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Why I don't like Raiders of the Lost Ark!


JoeinAR
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To start with, I want everyone to know that this is my opinion and mine alone. Though I am sure there are those out there who will agree, I do not speak for you.

Recently in another thread, I said Raiders of the Lost Ark is just a movie.

What I should have said was Raiders of the Lost Ark is just a bad movie.

While recently enlightened on a new way to watch films, after I have apparently watched them wrong all these years, I was shown how using your two eyes, not your eyeball eyes, but your midnes eye, and your guts eye, enhance the film experience. By learning this I found out how difficult it is to enjoy a movie using each different eye, similar to the difficulty found in enjoying a song for either the singers vocal abilities or the lyrics, the beat and or the music. You might like them all, though I am told this is a rarity. So much for my theory of song remakes.

Now Raiders is a very kinetic movie, full of action, except when it gets all lovey dovey, or wordy. The concept of the film comes from the grade Z serials, which are almost uniformally awful. The only real difference between serials of that time and Raiders is that Lucas and Spielberg decided to take the grade Z storyline and add grade A production values(well not all of them, but mor on that later). Does that make the film better. Not really.

So what is wrong with Raiders of the Lost Ark? Pull up a chair and let me tell you.

The Setting.

The setting is in the 1930's. Now some films really never age because they take place outside normal time or space. Kide enjoy those films that do because they(the kids) can stay in touch with these out of time characters.

Seeing an action film set some nearly 70 years ago, makes it look like a period piece. Why do the cars and trucks look so primitive, and why do people dress so different(though definitely neater than today). How can anyone under the age of 60 even relate to this film.

Harrison Ford

Harrison Ford played the character of Han Solo to perfection back in the 70's and 80's, but he never looked right in that fedora. Now if they remade it today with Viggo Mortenson as Indy, that would work, plus Viggo wouldn't have to ad lib so many of his lines like Ford did much of the time. Even that Magnum PI guy would have been better. Harrison Ford just isn't right, he looks far more comfortably playing a drunk with a tag along lesbian/I'm not a lesbian costar.

Indiana Jones, the Character

The main character is another problem I have with Raiders. As I have said Ford was great as Solo, but here he's like a 1930's version of Bogart, in Treasure of the Sierra Madre, but he's no Boggie. He's not particularly bright. Unline a real archeologist, Indiana is just a cheap grave robber. He isn't concerned about the archological site, he just cares about his fortune and glory. The there are those silly character arcs, why doe he have a fedora and whip, where does that scar on his chin come from, why is he afraid of snakes. I don't understand his motivations.

Marion Ravenwood/Karen Allen

Now I have never thought that Allen to be a great actress, I mean what else has she done? She's not very attractive either. Sure she and Indiana have some chemistry but that has more to do with the script than anything two very mediocre actors like Ford or Allen have to do with it. And why does she drink so much? Not the type of girl you bring home to mother, unless your mother's name is Mrs Bates. When Jones puts the rag in her mouth I was so happy. Finally something shuts her up.

The Nazis

The most evil group of villians the world has ever seen, and here Spielberg has turned them into a bunch of bumbling idiots. This is certainly not the group of monsters that overran Europe back several years later. How can an army of Hitlers superrace be beaten so easily by such a condesending smartass like Jones. I guess this goes right to the heart of the matter which is the ....

the Script

The so call script is nothing more that a series of set pieces crafted together to appear as a movie. The production values may be mostly grade A, but the script is pure Z. Did a monkey band this out on a computer. Opps, my bad, back in the late 70's and early 80's computers were still larger than most rooms, something of the future. Everything seems so heavy handed, and forced.

The Not so A Production Values

While well photographed and edited, this film has at least 2 flaws that just bring to conflict, this whole two eye viewing thing. One the snake in the glass scene just totally ruins this film. Any suspension of disbelief is totally shattered by the glass. Two, the poles sticking out of the spirits/ghosts back at the end is just awful. Three, could the guys face melting look more fake?

The Ending

Ok so they taked one on. Spielberg and Lucas were obviously stumped on how to end this mess. So out of the blue we have this obvious X-files rippoff of an ending. Could Fox Mulder be more proud?

