Harrison Ford

Sabrina (1995)

The Great Movie Re-Watch

Sabrina (1995)

Director:

Sydney Pollack

Writers:

Samuel A. Taylor

Barbra Benedek

David Rayfiel

Starring:

Harrison Ford

Julia Ormond

Greg Kinnear

Blurb:

An ugly duckling having undergone a remarkable change, still harbors feelings for her crush: a carefree playboy, but not before his business-focused brother has something to say about it.

Thoughts:

I’m not sure why I own this version of Sabrina. I prefer the 1954 version with Audrey Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart. The ‘95 version must have been on sale or something. It’s a fine movie, but not one I have to own. Since I do and it’s digital I guess I’m not getting rid of it.

Harrison Ford is horrible at romance. Then again, so was Humphrey Bogart. There isn’t much chemistry between the two leads, again the same as the older one. Sabrina is very easily manipulated and I think that’s why I prefer the older version. I remember her getting angrier at Bogart than Ormond gets at Ford. In this version, Sabrina is very much riding along and doesn’t do much for herself. She’s supposed to be this well of sage advice, but I’m not sure why Ford would even listen to her.

Oh well. It’s a nice background movie.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)

The Great Movie Re-Watch

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)

Director:

Steven Spielberg

Writer:

Jeffrey Boam

Starring:

Harrison Ford

Sean Connery

Denholm Elliot

Alison Doody

John Rhys-Davies

Julian Glover

River Phoenix

Blurb:

In 1938, after his father Professor Henry Jones, Sr. goes missing while pursuing the Holy Grail, Professor Henry “Indiana” Jones, Jr. finds himself up against Adolf Hitler’s Nazis again to stop them from obtaining its powers.

Thoughts:

Okay, I’ve got another hot take to go on top of my Ghostbusters II one. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is my favorite Indiana Jones movie. Watching it again cemented that for me.
Indiana is a shit archeologist and a shit professor, and the only reason he has a job is nepotism. Man almost immediately bails on his students when he’s actually available to work. He also goes around destroying anything with potential historical value if it stands in his way. He’s never mentioned his father before and what we know of his father isn’t endearing, but Indiana won’t let anything stand between him and saving his dad.

There are a lot of issues in the story. I spent most of my re-watch pointing all the things that didn’t make sense. Like, why in the flashback to his youth is Indiana all about things being in a museum, but then in Temple of Doom which happens next chronologically, is he all about money? Then in Raiders, he’s back to it belongs in a museum. Temple Indiana doesn’t fit.

Why is he carrying around a flaming torch in a tomb he’s said he could retire from all the petroleum in it? He is literally dripping flames onto this “oil.” Of course, this is after he destroyed a library floor which should have gone against both of his professions. Dude, could you not wait an hour or so before hammering a hole into an ancient tile? Your dad has been missing for days at that point. Are a few more hours going to make a huge difference?

The whole movie is a bunch of good scenes with shit that doesn’t make sense in between, which seems to be standard Spielberg at that point. Big set pieces and damn the logic of everything else. Reading the Wikipedia entry for the movie, it sounds like a miracle we even got this coherent of a story. Several people wrote drafts, including Chris Columbus, who wrote two. Spielberg and Lucas started location scouting for his and then bailed because they decided it was too racist and unbelievable. If the creators of Temple of Doom think your script is racist and unbelievable, then… *yikes*

There’s a lot in the Wikipedia article for Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Including the fact that the prologue inspired Lucas to create the Adventures of Young Indiana Jones, which is not available to stream anywhere and is only available on DVD split into three volumes and cost over $90. I’ve seen a couple of the stories when I was a kid, and I’d love to watch all of them, but I find it difficult to spend that kind of money on a DVD. Paramount needs to get that up on their streaming service. It might get me to subscribe.

I believe there are only two women with lines in this entire movie. Both of them are Nazis. There are a couple of rich German women on the airship, but they didn’t say anything. This is pretty par for the course when it comes to these movies. However, it was pretty gross that both Jones’ men slept with Elsa. It says a lot about the treatment of women in this movie that that’s almost an improvement.

I appreciate a good adventure movie, but The Mummy movies have aged much better than the Indiana Jones ones. I’d love to see more of this type of movie being made again. There are so many movies I’d love to see made with an eye toward fixing their treatment of women and minorities. Hollywood loves to remake and reboot. Why can’t they do that and make things good? I’m not asking for a remake or reboot of Indiana Jones. That would be wrong. There’s a lot I don’t like about these movies, but they need to be left alone. I just want an adventure movie that doesn’t make me cringe in embarrassment.

Working Girl (1988)

The Great Movie Re-Watch

Working Girl (1988)

Director:

Mike Nichols

Writer:

Kevin Wade

Starring:

Melanie Griffith

Harrison Ford

Sigourney Weaver

Blurb:

When a secretary’s idea is stolen by her boss, she seizes an opportunity to steal it back by pretending she has her boss’ job.

Thoughts:

How could I not love Working Girl? It was basically made for me. A strong female lead fighting for her chance at her dream job. Plus young sexy Harrison Ford. That’s exactly the kind of story I love.

I don’t remember the first time I watched this movie. I can’t think of any memories attached to it at all. It’s just one of those films that I discovered on TV and fell in love with.

