Man, every reason why I can't stand those two or Roeper... that video pretty much sums it up. And I like how Ebert summed it up, "I don't think Spielberg can lose with this." Exactly, he didn't lose, and neither did Ebert for promoting it. They both got a nice pay-check out of it. How superficial.
Still, fun to see the vintage debate. So thanks for sharing.
And I like how Ebert summed it up, "I don't think Spielberg can lose with this." Exactly, he didn't lose, and neither did Ebert for promoting it. They both got a nice pay-check out of it. How superficial.
Siskel wanted more humour and wit like the original? Erm, surely the original was more serious than Crusade. It had one or two laughs but generally the first film was played with conviction. It's Crusade that suffers from too much 'comedy' stuff.
I still don't see how people don't like Last Crusade. I thought it was great.
I don't speak for everyone, but for me at least, it was just lacking in almost every respect. The opening sequence I found to be just plain dull in comparison with the others, the villains were relatively tame, the sidekicks seemed like they were simply there for nostalgic purposes (I mean, did Brody REALLY need to be in the film at all? Same with Sallah), and the grail (like the Sankara stones) just seemed like they were missing something. And like Siskel said, I never really believed that they were father and son, but I wouldn't say that necessarily took away from my enjoyment of the film. On some level, I felt like I was watching a parody of the original. The movie definitely has its pluses. I thought Sean Connery was a very funny character, and definitely the best part of the film. I thought that of the trio of villains, Elsa was the best written (but I feel like they took Belloq, a great villain, and split him into two characters, Elsa and Donovan, and the end result was somewhat less than satisfying). And the ending to the film ended on such a ridiculous note that I felt that it really took away from the film. I know a lot of people feel that the "ride off into the sunset" ending was the best way to end the trilogy, and I would agree on just that. Riding off into the sunset was great, however, Spielberg created this really tense moment with Henry nearly dieing, Elsa actually dieing, and then the film tries to almost laugh it off with a comment about how Indy got his name. I feel it would have served the film better to keep in line with the Raider's type-ending, where it's a much more serious. I mean, Indy is having guilt about watching someone fall to their death, and his dad makes a crack about his name! Bad parenting.
I don't know, I'm alone in my defense of Last Crusade as perhaps the most serious piece of art in the trilogy. This is not to say that it is not humorous, for it is comic, even deeply so, but it is also a joyful piece filled with notes of redemption and a strong sense of history repeating itself both within the trilogy and within the totality of history as an entity. Even so, it is a film less about the vast impersonal forces of Raiders and Temple (consider the bureaucracy of Raiders, or the children in the mines in Temple), for it is a film explicitly about people and, frankly, how deeply they fail to properly interact with each other. I must deeply disagree with Siskel, for this is the film with the greatest humanity, although I do not deny the presence of it in the prior films. Also, I find Ford and Connery quite convincing as an estranged father and son, both grown men in academia. And, also, I do disagree with Ebert (who I generally quite appreciate), as he merely shrugs off Siskel's criticisms with an, "geez, it's an adventure film, what do you want?" sort of reaction, where I do feel it's evident that despite some plotting errors (the Brotherhood, primarily), Last Crusade is a film with great resonance, and the fact that certain things echo Raiders is quite part of the point, for Last Crusade is a redeemed Raiders. I can appreciate the starkness of the Raiders and Temple worldview, which are rather alike in the ambiguities of their hero and his surroundings, but I also very much like seeing it resolved in Last Crusade.
Riding off into the sunset was great, however, Spielberg created this really tense moment with Henry nearly dieing, Elsa actually dieing, and then the film tries to almost laugh it off with a comment about how Indy got his name. I feel it would have served the film better to keep in line with the Raider's type-ending, where it's a much more serious. I mean, Indy is having guilt about watching someone fall to their death, and his dad makes a crack about his name! Bad parenting.
Nobody ever said he was a great parent. They had problems and he often got on Indy's nerves. As a father, I'm sure he thought it was pretty stupid his son wants to be named after a dog they once had... plus, only moments ago he finally called his son Indiana, he was just going back to his old self after everything turned out ok.
Plus, Sallah asked... Henry just answered the question.
