Tuesday, May 20, 2008

19 More Indy Moments

With the help of my wife, I posted a list of 19 favorite Indiana Jones moments. But you know what? There's plenty of whip-snapping and adventure to go around.

So hey...how 'bout 19 more Indiana Jones Moments?

19. "We Named the Dog Indiana"

Move: The Last Crusade

The Setup: With their Grail adventure over, Indy, Henry, Sallah, and Marcus get set to ride off into the sunset. Then the Joneses have a little discussion about the younger Jones' name: "That's his name. Henry. Jones. Junior." When Indy reminds his father of his preference for Indiana, Henry in turn reminds him that "we named the dog Indiana." Sallah lets out a huge laugh, questioning in amused disbelief that Indy is named after the dog. Unamused, Indy lets everyone know he has "a lot of fond memories of that dog."

Why we like it: Indy isn't alway in control; it's something we like about the character. But his dislike of being called "Junior" is amusing. Hearing him sternly defend his namesake by telling everyone about his dog is hilarious, especially when accompanied by a hearty belly laugh from Sallah. In addition, the scene is interesting because George Lucas had a dog named Indiana that was the inspiration for the title character's name. The dog, coincidentally, was also the inspiration for Chewbacca.

18. "We Must Have These Pages"

Move: The Last Crusade

The Setup: Oh, yes. The Nazis have Henry Jones Senior's prized Grail Diary. It's almost as valuable as the Grail itself. But there's just one problem: it's missing a few things, like the map that can lead the Nazis to the holy artifact. Indy has it all taken care of, though. He's torn out the map pages and, it's perfectly obvious, given them to Marcus Brody. This sparks a terribly delivered line from Walter Donovan, who remarks, "Where are these pages. This map? We must have these pages back." It's an awful line.

Why we like it: I have a soft spot for poorly delivered dialogue. This certainly fits the description. It's like poor General Veers is reading from a cue card or something!

17. Hot Medallion, Moron

Movie: Raiders of the Lost Ark

The Setup: Sniveling little German Toht is really determined to get that medallion. You know, the one that serves as the headpiece to the Staff of Ra? Anyway, after failing to get it "the nice way," Toht starts an interrogation that ignites a fire. While Indy and Marion are occupied with his goons, Toht grabs the headpiece...only to realize that, gee, metal gets hot real quick-like around fire. He runs screaming out of Marion's bar and hastily dips his hand in the snow, his hat falling off to reveal his bald head. What a wuss.

Why we like it: Toht, though kind of dorky, looked like a pretty bad dude. I mean, he was going to do really mean things with a red-hot poker, just so he could find out where the medallion was located. Yet despite seemingly having control of the situation, he botches things big time by failing to realize that things tend to get hot when they're on fire.

16. Top Men

Movie: Raiders of the Lost Ark

The Setup: He's been shot at, nearly run over by a truck, and risked having his face melted off. Yet Dr. Jones recovered the Ark of the Convenant for a grateful nation. And so, with this "radio transmitter to God" in U.S. hands, what happens to it? A freaking janitor stuffs it in a giant warehouse, right next to the carburetor that can get 100 miles to the gallon. I assume the JFK stuff and all that Area 51 info went right next to it years later...

Why we like it: Poor Indiana. He did everything in his power to make sure Hitler would never get the chance to harness the power of the Ark. How is he repaid? He won't even get the chance to study it! It's not all bad, though. Since the Ark is long forgotten, at least it means the U.S. won't feel empowered to invade a country whenever they want. Er....never mind.

15. How Do You Say "Frenchie Asshole" in Hovitos?

Movie: Raiders of the Lost Ark

The Setup: Freaking Belloq. Indy does all the hard work, Belloq takes the golden idol away from him and prepares to take all the glory as well. Dr. Jones tells Belloq it's a shame that the native Hovitos don't know the kind of man Belloq really is. Frenchie replies by telling Jones he could warn them, "if only you spoke Hovitos."

Why we like it: What a freaking prick. Does anyone have even an iota of respect for Belloq? You know, the guy who stands on the shoulders of geniuses and tries to seduce Marion? I didn't think so.

