If you haven’t heard, Indiana Jones 5 is definitely happening.

Way back in 2013, I discussed my feelings about Disney getting the rights to Indiana Jones. Clearly apathetic or maybe just a little worn out with the world at the time, I said:

But when I hear that Disney has acquired full rights from Paramount to make more Indiana Jones movies (or TV shows or video games or whatever plans they have), well… I don’t even know if I care.

Do I care now?

I do. I probably shouldn’t, but I do.

July 19, 2019. That’s the date that Disney has announced for its release. It’s already actively in pre-production. Disney chairman Alan Horn announced in the press release:

“Indiana Jones is one of the greatest heroes in cinematic history, and we can’t wait to bring him back to the screen in 2019. It’s rare to have such a perfect combination of director, producers, actor and role, and we couldn’t be more excited to embark on this adventure with Harrison and Steven.”

Notice somebody being left out of the description? In 2009, Harrison had said that George Lucas had already been actively working on a fifth film, but since Lucas is no longer attached to the series in any way, it’s about guaranteed that the new writers (including David Koepp) will do their own thing, much like what was done with the newest Star Wars installment. That’s probably not a bad thing, considering even Spielberg has thrown Lucas under the bus for the whole alien-silliness. As for me though, I’ve always been more annoyed by the plastic CGI and the monkeys… those goddamn monkeys.

More details, I’m sure, will be released over the coming months. In the meantime, need a reminder of how bad Crystal Skull was? Here’s my scathing review (and it’s 117 comments).

Disney now has full rights to Indiana Jones


I used to get riled up. There used to be passion. Now, all I can do is shrug.

Maybe it’s growing up.

Maybe it’s wising up.

Maybe it’s something else.

But when I hear that Disney has acquired full rights from Paramount to make more Indiana Jones movies (or TV shows or video games or whatever plans they have), well… I don’t even know if I care.

Back in 2008, I sure did care. My review of Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was scathing. Passionate. Angry. I spent months agonizing over and trying to forget that crock of shit. I still suffer from PTSD from it.

It’s a world of sequels, prequels, remakes, adaptations, and TV spinoffs. None of this is really new. It’s sort of the way that Hollywood has always functioned, albeit today in different forms.

All this impending Star Wars news should be enough to get me going… but I feel a whole lot of nothing. I guess I’m just getting too tired of it all to get riled up about it anymore.

I think I’ll go read a book.

‘No ball left unbusted’: An actual interview with Harrison Ford.

Harrison Ford has built up the reputation in the past few years that he has evolved into nothing more than a cranky old man churning out lame movie after lame movie. And while the latter part is certainly true, I’ve been convinced that he’s still the cool, laid-back guy that he always was and that he’s just been hamming it up for the interviewers, because he has the star power that he doesn’t have to humor the interviewers and he doesn’t much mind the image that was being formed of him (see his last few Conan appearances for perfect examples of his later-life oddness).

In a conversational style reminiscent to Jon Favreau’s old Dinner for Five, the director of Cowboys & Aliens, who just seems like one of the genuinely nicest guys in Hollywood, interviews Ford and it was really nice to see Ford have his guard down. I haven’t seen him give an interview where he has looked so relaxed since his Air Force One days, it seems. After the jump, you can check out the interview (broken up into numerous clips), where they talk about everything from the costuming on set, to the choice to not make the movie in 3D, to The Empire Strikes Back director Irvin Kershner.

Apparently, Favreau will be doing the same type of interview with stars Daniel Craig and Sam Rockwell, so be sure to stay tuned for those.

Would you like to know more…?

Harrison Ford Overload!!!

I guess Harrison Ford has a new movie out or something. It may or may not be named after an Oasis album – and Rotten Tomatoes says that it is one of his highest critically rated movie in ages!

Morning Glory: 56%
Extraordinary Measures: 27%
Crossing Over: 17%
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull: 77%
Firewall: 19%
Hollywood Homicide: 30%
K-19 The Widowmaker: 61%
What Lies Beneath: 45%
Random Hearts: 15%
Six Days, Seven Nights: 37%
The Devil’s Own: 29%

Compare that to his string of critical darling after critical darling in the 80s and into the mid-90s that lead up to this dramatic shift in quality (in order of release): The Empire Strikes Back (97%), Raiders of the Lost Ark (94%), Blade Runner (92%), Return of the Jedi (78%), Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom (85%), Witness (94%), The Mosquito Coast (75%), Frantic (77%), Working Girl (83%), Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (89%), Presumed Innocent (94%), Regarding Henry (48%), Patriot Games (75%), The Fugitive (94%), Clear and Present Danger (78%), Sabrina (61%), and Air Force One (78%).

