Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Questionable Jones No. 6

Some films are simply better than others. Yep. It's not even a matter of taste, it's a matter of right and wrong. . . moral and immoral.

Question: "Rank the movies from best to worst."

Scott's Answer: Duh! Raiders is #1, followed by Doom and Crusade tied for #2, then Romancing the Stone, then The Rocketeer, then National Treasure, then The Mummy, and then Crystal Skull. [grin]

Andrew's Answer: Scott is a clever man and I lament the fact I didn't think of what he did. :( So I'll just go with a straight up ranking. Raiders of the Lost Ark is heads and shoulders above the rest. I reluctantly list Lost Crusade next, despite misgivings I have about the film. Next comes Temple of Doom, which is admitted getting better in hindsight. Finally, Crystal Skull, which is just so hard to like.

49 comments:

AndrewPrice said...

Nice answer Scott! Bravo! :)

Backthrow said...

I'd rank 'em just like Andrew, and then mostly like Scott after #3... with some additions:

1. RAIDERS
2. LAST CRUSADE
3. TEMPLE OF DOOM
4. ROMANCING THE STONE
5. THE ROCKETEER
6. SECRET OF THE INCAS
7. HIGH ROAD TO CHINA
8. THE MUMMY
9. NATIONAL TREASURE
10. FIREWALKER
11. KING SOLOMON'S MINES ('85)
12. ALLAN QUARTERMAIN & THE LOST CITY OF GOLD
13. TREASURE OF THE FOUR CROWNS
14. YELLOW HAIR AND THE FORTRESS OF GOLD
15. THE PERILS OF GWENDOLINE IN THE LAND OF THE YIK YAK
16. ABBOTT & COSTELLO MEET THE MUMMY
17. THE GOONIES
18. FANTASY MISSION FORCE
19. MY DINNER WITH ANDRE
20. THE BOATNIKS
21. MAC AND ME
22. IT'S PAT
23. CRYSTAL SKULL

AndrewPrice said...

Backthrow, I loved The Boatniks as a kid! Also, good call on It's Pat... that's very Indi. LOL!

shawn said...

I'd rate them in the same order as Andrew- but I do like Last Crusade.

I enjoyed both the National Treasure flicks and Romancing the Stone, although it's follow-up was kind of weak.

Anyone else see The Librarian made for t.v. movies. Definitely a low-rent Indiana Jones knock-off, but not without it's charms.

Anonymous said...

Raiders, Crusade then Temple.

What is this crystal skull that you speak of?

Scott.

Anthony said...

Here are my top 5 Indiana Jones type movies and games.

1. Raiders of the Lost Ark
2. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUPAyGWKd6c
3. Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zN3rj6YemkI
4: Uncharted: Drake's Fortune
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NAGrxbXKxzY
5. The Last Crusade

ScottDS said...

Andrew -

Thanks! It never occurred to me to answer any other way.

ScottDS said...

Backthrow -

Not bad at all! I wish I had done that!

As an aside...

Re: Mac and Me... my friends and I saw this recently, just for the hell of it. We knew what we were getting into, but holy s---! We especially loved the "spontaneous" McDonald's dance number. :-)

(I know, the movie was financed by McDonald's and Coca-Cola.)

ScottDS said...

shawn -

I only saw the second Librarian movie and it was... not great, but Noah Wyle has a goofy charm that I can appreciate. And Crystal Skull could've used Bob Newhart!

ScottDS said...

Anon/Scott -

Crystal Skull... uh... nothing! It's just an inside joke! Get it?! ;-)

ScottDS said...

Anthony -

I'm not much of a gamer but those look like fun! By the way, I hear Tomb Raider is coming back in one form or another.

Jason said...

Well if I had to add one of the “sequels,” I’d add 1996’s The Phantom. :) That flick also has the distinction of being written by Last Crusade scribe Jeffrey Boam.

But if it’s Indy, then I’d have to rank them like so:

Raiders of the Lost Ark
Temple of Doom
The Last Crusade
Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Hmmm, maybe I could include The Golden Child. :D

ScottDS said...

Jason -

Jeffrey Boam was a great screenwriter and it's a shame he passed away (in 2000 at the young age of 53).

His other credits include Lethal Weapon 2 and 3, Innerspace, The Lost Boys, and he co-created The Adventures of Brisco County Jr..

What a filmography!

Alex said...

Blasphemy alert: I am not a huge fan of the Indy movies, and have only seen Raiders and Crusade, and I rank them in that order.

rlaWTX said...

Raiders
Last Crusade
Doom

ScottDS, I don't get this joke about skulls... Waterford makes some nice crystal.

honestly though, on re-watch-ability, I'd probably rank Crusade first then Raiders. But in the official ranking, Raiders gets first for being first. :)

rlaWTX said...