It received mostly positive reviews when it came out. It also did well at the box office. Yet we don’t get these types of movies very often. Wonder why that is? Hmm… A film where a woman is kept down by the system deals with very realistic sexual harassment and has to deceive to succeed. No idea why this hasn’t been done more often. Maybe it has, and I just missed it. I’m not one for drama movies, and this has enough comedy in it not to take away from the story but to make it not as heavy as it could be.

I can’t even complain that the main antagonist is a woman trying to keep another woman down. That was an entire mindset for a generation of women. It’s sadly realistic. One of the best things to come from my generation is women helping other women. We can succeed together.

I’d love to see another movie like this with a modern setting. I don’t want a remake. It’s not the sort of film that needs that treatment. I just want to see a story in the same vein. A reboot, maybe?

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)

The Great Movie Re-Watch

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)

Director:

Steven Spielberg

Writers:

William Huyck

Gloria Katz

Starring:

Harrison Ford

Kate Capshaw

Ke Huy Quan

Amrish Puri

Blurb:

In 1935, Indiana Jones arrives in India, still part of the British Empire, and is asked to find a mystical stone. He then stumbles upon a secret cult committing enslavement and human sacrifices in the catacombs of an ancient palace.

Thoughts:

I’ve never enjoyed Temple of Doom. It’s too scary. The food is even terrifying. Hearts are ripped from people’s chests. People are burned alive. All of that, and it’s rated PG. It’s no wonder PG-13 was created because of this movie. On top of all of that, Indiana, Harrison Ford, is somehow even a bigger misogynist than in Raiders.

Watching this movie after the Me Too movement has not been eye-opening, but certainly uncomfortable. I never liked how women were treated in the film, but I just accepted it. Now it actively pisses me off. Indy’s treatment of Willie, Kate Capshaw, was disgusting. He repeatedly dismissed her, even though he literally dragged her with him. She has a right to complain. Willie had been singing at her club, and all of a sudden she’s in a jungle surrounded by a foreign nature. Naturally, she’s scared, and Indy just laughs at her and rolls his eyes. Women, amirite?

Temple of Doom is technically a prequel, which explains why I don’t like it. I tend to hate prequels. There’s no explanation for why it happens before Raiders. Indy is a bit more mercenary, looking for only fame and glory. He starts off willing to ignore the plight of an entire village because he doesn’t believe them. I guess he hadn’t yet been shown that the supernatural was alive and well in his world.

Willie was a female version of Indy, but he’d never acknowledge it. They were both the top of the careers and complete narcissists. So sure of how amazing they are and only capable of the barest minimum of self-reflection. That was at least amusing to watch.

Even harder to look past than the sexism is the blatant racism in the film. It’s just soooo bad. You’ve got the heavy-handed Indian racism and the casual racism with Short Round, Ke Huy Quan. They covered as many bases as they could with Temple of Doom and racism. I refuse to allow the whole ‘it was a different time’ excuse to be used either. Fuck that noise. The Indian government actually told them they didn’t like several things in the script, and instead of changing them, they changed location. They knew exactly what they were doing.

Also, if anyone ever complains about how unrealistic certain scenes in Crystal Skull are, just point them to the beginning of Temple of Doom. They fall out of a plane in a life raft onto a snowy mountain. Ride down the mountain at breakneck speeds and then fall off a cliff into a raging river. It’s beyond ridiculous, which is fine for the type of film. My issue is more with people complaining about Crystal Skull.

I own Temple of Doom in a boxset, and I’m a completionist, or otherwise, I’d be fine not owning it. It’s definitely not a movie I feel the need to re-watch at frequent intervals. Normally, it’s not until I forget just how bad it is that I re-watch it.

Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983)

The Great Movie Re-Watch

Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983)

Director:

Richard Marquand

Writers:

Lawrence Kasdan

George Lucas

Starring:

Mark Hamill

Harrison Ford

Carrie Fisher

Billy Dee Williams

Ian McDiarmid

Blurb:

After a daring mission to rescue Han Solo from Jabba the Hutt, the Rebels dispatch to Endor to destroy the second Death Star. Meanwhile, Luke struggles to help Darth Vader back from the dark side without falling into the Emperor’s trap.

Thoughts:

The changes that George Lucas has made to Return of the Jedi have made it almost unwatchable. The musicians in Jabba’s palace are so bad that I can’t even look at the screen when they’re on. Changing the music at the end means that I end the trilogy without that nostalgia hit that brings back all the happy memories from my youth. Not to mention the new song is just plain boring when compared to the old one. Then there’s the replacement of Sebastian Shaw’s Anakin with Hayden Christensen. It is all infuriating.

I had never seen these new changes until the blu-rays. When the six movie box set was released on blu-ray, my husband and I watched it straight through one day. Ending the series without listening to “Yub Nub” left a fun experience on a sour note. Return used to be my favorite Star Wars movie as a child, and now I couldn’t tell you the last time I watched it. I get angry just thinking about all that was done to it.

Once again, I will be there on day one when they release non-fucked up versions of this film. My husband has a theory that George Lucas made a deal when he sold Lucas Film that Disney couldn’t release the original cuts in his lifetime. If that’s the case…

Anyway, this was the end of one of the most influential series of my childhood. It makes me sad that I couldn’t enjoy my re-watch.