I’m still perplexed by the whole thing. Maybe when Air Force One succeeded both financially and with the critics he thought that every mindless and silly movie that came his way would be received as such. Of course, if that was his thought, he was dead wrong.

After the jump, I’m compiled many of the recent appearances of Harrison on talk shows and interviews, where he is noticeably less grumpy than he has been in the past ten years during these types of ordeals (of which he has made note of in the past, he is not very fond of, being the extremely private person that he is). Enjoy – and feel free to talk about anything Harrison Ford related, be it his most recent film, one of these interviews, or how awesome he was in The Mosquito Coast.

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LaBeouf ‘dropped the ball’ on Indy 4

It has been almost two years to the day – that fateful day at Cinemark. I still harbor bitterness over the atrocity that was Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull (my scathing fanboy review). It will be a memory that I’ll never forget: walking out of the midnight screening in a confused daze, shell-shocked, my phone blowing up from others who had just walked out of their screening, and me picking up and only being able to mutter incoherently, “I don’t want to talk about it.”

As the resentful built, I wanted answers. I wanted people held accountable. CGI prairie dogs in the opening scene? What happened to Spielberg’s earlier claim of using CGI only when completely necessary? “How in the hell,” I asked, “could Spielberg and Harrison have read that script and thought, ‘Yes, this is the script that we have been waiting nineteen years for!'” But there were no answers. I and millions of other fanboys were just left with an empty silence, my questions answered only by my own tearful echo.

I soon turned to drugs and booze to ease the pain. I often snapped out – sometimes physically – against those I loved. Watching any films with greasers or seeing the monkey exhibit at the zoo caused painful flashbacks. Even my productivity at work suffered. I was soon fired. It had made me a different man. A hollow shell of who I once was. My friends and family don’t even recognize me.

Still, after all of this and even two years after the fact, it is nice to hear that the two lead actors also thought that the movie was shit. Including Shia LaBeouf, who I always tried not to blame, because, you know, what guy in his early-20s would have turned down a leading role in an Indiana Jones sequel? Not I.

LaBeouf was very candid about his feelings in this recent interview at Cannes. Not that it makes up for the absurdity that was Kingdom of the Crystal Skull – but it is a start.

“I feel like I dropped the ball on the legacy that people loved and cherished. … You get to monkey-swinging and things like that and you can blame it on the writer and you can blame it on Steven [Spielberg, who directed]. But the actor’s job is to make it come alive and make it work, and I couldn’t do it. So that’s my fault. Simple. … I think the audience is pretty intelligent. I think they know when you’ve made [expletive]. And I think if you don’t acknowledge it, then why do they trust you the next time you’re promoting a movie.”

And apparently, Ford wasn’t blind to this either.

“We [Harrison Ford and LaBeouf] had major discussions. He wasn’t happy with it either. Look, the movie could have been updated. There was a reason it wasn’t universally accepted. We need to be able to satiate the appetite. I think we just misinterpreted what we were trying to satiate.”

As for what he thinks Spielberg will think of all this talk, considering it is Spielberg whom LaBeouf owes his career?

“I’ll probably get a call. But he needs to hear this. I love him. I love Steven. I have a relationship with Steven that supersedes our business work. And believe me, I talk to him often enough to know that I’m not out of line. And I would never disrespect the man. I think he’s a genius, and he’s given me my whole life. He’s done so much great work that there’s no need for him to feel vulnerable about one film. But when you drop the ball you drop the ball.”

It’s refreshing to hear him being so blunt, especially in an industry where feeling are hurt so easily and interviews stay as PC as possible, so as not to sever any important ties. They told me in rehabilitation that the first step to recovery is accepting the reality of the situation. Finally putting his public denial aside, I think Shia is finally well on his way to recovery – and maybe I am too.