Besides, I don't think Indy felt too bad about Elsa. I mean, she betrayed him.. she didn't listen to him when he tried to save her... she didn't listen to him about crossing the seal. If anyone's to blame for her death it's only herself. So I'd be having an "Oh well, I did what I could" attitude. At least all of Indy's friends made it out alive.
Marcus didn't have a real reason to be there save for being a friend of Henry Sr. his age to relate to and comedic purposes. But I liked the character of Marcus Brody and I never felt like it was really unnecessary for him to be there.
If you want to call out on a character unnecessary to the plot... why not Sallah? He only came back for the sole purpose of coming back because people like him from Raiders. And most people don't complain about that because... duh... you guys like Raiders so much. But he is the least useful to the plot and adds really nothing much to it.
I agree I don't like the opening much, but I think it's just because Harrison Ford isn't in it... it's a flashback. Spielberg didn't even want to do it. That was Lucas' idea.
... regardless the reasons why I LIKE the movie so much are thus...
1.) Sean Connery's character is interesting and I feel like he is a really smart guy who knows his son pretty well and is a little self-absorbed with his own things in life to notice his son having problems... but he doesn't really think they are very serious problems and his son is kind of just whiny. (as addressed in the "drink" conversation on the blimp)...
2.) Indiana Jones' character shows a side that isn't so bad-ass. He comes face to face with his father who slows him down a bit and whom he has a bit of bitter resentment towards but still tremendous respect and love for.
3.) The musical score is great. I love all the themes throughout the entire picture, and the grail music at the end is very inspiring.
4.) It makes you feel an inspired sense of ... spirituality at the end (or it did for me)... to believe that the cup is real and that Jesus in turn existed and that faith saved Indy and his father... that Indy is probably a changed man after the experience. Sure, he already knew that God was real before after seeing the Ark of the Covenant in person and being present at it being opened... but this is a bit different. This had a more personal impact on his life.
5.) It has some terrific writing. Very quotable.
"We named the dog Indiana."
"Let my armies be the trees the rocks and the birds in the sky."
"What happens at 12:00?"
"I can't believe what you just did!"
"Well who's gonna save YOU JUNIOR!?!"
"I saiiid... DON'T CALL ME JUNIOR!"
"Thank God. It's a fake!"
"... then I'm Mickey Mouse!"
"We're not going on the boat?"
"Elsa never really believed in the grail, she thought she'd found a prize."
".... indiana..... Indiana.... let it go."
"Don't you see? The pen is mightier than the sword."
"Well this is a new experience for me!"
"Happens to me all the time..."
"Do you believe Marcus? Do you believe the grail actually exists?"
[Indy smiles after wrecking the other motorcycle - his dad just gives him a bad look.]
"Jesus Chr- *Slap*"
"That was for blasphemy."
"The penintant man will pass... penintant man... penintant man kneels before God... KNEEL!"
"Nobody can jump this."
"He chose.... poorly."
... and on and on and on. All those right off the top of my head. I agree Raiders is probably a better movie overall. But I still think Last Crusade is my favorite. But that's always a tough call.
Attila, I love reading your brilliant thoughts on the (formerly) final Indiana Jones movie. I had gotten so used to reading/hearing why it was inferior, I almost started to believe it myself! (I don't watch the movies too often--maybe once every year and a half or so). But you have reminded me again why I love that movie...and why I nearly tear up near the end when Henry Sr. finally says "Indiana". If you think about all the things portrayed in that one word...all the forms of miscommunication and misunderstanding bridged, it's really staggering.
In my opinion, Last Crusade is the best. Part of me doesn't think it's in technical terms the finest made - I'd say that goes to Raiders - but it's got elements the others just didn't.
Without question, the biggest selling point is Henry. I delight whenever I see him on screen. Possibly a career best for Sean Connery, I've rarely seen such chemistry and great interplay as he has with Harrison Ford. It's just a joy to watch, and it makes the film so much better in every way.
It's also quite wonderfully written in places. All the trilogy have classic lines oft-referenced in pop-culture in the last 25 years, but I'd wager the majority of them come from Last Crusade. It's not a perfect film, but I'd say it's one of Spielberg's best and one of the finest action adventure movies ever to come out of Hollywood.