Friday, February 5, 2016

Favorite Scene Friday! Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: Escaping Castle Brunwald

We've done over 150 Favorite Scene Fridays, and somehow, I've never done one on my favorite franchise of all time. That changes today! The Indiana Jones films have always held a special place in my heart. Someday I'll tell you all the story about how I shadowed an actual archaeologist in high school (it basically crushed my dreams of being a real-life Indiana Jones - let's just say actual archaeology is very boring).

To set the scene for today's...scene, Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) has gotten swept up in a search for his father and his diary, which contains clues to the location of the fabled Holy Grail. It's led him and Dr. Elsa Schneider (Alison Doody) to a castle in Germany, a Nazi occupied castle I might add. Here Indy finds his dad (played perfectly by Sean Connery), but the two are quickly captured by the Nazis - and the double crossing Dr. Schneider.

While trying to escape, the Joneses accidentally set the castle on fire, and so begins our scene. And I have to say straight away, I absolutely love the "'Dad?' 'What?' 'Dad?' 'What?' 'DAD!' 'WHAT?!?'" exchange at the beginning. It’s really what I was looking for in the first place, but I found this longer version instead (but why not, right?).  I could probably make an argument that this brief exchange is the funniest bit in all of the Indy films (unless you count unintentional comedy, then that might be any number of moments from Kingdom of the Crystal Skull). I feel a bit silly focusing so much on one simple line of dialogue, but Connery's "WHAT?!?" is perfect.

I think that's why Last Crusade is my favorite of the Indiana Jones films - Connery. Not only is it awesome that he's playing Indy's dad - Spielberg took inspiration from James Bond when he came up with the adventurer - he completely nails the role of the elder Jones. Connery could have easily just played an older Bond, but he made Henry more of a scholar and someone who couldn't quite be bothered with adventures and his own son's heroics.

But back to the scene. Of course this castle has a secret fireplace passage. But it leads to more Nazis and an "out of the frying pan and into the fire” situation, except in this case, the frying pan was literally fire. I really love the little exchange the Joneses have with the Nazi leader as well, trying vainly to smile their way out of trouble.

Dave Perillo via GeekTyrant

After tricking the Nazis into thinking they'd escaped via the river ("We're not going on the boat?!"), The Joneses eventually abscond on a tandem bike. While Professor Jones isn't impressed with the escape, it leads to one of the best action sequences in the entire franchise. Indy's improvised battering ram moment is great, and elicits a rare smile from Henry. This whole sequence proves you don’t need millions of dollars and endless green screens for a good action scene. The action culminates with Indy flipping the remaining biker, but his dad still isn't amused. I wish I had a pocket watch to wind whenever I disapprove of something.

I also love how this scene wraps up. There's some genuine emotion when our two heroes discuss Indy's mom, and the zoom in on the road signs - the sounds of goose stepping and a Nazi book burning building in the background - is perfectly ominous.

What's your favorite scene in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade?

What's the funniest moment in the Indiana Jones franchise?

Monday, January 25, 2016

A Peek Through the Hatch: Robert's Most Anticipated Films of 2016

Couple things. As I did with my TV list, I only wrote about my top five. I did, however put a quick reason for 10-6. Another big thing - my one rule was no superhero flicks - otherwise that would be the entire list. *cough*myactualmostanticipatedmovieiscaptainamerica:civilwar*cough*

On with the list!

10. Hail, Caesar! (February 5th)

'Nuff said: The Coens

9. Untitled Fifth Bourne Film (July 29th)

'Nuff said: Damon returning.

8. The Nice Guys (May 20th)

'Nuff said: Shane Black

7. Kubo and the Two Strings (August 19th)

'Nuff said: Laika

6. Passengers (December 21st)

'Nuff said: Sci-fi romance (?)

5. The Conjuring 2 (June 10th)

While the buildup to The Conjuring and even the first half of the movie were way better than the movie as a whole, it was a solid horror flick. The Insidious franchise sputtered out, so its up to director James Wan's other horror series to continue spooking us. I'm looking forward to seeing if Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson's characters (based on the Warrens, a real life ghost busting couple) have any franchise power. This sequel jumps across the pond to investigate some supernatural shenanigans in England.

4. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (November 18th)

I'll admit I was a little skeptical of this at first. I haven't read the book this is (loosely I would imagine) based on, and maybe I'm worried nothing will live up to an actual Harry Potter movie about the titular wizard. But Jo Jo herself wrote the screenplay and its directed by Harry Potter godfather David Yates. Plus, Eddie Redmayne's a great actor, as long as he's not working for the Wachowskis.