14. Begin the Unnecessarily Slow-Moving Dipping Mechanism...of Death!

Movie: Temple of Doom

The Setup: Um, Mola Ram's Thuggee cult straps people into shark cages and then sends them spiraling toward terror! And...um...it's kind of slow. Is that lava down there?

Why we like it: There's nothing that brings more drama to a human sacrifice than a slow-moving device that sends the subject "hurtling" toward their impending death. It must be the psychological terror that they enjoy. Or...when you're hyped up on all that tasty hypnotic blood...maybe the slow-moving device seems really fast or something.

13. Heil...Monkey

Movie: Raiders of the Lost Ark

The Setup: You know the Nazis have a great public relations department when even the monkeys buy into their nefarious ways. Seriously, a monkey giving the Nazi salute? What's next...an army of monkeys ready to screech "Sieg Heil?" Maybe that was what Hitler really wanted to do with the Ark.

Why we like it: It just goes to show that you can train a monkey to do just about anything.

12. Oh, It's Bad All Right

Movie: Temple of Doom

The Setup: Captured by the evil Thuggee cult, Dr. Jones tries to resist that hypnotic blood that will inevitably steal his soul and make him nothing more than a puppet for Mola Ram and his minions. Short Round keeps yelling for him not to drink it, because "it's bad!" Even after spitting it out the first time, Indy eventually guzzles it down...thanks to the annoying kid with the Dr. Jones-shaped voodoo doll. They sure made that one quickly.

Why we like it: Indy isn't afraid to stand up for himself when the odds are stacked against him. I wonder which is worse: being force-fed blood that plunges you into a nightmare world or souless obedience...or being trapped in carbonite?

11. So, Um...Where Do They Put the Other Stones?

Movie: Temple of Doom

The Setup: Mola Ram and his Thuggees have taken the sacred Shankara stones! And when they're in close proximity, they glow! Thankfully, they've constructed a nice little display case for them: a big skull thing where you can use two stones for the eyes and one stone for the nose. And they light up. Wait a second...aren't there five Shankara stones? Assuming they find them through child slave labor...where will they go?

Why we like it: The whole main "Temple of Doom" setup is pretty impressive. You've got the slow-moving dipping cage thing, the Shankara stone holder thing...there's even a secret escape place for Mola Ram...just in case he gets in trouble.

10. The Gong Show

Movie: Temple of Doom


The Setup: That darn Lao Che! He betrayed Dr. Jones, even gave him poison! So while Indy tries to get the antidote, he's also fighting off some baddies sporting some heavy firepower. What's a quick-thinking archaeologist to do? Hide belong a gong!

Why we like it: One thing about Lucas and Spielberg: they know how to make the most out of their surroundings. When you think of Temple of Doom, sometimes it's easy to forget how much fun the opening sequence is. It's also jarring to watch the opening credits, which are unexpected.

9. "Let It Go"

Movie: The Last Crusade

The Setup:
After Elsa crosses the Great Seal, all hell breaks loose in the Grail Temple. As she is just about ready to fall into oblivion, Indy catches her. But Elsa sees the Grail and won't give up. As her glove slips off her hand, Indy pleads with her to give him her other hand. She doesn't...and plunges into the abyss. After that, it's Indy's turn to face the test. Henry grabs him and Indiana can almost taste the Grail; it's that close. His father gently pleads, "Indiana. Indiana. Let it go." Indy lets the Grail go, lets his father help him up, and then runs the heck out of there!

Why we like it: I'm a big fan of role reversal in movies. You know, when a character faces the same test as another and passes (or fails). This is a big moment for the Jones boys...while the Grail is within reach, their renewed father-son relationship is ultimately more important.

8. May I Have Your Autograph Please?

Movie: The Last Crusade

The Setup: Indy and Henry plunge deep into the heart of Nazi Germany to retrieve the Grail Diary. It's a move that only the elder Jones truly understands. After Indy gets the diary from Elsa, he and his dad try to make a hasty retreat. But they get caught up in a crowd that's pushing to see Adolf Hitler. Indy straightens up, gives a distinguished officer's look, and hands over the diary...only for Hitler to autograph it!

Why we like it: You gotta admit: the Nazis have a very catchy book-burning theme.