All in all a bad film. I wanted to like it but my minds eye was crossed with my guts eye. Looking back its easy to see that its similar to the Mummy(which was way better), just not as fast paced or as well done. It mercifully avoids the mistakes Raiders was so full of.

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Joe, you obiviously have way too much time on your hands, to analyze this film the way you do. Talk about oversimplification to the Nth degree!

So you have problems with Raiders, they are yours, don't worry me with them.

Stefancos 2- who dislikes Animal House and cucumbers.

OK I admit it, its not bigger, are you happy!!!

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I don't like Raiders either. The ghosts are so fake. Just bad technique. And didn't you ever think that the warehouse scene at the end looks just like a matte painting.

It has a boring love story, and Karen Allen's performance is just plain bad. Plus the love theme or Marion's theme is annoying. I guess it wants to be a good film, but it is not. Besides Spielberg has made better films, A.I., Last Crusade, and John has written better scores, Always, and AOTC.

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hmm... the points you bring up may sound good to you and frankly I don't care whether you like Indy or not... one question comes to mind though... what's your stance in James Bond movies? I thought some of the points you brought up here were familiar to some aspects in the Bond films...

Btw, Viggo Mortensen as Indy? For some reason I picture cheap tobacco commercials with VM in fedora... :-/

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Well done, Joe....very well done indeed. Of all the ways you could take a stand against something you disagree with, this is probably as clever as you could get (a little blunt, I guess, but not as vitriolic as you tend to get sometimes--which makes this an improvement). I'm impressed.

I think you know what I'm talking about.... :sigh:

- Uni

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Even being sarcastic, you believe (almost) every word you wrote Joe. But you are wrong...

The Setting.  

The setting is in the 1930's. Now some films really never age because they take place outside normal time or space. Kide enjoy those films that do because they(the kids) can stay in touch with these out of time characters.

Raiders will never look old-fashioned; unlike some other movie (the big "S"), which takes place in the sixties and the characters are like people of that era (at least, the stereotype of the 60's): innocent and silly. You can't identify with so stupid characters.

this is probably as clever as you could get

Anything but clever! This is "Joe strikes back", and you only do that when you feel hurt, and this just proves the enderian leader was right at all in the other thread.

:sigh: Enemy at the Gates , James Horner

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Well,I for one hope they replace that fake looking monkey Marion carries around by a CGI one that can speak english like real animals do.

k.M.Who feels the MB is deserted for the last 2 days after a better than usual week.

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Who is this 'Tom Riddle' ripping off of my screenname?! Just kidding, from one Heir to another, welcome to the board.

The first three posts in this thread are by Walter (aka JoeinAr, aka Stefancos2, aka Tom Riddle)

Ray Barnsbury

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Joe is obviously going through some severe emotional "growing pains". I think it's sweet.

Keep it up Joe, soon you'll be all grown up, you'll be all grows up and all grows up and all grows up!

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Keep it up Joe, soon you'll be all grown up, you'll be all grows up and all grows up and all grows up!

hey anything to keep you posting.

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JoeinAR wrote at Spielbergfilms:

Why I love Raiders of the Lost Ark.  

Raiders of the Lost Ark is one of those rare film experiences, where the moviegoer goes into the theatre not knowing what to really expect, and coming out having experience greatness. That summer of 1981, I wasn't sure what this movie was about, to be honest it looked kind of boring. I don't remember the trailers being as dynamic as they are today, and there was no mystique surrounding the name of Steven Spielberg. After several years of space opera's this film was grounded in the past. There would be no asteroid field, no AT-AT's, no chicken walkers. Oh sure the Nazi's make great villians, that was a plus, and that funky looking all wing airplane was intriguing to say the least.  

I was already a John Williams fan, so that added to the lure.

But the title was so....silly isn't the right word. It was absolutely grade b or lower that was for sure. Was this a film following in the steps of In Search of Noah's Ark, or other films like it?

Luckily it was nothing like it. From the first few minutes of the film I knew I was hooked. I knew this was unlike anything I had seen before. Credit Lucas and Spielberg both, but Steve's hand guided this film to the near perfection it is.  