Dear Jason Reitman, George Clooney, and Jim Berkus

I know that you guys check this website religiously, so here is our open letter to you. First, please take a moment to read this excerpt from Cinematical’s interview with Harrison Ford.

We think that the point here is clear. Harrison has said he wants to work with you guys, now it’s time to make this happen. He will probably not put any effort into making this happen, nor should he have to. All it will take is a quick phone call and everything will fall into place. George, maybe you and he can be in a movie together. And Jason can direct it. Or, perhaps you can both direct separate movies for him to be in. Regardless, it is time to get this man’s career back on track, especially after his latest stinker, the made-for-TV looking Extraordinary Measures, is failing with both the critics (27% on RT) and at the box office (it doesn’t look like it will break $10 million for its opening weekend).

Jim Berkus, if you are still Harrison Ford’s agent, you need to start the dialogue between all of these guys and Mr. Ford. You know, because it’s your job and all. We’ve lost our patience with you already.

Let’s make this happen. Jonathan even has a great script, so you can get right down to the filming. Give him a call. He can act too. Just saying.


The Row Three Staff

p.s. But seriously, make this happen.

Scar Wars

Originally I hadn’t planned on posting this, but since it seems to be video clip day in the third row, I simply couldn’t resist. There are thousands of fan made Star Wars clips/trailers/mash-ups/homages/music videos blanketing the internet these days but every once in a while I’m forced to put one up that deems itself worthy.

What sounds like probably a hack job at first glance turns out to be pretty damn entertaining and well edited. I dig the Mötley Crüe soundtrack and the lip syncing is damn near spot on. But my favorite part has to be the poster images embedded within the trailer. I need to get my hands on one of those. By the way, can you spot the one clip that isn’t Harrison Ford but is in fact Bruce Willis?

Harrison Ford is… Tony “Fuckin” Montana. In Scar Wars

check out the trailer below the seats…
Would you like to know more…?

“I’m like a bad penny. I always turn up.”

“The story for the new Indiana Jones is in the process of taking form. Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and myself are agreed on what the fifth adventure will concern, and George is actively at work. If the script is good, I’ll be very happy to put the costume on again.”

These are the words of the 67 year old Harrison Ford, according to People. “If the script is good,” he says. Unfortunately, that is what he said (and Steven and George said) before he ever signed on for The Movie That Will Not Be Named. But I digress.

I reckon if they are going to make another Indiana Jones – The Movie That Will Not Be Named did make nearly $800 million worldwide after all – then I hope they take a few ideas of mine into consideration, since I am pretty sure the character was molded after me anyway.

1) Have him wake up at the beginning of the new movie and realize that everything that happened in The Movie That Will Not Be Named was just a horrible dream – especially the gophers.

2) Drop Mutt and Marion from the storyline or at least leave them to a brief cameo (never going to happen).

3) Sallah.

4) Pull a Temple of Doom and take this movie down a new, interesting, darker route, leaving the commies and cartoonish CGI behind – maybe having Indiana investigating a pagan Celtic cult, something mythological dealing with Merlin, or the like.

5) Drop Mutt and Marion from the storyline or at least leave them to a brief cameo (never going to happen).

That is all. Thank you for your time, Mr. Spielberg and Mr. Lucas. I await, but with a bitter taste in my mouth and a hole still in my soul.

OMFG. 1978 Indiana Jones Story Conference Transcript.

Excuse me while I clean myself up. I just peed a little.

I know that I don’t really have the time to spend on such luxuries like reading for pleasure these past few months, but when I stumbled upon Mystery Man on Film’s post about a 125-page .pdf transcript of some conversations between George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, and Lawrence Kasdan during 1978 about a little movie that happens to be my favorite of all-time – Raiders of the Lost Ark – I had to see it with my own eyes. This thing is all over the internet today and I couldn’t resist the temptation. I immediately downloaded the sucker and started reading away (and have a feeling I may be reading the whole thing tonight). It’s the Genesis of Indiana Jones: “In the beginning, George and Steven created Indiana Smith…”

Really, this is one of the coolest film-related documents I think I have ever read. These guys are talking candidly about the creation of the character that is Indiana Jones, the other characters, the film itself, the story arcs, everything – and it makes for some mind-boggling, fascinating reading. We really get a firsthand glimpse at what goes into collaborating to create an iconic film like this.