7. My Charlemagne

Movie: The Last Crusade

The Setup: With killer Nazi war planes hot on their trail, the Joneses are out of options. Their car is destroyed and one plane is ready to attack. Ah, but Henry has a secret weapon: his umbrella! Inciting calls of "touk, touk, touk," he rallies pigeons to the rescue! They overwhelm the Nazi war plane, which crashes into a rocky hill. "I suddenly remembered my Charlemagne. Let my armies be the rocks, the trees, the birds in the sky," Henry says.

6. It'd Make a Great Theme Park Ride

Movie: Temple of Doom

The Setup: The kids are free, but Indy, Short Round, and (regrettably) Willie have to escape! What do they do? They jump in a mine cart and roll through a blistering, high-octane thrill ride! Of course, they forget to take the path to the left. It probably wouldn't have mattered anyway...with all that water rushing through the catacombs.

Why we like it: It's a fun set piece, full of action, humor, and thrills. It would make a terrific amusement park ride...if it hasn't already been made into one.

5. "No Ticket"

Movie: The Last Crusade

The Setup: The Joneses are set to leave Germany in a dirigible. But Herr Vogel shows up and starts searching for the fugitive pair. He finds Henry reading a newspaper; Sean Connery's facial expression is classic. Then Vogel hears someone ask him for a ticket. He turns around, making his own priceless face as he realizes it's Indiana Jones. Indy dumps him out of the vehicle, invoking "no ticket." The passengers aboard the dirigible can't show off their ticket quickly enough.

Why we like it: As I mentioned earlier, I love the facial expressions from both Henry and Vogel in this scene. And dumping the German (payback for "how we say goodbye in Germany") over the side is hilarious.

4. That's Gonna Stain

Movie: Raiders of the Lost Ark

The Setup: Indy and Marion try to make a daring escape from the Nazi dig site. But Indy's got a massive dude on his hands who wants to pound him. Dr. Jones takes his best shots, but it's of little use; the dude's simply too tough. Well, until he meets some propellers.

Why we like it: This is actually pretty gruesome, especially when the crimson spills all over the swastika. But hey, we like it just the same.

3. "So Do You!"

Movie: The Last Crusade

The Setup: This covers the opening sequence of the third film ("Everyone's lost but me!") in which we learn several things about our intrepid explorer. Things like why he's afraid of snakes, how he got his chin scar, and where he acquired his admiration for fedoras. It all culminates in a flash-forward to the "present," in which Dr. Jones is trying to regain the Cross of Coronado. "It belongs in a museum!" His opponent snarls back, "So do you!"

Why we like it: I swear to goodness, the bad guy at the beginning looks like Bill Cowher. Yeah, that's the best I've got.

2. "We Are Going to DIE"

Movie: Temple of Doom

The Setup: Short Round and Indy get into a pointedly dangerous situation. The only person who can save them is Willie...who has to brave a creepy room full of creepy-crawlers. She balks at reaching for a lever that could save her friends. As she hesitates, Indy reminds her (in entertaining fashion) that if she doesn't do something quickly, "We are going to DIE!"

Why we like it: The way Harrison Ford delivers his line is simply fantastic. It's one of my favorite moments in the whole trilogy.

1. DAD! WHAT!? DAD! WHAT!?

Movie: The Last Crusade

The Setup: Germany has declared war on the Jones boys. They're tied up in a room that's on fire. While they try to strategize, they have a slight problem: they can't seem to look in the same direction. Indy yells for Henry; Henry yells for Indy. It's great.

Why we like it: So, father and son don't get along that well? They have some communication problems? This illustrates this clearly and humorously.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Greatest Indy Moments

In 1989, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade hit theaters. It was the "final" installment featuring the fedora-clad adventurer.

Or so we thought.

A long-brewing project involving Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, and Harrison Ford is finally coming to fruition, 19 years after The Last Crusade. In honor of this milestone, I proudly present (with help from Mrs. Studicus, a TFT EXCLUSIVE FIRST) our Top 19 Favorite Moments from the Indiana Jones Trilogy!

And don't forget...Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull opens next week!

These are in no particular order (the numbers are there solely so I can easily keep track!).

19. "Call Him Doctor Jones!"