The cast/characters are perfect. Indy is rogush, and heroic. Marian is smart, and not at all helpless. Belloq is dastardly, but almost likable. Toht too is humorous, but still a villian you know is quite demented and dangerous. Brody and Sallah are both very likable, and genuine.  

The action is explosive and exciting, and never quite over the top as in today's action films. Look at Matrix Reloaded's hwy scene or T3's big chase sequence, neither has the power, the excitment, or the sublteness that Spielberg gives to his desert chase sequence.

John's musical score is legend. The Raiders March and Marion's theme are terrific, as is the Well of the Souls, and few action cues can even touch the Desert Chase.

I came out of the theatre that evening ready to buy another ticket. I would do so another 8 or 9 times that summer, relishing the experience time and again, sharing it vicariously throught audience members who were experiencing it for the first time.

As time would pass I would learn to appreciate the film for more reasons than the apparent. Raiders is one of the best photographed films, using shadow play to its greatest advantage. I have said before that it is like a black and white film in color. The innovative use of imitation of old serials, and the application of state of the art production values, plus a cast of actors who are all great at their craft, has firmly intrenched the idea that this film is one of the the 4 or 5 best of the 80's and of of the 4 or 5 best of Steven Spielberg's illustrious career.

I simply cannot wait to own the DVD. I have several friends who have never seen the film and I plan on introducing it to them, uninterupted, popcorn waiting. I plan to experience the film again throught their eyes, as the magic of this films works them over.

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JoeinAR wrote at Spielbergfilms:
Why I love Raiders of the Lost Ark.  

I simply cannot wait to own the DVD. I have several friends who have never seen the film and I plan on introducing it to them, uninterupted, popcorn waiting. I plan to experience the film again throught their eyes, as the magic of this films works them over.

Joe's coming out of the closet, at last. Albiet slowly.

Yay Joe, you go girl (Err, dude)

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Well, he used the ;) emoticon so I guess he's in the clear.

But still, it seems to me that there are two JoeinArs in this world, one "I love a good Popcorn movie because they don't make me think" kinda JoeinAr and the other one who's more like "I actually despise Popcorn movies because they insult my intelligence". Maybe by confronting him with this duality problem we might see a more uniform Joe in the future.

----------------

Alex Cremers

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This........IS a joke, right?

Notice the wink at the beginning, it kind of says it all.

So Uni, Km, Neil, Ray, Hector got it, not sure about anyone else.

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It was pretty obvious, Joe. Though you've still managed to get some people up in arms who took it seriously. As I said before, this thread is a waste.

Ted

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This........IS a joke, right?

Notice the wink at the beginning, it kind of says it all.

So Uni, Km, Neil, Ray, Hector got it, not sure about anyone else.

Years praising the movie betrayed you :|

Plus the Viggo Mortensen thing was utterly unbelievable. ;)

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oh come on the Viggo Mortenson thing was funny, scary too since you can imagine some filmmaker today going ya know he could be a real good Indy ;)

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It was pretty obvious, Joe. Though you've still managed to get some people up in arms who took it seriously. As I said before, this thread is a waste.
I took it seriously because it's not funny. ;)

sigh

a waste, i agree

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You people do not no brilliance at work when you see it.

I expected the level of ignorance from people like Ted or Ross, but you to Peio????

I bow down to the utter brilliance of JoeinAr, and feel inspired and educated by his post.

All of you that disagree can just sod of.

Stefancos- ;)

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You people do not no brilliance at work when you see it.

I expected the level of ignorance from people like Ted or Ross, but you to Peio????

What ignorance? Ted's post was the most sensible one from this stupid thread.

I bow down to the utter brilliance of JoeinAr, and feel inspired and educated by his post.
:roll:

LOL

brilliance? utter brilliance?

;)

:cry: this is sad, very sad. Unuseful threads are called brilliant, and more interesting threads are ignored (and i'm getting tired of this fact)

Peio, who doesn't know how to take the previous post: as an offense, or as a non-inspired Stefancos

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Peio....

What you describe as unesefull posts is actually what I consider the be this MB's greatest feat, and greatest attraction.

That regulars here are willing to spend time and energy into delighting their fellow posters with threads like this one, or Joe's great Celebrity Death Match posts, is what makes this place MORE then just a forum were you can ask stuff like "Does anybody here know if the score for Family Plot has ever been released on CD?"

