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Which trailer looks better: 'Dark Knight' or 'Indiana Jones'?

If you went to see Iron Man this past weekend, odds are you saw the full trailers for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and The Dark Knight, two sequels I couldn’t be more excited to see. But after taking in what I was sure was going to be a double-barrelled shot of unvarnished awesomeness, I came away a little bit — to borrow from Dark Knight‘s Harvey Dent — of two minds.

The Indy trailer gave me exactly what that first spot failed to: a sense of respect for my love of the character. I didn’t need to be reminded who Indiana Jones was, I just needed to see him bring the derring do. This time around, they nailed it — more info about the crystal skull, more Marian, and more running-and-jumping-and-blowing-stuff-up from a spry Harrison Ford. (There were dudes in the theater who applauded after the trailer ended. I was too busy GRINNING.)

On the other hand, The Dark Knight also gave us more–more of the story, more of the cast besides Heath Ledger–but I came away less impressed. It was less evocative than the first trailer; less thematic. I’ve still got a lot of faith that Christopher Nolan will deliver a splendid flick — Aaron Eckhart’s Harvey Dent looked especially promising (considering that the character had been played previously by both Billy Dee Williams and Tommy Lee Jones, he’s got no place to go but up).But for me, these two were very much a case of one step forward, two steps back. (And, yes, you singing "Opposites Attract" is my own cruel Joker-y parting gift.)

What did you think? Still as jazzed as ever about these movies, or a little more cautious? And which one are you more stoked to see?

Trailer Blazer: 'Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull'

Harrison Ford may be 108 years old, but I’m 14 again, thanks to the release this morning of the Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull teaser trailer at Yahoo Movies. It looks pretty dang awesome, even if the clip does waste the first half of its two-minute running time with a retrospective of Indy’s past glories. (Wait, he "saved the cradle of civilization"? That’s what the Temple of Doom was? I thought civilization started in Iraq or Egypt, not India.) Note to Paramount: we all know who Indiana Jones is; just because it’s been 19 years doesn’t mean we need a refresher course. We also know that Harrison Ford is, like, old, so we don’t need the obligatory quip about his age. (Sidekick Ray WInstone: "This ain’t gonna be easy." Indy: "Not as easy as it used to be.") Besides, by the look of things, Ford can still do stunts quite nicely, thank you. (Better quip: Shia LaBeouf: "You’re a teacher?" Indy: "Part-time.") Also, I’d have liked to see more than a glimpse or two of Cate Blanchett (coiffed in a nifty Louise Brooks bob) and Karen Allen (back as Marion Ravenwood). But enough quibbling. Still a pretty dang awesome teaser. Watch, and we’ll discuss, after the jump.


Are you gonna throw bricks and custard pies at George Lucas?

Henryjonesjr_lYou’ve probably already read the spoiler-y Vanity Fair cover story on Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (in theaters May 22), but if you haven’t, here’s the link. Now we’ll issue a SPOILER ALERT of our own…

As more — well, a little more — plot information about the fourth film surfaces, are you feeling confident that Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Harrison Ford (pictured), and Cate Blanchett are on the right track? Are you looking forward to an Indy movie that’s less supernatural and more sci-fi, as befits its Atomic Age/Cold War 1950s setting? Or are you already planning on throwing bricks and custard pies at George Lucas, as he suspects?

I’ll be honest: Reading Spielberg’s quotes about staying true to the franchise’s old-school cinematography  and Lucas’ musings on Ford’s perfect "befuddled, oh-my-God-I’m gonna-die look" got me excited.

Then again, I’m also planning on seeing Rambo.

addCredit(“Harrison Ford: David James”)

PopWatch Confessional, Vol. 63: My Pop-Culture Blind Spots

Eve_lNow, I consider myself pretty well-versed in the entertainment spectrum. I’ve seen more movies than is probably healthy — and can remember more about them than I should. (There was a time, a few years ago, where me and fellow PopWatcher Wook Kim performed Raiders of the Lost Ark from memory while standing outside a coworker’s cubicle. Or most of it, at any rate…I think we were derailed by a laughing fit somewhere around Sallah’s little H.M.S. Pinafore interlude. "I am the monarch of the sea," indeed.)

