Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull dominates the Memorial Day weekend movie scene.
Fulfilling one of the easiest ever NWN forecasts, the new Indiana Jones picture is a huge hit. The early word amongst some turns out to be wrong, and most reviews have ranged from pretty good to quite good.
But a picture like this is not about reviews. It’s a summer action movie. Is it fun? Yes. Is it action-packed? Yes, maybe even a little too action-packed. Is Harrison Ford a credible action superstar at 65? Yes. Is Karen Allen’s return all it could have been? No, but it’s pretty good. Is that Shia LaBeouf kid any good? Yes, actually, very. Is the great Cate Blanchett having fun playing a psychic dominatrix KGB agent? Absolutely. Do we miss Sean Connery? Yep, but it’s not clear what he would do in the story. About which, by the way, I don’t believe in spoilers. But think 1957, Area 51, the Red Scare, with plenty of Reds actually running around — the Russian Communist Party has denounced the movie, which is playing on record number of screens there now — and a couple of other movies in the Spielberg and Lucas catalogue aside from the Indy movies.
Is Indy 4 as good as Raiders of the Lost Ark?
Is it as good as the first picture?
Of course not. The 1981 original is probably the best action/adventure picture ever.
Is Indy 4 as good as Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom?
Is it as good as the second picture, from 1984?
No, it’s not. It’s better. That movie, which started off in rollicking fashion, bogged down in something of a horror show.
Is Indy 4 as good as Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade?
How about the third picture, from 1989, the “last” in what seemed for the longest time to be a trilogy? The one in which the original James Bond plays Dr. Jones’s dad.
I don’t think it’s quite as good as that. It’s certainly not as funny. Of course, many found Last Crusade to be too jokey. Connery provided Ford with an equal. But the new movie has stronger female characters.
** ANOTHER CLINTON WHOOPS. I explain the OTHER big problem with Hillary Clinton’s notorious Friday remarks, on my other blog. (Not the RFK assassination reference, but her false claim that Bill Clinton’s 1992 nomination was in any doubt in June. As you’ll see, the Clinton high command knew in May that the fight was effectively over.)
** SUNDAY — WHERE THEY ARE TODAY.
Barack Obama delivers the commencement address at Wesleyan University in Connecticut. He is taking the place of the ailing Ted Kennedy, at Kennedy’s request.
John McCain is at home in Sedona, Arizona. He is entertaining three potential running mates: Florida Governor Charlie Crist, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal.
Hillary Clinton is in Puerto Rico.
Bill Clinton is in South Dakota.
** SATURDAY — WHERE THEY ARE TODAY.
Barack Obama is in Bayamon and Old San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Hillary Clinton is in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico.
John McCain is at home in Sedona, Arizona, where he is entertaining three potential running mates. Florida Governor Charlie Crist, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal.
** MOVIES … AND MOTORSPORT. We all know Memorial Day weekend is Indiana Jones weekend at the Metroplex. But it’s also the occasion of two great auto races. There’s the Formula One Grand Prix of Monaco, one of the most colorful and glamorous races on the planet, conducted on the streets of Monte Carlos. And there is, fittingly for the launch of Indy 4, the biggest and most historic race in America, the Indy 500. In, er, glamorous Indianapolis, Indiana. Both Sunday morning.
** 24/7 LIVE TV NEWS FEED FROM RUSSIA TODAY. Russia has re-emerged as one of the world’s great powers. Click here for a live TV news feed on your computer, bringing you English-language, jargon-free, fast-paced coverage of global and Russian news from the new Russia Today channel. You probably already know about CNN International, BBC World, and Al Jazeera. Russia Today, which also features culture, entertainment, and sports, is based in Moscow and is owned and operated by the TV Novosti division of Russia’s state news agency, RIA Novosti.
While it’s quite foolish to expect to see, say, criticism of Vladimir Putin on Russia Today, which I know as a former DemRussia advisor, the channel is very interesting nonetheless. The NWN live link to RT does not constitute an endorsement of the channel’s views. It’s presented as an otherwise unavailable new media window.
** TRACK GLOBAL AND U.S. ENERGY PRICES IN NEAR REAL TIME VIA BLOOMBERG ENERGY MARKET WATCH. Crude oil closed at $132.19 per barrel on Friday. Energy markets are closed on the weekend.
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