Now, if you only come here for threads like "What's your fav 80's Williams score", then that's fine by me, but you are really missing out IMO, and I pity you for it.

You may not like threads like these, and you have every right not to, but don't call them unusefull, they are very important, especially during those long pauses between Williams releases, like now.

Peio, who doesn't know how to take the previous post: as an offense, or as a non-inspired Stefancos

You wound me, Peio.

Dozends of hours i put into this MB, and now you call me uninspired, i think you owe me some goddamned respect!

Stefancos- :cry:

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I prefer more insightful threads, I like analizing John Williams' underrated works. And I get angry when nobody replies to those threads (I spent hours doing some of them, but they barely got 10 replies).

But this doesn't mean i don't enjoy the other ones.

Now, if you only come here for threads like "What's your fav 80's Williams score", then that's fine by me, but you are really missing out IMO, and I pity you for it.

You didn't notice anything Stefan. I wouldn't have replied if I don't like these threads. And....well, that's all for the moment...

and now you call me uninspired
You didn't get the joke (remember you said you were inspired by Joe's thread? :| )

I am the uninspired one currently, I'm still thrilled for today's race; as Ullrich can beat Armstrong. go Jan!!! ;) (sorry for going off-topic)

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I prefer more insightful threads, I like analizing John Williams' underrated works. And I get angry when nobody replies to those threads (I spent hours doing some of them, but they barely got 10 replies).

That's cause a lot of people here are not musically educated and don't wanna contribute to these threads, cause those who are musically educated don't take them serious.

AND, not everybody likes Empire Of The Sun of Angela's ashes as much as you Peio.

You didn't get the joke (remember you said you were inspired by Joe's thread? ;) )

You will have to be educated in the art of joking, i'm sure.

I am the uninspired one currently,

Indeed..

I'm still thrilled for today's race; as Ullrich can beat Armstrong. go Jan!!! :| (sorry for going off-topic)

Yeah, that was great, GO REAL!!!

Stefancos- ;)

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;)

Peio, agreeing with Stefancos (except for that Empire of the Presumed Stanley & his stepmom's ashes thing)

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While recently enlightened on a new way to watch films, after I have apparently watched them wrong all these years, I was shown how using your two eyes, not your eyeball eyes, but your midnes eye, and your guts eye, enhance the film experience.

I thought Grass wasn't allowed where you come from LOL

Anyway- Despite my disagreeing with you on everything except for Karen Allen and the bad F/X in the finale- I for some reason love seeing well formulated opinions, whatever they may be. Like they say in 'Frida'- "I'd rather have an intelligent enemy than a stupid friend"

Now for my mindless rebuttal:

Raiders Rules!!!

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I prefer more insightful threads, I like analizing John Williams' underrated works.

on this we agree, I am currently entralled listening to Earthquake, and rediscovering this little gem, and there isn't any sarcasm in this. I really like it alot. Its so Johnny.

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AND, not everybody likes Empire Of The Sun of Angela's ashes as much as you Peio.

It's probably me number one John disc!

(except for that Empire of the Presumed Stanley & his stepmom's ashes thing)

Haha, Funniest thing of the thread.

----------------

Alex Cremers

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Peio.... What you describe as unesefull posts is actually what I consider the be this MB's greatest feat, and greatest attraction.

Unuseful posts are in order, then! :)

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If you ask me you have put far to much thought into why you don't like this film.

The film simply did not connect with you and you try to explain it in somekinda logical manner.

So you don't like it, big deal, don't beat yourself up about it, and dont excuse yourself by trying to explain WHY you don't like it, you just don't, and that should be enough.

This is obviously a mockery of Ross's "Why I don't like Superman: The Movie" The humerous thing is that Joe spent just as much time as Ross only this is a joke. Not even serious opinions. I acctually have no problem with most of Joe's jokes, a lot of them are very funny. l do,however, have a problem with Joe's inability to get over Ross's opinion about Superman. You seem to have such a problem with Ross's opinion that you have to write a 1000 word essay about it. Only wait this was a joke I should get over it, unlike someones opinion it seems.

Justin

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