But for as complete a geek as I claim to be, I know there are still some embarrassing pockets of never seen/never read/never listened to on my CV.

To wit: I’ve never seen All About Eve (pictured). Or The Third Man. Or any film by Pedro Almodovar. Or Wong Kar-Wai. Never listened to a Bruce Springsteen Album. Or N.W.A. Or Neil Young. And if you printed out the list of great books I’ve never even cracked open, you could paper the Pentagon.

What about you? Where’s your weakness when it comes to pop-culture consumption?

addCredit(“All About Eve: Everett Collection”)

There's no business like show bid-ness!

Lindsay_lSometime last week, the sock (that’s right, a sock) worn by the cameraman whose foot Britney allegedly ran over was reportedly sold on eBay for more than $1,000. Disappointed you missed your chance to bid? No worries, as celebrity paraphernalia is never in short supply. This week, you can purchase the actual Mercedez-Benz convertible driven (and crashed) by Lindsay Lohan (pictured) for a mere $120,000. Behind the wheel of this dream ride, you’ll see the world the way we imagine LiLo sees it, through cracked glass. Don’t let your current anonymity put the anti-lock brakes on your budding celebrity: buy this car today, sit back, and set the cruise control for your own road trip of fame, misfortune, and frequent traffic-law citations.

Okay, I wouldn’t break my bank account to buy Lindsay’s car. But I’ll admit, eBay has quite an addictive quality, and I find myself wondering if, perhaps, I really need a personalized Patrick Dempsey screen print pillowcase. Or considering where I’d display a $400 bust of Harrison Ford as the legendary Indiana Jones. Or deciding if I’d use a Fight Club bar of soap for practical or decorative purposes. My own fascination notwithstanding, I’ve never actually bought anything off eBay, but I’m wondering, what’s your biggest entertainment-themed purchase? Do you look at your life-sized wax replica of Wayne Newton and think that maybe you should have saved your money for something a little more practical? Like food? Or rent? Or are you very happy with your decision to get that Star Trek Worf Starfleet wrist lamp?

addCredit(“Lindsay Lohan: Jean Baptiste Lacroix/WireImage.com”)

Indiana Jones Is a Loser... and That's One to Grow on

Indie_lHenry "Indiana" Jones, Jr. is a hero. If you grew up in the latter half of the 20th century, this is a given. Encoded in our social DNA. (Or is it RNA? Nevermind… questions like this are precisely why I became an entertainment journalist.) In any poll of the Greatest Action Heroes of All Time, he’ll consistently rank in the top 5.

And we can all agree that a hero’s job is to save the day, right? To stop the bad guys from carrying out their nefarious plan, whatever it may be. That’s their raison d’etre, pardon my French.

Then follow the jump to find out why we were all wrong about Indiana Jones. To see why, in Raiders of the Lost Ark, he’s not a hero… he’s a bystander.

addCredit(“Raiders of the Lost Ark: Everett Collection”)

The 'Scream' that Launched 1000 Clips

Now, I want you to watch this compilation…and listen closely. I’m not gonna tell you what to listen for, I think you’ll notice what ties all the clips together. (And the audio has not been monkeyed with at all.) We’ll talk about it after the jump.


Indiana Jones is into crystals, skulls

Shia_lAmid all the fuss at the VMAs over Britney, Sarah Silverman, and Kid Rock vs. Tommy Lee, a major announcement got lost in the shuffle — namely, Shia LaBeouf’s revelation that the fourth Indiana Jones movie, currently in production, will be called Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. (LaBeouf’s announcement reportedly bucked the objections of Steven Spielberg and George Lucas, but the actor, pictured at left, said he felt the time was right because "I’m 21, and we’re in Vegas, baby.") Now, normally, PopWatch is hesitant to lend much credence to LaBeouf’s Indiana Jones-related pronouncements — after all, the Transformers star denied to our face that he was going to be costar in the Harrison Ford sequel until the truth came out — but the Crystal Skull title was one of six possible titles Lucasfilm reportedly registered with the Motion Picture Association of America last month. And today, the official Indiana Jones website confirms LaBeouf’s assertion.

