Monday, September 19, 2011

Thrillers #10 - Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

Raiders of the Lost Ark is, of course, the first Indiana Jones movie. The whole Indiana Jones trilogy is based on the adventure serials from the 30s and 40s, which is why the Nazis are the villains, and they have a really cool retro, adventure-y feel. They have a very good mood - There's a very specific feeling and aesthetic I get when I think of Indiana Jones - It's very brown, and trumpet-y. The main theme is, in fact, fantastic and basically all trumpets (I think - they're definitely brass instruments), and that really fits the whole feel of the movies. The first one is really the only one that can be considered anything near a good movie, Sean Connery notwithstanding, but it's very good. I enjoy it immensely, and I had actually sort of forgotten about it - I haven't seen Raiders of the Lost Ark in years - and I'm glad I rediscovered it.

What I think is probably the coolest part of Raiders of the Lost Ark, beyond just the fact that it's pure awesome, is how iconic it is. It has the whip, and the snakes, and the big rolling ball, and the music (You know: Da-Da-Da-DA, Da-Da-Daaaaa, etc.) and the fedora. The fedora is actually genius, when you think about it: Not only does it create a distinction between Dr. Jones and Indiana, it also makes the character really recognizable. From a distance, in crowds, in silhouette - It doesn't matter. You look at that:

And you know immediately that it's Indiana Jones. Everyone does, which is awesome. This is a really a common trait in the movies that end up on these lists. Chances are, if it sticks in the so many people's minds like that, it's probably worth being iconic. Or, alternatively, it's really spectacularly bad - But this is not the case here.

The second thing that I like about Indiana Jones isn't that significant, but I really like the way he wears glasses. I was thinking that he only wears them when he's teaching, sort of like Clark Kent, but watching the movie, I noticed that he put them on all the time, whenever he has to read things. For some reason that was really cool to me.

I really like Indiana Jones - It's so adventurous and I really like that 30s-40s aesthetic it has, and I like Harrison Ford, and I like the action. Usually I don't like action in movies - It's pretty boring to me - but I was really entertained by the fights in this movie. They're very well-choreographed, for one thing, and with the guns and the whips and the swords they come off as varied and interesting. I actually think they're really cool - It's a big difference from Terminator 2.

So, to me, Indiana Jones and Star Wars really go hand in hand. It must be the people: George Lucas, Harrison Ford, John Williams, Ben Burtt, all them. They also both have a ride in Disney World. But they're also very similar movies to me: They're both just fun and adventurous, and they awake the adventurous, globe-trotting child in us all. Raiders of the Lost Ark has great fights, an awesome protagonist, fantastic settings, and is, in fact, very thrilling. And I know that I'm not the only one out there was wants to be Indiana Jones.

NOTE: No matter how hard I looked, I could not find out whether I should italicise the names of series, like Indiana Jones. I eventually decided that I should, because it is a sort of title. I apologise if I have erred.

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