Check out Mystery Man’s blog post (because he deserves all the credit in the world for this write-up and he says it all better than I could), which gives plenty of excerpts from the document, along with his commentary, if you’re looking for a condensed version. You can also download the entire thing right there, for your drooling pleasure.

George Lucas is Off His Rocker

I know what you’re thinking: O REALLY? Well, even though it may be common accepted knowledge at this point, every time I read something the man has to say, I become more and more convinced, and I’m really hoping somebody intervenes and gets the man out of the public spotlight and the movie industry before he pisses off the wrong estranged fanboy. This time, he’s been rambling on about a fifth installment of Indiana Jones again over at the Times Online, and what he has to say makes baby Jesus cry.

“We were hoping for box-office figures like that [really… you did it for the money? Who would have thought], which is, ultimately, with inflation, what the others have done, within 10%,” Lucas explains. “So, we squeaked up there. Really, though, it was a challenge getting the story together and getting everybody to agree on it [*cough* Frank Darabont *cough*]. Indiana Jones only becomes complicated when you have another two people saying ‘I want it this way’ and ‘I want it that way’ [probably should have listened to Harrison and Steven a little more], whereas, when I first did Jones, I just said, ‘We’ll do it this way’ — and that was much easier. But now I have to accommodate everybody, because they are all big, successful guys, too, so it’s a little hard on a practical level. If I can come up with another idea that they like, we’ll do another [let’s hope not]. Really, with the last one, Steven wasn’t that enthusiastic [gee, I wonder why]. I was trying to persuade him. But now Steve is more amenable to doing another one [why Steven, why?]. Yet we still have the issues about the direction we’d like to take. I’m in the future; Steven’s in the past. He’s trying to drag it back to the way they were [umm… wasn’t that the point with the new Indy?], I’m trying to push it to a whole different place [CGI gophers and swinging monkeys]. So, still we have a sort of tension [because he’s pissed you made a shitty movie]. This recent one came out of that. It’s kind of a hybrid of our own two ideas, so we’ll see where we are able to take the next one [hopefully right to the dumpster].”

This short explanation explains quite a bit about the latest Indy installment. As the self-proclaimed biggest Indiana Jones fan this side of the Mississippi, I do not support another sequel. Not in the least. If you missed my review/rant on Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, check it out right here.

Jonathan’s Review: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Director: Steven Spielberg (Jaws, Saving Private Ryan, Schindler’s List, Munich)
Story: George Lucas, Jeff Nathanson
Screenplay: David Koepp
Starring: Harrison Ford, Shia Lebeouf, Cate Blanchett, Karen Allen, Ray Winstone, John Hurt
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Running time: 124 min

This review contains spoilers. You’ve been warned.

Oh, where do I begin? Where do I begin? Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull is a movie I’ve been waiting for over the course of most of my young life. Throughout the years, I’ve watched the movies literally hundreds of times. Nothing before or since has ever captured my imagination the way these had. During my childhood, I’d go out in the woods and pretend I was Indy, running from imaginary boulders, swinging on the rope tied to a tree branch in my backyard across make-believe snake pits, always saving the damsel in distress. Through my teenage years, I’d dress up as Indy for Halloween and often use his sarcastic one-liners in every day conversation. When it came time to go to college, the movies were much of the inspiration behind my choice to study history. Even as recent as last summer, when I heard there was an extras casting call for the Crystal Skull, I couldn’t resist going, despite the five-hundred mile drive. Needless to say, this must been kept in mind when reading this review. These movies are a huge part of who I am, as weird as that may sound.

So, it’s true that I had some high expectations for this. Maybe blindly high, but I felt I had little reason not to trust Spielberg and Ford. Even in the week before it’s release when my brother – another die-hard Indiana fan – revealed to me that he was a little worried with the latest TV spots, I stood firm, convinced there was no way that I couldn’t love this. Granted, I expected nothing on the level of the other three movies, but I expected something enjoyable and fun to finish off the series with a bang. Yet, once the credits began to roll, “enjoyable” and “fun” weren’t the first words to come to mind – and it kinda hurt. This is probably the most scattered, difficult review I’ve written, but bear with me.

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