So there it is, PopWatchers. Sounds like the plot will involve the aging archaeologist visiting a head shop before a Grateful Dead concert. Among the six registered titles, I’d really been hoping for Indiana Jones and the Destroyer of Worlds, a title that invokes both the dawn of the atomic age and Hindu mythology (bringing to mind what J. Robert Oppenheimer famously said when the first A-bomb was exploded in 1945). I’ll leave it up to you all to guess what the title means, what possible mystical artifact Indy could be chasing this time, and whether the title (and the forum in which it was announced) bode well for the 2008 film.

addCredit(“Shia LaBeouf: Michael Caulfield/WireImage.com”)

The title of 'Indiana Jones IV' is...

Speaking of Indiana Jones IV (which will be awesome; see previous post on fourquels), you gotta wonder what they’re gonna call it. And you gotta worry that George Lucas is gonna call it something crazy; be grateful that he can’t call it Indiana Jones and the Phantom Menace and Indiana Jones and the Attack of the Clones. Aside from that — yeesh — anything goes.

To that end, Slashfilm.com has reportedly scored the latest Title Registration Report from the MPAA, listing six potential titles that Lucasfilm has filed to get approval on. Here they are. Is one of these the title of the new Indiana Jones movie?

Indiana Jones and the City of Gods
Indiana Jones and the Destroyer of Worlds
Indiana Jones and the Fourth Corner of the Earth
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Indiana Jones and the Lost City of Gold
Indiana Jones and the Quest for the Covenant


Comic-Con: Keeping up with the Joneses

Jones_lOn Thursday, Paramount stole the day — and possibly the entire four-day Comic-Con show — with their drool-worthy, standing-room-only, two-hour presentations. Here’s what we learned…

The fans like them some Iron Man. And Paramount like them some Black Sabbath, based on the three or so times they cued the band’s song "Iron Man" (if only Beavis & Butthead figured in somehow). Superskinny director Jon Favreau — who told EW he’s lost 80 pounds ("I just ate less") — introduced his trailer, which featured Robert Downey Jr. effortlessly nailing the role of Tony Stark, the cocky billionaire who dons a metallic suit after a near-mortal injury. Biggest nerdgasm: Watching I-Man fly the sky in his Mark III suit with jet propulsion capabilities… in his freakin’ hands!

Steven Spielberg led a taped on-set message from the Indiana Jones cast on-set and in costume: Harrison Ford, Ray Winstone, and Shia LaBeouf inexplicably, though perhaps tellingly, wearing biker gear. The big announcement: Karen Allen (pictured, with Spielberg, on the Indy IV set) will reprise her role of the whiskey-swilling Marion Ravenwood from 1981’s Raiders of the Lost Ark. This almost makes up for the absence of Temple of Doom‘s Short Round. Almost.

Damn you, J.J. "Tight Lips" Abrams! We actually know less about your untitled Cloverfield monster movie than we did going in.

Paramount cruelly dangled a carrot in front of us — the logo for Sweeney Todd — only to pull a bait and switch by showing us this poster (but, to be fair, a cool poster).

Okay, we take back what we said about Tight Lips Abrams. He did confirm the long-standing rumor that in his upcoming Star Trek, Heroes‘ Sylar, Zachary Quinto, will play Spock. As will Leonard Nimoy. That’s right, people: Two Spocks for the price of one movie. Quinto stars as the Vulcan in his younger years, Nimoy as the elder Spock. When asked why he’d revisit the pointy-eared smarty-pants of his past, Nimoy said: "The answer is, it was logical."

addCredit(“Karen Allen and Steven Spielberg: David James”)


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