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Sunday, March 16, 2008

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Starring: Harrison Ford ... Indiana Jones

Karen Allen ... Marion Ravenwood

Cate Blanchett ... Agent Irina Spalko

Shia LaBeouf ... Mutt Williams

John Hurt ... Abner Ravenwood

Ray Winstone ... Mac

Jim Broadbent ... Yale Professor

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
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Synopsis: Everyone's favorite archeologist adventurer returns for another globetrotting trek as George Lucas teams with screenwriter David Koepp to bring Indiana Jones back to the big screen nearly 20 years after Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Harrison Ford reprises the role that launched the series, while Steven Spielberg returns to the director's chair. ~ Jason Buchanan, All Movie Guide.

On May 22, Indiana Jones is back. Directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Harrison Ford as Indy, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull features an outstanding cast, including OscarĀ® winner Cate Blanchett, Karen Allen, Ray Winstone, John Hurt, OscarĀ® winner Jim Broadbent and Shia LaBeouf. Frank Marshall is the film's producer. George Lucas and Kathleen Kennedy are the executive producers. The screenplay is by David Koepp from a story by George Lucas and Jeffrey Nathanson.

Preview: by Greg, Yahoo! Movies

Near the top of nearly every film buff's list of "popcorn" movie favorites is at least one of the Indiana Jones movies. For sheer entertainment value, few movies have come as close to being "perfect" as this series. It just seems all the pieces fell into place; Spielberg and Lucas had an idea of movies that paid homage to the Saturday morning matinees they and a previous generation loved as kids, but with the energy and showmanship of the modern (1980's) era of moviemaking. We almost got Tom Selleck as Indiana Jones, but luckily, the man most knew as Han Solo at that point, Harrison Ford, slapped on that hat and whip, and the rest was history. Snakes, Nazi's and bugs... all things we came to hate in a brand new way.

And then, in 1989, the third film was released, introducing Indy's father (Sean Connery), and we never heard from Indy since. Raiders of the Lost Ark started the 80's for many in 1981, and that film ended the era. It might seem like a stretch to equate a series with a decade, but the dates all line up so perfectly... it seems, like the films, so perfect.

The 1990's brought new innovations in SFX and popcorn glee, but none of films quite are as innocent and universal as Indiana Jones was as a package. Over the years, however, there's been an inkling of a resurgence. The Mummy, in 1999, came about as close to being an Indy movie as you could without having Spielberg and Ford involved. That movie was fun (though not as good as any of the Indy movies; still good fun), reminding us of how great the Indiana Jones series really was, at the same time it revitalized a classic Universal monster series... which came from the time Indy pays homage to.

As I write this in early 2000, there's an inkling of a possibility that this film might be filmed soon, maybe this year, maybe next, maybe in 2002... no one seems to really know for sure (3/15/00 Note: We now know the earliest it could be filmed is late 2001).

Harrison Ford was born in 1942, so he'll be turning 58 this year. The Indy we saw in the first three films was a man in his 30's/40's... and clearly, Ford isn't that anymore. I doubt there'll be an Indy 5, so this one will be the definitive goodbye to the series, one last ride, one last showdown, one last popcorn movie. It's likely we'll see the older Indy, possibly coming out of "adventuring retirement", maybe saying something like "I'm getting too old for this" (that's a LW phrase). The older Indy would be living anytime in anywhen from the 1950's to (this is a stretch) the 1980's or 1990's. As to what the mission might be... who knows? There's certainly enough rumored premises out there (see link to left). Regardless, I think it's a good bet that whenever this movie gets made, there's going to be a huge audience waiting in lines (I'm not exaggerating) to see it again and again. I didn't wait in the Star Wars lines, but I might line up for Indy.

Well, I'm certainly watching out for what might happen with this one. Stay tuned.

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Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who!

Starring: Jim Carrey ... Horton (voice)

Steve Carell ... The Mayor of Whoville (voice)

Carol Burnett ... Kangaroo (voice)

Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who!
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Synopsis: In the movie "Horton Hears a Who," Jim Carey is the voice of Horton, the inventive and imaginative elephant who teaches his young friends about the amazing world around them. One day Horton, with his big ears, hears a voice on a speck of dust floating in the jungle air. Horton catches the speck on a dandelion, and begins to talk to the speck. The Mayor of Whoville (voice Steve Carell) talks to Horton, and the Mayor can not believe that there is something bigger than his world. After there are several climate changes (darkness in the middle of the day and snow in summer) that occur in Whoville, the Mayor believes that his world is in great danger. The Mayor tries to warn his people of the impending doom, but everybody ridicules him and thinks he is crazy. Horton is getting the same reaction from everyone who thinks he is also crazy; especially the kangaroo (voice Carol Burnett) who wants to get rid of the speck, and Horton's wild ideas. Horton defends the speck by saying that "a person's a person, no matter how small." Horton talks to the Mayor and tells him that he is going to put the speck in a safe place and out of danger.

byDouglas Young (the-movie-guy)

Review: by Chris Knight, Canwest News Service

A cartoon version of Dr. Seuss's children's classic, the film centres on Horton the elephant, who hears a cry for help coming from a speck of dust. Even though he can't see anyone on the speck, he decides to help it -- as the speck is home to the Whos, who live in their city of Whoville. Seuss's insouciant scruples have not been watered down by screenwriters, who keep his fight-anarchy-with-anarchy ethos, gentle anti-authoritarian message and general playfulness. And Steve Carell and Jim Carrey are well-chosen for the main voices.

It's clear from the outset of this latest Seuss-a-vision release that the good doctor's stories work best in animated form. I haven't seen the Broadway musical Seussical, but two live-action adaptations, 2000's How the Grinch Stole Christmas and 2003's The Cat in the Hat, bogged down under the weight of prosthetics and latex needed to turn Jim Carrey and Mike Myers into a convincing grinch and cat, respectively.

Making Horton a computer-generated pachyderm, however, allows the movie to play fast and loose with the laws of physics, the conservation of momentum and even the basic tenets of sound architecture, none of which are allowed to stand in the way of a good joke.

The opening sequence, which calls to mind the floating feather in Forrest Gump, introduces a microscopic mote of dust containing a nanoscopic planet on which the picoscopic town of Who-Ville is home to (let's bring it down a few more powers of 10) attoscopic citizens. They're a mostly benign if knuckleheaded bunch, and their mayor (voiced by Steve Carell) reminds us that in the land of the witless, the half-wit is king.

Out in the megaverse we call home, Horton, a grey, zeppelin-sized elephant with the voice of Jim Carrey, happens upon the speck, hears the cries of its populace and imagines the worst. "Imagines" is the key word here, since the jungle's self-appointed keeper of community standards thinks Horton is making the whole thing up and, what's worse, encouraging impressionable young animals to do the same. Known only as Sour Kangaroo, this busybody could be reliably voiced only by Lily Tomlin or Carol Burnett; the filmmakers chose the latter.

(A 'roo and an elephant perched side by side?
You're wondering where on this world they reside.
Dr. Seuss called his setting the Jungle of Nool.
It must border both Kenya and Wallamaloo.)


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