The film follows the adventures of "Fantastic Beasts" author/wizard Newt Scamander (Redmayne) while he's in New York.

3. Ghostbusters (July 15th)

Good news: We're finally getting more Ghostbusters. Bad news: This film is rebooting the franchise entirely and getting rid of some awesome backstory/continuity. Also, director Paul Feig's last few films haven't really wowed me. If he was doing this flick right after Bridesmaids I'd probably be really stoked. But we can't all be Colin Trevorrow, now can we?

Also, crushin' pretty hard on Kate McKinnon's character, who may or may not essentially be a gender bent Egon. Let's try not to analyze that too much.


2. Rogue One (December 16th)

The Force Awakens kicked off a new golden age for Star Wars. This December will see the release of "Rogue One", the first of the new "Star Wars Stories", tales not tied directly to the main films.

Rogue One takes place before A New Hope and will follow the team that steals the plans for the original Death Star. A film focusing on a tiny detail from the original Star Wars is an interesting prospect.

Star Wars

1. Star Trek Beyond (July 22nd)

Huge Trek fan here. I really enjoy the cast of the rebooted franchise and I'm looking forward to seeing this flick do its own thing post Into Darkness. This film will finally find the crew of The Enterprise on their five year mission, and I'm definitely looking forward to what they find. I'm curious to see how a J.J. Abrams-less Trek works out - frequent Fast & Furious director Justin Lin has come aboard for behind-the-camera duties.

Friday, January 22, 2016

A Peek Through the Hatch: Robert's Most Anticipated TV of 2016

Wouldn't ya know it, I've come to look forward to upcoming TV as much as films. As you'll obviously see, I only did full write ups on my Top 5, but I did include short blurbs on 10-6 as well. Big thanks to io9 and Variety as I used their lists as a reference.

10. Preacher (TBD)

'Nuff said: Could fill the AMC/Breaking Bad/Walking Dead shaped hole in my heart.

9. Catastrophe Season 2 (April 8, 2016)

'Nuff said: Hilarious.

8. Black Mirror Season 3 (TBD)

'Nuff said: Amazing sci-fi anthology show.

7. Penny Dreadful Season 3 (May 1st)

'Nuff said: Eva Green

6. Luke Cage (TBD)

'Nuff said: Marvel/Netflix expansion.

5. Westworld (TBD)

A long form adaptation of the '70s sci-fi flick (which I just recently saw for the first time) - in HBO's hands no less - sounds awesome. Great looking cast, too - Anthony Hopkins, Ed Harris, Thandie Newton. Color me intrigued.

If you're unfamiliar with the movie (written and directed by Michael Crichton), it revolves around a futuristic theme park made up of different themed lands, all incredibly realistic and populated by androids. The movie focused on a Western themed land, appropriately titled Westworld. Crichton and a crazy theme park? Shocker.

Apparently the show has hit a bit of a snag, but hopefully it'll still air this year.

4. 11/22/63 (February 15th)

If you could travel back in time, would you change history? This is the question 11/22/63 - an adaptation of Stephen King's novel of the same name - wants to explore. Specifically, would you stop the Kennedy assassiniation if you could? I'm a sucker for time travel, so I'll definitely be tuning in.

3. Daredevil Season 2 (March 18th)

I was a big fan of Daredevil's first season and Jessica Jones solidified my faith in the Netflix/Marvel collaboration, so it's safe to say I'm excited for this. The new episodes look to pit Charlie Cox's Daredevil against The Punisher (Jon Bernthal). This season will take us one step closer to "The Defenders", the show that will unite Darevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and the as yet uncast Iron Fist.

2. Game of Thrones Season 6 (April 24th)

Why am I super stoked for the new season of Game of Thrones? Not only did I binge the first 5 seasons last year (I don't know what took me so long), the fate of a certain character definitely has me counting down the days. But yeah, now that I'm caught up, I can watch the terribleness unfold in real time.


1. The X-Files Season 10 (January 24th)

Not only is this my #1 most anticipated TV show this year, it might be my most anticipated ANYTHING for 2016. I've been obsessed with many things throughout my life, and The X-Files was one of the earliest. More Mulder and Scully on TV just can't be a bad thing.

I'm curious to see how they pull this off, since the last season and 2008's I Want To Believe left things headed in a different direction compared to what appears to be happening in the new season. As of this writing, we only have to wait a few more days...