Saturday, May 24, 2008

On Indiana Jones

George Lucas and crew need someone to say "Woah, guys, that's a little much. Back it down a notch. Sure, nuclear explosions look cool, but we're really trying to hard here."

They also need an editor. You're supposed to cut out the "extended scenes" and save them for the DVD, not release the version with the joke that lasts 30 seconds longer than it should.

Finally: this is a series that includes a lot of fantastic elements that stretch believablity (see the 1500 year old crusader in the previous Indy film). That's cool. But they worked because the movie never tried to explain every last thing. So, why are they trying to explain things so much now? Are they that concerned that people will not be able to make the jump from suggestion to imagination?

One of the reasons why people hold Halo's story in rather high regard is because it doesn't always try to explain everything (this is especially true in the first game and in the terminals of the third game). Rather, it draws you in, suggesting something fantastic and grand, and then leaves it to your imagination with where to take it.

The most powerful stories are the ones which don't try to answer everything. Rather, the best stories create a universe for which you can step into and let your imagination take you for a ride. Sequels of beloved stories are often difficult for this reason - not because the sequel's expansion of the universe is bad, but because it must toss aside some of what you have constructed with the "official version".

To all storytellers, and a note to self: resist the urge to explain everything. Or you end up with the latest Indiana Jones movie - getting the formula right, but missing that special spark of wonder.


Anonymous said...

Tell it like it is, Achronos. Halo does have a terrific storyline. But I did hear that Indiana Jones sucked. I don't like Classical remakes anyway. I'd rather stick to Iron Man instead. That movie kicked ass.

ObiWanStevobi said...

Not a new criticism for Lucas, I'm afraid. With Halo, none of the games have really been ended. In Star Wars and Indiana Jones, the storylines were effectively concluded. Going back and adding more needs an explanation, which seems to naturally lead to over-explanation.

It can also be said that Lucas lost much of his touch for casting too. But I still appreciate his work for what he does right, fantastic cgi and sci-fi action/adventure.

Now that the Halo storyline has had an effective end, I worry that any other games in the franchise may suffer similar problems.

chucknorrisROKZ said...

HEY ACHRONOS!!! did you block "AIDS vs CANCER" on i need to ask you questions and you won't answer...

back on topic, remakes are NEVER as good as the original, but good nonetheless

Anonymous said...

I loved the new Indiana Jones. I do agree with you though at the same time. The first three seemed more adventurous and more mysterious. You weren't sure what was going to happen and it is true things were not explained entirely. I 120% agree with the remark about the halo story line. I do enjoy a story that keeps me wondering and wanting more.

Anonymous said...

I saw it the other night.. Best description I can think of would be:

Great movie.
Crappy plot.

But what else is Indiana Jones? Fun, crazy action with a loose, semi-crummy plot and enough jokes to keep you laughing. I enjoyed it like I enjoyed Speed Racer. (See, apparently I am one of the few...) It was a fun ride, somewhat crazy, and it had it's parts where you groan, or go "Oh, jeez, that was stupid.", but in the end, you're glad you saw it. :)

It was a good finish to a good series. (At least, with Harrison Ford in the lead. I can completely imagine a whole new "Young Indiana Jones" with the kid. (Played by what's his face.)

Much better than Star Wars, though... I like it when Spielberg gets behind the wheel.

Anonymous said...

I agree i didn't think much of the last Indy was easy to guess what was going to happen next at every point in the story, and the bit at the end with the weding was well, cheesey lol
Halo however is awesome, can't wait for the film

Exhorresco One said...

I learned this the hard way.

Me and my friends love to play pencil & paper games.

But every now and then i found my players getting bored, or just wanting to get straight to the point.

So i decided, i don't need to go into detail for every small thing that happens and just move on.

As far as the way things operated in that movie i wouldn't know, i wont let myself watch it, no matter how good people think it is.

I'm happy with the way i remember Indy, cool.

Anonymous said...

It's funny how you use the plot of Halo as your shining example of storyline greatness.

Great post, Achronos. I enjoyed it.