Armond White is a notoriously contrarian critic, but in his recent review of the re-released Raiders of the Lost Ark, I must admit, I found some points to agree on.
Arguing that Raiders is “the least of the [Indy] quartet” (I disagree with him on this point - Temple of Doom is the weakest),…
The contents of the special edition of the forthcoming Indiana Jones box-set.
Mark Raat’s poster for the IMAX release of Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Why The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is the Indiana Jones Movie that Needed to be Made
as a contributor to quarterly film journal Reverse Shot (which is edited by Criterion’s Michael Koresky), i was delighted to be involved with their recent symposium on the films of Steven Spielberg. naturally, i chose to write about The Bearded One’s most beloved film: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
“You may have heard that there’s a scene in Steven Spielberg’s Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull in which the cinema’s most iconic archaeologist survives an atomic blast by hiding inside of a lead refrigerator. The incident occurs about 20 minutes into the grizzled whip-cracker’s fourth feature-length adventure—widely considered to be the series’ best (note to self: fact-check this later)—and it follows a scene in which a small squadron of Russian soldiers infiltrated Area 51, unveiled an alien corpse, and got derailed by an arthritic part-time college professor who’s so bad at his job that … well, these were supposed to be his office hours. So it’s safe to say that, even before the scene in question, Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, like the earlier films in its series, doesn’t feel particularly beholden to realism.
Nevertheless, a certain stripe of moviegoer might have you believe that the moment devalues the entire Indiana Jones franchise. But a closer look at the film—so quickly disregarded as the candied, counterfeit distillation of a hallowed film hero—reveals this sequence as a possible key to solving the Indiana Jones mythos, proving Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull a vital (if imperfect) chapter of this beloved saga, as necessary for its hero as it was for its maker.”