Movie: Temple of Doom

The Setup: Near the beginning, Indy meets Willie Scott, the annoying woman who almost single-handedly ruins Temple of Doom. Anyway, as Indy questions what "kind of name is Willie," she has the audacity to call him "Indiana." This doesn't sit well with Short Round, who exclaims, "Hey lady, you call him Dr. Jones!"

Why we like it: Because Short Round is the person Mrs. Studicus finds the most entertaining in the Temple of Doom. The kid is purely indignant at the woman...and he doesn't hide it.

18. "Lost in His Own Museum"

Movie: The Last Crusade

The Setup: Captured by the Nazis, Indy makes the bold suggestion that Marcus Brody may already have the Holy Grail. He makes up an elaborate story about how Marcus has friends all over the place, speaks a dozen different languages, and will "blend in, disappear, you'll never see him again." When Indy's dad asks his son if he really meant what he said, Indy has a grim reminder: "You know Marcus. He once got lost in his own museum."

Why we like it: Marcus Brody brings a high level of comedic entertainment value to The Last Crusade. When he's stuck in the market, asking for directions IN ENGLISH, we know he isn't going to "blend in, disappear." Indy's explanation that Marcus is in trouble because he got lost in his own museum is priceless.

17. "We're Well Out of Range"

Movie: The Last Crusade

The Setup: After making an unlikely escape from the Nazis, Indy and his dad meet up with Sallah. As they overlook the Nazi convoy heading toward the Grail, Dr. Henry Jones, Senior, tells him to get down. Indy assures his father that they're "well out of range"...only to recoil in surprise as a Nazi tank overshoots them...and destroys their car, causing Sallah to exclaim, "that car belonged to my brother-in-law!"

16. "Power of God or Something"

Movie: Raiders of the Lost Ark

The Setup: When "top men" from the government approach Dr. Jones and Marcus Brody about the Ark of the Convenant, they want an informed explanation of what the Ark can do. Indy references a picture in an old book that shows some kind of energy emanating from the Ark. The men ask what it is, Dr. Jones replies: "Lightning. Fire. The Power of God or something." The government men are impressed, one remarking that he understands why Hitler would be interested.

Why we like it: It's just a funny moment from Indy, who casually tosses around some heady and powerful stuff.

15. "They Got Us"

Movie: The Last Crusade:

The Setup: When their dirigible out of Germany starts heading back to Germany, the Jones boys head to a German plane docked at the bottom of the craft. While Indy can fly it (but not land it), the two are pursued by Nazi war planes. After a quick lesson concerning time and basic combat terminology, the elder Jones starts tracking one of the planes with the mounted machine gun. He follows it so well...he shoots the tail off his own plane. "I'm sorry, son. They got us," he laments.

Why we like it: It's funny how the elder Dr. Jones screws up royally here but hides it from his son. It's also ironic how he's able to put together all these strange Grail mysteries and do all that research...yet seems clueless about working something seemingly as simple as a machine gun.

14. "Why Did it Have to be Snakes?

Movie: Raiders of the Lost Ark

The Setup: Indy and Sallah are about to enter the Well of Souls, resting place of the almighty Ark of the Convenant. But the ever-observant Sallah notices something strangely awry: the floor seems to be moving. After Indy throws down a torch, he rolls over in discouragement. "Snakes. Why did it have to be snakes?" Sallah quickly understands: "Yes. Asps. Very dangerous. You go first."

Why we like it: Indiana Jones is larger than life. He's not afraid of booby traps, the "Power of God," ancient and decayed bodies, or Nazis. Yet, here he is, nearly paralyzed by fear because of snakes. Like many people, the good doctor is afraid of snakes. It's a fear that humanizes someone who's larger than life...making us all feel like he's one of us.

13. "Cover Your Heart!"

Movie: Temple of Doom

The Setup: When Mola Ram approaches Dr. Jones at the end of the movie, he tries his trademark "special move," invoking the words "Kali-Ma-Shakti-de" as he tries to rip out Indy's heart. Thankfully, Short Round is there to give Indy some life-saving advice: "Indy! Cover your heart! Cover your heart!" I guess the kid figures Dr. Jones isn't anything without his heart.

