Scanned image of the page. Keyboard directions: use + to zoom in, - to zoom out, arrow keys to pan inside the viewer.

Page Options

Download this Issue


Something wrong?

Something wrong with this page? Report problem.

Rights / Permissions

This collection, digitized in collaboration with the Michigan Daily and the Board for Student Publications, contains materials that are protected by copyright law. Access to these materials is provided for non-profit educational and research purposes. If you use an item from this collection, it is your responsibility to consider the work's copyright status and obtain any required permission.

May 27, 2008 - Image 9

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2008-05-27

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
New I dy a divisive seque../


"Crystal Skull" a fun,
imaginative ride
Daily Arts Writer
That's the "spoiler" which has made the
new Indiana Jones one of the most polar-
izing movies to be released
in some time. Featuring Indiana
a plot long kept secret, a Jones and
script undergoing an absurd
number of rewrites and one the King-
aging hero, the fourth Indi- dom of the
ana Jones film was a gamble S
for its creators, Steven Spiel- CryStal $KUII
berg and George Lucas. And At Showcase
with all the hype, amidst all and Quality16
the criticism for daring to
bring the series hack at all, Patamoant
they decided it was time for
Indy to face the extraterrestrial.
It's head-scratching to think that audi-
ences are really just now complaining about
the believability of Indiana Jones movies.
Biblical ghosts, demon-possessed stones
and immortal knights they could handle,
but aliens? No way.
But the yarn spun by Lucas is just as inter-
esting (and unapologetically far-fetched)
as anything we've seen in previous films.
As the tale unravels in a series of stunning
action sequences, we find ourselves in a
true movie adventure once again, the likes
of which we haven't seen in some time. Sure
you probably can't survive three trips over
a waterfall, nor can you hide inside a refrig-
erator from a nuclear explosion. But "that
couldn't happen" is never a legitimate argu-

ment when you're talking about
Indiana Jones.
The film's most pleasant sur-
prise is the return of Karen
Allen as Indy's former love
interest and Mutt's mother.
Allen lights up the screen,
having the most fun out of anyone
in the cast.
The boys are clearly enjoy-
ing themselves as well.
Harrison Ford moves
a step slower than his t
younger self. That said,
he still has a hell of a
right hook which he now
uses to lay out Commies
instead of Nazis. Shia'
LeBeouf finds himself
about midway through
doing a swordfight
on the hoods of two
moving cars. By the
end, you'll actually
be approaching the 3
idea of an "Indy 5" :
starring him.
The film is sim-
ply fun, there's no
denying it. Ofcourse,
when measured
against the greatest
action trilogy of all
time, it falls short of
perfection, but that
doesn't mean it's
not one of the best
adventure films of
at least the last few
years. And anyone
who says other-

New adventure makes
for an epic let-down
ManagingArts Editor
This is what happens
Swhen the newfound
cheesiness of Steven
Spielberg and the cyn-
icism of George Lucas
combine. "Indiana
Jones and the King-
dom of the Crystal
Skull" is not awful, but
its sheer mediocrity is
almost as troubling as
if it were. For a fran-
chise that has held
the test of time
and stayed true
to itself for three
excellent install-
ments, this
belated fourth
- and presumably
last - entry makes for
an underwhelming, even
infuriating, conclusion.
The contrived plot has
Indy (Harrison Ford)
teamingup with agroup
of people - including
former flame Mar-
ion (Karen Allen,
"Raiders of the
Lost Ark") and her
young rebel-rouser
son (Shia LaBeouf,
"Disturbia") - to

discover the secret of a mysterious crystal
skull also sought by evil Russians led by the
icy Irina (Cate Blanchett, "Babel").
Simply put, the failure of this film comes
from a mix of bad scripting and even worse
judgment on the part of Spielberg. For every
halfway decent line of dialogue, there's
another three devoid of intelligence or clev-
erness; for every impressive stunt, there's
another botched by unconvincing CGI. But
worst of all is the immaturity of the whole
film, giving it the feel of a Saturday morn-
ing cartoon version of what we'd normally
expect from an Indiana Jones film.
Even with all the meltingfaces, heart-rip-
ping and jaw-dropping stunts, the past films
always felt at least somewhat grounded in
reality. They were adventure-fantasies for
adults, boosted by the sort of hair-raising
action that appealed to the young as well.
But this entry is almost mind-numbingly
childish, too over-the-top for its own good.
As out of shape and haggard-looking as
he is, Ford is easily the best thing about this
sequel. He brings a good-humored, father-
ly presence to what is otherwise a flat and
juvenile kiddie epic. But even he can't escape
the embarrassment of the poor script writ-
ing, banal dialogue and ridiculous situa-
tions; when he's forced to share a befuddled
glance with a computer-generated prairie
dog, you know the character - and the fran-
chise - have gone downhill.
To its credit, "Kingdom of the Crys-
tal Skull" is never short of entertaining. It
moves fast, it aims to please and it occa-
sionally hits the mark with a well-timed
laugh or thrilling action sequence. But it's
also unforgivably corny, rushed and bland
for most of its running time, making it the
worst of the heralded franchise. It's too
bad - Indy deserved a better last bow than


An eclectic,
distinctive sound
keeps Islands afloat
Arm's Way
Nick Thorburg is growing up.
Kind of. And whether you're a
strict believer in the Unicorns

- the group Thornburg spear-
headed in the early '90s - or you
think Islands is the best option
for a future sound, one thing's for
sure: Nick T. has found himself an
eclectic sound.
Expanding upon 2006's Return
to the Sea, the group's second
full-length, Arm's Way, is no
less charming, bubbly or oddly
depressing. Thorburg brings over
many of the elements from ear-
lier Unicorns albums, juxtapos-
ing slippery, jovial guitar bumps
against unsettling, devious ele-
ments ("Creeper") and utilizing
aptly-placed, fleet string sections
to augment the thundering guitar
lines ("Arm's Way") while lament-

ing car wrecks.
But what's most entertaining is
the way the group can float in and
out of genre without drawing too
much attention. In "J'aime Vous
Voire Quitter," the group franti-
cally plummets through a sky of
trepid guitar movements before
settling upon a ground of calypso
dance music. It sounds unsettling
and unwarranted, but the mood
fits perfectly into an album with
so many odd connections already.
"The Kids Don't Know Shit" also
expands on Thorburg's love for
exploring certain depressing
aspects of youth with movements
through flowery sections and por-
tions which evince the screaming

teen anthem about everything
being gone.
Still, the group sometimes
approaches overindulgence. A
track like "Pieces of You" and its
consistent plodding gets lost in the
mix of fun while anything after
the album's 10th track, the seem-
ingly splendid closer, "To a Bond,"
just gets left behind after such
subtle, fading flare.
Is Nick T. maturing his sound
or falling back into his old style?
Although the latest record seems
placed on the fence between the
two, either way, he's pulling a
respectable balance now.

Johansson's debut
lacks artistic voice
Scarlett Johansson
Anywhere I Lay My Head
For an album bearing her name
and picture on its cover, it's sur-
prising that actress-turned-singer
Scarlett Johansson doesn't really
take the spotlight on her music
debut. It's not that she doesn't try to
make an impression - the album, a
See BRIEF, Page 10

Back to Top

© 2023 Regents of the University of Michigan