Alex, you have see the best ones... don't stress about the other. (and as far as I know, we don't burn blasphemers at the stake - at least I get away with not liking a lot of things and I haven't needed fire insurance yet)

ScottDS said...

rla -

Ha! Ya wanna know something? I put Doom and Crusade above Raiders on re-watch-ability, too, and I can't quite articulate why. Maybe it's because Raiders is such a good movie that it demands attention whereas the other two aren't as good so they make for more pleasant diversions.

ScottDS said...

Alex -

You might as well watch Temple of Doom one day, just to complete the trilogy.

You needn't bother with Crystal Skull, though as a non-fan, it'd be funny if you liked that one the best... but I don't see that happening. :-)

Alex said...

Scott,

I have heard enough about and seen enough clips of Crystal Skull to never want to see it, ever. Temple is something I do want to watch one of these days, because my parents wouldn't let me watch it back in the day!

Floyd R. Turbo said...

Raiders...

Gunga Din,

The Man Who Would Be King

King Kong

The Most Dangerous Game

are we going with jungle adventure or exotic locale adventure?

HM to Buckaroo Banzai and Time Bandits

ScottDS said...

Floyd -

When Indy met Buckaroo - that's some fan fiction waiting to happen!

tryanmax said...

Props to whoever brought up The Phantom! I recently saw that for the first time and enjoyed it thoroughly.

I think even Sahara (2005) ranks above Crystal Skull.

And, of course, Duck Tales: the Movie does, as well.

ScottDS said...

tryanmax -

Jason brought it up - now I just need to see it, and your endorsement helps!

I've never seen Sahara either but I'll rank it above Crystal Skull anyway. :-)

AndrewPrice said...

Shawn, I thought the Librian films were quite good actually. I thought that was a great premise with likeable actors and I would have liked seeing more.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, It's an urban legend... the supposed fourth Indiana Jones film.

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, I haven't played any of those actually.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, The first Librarian film was much better.

AndrewPrice said...

Jason, I've really come to like The Phantom and it definitely has a similar feel. Good call!

AndrewPrice said...

Alex, Yeah, that's blasphemy all right. On the plus side, you've never seen the fourth, so that means your brain is undamaged! :)

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, We haven't burned anyone at the stake yet, but that's because we don't have the budget for it! :P

AndrewPrice said...

Floyd, Buckaroo Banzai is one of those movies that's just amazingly stupid and yet I watch it every time it comes on and I keep enjoying it just as much.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, Crystal Skulls and Sahara is a whole lot of suckage. Duck Tales on the other hand, that's some great stuff. :)

rlaWTX said...

at least Sahara has Matthew McM! that other imaginary movie has Shia and Old Indy!

Dr. Jones, Sr. does old a whole lot better!!!!

Jason said...

Thanks to all who are Phantom-supporters! :)

Yeah, The Phantom gets a lot of flack for being derivative of Indiana Jones and for being a soft-pedaled version of same. Personally, I think they’re missing the boat. It’s a great update of the classic 30s-era Zorro-style serials (fitting as the Phantom himself is from that era). It has everything from a superhero to a feisty heroine to pirates to mobsters to jungle natives and magical items. Also, it’s a great *looking* picture, from the jungle island settings to 30s-era New York. Treat Williams was a standout as the villain Drax. Plus it has an early appearance by Catherine Zeta-Jones as one of Drax’s henchwomen. Overall, I liked everyone in it. It’s just a fun, old fashioned movie.

I’ve noticed no one’s brought up the Alec Baldwin starrer The Shadow. Would anyone rank Crystal Skull above that gem? (heh heh) Or since Sahara was mentioned, which would be better (or worse)?

tryanmax said...

I've also seen The Shadow and it is just...weird. I don't really have anything bad to say about it beyond that. I think the writer and director assumed viewer knowledge of the Shadow, and since I came to it with none, I was left scratching my head. It's nice to look at if you are drawn to the 1930s/Art Deco look.

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, LOL! Yeah, Matthew M. is in Sahara! LOL!

AndrewPrice said...

Jason and tryanmax, I like The Shadow particularly because it is one of the few films to sit in that 1930s Art-Deco world that looks so great on film. I'd love to see more adventures done in that style.

I liked The Phantom for the same reason, though not as much. That one has more problems.

Tennessee Jed said...

one of the great things about Raiders of the Lost Ark was that it was not hyped at all. It hit the theaters and took everybody by surprise. A Saturday morning matinee made with modern day production values. Then, we see its by the Jaws guy and the Star Wars Guy ... no wonder ... And, Hans Solo in the lead. The opening scene set the standard of excellence.

Then came the opening sequence from the second movie. WOW, rock 'em sock 'em. Even better. But the eyeball at dinner sucked and the little kid was annoying. And, the whole unsavory business with Spielberg marrying the female lead. It was o.k., but considering the first scene, a downhill ride all the way.

