DVD Cover, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

The good news is that Professor Jones looks as good as ever, wry, dogged and sarcastic, ever able to hare off by any means of transport to exotic jungle or desert locations in search of strange artifacts and having many interesting adventures and hairsbreadth escapes as can be crammed into two hours or so. Harrison Ford is also aging very well, a little greyer, a little wearier than he was twenty years ago in the last outing of the movie franchise. Karen Allen also aged very well, also.

The bad news is no Nazis, although the Soviet Russians in the form of Cate Blanchett in a dark bob and sunglasses, and a set of tissue-disposable henchmen, does almost as well as the set piece villain, although I kept wondering what was up with the sword? Time, alas, marches on, so it was only appropriate to move ahead to the 1950s, which had its own set of cinematic material for making spectacular, thrill a minute entertainment – but still, one rather missed those sharp-dressed and ever adaptable baddies.

Alas, the continued bad news is that the crystal skull, and the trans-dimensional space-ship full of aliens with crystal-everything-else-bones were just too X-files for words. I kept mentally re-writing the script and thinking – Who was responsible for this, a thousand monkeys with typewriters, or just some random pages of fan-fiction arranged any old way? Perhaps everyone was just trying too hard, this time around. It appears from various interviews thoughtfully included on the first disc with Steven Spielberg and George Lucas that second thoughts existed, about trying to go back and re-kindle the magic, but third thoughts and visions of boffo box office receipts overruled these hesitations.

Extras are lavish: about the most interesting of the lot are a pair of features about how the skulls and skeletons were actually created, and a overview of many of the props, which is on the second disc. It turns out that there were all sorts of references and movie-prop in-jokes about the various warehoused objects, revealed fleetingly in their broken crates in the first chase scene. If you already have the other three movies, of course this one is a must-have. Perhaps upon repeat viewing it will become as popular as the first three.

Or maybe not.

“Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” is available at Amazon.com and other retail outlets.

Sgt. Mom is a free-lance writer and member of the Independent Authors Guild who lives in San Antonio and blogs at The Daily Brief. Her current book “To Truckee’s Trail” is available here. Her next book project, “The Adelsverein Trilogy” will be released in December, 2008. More about her books is at her website www.celiahayes.com

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