Why we like it: This moment has drama, suspense, action, and **cough, cough** a lot of heart. Short Round doesn't want anything to happen to his best friend. Plus, at the end, Mola Ram gets eaten by alligators (or are they crocodiles?)...all accompanied by the famous Wilhelm Scream.

12. "He's Crazy!"

Movie: Temple of Doom

The Setup: After freeing the enslaved children and recovering the sacred Sankara stones, Indy, Willie, and Short Round find themselves on a very old and unstable bridge. When Mola Ram and his thugs surround them, Indy has only one option: cut the bridge. As Willie and Short Round realize what he's doing, Willie shouts, "He's nuts!" Short Round's reply is priceless: "He no nuts! He's crazy!"

Why we like it: If there's a huge Han Solo-like gamble in the Indiana Jones movies, this is it. Dr. Jones proves he's got lots of balls by cutting the bridge, the only way he could ever escape an impossible situation.

11. The Boulder Dash

Movie: Raiders of the Lost Ark

The Setup: It's one of the most memorable opening scenes in all of cinema. Our intrepid hero moves effortlessly through a bevy of booby traps before reaching his final goal: the acquisition of a golden idol. He walks up to the pedestal where the item is stored, gets ready to make the switch. He makes a last-minute adjustment to his weighted bag and grabs the idol! It's a perfect match...until the ground starts to shake and our hero is confronted by a gigantic rock.

Why we like it: As I mentioned earlier, it's one of the greatest opening moments of all time. It's our first glimpse at Indiana Jones. And while he's all cool, calm, and collected...things quickly go south from there. It shows our infallible hero isn't necessarily infallible at all.

10. "Adios, Señor!"

Movie: Raiders of the Lost Ark

The Setup: Dr. Jones needs his whip to get across a deadly chasm. Thankfully, his trusty sidekick Dr. Octopus/Bishop Aringarosa can easily throw him his whip to help him swing across. And his sidekick is so helpful, he even agrees to hold the golden idol for Indy. Says Satipo, "Throw me the idol. No time to argue. Throw me idol, I'll throw you the whip." Ever the trusting sucker, Indy throws over the idol, only to watch Satipo run off, glumly saying "Adios, señor."

Why we like it: Again, in the matter of a few minutes, we see that Indiana Jones isn't perfect. Nothing quite works out exactly as he plans it, and if it did, we'd be worried. It's also fun to see a thin, comparatively emaciated Alfred Molina.

9. "Should've Mailed it to the Marx Brothers"

Movie: The Last Crusade

The Setup: Dr. Jones figured out the key to finding his father was the Grail diary the elder Jones mailed from Italy. Unfortunately, he misjudged his dad's motives! Jones Sr. wanted to get the diary away from himself! So when he finds out Indy has traveled all the way to Germany with the diary, he says derisively, "I should've mailed it to the Marx brothers!" The comment sparks an argument that distracts some Nazi guards, allowing the Jones boys to make an escape.

Why we like it: The great interplay between Sean Connery and Harrison Ford totally makes this scene! Their argument is really funny...and I love the way Connery delivers the line, "Who's going to come to save you, Junior!!?"

8. So Long, New Friends

Movie: The Last Crusade

The Setup: After screwing up by allowing Elsa to handle the Grail and take it across the Great Seal (the limit of its power), Henry saves Indy from falling down a bottomless abyss. As the Grail palace collapses, the Joneses look back at the old knight who guarded the divine object...he looks at them with a deep, respectful sadness...and raises his hand to bid farewell.

Why we like it: It's obviously not a funny or exciting scene, but it's one that always sticks out in our minds. The poor knight has gallantly guarded the Holy Grail for hundreds of years. Now his duty is at an end.

7. "What Shall We Talk About?"

Movie: Raiders of the Lost Ark

The Setup: Holed up in a tent with Belloq, Marion is desperate to escape. It looks like she just might do it...until that creepy little Toht comes in, ready to interrogate her. He even brings out a sinister torture device, saying "What shall we talk about?" The torture device turns out to be a coat hanger! Brilliant!

Why we like it: The scene has a great twist with the coat hanger. But for Mrs. Studicus and I, it has a deeper, more intimate appeal. At college, we had a little German professor who looked like Toht (only with hair) and sounded exactly like him! Even though I never had him for class, I always invoked, "What shall we talk about?" My wife, however, did have him for class! She hated me for bringing up the scene from Raiders.

