Monday, October 28, 2013

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom... in 1940

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is something of a divisive film in the franchise. Though most agree it's an entertaining romp jam-packed with classic sequences, some viewers are put off by the subjectively grating supporting characters, while others claim it's a little too dark and different for their tastes. Still others - myself included - love it for that very reason. It's a unique entry in the series with plenty of memorable moments.

One thing, however, has always struck me about Temple of Doom. It's not so much how different it is from the other two films in the series, but instead how similar it is to another story... Namely a story-line from the classic old time radio serial I Love a Mystery entitled "Temple of Vampires."

This is going to take some explanation...

Sunday, October 27, 2013

RIP Lou Reed (1942-2013)

Lou Reed, leading member of the Velvet Underground and singing voice for the one and only Mok Swagger from Rock and Rule (1983), passed away today at age 71.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Seeing The Wizard of Oz in IMAX 3D

Ah... The Wizard of Oz.

It's about as close to cinematic perfection as it gets: luminous production design, clever special effects, a bevy of lovable characters, and plenty of good ole emotion. It's the kind of classic even a cold-hearted cynic like me counts as a favorite, despite my irrational hatred for musicals. Admittedly, certain elements do subjectively grate on me at times (the Munchkin Land sequence will never be a pleasant viewing experience for me), but the movie is so great I can't help but forgive those annoying 10 minutes in a millisecond.

So, when I heard about a re-release of the film in 3D and IMAX, I was naturally very dubious. Tampering with an old classic always raises some red flags in my mind, especially when the original filmmakers and stars are long gone and can't defend their work. And, to make matters worse, I cannot, in any way, shape, or form, be called a fan of the 3D format. More on that later.

Because of this, you might be surprised to hear that I actually thought the 3D version of The Wizard of Oz was pretty good. In fact, I thought it was borderline excellent.