I wasn’t going to say anything and just wait until the 5.18 screening of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull in Cannes, but since Ain’t It Cool has run a neg review from “ShogunMaster” (and since Hollywood Wiretap has linked to it), the cat is out of the bag and I may as well share something of my own.
Last night I heard from a guy I’ve known for years who’s quite friendly with an exhibitor from the southern region, and this guy passed along some comments after seeing an exhibitor screening two days ago. The exhib’s taste in movies tends to be fairly generous and populist (enjoyed Iron Man, even liked Speed Racer), but he wasn’t especially taken with Indy 4, my friend says.
The most interesting thing my source passed along was his friend’s sense that “the only ones who liked it were the older guys.” This ties in to an older-younger, march-of-time theme that is certain to seep through. Harrison Ford‘s Indiana Jones is obviously older, Steven Spielberg is an older guy who is proud of shooting and cutting action films in a somewhat old-fashioned (i.e., classic, non-Matrix-y) way, and now — maybe — a hint that the film itself may play older, or on some level embody older-ness. Cool.
A Hollywood screenwriter guy is telling me that “people” — he didn’t say younger or older, but let’s presume the latter — “are really liking it.” He claims there was another exhibitor screening last week, and that some feel “it’s the best of the sequels.” It has, he’s been told, a kind of reflective, summing-up quality that has echoes of Temple of Doom and The Last Crusade.
I love this. Especially having been pummelled by Speed Racer last night. I would love it, I mean to say, if Indy 4 winds up providing a window into the Spielberg- Lucas-Jones mindset — i.e., we’re obviously grappling with the world as it is and giving it hell, but we’re still older guys and very comfortable, thank you, with doing things in our own tried-and-true way.
Let’s leave it alone for now, but the two downbeat responses suggest that a Da Vinci Code-like mauling could happen — maybe, possibly — when Mr. Jones turns up at the Grand Palais on 5.18. I’m thinking again about the statement that producer George Lucas gave to USA Today‘s Scott Bowles, the one about it “not” being “the Second Coming…it’s just a movie, just like the other movies.”
This may turn out to be a good thing, in a way. If this talk keeps up expectations will be slightly lowered by the time it shows in Cannes (and in domestic media screenings) on the Sunday after next, and the responses may therefore fall under the heading of “pleasant surprise.”