Thursday, February 14, 2008

A Link to A Big Teaser Becomes a Rambling Diatribe Against the Writerly Impulse to Overexplain

On the campaign trail of late, Obama's been telling crowds "we're the one's we've been waiting for." That's a great phrase, inspiring and all of that. But also, as it turns out, totally wrong.

Here's the one I've been waiting for.

The montage of the previous movies in this teaser didn't do anything for me, but the footage of the new film makes "Crystal Skull" look like, at the very least, a good time at the movies. Harrison seems to wear his 60's well, Shia doesn't annoy me right off the bat, and the action looks suitably Indiana-Jonesy.

I do worry, though, that this movie is going to try and tie together the other three movies in a deeply stupid and unnecessary way, and from what I've gleaned in these months of pre-production, I think they might be.

When a franchise goes on for more than a few movies, the temptation is always there to explain itself. Look at the Hannibal movies. The fourth movie takes us into Hannibal's childhood to explain why Hannibal eats people. No one was clamoring for that answer. Take, for another example, "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen." I know it's a comic book, but it's a good example of this bad impulse in otherwise good writers. In the first few installments of "League", we follow a bunch of 19th-century literary characters as they fight baddies who threaten Victorian England. However, when we get to the most recent "League", titled "Black Dossier," Alan Moore decides that no reader can possibly tolerate not knowing for even one more "League" story how a bunch of totally fictional characters can jump outside the books from whence they came and be actors in the real (although still fictional) world. So instead of non-stop comics fun, we get a long and needlessly obscure explanation of some inter-dimensional Valhalla (rendered in pages which require the wearing of 3-D glasses) in which all things and all people and all characters live together in harmony. So my point is this: if Lucas and Spielberg and whomever else decide to tie the mythos of the three Indiana Jones-film artifacts together so as to tie them to a neat macro-mythos, then I worry they'll be doing a lot of hard work for no good reason, and will be misallocating resources away from just making another entertaining Indiana Jones movie. I know that's a lot to infer from a teaser and some early promotional tidbits I've seen on movie gossip sites, but it's all I have to go on. So we'll just have to see this summer.

Anyway. If anyone can pull off goofy over-explanation and needless tying-together, it's Little Stevie Spielberg.

Anyway. Happy Valentine's Day, y'all.


Anonymous said...


Craig Moorhead said...

Maybe it's because of the deep, deep disappointment of Phantom Menace, but I gotta be honest - something about this is really underwhelming.

blankfist said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
harwell said...

Well, damn. I thought the teaser was great. Maybe it's the deep vats of sugar pulsing through my body after eating candy all day...

Either way, count me excited.

blankfist said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Craig Moorhead said...

Why do you have to go and ruin everything by being happy, Harwell?

Anonymous said...

I got bored and found some quotes:

Nature has given women so much power that the law has very wisely given them little.
- Unknown

Women who seek to be equal with
men lack ambition
- Timothy Leary

Woman was God's second mistake
- Nietzsche

If women didn't exist, all the money in the world would have no meaning
- Aristotle Onassis

The only thing that men and women have in common, is that they both prefer the company of men
- Oscar Wilde

When a man talks dirty to a woman,
its sexual harassment.
When a woman talks dirty to a man,
it's $3.95 per minute
- Unknown

Feminism is the radical notion
that women are people
- Unknown