6. "My Soul is Prepared!"

Movie: The Last Crusade

The Setup: After a thrilling boat chase ("You said go between!"), Indy and a guy with a fez are fighting in a boat rapidly approaching some gigantic propeller wheels. As the boat gets eaten up, Indy demands to know where his father is. The guy with the fez insists they'll both die, a fate Indy seems resigned to until the other man asks, "My soul is prepared. How's yours?" Indy relents.

Why we like it: Indy's no cold-blooded killer. Given a split-second to make a rational decision, he does the right thing. There must've been something about Kazim's conviction that influenced him to hold back. In turn, Kazim helped guide Indy in the right direction in the search for his father.

5. A Long Time Ago in a Galaxy Far, Far Away...

Movie: Raiders of the Lost Ark, Temple of Doom, The Last Crusade

The Setup: This isn't a moment so much as it's a curiosity. In the Last Crusade, Indy faces off against two of the Empire's finest officers: Admiral Ozzel and General Veers. Yes...that's right...Michael Sheard plays Adolf Hitler in an uncredited cameo. He was the ill-fated Admiral Ozzel from The Empire Strikes Back. And that Donovan guy? Hey...isn't that General Veers, the guy who led the assault on the Rebel base on Hoth? You bet! The actor's name is Julian Glover. You'll also find a couple of other Star Wars references throughout the movies, the most prominent being the R2-D2 & C-3PO images in the hieroglyphics in Raiders and Club Obi-Wan from Temple of Doom.

Why we like it: We like Star Wars. We like Indiana Jones. It's not rocket science.

4. Marshmallows and Strawberry Syrup

Movie: Raiders of the Lost Ark

The Setup: The Nazis open up the Ark...some get electrocuted by the Wrath of God. But some guys, like Toht, get their faces melted off. It always looked to me like liquefied marshmallows and strawberry syrup. Pretty gross, I know. Good thing is, Indy and Marion never had to see it.

Why we like it: Hey, in the end, the bad guys get it. It's also one of the brilliant special effects of all time. And this was all old-school...no CGI here. Simply awesome.

3. "Goodbye, Dr. Jones"

Movie: Temple of Doom

The Setup: Indy makes a brilliant escape in Shanghai from his nemesis Lao Che. As he boards a plane to get away, Dr. Jones gets all cocky...and we see he's on board a "Lao Che" plane. The villain takes on a broad grin, gives his pilots a knowing smile and nod...and lets Indy go on his way.

Why we like it: It almost reminds me of a Han Solo line: "That's great kid, don't get cocky!" Indy gets a little self-assured here and pays for it by boarding a plane owned by a rival, resulting in a sinking plane that has no parachutes!

2. In the Special Edition, the Swordsman Shoots First

Movie: Raiders of the Lost Ark

The Setup: While frantically trying to find Marion, Indy runs into a big swordsman who shows off some fancy swordplay. Fed up and having a bad day, Indy just shoots him.

Why we like it: It's a moment Han Solo would love. Just like he shot Greedo, Indiana Jones shoots the swordsman. Unfortunately, in the Uber Special Edition, the swordsman wields a CGI-enhanced blaster and shoots awkwardly at Indy. He awkwardly sidesteps the blow and then shoots the other guy. It's just a stupid change.

1. "I Liked the Austrian Way Better"

Movie: The Last Crusade

The Setup: Captured and left to rot in the Nazi castle in Salzburg, Elsa bids Indy an Austrian goodbye, giving him a nice, long kiss. She also tells him "how wonderful it was," getting a response from both Jones men (who had "relations" with the fetching lass). Then Vogel ruins the moment, "This is how we say goodbye in Germany!" he says, hitting Indy with his cane. The impact forces both Joneses to hit their heads together. "I liked the Austrian way better," he says. And Henry replies, "So did I."

Why we like it: The scene leads up to some great moments, including Henry setting the room on fire, a spinning "secret" fireplace entrance, and more shouting between the Jones boys ("Dad!" "What!" "Dad!" "What!").

Meet Pierre Garcon...

My latest post on MVN is here!

Read all about wide receiver Pierre Garcon, right here.