with the sillhoute of his hat and whip clear against the red sky, as to suggest he is in charge of whatever he may encounter. I also noticed that during every action sequence of either boobie(sp?) traps, a horse/car chase or whatever it may be, the shots are all very short, usually no longer than a few seconds. This keeps the viewer engaged and on the edge of their seat, since at some times there is no establishing shot, it gives this feeling of chaos and disorder, but Indie always seems to figure it out. The music contributes to this chaotic feeling also, constantly switching between Indie's anthem when the camera is on him, to the demonic sound of the nazi's tune when the camera is on them.

Overall I felt this movie was very entertaining, but did get a little long. If you are in the mood for a stright forward action movie, this is for you. In conclusion, I approve, and highly reccomend this film.

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