Then came Last Crusade with JAMES EFFING BOND!!! Way cool guys. Pretty darned good idea to turn the ship around, and the film pretty much made you forget about Temple of Doom. What a great way to finish up the franchise. I mean choose wisely, heh, heh. Except, nope, they couldn't keep their greedy paws off the franchise. And that's when I lost interest. No Indy as a young man, no cartoons, and no freaking liberal sequel thank you very much.

ScottDS said...

Jed -

It's impossible to imagine a movie like Raiders taking the world by surprise nowadays. It's a shame, too. There might be exceptions, though... a cult thing like Napoleon Dynamite, but nothing on the scale of Indiana Jones.

Crystal Skull doesn't have any offensive political content if that's what you're worried about - it's too poorly written even for that! Okay, so Indy is suspected of having Communist sympathies but it's done in such a ham-handed manner and it's only done to get Indy out of the college and on his journey that it's ultimately much ado about nothing. (Seriously, it doesn't come up at all!)

Besides, I imagine more than one person on the right was expecting the movie to feature Indy teaming up with the Commie bad guys against the CIA or something... so the fact that that didn't happen is a minor miracle. ;-)

ScottDS said...

tryanmax and Andrew -

The Shadow is... okay, but I was ultimately disappointed by it. It certainly looked and sounded great. (Jerry Goldsmith once again providing a great score for an undeserving movie.) :-)

The film did give us this great song, though. :-)

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, Believe it or not, I never really expected that. These films have been so straight forward that it struck me that when they introduced the Russians as cartoon bad guys (Boris and Natasha-level), they would remain the bad guys. In other films, I would have expected that "twist," but not in this one.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, I'm not calling The Shadow great. It definitely wastes a ton of potential. But I enjoyed it enough that I wished I had enjoyed it more and that I have given it several chances. Basically, it's a film I want to like.

ScottDS said...

Andrew -

That's a good way to put it. And like you, I too would love to see more period movies like this with the art deco style and the great wardrobe.

WB at one point in the last few years purchased a 1940s-era Wonder Woman script but it was obviously never produced. There have also been rumors of a Doc Savage movie for years - another pulp hero from that time - but that's also never happened.

shawn said...

I enjoyed The Shadow. Not the greatest movie, but certainly entertaining.

Another period movie if you can find it: Cast a Deadly Spell with Fred "Remo Williams" Ward as Detective Harry Lovecraft. It's an homage to all those Hard boiled detective novels and movies of the 30s and 40s, but with magic and the Cthulhu mythos thrown in for good measure. It's a B-movie, but I like it.

ScottDS said...

shawn -

I've heard of that film. It was an original HBO movie if I'm not mistaken, back when the idea of original cable programming was a novelty. How far we've come!

5minutes said...

Raiders.
Last Crusade.
Temple of Doom.

I would list the 4th one, but it simply doesn't exist.

ScottDS said...

5minutes -

Understandable. That seems to be a running theme here. :-)

Dave Olson said...

1) Does it even need to be said? Of course Raiders is the best of the bunch. It singlehandedly reinvented the action movie. Hell, it created the genre as we know it today.

2) Crusade is a distant but solid second. A lighter touch but it deftly juggles drama, comedy and action.

3) Doom a WAY distant third. Now this really isn't fair; I've seen the preceding movies several times each but I've only seen Doom once. I can't watch it again because it annoyed the hell out of me. Short Round is the proto-JarJar, Mola Ram is a caricature of a villain, and we all know why Kate Capshaw was there. (cough*CASTINGCOUCH*cough) It's said that people don't like this movie because it's "dark". Well, that's part of it. It's also dumb. Dumb dialogue, dumb stunts, and just a dumb overall premise. Its only redemption is that its segments make for some of the best features of the IJ Pinball machine, circa 1993. The mine cart chase was stupid as hell, but it made for a killer video mode.

And as much as people would like to pretend that it didn't happen (much like I do with Star Trek 5, Highlander 2, and Superman 4), we have to face reality and acknowledge the awfulness that is Skulls. Take the dumbness of Doom, throw in another suitcase full of dumb, and you get the first 15 minutes. Things go downhill from there. Aliens? Really? I'm sure it was fascinating to Giorgio Tsoukalos, the wild-haired guy from "Ancient Aliens" on the Channel Formerly Known As History, but it brought the Indy franchise down to a level that was just a notch above "Killer Tomatoes".

ScottDS said...

Dave -

Or as Lucas referred to them, "inter-dimensional beings." :-)

I'm a Doom defender so I won't re-open that can of worms here, but it's certainly worth watching.

As for Skulls, what more can be said? It was ill-conceived and if I were Spielberg or Ford, I would've told Lucas, "Sorry, George, this story isn't good enough." There was a good write-up on the film's conceptual problems and you'll find it here.

As an aside, I just watched Star Trek V again. It's not a good movie but, man, it has heart! And in this day and age, that counts for something.

As for Superman IV... if the tagline for the first film was, "You will believe a man can fly," then the tagline for the fourth film should've been, "You will believe Mariel Hemingway can breathe in outer space." :-D

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