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The first time I noticed Jack Black was in ?I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (1998)?. He plays a small role and is hacked to death by the blood thirsty fisherman, but his cameo sure did crack me up. He is stout, cocky and makes you roll. He accomplishes his duty to the fullest as an acting school teacher in ?The School of Rock? directed by Richard Linklater. I watched it twice and it?s my conclusion that this man has got some energy! Mike White who stars as Ned Schneebly, is the writer of this movie who is also the writer of another of Jack Black?s movie ? Nacho Libre.
He throws himself to the crowd in merry in a rock concert as the part of a band. What happens next is foreseeable, the crowd moves and he crashes with a thud. That?s Dewey Finn (Jack Black), a wannabe rock-star whose antics result in him being fired from his band. Dewey?s life takes a downward spiral since then with mounting debts and low confidence. Just then Dewey Finn finds a chance to guise himself as Ned Schneebly (Mike White) for the position as school teacher of a private school....
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Back in 1981, when Harrison Ford & Karen Allen unleashed their adventures in ?Raiders of the lost ark? through the deserts of Egypt fighting Nazis to uncover the Ark of the Covenant, Lucas created history & a brand named Indian Jones & then he did it again twice ? in 1984 & 1989. ?Temple of Doom? took Indy to Hong Kong & remote parts of India fighting a cult involved in ancient ritualistic practices, the goal then - to return three magical stones to their rightful owners. In the ?The Last Crusaders?, Indy is again sucked into a whirlwind adventure, this time looking for Dr. Henry Jones Sr & The Holy grail, he finds himself facing Hitler?s troops in Berlin and stranded in the deserts of Jordan.
After trotting half the globe, fighting Nazis, dodging rolling boulders, escaping hungry alligators, recovering lost relics, searching for the elusive grail, and resting for almost 20 years, Indy is back! George Lucas wrote, Steven Spielberg directed & Harrison Ford starred in this blockbuster and the legend is back, even though Dr.Jones has as many wrinkles as the countries he?s traveled. The question is, does this film satisfy the Indiana Jones junkies? I didn?t think so, but it definitely deserves one watch. I read somewhere that this film was more so an archeological class reunion than an Indiana Jones adventure ? well said!
Now to the story ? this time Indian Jones is fighting Russian communists in the year 1957 in search of a skull which possesses a ?psychic power? that mankind can only make movies on. His adversary is comrade Irina Spalko (Cate Blanchett), in a menacing role with a sword and a Russian communist attitude. Irina Spalko and her KGB battalion are in the quest for a mystery skull lost through years that possesses supernatural powers with Indiana Jones? accomplice George McHale?s (Ray Winstone) help. Mutt Williams (Shia LeBouf) a young biker dude with a 50?s hairstyle urges Indy to help him find an old friend, also Indy?s buddy and classmate Professor Oxley (John Hurt) who disappeared in the jungles of Peru in search of this relic. Along the way in South America, Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen) is also added to the search group. When they find the skull, they will then have to cross 2 cliffs, 3 waterfalls, and scale a labyrinth into which they will plug the skull into a circle of other sitting full aliens to unravel a portal to another dimension. The writers here, try to connect the Roswell space aliens with ancient Peruvian pyramid mysteries and the rest is left to ones imagination.
Jeep duels, mild action and puzzle threads in between keep the Indiana Jones spirit alive although Mutt?s Tarzan-like stunt-work and man eating ant sequences (very Mummy-like) are comical tends to lose the audience. What Spielberg sees in Shia LeBouf is beyond me. Even after watching Transformers and Disturbia, I keep wondering what he?s got. The movie has no surprises but a wealth of action for any appetite and a fairy tale ending, and is not as bad as it could have been.
Spielberg has used a sumptuous amount of CGI input in this installment which is probably working against him, with a fan following from the 80?s when the graphic capabilities weren?t as sophisticated.
Director - Steven Spielberg
Writers - George Lucas, David Koepp (Screenplay), Jeff Nathanson
Cast - Harrison Ford, Cate Blanchett, Karen Allen, Shia LeBeouf, Ray Winstone, John Hurt